Jessica Ballantyne’s Painting a Day for 30 Days- Day #22
I titled this painting for the daily painting challenge “Grasp”. I wanted to give the impression of a body unconfined, uncontrollable and disturbingly soft, unaffected by the lame attempts of the hands to grasp or keep it together. So this is “Grasp”, painting a day number 22 🙂
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Erotic or Personal? Defining the Female body in My Art
Every so often someone comes along and asks “what does it all mean. What is the meaning behind your art ?”. This is the point where I start compartmentalising myself into; surreal art, erotic art,….eh, somewhere in between? The truth is I like to consider my art as surrealist first and foremost, not because of the subject matter, which is not always considered “surreal”, but more because of the process of creation and where the images come from.
When I create something, it starts with a blank canvas, I often just start painting whatever comes out…this is one approach which I believe mimics the “automatic writing” the surrealists were so enthralled by. It often yields the best results although the paintings seem to take longer to complete as they are changing the whole time.
The images below show how “Carrion Wake Up” changed. The angle of the face and feet changed as well as the addition of the Carrion flower.
The Challenge of Using the Female Body to Denote Personal Sexuality
There seems to be a glitch when women create art using the body to express personal feelings and experience, especially sexual. Throughout history images of women have been consumed as erotic objects of desire and there is also the subjective fine line between pornography and erotic art (which I will not get into here).
All of these issues come into play when someone “reads” art displaying nude or naked bodies. Because we are used to reading images of women in a certain way, expressions of personal experience may be interpreted as merely erotic or even feminist depending on the subject matter. Obviously there is a lot more to it and socio-cultural factors can change the way art is read.
Using the Body in Art to Express the Self Inside the Body.
The sexual themes that dominate my work are more of a concern about the relationship with the body, sense of self and its taboos and ideologies than they are about erotic art, whose main purpose is to titillate the viewer. A lot of identity surrounds the body as well as feelings of shame or vanity for that matter. I like to explore these and other taboos as well as celebrate the female form, the erotic and sexuality.
Art for me is a way of making physical the internal unseeable world of emotions, unconscious desires and thoughts. With that said I have done a particular piece that I think has the ability not only to give a unique viewing position but also to titillate, just a little…..;)
What do you think? I would love to hear your opinion about female bodies in art!Please leave your comments below!
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