Paint Box

Monday, 28 February 2011

Take Two Influences

For the initial Visual Enquiry task we must find two 'influences' and produce six hours of studio work relating to them. My chosen artists are Isa Silva, a young photographer and Gerhard Richter, a painter.
Silva works mainly with portraiture, somewhere between portrait and fashion photography and states that she '...had the overall goal of capturing human expression by illuminating only small fragments of the image...' (Aesthetica Magazine, Issue 39, pg.40). I have chosen her because her 'models', in her less surreal images, make direct and slightly disconcerting eye contact with the viewer, as though remote but capturing our gaze. I am also really attracted to the fantasy/costume element of these photographs, although I am unsure of how to introduce the element successfully into my work without it manifesting as kitsch or 'Disney'.

Richter is my other choice; despite his vast body of work which seems unrelated to mine, when I was looking for my other inspiration I remembered the 'Gerhard Richter Portraits' exhibition I went to at the National Portrait Gallery in 2009.

There's something about the way he paints which makes the figures almost confrontational to my eyes, but also distanced and somehow masked, by the media images used for some source material. 

I plan to use painting and drawing as my media, attempting to limit my colour palette and maintain the gaze of the sitter. I will work from secondary source imagery to attempt to distance myself from the character and create a sense of restraint. The six hours will be a challenge for me as I like to work over a longer period of time, although I intend to stay true to this in order to impose (temporary) boundaries on my practice. The use of the female model is common to the images I have selected and will remain my focus area for this task.

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