Thursday, 17 March 2011

The Body vs The Figure

La Specola    Firenze Italia 18th century

Artist :  Kiki  Smith   1992    Virgin Mary    

Artist :  Kiki Smith   1992   Meat Head#1 

I just wanted to show some examples of sculpture that is inspired by the body and not the figure. After posting on my own work, I wanted to show some of the images that have had an  influence on my own recent sculpture.
The picture at the top is from an anatomy museum in Florence. These beautifully sculpted waxes were used for teaching anatomy to medical students in the 18th and 19th centuries. These wax sculptures and other anatomical models like them were used as reference materials for not only medical students but  figurative artists as well.
It wasn't until the early nineties, I started noticing artists such as Kiki Smith were using the visual language of anatomy to discuss more contemporary issues and veering away from the more traditional aesthetic concerns of figurative art.  For me, it opened up a very important and unique view on the subject of the figure.

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