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Tired of Speaking Sweetly by Maskenspiel by Paul W.

Ruiz Courtesan Asleep by Katsushika Hokusai

Nadine Faraj

This comparative study analyzes the ways women were portrayed by artists with different artistic styles and as
well as different historical backgrounds.

Comparative Study
The Brooklyn Latin School
IB Visual Arts-HL
May 2016
Formal Analysis of Tired of Speaking Sweetly by Nadine Faraj

Wet-on-Wet Technique:
Use of Complementary Colors:
This figure is portrayed as having a heftier
body type. Faraj achieves this by using the By using blue as a blue and red, the artist
wet-on-wet technique. The execution is creates emphasis and brings the viewers
evidently shown through the soft edges of attention to the face. Although, the woman
the body and the blending of the colors. lacks defined facial features, the focus set by
the conspicuous blue compensates for the
figures lack of facial features.


Faraj also delineates the woman as being

Use of Color:
confident and assertive. This characteristic
is demonstrated by the womans posture;
The fingers are fused with the genital area.
her right hand is confidently rested on her
Tints and shades of red is highlighted
hips and the right leg is slightly spaced
throughout the body. Faraj puts extra
outwards. These features shows that the
emphasis of red near the genital area as well
woman in standing in an authoritative
as the chin area. Since red often associates
with passion, she uses the color the represent
the womans pleasure.
Tired of Speaking Sweetly. Faraj, Nadine. 38.1x27.9
cm.. Watercolor on Paper. 2015 http:
//annazorinagallery.com/exhibition/three-women- 2
Function and Purpose

The culture of electronic music in the These influences are seen in her
nineties influenced Nadine Farajs work. use of wet-on-wet technique. She
She notes the difference between the uses it to depicting her figures in
function of clubs in the 90s and today. their most natural form.
She explains that hearing electronic Considering that watercolor paint
music back then was about dancing and is less controllable, she allows
enjoying yourself. From those the consistency of the medium to
experiences, she gained an appreciation form the body. Thus, her
for the body as a vessel for depictions of women challenges
consciousness. the conventional portrayal of
Thus, Faraj believes that the body has a
mind of its own. She explains how our
body allows us to experience and Nadine also depicts pleasure in A screenshot of a section of
without it, we die. her watercolor paintings. This Tired of Speaking Sweetly.
is seen through her use of (taken from page 2)
Information on Faraj found on: "Biographical Info specific colors such as pink
on Nadine Faraj." Message to the author. 13 Oct.
A photograph of Nadine Faraj 2015. E-mail. and red. This alludes to her
http://annazorinagallery. experience with electronic
faraj-alonsa-guevara-patty-horing/ music where she realizes that
the body is its own entity that
should be able to move and
express itself freely.
Cultural Significance of Nadine Farajs work

Nudism in Germany is an established

tradition known as
Freikoerperkultur or Free Body
Culture. Moreover, Germans often go
to beaches, gardens, swimming pools
and other public areas without
clothes. To them, it seems completely
normal whereas, it may seem bizarre
to Americans.

Considering that Faraj is German, her

background and her experience at the
Untitled by Nadine Faraj (image taken by self) beach influenced the ways she
expresses nudity in her paintings. (screenshot of the image on the left)
In Nadines interview, she mentions
a nude beach in Germany where For example, in this untitled work, she portrays
there were no bathing suits in sight. the figures without clothes and one figure
She saw people of all ages and with holding the American flag. In this painting,
all body types. She was shocked Nadine communicates the idea that Americans
because she had never seen should not be bothered by nudity. Instead,
something before. She highlights the people should be able to show off their bodies
fact that no one cared about nudity because it is a form of self-expression.
and it was not a big issue.
Krueger, Marcel. "Getting Naked in Germany: A Local Reveals All." CNN. Cable Information on Faraj found on: "Biographical Info on Nadine Faraj." 4
News Network, 7 May 2015. Web. 04 Mar. 2016. Message to the author. 13 Oct. 2015. E-mail.
Formal Analysis of Maskenspiel by Paul W. Ruiz

Composition: Color:

Ruiz uses tints of shades of purple He uses a combination of magenta,

on the piece of clothing that is violet, and velvet to create a curtain-like
covering the figures head. He does image. Since the left section of the
this to draw a connection between section is black, the viewers attention is
the figure and the curtain-like image drawn to the immense concentration of
on the right side of the painting. The the colors on the right side of painting.
connection between the woman and
the curtain is also demonstrated by
the womans posture which is
facing towards the curtain.

He also incorporates the technique of

Space: chiaroscuro in Maskenspiel as well as his
Maskenspiel. Ruiz, Paul W. Oil on canvas. 2014. http: other paintings. He uses tints of white on
The womans slouching posture and //www.paulwruiz.com/paintings/ the face and shoulders. The contrast
slightly frowning mouth suggest a between light and dark makes the painting
melancholic mood. This mood is further appear three-dimensional as the shoulders
emphasized by the solid black space the seem to be protruding outwards and towards
figure is painted on. the viewers.

Function and Purpose of Paul W. Ruizs Art

In both Ruizs drawings and paintings, he assigns his figures a

specific gesture. For example, in Study of Balthus, the figure has
one hand on the ground and the other in the air; her body is
balanced on the bench. Although this is a two-dimensional drawing,
the audience still feels a sense of movement.

Study of Balthus' "Thrse on a Bench, 1939". 2013-2014. Ruiz, Paul W.

Charcoal on paper, framed.

The artists emphasis on dark and light is seen in both his drawings
and paintings too. In drawings such as Francesca, there is more
shaded areas than light areas. By doing this, he successfully creates a
mood of either melancholy or lethargy. This mood is furthered
emphasizes by the figures facial expression.

Francesca. Ruiz, Paul W. 2012.

All two images were taken from http://www.paulwruiz.com/drawing-2/
Charcoal on paper. 6
Cultural Significance of Paul W. Ruizs Art

Masques (or Maskenspiel in German), were

popular theatrical entertainment during the
early Italian Renaissance.

It was a Lombard tradition where the masks

began as part of body language with lined
canvas. It was also a representation of the
image of the dead. During the Late Baroque
movement during the 18th century, these
practices continued. Performers usually
orchestrated a funny dance that displayed the
motif of death. Gold masks at carnival in Venice 1995. (Image taken from
"Masques." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Feb.
2016. Web. 06 Mar. 2016.

The texture of the figures face is

Maskenspiel. Ruiz, Paul W. Oil on canvas. 2014. Ruiz often enhances the conceptual aspect of similar to the texture of the gold
http://www.paulwruiz.com/paintings/ his work by incorporating a relevant title. In
(zoomed in) masks from the 1995 carnival in
Maskenspiel, the connection between the Venice. The smoothness of the face,
early Renaissance performances is clearly which is visually similar to the masks
demonstrated by the texture and colors of the worn during the 1995 festival is
painting. interrupted by the use of impasto on
the side of the face. Likewise, his use
of color further accentuates the dark
Information on Masques found on: Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 8 June 2014. Web. and menacing mood he tries to create.
04 Mar. 2016.
Paul W. Ruizs Method

Ruiz enjoys drawing out several

options using charcoal,
photocopying. His end results are
often integrations of different
people he has encountered in his
life. This method prevents him
from forming any preconceptions
about individuality and gender
enabling him to make changes
Expecting Missie. Ruiz, Paul Junio. Ruiz, Paul W. 2014. Oil on
W. 2014. cont & charcoal on linin. http://www.paulwruiz.
Photograph of Paul W. Ruiz working on a paper (framed). com/paintings/
charcoal drawing

Amongst Paul W. Ruizs works, there are some evident There is a connection between his drawings and paintings in
connections between specific drawings and paintings. An that in the light and dark areas are mapped out in his drawings.
example would be Expecting Missie and Junio. In many of his Furthermore, there is a similarity in subject matter (the person
drawings, he seems to keep to stray lines and marks of the artist is depicting). In many of his drawings, the facial
charcoal. Based on what he said in his interview, he likes to features of the figure is similar to the facial features in his
leave a project for a couple of days until something strikes painting.
Information found on: Sherwin, Brian. "Paul W Ruiz." Embodied Archived. N.
p., 11 July 2013. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.
Formal Analysis of Courtesan Asleep by Katsushika Hokusai

The womans kimono occupies of the Color:
artwork. The kimono is embellished
with subtle and unique and symmetrical The original paper has a light
patterns. This is seen by the blocky beige color. Hokusai left the
pattern created by the hexagon-shaped face and the arms of the
stars and the horizontal boxes created by courtesan the color of the paper.
the black lines.


Movement: Hokusai details the thin lips with a

The kimono creates ripples that are traditional dark blue hue.
similar to the movement of waves
which gives the artwork a sense of
movement. This aspect of the Composition:
kimono and the position of the The depiction of the opened books
courtesan conveys that she is resting demonstrate the idea that this
comfortably, giving the artwork a courtesan is well-educated.
gentle and tranquil aura.
Courtesan Asleep. Hokusai, Katsushika. Late 18th century-early 19th
century. Woodblock print on paper. https://commons.wikimedia.
_Google_Art_Project.jpg 9
Function and Purpose of Katsushika Hokusais Art

The Great Wave off Kanagawa Travellers Crossing the Oi River

Depiction of Mount Fuji

Courtesan Asleep Courtesan
Hokusai was an active member of the Nichiren sect of Depiction of Courtesans
Buddhism. One of their beliefs was that Mount Fuji was a
In his woodblock-prints, he celebrates the popularity and beauty of the
source of immortality. The symbolism explains Hokusais
courtesans of the Edo period. With his meticulous and subtle details,
personal obsession with the mountain. It is more of a symbol
especially on the portrayal of the kimonos, he demonstrates the fact that
because the way he portrays it, is consistent.
the Oiran were only judged based on their aesthetics, artistic skills,
education and not their birth.
The depiction of the mountains are seen in his paintings such
as The Great Wave off Kanagawa and Travellers Crossing the
His focus on the generic beauty societal standards for Japanese women
Oi River. He often includes the mountain in the background to
are depicted in his portrayal of the courtesans. This is emphasized by the
show the significance and integration of the mountain to the
extremely pale skin and dark colored lip sticks. During the Edo Period,
everyday lives of Japanese people
black and red were often associated with beauty. These colors are often
incorporated into his works such as Courtesan.
"What Is the Special Significance of Mount Fuji?" - Quora. N.p., 21 Jan. 2011. Web.
04 Mar. 2016.
"Courtesans." - SamuraiWiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2016. 10
All images taken from http://www.katsushikahokusai.org/
Cultural Significance of Katsushika Hokusais Art

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai

Photograph of a modern day Mt. Fuji https://www.quora.

Mount Fuji has been one of Japans Similar to the Nichiren sect, those who In The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Hokusai not only
most significant peak. The Japanese follows shintoism believe that the portrays the symbolic mountain to convey its cultural
people could see the mountains from mountain was a semi-deity. In fact, significance to him and also the majority of the
many of the countrys most populous Mount Fuji was considered an entity Japanese population who follows shintoism.
areas such as the infamous Tokaido of its own; this was known as animism Furthermore, he depicts the three fishing boats to show
(Eastern Sea) route. During the Edo in shintoism. Since the mountain is the daily lives of fishermen and since Japan is an
period, the Tokaido route was known visible even from a distance, people island, one of its biggest food source is fish. The
for its transportation and trades. would climb it to pray for good massive waves demonstrates the daily obstacles the
fortune. lower classmen such as fishermen face.

"What Is the Special Significance of Mount Fuji?" - Quora. N.p., 21 Jan. 2011. Web. 04 Mar. 2016. 11
Continuation of the Cultural Significance of Katsushika Hokusais Art

Oirans or courtesans were considered as

women of pleasure and their popularity rose
during the Edo Period in entertainment districts
such as Yoshiwara. There were the courtesans
at the top known as the tayu, the second rank
called koshi and lesser rankings are tsubone
and hashi.

In order to become a high ranked oiran, the

woman has to be well educated; this includes
artistic skills such as flower arranging,
calligraphy, and they even learned to play
different traditional Japanese instruments.

Comparing the photograph to his ukiyo-e,

Hokusai is successful in portray Edo
women. He captures the traditional beauty
and intellect of the courtesans through his
Tokyo geisha with shamisen in 1870s
use of colors and the subtle shapes and
http://www.slate. patterns on the kimono. Courtesan Asleep by Katsushika Hokusai https:
com/blogs/quora/2013/12/20/geisha_and_oiran_i //commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
n_japan_what_s_the_difference.html Katsushika_Hokusai_-_Courtesan_asleep_-
Courtesans." - SamuraiWiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2016 _Google_Art_Project.jpg 12
Similarities and Differences between Faraj and Ruizs Art

Nadine Farajs Work Paul W. Ruizs Work

- Ruizs portrayal of people are
- Farajs work is based
more fixed and rigid as his
heavily on Germanys - Both artist is able to establish style has some significant
culture of nudism. And so, a certain mood through their correlations with the masks
she focuses on the beauty use of material. worn in masquerades during
of ones body. This is seen
the early Renaissance.
through her choice of
- Both artists focuses and
material (watercolor).
portrays the natural movements
of the human body. - Unlike Faraj, Ruiz uses
- Farajs depiction of the harsher lines and bolder
- Both Faraj and Ruiz stroke in both his drawings
body is less fixed and confidently portrays people,
rigid. This can be seen in and paintings. His style
especially women through more refined; the artist
her use of less controlled their gestures and this is
watercolor techniques uses black backgrounds to
seen in both Tired of create contrast and to
such as wet-on-wet. Speaking Sweet and Junio. assure that the audiences
attention is only focused
on the subject matter.

Similarities and Differences between Farajs and Hokusais Art

Nadine Farajs Work Katsushika Hokusais Work

- Farajs use of watercolor is Similarities - By using woodblock prints,

less controlled. She uses the the form of his figures was
wet-on-wet technique and so, already predetermined.
- Both artists captures
her figures form are often Unlike Faraj, his portrayals
the beauty of women
unpredictable. are more fixed.
through their physical
assets. - Hokusai does not have a
major focus. He has a wide
- Farajs main focus is on the - Both Hokusai and Faraj range of subject matters.
body and nudity. This focus explores the concept of Nevertheless, he tended to
was influenced by her trip to pleasure in their portrayal capture the daily lives of
Germanys nude beach. of women. Japanese people and the
popular customs and culture
- Both artist that were arising.
incorporate their
- Due to her choice to
personal beliefs
material, her figures lack
and experiences - Unlike Faraj, his
details. Their facial features
into their works. depiction of people are
are often ambiguous.
extremely detailed and

Similarities and Differences between Hokusai and Ruizs Art

Katsushika Hokusais Work Paul W. Ruizs Work


- Hokusais worked with - His mixture of dry-on-wet

woodblock print. This, - Both artists emphasizes on and impasto with oil paint is
the lines and shapes in depth and dimension through very different from Hokusais
his art is fixed. colors and dark and light. woodblock print. Ruizs
paintings are less fixed. If he
- Both Hokusai and Faraj wanted to go back to fix it, he
uses specific colors to would be able to.
- His woodblock prints are
done on paper. The hue of further emphasize the moods
his papers are often white they want to create. - For majority of his
but after a long period of paintings, he paints his
time, turned a light beige figures on a black background
- Both their art alludes to
color. (or empty space). This artistic
the popular traditions that
choice further highlights his
occurred either during
the menacing mood he tries to
their career or before.