The Progression of the Human Figure in Conflict by Taylor Hopping

Taylor Hopping's Term 3 Art Assignment: A collection of pieces that depict the human figure in conflicting situations- the conflicts being a range of battles, from physical to internal, depending on the most common type during the era. The five artworks are categorized chronologically, dating back from ancient times with pieces spanning right through until today, and were selected after a long period of research based on their relevancy to the theme. As well as this, the highly skilled artistic techniques of the creators were taken into consideration.

 This was chosen as it illustrates the physical conflicts of humans. Created by the ‘Pan Painter’ in 470 B.C., inside the city of Athens, Greece, the medium was a ceramic red figure and is as realistic as the Early Classical Period of art would allow. Although art back then was fairly basic, a product of their lack of resources, it still beautifully depicts the most common type of conflict during the era making use of the colors and tools they had available. Using the human figure in the two subjects, one standing over the other, threatening them with a bow and arrow, and the other in a position of surrender, the artist brilliantly conveyed the tone of the piece- violence.
Yet another type of physical violence is represented in this one, a type brought about by greed and gluttony, as well as alcohol. The human figures depicted in this artwork are shown in various positions, from engaging in violence to drinking to eating, and this, coupled with the title, “This is the Life”, hints at sarcasm from the artist, who is unknown. It would appear that the artist was making fun of the social norms of the time period (the year 1000 A.D.)  and representing their cynical view of it all. The artwork is realistic and uses pastel hues as well as a sarcastic tone to portray the human figure under the influence of excessive alcohol.
Another type of conflict that is less commonly related to the term is the spiritual conflict that people face, portrayed in this tempura and oil on a panel artwork. It was created by Michelangelo Buonarroti in approximately 1487-88 and represents the human figure in a slightly distressed position but the main elements adding to the terrified tone of the painting are the supernatural figures pulling at its limbs, almost appearing to tear the subject apart at its seams. It has very deep and rich coloring, using black coloring for the subject to depict the tone- turmoil. It is a realistic image but does, however, have hints of fantasy peering in with the creatures that Buonarroti created. 
And yet another even less common link, the conflict that results in poverty- needs versus resources. It's a very sad but at the same time, a confronting and real issue. The unknown artist of this piece was aware of this fact and brilliantly highlighted the terrible reality of poverty. To do this, they used oil paint on a canvas and a key understanding of the medium as well as portraying the subjects as hunched, with one holding out their hand as if to ask for money or food. This use of their figures was key in representing the pain and conflict of their situations in the second half of the 17th century. The artwork has a realistic tone and uses dark colors to represent the spirit of the time.
The final type of conflict is one that is most common in the Western culture of the 21st century- inner conflict. The type that locks one away in their minds with no escape, creating a sense of turmoil that is deep rooted and inescapable. The artist used watercolor on paper and although the piece is mostly a line drawing, the paint was used to emphasise the subject, using irony to highlight the sense of emptiness and desperation that is the tone of the piece by being very bright in contrast to the dark tone of the picture. It was created in 2011 by a Korean artist named Sank Ik Seo before being showcased in the Korean Art Museum. It is a realistic painting, although the distribution of colour usage was slightly unrealistic, and represents the human figure in a slightly hunched position, its hand on its head as if to signify the hopelessness.
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