A New Medium Essay

3702 words - 15 pages

A New Medium.Research paper draft/outline.Kara[1: ]The art world has always been searching for ways to achieve perfection, especially when it comes to creating the female image. Yet when the topic of male to female gender reconstruction is brought up the last thought one might have is that it is a work of art. However, it is in art that there is the most experimentation with mediums in order to create the most realistic recreation. This leaves the male human body to be the ultimate experimental medium to sculpt the female image. It is because of mankind's obsession with achieving perfection, the female form and the standard of society, both in art and everyday life that has lead male-to-female physical transitions to become an unknown modern art form. To better understand how this came to be, one must first understand mankind's fascination with women's defining sexual features."What does the female body symbolize to man?" When presented with this question Jose Lozada (an everyday man) stated without a thought, "Happiness, getting lucky (coitus) and procreation." This is a notion that has been around for thousands of years. One of the earliest depictions of the female image comes in the form of the Venus figurines, which originated during the Paleolithic era, confirming this idea. In studying The Venus of Willendorf figurine[Fig.1], found in Willendorf, Austria in the 1900's dating between 24,000-22,000 BCE, it is apparent that (like most Venus figurines) it is the female sexual body parts that are most accented: breasts, stomach, thighs, and vulva. [Insert Citation explaining how they represent fertility prosperity etc. From Venus article page 514.] But there is more to The Venus Figurines than simply representing the three basic ideas happiness, coitus and procreation. Each figure is often believed to represent the status of the women being depicted. For example, the Kotenski figure[Fig.2] is depicted with woven fabrics and a large frame. The attention to detail suggests the figure may represent a woman who lives in comfort. The ability to cover herself in intricately made cloth is what distinguishes her from her Willdendorf counter part. This is a pattern, which is carried on not only in the figurines (Choose 2 more) but also in similar figurines found in Central Ancient Mexico.Before the Spanish conquest around 1519 B.C.E the central highlands of Mexico were inhabited by two pre-Columbian cultures, the Tlatilco and Teotihuacan. In both circumstances the two groups created a variety of clay dolls similar in nature to those of the Venus figurines. These dolls were used in a variety of purposes ranging from children toys to burial tokens. What makes the clay figurines crucial in answering the question "what does the female body represent to man" is how the construction of each figurine lays less emphasis on gender rather than the placement of lines and grooves to create abstract human forms. Yet they still create gender specification using...

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