Prototypes Are Classical Masterworks
It’s in the prototype, where the fine art of mannequin work can be seen. The prototype has a brief lifespan, due to the rigors of production. Veri Designs photographs its own work in progress, so it can present the prototype.
Blog Article Two:
How Mannequins Are The Modern Descendants of Classical Masterworks
Making a mannequin is a specialization within a specialization. First, one needs to become proficient at sculpting good-looking human forms, in the classical sense, second one needs to retain those aesthetics, while also layering in the aesthetic – and technical demands – of a functional mannequin.
It should be said here that sculpting good-looking human imagery of any kind is just hard. Think of ancient Greece and the Parthenon – or the more recent answer to the ancients – Neoclassic works from about 200 years ago. Quality is measured in a super refined smooth finish with bodies that stay very much within a narrow confine of measured, balanced, harmony. When done right this can be breathtakingly beautiful. The mannequin body form adheres to this criteria, making them a modern descendant of classical sculpture.
I have discovered that in many ways mannequin-making is not necessarily in competition with classical sculpture. It is much like how traditional orchestral music and jazz are parallel musical art-forms. Sure they are both ‘music’ and share much musical theory, but I think most musicians would agree, those similarities only scratch the surface. Mannequin-making at its best has an extraordinary aesthetic language of its own – not superior to the classics but by no means inferior either.
But in the end, aren’t mannequins just clothing racks? There is no doubt. So lets draw another parallel, and contextualize the work of Renaissance masters like Michelangelo, who were completely dependent on the church financially. His life’s work was a promotional tool for the authority of the Pope – like an ad, but chiseled in stone. Yet today we see them as rarified art objects, to be viewed for the pleasure of cultural enrichment, which was NOT their original intent.
Wait… wait, I know what you are thinking…. “I hope you don’t expect mannequins to ever rival the majesty and cultural staying power of the classics.” I have to agree that doesn’t seem likely. That is of course, if you, as most of us do, only see production mannequins. The technical process (for mass production) detracts from, and to a greater or lesser extent degrades prototype. This is no one’s fault. It is simply the reality of making something as subtle as a human body mass produceable. If everyone could see the best mannequin prototypes before they were exposed to the compromises of production, I think the field would have more credibility – and be perceived as vital art/design objects of cultural value. Veri Designs aspires to present the best mannequin prototypes and to bring that quality experience to everyone’s attention. We will keep you posted….