The contentious nipple

Lets face it, nipples in art are nothing new. Most bodies have a pair of them, sometimes more and sometimes less but they have very little rarity value. Mankind’s interest in nudity probably dates back as far as mankind. The Venus of Hohle Fels a figurine, unearthed in September 2008 in Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany, may be the oldest known example and has been dated as 35,000 years old.

However, you would have had to have been living in a cave yourself not have noticed that there’s something of a war going on over the female nipple. Although the self evident inequality of how laws and customs treat the male and female nipple has been a source of protest for some time, the official Free the Nipple campaign was started in 2012 by Lina Esco when she was making a film with the same title, and the #FreeTheNipple hashtag has been much used to pressure Instagram, Facebook and society along with much celebrity endorsement and support.

SHiRK can’t resist a bit of art and rebellion, and particularly enjoyed Huffposts efforts to give those troublesome female nipples a 21st century censorship makeover.

Titians Venus of Urbino

The full article is at The Nipples Of Art History Get An Instagram-Friendly Makeover

Spencer Tunick’s protest on 2nd June 2019, in New York City was widely covered as about 100 participants posed nude in front of Facebooks HQ. The women shielded their own nipples with images of male nipples that Tunick calls “donated nipples.” Among his nipple donors were the artists Andres Serrano and Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Bravo’s Andy Cohen, actor/photographer Adam Goldberg, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Tunick himself.

A recent work by Surrey artist, and active SHiRK member, Serge LeFevre entitled “iNipple 16” is therefore very much on topic. Complete strangers contributed selfies of their nipples via email (whether male or female is unknown) and Serge used these to create a digital collage.

iNipple 16, 2019 Serge LeFevre

“It is not so much that I am referencing Tunick’s work, though I admire him greatly, nor that I am directly supporting “Free the nipple”, though of course as any right minded individual I do. For me the nipple is a symbol of our similarity and yet individuality across the sexes,” LeFevre explained.

“It is male and female, similar yet varied, both from person to person and across time.”

“I still have contributions from individuals arriving, and I am confident that I will have enough material to create a third work in the progression which will be iNipple 64. After that we will need to see whether we are still learning something new from the progression, whether it is surprising, and whether it is fresh, If the progression proceeds well I have a much more ambitious work in mind, iZuckTheNipple” said LeFevre.

Individuals wishing to contribute to iNipple 64 can contact Serge at

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