I the past, I have created art

I like to focus my art on a theme around women. Something I am particularly interested in is the oppression of women and how that is represented through art. During the first year, for example, I researched the sexual oppression of women. This is something that I would like to pursue in my art in the future as I know a lot about the subject and it is something that interests me. In the past, I have created art on the subject of women in religion and produced this image (see left). More recently; however I have been focusing on trying to create a style and find my own style and have been very interested in primitivism and neo-expressionism. Moving forward I would like to rekindle my interest in feminism in art and combine it with the neo-expressionism style I am currently working on.The image I have chosen from the pre-modern era is ‘A Sleeping Nymph Watched by a Shepherd’ by Angelica Kauffman (Angelica Kauffman, 1780, A Sleeping Nymph Watched by a Shepherd, oil on paper, 45.7 x  52cm, V&A Museum London). The image shows a shepherd and a cherub watching a nymph sleeping. The colours used in the painting are very warm and attractive to the viewer. The style is neoclassical and traditional which is normally something I shy away from but I am really drawn to this painting. In mythology, nymphs are depicted as women who mate with men or women without care and the term is often related to women who act similarly. I believe that this is what the image is representing. I believe that the shepherd watching the scantily clad nymph could represent the sexualisation of women as her breasts are exposed and she is being gazed upon due to the use of the nymph and the derogatory connotations. On the other hand, the painting could represent how women hold a power over men. In this time religion was often a theme of paintings; with this in mind I found a verse from the bible which reads ‘My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.’ therefore this painting could be representing the sin of a seductive woman and therefore putting shame amongst women. In comparison, the rest of Kauffmann’s pieces are fairly different, for example, ‘Rinaldo and Armida (Angelica Kauffmann, 1722, Rinaldo and Armida, oil on canvas) which I don’t like as much. The rest of her paintings are very muted and use darker colours whereas ‘sleeping nymph watched by a shepherd uses very bright and warming colours that are attractive to the viewer. For the modern era I have chosen the Image ‘Some Living American Women Artists / Last Supper’ (Mary Beth Edelson, 1972, ‘Some Living American Women Artists / Last Supper’, lithograph on on paper, 25 x 38 ? in) . The image shows ‘The Last Supper’ (Leonardo da Vinci, 1490’s, The Last Supper) painting with collaged images of women artists on the disciples heads.The focus of the image is the ‘jesus’ of the image. The colour is mainly black and white with pastel tone on the focal main point. The image uss graphic design and print making standing a political message. I’m really inspired by this image. I believe the message of this print is tackling the overall religious view that women are inferior to men. The artist has taken one of the most influential and and famous religious paintings ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo de Vinci and replaced all of the disciples with influential women artists and jesus with Georgia O’Keeffe. This image reminded me of a piece by Axelle Russo, ‘Virgin Bride’ (Axelle Russo, 2012, Virgin Bride, fabric, 1.65m) which I used as inspiration for my end of year project last year. ‘Some Living American Women Artists / Last Supper’ (Mary Beth Edelson, 1972, ‘Some Living American Women Artists / Last Supper’, lithograph on on paper, 25 x 38 ? in)  relates to this sculpture Relates to Virgin Bride by Axelle Russo Axelle Russo, 2012, Virgin Bride, fabric, 1.65m) due to the religious connotations and the representation of women in religion. This piece of work tackles the oppression of sex in religion for women and how sex is froundupon in religion. For example in the Bible ’20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.  (Deuteronomy 22: 20-21)’ Finally, for the postmodern/contemporary era I have chosen to use ‘Dustheads’ By Basquiat (Basquiat, 1982, Dustheads, acrylic, oilstick, spray enamel and metallic paint on canvas, 72 x 84 in. (182.8 x 213.3 cm.) This painting shows two very abstract representations of people using a mix of bold colours on black. The image has a distressed feel to it due to the erratic mark makings which is one thing I really like about this piece. Basquiat’s work features key elements of neo- expressionism, contemporary art and primitivism. Dustheads by Basquiat, just like a large amount of his work, feature primitivism which is shown by the African, voodoo mask styled faces. This technique is featured heavily in Basquiat’s work due to his Catholic / Hispanic / African heritage. Sticking with the theme, neo-expressionism I found an image called ‘Akisaves’ by Frank Shifreen (Frank Shifreen,  2003,  Akisaves, Digital art/image  hacking). Frank Shifren has a used a technique called digital art which we learnt about in the first term. I really like this piece by him, again for the use of bright colours and the way they clash together. I particularly like the jarring use of pink and green that somehow makes the image attractive to the viewer.LIke Basquiat I really like Shifreen’s use of people and I think that his ‘hacking’ of the image makes for a really interesting outcome because of the layering which is something that Basquiat also used.