'Hermaphrodite', Allen Jones, 1963

This depicts shapes that appear to have both the male and female characteristics. The two are fused, and are difficult to separate. It has strong colours which create a distinction between flesh and clothing. A woman's hair and cleavage or clearly visable

Oil on canvas, 213.5 x 122cm

Accession Number WAG6190

Several of Allen Jones's prints, sculptures and paintings explore the tension between male and female.

These two fused figures express the Jungian notion that truly creative art requires both feminine and masculine characteristics. It can thus be read as a metaphorical self-portrait of Jones's own artistic quest.

The overtly erotic female imagery is characteristic of much of Jones's later work, such as 'Chair' (in the Tate), which is a lifesize sculpture of a woman sado-masochistically bound to form a seat.

Image copyright of the artist.

External link

'Chair', Allen Jones, Tate Collection|