Instead of doing the art gallery on campus that we see everyday, I waited until my friend’s art class did their installation projects because I thought it would give me a different perspective on fine arts and also show me a different side of visual art. My friend Knia Cotton, did a project that connected her FYS class, connecting gender, race, and class, and aligned it with her personality and it always seemed to have a connection she said. So she used a scale and always tried to balance it out throughout the year of her background and things she’s grown into becoming. As a libra, that is how she came up with the idea of a scale and used that to her advantage. She was very mindful on the personal articles she used to describe herself personally and used balled up papers from the FYS class to represent the class and her balancing. As I walked around I saw how people used the workshop as their studio and what it meant to them and how it changed their perspective on art and life. It amazes me on how different perspectives of art give the same meaning.
This project…if I can sum it up into a phrase is and will be: the death of me. It was a process that made me want to rip out my hair because I was sure my insecurities were going to get the best of me and make my drawing look absolutely nothing like me. I would definitely say that by the end of this project, I am satisfied with what I have drawn, but know I can do more to it to make it look like me. I started out very simple and to literal and I turned it into a complex drawing and very realistic in the sense of a self portrait. I spent countless hours readjusting my face and feeling as though I wasn’t quite understanding what we were supposed to be doing, but I think it was my brain trying to get the best of me and put the eye and lips the way eye and lips are supposed to be determined by society and my face was challenging me not to do that. Beyond just this project, this course taught me how to overlook the permanence of things and the literal forms of drawings and not think of what they actual are and attack the drawings from a more abstract thinking. It helps in a way because then you don’t think to make the eyes or nose a perfect societal nose, you make yours. I’ve learned I have my own style to everything I do and it is evident in my drawing, which means it must be evident in my personality, my writing, my academics, and my ability to succeed. How you see can also affect the way you think because it now is pairing visual imagery to a thought and creating a new process for you in your mind. Imagery gives a new level of understanding and vision.
In the movie Wasteland, the project that Muniz was directing had to deal with recycled garbage from the largest landfill. He took pictures of members from the landfill area and blew them up in a warehouse area in the city and out lined them and recreated them from nothing, but the recycled garbage. The proceeds from the project and some of the subjects in the pictures came from a group called ACAMJG at the landfill Gramacho. To these groups, Vik Muniz brings hope and a new sense of life. He shows them that there is more to life than picking garbage and they can be doing more for themselves and their family. For him they bring stories to their art. They are more than just workers or pickers. They are readers, businessman, mothers, cookers, and providers. Throughout the movie, you see the Brazilian class system and how it goes into play within the pickers and the city. Vik Muniz even talks about how his family grew up and how he wasn’t the richest kid growing up, but he now lives a very comfortable life. A major problem in the project that his wife, himself, and his partner spoke about was they didn’t want to give these people a new sense of living for a year to just take it all away because they felt it would be wrong. It would be inhumane to them and a little rude to do so. The wife felt it was giving them hop of a better life by taking them to see a better world then snatching it away. Vik on the other hand felt like it was widening their perspective to what their lives could be if they put their minds to something. It was giving them something to look forward to if they wanted it. As for long term implications, they were going to be out of work for about a year or so working with him, but would be getting paid a little better and then that would get taken away…then what? What’s their next move? I guess that could be another issue if you ask me…I felt that was a problem I would have thought about. Vik’s projects from early work and this project relate in the sense that he uses outside objects to recreate a photo. The materials he uses tells the stories of his subjects and describe their life deeper than expected. For instance his earlier projects dealt with carrriban children and using sugar to make it- sort of abstract art. He used materials and media that people wastefully use to create something beautifully. He draws his inspiration from the people around him I think. He sees they have a lot to offer and he wants to the change the lives with the material people use everyday…his motivations are stepping away from fine arts and t not be so restrictive. I believe he is defying art by stepping outside the box and being this creative mind and showing us what the world needs to see…a story through material.
The critiques I was given from class were very insightful and connected with what I thought of my own. The distinctive unifying formal qualities for my dignified artwork are lines. The structured and bold straightness of it shows how clear and upright it is. The shape of it was also right on point with one another and did not go off tangent, they were defined. As for vulgar, I would say line also was the common form because of the shard jagged edges of her hair and of the object. It wasn’t something formal or bold, it was off guard and came off weird. The materiality of the subject relates to the literal form in dignified because I automatically thought of a bold strong structure when I put a cross. Then when I made my still life I made it of spoons because I thought of dignified as royal and in the medieval days to have silverware, you were considered rich and on top- gave you some reputation of dignity. As for vulgar, I made my roommate put on a NFL jersey, a sport of brute violence and getting dirty, with her hair all over the place, and a soap bar in her hand. I figured when you get in trouble for saying something out of line, you got your mouth washed out with soap. The material was all used with a purpose and there was no structure. Summing it up, in my caption, I also mentioned that I put my still lives in black and white because there is never a gray area. You know when you’ve been vulgar and you know when you are a dignified person, there is nothing to be questioned about. Through this project I’ve learned how to start vague and focus my sight and concentration. It was a difficult process because for a long time I felt as though I was just playing around and doing absolutely nothing, but at the end, every step was needed to get me to the end successfully. The point of this project in visual art is to expand our perspectives and range with going from specific to answer to vague, narrow, specific, then answer. It’s a process. While I was looking around at the projects that I didn’t do, I really liked how they took an actual animal, but made up their own animal and named it with their own name and gave it their own characteristics. IT connects because they too had to start big and bring their focus in on something small. Their range was from animals all over the world and they could pick characteristics from anywhere and their projects came out beautiful!
The two that I really liked are Samila’s and Chanice’s. I think Samila’s animal is beautifully done and I love how her animal’s body is golden, but the inside has the bad of the word written. It’s a contradiction in itself, but shows us in a sense how most of the word is. Our appearance can be so graceful and beautiful, but inside we have a lot built up. As for Chanice, her drawings/still lives came off just as her words intended. I remember actually working with her through the entire process and it was a struggle, but she pulled through nicely. I love how her photos definitely keep the same shape and forms all around. Like for instance, in the tough. the centrality of the tools is the same as the abstract drawing with the way the lines bring the shape out.
In conclusion, if I had another week to work on this project, I would switch the still life of my vulgar photo and use objects rather than a person. I think it would have sent the message across a little better. Visual analysis is the 3 parted way of describing an art piece and explaining what you see. The first part is what you see in terms of form, second part is what you know or what can be researched, and the third part is putting 1 and 2 together.
Today in class we we’re to pass around our sketches and have our classmates give us feedback on the work that we’ve done over the weekend. I was nervous at first because it was definitely a difficult process for me when I got to my second word because I could not abstractly get my point across. As for the the feedback, I feel that I got some adequate points. I know what I need to do. I know what’s working for my compositions and what is hurting them. I think what my classmates appreciated was the fun I had with one of my words, but what they really do not know is that it really cause me the most stress. I thought the ones that had the most artistic creativity in their eyes were the ones that needed the most fixing. I did not have 100 sketches, I had 96, 48 for each one. I personally have favorites that I can see me expanding on to create my project and I couldn’t be happier to move forward.
Now that we all have completed this assignment, there’s this weight lifted off of everyone’s chest. Looking at everyone’s work mounted on the wall, it was a good feeling because finally we saw what our hard work has done and it was rewarding. I learned about precision, values, densities, form, contrast, and mounting. At the beginning of this project, I didn’t think I would learn all of these aspects in art. I was only focused on learning values of color. My biggest frustration of the project was how permanent things were. I had a couple places on my box where the edges didn’t meet exactly where I wanted them to meet and also at times I felt like I was doing something was wrong. Another frustration I had was cutting with the x-acto knife, it would go into the actual project and then I would have to start all over or it would not line up with the ruler where it needed to be cut. This tied into visual art because it added another perspective which we wouldn’t be able to see by just drawing. Shading and value helped us see how value influences form. Visual art isn’t just drawing and how angles create and image, but how shades and tints can influence an image and create a form.
This process for this project, kept me completely on my toes. I was frustrated during the recreating of the densities and the cutting because it was not coming out the way I wanted. I have multiple sheets where I started the densities and did not like them AT ALL so I started over completely. As I started to cut my pieces out, I was noticing how precise I really needed to be and how difficult it really was to keep the edges and shapes together without either over cutting or getting the edge in the correct spot. I like the pattern I chose though because it presented a challenge that I did not even think it was going to create. Looking on to the process of the actual project, it was a difficult one, but I learned a lot along the way while coming to the completion of it.