Kristy Milliken’s Drawings Of Luscious Fat People Confronts Body Image Issues

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Australian artist Kristy Milliken knows nudity. A former photographer in the amateur porn industry, she became inured to capturing images of stereotypically attractive, thin women on film and moved to paper and ink and a new point of view.

“We see skinny women everywhere. I always forced ‘flaws’ into any of the skinny women I painted, the bigger ladies are what they evolved into. Something far more interesting, of course different pieces have different intent behind them, but there’s a naivety to them. An unaffectedness that I aspire to in my own life. I draw them as beautiful because I think they are.” Source

Milliken’s ink drawings are adorably subversive. The women are gorgeously fat, rosy and delicious. They look luscious, like ripe fruit, plump and sweet. Round tummies, thick thighs, heavy breasts, all kissed with pink and purple, topped with adorable round cheeked faces. They’re sexy, these large women, bound and gagged, smoking and eating, covered with food. The whimsical execution contrasts with the overtly sexual nature of the work.

“It’s a weird time for fat. Fat is both confronting and can be the most normal thing in the world, It’s the context that’s important. Plus I’m sick of all the pictures of skinny girls that seem to be everywhere.” Source

According to the artist, the themes of greed and beauty reoccur in her work, paired in an unusual way. Luxuriant pasta cascades over the women, sating and draping and entangling them. But despite her claim that these images are about avarice, the images feel affirming, even charming.

Body positive art can sometimes be confrontational, taking a focused, warts and all approach. Asserting that she’s not attempting to be political, Milliken’s work feels joyous and sweet— a light perspective on a weighty subject.

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Marcelo Daldoce’s Origami Watercolor Works Conceal And Reveal The Human Figure Between The Folds

In Memory of You Watercolor on Paper 19"x43"

Here Comes the Sun Acrylic on Paper 24"x18"

Here Comes the Sun (detail)

35-year old artist Marcelo Daldoce is literally bringing a new dimension to art with his folded portraits of women. A native of Brazil now living in New York, Daldoce is a self-taught artist who began painting at 16. Daldoce’s previous work included large scale nudes incorporated with sophisticated typography, as well as portraits using wine as a medium. His early employment as an illustrator in an advertising agency left him with a distaste for the conventional and a need to make work that is expressive and innovative.

In his current work, geometric patterns conceal and reveal the women beneath, contorting their bodies into impossible shapes. He says:

“In bringing to life a flat surface, I strive to create a puzzle between what is real and what is illusion, what is painted and what is manipulated, turning paint to flesh, paper to sculpture.”

Daldoce’s primary medium is watercolor, which he has modernized through his technique and style. Color, pattern, image. It’s almost too much to process, which is where the origami-like folds come into play. The shadows cast obscure parts of the artwork, giving the eye a place to rest. “It’s mathematic, a process of folding, folding, folding,” he says. “Folding is actually the biggest job now because it takes more time. It’s more complex than just paint.”

In the portraits, the sharp edged paper is paradoxical to the soft curves and valleys of the women’s bodies, and this contrast is carried through the diverse elements of his work: hidden/exposed, abstract/figurative, flat/peaked, colorful/neutral, traditional/contemporary. The paintings leap off the wall dimensionally, but the bold display doesn’t overshadow the beauty of Daldoce’s captured women. (via Hi-Fructose)

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The Eerily Dissolving Faces of Henrietta Harris

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New Zealand-based illustrator Henrietta Harris, previously featured here, continues to compel the eye with her alluring and dreamily distorted portraits. In her pastel-toned watercolors, she renders the human figure fluid and infinite. Seemingly caught in moments of a romantic introspection bordering on spiritual transcendence, her subjects dissolve into swirls, scribbles, and line.

Here, Harris’s artistic process is inextricably fused with the completed portrait, and the creative act of art making is just as significant as the subject itself. Quick, doodled lines of primary and secondary colors become equally as material and substantial as the multiple-toned and shaded flesh itself, and the artist’s stream of consciousness thrillingly interrupts any objective reflection of reality. Individual identities collapse to form a whirlpool of ecstatic color, and the body itself becomes a cosmic landscape, revolving, twisting, and floating like a strange fleshy galaxy.

The intense movement of Harris’s work is balanced only by her soft, muted colors and the hushed expressions of her subjects. Peering sleepily downwards, her watercolor muses exude a quiet yet concentrated aura, as if lost in a meditative trance. Two-dimensional lines like static electricity course through three-dimensional bodies, slicing their features in two, and still they stare forward resolutely. Deconstructed perhaps by their own imaginations, they surrender themselves to the hand of the artist, which leaps and coils whimsically across the page. Take a look. (via The Inspiration Grid)

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E. Deutchman’s Portraits of Presidents with Boobs on Their Faces

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George W. Bush

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Ronald Raegan

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James Madison

James Madison

Emily Deutchman’s “Presidents with Boob Faces” are exactly what it sounds like: a collection of paintings of the United States presidents with breasts appended to their facial features. After graduating from Skidmore College, the young artist found herself doodling human mammary glands on portraits of her friends, and she soon extended the project to historic leaders of the free world. With the exception of Obama’s portrait, which is modeled after the iconic “Change” poster, each piece is based off of its subject’s official presidential portrait. The facial features of each man dictates the placement of the breasts. For Ronald Reagan, it’s skin above the neck. For Clinton, it’s the nose. Some of the boobs are painted from actual breasts, sent to the artist by friends.

While Deutchman insists that the work has no clear agenda aside from humor, she invites political interpretations. With the expected candidacy of Hillary Clinton in 2016, dialogues on women in politics have come to the fore, and we are asked to consider the gender inequality that persists in the upper echelons of power. There are few art pieces that exude the machismo of the presidential portrait, and in adding female sex organs to the idealized masculine visage, the artist subverts our notion of national power and authority. Deutchman’s use of pastel-toned watercolors heighten the feminine softness inherent in the work. A more naughty glance at the work renders it a scathing satire of contemporary politics and the corruption of high offices. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor)

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Gel Jamlang’s Surreal Illustrations

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Gel Jamlang

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Baltimore based illustrator and designer Gel Jamlang illustrates surreal watercolor and acrylic pieces that largely feature the human body, sometimes paired with animals or painted with an interesting symmetrical or mirroring effect. Jamlang’s illustrations combine realism with whimsical imagery to create a dynamic and energetic composition. The figures in her illustrations seem to lack boundaries – they merge or spill into other figures.

Of her process, Jamlang explains, “Watercolor behaves so unpredictably… It is very exciting to use. It drives itself. The transparency and the brilliance of the colors all swirling around are thrilling. And when you use it side by side with acrylic, the more opaque, dense and unyielding medium, the contrast can be beautiful.” (via hifructose)

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Lora Zombie’s Watercolors Inspired By Street Art And Pop Culture

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Lora Zombie‘s watercolors may look familiar: the Russian artist amassed a large internet following on sites like Threadless before recently branching out into the gallery scene. Inspired by music, street art, grunge, pop culture, and the color palette of Lisa Frank, Zombie creates these bright, youthful, and edgy watercolor scenes. Her work is comprised of a multitude of references that can be fun, gritty, absurd, or counter cultural, but each tells a story with fairy tale dimensions.

You can watch a video of Zombie in New York City for her “Blue Bird Lobotomy” show in November 2012 here. You can purchase prints of her work here. (via lustik)

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Watercolor Drawings Infused With Psychedelic Tendencies

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Kyle Field, an Alabama native living in San Francisco, was born in the 1970s– and his artwork tends to reflect the mood of not only these two places, but also that era. Each craftily drawn watercolor depicts a folk narrative infused and confused with melodious psychedelic tendencies. It’s all so playful and harmonious. We find it challenging not to think of Field’s work in any other way but musical.

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David Mesguich’s Unsettling Sculptures

 

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Whether David Mesguich is creating sculptures or painting with watercolors, he maintains a basic color palette, heavy in contrasting blacks, whites, greys, and tones of sepia. His geometric sculptures of faces and people look like they were printed from a 3D printer. This conception gives his figures a digital effect that, when paired with the size, gaze, warp effects, or placement of them, has the potential to unsettle a viewer. This effect is even more pronounced when considered alongside Mesguich’s cardboard CCTV camera sculptures,100 of which he placed in various locations around Marseille. This idea of surveillance is even depicted throughout his watercolor paintings that represent scenes of city life, usually related to mobility and movement. Mesguich’s work seeks to challenge “modes of control” by addressing the “transparency of windows and shadows.”

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