‘Two Men’ is a depiction of two gay lovers. The abstract and messy painting technique (created through the use of palette knifes) represents the conflict of gay love included in some societies. This love portrayed can be viewed as a restricting thereby linking to my theme of restriction. During the creation process, I restricted myself primarily to shades of black, white and grays, only adding fleshy skin tones as a final touch to contribute to the humanity. The use of palette knives and thick brush strokes emphasize the theme as well as emotion. The position of the male figure to the left displays a sense of humiliation as he lowers his head and arms are cut off. The male figure to the right displays insecurity as his arm is positioned across his body in a protective manner. ‘Two Men’ also shows how I have changed and developed as an artist through the painting technique and style used.
‘The Devil Within’
Mental disorders are a restriction in itself as it distorts thinking patterns and ways of life. I wanted to represent the restriction of mental disorders, so I chose to focus on split personality disorder / insanity in my painting ‘The Devil Within’. The painting depicts a woman with two heads symbolizing some kind of demon trapped inside one’s mind. The colours as well as the subject evoke the demonic and dark mood. Seth Siro Anton’s gothic, dark and beautifully chilling style inspired this piece. His influence can be identified in my choice of subject of the twisted ‘The Devil Within’.
‘Depression’ is another piece in which I involved the restriction of mental disorders. I wanted the issue to be illustrated as real as possible, explaining the use of photography. Once digitally edited and developed, I placed the series of photographs in a certain way so it gives a motion effect. These joiners represent the long sleepless hours and slow movement involved with depression. Through these images I wanted to portray sadness, loneliness, lack of interest and energy. The bed is a symbol of both discomfort and security in a depressive mind. Tracy Emin’s contemporary art piece ‘Bed’ supports the personal attachment and story a bed can hold. Other paintings that relate depression or dark moods with a bed are Henry Wallis’ ‘Chatterton’ and Walter Richard Sickert’s ‘La Hollandaise’.
The issue of drug use and the restriction of their effects are displayed in my piece ‘Kidulthood’. I was inspired by a movie named ‘Kidulthood’, telling a story of a group of teenagers involved with gang violence, drug use and theft. Drug culture is a significant problem in Britain, especially among the youth, and I feel that it more attention is needed. I believe that this piece displays my painting skills through the careful detailing, highlighting and shadowing of the face. I focused on the skin tones to insure a realistic effect. The large face covering the canvas provides an impact as it feels as though it is invading the viewer’s personal space. This resembles how I think the issue should be dealt with. I chose to show the face up-close and very much ‘in your face’ because I feel that everyone ought be aware of the damaging effects of drug use.
‘Transcription of “Ohh!” by Cayetano de Arquer Buigas’
I first saw “Ohh!” by Cayetano de Arquer Buigas during my visit to the National Portrait Gallery, BP Portrait Award 2011. The painting portrays a young woman draped in a sheet with her breast exposed, peering at an abstract Cubist style self-portrait. A painting within the painting brings two styles of painting together (realistic and abstract). Like Cayetano de Arquer Buigas, I wanted to incorporate two contrasting styles of painting in one. I replaced the Cubist style portrait with Guy Denning’s ‘# 407 Untitled’ - a painting more fitting to my theme of restriction, complementing a darker mood. The screaming face differs with the natural and light beauty of the woman and the setting of the scene. This piece allowed me to combine my realistic painting skills with an abstract twist.
The title contradicts with the painting style as it is deliberately left with an unfinished look. This piece shows the transformation of my style and technique, so I believe that it is an appropriate capture of the end of the art course. Alexander Jason Shawn became influence me greatly as his work exposed me to a certain beauty of abstract art that I had not see before. The tones of flesh and skin represent the uncovering of truth. The man stripped from his mask he has hidden behind from the world conflicts with the theme of restriction, as all boundaries are pushed. The painting style used also reveals this, as at the start of the course I attempted to paint realistically however now I am freer with my style, looser with my brush strokes and use vibrant colours. The unfinished effect emphasizes imperfection, an aspect I previously tried to avoid.
‘A Study Of Francis Bacon’
This piece was inspired by one of my favourite artists Francis Bacon, one of a series based on the life mask of poet and painter William Blake. The figurative painter (known for his bold, graphic and emotionally raw imagery) introduced me to a darker style of art – an aspect I wished to include in my interpretation. The unhealthy looking face is deepened by shadows and highlights, yet awakened by fleshy tones. The face appears to drag pain and loneliness, with a ghost like expression. “This is not a portrait of the flesh, but of a spirit”. I wanted to capture this mood therefore I added lines symbolizing a jail highlighting the emotion of entrapment, thereby stressing the theme of restriction.
The biblical story of Adam and Eve entail the theme of restriction as the couple is forbidden to eat from the ‘Tree of Knowledge’. Some interpret this message is as the limitations of God and religion, even though I disagree with this concept (I personally believe that religion is liberating not constraining) I found it interesting to express this idea. Egon Shiele’s subject in “Self Portrait with Arm Twisted Above Head” seemed as an appropriate figure to represent the sin of disobeying God. The use of colour and figures relate to different sins, underlining the separation from God. The Tree of Knowledge is portrayed as deprived rather than fruitful (which is how the tree is described in the bible) also representing this idea. The distorted and starved figure portrays restriction from food – a reverse of the sin ‘gluttony’. Its green colour symbolizes the sin ‘envy’. The red apple is associated with the tempting sin ‘lust’. The purpose of this painting is to address the idea of ‘restriction in temptation’.
I created this piece during the art examination in Winter 2010. The assignment required a representation of one or all of the seven deadly sins. I chose to focus on the powerful emotion of ‘Wrath’. To display this strong emotion I wanted the image to scream out of the frame, leaving an impact on the viewer. Through my research of Guy Denning’s style and artworks, especially ‘# 407 Untitled’, I was taught and inspired how to produce such passion.
‘Silent Restriction’ is a video transcription of Seth Siro Anton’s ‘Politic’ series, depicting three men dressed in suits with monstrous faces. I wanted to include a contrast between the outfit, stance and face of my subject. The camera’s shutter speed was slowed down while the model shock his head from side to side frantically, providing the motion effect. The model’s body had to remain still while he screamed in order to capture a detailed image. The still and sharp focus on the professional looking body contrasts with the facial expression of fear and insanity. This piece encouraged my photographic and editing skills. I wanted to portray a silent restriction or battle within oneself in the moving image. As if one looks well and happy on the outside, however in reality one feels trapped and is screaming on the inside.
The workbook investigation focusing on illustrators exposed me to a number of artists that influenced my art such as; Anthony Micallef, Seth Siro Anton and Dale Grimshaw. The artworks from these illustrators exposed me to what seemed to be another world of art – a different method of expression. It was the assignment that set up my ideas and theme of restriction. The painting ‘Restriction’ Anthony Micallef’s ‘Broken’ resembled how I wanted to introduce the theme to the viewers of my exhibition. The abstract and smudgy brush strokes (that still display legiable detail) enhance the energy realized from the figure in the image. Her tied up hands and smashed down body demonstrate such emotion. The restriction of movement is eliminates any chance to break free. The position of the woman suggests she is thrown down and beaten, evoking a painful and dark mood. This sense of entrapment is carried throughout my other artworks.
Poverty and world hunger is an ongoing serious issue that involves lack of resources for basic needs such as clean water, education, health care and aid. While researching ‘world issues’ I felt that this matter deserved my attention. I thought that a painting of a drought sums up the