It sounds interesting, and IMO there is a lot here to think about. My problem with most “male gaze” theory is that I encounter it being used as sound-bites, more sort of rhetorical blocks and bludgeons than starting points for meaningful discussion. Like most things discussed in popular media, it quickly leads to subsequent questions (very good) which hardly anybody engages with (rather unfortunate).
“I distinctly remember being told by my teachers, if you draw women, you’re colonizing them with your eyes,”
“Do you not draw women and then maintain an allegiance to some sort of experience that only you have had? Or do you try to expand your understanding and your empathy for other human beings?”
Is everybody colonizing these people with their eyes, or only Ware? How do you know whether or not the people you are drawing are women? How is this exclusive sort of experience any different than anything else in art which is meant to be representational? Does Ware also colonize men, squid, toasters, emotional states? How or why do “human beings” deserve some special status?
FWIW these are questions I have confronted in my own work (music and video) and further encouraged me to avoid representation and egoistic personal expression (in favor of mathematics and abstraction). But I still see it play out in the culture at large.
Reminders about colonialism and people’s often utilitarian interactions are definitely worth getting people to consider. I am interested in what, in-depth, his teacher was getting at. But instead I am guessing it comes down to more controversy of a consensus of whether “this is important” versus “this is whining” rather than ever getting into how such processes work on a functional level.