May 12, 2013

Two Steatopygous Women

I made a sketch of an ancient stone statue of a steatopygous woman that I had chanced upon in a museum. I recall that she was from ancient Crete. I drew her once, then once again on the same page. Why two incomplete drawings? Because there was extra space on the paper? Or perhaps just because I was not satisfied with the contours of my first attempt so made a second. In either case a solitary female goddess became a pair.

While making revisions to this sketch I decided to compete each figure differently. The first one I treated like a painted piece of ceramic, with a decorated doll-like face and body. As I turned to her companion, I completed her form with an overall dark texture. The effect I was going for was a more tactile one - like a raffia draped object to be touched and held. To emphasize her corporeal form I left out facial features. Her hips were larger than those of her companion and her feet decidedly stumpier as well. She was earth. Fertility. Primordial and universal. By contrast, her friend represented the cultural, sporting the face of civilization.

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