Throughout history, the figure has come to say many things. The representation of the figure should be looked at as a narrative that tells us about cultural changes. There was an unashamed appreciation for the human body until early Christianity depicted many nude figures shamefully covering their defenseless body parts or seen in acts of torture. Being human, the figure is something that makes sense to us. Our minds project the figure onto these still frame representations like clouds or a spot on the wall. We still have a very similar "reason and order" mindset to the Greeks . We project ourselves onto this world (pareidolia) in order to tame nature. The body is used as an expressive tool- the body re-formed. The body reformed into a new meaning, for it is just a representation of a human, not a human. At the point of abstraction, it becomes a recognizable symbol for a human- and therefore a relatable life. Capturing more of a likeness is none other than an optical illusion, and still represents a symbol of a figure. Fragmentation of the figure, like in Jannis Kounellis’s work, is an interesting concept. By fragmenting the figure, it allows the mind to fill in the space between the fragments, allowing for a greater chance of pareidolia to happen. Kounellis’s work plays on the idea of the viewer’s mind creating the figure on its own. As it relates to my work, I use the figure to create a narrative. By finding faces and figures with the use of pareidolia, it helps to make sense of the chaotic brush strokes by finding something that I know to be true. I create fragments, and then using my subconscious, my mind projects “what should be” within the negative spaces.
Leitner Studios Blog
Author: Justin Leitner
Fine Artist/ Freelance Graphic Designer/ Instructor