In digital media, our current assignment is a collage type piece depicting the self. A lot of my art is self-portraiture, I’m constantly going back to it. As Kahlo said, “I paint self portraits…because I am the person I know the best”. I’m still unsure of how to go about this assignment. I’ve asked some of my closest friends to describe any imagery that comes to mind when they think of me. Joey gave me a beautiful color scheme to consider with soft, hazy peaches cut by deep, sharp reds. I thought about incorporating some of the places I used to live, or I might include images of the master’s religious works, Da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, to represent the years of Catholic schooling I endured and my religious upbringing. There’s also the idea of water I might attempt to assimilate into the collage. I’m a swimmer and there’s something about the idea of achieving near weightlessness that I love. I haven’t quite decided how to best portray myself through this assignment. So, today, I might tinker around with a few of these ideas and (hopefully) come to a better understanding 0f what I want to do.
For this project, we were assigned to created a folded book consisting of multiple panels (images). I kept a consistent theme throughout the book, which I titled “Zaftig” (an older euphemism used to describe a fat woman). Within each panel is a black and white portrait of myself, with the face of an animal covering my own.I was running out of animals towards the end, which I honestly hadn’t considered when I started the project so a few animals might be a stretch. Each image has a small gradient overlay in order to reveal part of my face beneath that of the animal’s. I desaturated both images and then added an overlay over the entire image of the animal’s habitat. I kept the opacity fairly low, but left some of the saturation and selected or erased the figure’s shape.
I deliberately chose animals that others commonly refer to fat women as: cow, pig, whale, etc. The final two panels portray me as a Venus Figurine. During the stone age, these figurines depicting a large women with big breasts, stomachs, hips, and thighs, were traded between nomadic tribes as a sort of peace offering. I attempted to create a sort of parallel between humans referring to fat women as animals and animalistic humans referring to fat women as an ideal.
In digital media, we were assigned a project consisting of 3 compositions. Each composition was made up using only 2 images. The canvas was bisected directly in half and our assignment was to juxtapose the images in order to make them appear as if they “match up”. I had a little trouble coming up with concepts and designs on the spot, but I think it worked out well. My favorite has to be the bald, bubble gum head.
Compared to some of my classmates, my collage is fairly minimal. I created a digital anecdote about my family instead of an extreme scene/space. I put one of the more recent homes we’ve lived in the middle ground of the beach image, I layered some of the palm leaves from the foreground over the house to accommodate for some poor image quality/cropping. I layered the ivy and bushes on and in front of the house and bumped down the saturation and color to match it to the rest of the beach greenery on the dunes. The sun would be shining onto the front of the house so i bumped up the brightness and saturation because the original image was taken on a gloomy day, I also lowered the opacity to help the house recede into the beach image. The construction sign was taken from a separate image and its color was adjusted to compensate for the sunny atmosphere of the beach and I burned a shadow below it. Above the horizon line, is a series of my immediate family member’s portraits. I took away any saturation from the original image, bumped up the brightness and contrast (to maintain the face’s integrity) and then lowered the opacity by quite a bit to match the clouds below. I used the blur tool around each individual head and then layered corresponding sections of cloud for each person. I used the smudge tool on those clouds to help blend the portraits with the sky/clouds. I repeated the process for the houses on the left. Each house represents the time and place where each of us were born (aside from my parents). A lot of selecting and layering later and I was done. Now looking at some of my classmates’ images, I’m kind of worried I was a little too conservative with my concept.