Q: What do you think are the concerns about the environment and landscape in his work? Narrative? Do you see the influences of Magritte and Escher in his work? Name examples.
Erik Johansson’s work and his visual observations on the environment and landscape clearly expose his views. He shows his disappointment on how humanity is ruining the earth around us to create cities and easier approach for transportation. His pictures show his irritation with roads and how they are damaging the nature. By presenting this all through a naive perspective, he offers the idea that humanity does this with insensitivity, not really understanding how upsetting the consequences could be for the future of our planet. The artist portrays the idea of story in his edited pictures, by displaying that human’s will and can construct the landscapes around them. In the picture on the right, we see a young woman painting and ocean around her that melts into a real ocean. This interpretation shows us the human imagination and how people can create new worlds and new futures.
This piece on the left is a perfect admiration piece to Maurits Cornelis Escher’s self-portrait. Johansson is displaying it in a surrealist style. He modifies the picture to the point where it is a clear reference to Escher, but still an original piece, especially with the difference of the medium.
This piece on the left is a clear reference to René Magritte’s extraordinary surreal paintings with the bright blue sky as well as clouds in the background. It has a very noticeable color pattern that is found in Magritte’s paintings as well as it takes that solid surreal portion.
Q: Define Intertextuality.
“Intertexuality” is defined as the interrelationship between texts, particularly works of literature; the way that similar or related texts influence, reflect, or differ from each other.
Q: In the following case, could you name the original reference in these images (pick 3), and describe how the original text influences (content wise) the new image.
Kehinde Wiley reconstructs old masterpieces while replacing young African American men instead of using the white powerful leaders. All of these images show intertextuality between modern times/ pop culture, and old baroque period works of art. The artist is getting rid of the usual white men, who are in power and replacing them with black men. By doing this, he makes the painting look like an imitation and that’s exactly what he wanted to do. In the new art work- reconstructed, these men are portrayed in a hero’s position, and they are portraying black men of power, great influence and great leaders. However, in today’s society, the same young black men stereotypically are viewed as criminals. Kehinde painted the men wearing modern day clothing. In my opinion, the artist is trying to prove that there are black men who would or could be great leaders and have a lot of influence on our society. Wiley is trying to break the stereotypes for black men.
Q: In the series Drop Dead Gorgeous, what do you think are the links between the objects, gender, and context?
In the series Drop Dead Gorgeous by Daniela Edburg, each image is a short story of death and desire. I believe the links between the objects, gender, and contexts all come together in the idea of consumerism within the female population. By presenting only female models, surrounded by lots of everyday products that are killing them. The artist is observing the overwhelming force of consumerism and how it is killing the way women view products, materials, and themselves. For example, in the image Death by Lifesavers, a young woman is dead in a pool with lifesaver candies around her. This picture questions our relationship with food and beauty. Food is the substance of life, but in the wrong hands can lead to unpleasant situations.
Q: Why do you think the act of erasure / subtraction is used by the artist?
Erasure and Subtraction have been one of the most captivating artistic methods that I have seen. The impact that removal can make is huge and fascinating. By subtracting the most important point in the picture, the artists causes his audience to pay more or close attention to the missing piece rather than what is still there. This allows the viewers to use their imagination to complete the image. In regard to the works of Alexander Apostol and Charles Cohen, we see two different styles of removal and the unusual pieces that are created from it. Cohen’s pieces from his Buff collection use removal by getting rid of the subject of the original picture and giving the taste of isolation. Alexander Apostol’s use of removal is more indirect but equally interesting. In his Residente Pulido collection, he takes pictures of rundown buildings. He subtracts the markings that would give indication of use. He allows the viewer to engage the subject in its pure form.