Artist: Helen Beard
Title: Study of Self
Medium: Original acrylic on board
Size: 8" x 9 1/2"
Inscription: Signed, dated, and titled on back
Condition: Excellent condition
Documentation: Includes Gallery Certificate of Authenticity
Helen Beard is best known for her large-scale color-field oil paintings depicting sexual imagery in a closely cropped format. With provocative art, she celebrates sex from the perspective of a woman. Bold colors and an alluring approach capture female sexuality. Beard highlights intimate moments through the eyes of a woman.
Using condensed polychromatic shapes and indistinguishable forms, Beard combines abstraction and realism. She juxtaposes her subject matter with vibrant hues to create a strong visual impact. Her bold yet simple imagery balances the erotic tones created by the visual rhythms and sensual movement within her composition.
Study of Self illustrates an intimate act of female self-pleasure through abstraction and color blocking. Beard focuses on empowerment and body positivity by depicting a common yet often shunned sexual act from a female perspective. The erotic scene replaces chauvinistic representations of desire by removing the male gaze from the female nude.
Study of Self includes a gallery certificate of authenticity. The artwork is in excellent condition.
About Helen Beard
Multidisciplinary artist Helen Beard is best known for her large scale color-field oil paintings depicting sexual imagery in a closely cropped format. Her paintings, collages, needlepoint, sculpture, and installations draw directly from pornographic and other found materials. Her artworks highlight sexual themes in a broad context, more specifically, she explores gender, eroticism, and sexual psychology with provocative scenes from a woman’s viewpoint.
Beard was born in Birmingham, England in 1971. She studied Art and Design at Bournemouth and Poole College in 1992. For 15 years Beard worked as a freelance wardrobe stylist and assistant art director for the film industry. She garnered the attention of artist and collector Damien Hirst and exhibited in the 2017 group show Simulation Skin: Selected Works from the Murderme Collection. Today, her art is part of major collections worldwide.
Beard uses a bold and raw approach for depicting female sexuality. With bright colors, Beard creates a complete contrast between the scenes she illustrates and vibrant hues present. Using condensed polychromatic shapes and forms that can often be indistinguishable, Beard combines abstraction and realism. The visible brush strokes to her work add to the overall erotic feel by creating visual rhythms and sensual movement. Her artistry offers a balance of strong impact imagery and simple composition and structure.
Through her paintings, installations, and needlework, Beard creates a constant dialogue about sexual desires from a female perspective. Unapologetic in her illustration of female sexual liberation, the artist invites the viewer to engage with the image. Her feminist approach to female sexual desire and need removes the male gaze through a reductive representation. A representation that challenges the notions of women being passive and devoid of desire in sex.
With provocative art, she presents female empowerment by celebrating sex from a female perspective. By making the female figure the active protagonist of her art, Beard celebrates female erotic fantasy. Her paintings are a new approach towards the representation of gender, one which highlights intimacy through the eyes of a woman.