Critical Annotation

There is such a change in my artistic influences and artists relevant to my practice this semester. I do feel I have expanded my knowledge and stepped completely out of my comfort zone over this year during my Master’s. No longer treading water, trying to stay afloat in the process of my MFA but I feel I’ve hit a rhythm – and I’m loving it!

This new direction, new purpose, new found vigour for my creative practice and the styles and works I want to create and exactly what I’m trying to say through my art is exactly why I wanted to do my Master’s. I feel like it’s all starting to come together.

While my passion for art, music and fashion will always remain, I have discovered a treasure trove of artists and painters from across the centuries who are integral to art history and my practice, and magnificent female ones at that!

To think I had never heard of Henrietta Rae and Leonor Fini prior to 2020 is a travesty. These women were ahead of their time, forging sustainable art careers and pushing feminist agendas in what was a (much more) male dominated world than we have today. Rebelling against patriarchal constraints and doing life their way, something my sisters and I are still fighting against – it’s slow going – but these hell raisers paved the way!

All of the artists I have included in my blogs so far this semester are brilliant in their own right but I feel women always seem to have more to prove and maybe why I have always had such an affinity with the femme. Maybe the fact that male artists are still over represented in our galleries and prizes, as in all walks of life, has me always bowing down to the ladies more. While all these artists inspire me in different ways the women have had a much harder road.

The common thread that I see with these artists is that they are all figurative/portrait artists. Even Hansen, who though a photographer, her images are still in that genre, capturing very alluring beautiful photos of faces and figures. While some are painting from personal experience, self portraits and portraits of well known people of the time, there is a thread of realism and fantasy. The Pre-Raphaelites were big on symbolism and painting from mythology and literature. While Fantauzzo tends to get into the psyche of his subject to capture the essence of the person (this is my absolute goal – to get behind the mask and paint what is not seen) he also has painted what I would call Expressionism with his self portraits in particular!

All of these artists have been chosen because they not only inspire my practice, they all create/created in a similar vein. With my work there’s the tension between the real and the imagined, documentary and fantasy. I tend to use both of these genres as a way of communicating my feelings and those of my subjects. Though I can learn much from these artists in how to represent my emotions and what I am trying to say with my art in different ways. I only hope I can have a career that has my audience engaged and continues to do so like those that have forged the way ahead of me and those that are creating in Contemporary Arts practice today.

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