REVIEW | 101 ARTIST
We call it the naked truth, and it does not suggest anything sensual or erotic. The opposite almost. The naked truth is the rough, unvarnished realities: the deficit in the household budget, the real economy of the firm behind the glittering front, or the serious illness behind the symptoms.
In the series ‘Body of Desire’, Helga Theilgaard, in a remarkable way, has succeeded in capturing the ambivalence in what we normally think about when we hear or read the word ‘naked’. The series shows men and women who make a living by selling their naked bodies: they are prostitutes. Helga Theilgaard exhibit their product, their commodity, to us. However, the nakedness is non-commercial, as they are not selling anything. Thus, their nudity is somehow differently relaxed compared to when they are with a client. At the same time, the laid-back attitude can also reveal the vulnerability, the resignation or the defiance, that the men or women feel, and that we, as spectators, recognize. The look in the eyes or the body posture. In this way, these bodies and persons, that we do not know, become a kind of mirror to us. For our desire, our dreams, for the entire scale of hope, happiness, shattered illusions, sorrow and privation, that our lives reflect and are built on. The unvarnished truth. The naked truth.