This composition ties together the elegance of the naked human body with other symbols of elegance, femininity and grace: An elegant chair and ballet shoes.
The woman's strong lines of her rib, legs and arm and the curve of her back connect with the combination of linear and circular composition. The tiles and chair have a linear element: However, the angle of view is slightly diagonal, tying in with the circular elements of the woman's back and the chair. The seat itself is also rounded, helping to create the combination of linear and circular elements.
The chair itself has a clamshell shape, creating an elegant symbol of sexuality that is connected intimately with the woman. There is union to the piece, the woman's embrace of the chair being almost like the embrace of another woman.
The painting has a tremendous use of shadow. Wonderful black and white, there is almost a color to the luminosity of the woman, causing her to have a somewhat divine glow like many of the other pieces by Robert WK Clark. The shadow itself has a warmth to it, a welcoming darkness that almost seems to be like a womb.
The woman's elegance is created not only by her sharply defined lines in her body and the classical nature of the chair but also the ballet shoes she is wearing. This seems to be a frontal assault on traditional constructions of femininity that key elegance to modesty and decry the naked form. The piece makes a clear, simple statement: In fact, the naked, pure female form is elegant. The ballet dancer's accoutrements are necessary, and even then only to trigger the schema of the dancer. The woman also seems to be dancing in still form, moving in silence and in stillness. Her form flows like water, again symbolically representing the flow and ebb of the dance. This nude dancer is a dancer because of, not despite, her beautiful body.
© Robert WK Clark