Analysing An Artist’s Artwork

1 – Perspectives

Bringing Women’s Role Back With Art: The Bra Shark

Few weeks ago, I saw this absurd piece that is allegedly called an artwork on the newspaper. The form might sound absurd to most of us, but this reminds us that our perspectives can really transform into great pieces, just like this amazing work!

The official artist of Bra Art is Louise Low Seok Loo (the bratist), 30 from Penang, Malaysia.

Bra Art is a very brand-new form of art to the society, but not just an art, it is “to prompt women to rethink role”. Bra is generally a protection for women’s upper part of the body, however; in Louise’s perspective visually, this is something that could help women to consider about their role as what they really are in the community nowadays.

The main masterpiece that implies the key idea of this art is called “Fatal Attraction – The Bra Shark”.

Gallering at the Penang State Museum & Art Gallery

The Bra Shark was introduced last year October and it was presented in a campaign to stop violence towards women.

She has received the Malaysia’s Top 10 Female Visual Artist with this astonishing masterpiece that brings all women to come together as one.

The first thing that comes into our mind when we saw an artwork would definitely be about the medium (material), and for this artwork the medium is obviously made out of bras. But what’s so special about the medium is that these bras are all donated from the community all over Malaysia, which shows the enthusiasm of working on this together. Though, before putting the bras on, a molded shape of the figure is perhaps the most important and difficult job in this entire artwork.

The base medium for the masterpiece

The artist did not use any kind of professional art medium but instead she tried to do it in a “woman” way where sewing should be one of the skills a woman acquires. She uses such a traditional technique like this and created an unique and brand-new art form that contains each and every symbolism to fight for women’s role. The bras are making the artwork protruding so that the shark actually looks realistically three-dimensional and furious enough to attract attention.

This also make into another point why the colour looks quite random on the artwork, it symbolises everyone in the society has a right to be what they’d like to be. These bras became uncatagorised because almost each and every bra is indistinct from each other, like laze, cotton, cloth, etc. People may think grey colour for a bra is an absolute boring and dull colour to show aesthetic passion, but the large picture here is like a group of women telling you to stop judging them.

This artwork is definitely conveying a very strong social message to the society, which is the virtual role as a women. Women nowadays have too many roles, a girl, a student, a wife, a mother, a daughter, etc. Ironically enough, men in nowadays society solely think they are difficult because they are the ones who are working outside, but when they try to take care their 1-year-old daughter for merely one day, they can only understand how even difficult women are. In fact, this artwork is made mainly for a campaign, so every woman coming in as a large community by donating bras, will speak up their true identity through this beautiful artwork.

And if you look at the mouth of the shark, there is a heart inside it. Women’s life is getting even stressful because the workload is getting massively heavier, but majority never notices women are also human being, they have a heart. Do they deserve judgement? or any kind of violence harming confident in the society?

This art form is actually related to what I’m learning in English, about how feminists were being such a weak human being to speak up their real thoughts about life. Nowadays even feminism right is getting stronger, abusing is still a rather huge social problem in the society. Therefore, this artwork allows women to speak up so that they will never be facing violence ever again!

The artists even made a ‘Bra Art Car’ to attract more attention for support. However, this car is not allowed to be driven on the street anymore.

For those people who have not really understood the art form might think it as a shame to the society, thinking it is sexually offensive to women’s part of body. But when you already comprehend the elements of this artwork, you will find out this is to make us think more critically about women. This is a very realistic depiction of how bras means feminism right, it is a very abstract idea reflected from the work.

In conclusion, this is how the artist’s personal perspective inspired her to creating such as artwork, which allows the true voice of women to be communicated. It may not look professional, but this artwork is not made for popularity or money, it is made for a free philanthropic to the society. This is what we really value for in an artwork.

I really hope the perspective shown throughout this analysis actually changed your mind about a woman’s role in the society. And we should all acknowledge this great effort made by the ‘bratist’ that has contributed massively visually and socially to the world. Thank you for reading!

If you have any doubt or problem, please do send it to my email: michelle_foong@hotmail.com or comment it on the reply box! 🙂 and we can all share our perspectives together.

2 – Texts as Art

Maciej Ratajski: Texts as Art

“If it looks like art, you’re not trying hard enough” – Kelly Sherman, the author of “Conceptual Art and Contemporary Audience”

As I have learnt few days ago that Conceptual Art is all about looking for the true meaning of art, Conceptual artists often question themselves “What is Art?” every time they are creating one. They would even provoke the meaning of “aesthetic” that was used to be defined in art centuries ago. While this is come to a question to the viewers, so what does art mean in Conceptual Art? And this becomes a very interesting theme I have learnt in Lesson 2 a week ago – Texts as Art.

This Is An Idea For An Artwork, 2010

This Is a Description of an Artwork, 2010

Conceptual artist’s main objective is to provoke the society’s perspective through art. When someone shows up a very aesthetic landscape oil painting, majority will be like: “wow, you’re so good at art!”, and Ratajski’s trying to prove art isn’t about aesthetic at all. Despite that, this would make it a very challenging task for the society, pieces like above would make them think like: “what kind of artwork is this?” or “how is this even art? It’s just a few texts?”.

First of all, I would like to make a kick start through this mind-provoking picture:

Instructions for the Deaf, 2011

Isn’t this mind-provoking? Ratajski is actually playing with our mind, he knows definitely we will read what our brain can perceive, and he’s also trying to tell us that’s what art is all about. He’s trying to mock us by telling us we were not supposed to read it, but that’s what our brain does the all time. This is probably my favourite Conceptual artwork because this work make me feel like the painting is actually communicating with me directly, and it changes my mood and emotion when I finished reading it, it felt like someone just finished pranking you verbally. This artwork might look simple, but the content can definitely affect your perspective in art.

Also, look at the title of this work, it’s not what’s written in the work,  because he knows our brain would perceive the obvious objects like the large letters in the image, rather than the title first. Furthermore, why did he call us “deaf”? Isn’t it our eyes that are doing the job? If my perception is precise, he is trying to be irony in this artwork. Therefore, he used this piece of work, to mock our eyes, technically perspective, that our view of art is definitely incorrect. Despite that, from this we can comprehend texts could be art as well because it’s also a visual communication / non-verbal communication that is so well expressed in this work.

If This Is Art, 2010

Adding it to another important notion, most Conceptual artists’ art style is only focused in human’s mind and perspective. A beautiful fond painting would attract attention by its stunning appearance, but Conceptual Art would make you live in your mind and generate appropriation by changing your perspective. Extracting the quote above, “If this is art, then what isn’t?”, Rajatski is supporting Conceptual Art directly in this art piece. Apart from that, he also wants the society to think more critically of the true meaning of art. It’s the stimulus in your brain that helps your creativity to be expressed,art is not just about drawing a perfect circle, but it’s about doing it in your own style.

If This Isn’t Art, 2010

It’s always the texts that influence every thing, because it makes your brain thinks the objective and reason behind a text, and therefore everyone has a different cognition of an object, just like this art work. Personally I think this is somehow similar to the “Instructions For The Deaf”, they are somehow communicating with us, trying to debate with our mind. In this particular work, it seems to communicate with us through a dialogue, an arguement. Ratajski is like talking to us through this painting.

Lastly, I would like to show these two interesting works that I believe are supposed to be connected

Reality, 2012

Most of Art Doesn’t Exist, 2013

Both of them were done in different years, but they hit the same mark. Most people might think, “Isn’t art everywhere? So does it mean that the art works we see everywhere aren’t actually art? Then what are they?”. However, as a Conceptual artist, everything that is related to art is created in mind and expressed to public that is only to be understood in an abstract form. While after getting brain-washed, you will understand that every time you see a Conceptual artwork, your perspective of art will be changed completely, and that’s the amazing thing about art.

Let’s talk about all these art work visually, don’t you think they are just as artistic as general Visual Art? These artworks are reflecting the Abstract Expressionism that was developed during the 1940s – 50s, and all the elements found in that art form can be easily found in Ratajski’s artworks as well. Just by looking at the lines, shape and colour, they are all in a simple form, it means the aesthetic is not rather important compared to the texts. Observe the texts, they are in capital letters, and they are all very bold and straight, this would be the Ratajski was pretty serious about the texts when he did them. The composition is what affects the emotion and mood of the texts to be like.

Also, the background is three-dimensional, is he trying to portray every single work he’s done should be visualised as if living in the reality? because above he says “most of art doesn’t exists”, and “reality is everything that isn’t art”. He wants to tell us Conceptual Art is only to be understood when you have the correct perspective, not the perspective of the reality you’re living in, and that’s the main iconography behind Conceptual Art.

I would definitely list Ratajski as one of my favourite artists because he’s just too extraordinary in art. What I have just realised is, these art works were created just few years ago, so isn’t this considered as contemporary art? And these should be like provokes for the generation nowadays who only think art is only meant to be cool and beautiful? And mock us who never do things before thinking from understand the artwork of “Instructions For The Deaf”.

These are how he expresses art through texts, it’s actually connecting to every single thing in our life right now, film, literature, etc. We know literature is expressed through language while film is expressed through our vision and perspective, but Conceptual Art is expressed through language, visual and also perception. Conceptual Art is also very often provoking when it comes to language, especially the popular culture we have got in the 21st century, just like “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With” by Tracey Emin.

Those works might be extremely provokative and exaggerated in many ways, but those are definitely meaningful in changing our perspective about art. All images are credited to Maciej Ratajski artist himself in his website, and I found it when the texts actually attracted my attention, and this shows how powerful and attractive Conceptual Art is.

Thank you for such patience and I hope Ratajski’s art works have influenced your perspective, and please do forgive that I’m always over-elaborating stuff but I really hope you have enjoyed the post! Remember, our perspective is always amazing, even you still don’t realise how astonishing it is. Enjoy your week!

If you have any doubt or problem, please do send it to my email: michelle_foong@hotmail.com or comment it on the reply box! 🙂 and we can all share our perspectives together. And if you are interested in Ratajski’s art work, you could further more look into http://www.maciejratajski.com/

3 – Gestalt Theory / American Poster Art

Rowan Stocks-Moore – Fantasy Towards Gestalt Theory

As I have mentioned in my Process Journal for the fourth week, I would definitely choose the artist’s other artworks who created the Figure and Ground Snow White poster that has influenced both my perception and perspective of looking on a good poster, and I’ve found him!

A good poster doesn’t mean how much words you have written for perfect information, but also the visual communication that is exerted into the poster that represents all the words we want to say about, this relates to what I’ve learnt in the Visual Art since the first week. In this artist’s artworks, I can finally and truly understand the objective of applying Gestalt Principles into artworks.

The following images are some of his artworks: (let’s try to spot the Gestalt principles in it?)

As I have explained above, I can finally understand why such a theory in Psychology could be applied in Visual Art as well. In Psychology, it’s all about understanding an individual’s mental that affect physical. In fact, Visual Art does the same thing, doesn’t it? According to a slideshow presented by Mr. Mike last lesson, a creative mind does not show how artistic an artist is, whether or not it looks the most aesthetic painting in the world like Mona Lisa. In Contemporary Art, visual communication is very important, so if you have a creative thought with an addition to the Gestalt laws, your design will perfect because you’ve got your audience.

Untitled

 

Let me introduce a little bit about the artist I’ve chosen for this post since I want to know more about him. Obviously he’s called Rowan Stocks-Moore, he’s a graphic designer at Penguin Group USA,  an artist at Random House, but is currently a freelance designer. Well, the most important thing to know about him is he has been working for The Walt Disney Company since 2012 and is still now, all of his works above are his brilliant posters!

Today I’m going to be analysing about another amazing art poster created by Moore, and it’s one of my favourite children fantasy movie – Peter Pan! Peter Pan is a highly fantasy movie, but Moore could completely portray the theme of fantasy yet adventure found in Peter Pan by using his creative thought and also the Gestalt Law! This also makes it to the title of this post, showing how an excellent designer he is bringing fantasy to audience through his art works.

Peter Pan

 

Peter Pan is always my favourite fantasy movie because it’s just so persuasive that I actually believed I could fly once I believe in myself, note that I didn’t know this movie until last year I found out it was the only interesting channel on tv. Well, but what that really impressed me about Moore is the masterpiece above! I feel like I’ve recalled everything that’s in the movie in this poster he has created for the company.

Texts as Art

First of all, I would like to say about the texts in the picture because I find something really interesting about it. Generally, when designers design about a Disney’s poster, like Mickey Mouse, it’s very general to see it being in the poster as we all know it should be the emphasis of the entire poster. However, in this poster, it’s the other way around, where the title gives the whole meaning of the poster. Without putting the title on the picture, I believe no one could guess what the poster would be about. Even viewers would observe into the poster and see a fairy flying at the sky, this still might not give the clue of the real title. Therefore, as a Contemporary Artist, Moore shows how texts are such an important iconography about art.

Peter Pan     tumblr_m2e09jDQr81qgnncw

Can you see the difference? I suppose even a 4-year-old child can

Visual Art Elements and Principles

Although this is a graphically designed artwork, the elements and principles of art are so plump that you can never count at all. Just look at the colours Moore has applied, it’s Maroon and a night colour. The night colour is portrayed in the story, the time when Peter Pan takes the children is during night time. On the other hand, Neverland is a land that does not exist in the real world, and it’s the world that consists a massive killing and eliminating the children living in there (in a non-violent way), so it looks more into bloody-like colour and dark especially we do know the fact that there are pirates living in Neverland as well. He used borders to separate one image into two to actually show that there are two different worlds in Peter Pan, I feel so amazed by merely looking at his composition! In fact, I also think the reason why the poster is dark in colour because the children in two different world are not happy about their life, and we often perceive everything as darkness and negative when we’re unhappy.

Colour

I used paint to do this contrast and I believe there are not the exact colour. But look at them, they are so different. Red could mean emotional but Moore expressed red in Maroon, which shows a different kind of meaning that could be related to the colour of the night sky on the right.

Speaking about composition, I realised this work is considered symmetrical, though in an indirect way of presenting. It’s very balanced as Moore didn’t tend to use the theme of fantasy to exaggerate the space of the poster on the other half, and instead he used different elements in the “fantasy part” to show the difference in simplicity. I personally think he used this element and principle to tell audience that even we think we’re the unhappiest person in the world, there are even more people that are way unhappier than us, just like the work that is evenly separated.

He used the shapes found in the work are shapes that are portrayed in the movie, but the only difference is the form that shows different texture. In spite of that, Moore tries to simplify that life always have problems, in Neverland the children always have to protect themselves from the pirates, while the children in the real world have to “protect” from being alone in an empty big mansion.

The Gestalt Theory

I think I have gone a little bit too much of Visual Art, but since this week should be focused in Gestalt Theory, I shall talk about a few Gestalt laws Moore has used.

I find it pretBig Benty hard analysing the laws because they all look quite similar to each other. I was thinking to myself how would I instantly perceive the Big Ben in the middle right after my eyes’ nerve system sent a message to my brain? Apart from knowing that there’s a clock at the top, in Gestalt Theory it is explained that elements close to each other is perceived as a group, and this is called the law of Proximity. I was wondering if this could be the law of Figure and Ground and after that I noticed they both could only be a foreground and they don’t make two different images. Despite that, I’m very impressed because Moore is the first artist I’ve seen that used law of Proximity in an artwork, as most of his artworks are generally focused in other principles especially Figure and Ground and Simplicity.

 

By using the law of Proximity, he’s allowed to expressed the two different worlds that have a high contrast between imagination and reality. With using that principle, it has allowed me to comprehend that everything in Neverland appears in a fantasy way, particularly the creature behind as the Big Ben to recall that time doesn’t exist in that world (how the captain hates time is ticking. However, in the other world reality is extremely realistic where everything really counts.

 

 

 

After analysing this particular artwork, I feel like I’ve just rewatched the movie again. And with these elements used by Moore, I love this movie even more and I feel like I love art even more! I know this might sound crazy, but it feels like I was having an interview with the artwork, it felt like it was talking to me in an artistic way. I hope I could do another work analysis of this artist again, his artworks are just so awesome! I feel like every single thing he’s done in this artwork has affect my perception and perspective in Visual Art. Thanks Mr. Mike!

Reference:

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