This painting by Rael Gough entitled 'Together We Are Beautiful' is another piece that provides inspiration to the creation of my self-portrait, it represents our community and our surroundings as one. In a world where there are different continents, different countries and different cultures, for me, this really puts everything into perspective, regardless of our differences, we are one, under one roof. Togetherness is expressed further by making all the dots as close as possible to eachother leaving no gaps. A message of equality is also conveyed in the painting, as people's heads are presented as equally sized dots. However, our differences are also expressed as there is a variety of colours used, this shows our differences, this is an important aspect of the painting as it shows that as individuals we are unique. But this does not imply that we should be individuals as the artist has packed all the variety of colours together to create a colourful community and the title 'Together We Are Beautiful'. Each individual in the painting is displayed as a circle on the canvas, I believe this is used in association with the Earth's spherical shape to imply we are all one community under Earth.
Sunday, 27 September 2009
This photograph taken by Ugene Hoshiko inspires a major aspect of my self-portrait and that is the emotion that the image delivers. In this photograph, 'happiness' is easily identifiable from the bright smiles on the subjects' faces to the variety of colours used throughout. What initially led me to selecting this image as inspiration was that when researching Dorian Gray I was interested by the hedonism Lord Henry expresses and how he believes that beauty is the only thing worth living for.
This led me to contemplate what I thought life was worth living for. After consideration, I settled on 'happiness', as without this feeling nothing in life is worth living for, including beauty. Beauty and money are often associated with 'happiness' but true happiness is not the result of these values and is the results of having a good conscience.
The variety of bright colours present in this picture provide a sense of 'happiness', this connotation is the result of years of advertising and the infallible views that our society holds. For example, McDonalds have successfully created a 'happy' persona around their company name by constantly using bright colours such as 'yellow' around their promotional items. Despite this, their actual food products are linked to sadness, as they are unhealthy foods that don't do your body any good but they still manage to successfully hide this fact through advertising.
The relation between colour and happiness is also expressed in the film 'Pleasantville' as the city in this film eventually realise that 'true happiness' can never be hidden and eventually the town turns to colour.
I particularly like this image as it shows 'happiness' through all ages, as we see a mother carrying her baby and both are revealing 'happiness' in their faces. I also enjoy outdoor activities alot, and the background displays this, so for me, this image is particularly appealing as it displays true happiness through outdoor activities.
In this photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, titled 'My Favourite Picture Of All My Works' we see a close up of one of her nieces. In this image, there is particular focus on the subject's face while there is some aberration on her hair and clothes. This encourages the audience to concentrate on her facial features, when looking into her eyes, you tend to wonder what she is looking at as she is not looking directly at the lens. As well as this, you are also curious to find out what she is thinking, as the serenity in her eyes make you feel calm while at the same time curious to know what's making her feel this way.This curiosity is also built up from the lighting, there is a light source from below, near to the direction she is looking at, making you more and more eager to see what she's seeing. The techniques used, as well as not being able to see what she sees also evokes envy in the viewers. In photography, when the subject look away from the lens, the picture tends to become less confrontational and the subject tends to distance itself from the picture or redirect attention to the object they are looking at. With the light hitting her face, you almost feel as if she is moving from the darkness, into the light.
In this painting titled Philosopher Reading, by Rembrandt, we see an old man, fairly large in figure, sitting by a window reading through some books. Already by identifying the aesthetics of this person, we can perceive him as an experienced man due to his beard and someone that doesn't do much physical activity due to both his weight and the fact that he is using the window as a means of relating to the outside world. A common convention in many paintings of people, is that when a window features, it draws connotations that the subject is a well travelled person. However, in this picture, the scenery outside of the window is not revealed, due to the sunlight and implies that he could also be using this to aid his reading. The subject of the painting is also sitting a fair way away from the painter, in what seems to be a very empty and spacious house, this evokes a sense of loneliness towards the subject. The characteristics being conveyed in this painting are enough to enable the viewer to assume the subject is a philosopher without even seeing the title of the painting, this is something that although doesn't inspire individual thinking, allows the painter to spread his message.
In this painting by Rembrandt, titled Christ Drives Money-Changers from the Temple, we have medium shot of every member in the painting, enough to make out their facial expressions. This is a very eventful picture in the sense that when you first lay your eyes on it, you don't have a starting point, you tend to hover over every subject frantically. The way in which it is framed adds to the commotion as every member is packed into the shot as if they are being caved in. A famous proverb, passed on into Art, is that "the eyes are the window to the soul", looking at each persons eyes in the painting reveals a lot about all the different emotions being felt at this moment in time, almost making you sympathise or relate to, in effect making you feel as part of the picture. Also once, you've taken in the emotion being felt by each person, you then follow their eyes to discover what they are look at, however, in this painting, doing this results in your eyes traveling in a continuos circle which again helps to create the frantic and rushed mood of the painting.
What struck me first about this self-portrait of Egon Schiele was that both his eyes look in different directions. This was interesting as he uses this technique in some of his other works, Portrait of the Artist's Wife, Seated 1918 and Mother and Two Children, 1917. Conventionally, when the subject is looking at the lens, it portrays a confrontational image, while looking away signifies that the subject is either looking at something important or that they are distancing themselves from the picture. In this case, I believe it could be a fusion of both, while the subject recognises he is being focused upon, there is so much on the subject's mind that he is slowly drifting away. However, Egon Schiele was also subject to much controversy during his lifetime over the obscenity of his paintings, as they were socially unacceptable; the originality of his work perhaps came from his decision to avoid conventions and maybe where this technique with the 'eyes' came from. There seems to be a drastic change in colour, when traveling from his face to his forehead, although in reality, they are usually of similar tone. I believe this could be to signify the amount of complications in his life, as it may connote the many problems that he dwells upon in his mind. The various directions used with the brush strokes on his clothing help associate his character with a puzzling and entangled lifestyle. In contrast the background is a very simple light colour, I believe this may be him trying to tell us that the world around him is simple, but the world that he lives in is full of complications and struggles.