Contacting a body ‘from life’: historiated portraiture and the artist/model/sitter transaction in portrait production.
Working 'from life' remains a core component in undergraduate Fine Arts curricula and in the provisions for major portrait awards. The phrase indicates an immediate material encounter between observed bodies-artist and model-in the studio. The characterisation of the model as a sitter resonates with concerns about portrait production, figuratism and posing. Contained within this discourse are the contemporary historiated portraits that intentionally destabilise the artist/model/sitter transaction. The historiated portrait (portrait histori驠is a deliberate construction in which a model is portrayed in disguise. Historiated portraiture, through masquerade and dissimulation, accords the artist a specific strategy to expose the pretence implicit in the model/sitter transaction. Through the survey of contemporary historiated portraiture, and a practice in which I construct such portraits, it becomes possible to confront the counterfeit in portraits 'from life'.
© 2011 Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAAZN). The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Fine Arts (incl. Sculpture and Painting)