Portraits Through Text

While researching for assignment four, I came across works by Micah Lexier. These were works I had seen before but now I was looking at them in a whole new light. I knew I wanted to stick with the theme of unconventional portraits for the last assignment and I didn’t even think of using Lexier’s work as inspiration because I had never thought of him as an artist who did portraits.

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The way Lexier uses text in his work is quite interesting. He is able to create thought provoking portraits through the use of text only. In Now & Then, shown above, he uses text to create a unique self portrait. The black text represents the life he has lived so far while the rest of the white space on the wall represents the life he has yet to live according to the average life expectancy. The size of the text and the boldness makes the message pop and confronts the viewer with a visual representation of how much time Lexier has left to live while also forcing them to reflect on their own life.

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Another text piece by Lexier, Two Equal Texts, is an interesting and unconventional portrait. He wrote a sample of text and asked a friend to create a new piece of text using every letter and punctuation. In this sense, the two text pieces are portraits of one another. The font and boldness is the same as Now & Then in that it is generic enough so that the viewer can focus on the message instead of the aesthetics of the font.

painting-and-drawing

Lexier isn’t the only artist to approach this style of portrait making, John Baldessari also works a lot with text. In the piece shown above, Painting and Drawing, he creates a painting with no images, only words. Painting and Drawing is a portrait of any and all painting and drawing. Though it doesn’t contain any images, it makes you recall paintings and drawings that you’ve seen in the past. It also makes you question what a painting or a drawing can be.

I think the idea of creating a portrait of something through text is very interesting. This forces the viewer to create an image in their head and provides them with a different viewing experience than a piece with images.

Victoria Coles: Photo 3 Final Assignment

What is my series considering?

  • Colour
  • Beauty in the Banal
  • Overconsumption/mass consumption

Colour
The nature of this project is colour, how they interact, how they can stand out from the crowd. It is fundamental to the act of seeing. It is hard to separate colour from the sight. Colour alone, without context (in an abstract form) can create a story, a feeling, a person.

Colour Wheels

Newton and Gothe
While not artists but theorist, these two individuals have a significant impact on my piece. The colours, and medium give the feel of true pigments, and reference to the colour wheels of past.

Colour Sphere- theory of colour by Geothe

Theory of Colour- Colour Sphere

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Kladinsky
The “first” abstract painter was inspired by an old painting of his turned on its side. The removal of referential objects allowed the full impact of pure colour to work on his senses. He believed that objects were only obstructing his direct communion with colour.
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Artist- Mark Rothko, Multi forms
http://www.markrothko.org/

Considered one of “the foremost of modern colourist”. “Bright Earth” by Philip Ball
Rothko had a notion that viewers of his work should cry from the emotions they felt from viewing it. He had an amazing understanding of colour, how one colour could enforce another, and how all colours can cause emotions. His paintings are abstract and rely on colour, however, Rothko expressed that the paintings were of something. The colours were simply his way of depicting the emotions and feelings of the moment or thing he felt called to paint.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPoQeuWybIo

Rothko Multiforms earth-green black-in-deep-red violet-black-orange-yellow-on-white-and-red Saffron 1957 by Mark Rothko OSA253  orange-and-yellowuntitled-1969-mark-rothko

http://www.theoculusonline.com/the-eye-mark-rothkos-multiform-series/

This black and grey series were done near the end of Rothko’s life. While you may think that these colours represented a dark, lonely or looming end. However, Rothko explained that colour for him was to reference emotions, and bright colours often conjure the feeling of pain (explained by Rothko’s daughter as she reflects on conversations with her father about these paintings)

Lecture ft. Rothko’s son
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QpVRH6WUkY

Documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ1Lvdf9FIA

Clip from MOMA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSiu8qzHV6c

Beauty in the Banal

During my exploration of a fall portrait. Particular colours which seems out of place grabbed my attention, realizing that we often view things, but we don’t really see them. This process lead me to think of the banal moments in our every day life. We live these moments, such as making your bed in the morning, or waiting on the bus, that we view in complete boredom. However, imagine if you were to really look, and saw the beauty in each image, each moment. Colours shape our world, but I worry that we see it in black and white.

Mass consumption of images

Like with many pop artist, I am concerned with mass consumption of our era. However, my concern is for the consumption of images and moments as opposed to items. We take for granted the moments we live and the images we see, ignoring the striking beauty of each. This concept goes hand in hand with the beauty in the banal. I hope that in my exploration, I am able to bring a new appreciation to every moment. I believe there to be a link between how we consume images, and how we consume colour.

Artist- Andy Warhol

“Art does nothing more than mirror the culture that produces it.”  Bright Earth , Philip Ball (318)

Unlike Warhol who uses repetition to mimic the process of our mass consumption, I hope to do the opposite. Through my repetition, I hope my images causes the viewer to slow down and absorb the image. Creating a moment where a viewer may be able to experience the opposite of the mass consumption of images they  view every day.

Additionally, Warhol was interested in the banality of photography.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=1rUQsBbCUhYC&pg=PT88&lpg=PT88&dq=photographers+interested+in+the+banal&source=bl&ots=LxhF9yFP6k&sig=nIfKoksRkFYeDLMzXpbFX4EfJrc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAWoVChMIv9iyyMeCyQIVCP0eCh1ScQCX#v=onepage&q=photographers%20interested%20in%20the%20banal&f=false

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Painted photography

I just stumbled across this online. I’ve never seen her work before, but it’s amazing. Definitely is a great example of our discussion last week about being original sometimes is just combining two different things in a new way.

http://pulptastic.com/artist-creates-living-breathing-paintings-anything-normal/?utm_content=bufferd7a58&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer