Times Square Reimagined

 

Images from MoMA

For me, these images influenced different aspects of the final product. From the left, the first image is very wacky. It looks rather nonsensical, and I think my final print characterizes this as well. The second print is also very graphic and bright. Three dimensionality is created by having different and lighter textures towards the front, and differentiating between planes by changing texture and color.  The third image feels more cartoonish overall, but the bright colors and thick black lines I think inspired me to have heavy black lines and many different colored furs throughout my image.

Times Square Photos

 

These pictures show the generally busy energy of times square… busy in every sense of the word. There are people all around, and aesthetically speaking it is a lot to take in. I think the 4th image (from left to right) of a woman in an advertisement holding a giant colored lollipop says a lot. Or at least its very representative of the space. Seeing tourists walk around and being instructed to watch them be tourists was a funny task… and it made the experience feel even more like going to a zoo. These people are brought out of their natural habitat and there I was watching them. The first image shows just how many different patterns and colors get crammed onto one big LED billboard… I think this influenced my choice of different kinds of fur for my final image.

Perspective Sketches

Perspective Analysis

One point:

 

Two points:

 

Three points:

Sketches

I had several different ideas originally. Generally I have a hard time choosing one thing and sticking to it. So when I had the instinct to cover times square in fur I just had to commit. Anyway, I had the idea to do a version of times square as if it were always Christmas. To make everything not only decorated as if it were Christmas, but to make the buildings out of Christmas related objects. One of my other ideas was based less in fantasy,  as I was going to make times square as if New York were still New Amsterdam. Obviously it wouldn’t really look that way (probably) but I just liked the idea of turning the roads into canals and making the skyscrapers into those “canal houses” you see in Amsterdam. I think the reason I finally chose a “fur/zoo” theme was because I was excited about working with those textures. I don’t know why I didn’t anticipate it difficult to make every kind of fur imaginable work together aesthetically… but you know I did what I could.

Line Drawing

Illustrator file

It was really cool to see all the color palette choices possible on illustrator… however I did not end up using many of them! I went with this “metallic” blue because it has some white in it which I liked because I wanted the background to read as sky. Using just fur for the textures on the buildings was what I went with because I wasn’t sure at the time what my “palette” was going to be.

Final Image

One of my original ideas was to either not include any humans or reframe humans role in the space that is time square. I believe I have achieved this, as there are no actual people in this image however there are still characters. Non human characters. I utilized the skew tool quite a lot in order to match each texture to its plane. If I were to do it again, I would probably do some light shading to further clarify each plane, but I am happy with how it turned out.

 

Final Project Drawing and Imaging

My Locations

The Diamond District:

My Dorm:

Once I chose my dorm as my second location, I noticed the stark differences between the two places. How one place to me felt warm and inviting and safe, and the other felt cold and unfamiliar. Visually speaking the colors on the day I was shooting in the diamond district were just cooler, and the colors in my dorm were warmer. This difference inspired me to play on that contrast for my final piece.

My Sketches

The two drawings above were of the diamond district. I later decided that I would rather cut these images up and paste them into a larger image as textures instead of using them as what they appear to be.

The image above was the first sketch I made when I had the idea to merge the inside and the outside together into one image.

My Mock Ups

Above were my first 3 attempts at mock ups. I was trying to highlight the contrast between the fact that the diamond district sells diamonds but the actual location is dirty, but since I took pictures of my other location my idea changed.

This last mock up was my favorite medium and style to work in (cutting and pasting paper and drawing with sharpie). It was also the theme that I wanted to work with and the convergence of my two spaces that I liked the most for this assignment.

Mickalene Thomas, Sleep (Deux Femmes Noires) from 2013 was an inspiration to my work… I wanted to echo the fractured texture that Thomas creates with the use of peachy-orange lines and cracks all over the his image. Also the cut and pasted aesthetic really appealed to me.

Mickalene Thomas, Sleep (Deux Femmes Noires) 2013

Final Work

My goals for this project were to convey the home feeling that I have managed to find here in the city. So many different people live in the city, we’re all crammed and stacked on top of and next to each other in these little boxes. When I think of the feeling of home and safety I think of warmth and warm colors. I decided to use warm colors to communicate this feeling, and by contrasting these colors with cool colors I think it just makes the warm colors feel even more warm. I made the choice to use photos for the upper half and have the bottom half completely hand drawn. As children I drew a lot especially with crayons, and I like the contrast between this and photos.

 

Drawing & Imaging: MoMa Visit

Sigmar Polke – Full Moon in Aries (2004). This print is one out of a series of forty prints. There are several different recognizable objects and forms in this print that compose the greater print. If you look closely you can see there are lines in the background that seem to make up smoke or water vapor in the sky. I think that this reference helps the viewer feel that the plane is in the sky. The woman propellors really come forward as they are lighter and warmer on a darker and cooler background… Overall I think that at first glance there is not a very strong sense of  space as the forms are not recognizable as objects, but once you look closer the image is more understandable.

Sigmar Polke – Full Moon in Aries (2004). This print is one out of a series of forty prints. Just like the last print, the scene here is abstract and confusing to the eye at first glance. Actually, at second glance it is still abstract. I think this is because of the shapes layered under the drawing in black. The recognizable shapes do have something to do with each other (they’re kind of food/cafe themed), but they are drawn together that anthropomorphizes the every day objects. The heavy black at the bottom creates a sense of gravity, and the fact that everything besides the drawn form has color helps differentiate foreground from background.

Sigmar Polke – Full Moon in Aries (2004). This print is one out of a series of 40 prints. These prints remind me of a an art project I saw where the artist covered his face with paint, glitter and other materials to break up the shape of his face. The goal was to be unrecognizable to facial recognition software used by facebook. It also reminds me of the dazzle paint that the navy used to use to confuse enemies (the ships were painted with unpredictable textures and patterns and lines with varying directions.) This series has a similar effect as the general shapes in the drawings are exaggerated by the colored shapes placed underneath the line drawings. The red on the bottom of this reminds me of a sunset and creates the feel of a horizon along with the line at the bottom of the image.

Frida Kahlo – My Grandparents, My Parents, and I, Family Tree (1936)

There are several different planes happening here. It looks almost as if the oceans and mountain in the background are at one angle, and then the building in the bottom part of the painting is coming out at us at a different angle. I think it is because of the way that linear perspective is used in painting the building. This adds to the surreal effect that Kahlo is known for. The space does feel deep though. The horizon line and the use of darker, cooler colors behind the figures and above the warmer browns creates this sense of depth.

Charles White – Love Letter #1 (1971)

In this image I can almost see the square shape in the bottom two thirds of the image as a table with a rose on it, and figure is looking at it from the ground. It feels very flat if this is the case as the lines of this table are parallel with the frame of the image. The gradient from light in the center to dark on the edges all throughout the image further convinces me that the “table” shares the same three dimensional space as the woman above (she has the same light coming out from behind her, and it casts onto the table).

 

Piet Mondrian – Graphic Print (1930 – 40)

The space in the center of this print with no color is bordered by a sprinkling of rectangles with color in them. I think this image feels relatively static, as all lines are perpendicular, and the rectangles created are relatively predictable. However the brightest, warmest colors (red and white) pop out the most, and the darkest/coolest  blues/blacks recede more. The misalignment of two black lines in the lower left hand corner makes a little more depth possibly by having one white rectangle be bigger than the other. The yellow in the upper left hand corner draws the eye upwards and creates a sense of verticality.

Andy Warhol – The Last Supper (1986)

This image is almost a “remix” of the original last supper by Da Vinci from 1498. The space is entirely defined by line and some shading on the ceiling and underneath the figures around the table. Linear perspective is used throughout but most noticeably to create the ceiling, walls and floorboards. The red, pink and blue logos do not do a ton for definition of the space, in fact they kind of flatten the whole thing out by going right over the figures seated at the table.

Bauhaus Stairway – Roy Lichtenstein (1988)

I should start by saying that this is an interpretation of Bauhaus Stairway by Oskar Schlemmer from 1932. So, much of what Lichtenstein did in this painting (I think it would be called a painting? It made with oil paint but it still could be printed with oil paint, right?) to create a sense of space was copied from Schlemmer. Structural things, like the shapes that make up the stairways, and the positioning of the white squares behind the figures that make us think of windows. I guess what Lichtenstein did that was original to create space was put gradients of large, tight dots together and small loose dots to create shadows.

 

Philip Guston – Source (Oil on canvas 1976)

I really like this painting. Its space does not feel particularly “photorealistic.” It feels flat in some ways, but deep in others. The horizon line makes me feel that this image has depth, and the pairing of a blue, wavy shape underneath a soft pink block of color immediately makes me see the sky at sunset over the ocean. So the artist is using our knowledge of the world and our preconceived notions about the way things look in order to show us what he is trying to paint. The figure, or half of a head right in the middle, peaking over the horizon definitely reads as “sun.” And the little lighter blue brushstrokes come out at an angle to create linear perspective. Also, I do notice some darkening the farther you get from the source of light (the “sun”.)
Charles White, “Banner for Willy J,” 1976.
This painting uses a lot of shading and gradients to create a sense of space. On the lower right hand corner of the circle in the center of the painting, White uses darker, more brown tones to make us feel like the figure is sinking back into the painting. In contrast, the top left hand corner of the circle is a much more vivid yellow. This shows us where the source of light is pointing from.  The figure in the circle follows these “rules” as well, the left side of him is lighter than the right underside of his figure. The rose at the top of the circle is interesting… it kind of bridges the pinkish red border all around the circle and figure. This rose shares the same background as the text at the bottom, which is raises questions. Is the pinkish red area two dimensional? Or is it three dimensional?

My Notes and Sketches

Other Pictures I Took of 2D Works

9/11

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

The writers of these articles frame it as sad – What that happened on September 11th, 2001 shouldn’t have happened. They frame it as something to not be spoken of- you must address it indirectly in some ways. In each article, the end always brings the article into a present issue such as the army nowadays, or the politicalization of the event nowadays.

In one video in particular, “9/11 memorial in Shanksville immortalizes voices of victims,” the head of the group “families of flight 93” specifies that “We don’t look at the 40 passengers and crew as victims; we look at them as heroes.”

The army is referenced, freedom is used as a way of justifying why we still have a military presence in countries in the middle east.

In the article by the New York Times, the ceremony held at ground zero on the morning of 9/11, 2018 was described with many somber words including, “Misty.” The article’s articulation is clean, and it ends by recounting one man’s call to politicians’ to stop using 9/11 as “props” in their “political theater.” I wonder how this article would have felt to readers if there were not an implicit call to action, or issue making this topic feel more current.  9/11 is framed in a sad way by everyone but the “alternative” news sources – not because they are souless, but because the sadness of the Event is overshadowed by the speculation of conspiracy.

In Rosemead honors 9/11’s fallen at site of city’s memorial, the journalist discusses the unveiling of a new stature in Rosemead, CA. This was an unveiling of a new sculpture by artist Heath Satow is now in Los Angeles. Many people commemorate in different ways… this being a more permanent Memorial.  

Responding to the Text’s Argument

Initial Response:

I think that I mostly agree with this guy’s argument. “We live in a confessional society, promoting self exposure.” Even more now than in 2012 we are socially pressured to put our lives on instagram and other social networks. I think my generation especially understands this – for a long time when I was younger I felt a need to have this image of my whole life on facebook. That was a more specific aspect of the phenomenon that social media is. When he said, “One can use axes to hew wood or to cut heads” I think that it summed up what his argument was. I would say that by finishing his article this way it makes it seem like he believes that social media can be good or bad – it depends on how you use it. But this is countered by the fact that the article began with establishing the “official American establishment(‘s point of view)” that social media is liberating for oppressed people. I think that I agree with him… we should be countering this idea that social media is good for the people of an oppressed regime, and beyond that looking for alternatives systems that are not so easily surveilled and exploited by advertisers. I think that people generally understand this better in this day and age of social media as it is almost 2019.

 

Response, Revisited

“One can use axes to hew wood or to cut heads.” To me, this phrase summed up Bauman’s argument. By finishing his article with this quotation it seems like he believes social media can be equally good or bad – depending on how we use it. But neutrality is countered by the fact that the article begins by laying out the “official American establishment‘s” opinion that social media is liberating for people living under and oppressive regime.

“We live in a confessional society, promoting self exposure.” Even more now than in 2012 we are socially pressured to put our lives on instagram and other social networks. I think my generation especially understands this – when I was younger I felt a need to have an image of my whole life on Facebook.

We should be countering this idea that social media is necessarily good for the people of an oppressed regime. We should be challenging the social expectation to participate in twitter, etc., and looking for alternative systems that are not so easily surveilled and exploited by advertisers. For instance the crowdsourced, internet-free, peer to peer messaging application Firechat. Firechat probably isn’t perfect, but it’s a start. People are beginning to catch on to the darker aspects of social media. It’s definitely not 2012 anymore, but we still have aways to go.

Commentary on Debate

What a lively debate! I enjoyed how everyone was so into it. For me I find that it’s such a fine line between dominating the airspace and not speaking at all. Throughout high school I was told to talk less in class so I think I’m still finding a balance that feels right for me. As I’m entering the “real world” I’m realizing that it is important to speak my mind, and that there is nothing I can do beyond trying to bring the most quiet into the conversation. In the future I’d like to stay aware of this balance.
Initially, I wanted to be on the anti monument side, so I was slightly disappointed when I was selected for pro-monument. However, as soon as the debate began I realized that I was on the easier side of the argument. I think that monuments are funny and good thing because as we grow through the years as a culture there is always room for recontextualization or repositioning of a monument as we learn. I like my definition of a monument because it edits the traditional definition of what a monument can be. A monument isn’t a promise, it’s a statement that can be built upon or changed as years go by.