The celebration of the nude body in art comes from a long tradition starting in prehistoric times, and achieving its full glory in Ancient Greece. Back then, the focus of artists (mainly sculptors) was primarily on the male body and of Olympic athletes in particular. Women were not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games but the female body was revered for its ability to reproduce. The first portrayal of a female nude was the statue Aphrodite of Knidos (Fig.1). It was the intention of the creator Praxiteles to give visual pleasure to the male viewer.
Living Works of Art
Unlike his predecessors, the American artist, illustrator and graphic designer Jeff Wack, who is based in Los Angeles, uses digital tools for the creation of his beautiful nudes. He has been fascinated by female beauty since his early childhood, and has always regarded bodies as living works of art.
It is Wack's intention to create something that appeals to both sexes portraying woman's splendid, luscious force, while not neglecting their intrinsic sexual intensity., neither making it the main focus. In an earlier interview Wack explains that he attempts to infuse each piece with a certain aura of energy, symbolic ethereal surrealism, and interesting technique in order to take them out of the context of undisguised sentimentalism.
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. Wack: '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.'
The artist works with real-life models whom he photographs in a small studio against plain backdrops to which he then digitally adds background elements from his own collection of photos depicting natural scenery.
Sensual Master of Yore
In his Homage series he pays tribute to the sensual masters of yore including Gustav Klimt (Fig.24), Alphonse Mucha (Fig.1), and Sandro Botticelli (Fig.20). These are reworkings of some of their masterpieces to which he gives his own artistic twist, a more photographic ("real") translation, presenting actual models posing in a familiar piece, that forces the observer to reconsider their ideas of the original painting.
With his "own" work Oceana (Fig.7), Wack won several prizes. He himself thinks that this work fascinates others so much because the depicted figures appear suspended in a "state of water" giving the observer the freedom to choose of what is happening. Is she rising up and breaking free of the seaweed or some other explanation. Mixing that with the peaceful serenity expressed in the girl'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. Also being in water triggers a sensation of deep primal visceral freedom within us.
Click HERE for the outlandish voluptuousness of the digital pop surrealist Ray Caesar..!!
Sources: jeffwack.com, eroticartlover.blogspot.com/, Saatchiart.com, Wikipedia.org,
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