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Woman as a subject

Friday, 07 March 2014 11:41 Written by Lorena Zamora Bentancourt

Costa preferred to study the female form in her representations of the human figure. These were principally indigenous girls, teenagers and adults, wearing traditional outfits or busy with their daily tasks. Some were fictitious characters and others involved an intimate appreciation of the female body. Her first nudes expressed the sensuality of the forms and skin color of indigenous women, such as the paintings Two Nudes and Female Nude, both from 1948. The grotesque deformation of the curves is a recognition of the inherent beauty of a nude that goes beyond stereotypes. Carlos Monsiváis wrote about her: Costa “chooses the woman as a perfect image. In her work female figures depict the utopia of free forms (…) and in the unrepeatable, female sensuality is the equivalent of creation.” In one ingenious painting produced in 1942, The Duel, the artist represents an ironic and fictitious scene: two women wearing elegant clothes and hats, but with bare torsos and holding fencing foils. It is fantasy game with an amusing choice of characters.

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