Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, has been said. Everything can be pretty depending on your own perspective but the natural beauty should not be the flawless or impeccable but the untouched one.
In the nowadays society the perception has been distorted towards beauty, we related it with perfection or defects that have been overcome but the main players are the fashion and media that have contributed to modify our imaginarium and our code of conduct towards it. Said that, I dare to say it just speeded it up, I truly believe society would have arrived to the same levels either way, my theory is that humanity is lost in an eternal pursuit of perfection and women have been the main affected by being obligated to modify their bodies to follow the beauty trends.
If art is also a reflection of a determined era then the artwork of Marlene Juliane represents a clear manifestation against the nowadays beauty stereotypes exclaiming her viewpoints. With the following interview I invite you to discover more about this german visual artist and her work that stands for a natural beauty.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your background as a visual artist?
I am 24 years old, living in Cologne, Germany and currently studying media and economic psychology.
I started to draw regularly one year ago when I got myself a draw pad. I wanted to experiment it in a different way and really liked it. Before that, I only drew bodies with pencils and without color. Starting to draw with an draw pad gave me new creative options and since then is the one that i use the most and the most liked technique.
Your work seems to have a clear artistic line, How was the creative process to get the style that now makes your work so noticeable.
I like the idea of drawing women in natural every-day environments and I really like to experiment with different body types. I think it makes the bodies of my figure more realistic when they have a small imperfection, especially if the viewer is able to identify it. I like the idea that the viewer may thinks “oh, i can relate to her“ or “that could be me“. I am trying to give the viewer a personal access to my work.
I saw you also draw your friends and people you know, how do you translate the reality of what your eyes are seeing into your visual world?
I use pictures of my friends to orientate on their physical proportions.
I will define your work as a manifestation against the female body as an object and to the beauty stereotypes but, What is the real message behind the illustration you do?
This is definitely a part of the message. Many people tell me that my pictures are feminist, because i draw ”real women“. Afterwards this makes sense to me and I think it’s nice when people feel empowered by my work. Personally I don’t like it when women are portrayed as perfect and flawless, mostly because I think it’s boring, you’ve seen images of this too often already. I, by my own, like to look at images of imperfect bodies and faces, that’s what is exciting, to explore the little special flaws.
I use body hair and black circles around the eyes as a stylistic style to display something that often feels irregular, even though it’s pretty normal.
The following question may sound so basic, but you know… each head is a world on its own. What is your definition of beauty and where to find it?
Yes, it is a basic question but it’s a very hard one too. It’s something I ask myself a lot and I don’t think I’ve found a perfect answer yet. But let me try:
When i was a child I was sit in the car with my mother and there was a guy who I considered “ugly“ and I asked her how this person could ever find someone who could be attracted to him. She told me, everyone has something lovable and beautiful on them if you look for it and if you like someone, you will find it. So basic answer to a basic question: Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.
Any message to all women who read us to encourage them to stand for a natural beauty?
Natural beauty is nice. But it is absolutely okay if a person likes an “unnatural“ appearance of herself/himself and wears a lot of make-up or gets a nose job for example. You should do what makes you feel good and comfortable with yourself. Honor every personal point of view regarding beauty and don’t put each other down. So I better like to encourage everyone to stand up for respect each other