Body art visual language essay

If the impulse to create art is a defining sign of humanity, the body may well have been the first canvas. Alongside paintings on cave walls visited by early people over 30, years ago, we find handprints, ochre deposits, and ornaments. And because the dead were often buried with valuable possessions and provisions for the afterlife, ancient burials reveal that people have been tattooing, piercing, painting, and shaping their bodies for millennia.

All of the major forms of body art known today appear in the ancient world, and there is no evidence indicating a single place of origin for particular techniques. Like people today, ancient peoples used body art to express identification with certain people and distinction from others. Through body art, members of a group could define the ideal person and highlight differences between individuals and groups.

In the past, as today, body art may have been a way of communicating ideas about the afterlife and about the place of the individual in the universe. A variety of objects demonstrate the use of body art in ancient times including an Egyptian fish-shaped make-up palette from BC to BC; a painted Greek vase from the fifth century BC depicting tattooed Thracian women; a ceramic spout bottle depicting the pierced face of a Moche warrior of Peru from AD ; and ceramics of painted Nayarit women from BC to AD. As people from one culture encounter people from another, the diversity of body art can be a source of inspiration, admiration, and imitation.

Body Art as Visual Lang

Yet since body art can so clearly signal cultural differences, it can also be a way for people from one culture to ostracize others. Body art links the individual to a social group as an insider, by asserting a shared body art language. Or it distinguishes outsiders, by proclaiming a separate identity.

This concept is explored in Identities, which includes exhibits on tattooing in Japan, New Zealand, the Marquesan Islands, and the contemporary U. S, as well as African and Western piercing. Body art practices can change rapidly, reflecting larger shifts in society. Tattooing virtually disappeared in Polynesia, partly due to Western influence, but it is now being revived as an assertion of ethnic identity. In a complex and diverse society, when certain types of body art are shunned by some, they can become signs of rebellion for others. But as unfashionable body art practices become the norm, they lose their power to define group membership and instead express individual choices and life experiences.

Body painting can transform a person into a spirit, a work of art, another gender or even a map of a sacred place.

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It can emphasize visual appeal, express allegiance or provide a protective and empowering coating. Protective body paints often feature in initiation rituals, weddings and funerals — all occasions of transition and of spiritual danger. People everywhere adorn the living, and some also treat the dead, with body paint.

To make body paint, pigments composed of plant extracts or mineral clays and powders can be mixed with vegetable oil or animal fat.


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Throughout history, the substances used for body paint have been important trade items. Ochre, camwood, cinnebar, and kaolin were traded throughout Asia, Africa and Europe. Henna, used as a temporary skin dye, was widely traded in the Muslim world along with patterns and designs used to apply it.

Visual Analysis Essay

Commercially manufactured body paints, now available in a wider palette, may be adopted for their visual appeal but they rarely take on the symbolic significance of natural paints and dyes. Art is one of the most powerful, transcendent means of communication. When faced with a work of art, an audience may sometimes find itself speechless and unable to render an adequate response.

This is because art speaks for itself. Art has the power to assume its own identity regardless of the intentions the artist had when creating the piece. Artist Kiki Smith described this characteristic of art in an interview. Sometimes you have some control over Representation of the human body in Western art has changed greatly over the course of time. Beginning with the Egyptians, the human form has progressed and has been depicted in various ways throughout the many different stylistic periods.

Three stylistic periods which have represented the human form in similar, yet different, ways include the Egyptian, Classical Greek, and Renaissance periods. Three examples of such art from these periods include the statue of Khafre, Polykleitoss Doryphorus, and Donatellos David.

In Egypt, statues fulfilled an important function in the tombs. Sculptors created these images of the deceased to serve as abodies for While the tools changed from charcoal, stones and crudely fashioned chisels to actual colors attained IA various processes: the manner Of implementation, too, changed, bringing humans to experiment with painting on wood, canvas and paper, rather than the bare walls of caves and mountains as had been done in the past.

During what is considered the recorded history of what is widely acknowledged as the era of the Modern man', however, painting according to historical records, appears to have been adhered to with the use of egg tempera. Contemplate, for instance, the fact that artists were painting with egg tempera People claiming that they are expressing thier individuality throught body piercing need to take a reality check.

Everyone these days is putting rings and spikes in every conceivable body part these days. In fact hat wasonce a form of rebellion is now a simple reproduction of and underground society. Body piercing has gone from mild to medium to wild. Perhaps you've noticed the new fashion trend.

The average youth today has at least one form of piercing ranging from earrings to genital rings. One of the piercing uproars of the eighties involved men's piercings. The question of which ear to pierce The most popular form of body art right now is body piercing. Body-piercing is a non-permanent way to express yourself and is getting more and ore extravagant every day. Anywhere on your body that has loose skin is a perfectly good place to pierce such as the lip, navel, genetalia, nose, eyebrows, armpit, and nipple. As the first society to focus on nude subjects, Greek sculptors attempted to "depict man in what they believed was the image of the gods and so would come to celebrate the body by striving for verisimilitude or true — likeness realism and naturalism!

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Art can encompass anything from poetry to sculpture to photography to painting to acting. There are many ideas about what constitutes a piece of art.

Many of these ideas relate to aesthetic and conceptual values of a piece. I personally prefer making visual art, and recently two dimensional art in particular. Just as there are numerous ways to can create art, inspiration can be drawn from nearly anything When we first view a painting or a statue or other piece of art, we notice first the visual details — its size, its medium, its color, and its condition, for example — before we begin to ponder its greater significance.

Indeed, these visual clues are just as important as any other interpretation or meaning of a work, for they allow us to understand just what that deeper meaning is The sculpture dates BCE. The original medium is bronze, but the Roman made it out of marble because it is less expensive. Also, it is also easy to recast the figure. They were intrigued with this sculpture so they stole the art, and made numerous copies of the statue all over Rome Better Essays words 2 pages Preview.

It originated in the Italian court systems in the 15th century Jonas. Since its origination, ballet has undergone many changes and gained worldwide recognition. Filled with elaborate costumes, cheering audiences, lights, weightless movements and beauty; ballet is admired by many. On the magical stage ballerinas can become whoever they wan to be, and perform in a world of fantasy.

For these reasons, children, especially little girls, all over the world dream of becoming ballerinas when they grow up Commercialization began to mass-produce art in all varieties, from comic books to magazines, gift-wrapping, billboards, you name it. What a fantastic thing to be happening.


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Art was now widely available to the general public. Vladek narrates moments of cruelty that he had to go through in the Nazi concentration camps where many Jewish people were targeted like him and his wife, Anja. However, he always had a survival instinct that made him found a way to overcome adversities. Even in the present time of the book, Vladek suffers when he remembers people that are not alive like his son Archieu, who was killed as a child, and Anja, who killed herself Currently, societal norms are switching what is deemed to be appropriate.


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  • Sociologist have taken an particular interest in this new phenomenon, because we are currently stuck in a split society; while many agree with the new wave of body modification, and have accepted its inevitability, the more conservative values can still be found The pieces of art in the museum are all different sorts of styles and are from the 19th century to present. The museum came from the Laguna Beach Art Association, the association was formed by the local artists in In , after they had a fundraising drive, they opened the art gallery.

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    It was designed by a Los Angeles architect, Myron Hunt There have been many things that have influenced art over the generations. Nothing has had the impact on the art world that religions has. Many of the ancient art works were dedicated to the gods or other religious figures. The statues of the Ancient Egyptians were not just for beauty. Instead, they were representations of the gods and were meant to have significant meaning to the people who saw them.

    The people of the time knew the meaning of every reed, flower, bird, or animal that was depicted in the art Research Papers words 7. The first sculpture representation of the human body 20,, years ago depict obese female. During the Renaissance some of the upper class began to flaunt their large size, was considered to be beautiful and healthy, something that average women could not achieve back them.

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    It was one of the ideal body shape that many societies want, evidence shown in art, painting, and sculptures of overweight women; it symbolizes wealth, high class, and healthy because they have enough to eat compared to others that was struggling from starvation Another driver pulls out from a side road and suddenly the whole side of your brand new car is twisted and dented from fender to fender. Most people will be in an automobile accident at some point in their lives and they will require the services of an auto-body repairman.

    Auto body repair is not only the art of taking damaged vehicles and making them drivable and safe, it is also taking old vehicles or worn out looking vehicles and painting and freshening up their overall appearance Powerful Essays words 6 pages Preview. Those three topics will be addressed in the following. In the Renaissance age the patrons and artist readopted the antiquity of the classical Greek into representation of nude. This is an epoch when drastic changes occurred in which Christian authorities no longer viewed the nude art as something conflicting or shameful.

    In contrary they believed that nude being reformed in ancient in classical antiquity portrays divine characteristics and emancipates the light that is pure and heroic Long, ; Bonfante, ; Tinagli, Humans have always had the drive to either create, or at least experience a creation. The artists that created these works of art were influenced by a multitude of factors including personal issues, politics, and other art movements. Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh, two wildly popular artists, have left behind artwork, that to this day, influences and fascinates people around the world.