Different Types of Canvas

Misericordia University

Different Type of Canvas
How many different types of canvases for art can there be. There is cotton and linen and even stretched but I have chosen the least thought about canvas probably of them all. The human body is the most unique beautiful yet slightly grotesque canvas I can think of. Picture a normal 54 year old man from Nevada, nothing special right until you take one view of him. Dennis Avner was this man, he was walking art. A unique form that didn’t involve a simple paint brush or video but the permanent modification of a beautiful body making into a beautiful and grotesque work of art all at the same time. He has stepped into the grotesque by defying boundaries of society, by deforming his body into a new piece of art, and by having a lack of fixity. He was constantly changing and modifying his body.
The Artist
The artist isn’t your typical artist as most would think of. Steve Haworth is a body modification artist based out of Phoenix, Arizona. He is responsible for making subdermal and transdermal implants popular. Specialized instruments were designed just for processes called dermal elevators. Surface bars, ear shaping, tongue splitting and magnetic implants are some of the modifications he has performed. According to Peter Overton of Grinding interview,
“If body modification is an art form, then Steve Haworth is a modern master. In a makeshift surgery at his home in Arizona he transforms thousands of individuals helping them find their inner freak. Remarkably, he has no formal medical qualifications, and is entirely self-taught.”
Haworth’s father was a manufacturer of surgical equipment. Steve followed in that eventually branching into piercing jewelry and body modification instruments. Haworth and his partner Jesse Jarrell created a silicone product that is currently used for large gauge piercings. Haworth brought about a whole new era of body modification according to BMEzine founder Shannon Larratt
”One could make the argument that Steve Haworth birthed the entire modern body modification community – before him there was simply piercing, scarification, and tattooing – all merely modern implementations of traditional art forms. In fact, Steve Haworth’s development of ‘3-D art’ implants is the single most significant thing to happen to body modification in the last 5,000 years.”
The Canvas

The canvas is unique in that it is a living canvas and one of a kind. As Connelly states “a body in the act of becoming… never finished, never completed” (Connelly 2003). This canvas lacks stability in the fact that the human body is constantly changing and becoming something different. Haworth causes his canvas to be ever changing by continually modifying the canvas a little at a time. Artists can choose canvas material and come close to duplicating the artwork but a living canvas is one of a kind and can never be duplicated by the artist or anyone else. This canvas is Dennis Avner also known as “catman”. Dennis was a normal navy man at one point in his life until advised by the chief of his clan to “follow the ways of the tiger” which was Dennis’s totem animal. The start of his body modifications were in the early 1980’s. Dennis has had facial tattoos to resemble the tiger stripes. He has also received facial and dermal implants that were done by the body modification artist Steve Haworth. Among some of the body art that Steve Haworth has done include subdermal implants to change the shape of his brow, forehead, and bridge of his nose. Septum relocation was done to flatten his nose to look more like a feline nose. Haworth injected silicone into Dennis’s lips, cheeks, chin, and other parts of his face to define the feline aspects. Three of the more permanent body modifications are the bifurcating of his upper lip, the filing and removal of teeth to have fitted fangs and sharpened teeth and the surgical reshaping of his ears to be more pointed. Along with all these he also had dermal implants placed on his upper and sides of his lip so he would be able to screw in whiskers to further resemble his cat totem. All of these are grotesque because “they are the aberration from ideal form or from accepted convention, to create the misshapen, ugly, exaggerated, or