Diptych

My first idea for the diptych was to create a modern-day version of the hunger artist by creating a graphic of someone desperately pushing the boundaries to gain recognition in the form of social media likes and followers. This never came to life so instead I created my diptych from two photos I shot over the weekend. The top one is of a broken mirror I found lying on the side of the street. It is representative of the “Art of Painting” because like Vermeer, I have created a self-portrait showing me in my working state. Vermeer paints himself making a painting while I am photographing myself taking a photograph. The mirror is like the drawn back curtain in Vermeer’s painting because they both give the viewer a perspective he/she usually would not get. In my case the person standing behind the camera. The cracks and shattered glass of the mirror make the highlights of the photo appear in different places in the frame. It is similar to the way Vermeer plays with light hitting many different parts of his painting. Vermeer is a master of light and uses it to create depth. People often marveled at how he manipulated perspective. The broken mirror is quite literal manipulation of perspective as the viewer does not know what the scene looks like undistorted. Just looking at the photo, one has no sense of the real position of the trees and signs. Or how many of the signs/branches are real and how many are duplicates. I initially cropped the photo so one only saw the mirror but then I remembered how Vermeer used objects in the background as symbols and I realized I was cropping out my own symbols. The shoe in the photo represents the exploring aspect of being a photographer. The viewer only sees the photo in 2d on a screen. The shoe is a reminder that I actually got up and went to a location to capture a moment. I feel like sometimes people don’t immerse themselves in photos enough. They just glaze over them without putting themselves in the photographers shoes. I also didn’t crop out the crack in the ground because it has compositional value and I believe photographers should shoot more than just conventional beauty. The last symbol is the many faces. I feel all good photographers have more than just one face behind the camera because they experiment with many perspectives and capture different feelings and experiences. The viewer should never limit the photographer and the photographer should never limit him or herself. This is similar to Vermeer’s message that people should not limit what the artist can capture because the art can capture a range of things from nothing at all to something very important. The bottom photo is representative of Earthquake in Chile. Jeronimo and Donna are forbidden to love each other because of the structure of religion. In the end, love triumphs all and they stay together despite society and an earthquake. My photo shows a similar idea but way less dramatic. On a very crowded street in New York, its difficult to walk side by side with someone without getting bumped. New Yorkers are ruthless to those who don’t abide by the walking code. In my photo, a couple crosses a crowded street refusing to break from each other’s grasp. Them holding hands represents love and the strength of human connection. The top photo contrasts with the bottom because it shows two different lives and the choices some people make. The top photo is the artist. The artist lives through his art. His art keeps him company. Art enables him to have many faces and live multiple lives through his work. Sometimes it means separating oneself from society and not being seen. Vermeer’s curtain would usually be covering his studio. It is a sacrifice the artist makes but not a path everyone has to take. The bottom photo shows a different path involving more than just oneself and their work. Each path is beautiful and its own way and each path has sacrifices.

Process

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