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John Coplans

May 15, 2012

Using his fleshly envelope to quote art historical postures, John Coplans took on one of our few remaining taboos: the intimate depiction of advancing age and the decline of the Everyman.  In documenting the broad expanse of his bent back, close-held thighs, belly paunch, odd protuberances, sagging folds, and thick body hair, he instructed the wide-eyed gaze of the observer to embrace the ephemeral human form with vulnerability and tenderness.

John Coplans

“The principal thing is the question of how our culture views age: that old is ugly … Just think of Rodin, how he dealt with people of all ages. I have the feeling that I’m alive, I have a body … I can make it extremely interesting. That keeps me alive and vital. It’s a kind of process of energizing myself by my belief that the classical tradition of art that we’ve inherited from the Greeks is a load of bullshit.”


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