Into the DEPTHS
American Art Collector|December 2020
PAINTING THE FIGURE NOW EXPLORES HOW WE VIEW THE HUMAN FORM THROUGH A MODERN LENS.
ALYSSA M. TIDWELL

The human figure tells a story. Every corporeal form on this earth comes etched with that person’s past experiences, their pain, their joy, the subtle quirks and ways in which they carry themselves through the world. This doesn’t pertain to just physique, sex or gender expression—although these elements can greatly inform a person—but that of a childhood scar, a slouching gait, a tiny chip in your tooth from an accident that occurred decades ago or perhaps something chosen, like a tattoo.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the human body as an artist. I think between intensive ballet training as a child and developing serious chronic health issues as a young teenager, the body became something I was intensely aware of, not just as the vehicle in which I moved through life, but as an entity that carried its own stories,” says figurative artist Sarah Marie Lacy. While her realist paintings and portraits, rendered mainly in oil or pencil, capture the complexities of the figure on a physical level, the real power behind her art is her ability to capture the things we can’t see—the emotion and the soul. “The more time I’ve spent studying the human body through drawing and painting, the more I’ve become fascinated by how much of someone’s life gets written on their bodies: their skin, their bones, how they hold themselves. Every new person is like a new landscape to explore,” she says. “I prefer to work directly from life, but typically work with a combination of live models and reference photos.”

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