Feminine

Woman Disrobing by Anna Bocek

Anna Bocek is a Polish painter that draws inspiration from the theater, from the experiences of both the actors and the audience. However, she says that she does not try to accurately portray reality or send a message about it, but simply to focus on human feelings and present these emotions in her work. In this painting, the subject is a woman who is looking off into the distance as she removes her shirt. The background is a field of bright red divided by a single horizontal black line, which contrasts with the light blue of the woman’s shirt. The expression on the woman’s face is calm – perhaps a little surprised, but mostly at peace. She is disrobing herself, completely comfortable with showing her body and being vulnerable.

However, the left side of her face is shaded and dark, lending her a mysterious quality. The red of the background makes the pale woman stand out, and the passion and violence symbolized by the color seem at odds with her calm, unguarded demeanor. It makes one feel that there must be a lot of unstated, passionate emotion from this woman. Is she evaluating a lover as she disrobes, or staring off at the scenery in the distance as she prepares to swim? Is she merely daydreaming of some passionate fantasy as she gets ready to bathe?

What do you think the emotion behind this painting is?