Not for Medical Use




Howard, Emily


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Throughout the history of art, artists have always sought to find ways to recreate the human form in its most perfect representation. They have studied the weight and movement of the body inside and out to show the ideal figure in its totality, which has aided in the progress of medical science. This is in the pursuit of representing beauty and has led to the human figure being idealized on the surface without embracing imperfections. This does not leave room for the exploration of representing the imperfect or ill body according to social standards. One in three hundred Americans is diagnosed with a condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and eighty percent of those are women. Changing the perception of chronic illness or disabilities can be achieved through the research of in disabilities studies and artists’s representations of the disabled form in different art mediums. Specific Copious research about differential treatment by gender and accounts of gender bias in the medical arts informs a feminist message perspective in this research. Artists should actively be seeking a way to bridge the gap between art and scientific. This body of work seeks to represent the human figure in its imperfections and bring awareness to the hidden illnesses that affect a persons’s body that make it different and create ancontribute to individuality. Modern Contemporary artists such as Marc Quinn, Diane Arbus, Kiki Smith and others have depicted their own struggles and familiarities with health issues, medical experiences, gender bias and even how ways in which the female form is depicted in art. By using studies of art history in its the medical context, its role in representing and shaping societies’ viewsocietal views of the human figure, and how it has affected the view point of modern and contemporary artists, this body of work will bring attention to unseen illnesses and the acceptance of the imperfections of the human form. Further research and representation through personal experiences may can broaden the progress scope of this field of study.


A thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF FINE ARTS in STUDIO ART from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.


art, ceramic, chronic illness, dis/ability, disease and cure, representation and the invisible



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