BEHIND THE PORTFOLIO: Junior points out objectification of women by depicting female body through history of art

AP Studio Art students chose their own concentration and created a series of pieces. They submitted digital and physical portfolios to the College Board on May 6. In this series, the artists discuss the year-long endeavor and share some of their pieces.

Next is junior Isabelle Leavy. 

Q: What was your concentration?

A: My concentration focused on the depiction of the female body throughout the history of art.

I followed a number of artistic movements and drew attention to the objectification of these women by removing their most important pieces (i.e. hands, face, head) and replacing them with embroidered images.

Q:Why did you choose it?

A: I wanted to stick with something I was comfortable with, and since I have a lot of experience talking about and drawing women, I figured it was both safe and interesting to delve deeper into the subject.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced?

A: I had some trouble with inspiration towards the end of my work. I created my first to-be concentration piece the summer before sophomore year, so by the time I needed to make some of the others, I had grown a lot as an artist and moved away from some of those inspirations, making it hard to develop new pieces.

Q: How long did it take you to do your concentration?

A: It wasn’t consecutive, so I’m not sure. But, as I said, I made my first piece summer before sophomore year and the last one just a few weeks ago. It was a long time in the making.

Q: What media did you use?  

A: Charcoal, Sharpie/micron pen, and embroidery.

Q: Do you have one or two pieces you’re particularly proud of?  If so, why?  

A: I’m a fan of my Venus de Milo/Venus Callipyge pieces because they show a good juxtaposition between archaic and modern views of the female body.

In addition, I created them pretty early in the concentration process, and even now they show a lot of technical skill.

Q: What’s your style?  

A: I have no style. My concentration ranges from illustration style to modern, but in all other ways I am without a specific style. I like to dabble in all sorts of different media and content.

Q: Is there a message you’re trying to convey through your concentration?  

A: I just want to make people think about women and their media depiction in a new way. I don’t have any goal or manifesto in place; I am merely interested in drawing interesting things and making people consider the world around them through a new lens.

—By Grace Naify

Read about other students’ portfolios: Jake SandsCamille Locke, and  Zoe Dym 

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