The Human Body in Art

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In my understanding and opinion, the body in art was the starting point for any king of art form. As some people have said, art may have actually started with the body, such as the decoration of the body shown for example in Zulu when they used to paint their faces with natural colours in order for them to create camouflage and catch and kill their prey. In many ways, art is for the human experience and the experience of being here, the presence, which is shaped with the representation of the human figure. A body can convey class, age, gender and sexuality. The ‘Bamana Twin Figures’ (Mali, 20th Century – Figure 1) is the representation of the Man and the Woman, a very powerful expression of male and female. Even though both their faces are exactly the same, the parts of the body can reveal the discrimination: genitalia, breasts and even hair. The reason why Egyptian art has not changed and looks very similar since 1479 – 1425 BCE up until now is very intentional; they are trying to maintain their cultural tradition in which argues for stability. The Egyptian pharaoh “Akhenaten’ (Figure 2) is unusual compared to other Egyptian figures, such as the traditional King, which has broad shoulders and muscular body. ‘Akhenaten’ is a lot softer and that encouraged people to think and believe that the body was portrayed in such way because of some sort of illness or disease, but Egyptian art was all about the concept and not the reality, it was just the idea of how it used

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