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The theme that serves the upmost important to me is the theme I am very familiar with. It is the one that I have personally experienced and can relate to most definite. Although I think most of the art themes serve an important purpose, I feel the Cycle of Life is the most important to me followed by Community then Illusion. I say Cycle of Life is the most important because I experienced the birth of my son. I feel the Cycle of Life is most important because it is universal.
We can explore the life cycle through points of view and works of art in order to better appreciate different stages in the life cycle and to better understand human nature. Our textbook shares the C-print of Rineke Dijkstra “Julie” (1994). It captures the shock of sudden motherhood. The picture is real to me because I have experienced the exact shock. I recognize myself in it.
That was my first time holding my baby, I was protecting him.
The trauma of death within a family or community may be overcome, or at least eased, by artworks that show these events as part of a bigger picture that links us both to our ancestors and to our descendants. While Community can mean a place geographically, it can also relate to a sense of belonging. Also, the Community is merely responsible citizens living in harmony even though the art can become a controversy. My Community is where I find comfort, my refuge and support.
Community is a sense of connectedness between individuals and groups of people. A Community is an understanding, a bond that is shared within the group and identified with by its members. It reminds me of a piece of fabric, we are all tiny strands put together creating something bigger.
The book discussed, Tilted Arc, 1981 by Richard Serra as an example of Art and Community. This sculptor was eventually taken down because the public thought it was a disruptive nuisance. The workers complained the artwork interfered with their use of the plaza causing a safety hazard while attracting graffiti artists, rats and criminals. Another very recent example of a sculpture representing the Community, but causing controversy was the “Silent Sam” sculpture. Silent Sam was constructed in 1913 attributing the sons of the university who entered the war of 1861-1865 and was toppled in August by protesting students. The remnants of Silent Sam are located on the University of NC-Chapel Hill’s campus. School Chancellor, Carol Folt on Monday ordered the removal of the pedestal and announced her resignation. ‘Overnight, workers removed the base and tablets from the Confederate Monument site,’ Folt said hours later on Twitter. ‘I am confident this is the right decision for our community – one that will promote public safety, enable us to begin the healing process and renew our focus on our great mission.’
Lastly, art has the ability to amaze and inspire, and few artworks do this better than those that fool the eye. These types of art—aptly referred to as illusion art—easily trick the viewer into believing what they think they see. An example of Art and Illusion in the textbook is Chuck Close’s portrait (Fanny/Finger-painting, 1985). Fanny is a finger painting of his grandmother-in-law that represents one of the largest and most masterly executions of a technique the artist developed in the mid-1980s. He used only his thumb and fingerprints to meticulously reproduce each section on the oiled canvas. Viewed from a distance the painting reveals every crack and crevice of her face. Closer up, the paint surface dissolves into fingerprints that have an abstract beauty. Also, the viewer can see the wrinkles, her chin hairs and even down to the strands of hair is magnified.
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