Let’s get the initial question out of the way first: this is my arm.
Notably, it’s my arm pre-tattoos. Nowadays, you’d either have a 90’s-inspired geometric ring around one bicep, or an 1800’s-inspired woodcut pattern around the other. It’s also my arm pre-any serious working out in my life. I mean, I’m no Mr. Universe nowadays either, but I’m also not quite this bony.
This piece is my only still work that features myself in any way. I guess in some regards you could call it my most personal or the closest I have to a partial self-portrait. Sidenote: does the term “portrait” require it to be a face, or have the face in frame, or is any body part fair game? Could I have a portrait collection of people’s knees? What about the backs of their heads, so all you can see is their hair – it’s pretty close to the head and face, so that’s a point in favor, but hair isn’t technically even alive, so is it really a part of the person anymore?
Which body part of your own do you think is the most visually interesting?
I think there’s also some appeal to me in removing the ends of things here. Of course nothing below the waist, but removing the head, the shoulder, and the hand. So it’s all just the joiny bits and the joints, not the conventional points of interest. How many hand studies have illustrators drawn, vs. how many elbow studies?
I think the warped forest texture and dark background give this piece a contemplative, mysterious vibe, and the pale blue fire effect above the inner elbow seems to hint at some sort of magic or phantasmal effect. The negative lighting in the shadows adds to the otherworldly, ghost effect too.
Here’s what the full-resolution detail of this abstract artwork looks like: