Male IEU 21.06.16 Object, Trope, Symbol

Andres Canovas led this meeting of the Unit which focuses on the representation of the human figure in relation to objects, on how they affect one another, and on how they alter the final work.


The subgenre of figure with objects has been practiced from ancient times to alter the meaning of the artwork, or add information about the person depicted.

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– Analyze the relationship established between the figure and the objects and between all their parts.

– Aim to depict that relationship (not so much the model, the objects or their parts).

– Allow the shapes, lines, colours and textures of the objects to contaminate those of the human figure.



Face of A Woman, 2004

Face of A Woman, 2004

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– Analyse the meaning of what you see and try to find a personal connection between you and: the figure, the objects, their relationship, the action that is taking place, etc.

– Substitute one part for its meaning as in a poetic trope: metaphor, synecdoche, metonymy, irony, etc.

– Allow some space for comedy.


A symbol is an object or action that means more than itself: Mirror = Vanity, Lion = Courage, Ribbon = Solidarity.

Symbolism -a reaction against Naturalism- defended that images should transcend reality in search of the higher world of ideas. Symbolists’ emphasis on subjectivity, emotional reaction through abstract forms and expressivity made a huge impact in generations of artists to come.

‘Everything we see hides another thing’, René Magritte.

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– Observe the scene in search of personal connections to what is not physically present: a memory, an image, a sound, a scent, an event, a fear, a longing, etc.

– Transfer those images on to your work.

– Free your active imagination in search of what you did not know you knew.

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