‘Charu’ (2004-2006), Enamel paint and varnish on laminate.
Be it women’s issues or the physical feminine form, artists have always taken inspiration from the women kind. Why this is so though, is something that has intrigued us for a while. We take our query to the quintessential painter from Mumbai, Atul Dodiya. “Women are more sensitive and sincere. There is certain inherent abstraction in their being. Artists are curious and crave for certain abstraction in their art. Women provide and generate different spirits. The range of emotions they reveal are amazing. As a subject for a work of art, it is challenging and difficult as well” he explains.
The Golden womb series
While that explains why men seek inspiration in women, we thought it would be interesting to get a female artist’s perspective on the same. Artist Seema Kohli tells us, “The feminine is the basic source of energy, procreation and movement. Hence, the celebration of the feminine form in visual media.” Her work, The Golden womb series, is Kohli’s tribute to women hood.
That said some international artists have explored this muse and artist relationship through their work, quite literally. Here are a few.
Man Ray cast Kiki (accomplished cabaret singer, memoirist, and painter), his lover in many of his most famous photos and films, including this iconic picture, Noire et Blanche (Black and White), from 1926.
Édouard Manet painted his muse Victorine Meurent (popular model of the day) in many of his paintings, including, Olympia (1863) and his equally famous masterpiece, Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (The Picnic.)
Pablo Picasso’s muse Marie-Thérèse Walter, was the artist’s favorite model during his surrealist phase —canvas, Repose (1932).