The Body-Nothing Else
I'm going back to my roots, painting 'the body, nothing else.' I've always been fascinated with the way the body stands, moves, 'speaks,' 'expresses' different emotional states. I'm starting these miniature studies of a woman dancer's body in motion, and will search ways to bring the duration of the movement into the work vs the painting as a container of time in which the choreography of movement is usually stilled.
I'm using video stills of dancers, performers like Valeska Gert and the clay torsos I made for the anatomy lesson body of work I did last year as models. I'm also getting the catalog of 'Danser Brut,' a show in BOZAR. Later I'll be able to get a large sized painting with multiple figures in a 'choreography' of protest of sorts, a theme in brooding on for a while now.
These miniature studies are research for my next series, which is only gradually taking form in my mind. I'm thinking of doing a series of women 'movements'. There's no shortage of material, historical and current. There's the stories of the Trojan women mulling in the back of my mind, the French Revolution 'poissardes'. There's the Polish women protesting the new abortion laws, the women who are protesting the Belarusian presidency of Loekasjenko, the metoo movement, the women's march, 'ni una menos' in Mexico.
For a starting point, I worked on a painting I made as the women were marching on Washington in 2017. I reworked it a couple of weeks ago, trying to make it more painterly and less activist posterlike illustrative and disconnect it somewhat to that specific movement at that specific moment in time but rather capture women's movements, women who take to the street to protest to claim their rights. I like the way it hangs next to my monochromatic painting 'pre existing condition,' as I want to bring those painting styles together in trying to capture the movement, the choreography of the figures protesting. Preparing, to see how the literature on choreography can inform my painting practice, I'm also reading 'Choreographies of Protest,' by Susan Leigh Foster and Susan Foellmer's article 'Choreography as a medium of protest.'