Artists like Edgar Degas and Egon Schiele have been criticized for objectifying women in their work. Seeing as they portrayed women outside of their environment, they focused more on the shape and movement of the woman anatomy -- viewing them much more of an object for the practice of observation.
I do not agree with the objectification of women whatsoever, but I cannot help but appreciate the beauty of their work. They have a great attention to detail: knotted hair, back dimples, loose hair at the nape of the neck. They also capture their subjects in informal yet romantic poses: contraposto holding the back of her dress, stretching, and leaning towards the ground in exhaustion. Surely, these realistic details make his subjects more human.
The lack of eye contact makes one feel as if they have walked in on the subject when they are most vulnerable -- when the subject is unaware of someone watching. Schiele takes these women who are posing in vulnerable positions out of context with a plain, untouched background -- asking us to create their surroundings ourselves.
Although the human body is claimed to be perfectly symmetrical, it is still flawed like any product of nature. These imperfections and fly aways create a challenge to the observing artist. I am not excusing the sexism and objectification of women that has exists in art. Rather, I am simply appreciating the talent of the artists themselves.
Enough dorking out. Peace. VC.