Tuesday 13 November 2012

The pregnant nude in contemporary Art

Jonathan Yeo's recent photo-realistic painting of a heavily pregnant Sienna Miller has attracted much media comment as much for the subject matter as her obvious celebrity. With a few notable exceptions the representation of the pregnant nude in Art is still relatively uncommon. Personally, I think this a great shame but I have been lucky enough to produce one work so far which celebrates this special life moment.

"La Serenissima"
chalk pastel
10.5 x 7.5 in. / 27 x 19 cm.

I had the great good fortune to draw my model Kate, with whom I have worked on a number of my sculptures, when she too was pregnant. And from these drawings I developed this pastel painting. The arch format, the treatment of shimmering light and the dark interior owed much, at the time, to a visit I had made to Venice. So I imagined Kate sheltering from the hot summer sun, seated by an open window in her palazzo in Venice, overlooking the Lagoon. In celebration of that transient but joyful state, I gave the painting the title of "La Serenissima", which means the most serene and is the name by which the City of Venice is known. Just seemed appropriate.

A pregnant torso will also feature as the third sculpture of four in a series carved in stone I am working on. Each season of the year in my Quattro Stagioni (Four Seasons) series is represented by a female torso morphing into a plant form. In the case of the now finished Primavera (Spring) the figure is morphing into a Snowdrop. Este (Summer) which I am currently working on takes the form of a reclining torso morphing into  an Arum Lily and Autumno will be a pregnant torso as ripening fruit. 

No comments:

Post a Comment