Art, Body, & Soul

Posted on 17 May 2011

I am the biggest fan of figurative artwork! Not only is the physical anatomy of the body incredibly technical and elaborate, but so is its emotional side. Humans, unlike a vase of flowers or a bowl of colorful fruit, are something we can personally relate to—a subject matter with thought, senses, feelings of love, desire, regret. Using the human figure, these emotions can be realized through the artwork  just as we can read body language. [caption id="attachment_370" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Click photo to see more of Lisa Schuster's artwork "][/caption] [caption id="attachment_369" align="aligncenter" width="286" caption="Click photo to see more of Lisa Schuster's artwork "][/caption]

Baring it All

Figurative art can be such a wonderful challenge for both the artist and viewer. Consider expressive self portraits and the courage it takes to share personal thoughts or self perspective with the outside world. Using the nude figure within artwork can require a certain amount of vulnerability from both artists and onlooker. And that’s what I find so refreshing! Art can be risky or brave, art can challenge, art can make you laugh or cry, and the relationship between artist and viewer can be solidified through a painting rather than an actual introduction. [caption id="attachment_367" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Click photo to see more of Kevin Poole's artwork "][/caption]

Figurative Art for Every Body

Beyond the complexities—the human body is simply beautiful; its familiar contours and shapes, the curves of a woman, the lines of a man. This outward structure, a piece of artwork all its own, can be the artistic outlet to sharing the deeper thoughts and emotions of the human mind and soul. [caption id="attachment_364" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Click photo to see more of Polly Hart's artwork "][/caption] There is a huge variety in styles of figurative art. Some artists paint the human form realistically, and others in abstract. When the human form is portrayed realistically all parts of the body or face are in proportion to one another—aka, they paint or draw what is seen. Abstract figurative art is often done out of proportion. What is represented is not always true to shape, dimension, or color as it is in life. In abstract figurative art the skewing of proportions or the use of colors is executed by the artist with intention. Colors can represent emotions, energies or ideals. Disproportionate, or even missing body parts, can be used to get across an idea or emphasize a message. For example an artist may choose not to paint or draw a face on the body because they intend for the focus to be solely the human body. A missing mouth could represent feeling limited, silenced, or discriminated. Eyes that are low on the face or crooked could represent sadness or introspection. Certain colors or textures can represent energy, anger, or longing. [caption id="attachment_366" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Click photo to see more of Linda Jacob's artwork "][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_365" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Click photo to see more of Linda Jacob's artwork "][/caption] This is why I am such an advocate of figurative artwork. Not everyone feels they “understand” the world of fine art—but most people understand people. Any emotion a human can evoke, a piece of figurative artwork can capture forever. So much can be said with the human form and the human face. [caption id="attachment_368" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="“The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.” –St. Jerome"][/caption]

Let’s Face It

So, let’s face it! Everyone should have a least one figurative piece of artwork that speaks to them within their space. It is said that the human body is one of the best ways to portray the human soul. What better way to add interest or energy to a room than through artwork that showcases the simplicities and complexities of the human being—both inside and out.

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Meet Litsa

Litsa Spanos – loving wife and mother of three – is an established art consultant, award-winning gallery owner, custom framer and educator. In this blog, Litsa shares with you her love for beautiful things. She will give you an exclusive look into the world of fine art and the artists who create it. She will also let you in on inspirational design ideas that are sure to give your home or office energy, warmth and reflect your own personal style.




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