Naked attraction in the latest issue of Wrap Magazine
Anyone infatuated with the glossy, tactile, physicality of magazines will love Wrap. Every edition features five original pull-out pieces of wrapping paper by specially commissioned illustrators; transforming the reading experience into a luscious process of tearing and smoothing and unwrapping. And with issue 12, things have got even more satisfying, because Wrap’s theme is ‘the Nude’. It’s like we’re being given five very grown-up riffs on the infamous centrefold.
The nude, as editor Polly Harrison acknowledges, is nothing new in art — but it feels like an important subject in our current political context. Nudes are accompanied by in-depth interviews with their creators, detailing the often personal struggles with self-acceptance, or pornography, or motherhood that informed them. From colourful, fleshy dancers, to a still-life that symbolises a patch of cellulite, the bodies on these pages tend to surprise you.
Polly talked us through the issue via five interpretations of the nude.
‘Her Learning Curve’ — by Kelly Anna
“Kelly Anna has captured so much energy and confidence in her artwork for Wrap, which I love! Her whole family are latin and ballroom dancers and growing up in that environment has obviously had a big impact on her — both in terms of movement and shape, but also in learning how important it is to be dedicated to your craft and really disciplined. Her piece is also a really personal response to our brief ‘The Nude’, and very much about body confidence: in her interview she’s open about her struggles as a teenager to feel comfortable with her curves, so it’s inspiring to discover how she used the brief to counter this — and society’s idea of what ‘perfection’ is — and celebrate the female form in all its curvaceous glory!”
‘You Can Be Whoever You Want to Be’ — by Daiana Ruiz
“Daiana’s piece for issue 12 is such a great reflection of her graphic illustration style, and also of her personal and political beliefs around women’s and minority rights — especially in relation to her home country of Argentina. She’s exploring issues of gender in her print, featuring non-hegemonic bodies of women, including a trans woman. And they’re all taking selfies, which I find really interesting, as it brings up questions about self-love and self-acceptance in our generation. It also touches on topics like censorship, which Daiana talks about in her interview. What I really like about Daiana is how she’s actively fighting against societal problems, using her role as an illustrator to present images that offer a different perspective.”
‘Ticking Clock’ — by Cristina BanBan
“I’m a big fan of Cristina, and her talent for creating such arresting large-scale paintings that explore the female body using bold, exaggerated shapes and magnified fleshy forms. They’re beautiful, and the figures exude a confidence and sense of defiance which is empowering; it was a pleasure for us to run a feature on her in this edition, and felt like a perfect fit with our theme. Her work is very much inspired by her own life and experiences, a good example being ‘Ticking Clock’, which she painted last year when she turned 30, prompted by her reflections on motherhood and society’s expectations, as well as the biological pressures on women around that age.”
Skin Portraits — by Wang & Söderström
“I was thrilled for us to collaborate with Copenhagen-based design studio Wang & Söderström, who create their work using 3D rendering, on this issue’s illustrated essay. It’s a feature we run in every issue of Wrap that gives one artist/studio the opportunity to explore a subject in-depth across a series of images. Our brief to Wang & Söderström was simply ‘Nude’, and their approach was to create a fascinating series of surreal, magnified portraits of the skin — giving us a new perspective on our body’s largest organ. The six images they developed explore different skin states and formations — from goosebumps and cellulite, and stretch marks and swellings, to wrinkles and freckles.”
‘Nude’ — by Joe Cruz
“I’m really interested in how Joe has used his artwork for Wrap, which was inspired by his favourite nude painting L’Origine du Monde by Gustav Courbet, to challenge us as viewers — encouraging questions about how open and liberal we really are. Joe creates his images using an analogue process, mixing found collaged photography with coloured pastels, and for Wrap the imagery he’s used is a still from a 1970s soft porn film. His aim was to take a sexualised image of a female form and change the narrative — to give it warmth and naturalism, and a sense of tenderness. I also like that Joe is questioning the context of imagery like this. Within a gallery setting there’d be no taboo, whereas within this edition of Wrap, a mainly illustration-focused magazine, his piece might seem controversial, or at least unexpected.”