Karen Finley creates a series of life drawings from sexts. Playing off of the tradition of the nude model posing and portraiture in figure drawing, Finley employs the erotic poses of sexting as inspirations for visual compositions. The erotic figuration expresses intimate moments of desire, tenderness and voyeurism that seek to remove shame by framing the discourse with life drawing. Finley is critiquing the cultural milieu of the selfie and the shame and humiliation when the image is made public.
Finley’s Sext Me If You Can Series involves creating artworks based on images that are sexted to her by “paying “customers. Although she also creates artworks from sexts and selfies, one version is that the performance involves watching Finley receive the image on her phone and the observation of her creating the artwork. The artwork is then installed and is on view. There are versions of the installation and performance and how to apply the sexting, which can be flexible to meet the demands of the space.
First performed at Project Miami at the art fair in Miami, December 2012 with Coagula Curatorial Finley presented and exhibited Sext Me If You Can at the New Museum in May 2013. The work was also presented as a web version in Melbourne in August 2016.