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Girls, Girls, Girls

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Egon Schiele, Two Women, 1915.

Egon Schiele, Two Women, 1915.

If you’re an artist, illustrator or just about any other form of creative and have informed someone your primary subject matter is centered around female form your probably accustomed to the response of rolled eyes, staged smiles and indifference.  For current creators figurative female art is commonly viewed as a cliché, a reiterated topic without much individuality induced, if you’ve attended any form of arts institution or simply browsed online it becomes abundantly clear the vast appeal of this subject matter and the amount of artist producing female focused artwork.

The mass appeal of this subject is present throughout Art History including the iconic paintings Girl with a Pearl Earring, Mona Lisa and Whistler’s Mother. However, modern day depictions of women are often considered as simply “pretty pictures” and scarcely taken seriously outside of a gallery setting. A potential reason for this is the popularity of figurative art and illustration beyond the art world. To the general public visiting an art gallery can commonly be viewed as an intimidating experience, reserved for an elite. Whereas, figurative art often appears to break down these barriers as discussion surrounding the characters clothing, posture and expression arise.

                  Row 1:  Harry Clarke, Camille Rose Garcia, Richard Gray. Row 2: Aubrey Beardsley, Darla Petrilli, Mercedes Helnwein.                           Row 3: Laura Laine, Mark Ryden, Vania Zouravliov.

I believe the appeal of creating and viewing figurative female art is well established within us during childhood. The first scribbling of young children usually depict round shapes as these are associated with the faces of our parents and provide a sense of comfort. As children develop they incorporate more body parts as they become aware of them, often starting with a head and shoulders and continuing to full bodies. This usually leads to self-portraits and portraits of loved one, as children attempt to document and make sense of the world around them. I believe the appeal of documenting ourselves and those around us continues into adulthood, as we still appear fascinated by the possibility of capturing ourselves and others, using them as a projection of our own fantasies, beliefs and emotions.  Throughout the progression of my artwork I've noticed the impact life events and external factors have on my artwork, how my mood, lifestyle and relationships subconsciously emerge in my work. Through the veil of myth, fantasy and other layers we simultaneously hide and expose ourselves, illuminating the primary role of art to express, communicate and connect.   

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