This oil painting features a nude model. Part of her is rendered in photorealistic shades of blue, and part is abstract outline of her contours.

The intensity of texture details jammed next to distinct areas that lack any texture displays a striking contrast between abstract and concrete. The background is abstract blue, spilling into the outline of the body where the body’s texturing is absent.

What I really look at are the parts where the photorealistic and the abstract outline sections meet, urging me to look at the abstract for what’s supposedly missing. Nothing’s missing! Abstraction is present to remind us that ceci n’est pas une femme, after all. Thus it’s helpful to think of the outlined areas not as absence of texture, but presence of art.

Otherwise though, I feel naturally more inclined to ogle the shading of the body. Abstraction happens in art all the time, to varying degrees. But how often do you really have a naked lady standing in front of you, letting you work your male gaze? Even among intimate partners, it’s really quite rare.