Thursday, 11 November 2010

Carolyn Weltman - fine artist

Carolyn Weltman, a British artist living in America, works with traditional techniques in the form of drawing and painting. Weltman primarily uses nude models to sketch from and uses both female and male models.

'Sophi Squats'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

I love Weltman´s work for three reasons. First of all because of her line which is often loose and sketchy. In many of her works Weltman utilises this line which is deeply rooted within the classical sketching tradition and clearly seen in the picture of 'Elian' above.

Secondly there is a great sense of humour or playfulness to be traced in many of the works.
Carolyn´s line reminds me at times of the work of Danish cartoonist Nicoline Werdelin (see some of Werdelin´s work here). I grew up with Werdelin´s satirical caricature strip in the newspaper Politiken, commenting the daily life of Danes and I can´t help but smile when I see some of Carolyn´s work.

The sense of humour or playfulness can certainly be seen in the work 'Smokin´Josie' below.

Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Thirdly Weltman is one of few artists who portray the male nude from a loving female perspective - and that is rare!
Mostly, when you see a depiction of a male nude the artist is usually gay himself. Although the female nude has been used artistically for centuries to describe a formal aesthetic and to display a masculine erotic preference, it is still far from acceptable or respectable for women to express their erotic desires artistically. With Weltman´s work though it is clear that she is very close to her subject and describes her own desires for it (just look at her own descriptions of her work...).

Diversity of eroticism.
There is another aspect of Weltman´s work which makes it interesting and important and that is her investigation and subsequent depiction of various aspects of eroticism. Her work makes reference to eroticism both explicitly and indirectly and shows us some of the many different ways in which people live, experience and experiment with eroticism. There are too many to give examples of them all but below is a selection of some.

The couples.
Weltman´s depictions of the postcoital loving hetrosexual and homosexual couples show the tender moments after the physical loving has taken place when we bask in the afterglow of the erogenous sensations.

Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'The Sleepy Boys'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'The Sleepy Girls'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Curvy women.
Weltman has also done a series of works on large ladies - below are two examples.

'Body Of Woman'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Bondage is a much used and well loved subject for many artists referencing erotica and Weltman is no exception. Bondage is erotica of a more extreme kind but nevertheless with a strong focus on aesthetics. There is different styles of ropework, Western and Japanese. To the initiated, Japanese rope art bondage is known by the name Shibari/Kinbaku. Weltman works with the Western style.

Usually, photography is the preferred media for artistically capturing this kind of erotica. Weltman´s work is therefore perhaps a little unusual in that she uses the medium of drawings instead when depicting her bondage subjects. Nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of that, her work possesses another kind of beauty not seen in the traditional bondage photographs.
Most unusual of the works below is 'Tied To The Game' as it shows a man and a woman standing next to each other - usually an image just records one person maybe because it often is the photographer who does the binding and then snaps the pictures.

'Tied to the game'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'The Prayer'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'Binding my muse'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'Gods and Men'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

This is another highly specialised area and much used theme for artists working with erotica. Some simply show feet in shoes whilst others include and display the rest of the partially clad or fully naked body to whom the feet and shoes belong.
Weltman obviously loves shoes and has done many pictures of just shoes but she also links and shows her subject´s powerful erotic potential more explicitly in her work 'Long Night In White Shoes'.

'Long Night In White Shoes'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'Strap Ons'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Karma Sutra.
If you are looking for more of the explicit kinds of pictures Weltman can also provide that without it becoming vulgar or hard. There is still a sense of loving between the couples she shows us in her series of Karma Sutra cards.

'The fish'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'One Knot'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'The Ascending'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Finally I want to show her series on boxers. There is no doubt in my mind why I love Weltman´s boxers so much. Although I'm not a fan myself, I do find Weltman´s treatment of this subject fascinating. Combining nudity, particularly the vulnerability that goes with it, and the raw strength displayed by a boxer is a clever idea and this juxtaposition is reflected in the colours.
'Still In The Game' (see below) is one of my absolute favourites because you really see Weltman excel at the technical aspect of her profession as an artist and if I had the money I would buy this picture in a flash.

'Still In The Game'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'On the Mat'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'Thinking It Through'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'Fight Boy Getting Ready'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

As a testimony to Weltman´s ability and love of her subject, this year she received the honour of being the first female painter to have her work included in the quarterly journal The Art Of Man, which focuses on the fine art of the male form.

You will also be able to find her work in the highly desirable and beautiful book '100 Artists of the Male Figure' due to be published in January 2011.

Click here if you are interested in seeing more pictures of Carolyn Weltman´s work .

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Jan Van Rijn - Fine artist & Sculptor

In this post I would like to present you with some more graphically explicit works of erotica.

Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

It has been said by some that the works of art by Van Rijn are depictions of women who are clearly, "provocative, submissive and abased" and that the faces of Van Rijn´s women, "...are sexy and expressive but the poses reveal way too much..".
What do you think?

Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

I believe that the comment about submissiveness and abasement is misplaced. I find these women quite powerful almost controlling and with a sexual energy radiating out of every pencilled line.
As a woman it seems obvious to me that Van Rijn adores women and the female form. This is clearly reflected in his incredibly beautiful rendered line of her form and private parts and it brings forth an aesthetic oozing explicit pleasure.
And that brings me onto the second comment about the poses revealing too much.

Well, there are all sorts of things you could say about someone not wanting to "see too much". The bottom line is that what is seen as stimulating and erotic to one person is way too much and pornographic to another. In other words, it is an individual judgement whether or not something is boring, stimulating or too explicit. However, that does not automatically give one the right to call it pornographic if one finds it too explicit. The distinction between pornography and fine art is one of the topics I deal with more in-depth in my talks on erotic art.

Looking at Van Rijn´s work in purely visual terms there is no getting round the anal fascination.
However, I would say that even if you do not normally find yourself aroused by the thought of anal sex, Van Rijn certainly makes it a secret pleasure to gaze upon that private part, which most of us normally never see or indeed want to see in its natural function.

Have you ever seen a big bum look more beautiful? Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

An important compositional element in Van Rijn´s work is his extraordinary use of perspective. It keeps the viewer captivated and spellbound precisely because it adds a further artistic layer to the piece of art.

What a fantastic piece of erotica. Must be every foot fetishist's dream!
Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

Another important signature feature of Van Rijn´s art is the fine layering of lines used in the hair of his models. These lines, resembling the leaves of plants, make for a very organic plant-like feel. In a very subtle way this connects and places the erotic in the natural world, indirectly telling us that "it is okay and natural to have sex".

Look at those long flowing strands ...
Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

About the artist and his work processes.

As the name indicates Van Rijn is a Dutch artist who creates his works of art by drawing on paper. He then, in his own words, uses the drawing like a printing plate, digitally enhancing the drawing in order to create the finished piece of art.
Once a work is finished he makes it available in limited editions of 25 (signed and numbered of course).

Van Rijn does not sell his original pencil drawings, perhaps because he considers them 'unfinished' and in his own words 'delicate and fragile'. However, he does occassionally agree to exhibit them, so if you are in or near Holland you may be lucky enough to get to see them on show.

For most art collectors it is very important to make a distinction between an original and a reproduction (or a print).
That naturally takes us into the realm of photography and to the age old discussion of whether or not the genre of photography belongs to the arts and whether or not photos are valid pieces of art because you can make an infinite number of copies. For further info and a more indepth discussion on this topic see Walter Benjamin's paper from 1936, ´Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction'.
Likewise it could be argued that an artist using digital means to enhance or finish a piece of art is also capable of infinite reproduction.

That of course is why any artist with respect for him or herself, limits the number of editions available of their print, otherwise it can very easily just become a glorified poster or what is called an open edition print. Not that there is anything wrong with open edition prints.
Collectors vary with different needs and some only want originals whilst others are happy with limited edition or even open edition prints. Most people buy art for the enjoyment of the image/object, but some also collect with investment purposes in mind. For the latter category of people nothing less than an original or a very limited edition print (if it is a famous artist) will do. The uniqueness of a piece of 'original' art and the fact that there is only one of this particular art object in the world means a whole lot. These are perhaps the type of people who would not be looking at Van Rijn´s work ... but they would be missing out.

To see more of Van Rijn´s work visit his homepage here.

Copyright by Jan Van Rijn