Since September, my current work has taken a few different turns. In order to fully explore the challenging concept of Beauty and the best way possible to portray this within contemporary art, I worked with a variety of different mediums such as; drawings, paintings, photography, prints, and video to illustrate a medley of digital imagery, collages and painting.
To understand the concept of beauty, firstly a definition is needed. The word ‘Beauty’ is described in the Oxford English Dictionary as firstly; “a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially sight’. Secondly, it is also described as; ‘a beautiful woman’. Within the early stages of my work, I’ve attempted to explore the representation of the female body within feminist art. I looked at works by Georgia O’keeffe, Anya Gallaccio and Pamela Lordi. By using a specific flower such as the rose, I attempted to use this to represent a symbol of female beauty.
However, this was found to be a confusing route to go down, because it did not clearly represent the illustration I would have liked the viewer to perceive. I have now found that exploring and trying out different aesthetics in colour, shape and form has led me to a more profound understanding of concepts of beauty and aesthetics and the different ways they can be represented.
Beauty cannot be accurately portrayed within one medium. Certain artists draw from different experiences such as Yago Hortal and Andy Warhol. By the use of acrylic paint, Hortal manipulates the canvas to create a balanced chaos through using thick florescent paint. Whereas Warhol screen-prints with psychedelic colours over a backdrop of undergrowth in his work ‘Flowers’ 1964. I found both of these artists works to be extremely pleasing to the aesthetic senses, of which I found helped me realise what work I wanted to produce.
For my final outcomes, I’ve chosen to represent this concept in two different mediums of which I’ve worked with throughout my second year. The selection of Photoshop Collages represents the concept behind the old Greek Myth of the Narcissist. These images reflect an unhealthy state of mind and elusion, and is an idea of what state of mind the narcissist was in when he died alone staring at his reflection by the river. These images challenge the ideas between natural beauty and artificial beauty. and turning a naturally beautiful flower in to an artificially beautiful flower.
For my second outcome, I felt that the traditional method of painting was the best way to create a picture that just focuses purely on the aesthetic qualities found pleasing to the human eye. Through the mixture of primary colours and by using this spontaneous method of painting, a number of different colours came through when on the landscape canvas and produced a series of colour and line I was happy with.
I feel that these selected pieces represent what I have learnt while developing my skills in my practice this year. These pieces challenge historical and contemporary ideas throughout the vast concept of beauty, by using ancient and modern-day mediums.