Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Warhol Project

Into Week 4 of Warhol.

Here is the assignment and the image I produced for Week 3 Peer Assessment:

You should select an image that you find in a newspaper, magazine, or online. You could choose a picture of a celebrity (like Warhol's images of Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley), a product (like Warhol's Coca-Cola bottles, Campbell's soup cans, or Brillo boxes), or a picture of a tragedy (like in Warhol's Death and Disaster series). Crop this image as you think appropriate. Multiply it as many times as you like - or if you think it works best in isolation, as a single image, you can do so. Play with color: your completed image could be all one tone, or use several colors.

You need to post two things: the completed image, and a short piece of text about the picture.

Your completed image can be posted in the box on this page, or you may host it on an external site. If you host it externally, please provide a link so that others can see the image.

You should also write three sentences about your finished work. In sentence 1, you should explain how you chose the image that you appropriated for your work. In sentence 2, you should explain why you chose to use analogue or digital methods, and the challenges that these presented to you. In sentence 3, you should justify the aesthetic decisions that you made (cropping, repetition, color use, etc). Do not write more than 300 words.

     An exploration of back issues of Vanity Fair magazine brought forth Brad Pitt in the November 2012 "Smelling Them Softly" Spotlight feature.  I remembered my surprise back then that a man would be the voice and image of an iconic women's perfume.  Maureen Chiquet, CEO of Chanel No. 5, stated that Chanel No. 5 is the most iconic fragrance of our time.  Warhol painted it and Brad Pitt is the iconic actor of our time.  Vanity Fair saw the House of Chanel circling back to its gender-bending origins when Coco Chanel raided her boyfriends' closets.
     I chose a combination of analogue and digital processes with the most weight on digital.  I cut the image from the magazine, scanned it and then outlined areas and made other marks using graphite and ink.  I scanned the marked image and imported it into Adobe Photoshop.  I used various tools, most importantly, Curves>Cross Processing where I played with the RGB color channels.  I also used Channel Mixer for the black and white portions.
      I was influenced by Warhol's "Marilyn Diptych" and "Untitled from Marilyn Monroe".  The diptych repeats the same colored imaged in the first panel and repeats the same image in the second panel but in black and white with versions from well-balanced to smudged to barely visible. The "Untitled..." piece was inspiration to try a variety of colors with a single image.  Variations of pinks are in most of Warhol’s Marilyn pieces suggesting femininity.  As I translated elements of these two works into my piece, I saw Pitt's pink shirt  suggesting his feminine side and the darkness, assertion of his masculine side.  The halo effect is a nod to his iconic attributes.

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