Initially when given this project I thought about the different ways of representing a collection, in class we explored this concept by collecting people’s rings and seeing how we could present them, we came up with the concept of the most value the issue we then found was that should it be monetary value or sentimental value? We then developed this idea further and contemplated what the most valuable thing that we had on us was, we collectively came up with the concept that our IDs were the most valuable item we all had on us because they allowed us to have to freedom to get into places and allow us to have an identity, if someone were to take that away that our identity would be lost as we wouldn’t not be able to prove our own identity.
The concept of identities then got me inspired to peruse the theme of identities with in society the concept of lost identities. I am not sure how I am going to explore this theme yet but I think that it should revolve around people and the documentation of personalities.
After the lecture one artist that really stood out to me was Hans Eijkelboom, his depiction of a unified society that thinks they are all individuals was really fascinating. I think that his idea of a society that is made up of people trying to be individuals but instead all end up morphing into one collective is very interesting but can be developed further with only individual portraits.
When exploring the idea of personalities and people combined I straight away thought of Andy Warhol’s polaroid’s that he did in the 70s, these polaroid’s depict a variety of colourful and veracious characters and you are able to tell that they are free to move and do as they wish without instruction from Warhol. The polaroid’s almost look as if the person is unaware that they are be photographed because it looks so natural and fluid.
I wish to take inspiration from Warhol’s polaroid’s and use the idea of capturing a free-flowing character in a snap shot however, my polaroid’s will have a deeper meaning as I want to explore the fact that we all think we are unique and individuals, but If you look around you at your nearest and dearest then you will realise that your personality or style had come from one of them. Further more that we are all influenced or are influencers for other people. You will find pieces of your character and personality in the people who you chose to surround yourself with, therefore no one is truly unique.
I pan on presenting these polaroid’s all attached to one another to highlight that we all are similar and we all intergrade as a confirmative society.
Today I finished of my final piece of this collection project, I was unable to finish off both of the polaroid strips therefore I was only able to present the original polaroid’s stitched together. The finished idea it’s self represents the social conformity within society. The first strip of polaroids represents the idealism that we are all unique and individual, that if you took a look at all the faces you would see a diverse selection of people with few initial links. However, when moving on to the second strip of polaroid’s you are able to see that the faces have been disfigured and merged with the surrounding people’s faces. This is to represent that even though we think we are all individuals we are not. The people who surround you all withhold fragments of your personally and vice versa, your best friends will have the same sense of humour as you and you share personality and opinion traits with your parents, not to mention genes and DNA. Therefore, in a world surrounded by individuals we are all slight versions of one another.
On the other hand, I also contradict myself with the flip side that because each disfiguration of the face is different therefore proves that there are some individuals. As a society in whole we are still controlled by conformity and sub groups, but within these groups that people and ourselves put us in there are many individuals and unique characters.
My inspiration for this project was Andy Warhol’s selection of polaroid’s, I found that fascinating to look at and felt that they had a rhythm to them that I wanted to capture in my own polaroid’s.
Basic learning of computer software and background in to found footage.
We after going through how to use the software I then played around the concept of found footage and made a small video where I explored the fading in and out of visual and sound effects.
Then brainstormed ideas that interested me and came up with exploring the American politics more specify Trump, this is such a current subject matter that I think it would be interesting to put a different spin on the debate that he shouldn’t be president.
When scrolling though found footage I found a video of two vintage strippers from approx. the late 1950, s to early 60s. I thought that this could have a good link between trump because he is always exploiting women and the fact that these women are undressing could be very ironic and may make people feel very uncomfortable.
DAY 2 & 3
The main concept that I wanted to explore was all the derogatory things Trump as said over the years and to put them conjunction with each other to create a shocking and overwhelming audio/sensory experience. I managed to create this by editing out short clips of interviews he has given or clips of people recording him without realising. I cropped each sentence down so that only the derogatory or sexist term was on show I then played around with the speeds of the voice and the pitch of the voice. I also found that if I overlapped some of the things he said then it came across as very overpowering and a little intimidating which I thought was amazing seeing as in real life he is a very overpowering character who intimidated and powers over a lot of women but he also has the same effect even when it is only his voice depicted. Whether that is because we relate the voice to the person or weather his vocal mannerisms are really that potent is a question still to be looked into.
The film itself is meant to be an audio focused film rather than a visual focused film therefore when looking at the production of the film it may look too simplistic, the reason for making it a simplistic film visually is because I think that if the visual effects were as overpowering as the audio then the whole film would be too much and an overload on the senses. The idea of have a simpler film is to balance the whole experience out, the film itself plays very well with the bustling audio because it calms you and draws you in with intrigue. At the start most people will feel uncomfortable and unsure where to look or what to think about the strippers but as the film continues you will realise that the women are there to create an ironic and derogatory environment, they should highlight the fact that trump is depicted women as these figures that are only there to please men (which is what these women are doing) but that women chose to do what they want with their bodies for themselves and not for men and the fact these women are stripping is playing to what trump is saying but it also acts as a slight mockery to his judgment.
in preparation for day one of this project I created a collage in my sketchbook linking to a sole idea of "the perfect woman". when I first read the brief, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, I wanted to create a series of sculptures that depicted the characteristics of "the perfect woman" and exaggerate them to an extent that they almost become comical.
due to the fact that I already knew what I wanted to do, I was able to start my project straight away. I started by creating the wooden support structure that will be the base for me to lay and build up my plaster. I created a long pair of legs, an overly skinny waist in the shape of an hour glass, a plump pair of lips, a large but pert set of breasts and a toned and large bottom.
Initial idea wasn’t working I came to a block and I rushed into the idea of completing the “generic women” too quickly.
I spoke to Adrien and discussed the idea process of making it more conceptual rather than looking at a piece of art and understanding what it is, I should make people make their own judgments on my piece first and then learn what it is about.
We when brainstormed what the most non-relatable thing would be to a woman and her emptions. This is when I came up with the concept of using everyday inanimate objects and to personify a women’s personally on to them.
today was our independent study day where I created a whole new sculpture piece. I stated off by creating observational drawings of my first attempt of the sculpture project, I created these by using a number of techniques including non- looking drawings, continuous line drawings and tonal drawings using oil pastels. my favourite out of all of these was the non -looking drawing because it was very organic and free flowing. to create the non -looking drawing I used black biro, this gave it a smooth texture and made the drawing look simplistic and to over complicated. with the continuous line drawing I used black biro again but also used a mustard coloured oil pastels to create tone and to define where the shadows were on the sculpture. I think this worked really well and created a depth to the drawing, the colours themselves also really complemented each other.
After completing my observational drawings, I then annotated in my book the reason for producing another sculpture in the project, the reason for this is stated above in day 2 but in simple terms my idea for my first attempt was too obvious and the viewer was able to understand the concept straight away, whereas my new idea is a lot more conceptual and thought provoking.
when first brainstorming ideas for confidence when embodies on an inanimate object, the first thing that came to mind was bight bold colours that stood out in a crowd, the concept of bold patterns also came to mind therefore I came up with the pattern of flowers and mandala esc designs. these designs partnered with the bold colours really stand out on the bottle and for me scream confidence. the reason for the beer bottle is simple because it was the first thing I thought of when brainstorming everyday inanimate objects, looking back on it the beer bottle has a lovely irony about it because its a very early breakable object and if it were to smash it would be impossible to put back together to the exact state. this when linked to the human side of the personalities shows that confidence is just an outer coating and that it can be easily destroyed because its only a cover and its not a whole personality.
the painting of the bottle took me 5 hours this is because there is so much detail in it. the reason I opted for a very detailed pattern is because I wanted to portray the fact that a woman's personality and confidents is to do with lots of factors and there are many layers to each factor. I used the same block colours red, blue, green and yellow repetitively through out the painting because I didn't want to over complicate the bottle, the use of complex patterns is a sensory overload in its self and if I were to use lots of different shades of colour I fear that the viewers eyes would not know where to look. I think it would also detract from the detailed patterns on the bottle.
after completing the bottle I then created a quick observational drawing that I gave myself a time limit for . I created this drawing with only the use of a black bio, this is because its only a taster of what the bottle looks like, if I were to do it in colour I think that it would give too much away, plus the fact that it wouldn't be completely accurate therefore would be an injustice to the piece of art.
the last thing that I did on this day was to the create the glove that represent the personality of insecurity. for this glove there was a lot of experimentation used, when I thought of insecurities I thought of someone being venerable therefore immediately came up with the idea of the rips in the gloves. I created this by using my scalpel and simply cutting into the fabric, I cut the gloves where I thought the persons hand would be most venerable so I made a big cut down the side of the hand and also cut one of the tip off one of the fingers, I also made a few more sporadical cuts to the glove.
the reason for using the washing up glove was because its a very easily accessible to common object that most people have in their household, therefore coming back to the thought process what we overlook the everyday items that have an impact on our lives, I also like the material of the gloves and the way I was able to use them and cut them so easily.
I then thought of the idea of using wax and dripping in on the gloves to portray the ongoing emotions and insecurities that some women have. I only had red wax therefore when dripping it on the gloves it gave it a violent feel to it, this was not intended but I like the way that its turn out because I think it symbolise that heart ache and suffering that some women go through and the internal suffering that they have to endure.
the final product will be the glove holding the bottle to symbolise that underneath this confidant outer layer on a woman is this insecure inner core that is venerable and needs to be protected. I would like to present this sculpture on a white wall in an art gallery where the hand is coming out of the wall so that the viewer is an able to fully interact with it. inside the glove will be a wooden model of a human’s arm and hand.
I started off today designing the inner section of my glove, I was unable to get hold/create a wooden hand therefore I created a wooden plank that attached to the wall and created the shape of fingers with lolly pop sticks. This even though it wasn’t the ideal mould was satisfactory and look good. If I were to have more time I would have made a sculpture of a wooden hand that fit inside the glove.
After finished the wooden support it was time for crit. When it came to my crit I allowed the people in my group to discuss my piece of work before I reviled what it was about. When they first looked the piece the first thing that everyone said was that the patterning and decoration on the bottle was beautiful and really stood out. They also commented on the fact that the glove and the bottle contrasted each other and that the bottle almost looked out of place next to the glove.
When reliving the idea behind my piece and the concept behind that bottle, one person in my group said that she found the relationship between the personality of confidence and the beer bottle really fitting and interesting because she made the link between being drunk and the fact that after drinking people become more confident and come out of their shell. This really surprised me because it is such an obvious observation that I had over looked and mot made the link too. However, someone else in my group made the view point of the irony of the glass bottle and the fact that confidence can be broken so easily. This pleased me when hearing this because that was exactly the concept that I came up with and had not told anyone my thought process. This conveys to me that my piece even though conceptual is still able to be read and understood.
Someone asked me if the painting on the bottle was inspired by an artist because it reminded her of athletics of traditional Russian painting, more specifically the decor on Russian dolls. To this question I replayed that I did not base it on any artists but that I had an idea in my head of the pattern I wished to paint and that they were based on the doodles that I normally do in note books when I am bored. The reason for choosing this pattern is because it stood out to me as being bold, girly and indicate. However, after this person comments I could see where she was coming from and made me view the patterns in a different way.
When going on to the concept behind the rubber glove, one of the first things someone said was that did I chose the rubber glove as a symbol of the stereotypical female item. This was not my intention at all by when this person said this I immediately understood her viewing point and made me think that if I was her viewing my piece that is the exact same conclusion I would draw. This opened my eyes to other people’s perception on the meaning behind the glove when to me there was no original deep meaning behind the actual glove itself, just the material that it was made from. Even though this view point was not intended I like the way that it has turned out and the ideas and thoughts that it has raised, I like it because I think that it is important to raise these stereotypes as they are clearly still out there when they shouldn’t be. The fact that when seeing a rubber washing up glove someone says is that for a woman should not happen and I think that I highlights that these stereotypes shouldn’t be out in the open.
DAY 1 - 8th October 2018
today was the first day of my altered spaces painting project, we started of the day with a lecture in which we were presented with a number of post conceptual artists each displaying their own methodologies. one artist that stood out the most for me was Njideka Akunyili Crosby, her painting of tea time in new heaven - 2013 really court my eye. I loved her concept of removing people from such a human scene, the painting portrays a dining room table scene with the both Nigerian and American products on the table, there is also wall paper on the walls with makes the viewer unable to emerge themselves in the paining and only allows them to look in on the scene. the reason why I loved this paining so much is because of the say that she removes elements from the scene (people) so that it gives the paining a whole different meaning.
After the lecture, I then went and researched and brainstormed ideas for my project/final piece. when coming up with ideas I knew that I wanted it to revolve around people and the mass of populations therefore I researched photographs of crowds of people, with this I then went of on a tangent and thought of stampedes and football stadiums - more specifically the Hillsborough disaster. this idea fascinated because it reminded me mass populations and the poverty within some counties again more specifically India.
India as a country intrigues me because it is one of the most populated countries in the word but it is also one of the most vibrant and colourful countries in the world which I think disguises the poverty and harsh lifestyle of the class system. in relation with the theme of stampedes I then brainstormed the Indian class system with the lower class being on the forefront of my research, I came across many images of large amounts of people in confined spaces for example in markets, boats and getting into trains. one train scene stood out the most to me and it depicted a violent and overwhelming scene of people trying to get onto a train that was already full. this picture even though barbaric and shocking to look at seemed familiar and almost acceptable, this I think is because we have seen pictures like this all over the news and the bright colours of people’s clothes mixed in vibrant colours of spices and food they are carrying are eye catting.
Due to this I then experimented with turning the images of the train scenes into black and white. I then discovered that my editing the colour of the image creates a drastic change on the way in which we interpret an image. for example, when turning this particular image into black and white it made it look like there was a sea of people all running away from danger or contrasting it also looked like and image out of a concentration camp as the people standing on top of the trains almost looked like guards and the people getting on to the train looked like they were being forced. this image really fascinated and intrigues me and I wish to carry on using it further and developing ideas around it. one idea that I have come up with is to make the image a lot larger so that from afar the image looks like a sea of people and you're unable to distinguish people but from up close there will be a lot of detail of clothes and facial features.
DAY 2 - 9th October 2018
Today we started of the day with another lecture, this time exploring more artists the relate to the theme of altered spaces. one artist that interested me was Nigel Cook, we had covered Nigel Cook in a previous lecture only a day before but it was watching a clip of him explaining his work process today that really inspired me. Cook talked about the way he started off his paintings, he described how he always off by painting the canvas green and then does quick sketches of this work on top. after doing this he then paints in whole canvas white in order to start again, however the white is not the same shade as it would have been if it were to be painted straight on the canvas, it now has a new demotion to it and withholds a layer of the paining. what I found intriguing about Cooks' work is that he is able to change the viewing point of his art by adding the number of layers and the art its self then has a ghostly present about it because of the layered and textured backgrounds.
After completing the lecture, I then thought of ways in which I wanted to present my piece of work, I came up with the idea of drawing my work onto think canvas. I wanted to use canvas because it resembles the material and texture of cloth which I relate to poverty and hardship. I wanted the theme of poverty to be very key within my painting because I think that it Is generally overlooked when talking about India, I want to show the real India stopped back without all of the colour to protect it.
I started off by creating a wash on my canvas that had black and brown tones in it, I did this because I wanted to create a depth to my background and to make it look as if the characters were in a smog almost.
DAY 3 – 11thOctober
Today I continued to work on my painting and also continued to document my progress. I have decided to present my final piece alongside pictures of the progress, I have chosen to do this because I have created so many different layers to the painting that I want people to be able to understand and appreciate the whole piece of art, not just what they see at first sight. The way in which I am going to present my progress will show the gradual build-up of people as I drew them, I think this is be a really important element to my piece because it shows the space of my canvas being taken up and will also emphasise the lack of space as the people fill up the canvas which is the pain point of my painting. I found inspiration in Nigel Cook for my documentation process, I really loved the way that he took stop motion pictures of his work and then set them out in a film documentation process, I think that It showed a greater insight into his work and without the use of the stop motion we as the viewer would not know that there are so many layers and steps to his paintings.
The painting itself is still not finished yet, I don’t think this is a problem but I do think that I may have given myself a too large of a project for just one week. In the future, I would scale it down and therefore have more time to perfect it.
Place – project reflection
When first thinking of ideas for the place project I came up with scenes from my childhood memory, these included a section of my friend’s house back in Surrey and depicts the quintessential stable door and ivy-covered house. The second sketch I came up with was of my school’s old chapel, which was ingrained into my memory from weekly visits to it, the image that I remember most clearly is of the walk way into the main chapel from the playing field where there is a continuation of archways. The sketch that I am most fond of from my initial ideas of that of a side street in St Paul De Vence – France, this is a very idyllic scene and is a place that I visited numerous times with my family, the way in which I have depicted the buildings is the main thing that I like about this sketch. I like the way that there is a freeness to my lines and I also like the outcome as a whole, I think due to this I will continue the theme of building.
When in today’s lecture there was one artist in particular that really inspired me, and lead me to creating the idea I have now for the place project. This artist was Marlene Dumas, her historical research into Oscor Wilde really interested me into looking into historical figures or places myself. She also really interested me in the way that at first when you view the paining’s the theme of place does not relate but when you learn the context behind it and where it is hung then the piece as a whole makes sense.
Oscar Wilde was a bisexual who was in love with Bosie (depicted in the painting on the left) for this he was sent to Reading prison and was there for two years. The two paintings depict both Oscar and Bosie and are hung on a wall in Reading prison. The fact that Dumas has chosen to exhibit her paining’s here has an almost romantic and poignant sense about it. The poignancy of this exhibition has inspired me to recollect my ideas and think more in a historical sense about this project.
Other than fine art itself another thing that really interests me in the history of art in particular the provenience behind pieces of art and the journey they have come one. When linking this to the idea of history and places the second wold war immediately came to mind, more specifically the stolen art from Europe by the Natzi's though out the war.
The first thing I did was to research where is was that the Nazi's hid the thousands of pieces of art, what I found was there were two main places that all the art was stored into one being the Altaussee salt mine in Austria and the second being a salt mine in Merkers Germany. Some of the most famous pieces that were unveiled in the Altaussee salt mine where Ghent Altarpiece, the Madonna of Bruges and the painting “the Elder” by Pieter Bruegel. These are just a tiny section of what was revealed in the salt mines in the 1945 by the monuments, fine art and archives organisation.
From these key facts, the initial idea that I have at the moment it to draw/depict the salt mines and other places where the German’s hid the art and then on top of the depiction draw a portrait of the key members of the Nazi party that were responsible for the destruction or looting of art to create a two toned/layered piece of art. I thought about drawing the portrait of coloured acetate to symbolise the German flag, but I am unsure if I should do it the German colours or the Natzi colours because it wasn’t the whole of Germany that was responsible for the theft of these historic pieces of art and therefore would be unfair to stereotype. Also in today’s views, not very politically correct.
When viewing the place where we are going exhibit our pieces of art on Wednesday it felt quite daunting and I am unsure as to how I am going to physically how my pieces of art. however, I am gravitating towards showing them on a wall as a 2D piece of art. I am also leaning towards making the buildings and portraits really big, therefore when viewing them they become overwhelming and almost intimidating, I want to do this because it reflects their personality perfectly. I think the viewer should feel the same way that they made people feel when they were alive.
I realised today that I have been too narrow minded in my thought process in developing ideas for this project. I think the idea process that I have come up with so far was well rounded and has potential to be a great final piece but I think that I have not developed it enough and haven’t stretched the ideas to their max, therefore becoming a final piece that could have a lot more potential. Due to this today I have come up with two other ideas that go off on a tangent from my first idea, each one having the same base idea but having different view points and exploring different pathways.
The first new idea that I have is to research the specific pieces of art that got stolen and from this pick out some of the most famous pieces for example, the Ghent altarpiece and the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt. With these masterpieces, I thought of then exploring ways off collaborating the portraits of the Nazi generals in a way to show the merging of the two movements. I think this would be a really interesting collaboration to explore because for me the art is slightly tinted by the events/journey they had to withstand and the fact that they have been stolen will forever be in their history and story. The significance of adding the portrait is one because I think the generals in charge of the movement and looting of the art are new imbedded into the story behind the art. The second reason for incorporating the portraits is simply because I really love to portraiture and it is one my favourite genres of art. For this concept, I will have to do further research into who the German generals in charge of the looting and transport of art were.
The second new idea that I have come up with today is to explore the concept of time and space within the base idea of stolen art. For this concept, I have come up with ideas such as exploring the dates in which the specific pieces of art were stolen and then when they were reclaimed again, for this I would have to look into archives of art provenance. I also thought about exploring the different ways in which a physical place can be represented rather than showing place by the use of photography, you could represent a place with its co-ordines. This would then add a new dimension to the art as you would have to look closely as the art to realise what the figures were and even then, you would have to look at the information provided to realise what the co-ordines represent, I like this as it means the viewer had to really think about the piece rather that look at it the first time and understand what it is about. Another way that I thought about exploring the aspect of space and travel was to incorporate the different time zones in the countries that the paintings had to travel through to get to their hidden destinations in either Germany or Austria, I could do this by mapping out Europe and setting out the different times zones at a specific time for example when the first painting would found in 1945 by the monument, fine art and architectural organisation.
For further exploration of time and space within my final piece I am going to do some research into the use of space and time within other people’s art though out time. I want to see if the use of time with in art has changes as the times has changed (is there a positive correlation?).
I spent the day in the liberty researching and the background behind the Nazi movement and how they ending up adopting all of the art they stole, and who it was that is mainly responsible for the looting in Europe.
I also researched the places that the Germans hid the art that they stole how much art it was that they actually took from various places around Europe. What I found most interesting from this is that the main thing that was stolen was paintings and 2D pieces of art, rather than sculptures. I don’t know if this was simply from a practical point of view or if Hitler specifically ordered the majority of thefts to be for paintings over 3D pieces. However, it does make me think that because Hitler was a fan of realism paintings he only wanted to be surrounds my art works that he thought to be masterpieces.
As well as this I looked into when the painting where reclaimed again and who it was that found them, what I found was that all of the paining’s were very well preserved because they were hid in salt mines in the German and Austrian alps which happened be at the perfect climate for the perseveration of the paintings. With this information of where the Germans hid the various pieces of art they had stolen I then thought about how I could represent the physical place without physically showing a visual representation of the places, this is when I came up with the idea of using the coordinates of the locations where the Germans hid the art and using it as a representation of where they hid artworks.
I plan on incorporating this in my final piece.
Thursday 25th October
Today I was trying to develop my idea further to eventually creating a final piece idea, I was exploring the ways in which I could incorporate the use of the coordinates and portraits of the Nazi generals. I am set on doing having the portrait in my final piece because I think that it beings the piece together perfectly and that it makes us aware of the significance of the piece. Without the portrait, I think the piece would be lost and I think too simplistic. I firstly came up with the idea that I could layer the portrait drawn on acetate on the background of the coordinates. However, when pitching this idea to Adrian he thought that the coordinates where a brilliant idea and that he loved the research that I had put behind them but the portrait and coordinates together seemed like a rushed and unresolved idea, he also thought that the coordinates would get lost behind the portrait and would lose meaning.
He then asked me why it was that I wanted to do a paining portrait, and why it was that I did show it as a photograph? To which I replied that I think it is more personal and poetic.
in a way that it is a painting because the artworks that they mainly stole where paintings, and therefore would be a good representation and almost mockery of the Nazi generals. The concept of fake or fraud art came to mind. After stating my thought process both Adrian and I then came up with the concept that should do a very realistic portrait, just like the ones that the Nazis where looting in WWII as a homage to the art but also to reinstate the mocking concept too. I will then show the coordinates as anther separate piece of art next to the portrait.
I think that this idea is very good and look forward to creating it. However, I am also very daunted by the concept of doing a realism paining portrait as I feel like there is a lot to live up to and paining it not my preferred choice of medium. I think that I am just going to have to take it one step at a time and if the outcome is not what I wanted then I can take it as a learning curve.
What I now need to do is research realism painters around the 18thcentury or 17thcentury and try to use their style. I might also look at what paining’s Hitler liked or the general that I chose to paint liked and use the style of their preferred artist.
I stated to sketch out the portrait for my final piece and experiment with paints for it, I really enjoyed creating the primary pencil drawing of the portrait. Pencil and pen drawing is my preferred medium of choice when it comes to depicting portraits therefore creating this portrait in paint is a challenge for me. I am finding it a struggle to adapt to the use of paint but at the same time am enjoying the experimentation of the experience.
What I am finding the hardest is that the paint is not very malleable on the paper and its drying too fast for me to create smooth transitions between shades of colour on the face. At the moment, I am experimenting with acrylics rather than oils which I think is that main reason for my struggles.
I am looking forward to creating this portrait but am scared that it is not going to turn out how I want it, or that it will not look good enough for the exhibition. I realise that it is all about the learning curve and the journey you take to get the end product but I still want to end product to be something spectacular and I am very worried that it won’t live up to my expectations or that of the other students or teachers.
What I think I need to do is ask one of the painting teaching for advice on steps for realistic paintings and then go from there.
Saturday 27th/ Sunday 28thOctober
I spent the weekend experimenting with paints and ideas for this portrait. I moved on from using acrylic paint because it was frustrating me too much and felt that the outcome was less than satisfactory, I then moved on to using oils. I found oils a lot easier to paint with which surprised me because I am much less experienced in using oil paints than I am with acrylic paint, I found that the oil paints were much easier to blend and with the use of paint thinning solution the colours were able to blend together a lot easier. I also found that if I used one of my makeup blending brushes on top of the paint it gave it a very polished and seamless finish. With all this experimentation, I created 2 little portraits of the Nazi officer Goring. The only thing that I found truly challenging is the scale of the painting, I think that if the paining was larger it would be a lot easier to get the detail perfect as with the small scale of the ones that I did I didn’t have a small enough paintbrush to get the fine detail therefore didn’t look as good as it could have.
I think with the portrait that I do for my final piece it will be a lot easier to get the specific detail needed. However, I am worried that I will not have enough time to complete the portrait and that the oils will not be set in time for the exhibition.
On Sunday, I bought a genuine world war two portrait of a solider, the photo depicts a young British officer in full met dress uniform. What initially attracted me to the portrait was the fame that it is set in, the fame is dark wood but has lots of embellishments in it that make it seem a lot more regale, I thought that it would look really good if I spray painted it gold so that it resampled the renaissance art that the Nazi’s mainly stole. I also like the fact that the portrait that exists in the frame already has a direct link to world war two as it adds another layer to my piece of art.
Today I had a slight panic about the fact that I wouldn’t be able to get my painting done in time therefore I spoke to Adrien and he suggested that shouldn’t paint it at all. The point behind my project/portrait is to create a fake piece of art that resembles and mimics a renaissance piece of art and for Goring to then be trapped in a painting that he has stolen, therefore the significance of me hand painting is not needed. He suggested that by creating the portrait on Photoshop would make the message of fake art even more significant and relevant because it is not done by my hand but by a computer.
Therefore, today I started the editing of the photograph of Goring to make it seem like an oil painting. To do this I used filters on Photoshop to make the brushstrokes more prominent and to make it a little blurred so that it didn’t look too crisp like a photograph would, I also played around with the colours and gradients of the photo to make it seem more realistic as a painting. My plan is to print out the edited photograph on to canvas and place it inside the frame that I bought so that it looks like a genuine portrait.
If people genuinely think that it is a hand painted portrait then I think it would have been successful, I am going to spray and weather the frame as well to make it look convincing of the era of time.
I am also going to present the coordinates alongside the portrait as a linking piece to the history and facts behind the portrait meaning. The coordinates will be printed on canvas as well and will be stretched over a wooden frame then placed on the wall, on top of the canvas will lay a red film of acetate to represent both the colours in the Nazi and German flag but to also represent the poppy appeal foundation, as it is the 100thanniversary this year of the end of world war one I thought it was very fitting to represent the significance of what the poppy appeal does. The royal British legion poppy appeal is very significant to mine and my family’s life’s as everyone in my family has been involved with the military as some point in their life.
The finished look of my places project should be the edited portrait in a frame with the red canvas of coordinates next to it. the coordinates are going to be A4 ish size whereas the portrait itself is more of an A2 size with the frame making it a little bigger.
When I got back to my flat I found that the glass in the frame that I had bought had been smashed. Initially I thought this was a disaster and contemplated buying a new frame but when I calmed down and thought about it and realised that could work with the cracked glass and link it into my art.
The concept that I thought of is that not all of the pieces the monuments men would have been in perfect condition and that most of them would have most properly had smashed glass or damaged frames, therefore the fact that my glass has been smashed represents the history the meaning of the piece of art. I think that the cracks in the glass make it more realistic and give the portrait more depth and history, I also think that the crack in the glass could be interpreted a reminder of the brutality that occurred during the second world war by the hands of the Nazi party.
Further development of ideas and additions to contextual research, mainly looking into artist who were influenced by the war for example the likes of Henry Moore who’s work depicts the underground s in London during the blitz in the second world war.
I got up especially early today before the exhibition so that I could print of my portrait from Photoshop and the coordinates piece as I was unable to print them of the day before, this is when the trouble began. The troubles that I encountered were firstly that the canvas that I had previously purchased was not the correct canvas for the specialist printer, and when I want to go a show the technician what I wanted to print of (my final piece – the fake oil panting portrait) he said that the image was too small so that If I were to print it of in A2 size then “it would look crap”, therefore I couldn’t use the portrait that I had spent the last two days creating and editing. It was at this point that I had a semi break down and had to think of a whole new idea to create for the exhibition that was already starting.
What I have learnt from this is never leave things to the last minute as the stress is not worth it. what I also realised is that my knowledge of Photoshop was not good enough so that the pixilation of my portrait was not great enough therefore because the image was already small when I wanted to blow the picture up to an A2 size the pixels were too blurred and made the whole portrait look out of focus. ( as seen in the depiction below)
after an approx. 10 minuet break down I then went online and found images of Goring that had a higher resolution and lager image size, the only image I could fine was a black and white photo from the second wold war, depicting him again in uniform but more front on. With this image, I then put it though Photoshop and tweaked it to that the colours and tones were to my satisfaction. I changed the way in which the imaged look in terms of quality and lighting.
I was then able to print of both the portrait and the coordinates on to canvas and hang them up as I wished.
I chose to hang the portrait next to the coordinates as two separate pieces rather than integrating them because I felt that with the size differences of the two pieces that I would look better as individual pieces that are linked. I also thought that the coordinates were a very strong piece on their own and the integration of the portrait and coordinates might lose the boldness of the portrait.
I got amazing feedback from both the teachers and my fellow piers which made the whole day worth it and a success in my mind. after calming down I actually got time to appreciate my final piece and was really quite proud of it, further more the feedback from the teachers made me appreciate the work that I put into it.
the crack on the glass even though not intentional was one of the main talking points of my piece as everyone suggested that it was as if it was a crack his ranking and as whole a crack in the Nazi party. this just emphasise to me that even the mistakes you make can turn into an good piece of art.
During my crit one person pointed out that they thought that it would look interesting if I were to put the coordinates with the with red film all over the wall and then hang the portrait I the middle of the wall on top of the coordinates, they stated that it would look more dramatic and the coordinates would stand out more. I carried this idea on further and thought that if I had all the time and money that it would look extraordinary if I were to have the coordinates chiselled into a stone wall mimicking the war memorials you find all over the world with soldier’s names on them, and then on the wall you would place portraits of the main Nazi officers that were in charge of the looting of the art.