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Irina process portfolio 2016

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Irina process portfolio 2016

  1. 1. Artist Investigation Before I created artworks of my own, I looked into the work of other artists to investigate their use of formal elements to convey their thematic ideas. On this page and the next, I’ve analyzed the artworks of Nancy Spero and Romare Bearden, to get a better idea of how to incorporate color and composition in human portraits.
  2. 2. Ideas for my work: •  Limited palette – Grayscale/sepia •  Cut up/piecemeal figures •  Abstract •  Collage style – use of found materials •  Textures •  Theme regarding a social issue Artist Investigation
  3. 3. Juxtaposition– Multimedia (Acrylic and Paper-cut) Like how Nancy Spero and Romare Bearden used broken-up figures to tell the stories of oppressed groups, I decided to tell the story of transgernderism.This was also inspired by the suicide of a trangender-inclined teen in the United States. Here is my initial planning - I painted in the first layers and wrote out ideas as I worked, brainstorming the symbolism that I could add into the painting.
  4. 4. Notes: •  As I’ve made continuous changes to the piece, I documented my process and my reflections on the techniques used. I also wrote down the intended function/significance of particular elements of the piece •  Key points: •  I repainted both sides of the face to add to it’s 3D effect – I used darker colors to emphasize the effects of the lighting. This worked best for the male side •  I cut out black lace- patterend papercuts to add to the black background – symbolizes hidden femininity.
  5. 5. Notes: •  Continued from the prev. page •  Key points: •  I attached the papercut to the painting, and also changed the 3D torn-off paper to black.The edges are more defined, and it represents better the dark and oppressing mask of society. •  The man’s shirt is texturized with newspaper, to add to the sense of societal pressures – the fear of being watched and judged.
  6. 6. Artist Statement In this piece, I am exploring the concept of transgenderism.The person I depicted is a born male, but one who is at heart inclined to be female. (This was inspired by the suicide of a transgender teen, who took his own life due to his parents’ strong disapproval.) In this piece, the man and his surroundings are depicted in black and white - a monochrome color scheme to match the monotonous nature of society. Everyone is expected to conform to societal conventions, and this man does too, blending in with his average features and black- and-white appearance. He matches himself with societal values, knowing that if he were to come out with his true self, he would be treated as a freak show, plastered to the news and subject to public opinion – as symbolized through his shirt.Thus, the only way he reveals his personality is through his earring and the patterns around him – both very subtle indicators.The earrings are of a design that is socially acceptable for men, and the background, though fanciful and feminine, is black-on-black, blending into the background and camouflaging itself. Through the action of tearing away half of his face, he is tearing away the mask he puts on in society, revealing his true spiritual inclinations – he feels like a woman at heart. However, this is merely his inner world, one that he is unable to truly disclose. He is thus in conflict with himself due to the pressures of society.
  7. 7. Acrylic Painting To improve my skills with acrylic, I experimented with painting more subject matters – buildings, trees, skies. I experimented with the use of different brushes as well – fan brushes for the tree and skies. This is part of the process for a painting of a college building – I learned to manipulate cool and warm colors and to combine complementary colors.
  8. 8. Multimedia – Acrylic and Papercut Notes: In this new piece, I wished to paint something with a dream-like and surreal atmosphere – a girl in a dream. I used a very limited palette and abstract flowers/brush strokes as a background to maximize this ambience. Again, as I edited the painting, I wrote reflections for each step, pointing out room for improvements.
  9. 9. Key Points: •  As I continued to repaint the face to fix the skewed anatomy, I felt like it was losing its initial naturalism – the softness of the skin. •  The piece seems empty with just the girl with the roses, so I experimented with adding a 3D dimension – adding “rose vines” that comes out of the painting wrapped around the girl’s arm. I crafted these with wires and white paper stems, though it seemed slightly out of place •  I considered, in the reflections, other ways I could build upon the piece (such as more roses and dripping paint).
  10. 10. Key Points: •  I decided upon a completely new direction for the painting – to use papercut roses as the focal point instead of the original face. •  The excessive dripping of the paint is inspired by the artist Sheng Qi •  The dripping roses, as well as the large scale papercut, will better convey the eerie and ethereal ambience.The girl is almost devoured by the flowers •  The use of the limited palette of primary colors make the painting visually intense – bold and direct.
  11. 11. Artist Statement  In this piece, I am exploring the ethereal nature of dreams – the merging of horrors and fantasy, of our desires, anxieties, and fears. Everything melts together, like the roses, dripping trails of blue and red, and the hand, melting down into purples.The girl disappears under the pile of roses, the dream overwhelming her, fantasy taking over reality.The unrealistic colors further the dream-like atmosphere, and the long paint trails give it a ghostly effect – both unsettling for the dream’s possibly nightmarish qualities, as well as its disappearance come morning.   There are layers to the dream – the background, the painted roses, then the paper- cut. I experimented with a variety of effects and found this layering and juxtaposition most effective, as the colors and texture builds up upon each other, a multi-layered dream and visually interesting canvas. Notes: •  Written on the left are my final thoughts on the piece; on the experience I gained regarding acrylic painting, and on how I felt each portion of the piece turned out – in regards to the atmosphere created. •  To the right, the side-view of the piece gives a better idea of the shadows cast by the papercut (suspended with silver needles).This adds to the eerie theme.
  12. 12. Installation – Gourds and Wires In this exploration of the 3D medium, I decided to utilize gourds harvested from my backyard to embody the spirit of struggling – the gourds represent humans trapped in a system, wishing to burst out.
  13. 13. To better express the theme of oppression, I painted the “cage” black Key Points: •  The set-up from the previous page was a trial-run to see the overall effect. I then disassembled the piece to repaint the “cage”, and used better materials (proper wires) to secure the gourds. •  The “cage” is two IKEA drawers wired together •  The different gourds represent different people in society – the big and powerful, the young, the old, all squeezed together, having to work together and support one another in the quest to burst out.
  14. 14. Artist Statement In this piece, I am exploring the theme of breaking free/fighting against an oppressive force – to bring to reality an ethereal dream. The bottle gourds represent the individuals – there are large, powerful ones, smaller ones, and old/crippled ones.They lend each other their strength, with some sacrificed as footholds at the bottom, to work towards the common goal of bursting out of the black cage.They are squeezed together, but under these conditions are multiplying, building up their power, and are slowly forcing the cage open.They may be currently restrained, their smooth, organic forms imprisoned in the man-made construct, but they have a net inclination of going upwards and outwards.The struggle may be tough and tedious, but will one day yield solid results.
  15. 15. Paper-cut Aside from the acrylic + papercut pieces, I also created pure papercut works. In this set, I wished to once again depict a fantastical scene – juxtaposition of hope and despair. Since I’ve had practice with papercutting, I do not need much exploration of the medium. I brainstormed the elements/symbols I wished to include, and sketched out their general positions in the composition. I made sure to keep the design fluid, so as to keep it intact despite having intricate details.
  16. 16. Key Points: •  In the first papercut, the composition seems slightly too chaotic – it may have been better to only focus on the girl. Papercutting is best for designs, and is not ideal for sceneries such as beaches. •  Adding another piece may make the work look more balanced – I added a “prequel” to the story – the girl picking out the roses in the garden as she waits for her beloved to come back in the ship. (As opposed to in the first piece, where the girl is sitting by the shipwreck, holding the bundle of roses). •  I juxtaposed the intricate roses and the ship’s ropes with the uncut blocks of the girl’s dress and the ship’s sails, so the piece isn’t completely filled with patterns.
  17. 17. Key Points: •  To add to the papercuts’ visual depth, I added a second background layer for each one. These are cut with similar yet simpler patters than the top layer, so that the black overall background would still show through. •  The colors add another dimension of emotions – melancholy and hope of the blue and green. •  To better connect the pieces together, I may consider adding a transition in between – an hourglass to signify the passage of time (see next page)
  18. 18. Artist Statement Here, I am once again depicting an ethereal scene/story.The papercut medium is suited for intricate details, such as my symbols of the flowers, wings, and chains for hope, sorrow, and despair. The white paper is a symbol of purity, as the young girl awaits the return of her beloved – but he, shipwrecked, will never return.The black backdrop isolates her, and the butterflies chained to her back symbolizes her hopeless yearning for flight – to join him in the skies.The fan shape adds to the poetic nature of the story, as the girl is surrounded by beauty but trapped in her anguish. Overall, it fits with my theme of the clash and struggle between ethereal dreams and reality.

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