Fine art figure paintings by Costa Vavagiakis
Costa Vavagiakis, “Maria XII,” oil on panel, 13 x 12 in.

The Naked & The Nude: Contemporary Masters of the Human Form
Featuring Costa Vavagiakis, Ephraim Rubenstein, Mark Gonzales, Anthony Panzera
Studio 7 Art Gallery, New Jersey
Through June 30, 2018

Fine art figure paintings by Costa Vavagiakis
Costa Vavagiakis, “Rainbow XXXVI,” oil on panel, 24 x 18 in.

A Word on the Human Form, from Costa Vavagiakis

“Nature and Classical Art have long been my twin muses, my guides and inspirations,” says Vavagiakis. “The art that I came to love and study shared an aspiration of capturing the timelessness of the human spirit through the combination of formal beauty and an expression of emotion. I aspire to achieve these concerns in my work. I paint the sitter straight on and objectively, stripped of narrative content. I light from above to capture and record the specific qualities of the skin, hair, and vascular posture. I scrutinize my subject’s physiognomy intensely, transcribing a detailed roadmap of the sitter. I want the viewer to have the sensation of encountering a living, breathing human being with unique spiritual dimensions.”

Fine art figure paintings by Costa Vavagiakis
Costa Vavagiakis, “Connie VI,” graphite on paper, 25.5 x 19.5 in.
Costa Vavagiakis, “Rainbow XXXIII, graphite and white chalk on paper, 20.5 x 15.5 in.

Fine art figure paintingsThe Abiding Value of the Figure
By Ephraim Rubenstein

Our naked bodies are our most fundamental physical possession. We navigate the world through our bodies, and we experience and understand that world through our physical senses.

The naked body is what we all have in common; it is the great unifier. While clothes speak of rank, profession, privilege, or poverty, we all have our naked bodies in common. “Naked I came into this world, and naked I shall go from it.”

Clothes come and go; fashions and styles come and go; but the body remains. It is less subject to the vicissitudes of time and fashion than anything else. But if looking at representations of our bodies gives us pleasure, it is not an easy pleasure. Its obvious sensual beauties are admixed with the guilt associated with sex, as well as the fear of our mortality. Our bodies remind us that we are temporal beings, subject to decay and dying.

So while many people find it easier to clothe the body and not stir all of these difficult emotions, we choose to explore them; to celebrate the sublime beauty of the naked body and to face squarely the difficulties it presents.

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