Utopian-Dystopian Place Project

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for me the concepts of  Utopia and Dystopia are similar whats is utopia for some might be dystopia for others and vice versa . Utopia itself suggests uniformity in various ways and that reminds me of dystopia. a perfect world is not a size fits all. I decide to only use primary colors to reflect this, but at the same time there is white, black and different shades of this representing the marginal layers in society. the colors are contained by angular shapes that look futuristic and neat but when you look closer they structures and stairwells don’t make sense; this supports my idea of utopia and dystopia being the same at the end because they are so extreme.

My visual inspiration came from Multidisciplinary Bauhaus artist-designer Herbert Bayer, his architectural renderings of minimalistic and geometric buildings and brutalist architecture, which has some utopia gone wrong ideas behind; most of those buildings are now updated and ugly some are ruins.

In my pieces one is a cityscape, at the begging I wanted to be more objective and for my piece to look like a real city, but at the end I decided to play more with color and transparency to emphasize the perspective drawing. my second piece is an interior view of one of the buildings, the top residence of the skyscraper, it looks more like a floor plan there is no furniture inside and some walls are transparent but the intricate floor plan makes it seem claustrophobic. a palace in the sky that its also a prison. this piece made me me think of socialism which seems like a failed utopia for me, it is good it theory but it ended up failing in some countries because of power abuse and the fact that people like to compete.


utopia and dystopia

both books Brave New World and 1984 deal with the theme of dystopia, but the characters don’t realize at the beginning or they think they live in a perfect world (utopia) this concept suggest uniformity that is also related to dystopia. a perfect world is not a size fits all.

my visual inspiration came from Multidisciplinary Bauhaus artist-designer Herbert Bayer, his architectural renderings of minimalistic and geometric buildings which also include mixed media elements like newspaper cut outs.

this juxtaposition of different media represents to me a media dominated society and the simplicity of the building reminds me of utopia so does brutalist architecture specially housing projects.

there is something authoritarian about this style but it is also supposed to make people’s lives easier.

I want to create a bristol board triptych with 3 scenes from future utopian/dystopian society where the buildings seem normal but as you look closer you realize that there is something wrong and the buildings an city planning does not make sense. I will draw by hand the city in perspective, then i will use color treatments endplay with opacity in photoshop and illustrator.


I think that the relationship between observational perspective drawing  and the perspectival type project is that you need to do the first to be successful in the later, because you need to see and analyze how objects behave to replicate the same effect in your imagination.


Nostalgic place Photomontage

I tried to convey a sense of nostalgia in this photomontage by using layers and transparency to represent fog, a mayor characteristic of the place I picked my hometown Saltillo Mexico. the highway represents personal memories of approaching this place, because of latitude you have to drive through hills; I also included in the background some of the skyline making emphasis on the older buildings and juxtaposed with some electric posts in the front layer to signify the passage of time.

cityscape/ graphic unit

Altered photos from the UC


sketches for my icons

progress of my cityscapes

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Why does it matter?

I think that my strongest piece is my cityscape because I learned how to create rules for myself  and on the technical side I applied previous knowledge about composition and illustrator. compositionally this piece is successful because of the perspective and dimension that I created in a flat space also I learned about color theory and how color can help to give the illusion of depth.

I would like to edit two of my collages using the same concepts they were created in a more intuitive way my symmetry and asymmetry collages were the more successful but my dominance and nested square could improve.

What now?

I look forward to use color theory, a concept in which I recently acquired knowledge. Color is important it can change the mood and make or break a piece of work.


Stuart Davis: In Full Swing

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Place Pasdeloup, 1928. Oil on canvas, 36 3/8 × 29 in. (92.4 × 73.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney 31.170. © Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA, New York Stuart Davis (1892–1964), New York Mural, 1932. Oil on canvas, 84 × 48 in. (213.4 × 122 cm). Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida; purchase, R. H. Norton Trust. © Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA, New York Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Lucky Strike, 1924. Oil on paperboard, 18 × 24 in. (45.6 × 60.9 cm). Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photograph by Cathy Carver

How did Stuart Davis communicate PLACE in abstract paintings?  

in his  work he used a lot of elements taken from advertising which I think suggested the time he was living in a fast-paced post-modern world, it might not be a physical place but you can know the time period and see the importance of advertising.

in the Paris paintings and the New York mural he uses icons to represent place, in the Paris paintings he uses architectural and cultural elements like the cafe and also the typography inn french makes it more obvious. the New York  mural includes iconic buildings but also symbols from the time period the mural was made even the fact of it being a mural represents time the great depression. http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/StuartDavis?&artwork_id=13908&filter_id=60


Drawing from photography

Line VS. Value


I personally prefer working with line over value, because it allows me to place the objects in the drawing easily in a more technical way and I feel in control of the drawing. I think that working with value is more about the drawing guiding you. even though I’m not the biggest fan of value I liked the results and the experience of working differently.