21st Century Beauty, 2020

21st Century Beauty 2020 by Toni-Maree Savage

21st Century Beauty 2020 by Toni-Maree Savage

Toni-Maree Savage
21st Century Beauty, 2020
Mixed media on hardboard
61 x 61 cm (individual pieces)

Artist Statement

21st Century Beauty, 2020 is a series of four Pop Art-inspired works that explore contemporary concepts of beauty in the mass media. In particular, the series reflects upon messaging about beauty ideals that are heavily reliant on unrealistic body shape.

21st Century Beauty had two primary purposes. First, to permit a conceptual exploration of a relevant contemporary issue. And, second, to allow a technical exploration of mediums and surfaces outside my comfort zone as a painter.

Considering the series from a conceptual perspective, 21st Century Beauty aspires to challenge mainstream benchmarks that foster issues of body image which are linked to consequential eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem. The series asks the viewer to question the mass media’s inaccessible beauty standards by highlighting the emblematic unreasonableness of the imagery. I feel this is a significant social issue given we are bombarded daily from a very early age with media messaging that encourages this damaging way of thinking about our bodies.

Considering the series from a technical perspective, 21st Century Beauty has allowed me to push past self-imposed boundaries in my painting and sample the flat, coloured shapes of the historical Pop Art style. As a painter who generally prefers realism, this was a considerable leap. Overall, I enjoyed discovering Pop Art and found it interestingly a less demanding experience to paint using such a highly unrealistic approach.

21st Century Beauty also allowed me to discover the splendour of painting on a smooth hardboard as compared to my standard canvas surface, and I was provided with the opportunity to return to acrylic paints after a long hiatus dominated by oils. I had forgotten how quickly acrylic dries and, although this was a struggle at first, I enjoyed revisiting the more rigid plasticity of acrylic paint temporarily compared to the buttery smoothness of oils.

⭐This artwork is available for sale. For further information please contact me