Figurative art retains aspects of the real world as the subject matter and is predominantly matched to paintings. Commonly distorted it applies to art before abstract art and can also be seen in some photography although not directly linked. The meaning is very similar to other terms and where it is linked more towards paintings, its effect is less pronounced in photography and can relate to many other terms and genres.
An example of what I’d call figurative photography I look back to Meaghan Ogilvie again, but more of her discrete black and white photos. Where the majority of the photo is something unrelatable and more like a painting, the human head adds a real world aspect to focus upon. If this photo had the full body shown below the waterline and the water was clear, I wouldn’t class it as figurative as it’s all real world. Having the black water and the unknown sky creates a scene for a subject to be added into the frame, thus pushing towards the figurative art term.
The purpose of researching figurative art is back in PHO704 I started to include the human figure in my work, and I wanted to find some historical context or more recent work like Ogilvie. Also further inspiration to experiment with different amounts and shapes of the figure. Adding the figure into the unknown world seemed to add a sense of scale or focus point for the viewer, making it easier to experience the scene. It also creates opportunity to add human emotion rather than interpreting nature to my project, this could potentially show the effects nature has on the subject.