In The Raw
First-Person Figurative Works by Elena CroninMarch 6th - 27th, 2009
Big thanks to DJ Dante O’Lei (Aka Egg Dan) and DJ Jusayn for throwing down the beautiful music as well as all who came to warm the gallery on Friday!
See more photo’s of the opening HERE
CLICK HERE to go directly to the ART
“The human figure was the first thing I ever fell in love with drawing: it was the perfect simplicity with which a single effortless line could capture all the tension and balance in a form, and the beauty of a single careless mark on paper that somehow suggested everything there was to know about the human body. I figured out early on that your own self was the easiest subject there was to draw because you were always available and always willing to sit for however long it took to finish the piece. I spent countless hours drawing my own face throughout school, and eventually began to explore the possibilities of full-figure self-portraits.
My most recent fascination has been with self-portrait from a first-person perspective. This concept is something that is rarely seen in art, despite the fact that any second-person rendering automatically detaches both the artist and the viewer from the artist’s true perspective. A first-person perspective represents one which we take for granted on a daily basis, yet which has the potential to express inspiration in its most direct translation. The result is a unique form of voyeurism, simultaneously portraying internal and external experiences.
One of the aspects of figural artwork that fascinates me is the ability to evoke a very visceral sense of tension through the physical illustration of the body. Many of the positions that I find myself drawn to involve torquing, twisting, or stretching the body – sometimes awkwardly or uncomfortably – in ways that evoke the same acute sensations in the viewer’s mind. This series of work portrays my expression of these sensations as I literally experience them.
In the overlap between the two aspects – self-portrait and tension – lies an expression of my own sexuality. Many of my compositions take on a subtle or distinct sexual tone, revealing the underlying sexual nature of my personality. Human sexuality in general is another quality I’ve found myself consistently drawn to, as it binds all human figures and physical qualities, and is the force behind many of the sensations and emotions we experience as viewers of art. The expression of my own sexuality in my artwork is the result of a desire to become more comfortable and liberated with this undeniable aspect of myself.”
~ Elena Cronin
About the Artist
Elena Cronin grew up in Baltimore and graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania with a double major in Studio Art and Anthropology. Despite her pursuit of several diverse career paths since college, art has stubbornly insisted on presenting itself as a common thread throughout these pursuits.
Figure drawing has been her main area of interest since high school, and over the years she has been drawn to artistic mentors who paint figures using bold, stark techniques, using their art to make honest and sometimes startling statements about both the figure and human nature. These mentors include Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Lucian Freud, Henri Toulouse-Latrec, Auguste Rodin, and Wayne Thiebaud, to name a few. Recently she has also been influenced by the clean, minimalistic lines and colors of figures in Japanese art.
In her latest work, she seeks to express both the fluidity and the awkwardness that the human body is capable of, while evoking genuine sensation and emotion in the mind of the viewer. She is constantly looking for new and unconventional methods of representing different perspectives of the figure, both physically and metaphorically.
click thumbnail for a full-size view.