Tuesday, 26 August 2014

FAVOURITE ARTISTS - MARIA RAQUEL COCHEZ

I have quite a few favourite artists, so I thought I'd introduce you to another. If you haven't read my post about Jenny Saville see it here. Another favourite artist of mine is the very talented Maria Raquel Cochez, who's acrylic paintings really inspired a project of mine called 'Distorted Figures' as part of my A Level art course.






At first glance Cochez's work seems fun with the bright patterned backgrounds behind portraits of people seemingly enjoying different types of food. I have never seen anything like this before and I was interested to find out more about the concepts behind the work, and so I read her artists statement (read it here) which cleared a few things for me. First of all, I started to spot some underlying themes in her work which include self esteem issues, body image dysmorphia and eating disorders. The people in the paintings are all binging on unhealthy food, as if they've resisted for a long time and have finally given up, which explains the eating disorder themes. I noticed that the lighting in the paintings was unusually bright, I think this gives the impression of a spotlight, like the people in the paintings feel like they're being watched. In addition to this, they all seem rather embarrassed or ashamed of what they're doing, as if they've let themselves down. My favourite part of the paintings is the colourful patterns and prints on the backgrounds which make the paintings brighter and more eye-catching, in fact, I think this gives a more commercial feel to the work, like it is imitating an advert. I feel like Cochez also touches a bit on consumerism, the pressure to maintain a certain body shape and the struggle to resist all the unhealthy food that is not only readily and easily available, but it is advertised everywhere.

Not only is Maria Raquel Cochez's work addressing issues that I myself struggle with (just one of the reasons why I love her work) but she is also addressing her own problems and struggles. her work is incredibly personal and she often produces self portraits. According to her artist statement she actually struggles with an eating disorder herself, I think this is why I find her work interesting, because she is speaking from experience.

If you like Cochez's work you should check out her website here where you can see all her work. What do you think of it? Did you spot any themes personal to you? Anyway, thanks for reading and I'll see you soon.

Emily x

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