Taking a Trend to Task: Part 2
Painting and/or drawing faces in journals and canvas is hot, hot, hot right now. That makes me happy because the human form is often a fear-inducing art subject and the more that people challenge what scares them, the more free they are to explore and communicate in all aspects of their art. That being said, a quick survey of the "art faces" out there reveals a couple of trends that are starting to elicit yawns from me.
In part one of this topic, I discussed the "blankness" of so many of those portraits and today, it is all about the "sameness" of the women depicted; as a rule, when someone decides to have a go at painting or drawing a face, what emerges is female, young, pretty, white, and thin. In addition, the head is often tilted to one side and the woman is looking directly out of the painting, presumeably to draw in the viewer with a direct (blank) stare.
Throughout art history, the (white) female form has been used as the standard of beauty. However, it is very important to note that women in art most often had a little "meat" on their bones...OK...let's be clear: they were plus-sized, with all sorts of rolls and lumps. I could go on and on about the modern standard of beauty projected onto society by the media but that's a discussion for a different blog. Suffice it to say that the female figure in art has been steadily shrinking in size and current mixed media trends reflect that dramtically.
As before, consider this post more of a challenge rather than an admonishment. Experiment with portraits and figures that don't follow the herd. Consider representing the subject that looks away from the viewer, skin tones that shy away from porcelain white, the face that has seen a little bit of living and a couple more meals than advised. And *gasp* try drawing a male figure now & then. That's what I see when I go out into the world. When I paint, why would I then continually create art that makes it seem as if I'm trapped in a land of Disney princesses?