CONTEXTUAL ESSAY ON ART AND DESIGN
Art and Design is a progressive industry where many of artists have flooded over decades. Most of these artists have positively influenced society through their creativity and innovation in their work (Sollins et al, 2009, 22). The objective of this paper is to analyse Kiki Smith, Janine Antoni, and Anthony Gormley’s artworks in relation to characteristics and context. Anthony Gormley artwork Anthony Gormley is a British draftsman and sculptor born in 1950 in London. He is best known for creating human forms using his naked body so as to relate human body with the universe thus explaining human existence in the world. Many of his sculptures contain different human postures which communicate sadness, relaxation and sometimes boredom moods. Gormley’s interest in art and design came after studying anthropology.
He has borrowed much from Buddhism as he was almost becoming a monk after travelling to India. His interest has been exploring space, humanity and community using his own body. According to Kuiper (2018), Gormley explains that “I have never been interested in making statues. Smith’s both parents were artists where her father was a sculpture and her mother a musician. Therefore her art can be seen as talent inherited from her parents. However, Smith went to ‘Hartford Art School’ for a short period of time. She then went to NewYork after school where she focused on her artworks (Weitman et al, 2003, 24). Her works are commonly found in institutions such as ‘Whitney Museum of American Art’ in New York, ‘National Gallery of Art’ in Washington D.
Smith’s imagery in this art is to explain the fluids that give life to a human being (Zurakhinsky, 2018). It is through semen that a baby is formed and it is through milk that the baby is fed on. The fact that the sculptures have closed their eyes means that continuation of life from one generation to another is only possible through reproduction (Zurakhinsky, 2018). Smith use of human figures is important as it explains weakness, vulnerability and carnality that is reflected on human flesh when one observes the human figures with a perception of seeing them beyond beauty. ‘Lying with the wolf’ is another smith’s work that is based on the tales that were circulating in the late 19th century of a virgin girl who ended up marrying a werewolf (Little Red Riding Hood).
Antoni mostly uses her own body to come up with sculptures which reflects herself in different positions and rituals (Dreishpoon, 2009). Janine Antoni claims to have joined the art industry after being influenced by Louise Bourgeois and Robert Smithson (Dreishpoon, 2009). Antoni’s work has been appreciated in many countries and has received different rewards such as receiving sculpture and painting grant from ‘MacArthur fellowship and receiving an award from ‘Larry Aldrich Foundation’. Antoni claims to be a storyteller but she ascertains that her stories are meant to make the imagination of her viewers magnify on her stories so that they can be able to come up with a story of their own, (Sollins et al, 2009, 22). Antoni goes further to explain that her artwork is influenced by her childhood where she used to make a sandcastle.
All of the artists discussed in this essay involves them using their bodies to create sculptures and prints which describes their moods, feelings, attitudes and occupation. However, the artists have always borrowed much on their culture and emerging issues around their society. For instance, Kiki Smith uses the value of woman’s virginity in the society when she creates sculptures on a nude girl and a wolf reflecting on a common tale of ‘Red Little Riding Hood’. Antony Gormley has made sculptures with different poses which communicate themes of captivity. This could probably mean that he was trying to claim for human rights for all. Antony Gormley | British sculptor and draftsman. [online] Encyclopedia Britannica. Available at: https://www. britannica. com/biography/Antony-Gormley [Accessed 24 Oct.
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