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Body Image in Art
Transcript of Body Image in Art
Gerhard Lang John Isaacs
Jenny Saville Frida Kahlo http://www.yanceyrichardson.com/artists/hellen-van-meene/index.html Untitled [#15] (1997) 30 x 30 cm
Saville’s lifelong fascination with the workings of the human body began to affect her artwork. Finding herself immersed in a different culture, Saville “was interested in the malls, where you saw lots of big women. Big white flesh in shorts and T-shirts. It was good to see because they had the physicality that I was interested in.” It was in this environment that Saville began to read the feminist literature that would later play an important role in paintings such as Propped. With these texts and other artists such as Cindy Sherman (a contemporary conceptual photographer) as an influence, Saville embarked on creating a series of works that would later make up her degree show in Glasgow. http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5408895 Women persecute themselves with a desire to retain adolescent figures. 'Nearly everyone I know', says Saville, 'is obsessed with dieting-from anorectics who end up in hospital to friends who take hundreds of laxatives a day. It's like an epidemic. Some companies write the provision of body management into employee's contracts; you can have liposuction so as to conform to company image. Plastic surgeons use computers to create the perfect face, but it will achieve such blandness. What would beauty be, if everyone were the same?' http://www.olegmitrofanov.com/info/orlan.html ORLAN: Today, the notion of beauty is made up by the dominating ideologies. In contemporary society, beauty is expressed through the means of magazines and videos games, in cartoons and comics and so on. It is rather obvious that what is shown to us is something that is against flesh. The ideal body we are being shown is one of an early teenage girl that has not yet accomplished her womanhood. To fit that supposedly dream body one has to starve. The bone structure of most women is not thin enough to look like the one of a sixteen year old. It is interesting to see that those bodies that are almost completely deprived of flesh, are the ones who are meant to excite the pleasure of the flesh, as if the rest of the woman were excluded from the pleasures of flesh because they have some. How can one be aroused and sexually turned on by a form of body that is an actual pain to the body, a struggle, a disease? Ellie Harrison "In this work lies an interest in a representational possibility of the emotional landscape of the body becoming manifest in its surface. Visually, the way in which the flesh grows, erupts and engulfs the body can be seen as a metaphor of the way in which we become incapacitated by the emotional landscape in which we live and over which we have little control. Of course, the body also appears to be suffering from some kind of malignancy, as in cancer, but, for me, the image of the figure, coupled with the title, leads one into an open contemplation of the plight of the individual." John Isaacs Wax, polystyrene, steel, expanding foam and oil paint. http://www.wellcomecollection.org/whats-on/exhibitions/medicine-now/image-galleries/obesity.aspx http://bilgi.academia.edu/SaideElifOzkorkmaz/Papers/126286/A_Phantasmagoria_of_the_Female_Body_The_Work_of_Cindy_Sherman Francesca Woodman has been called a modernist, a surrealist and, even, a gothic artist. Her work carries echoes of all three traditions, but it evades categorisation. As a young woman, she photographed herself obsessively but often she appears as a blur of movement or a half-hidden figure, someone constantly trying to escape or hide. The end result is not self-portraiture, but a series of stills from a continuous performance in which she plays with the notion of the self, disguising, transforming and defacing her own body. http://www.tate.org.uk/collection/artistrooms/artist.do?id=10512 The Scream is well established as the epitome of Munch's work as an artist. The painting, which seethes with movement, appears to be painted with an explosive force and the result is a genuine expression of an agitated mind. It has become recognised as the actual mental image of the existential angst of civilised man.Munch wrote a version of the lyric prose text associated with the image:
I was out walking with two friends - the sun began to set - suddenly the sky turned blood red - I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence - there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city - my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety - and I sensed an endless scream passing through nature. http://www.munch.museum.no/content.aspx?id=15 Palaeanthropical Physiognomy
At first glance, the photos comprising this series look like simple sandwich pictures. On looking closer, however, we gradually notice that these works must have been created in some other way. In reality, this part of Gerhard Lang's physiognomic studies involves a projection technique that allows him to project directly onto human faces. The resulting hybrid beings exist only for a matter of seconds. Lang records them with photography and 16mm film. http://www.db-artmag.com/archiv/2005/e/5/1/356.html Gillian Wearing chose to hide Cole's china doll-delicate features behind a mask. "I always thought she had the ideal face for a mask," explains Wearing. "She is quite doll-like, and you think of a mask as being perfect, like a doll is."
After taking the cast of Cole's face and dressing the model in a Victorian lace shirt for the photo shoot, Wearing damaged the mask, sullying Cole's perfectly smooth, freckled alabaster skin and exposing her fragility. "It's quite touching," she says of the finished work, "but also quite frightening." The intense and intimate view in her art expresses her personal tragedy, with her canvases acting as multiple mirrors to reflect her searing suffering while, at the same time, they are profoundly and essentially archetypal. She used her devastating pain as a key to open an inner dialogue between her dismembered body image and the Other shown in her self-portraits; and in revealing her inner world, Frida is able to explore the unfathomable territory of archetypal suffering. http://www.artyfactory.com/art_appreciation/portraiture/frida_kahlo/frida_kahlo.htm http://www.ellieharrison.com/index.php?pagecolor=2&pageId=project-greed