BLACK & WHITE

BLACK AND WHITE WORKS

The Black and White works revolve around stories of the feminine - and are especially inspired by the fourth feminist wave touching upon intersectionality and race. In the Black and White works, the lines that are used, are unapologetic. They are created and drawn in one go; not sketched, but bold and present within its flaws and odd shapes on the clear black or white backgrounds (like we should perhaps encourage young girls and women to be). The figures take up space, in their sometimes overly abstracted or amplified forms of the body and face, unrealistic settings or expressions, that surpass reality and physical rules and borders.

Women and their appearance have often been used and portrayed in arts for thousands of years - often by male artists  - and very often showing skin. The female nude has become a concept. In doing so, women become more sexualised and sometimes alienated from what the experience of being a woman is really like (which is not always about beauty, serenity or motherhood, but can be raw, painful, uncomfortable, shame-less, bold, strong, angry, poisonous, conflicting, elusive, etc.). See for example the work of anonymous activist group Guerrilla Girls. Starting in 1989, they inaugurated their irregular headcount of female artists versus female nude sculptures shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York-  while asking, "Do women have to be naked to get into the Met Museum?”

 

Using the beautiful female nude as a woman can then be empowering and reversing traditional dynamics of the female as a subject in art, but also as the creator(s) of it. This is a discussion the Black and White works want to contribute to.

The sensation of being a woman in 2020 and nurturing the place of women as a whole (their rights, their potential and combating malfunctioning or harming stereotypes of women and girls - or associated feminine traits) is often polarized and separated over colour (black and white feminism mainly) and two genders instead of including the whole spectrum of how we feel, who we are, how we express and whom we love. The Black and White series make colour both omnipresent and obsolete. ‘Black’ or ‘White’ are used to shape our identity, our judgement is often in it expressed also. Yet in the end, everything is merely relative. Once we take away the colour, take away the ends of the spectrum (namely 'black or white'), what is left? More than shapes and lines, what is portrayed is the inside - not the outside of our skin.

Finally, the works of the Black and White illustrations, are about feminine healing energy that starts flowing when creating these works and when using creativity. Their depictions are attempts to bridge the sensation of togetherness, especially in those things we all go and grow through on an emotional and mental-reliance level.

The power of art is its ability to communicate stories, sensations and experiences without words. Art speaks to the language of our emotions, sometimes without noticing, without giving it permission to. 

There is a beautiful and silent flow of stories art can tell us this way, resonating within us, without having to tell the same story to everyone. It is personal and universal at the same time.

 

These artworks you find on my website, are a form of healing. They aim to shape a sense of power and solidarity in the experience of the 'feminine' and express the different narratives, moments of growth and introspections that evolve from being a 'woman' or 'womxn'.

Many works are custom-made for clients.

©2020 Tessel van der Putte