NSFW WARNING: Please note artwork and photos contain nudity.
Photos by Ethan Mickelson
Instagram photos from Emma Beatrez’s account @emma.beatrez
Amid the budding summer, one young artist is breathing cool sophistication into Ecce Art Gallery on Broadway. With each stroke of alien blue and calming neutral paints, Emma Beatrez further obscures the natural form, presenting an alternative reality in inverted negative paintings. Her approach helps viewers become more comfortable with nudity by having them focus on the inverted colors instead of the anatomy of the subjects.
To document her first solo gallery opening, running until June 8, Fargo Monthly caught a few candid moments of the bustling premier.
Fargo Monthly: What first attracted you to the nude figure?
Emma Beatrez: “Portraying the nude figure in art is the most classical approach to the human body so in that way it was intriguing for me as an artist.”
What’s your thought process when you stage the models? Are you creating a scene or pondering reality?
EB: “When staging the models, I try to replicate things in my own life and take the lighting situation into consideration. Recently, I have been curious about how to make the body the secondary part of the scene verses the light and external features.”
The two models featured in the painting behind them.
How has rejection influenced you stylistically?
EB: “Due to this event, it allowed me to look at this project in a problem-solving manner and combine two different worlds of painting that I had dove into in the past.”
How much practice/development was involved with mastering your negative image technique?
EB: “I created this series in a month and so I basically had to just go for it due to the time frame I had available. There wasn’t any practice beforehand besides the painting of the man [Buddhist Cowboy] working with the negative spaces of tattoos. That was my first experience with negative painting.”
What do you hope people learn about the human form?
EB: “I want this series to not only be enjoyed for aesthetic purposes but also for educational reasons. This series allows the viewer to study the works for color, texture, and anatomy.”
Where did the plastic wrap come from?
EB: “This was an environmental route that I was testing out within the series working with the idea of the abundance of plastic in the ocean. I wanted to show the nude bodies in lustful positions with the products we use and that are destroying the world.”
Are you done with blue? What colors can we expect next?
EB: “In the future, I will be testing out different color combinations and textures, not necessarily getting rid of blue altogether.”