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Jacqueline Beck

Page history last edited by Jacqueline Beck 10 years, 4 months ago

Bella Figura                                                                                     jacbeck[1].docx  (Printable version of this text)


My enthusiasm for the human form began early on in my Centre career with figure study sessions. I was instantly hooked. From then on no still life, landscape, or portraiture was nearly as intriguing to me as figures. I find interest in attempting to portray the sculptural feeling of mass in my drawings. The surface of the skin is only the beginning, but truly it’s the way the bones and muscles work together to create form that fascinates me. 


With such an attraction to the form, I found backgrounds to my figures unnecessary, and even distracting.  In my works the emphasis is to be purely on the figure itself. The size of my drawings enables me to capture more detail and slight curves and changes in the planes of the form. Charcoal permits me to move and change my work as the body moves and changes. My medium also creates a more tactile physical drawing process, in which I can touch the paper and move the medium without the need to use a brush or blending tool.


I first saw the work of Robert Mapplethorpe in my history of photography class last spring. It wasn’t until I saw his images placed around the four corners of The David, at the Academia last summer, that I realized how much his style influenced me. Unlike the other students from my art academy, I found more interest in seeing the Mapplethorpe exhibit, than gaze in awe ogavgazeever the Michelangelo. The way in which he could take something so imperfect and individual, and create this powerful image idealizing the human figure to pure, flawless, precision, took my breath away. Mapplethorpe, along with my studies of the sculptures of Michelangelo, is what attracted me to Idealism.


“I’m obsessed with beauty. I want everything to be perfect, and of course it isn’t. And that’s a tough place to be because you’re never satisfied.”- Robert Mapplethorpe.


Six months after my summer in Italy I went to Bali, Indonesia, for Centre term. There I studied ‘The Arts of Paradise’ which were far different than anything I had ever seen before. The realistic portrayals of men and woman in contemporary Balinese paintings really made me rethink my obsession with Idealism. The body to them is sacred, not sexual. It is a reflection of the customs and lifestyles that they live. Such beliefs are what influenced their true portrayal of the human form to realistic standards.



For my senior exhibition, it is the Beauty and perfection of Robert Mapplethorpe that I wish to represent, in balance with the realism of the Balinese.


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