Figure Work, by Steven Morris

Certainly, beauty and sensuality play roles in my figurative work—not through sexual objectification, but rather the emotional grace that the figure uniquely expresses. By exploring the human figure, especially the female figure, I am working to express the power and grace of the living condition filled with paradoxes: strength, fragility, beauty, imperfection, and aliveness.

– Steven Morris

Figure work—in live study, sketch and painting—has been central to my work as an artist for many years.

The basis of figurative art is often realism (or realistic), a recreation of a person or thing by an artist expressing their view. For the most part, my art isn’t looking to be representative or capture realism, rather an expression of a form, a moment or a mood that comes through the figure. Much of my figurative work are studies that inform my abstract figurative work and my themed series works.

In Athenian Greece, Protagoras coined the phrase “Man is the measure of all things” and was one of the leading thinkers of the time, a group called the Sophists, whose ranks included Cicero, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Although they were more focused on the individual’s place in society, protecting the rights and freedoms of the individual, they are considered the “Future of Figurative Art” when artists in the 1400’s and 1500’s were inspired by Sophist Greece, their culture and social philosophies.

But when one considers the birth of figurative art as a style and not by its name, it seems to be the most basic form of artistic expression, the truest way for humans to honor their cultures, their beliefs, and their experiences. When we consider a more philosophical approach, we attempt to explain why memorializing and remembering details of a civilization, a political or religious event, or the existence of a person or group of people is paramount to the evolution of the human experience. But it is truly human nature.

Works here represent various pieces from the spring/summer of 2020.

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