March 26, 2009

"The Emotional Fallacy", a book review by David Winge







The Model As An Expressive Element


An article by David Winge with excerpts from "The Model - A Book on the Problems of Posing" written by William Mortensen, 1937.





Mr. Mortensen likened the art model role to that of plastic, to be molded and formed to convey meaning. To him a picture was one thing, made up of many smaller parts all there for that one singular message.

From what I’ve read he was a somewhat harsh critic toward his students and fairly commanding towards his art models, qualities I think that make a very good teacher. This was something he took quite seriously and he was quite disappointed with the current state of the art in his time, something I think more than a few of us would say of today.





"Dreaming in Amber"
Art Model Rebel Smith







“Being” and “Meaning”





"After The Thrill Is Gone"
Art Model Rebel Smith




“ In Part One we considered the model merely as form, without any meaning beyond the fact it was a human body. Form – firm, substantial and well-organized – is essential in all pictures ; but form without meaning is mere geometry. Mere graceful attitudes assumed by the model do not create pictures.


There must be meaning beyond the mere physical fact of the model and beyond the conformation of her limbs and body. A model as part of a picture not only is but means something.”










The Emotional Fallacy




"Voices Carry"
Art Model Groovacious





"Expression" rather than "emotion" is the key to a models function.


“ There is a tendency to over-emphasize the importance of emotion in art. We are even told categorically that "all art is emotion". Emotion is a very misleading criterion. It implies that the more emotion there is, the more art. By this standard, a pulp magazine is finer than Iliad, and a notification that you've won the Irish Sweepstakes is an absolute masterpiece of literature. For sheer emotional power, art cannot compete with reality and every-day life.”









"In This Together"
Art Model Pearl




“ To be sure, emotion is frequently the thing that is expressed in a picture - and this fact is, no doubt, the cause of the tendency to over-emphasize the importance of emotion as a pictorial element. Emotion may be expressed, or the utter lack of it may be expressed ; but the only important fact is that of expression.”


Thoughts and emotions cannot be photographed, despite the protestations of some mystically minded portraitists.


What can be photographed are the physical manifestations of thoughts and emotions. Physical fact is ultimately the sole pictorial material. But expression is not achieved by the unselective recording of the physical fact. For, ultimately, these physical manifestations of thoughts and emotions are not actually clearly marked or differentiated.”








"Where The Spirits Go"
Art Model Pearl













"Needless To Say"
Art Model NevaehLleh





“ The physical fact must be translated into the pictorial language before it becomes intelligible.


The model, then, as an expressive element, is not important for what he or she is, but for what he or she says through the medium of the picture.


The artist's problem is to clarify meanings by means of physical adjustments.”






2 comments:

OnePixArt said...

very nice!

Chris St James said...

Thanks for him ! It was such a good idea ! :)