Critique week-Day 3 and 4: Tutor critique, peer critique and Francis Bacon Documentary

Wednesday, the tutors held individual critiques with several of the students. They talked about each piece of art, what it’s about, why the student made it, if they could change anything and what their favorite aspect of it is. Here are some pictures of the pieces that were critiqued (note: I don’t know the names of most of the students)

IMG_3359The student who created this piece was inspired by a beam of light that shone through a window from the British museum. He made this by installing a light-bulb in the wall, and painting around it. He also painted a mural depicting a saint-like figure immersed in light. It is a simple, but creative response to something he saw at the museum and gives the impression of someone who is about to “go to the light”. Could have added more imagery to the black, painted wall, but other than that, it was very good.

IMG_3353Fellow fine art student, Ann, made this one. It is a film that depict her walking around Farnham, wearing an object made from clean-film and plastic. She needed help from a friend to walk around town without bumping into people. I don’t really understand what she was trying to do with this, but she was clearly passionate about it, and I can respect that. Sometimes, art doesn’t have to make sense.

IMG_3356The student that did this seemed to be influenced by the art of Francis Bacon. Each face is different from the last, and the face in the corner is particularly frightening. I guess my only complaint is that the drawn face is in the corner and it makes it a bit difficult to see it from far away. Other than that, I like how each face is different and distinct, and the use of black on the face in the corner is very impressive.

IMG_3355Fellow student, Jacque, created this stunning installation, using cardboard, masking tape and various other materials. This was a stunning collection and very creative. It is like a collection of tribal artifacts and relics. The only downside I can see is that the narrative is not completely clear. Still, the collection is highly diverse, yet are connected by the theme of a tribe.

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IMG_3360Joslyn produced this photograph of 3 bricks, with the apple logo painted on each one. The thought behind this is to present the bricks in their natural state, before they are used to make a wall. Which makes the fact that she pined this against a brick wall a nice contrast, as well as a glimpse into the future of the brick. The only complaint I can find in this is the black and white will make it difficult for people to see, unless they get up close.

IMG_3362At 12.40, I watched an insightful documentary on the late artist, Francis Bacon. In it, he talked about his artwork, his favorite type of art, and how he approaches each new piece of work. We also see him in his free time, frequently drinking at his local pub (which I think is still around, but under a different name). Bacon was very frank on his art, as well as his lifestyle. I was especially invested when he casually talked about death, being perfectly content with the fact that he would eventually pass away. This was a great way to spend the afternoon and an amazing look into the career of a great artist.

For today, I had to form a critique group and together, we had to critique outcomes that relate to the body. As you can see, it was a diverse collection, with a good use of materials and methods (pencil, paint, plaster, video, chalk and more).

Each piece shows a different facet of the human body, mainly in a negative light. For example, the image below depict a sexist idea of women in society, mainly those who sell their bodies. Like vending machines, there is more than one and sometimes, they “break down”. This could be seen as tasteless, but I respect the artist for going all the way with this art piece.

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IMG_3373This painting has strong use of layering, using several colours. There is also a message written across it: “Well, if it isn’t my favorite flavor of English tart”. This could be seen as a slang term for an English women, but it could also refer to an actual tart. Either way, it is difficult to read because of the dark paint and the way the letter have been written. In terms of how it relates to the body, it could be referring to the stomach, and the paint is the inside of the stomach.

IMG_3375IMG_3376The tombstone has a reflective surface at the top, along with these words written across the bottom: “What you are now, That I once was? What I am now, you soon will be…”. It is a poignant message that death comes for everyone, with the mirror serving as a window into our future. The dog on the opposite side looks like something out of a nightmare. At first, it doesn’t even look like a dog, especially with that black paint dripping from its mouth. It is very dark and morbid, serving as an example of the possible “monster” inside us. My complaint with it si that the whole image is split in the corner. It really should have been on a whole wall.

IMG_3379This installation was made using tape and clean-film. It is quite the sight, with limbs suspended from the ceiling and hanging in mid-air. It’s like our skin is a thin suit of Armour, making us realize how truly fragile we are. The only problem is that the actual outcome looks too fragile and it could fall apart any minute. Also, the tape is too light, which could make it difficult to see in bright light.

IMG_3386This is a 30 seconds video, depicting scenes of close up shots of people eyes. Each close-up is taken from a different movie, most of them being horror (the grudge and IT). It is meant to represent I think it is meant to be a window into our souls, as the eyes are staring directly at us. It has a strong horror feel to it, which makes it appropriate since it is Halloween. Which would have made this piece better if is was located somewhere dark, and not in the day light.

IMG_3388This one was made by a member of my group, as it shows a plaster cast of his hand stretched out and holding an empty, plastic box. I think it represents how we are always reaching, but never catching what we truly want. Originally, he had plasters of his fingers, broken and placed in separate boxes, and a spiral construct at the top. We didn’t think it went with the hand in the middle, and he removed them. The outcome looked better, like the lone hand holding out for something or holding something, but never holding or catching anything. I suppose he could have put something inside the box, those the emptiness is more powerful.

IMG_3390IMG_3391The golden plaster casts remind me of a smug shot, as the top plasters show the left and right side of the face. They also convey different emotions, like happiness and bitterness. It shows how we always display our emotion on our faces and there our two sides to ones personality. My problem with this (and it is slight) is that we don’t see the intact face at the bottom. It Would have been nice to see, but I guess it could act as a window into the person’s mind.

The tampons, condoms and lollipops represent sexual intercourse gone very, very wrong. There are screws lodged inside the tampons, hair on the lollipops and glass inside the condoms. This could be a warning about the dangers of sex, and the consequences of non safe sex. Either that, or it shows what we go through during intercourse, as some times, it can be excruciating, though this is more extreme. My chief complaint with this is that the presentation is too simple and could turn some people off.

IMG_3394This is a very controversial piece: a screw is embedded into a mirror, with condoms pierced at the top and lotion smeared all over the mirror. It shows signs of dominance from the male to the female, as well as signs of castration via the screw. The problem I have with this is that the presentation is again, too simple. Also, it might be interpreted differently.

IMG_3395The last thing we looked at was this Facebook page, with no I.D picture, just static and a message: “I’m trapped in other people’s perception of my online profile”. This serves as a reminder that Facebook can be isolating, as no one truly KNOWS anyone online or the damage their words can cause. The problem is that this doesn’t look like an art piece at first, just a broken Facebook page, nothing more. You must read the description to understand what’s going on.

Eventually, my group got to my painting, and I had to explain what it was, the materials I used, why I used them and my favorite part about it. They all loved my innovative use of chocolate icing and mixing it with the paint, though they pointed out that the white paper was distracting. They suggested I use the wall, as it has more space, and I agree. However, while I initially thought of doing this, I didn’t want to go through the pain of removing the chocolate once the critique was over.

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After lunch, all our groups had to discuss what we thought of all the artwork on display. We each gave our own thoughts on the art, and the tutors were impressed with our opinions. I loved all the outcomes on display, and watching them all getting developed for crit was truly something special.

Once the talks were over, I had to collect my painting and take it back to my room.

Overall, critique week was long and hard, but I mad it. Tomorrow, we set up the studio for next week.

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