This project taught me a lot about my process and what inspires me. Through countless interactions and manipulation of materials I achieved the outcome I was hoping for. While I may have fallen short on conveying my concept to the audience as my piece was abstract, I felt that my piece was very compelling from a strictly visual perspective. This final presentation also made me think about how I could have made my piece more literal in its meaning. However, i came to the conclusion that it was not necessary for it to be more literal as some of the most successful art only makes sense when explained by the artist. My project was inspired by artists such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Donald Judd’s installation in Marfa, all of these artist create highly conceptual works of art that the viewer may not understand without an explanation. I see beauty in this, however I did realize that sound may have made my piece much more impactful in its meaning. Another challenge I faced was the actual construction of the piece. Originally I wanted to make the box myself, however it was not possible technically. I then bought a display box and did not realize there was a circle at the bottom of it. Because it was impossible to remove the circle I had to rethink what the bottom of the box would have. This resulted in me covering it in “oil” and concealing it with flowers. The box also did not fit the cowboy boots naturally therefor I had to bend them and force them in, which I actually ended up liking more as it made it more abstract, instead of looking like I simply boot boots in a display box. The aloe was another object I texted out multiple times. Originally I wanted to have it towards the side and I also thought I would be removing the dirt. However, when I saw the clear vase I thought it would be much more beautiful to actually show the soil and roots. The aloe was also originally going to be completely painted black. The video was possibly the most challenging part for me as I am not an expert in Premiere and had only used it once before. I originally was going to simply play a trailer from Giant, which was one of the main inspirations for the project, however I felt like that was an easy way out and almost “cheating”. I used footage from No Country for Old Men, Giant, Westworld and other found footage on YouTube. I felt that this made the video much more interesting and diverse, it also gave me more space to express the meaning of my project and show what inspired it. Overall, I was very satisfied with my project and enjoyed the process as I felt free to experiment and had the right amount of time to alter and adjust the piece.
Sofia Perevalova is a multimedia artist and designer. Throughout this semester she has worked on a installation, 2D, 3D and digital work for her studio class. Sofia experimented with Photoshop to create digital paintings which than transgressed into 2D pieces created using paint as well as gold leaf. She has also used Premiere to create a short film from found footage to support a larger installation piece. Sofia’s main focus throughout studio was installation work which she produced using materials such as plastic, mirror and ready-made objects.
Sofia’s works stem from the readings done in Integrated Seminar. Texts by McLuhan and the film Oh Lucy! have played an important role in developing the concept of her pieces. As Sofia’s work is focused on gender, power and performance, her Seminar research has propelled her current and future projects as she continues to explore gender as a performance and the effects gender has on our society at large.
As Sofia is passionate about fashion, her final installation piece was inspired not only by Western films, but also the Chanel Paris-Dallas 2013/2014 show. This is not her first piece inspired by her love of fashion, Sofia has also produced a series of diptychs focused on the Queen of England and her timeless elegance. As Sofia has lived in both England and Texas these works are personal to her as she references her cultural background.
Sofia was born in Dallas, Texas and has lived in Moscow, Russia, London, England and is currently living in New York city. As a half Russian and half American Sofia has had a vast exposure to a myriad of art, people and culture. She is currently enrolled at Parsons School of Design and is studying to earn her BBA in Strategic Design and Management.
Visual Essay Collage:
Selections from Research Paper:
“Drag is represented as a complex gender performance and impersonation. It is a way for the performers as well as the audience to explore their sexuality and gender identity. Drag Queens through this gender illusion they create as a result have been to pioneers in American society of gender identity and self acceptance. It is through their flamboyant, extravagant and charismatic performance the queens themselves as well as the audience have been able to let go of their self-imposed gender boundaries and be themselves. However, drag queens have not always been celebrated performers in our society. “
“The art has drag has enabled society to explore the realms of gender identity, self expression and sexuality. Through its recent commercialization and its previous influence on queer culture it has defined American culture and provided individuals with the freedom to explore who they are. Drag has altered pop-culture, performing arts, and has redefined gender. Its rise to prominence and acceptance is inspiring to all and shows the dedication and perseverance of these performers and artists. Whether it is the beauty industry, reality TV or simply human interaction the legacy of drag can be examined. While drag queens are still advocating for changes in our social justice systems regarding LGBT their influence on the youth is astounding. Drag has provided us with humor, an appreciation for the art of costume and makeup, and has enriched American history. “
What Really Eats My Soul
After viewing Tiravanija’s Untited 2017 flag, I began to thing what do I fear that eats my soul? As I compiled a list in my head of all the things I am afraid of, I noticed a patter. What I realized was that I was listing my superficial fears. I am afraid of things like big birds, spiders, snakes, mold, but I couldn’t help but think these can’t really be my deepest fears. These things are simply phobias, things that make me uncomfortable. I began to dig deeper.
What I realized is that I fear disappointment, I fear rejection, fakeness and most of all I fear those who I love getting hurt. These fears to effect those around me even tho I surpress them, I often worry about my friends being mad at me, my parents disapproving of my work and ideas. My fear of fakeness has the biggest effect as it takes over my mind and makes me think those around me are not genuine, don’t really care about me and have hidden agendas. This paranoia is damaging to my relationships as it shows my distrust in people.
My fear of rejection often leads to me not completing my plans as I worry they wont go the way I expected. I fear that I will make a work of art I believe is amazing, but not one else will like it. This leads to me dismissing my ideas and not pursuing them further. This fear is by far the most damaging as it makes me think about all the missed opportunities I have had that I was to afraid to pursue.
Fear its away at my dreams and ambition. It is something that everyone must overcome to actively pursue what they believe they are destine to do. I believe once I let go of my fears I will be unstoppable.
Tiravanija, Rirkit. Untitled. 2017. Creative Time Headquarters. New York.
Seminar has taught me a lot about the way I understand visual culture. The readings we were presented with greatly broadened my understanding of media, the McLuhan text in particular made me think about how I understand messages. I found all the readings and films to be very diverse in their content, however they all had a similar message. The in depth explorations conducted in and outside of class have changed the way I see and understand messages in my life. Bridges 1 and 2 made me much more aware of my surroundings and taught me to notice things I previously may have not. The final research paper was particularly educational for me as I chose a theme I was previously not educated in. Conducting this research showed me how relevant drag is and how this complex gender performance has impacted even meh daily life.
During studio I experimented with a myriad of materials from gold leaf to plastic. I found the diptych iterations helped me conceptualize my work and pay attention to detail. The final project required heavy attention to detail and iterations which I was prepared for because of the previous works.
The taxonomy made me branch out with my theme and investigate other instances of gender and power in society. Through the investigation I developed a specific aesthetic and became inspired by Western movies and my time in Texas. Through the collection of these images I was able to transform my idea into something unexpected in comparison to my previous works.
The Whitney research resulted in the development of my seminar research topic. While it did not directly influence my studio project it broadened my view of gendered art and helped me create a connection between my studio and seminar work.
Final Studio Project:
(clips from video)
Final Personal Reflection:
Key Bridge experiences: The final research and studio project have made me much more diligent and have forced me to pay extreme attention to detail. While these topics may seem completely opposite, through my research and conceptual analysis of the works I was able to see a strong connection between the two works. Each of these projects are based on gender and the notion of gender in performance. Another key experience in seminar and studio were the iterations of the diptychs which taught me attention to detail and how to fine tune and develop off of an idea. During seminar I found the research leading up to the final paper was extremely valuable as it forced me to think deeply about my paper and what I want the final outcome to be.
Thinkers, writers and artists: in Seminar I found the most important thinker and writer was Marshall McLuhan. Through his text I reconsidered everything I know about media, messages and mediums. This reading resulted in me reconsidering how I interpret visual art and the messages in my daily life.
In Studio the artists I was most influenced by were Damien Hirst and Rene Magritte. Both of these artist were crucial in developing my projects. I was also heavily influenced by the movies No Country for Old Men by Ethan Coen and Giant by George Stevens. This films were directly connected to my final project and continue to inspire my future work based on Texas.
Defining my wardrobe: to begin the fashion challenge I had to throughly clean out my closet and put into suitcases the clothes I would not be wearing. I did not include in this challenge things like pajamas of course. I did however limit myself to only 1 winter coat instead of the 3 I normally wear. As I began to put away mostly the printed items that are difficult to style I started to think about the clothes I feel most comfortable in and typically wear. I decided I would be leaving out 2 black trousers, 1 pair of pinstriped pants, 1 pair of grey pants, 2 pairs of different style jeans and 4 large crewneck sweatshirts. I also left out 2 skirts, a simple black dress, 3 pairs of sports leggings and 3 t-shirts, 2 black sweaters, 1 grey sweaters, 1 white sweater, 1 light blue sweater, 3 jackets (1 leather, 1 athletic, 1 canvas), I also left 2 simple silk and 2 cotton shirt for warmer days and a turtleneck. What I found by doing this is that I left out clothes I already wear most of the time anyway. As I sorted through my clothes I decided I would be giving away some of the things I have not worn in a while. I took a large bag of clothes to the nearby thrift store Beacons Closet.
The constraints: I went into this project scared because of the limitations. I was not wrong to assume so. Because of the unpredictable weather it was difficult to work with what I had clothing-wise. I also felt somewhat frustrated and insecure that people thought I was wearing the same thing everyday. Because of this during the week I resorted to mostly sweatpants and gym clothes. Having that as a backup option was helpful for class options. I also found that my leather jacket was the most useful item in making my outfits look different and trying to put together new looks. What helped was that I had a variety of shoes and accessories to pick from when going out for dinner with friends or something. However, even tho I was able to accessorize and make the most of what I had, this was extremely difficult for me.
Testimonial from my friend Matthew DePalo:
“I was so surprised to see Sofie pull off the Minimalist Fashion Challenge! I would not have expected her to do this and definitely noticed a shift in her lifestyle. Sofie wore sweatpants to class much more often which was a departure from her style and also placed an emphasis on the versatility and durability of the clothing she selected to keep. She kept a lot of grey, black and white and definitely ran into trouble putting together outfits but made it through.”
Reflection: this challenge made me very grateful for having clothing of higher quality as I believe if I had only fast fashion items to pick from they would have been physically impossible to wear by the end of the challenge. I learned a lot about my personal style and the things I gravitate towards in fashion. This challenge made me think about how much stuff I have and how I do not necessarily need all those clothes that I previously thought I “could not live without”. While I was often frustrated with these limitations the versatility of the clothing items I selected allowed for some room to explore new outfits. This challenge definitely made me think about what is important in clothes and as a future designer this was an important lesson as it taught me what clothing items are essentials and how a simple black turtleneck and leather jacket can go a very long way. My style inspirations for this challenge were Pheobe Philo and Hamish Bowles, two powerful individuals in the fashion industry who found what looks good on them and stick to it.
For my project I have thus far collected the plants I will be using, have completed the basic structure and composition of the video I will be projecting and conceptualized the presentation style. I have decided not to use the trailer of Giant but instead create my own video using found footage from No Country For Old Men, Giant, videos I took in Texas and other footage of cowboys and other “Texan man” related things. I researched a variety of Western movies. I have also researched what the best plant to use for my project will be. The plants I will be using are Wax Flowers which have small white flowers and have a stronger visual impact than daisies would. The aloe I will be painting in the black “oil” material and placing outside the box. I have also collected the materials needed for the actual presentation. I still have to complete the video and construct the project. Because the flowers are perishable I will have to actually
Since last week I have attempted to construct the plastic box myself. However, due to the thinness of the box and lack of materials I was unable to construct a box that looked clean cut and professional. I then went to the Container Store and purchased a clear display box. I then stylized how the boots will be displayed inside the box. I decided that having them smashed in the box made it look more visually interesting than simply placing them side by side as planned.
I have also created a prototype of the “oil” I will be using in my project to reference the masculinity of the oil industry. Oil is an integral aspect of Texas and is really what helped create the idea of a “Texan Man”. When one thinks of oil the never think of women working in the oil industry whether it is mining or being a major oil exec. I believe this will be a key element in my project which explores gender in Texas.
To create this oil I used glossy modge podge mixed with regular black acrylic paint. This created a nice rubber-like texture which was easy to manipulate and once dry can be easily peeled off plastic.
I am still deciding if I want to include a coyote or other small animal skull in my piece. This object will reference the masculinity of hunting and how it is a major aspect of ranch culture. I would place the skull on top of the display box and possibly cover it in the oil too to make the piece more coherent.
For the flower element of the piece which references femininity and nature I will be using small wild daisies and cactuses. The daisies will be put inside the box along with the cowboy boots. They will not be covered in oil as I plan on also using them as a reference to “purity” and how it is expected of women. The flowers in my piece also allude to the idea of a “Southern Belle”. The cactuses I plan on placing outside the box and covering in the oil material as cactuses are a more masculine plant and are often seen on ranches in West Texas.
I have also finalized my decision with the video element of my project. This video will be project alongside the project. I plan on displaying the project on a table covered with white cloth to not distract from the piece and make it more aesthetically pleasing. The projection will not be over the piece but nearby.
Below is a link to the video I will displaying on a loop.