Skip to content

Mara

May 13, 2012

pain brought me
i greeted you  screaming
i was never meant to be a good son
the one you still caress in your womb
an only child,   to be born at my death

 

 

 

(some recent drawings and a painting)

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2012 4:21 pm

    These are stunning. You must have been inspired by Egon Shiele? There is a similar kind of arrogance and bravery in your lines (that’s a good thing, imho) as I find in his. Somehow your pieces feel more honest, though. Shiele’s nudes have always had a sense of guilty pleasure to them, for me. Yours don’t seem to be about guilt or shame, but simply the power of female sexuality. Love it!

    • May 18, 2012 10:01 am

      thank you. Schiele is one of my favorite artists and one of the best draftsmen who ever lived. anyway- these drawings are preparation for a series of paintings I am calling “hidden portraits”-tackling ideas about identity, empowerment, etc. A woman’s vulva is unique to her – it is like a fingerprint, yet it is “hidden”.So I’m trying to develop what I’m calling “hidden portraits” ( to be exhibited concurrenty with more conventional portraits of the same subject)- But how does a heterosexual male depict the female body in all its inclusivity- without fetishizing ( at this time when women are more self-aware and confident and whole and are able by and large able to create/recreate their personae), beyond the double-edged sword of self-affirmation and empowerment that also sometimes too easily denounces anything male and heterosexual) . As a human being and as an artist my project is to get beyond the backlash divisions…or create art using loaded images without the “load”…the art is still evolving- as well as my formal elucidation of my ideas. each of my models are part of the process. they tell me the experience is cathartic to them as well

      • May 18, 2012 10:58 am

        Dangerous ground, certainly! I can only speak for myself, of course, but your portraits do not suggest fetishism of the subject. Your images do not apologize for what they are, there’s no sense of self-effacement from the artist which I think is what gives power to your work. If an artist feels guilt and shame about their subject matter, it undermines the work itself and puts the viewer immediately on the defensive.

        For a man to appreciate a woman’s “hidden portrait,” or as I am interpreting it, her individual sexuality, he is doing the opposite of fetishizing—which to me implies a placing of the woman on an pedestal, at once removing her from herself and lumping her in with all other women (or all women “like” her, depending on how specific the fetish is). I love the idea of placing the hidden portraits next to the traditional portraits, because it suggests that every woman’s sexuality is as unique to her as her own face, or like you said, her fingerprint.

        By implication then, the man who can appreciate her sexual identity as uniquely hers is empowering that sexual self. This goes for female lovers, too, of course. I am just singling out men because they are more likely to be accused (probably justly) of taking advantage of female sexuality without really understanding it. Or perhaps I should say, trying to understand it. As a man you will always be on the outside looking in, but as women we should never knock a man for trying!

        I think this project has greater implications on the idea of sexuality and identity, as well. If you continue with it, one way to evolve the idea would be to apply the same principal and technique to transgendered and transsexual subjects. In many cases, I think it would be the “traditional” portrait that would be the surprise! Of course, transgendered models might be hard to come by. You might have to take Schiele’s approach, and hire prostitues to pose for you 😉 I’m sure they’d appreciate a few hours of safety in your studio.

        Phew. What a rant! I obviously miss my own art-school days. Sorry to jump on the soapbox there. But I really do enjoy your work, and I’ll be watching your progress!

        PS Schiele has always been one of my favourite artists, as well. I discovered him an art retreat when I was 18 when the hostess’ son practised his Master’s dissertation presentation on Schiele to us (me and a bunch of old ladies!). The discomfort in the room was palpable. But I immediately went out and bought a book!

      • May 18, 2012 11:11 am

        Schiele’s most outre’ work was actually tame compared to some of his mentor, Klimt’s. But Klimt’s work, because of the apparent “prettiness” of his treatment, doesn’t deliver the same shock.
        As for transgendered- etc. that’s actually part of my next project. One theme at a time.I was also going to do a series of portraits of lesbians last year but some of my friends who volunteered basically backed out, which I think is curious. Anyway, one is always fascinated by the “Other”. Also I think it’s time we “evolved” and step up to the next level where “labels” become unnecessary. Things are just “so”. The fact that a woman can paint penises and vaginas and have it taken as a political statement or affirmation/empowerment, while a heterosexual male doing so is exploitative is a dated ( or must be a dated) concept. We need to move on. Things are just “so”. sexuality is as it is.
        Of course I also understand that one who goes to exorcise others must first and foremost exorcise himself. Thus my fascination with my subject…My work is my mirror.

      • May 18, 2012 11:57 am

        We’re definitely on the same wavelength there. The male body has always been fair game for everyone. As a female artist, no one ever questioned my treatment of masculine subjects (which I have always loved, the male body has a kind of architectural beauty for me). But when I painted women, I often found myself confronted with an “are you part of the problem, or part of the solution” kind of mentality. I was always having to defend my choices, too.

        I agree that it is time to move on, and start treating sexuality as an entity in and of itself, infinitely variable (and therefore impossible to label) . There is so much more than simply man and woman, and to dichotomize the two, to try to force everything into male or female, benefits no one. And it is fascinating to watch the state of “Otherness” shift with our times. I think we have reached a point where female is no longer Other to male, but LGBT has taken on that role in our society.

        I’m glad to hear you are prepared for the scrutiny! Taking on a project like this, as a hetero-sexual male particularly, is an incredibly brave thing to do. You will certainly be under the microscope, but it sounds to me like you’re ready! What an important and timely vision 🙂 I wish you the best!

      • May 18, 2012 2:28 pm

        thank you. I’m a little astounded that finally, someone, “gets” what I’m trying to do. thanks again for looking and commenting

  2. May 18, 2012 2:59 pm

    I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who gets it 🙂 There’s probably a whole teeming underground of us just waiting for someone to speak up and step up! Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: