• Misha Capnist

Corset or Armor? New Artwork by Belinda McNeely

Through the Clio Art Fair, I recently came into contact again with a new work by Belinda McNeely, who participated in the fair last October, and I cannot avoid expressing my enthusiasm for this sculpture.


Belinda McNeely, Her, 2020, Clay on canvas

Belinda McNeely is a woman who comes from the fashion and design field. She has recently approached the world of art creation with enthusiasm and a lot of talent, measuring herself with the modeling of leather, painting dense and organic pieces, and creating clay sculptures.


The latter creations have struck not only my attention but, above all, my imagination: Belinda McNeely manipulates raw clay, cooks it, paints it white, and embellishes it with gold leaf. The assembly is then placed on a black canvas in order to enhance the volumes created and to enhance the lights and shadow games that rest on these sculptures/installations.


Belinda McNeely, Budding, 2019 Clay and Gold Gilt Sculpture mounted on black canvas

McNeely is a passionate artist and has recently created Her, a sculpture that represents the upper part of a woman's torso in which not only her savoir-faire is underlined, but also suggests her confirmation in the fashion industry. This sculpture exalts the grace, the pride and the strength of femininity, and in contemplating it, we find ourselves contemplating the marriage of an evening dress enriched with sequins and Amazonian armor. It is reminiscent of not only the Greek myths of Athena, the warrior goddess, and Artemis, the goddess of hunting, but also the Roman and Renaissance allegories of Justice and Virtue. but which also suggests her


McNeely creates light and powerful movement with clay. Appearing to be modeled by the elements and the movements of her fingers, the clay can be compared with van Gogh's or Monet's impasto brushstrokes, and, at the same time, viewing this bodice of armor evokes a banquet by the czars and Joan of Arc before her battles. Boldini's attention to detail and the representation of Athena by Gustav Klimt seem to merge in this piece.




Parallel to this work by McNeely is the previous Adonis II: this time, it is a man's life-size Torso, which is modeled in leather. For this work, McNeely physically made a cast on the model's back, and according to her (but I don't doubt it), it was a very long job that took many hours and sessions just for the cast.


Belinda McNeely, Adonis II, 2019 Life-size leather sculpture mounted on white canvas 48"x 36" $

Belinda McNeely website

Belinda McNeely artworks on sale on Artsy.net

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