ArtHistory.net

Guide To Art History

Abstract Art
Anti Art
Art Deco
Art Nouveau
Arts and Crafts
Assemblage
Baroque
Body Art
Classicism
Collage
Color Field
Conceptual Art
Contemporary Art
Cubism
Dada
De Stijl
Digital Art
Erotic Art
Expressionism
Face Painting
Fantasy Art
Fauvism
Fluxus
Folk Art
Futurism
Gothic
Graffiti
Impressionism
Installation Art
kinetic Art
Land Art
Landscape Art
Magical Realism
Manga
Mannerism
Medieval Art
Minimalism
Mixed Media
Modern Art
Mosaic
Nail Art
Neo Classicism
Neo Fauvism
Op Art
Orientalism
Orphism
Outsider Art
Performance Art
Photorealism
Pin Up Art
Pointillism
Pop Art
Post Impressionism
Pre Raphaelites
Primitivism
Process Art
Psychedelic Art
Realism
Regionalism
Rock Art
Rococo
Romanesque
Romanticism
Sound Art
Southwest
Still Life
Street Art
Suprematism
Surrealism
Symbolism
Synchromism
Synthetism
Tonalism
Ukiyo-e


Support the Arts by linking your website
to ArtHistory.net


Thank You



Introduction to the History of Body Art
By ArtHistory.net



Body art has a long history. From the anthropologist’s perspective, decorating the human body dates back to the earliest times. Humans use art to communicate powerful messages. In late 2000, the American Museum of Natural History created an exhibition called “Body Art: Marks of Identity.” Dr. Enid Schildkrout described the modern practices of body art as “tattooing, piercing, body painting, body reshaping, henna, and scarification.” The virtual tour of a historical museum’s interpretation of body art provides one view of this diverse subject. Another view is from the post-Minimalist artists in the U.S. after Pop Art.

Throughout history, body art has captured the way that humans relate their experiences to their physical body. Examples of body art are recorded in many formats, including photographs, drawings, engravings, books, films, sculptures, and paintings. Schildkrout explains:

“Whether with permanent marks like tattoos or scars, or temporary decorations like makeup, clothing, and hairstyles, body art is a way of signalizing an individual’s place in society, marking a special moment, celebrating a transition in life or simply following a fashion.”

Two decades after World War II ended, American artists were still reacting to Minimalism and other Modernist styles like Surrealism, Dadaism, and Cubism. The new body art of the late sixties and early seventies represented the artist’s feeling about the commercialization of art. Honour and Fleming (2005) note that artists debunked the concept of objects and places associated with the new art system; “they hoped to find a way of eluding the system – especially the system’s elaborate structures for endowing their work with an exclusiveness, rarity value and luxury character they did not want it to have.”

Bruce Nauman (b. 1941) has been historically concerned with the artistic inspirations offered by ordinary life experiences. In 1966, the same year he graduated with an MFA from University of California, Davis, Nauman created a work of body art called “Self-Portrait as a Fountain.” His body formed the body of the fountain and his mouth served as the fountainhead from which water sprinkled.

In this period, body art was closely associated with performance art. In Europe, the use of human bodies as art forms emerged even before “Self-Portrait as a Fountain.” In 1960, Yves Klein (France), Lucio Fontana (Italy), and Gilbert and George (UK) created “living sculptures” with the assistance of live human models.

Whether you look to ancient history, Modernism, or twenty-first century art, you can find examples of adorning the human body or using the human body as a solid medium for artistic expression.



Home | About | Sitemap | Contact | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Links
Copyright © 2013-2014 Bitter Soup LLC All Rights Reserved.