Saturday, 28 August 2010

Beauty and Spirituality; Digital artist Jeff Wack

Digital Artist - Jeff Wack
In this post I want to show some works by Jeff Wack, who is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer based in Los Angeles. Wack works with digital tools in making his art, photographing his subject and then manipulating the image with computer software and occasionally embellishing his giclee prints with traditional mediums.

Paying Homage
There are two reasons why I have chosen to show Wack's work. The first is because his work is clearly referencing and paying homage to earlier artists like Botticelli, Klimt and Mucha.

I saw a piece by Wack recently and it was immediately obvious that it fell into the homage category. The piece which is called 'Acqua Mossa LA', (see below), clearly pays homage to Gustav Klimt's painting of 1904-07' called 'Water Serpents II'.

'Acqua Mossa LA'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'Water Serpents II'
Gustav Klimt, 1904-1907.

Below is Wacks reworking of another famous piece, that of Alphonse Mucha called "The Moon".

'The Moon'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'The Moon'
Alphonse Mucha,
(from The Moon and the Stars series), 1902.

"The Birth of Venus" is one of the greatest pieces of sensual and erotic art and below you can see Wacks interpretation of that famous piece of art.

Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'The Birth of Venus'
Sandro Botticelli, 1485-1486

EroticArtLover: What is your motivation for paying homage to earlier artists? What is interesting about 'reproducing' an image that has already been created, instead of creating a new one of your own?

JW: Artists of all mediums have paid homage to one another across time — it is the visual identification of those ideas that have inspired great artists to best their own efforts. As much as I have been satisfied in creating my own original works, I have always had an immense admiration for several artists and genres — from Renaissance and Art Nouveau to Deco or Pin-Up styles — when it comes to figurative female representation.

The challenge of recreating certain pieces with my own artistic twist is immensely gratifying. Giving them the look of a more photographic (or “real”) interpretation and presenting actual models posed in a familiar piece forces a viewer to rethink their conceptions of the original work. It is also an exercise in which close examination of the original work puts me more in touch with what the artist saw and ultimately expressed in the original work. I've found, as with most great work, certain artistic liberties (such as proportions and physical contortions) need to be taken in regards to the human form, however.

I don't try to replicate exacting poses of some original works because of the realism I am attempting to create but there are many shots of body elements I take and piece together to recreate a look. Often I attempt to hit a “middle-ground”, or in some cases a more personal aesthetic, while still paying a deep appreciation for the finer sensibilities of the original work.

Beauty & Spirituality
Idealised beauty and picturesque scenes has always been used in art, but with the mass media's abuse and trivialization of beauty, artistic renditions of beauty for beauty's sake can now quickly appear kitsch, sentimental and tripe.
There is nevertheless an emerging Zeitgeist (a general thought or feeling) in some artistic circles, that working with beauty and creating aesthetically pleasing artwork is a valid and worthwhile endeavour. Artists in general, work with subjects close to their heart and artists who create erotic works of art pertain not only to the tactile and physical, but also to the spiritual and emotional.
The connection of beauty with erotica seems obvious. It is usually the physical appearance of an individual which we are first attracted by. However, for most people beauty in itself is not enough, if they want to create a lasting relationship with deeper meaning. Aesthetic beauty is skin deep and the classical idealized human beauty often fades with time. That is why emotions and spirituality play an important part in the development of a relationship and therefore also in relation to the erotic.
Which brings me onto my second reason for showing Wacks work. In the work shown below, Wack has created mildly erotic imagery with a distinct sense of aesthetic beauty and spirituality. Wack's work is sensual imagery where spirituality is seen to play on the connection between the female and nature (cosmos, the seasons, etc.) and the tantric tradition.

Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'La Bella NevaehLleh'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'Winter Soul'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

Copyright by Jeff Wack.


Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'Inner Spark'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'Palm Flower'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

EroticArtLover: Why have you chosen to work with beauty and create aesthetically pleasing images?

I have consciously chosen to deal with a more idealized form of female figurative representation as an expression in my series of work. Although stark realism and overtly sexual or even macabre themes are genres I can fully appreciate at times, I decided to stay away from those in general, just as I have ( up until now) specifically avoided putting in elements that give a context of obvious time and space. All the settings in which the models reside are usually tied to an organic atmosphere or landscape avoiding modern visual cues such as dwellings ,urban life or time specific costume accents. I do however include certain models tattoos which are very commonplace these days if I feel they may enhance the interest.
I very much see the connection between earth and the female in all their manifestations, creator of life, nurturing spirit and object of beauty and desire.

EroticArtLover: Are you concerned about letting your art become or appear sentimental?

JW: I suppose that would be in the eye of the beholder ultimately. Several pieces I have are not going to appeal to a lot of viewers looking for visually harder constructs of psychological or sexual tension and I am acutely aware of that. However I have attempted to infuse each piece with a certain aura of energy, symbolic ethereal surrealism, and interesting technique as to hopefully take them out of the context of overt sentimentalism. My intent has been to create something pleasing to both sexes that depicts a womans wonderful sensuous power, and while not disregarding their innate sexual energy, neither making it the main focus.

EroticArtLover: I am aware that your beautiful piece "Oceana" have won you a number of awards. What in your opinion, is it that makes this work so special and successful? What qualities set it apart from your other work?

JW: This work has gotten awards ranging form the XTO Award, exhibited at the Farmani Gallery in New York to the international "Master Winner' award from Erotic Signature. It will be touring several cities this coming year in their ArtUndressed Show.

I think having the figures appear suspended in a "state of water" gives the viewer the freedom to decide "what's happening" — whether she's "rising up" and "breaking free" of the seaweed or some other explanation. Combining that with the serene composure expressed in the model's face and limbs along with the light emanating down into the water and bouncing on the figures and the motion trails, each seem to elicit a general response of visual beauty that is commonly shared. It's also my belief that, for most people, being in water triggers a sensation of deep primal visceral freedom — this art resonates with that sensation.Even though I have some other works in a very similar vein , Oceana has been the most represented in gallery showings so far.

For more information and to see more works by Jeff Wack please visit his homepage here.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Jamie McCartney - Sculptor

Jamie McCartney is a sculptor based in the South of England. I first came across Jamie's work, in the book The World´s Greatest Erotic Art of Today, where his piece 'The impossibility of passion", stood out as the winner in the sculpture category.

'The impossibility of passion.'
Reproduced here with kind permission by Jamie McCartney

'The impossibility of passion' draws on the Surrealist tradition with its appearance as a single legged - one breasted figure. The eroticism of the piece is partly carried through as an underlying theme supporting the visual impression of the figure. This is a naked figure - and disrobing is usually the first step on the path to erotic relations. But enigmatically this figure does not have a vulva (female private parts). So although we may think of eros when we see a disrobed body the important lack of reproductive abilities removes the possibility of erotic relations and marks the work as surreal.

Here is what the artist has to say about his work:
"Her animated pose suggests she is involved in a passionate argument. Yet this is not possible, despite her body language. Her single breast and leg, narrow body and the lack of a head are disturbing to the eye, yet she remains strangely sexy.

This dichotomy creates the power of the piece as your response to her as a woman, as a passionate woman, is at odds with her physiognomy. The Impossibility of Passion is a curious piece. One can only admire, never kiss, never talk to, never make love to. She is sexy, without sex. She is passionate but there is no possibility of passion with her. She is an enigma, a frustration, a freak. She prompts us to consider the the impossibility of passion in our own lives."

Skin deep.

Another of Jamie's works which I want to show is his piece "Skin Deep". If you consider this piece in terms of erotic relations then the title could leed you to ponder if eroticism is just a flesh and bones thing - perhaps an empty shell? What is your own relations based on? Physical attractiveness of your loved one or something deeper?

'Skin Deep'
Reproduced here with kind permission by Jamie McCartney

Great wall of vagina

The last piece I want to show gives a sneak peak, of Jamie's still unfinished work 'Great Wall of Vagina'. Below you see the first panel out of a set of nine which will make up "the wall". Each panel consists of 40 individual casts. The remaining 8b panels are still in the making and will be ready for public unveiling early next year.

'Great Wall of Vagina'
Reproduced here with kind permission by Jamie McCartney

I think this is a really interesting piece because it shows in great detail that is rarely seen. Mens genitalia is on show for all to see and although it is not shown a lot in the general media, everything "hangs out" so to speak, when you do see a naked man in real life or otherwise visual context.

Women on the contrary "hang on" to their genitalia much better, almost creating a mystery in the process. When we see a female nude her genitalia are mostly obscured by hairs covering the genital area and it is only if we as women actively go to look at ourselves with a mirror that we discover what we really look like.

I like this work of Jamie's because it presents a visual proof that creates an understanding of just how different womens' genitalia in reality are. The genitalia of womanhood is just as wonderfully diverse and different in appearance as those of our fellow male sex.

For more information and to see more of Jamie McCartney´s work click this link here and for his casting business click here.