Bridge 1 Part II: What If?

After completing Bridge 1 Part 1, my partner Zen responds to my Day 4 Image as below:

  • What if the photo is taken from a different angle?
  • What if the photo is a painting or an illustration or a sculpture or an installation?
  • What if the photo is printed and enlarged?
  • What if the photo is turned into a model?
  • What if the photo is painted on street?
  • What if the photo is printed on daily objects? ex. plates, cups, book cover
  • What if the photo is a poster that has a slogan under?
  • What if the buildings are no constructed or not tall?
  • What if the buildings are turn into wasteland?
  • What if the photo is taken in a different lighting or weather?
  • What if there are people or lively objects in the photo?
  • What if the photo is made of a collage?

The idea of taking the buildings in a different angle makes me interested, so I find another related image of buildings in NYC on Pinterest. Zen then responds my image:

  • What if the image is in other color than black and white?
  • What if the image is in drawing or painting than photograph?
  • What if the image is made with textures?
  • What if the image is made in 3D instead of 2D?
  • What if there are living things in the image?
  • What if it’s taken from another angle?

I find these questions helpful and critical before I construct my Bridge 1. The theme I choose is environment, and I want to concentrate on how people who come to achieve their dreams feel lost in NYC, a complex and cruel city. I decide to use acrylic paint on a 9’12 canvas, since I have practiced acrylic painting during my winter vacation, and I can imagine how the material will create the feeling of loss and helpless. I first painted the background using cinnabar (this color is a symbol of bloody hell), and draw a giant golden halo on top. After painting the basic structures of some landmarks of NYC using dark brown, I cover the buildings with fog (inspired by the second image I send to Zen) to capture the idea of loss. The red and brown dots across the canvas are symbolizing people from different cultures are mixed together randomly. Finally, nothing can surpass the halo on top, which means “nobody can escape from this invisible cage”.

After discussing with my professor, we decide not to change the original artwork; instead, I create a list of symbols in the painting:

  • Red – blood, hell, conflict
  • Halo – invisible control above the city
  • Brown strokes – basic structure of the landmark buildings
  • Fog – the charm of the city, the loss of people’s mind
  • Dots – New York civilians from different background

I also do research on female painters who express their emotions, skills, and feelings on canvas in a “freestyle”, including Joan Mitchell, Hellen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning,and Sonia Gechtoff.

I barely try abstract painting before, and I am satisfied on the presentation of the final painting. However, I am still trying to find a balance between being symbolic and being easy-understood. I am still a novice on painting, so I can only imagine my work being placed on student exhibition for three days. The painting is too abstract, so I don’t expect viewers to understand it completely; in other words, this is not mature enough on its general content.

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