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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cultural Art Pieces

This new project was really interesting for me just because we are making art about cultural and social issues. It wasn't necessarily too difficult to think of ideas, until I neared my fourth and fifth piece, where I wasn't exactly sure about what to do. My works consisted of examining the consumerism of society, nagging issues of equality in third world countries, as well as music and television.

Painting 1: Mickey Mouse - This painting was made mostly within the studio, where it was mostly painted with acrylic and then coated with a gloss paint. The lines (in the seemingly drooling eyes) were made from using the back of the brush by scratching. It was made with very dark values, giving the appearance of mickey mouse to be dead. My intended message here was to say how the impact and quality of Disney works are not what it once was, and that perhaps the magic of Disney works have essentially died. What I would like to add to this is the idea of greed. Disney has made their changes in the hope that they could make more money by creating more shows with less quality and depth, as well as trying to sign "pretty" entertainers to do their acting and music.

Painting 2: War - This work was made with acrylic paint and finished with a gloss top. It contains several bombers dropping bombs in the shape of crosses. These planes and crosses were made with paper stencils that were put on with a sponge. The dark values, crosses and background send the message of death as well as sadness in the process of war. After the completion of the painting (with the gloss), I then added a larger white plane on the foreground of the picture plane. The large white plane was done with impromptu shading of values just because I did not want to look at reference materials (I just thought it would make it more personal).

Painting 3: Coffee - This painting was made with acrylic paint, spray paint, and a gloss. The coffee mug in the middle symbolizes the disparity among the workers and the middle-men in the coffee fields in Costa Rica (and around the world) where the middlemen are collecting all of the money generated by the farmers, and paying them little in return. The red coffee that seemingly spews upwards from the stenciled cup was to suggest a sense of bloodshed. Although there really isn't much bloodshed in these situations, it suggests that the middlemen are essentially "killing" the farmers slowly through depravation of money to purchase necessary goods.

Painting 4: ConsumerismAxe - This painting of a bottle of Axe (a popular deodorant with teenagers these days) is somewhat similar to Warhols tomato soup. However, working on a rough wooden panel did not allow me to easily create the linework needed to make a very accurate picture of the can itself. This was made with green sprayed on base, then topped with black acrylic, all through stencil work. This allowed for scratching later on, where scratching the black allowed the green to come through. Paper was also collaged onto the can after it was painted. The wooden board is also sanded in with 150 grit sandpaper to create a very slight "smooth" shadow suggesting the brand's persuasive, smooth, yet hidden sales pitch that seems to always get teens to purchase it. The picture essentially symbolizes the consumerism in today's culture.

Painting 5: Untitled - This depicts a character from a tv show, where his image is seemingly misty and vague. The background contains acrylic paint that was done wet on wet, after the wood that we painted on was submerged under water for about 4 hours. The message that I try to get across here is how television is so clouded with all the far-fetched and imaginative plots and settings that give viewers a poor perspective on what they do within their lives.

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