Monday, July 21, 2014

Picasso Picasso Picasso


           I watched men, women, and children shuffle around the magnificent pieces that made up each floor of the Tate Modern Art Museum today. I love the people who make up the audience in art museums. You can easily point out the artsy-fartsy individuals who represent their inner creativity through their ecstatic style while browsing the exhibits. There's something so wild about a group of people able to view a painting and come to different conclusions of why the artist chose to create the work the way they did. It really gives me extra appreciation for art museums as a whole. 

            Over the course of my wandering throughout the museum, I came across two works that caught my attention enough for me to need to explain my thoughts, feelings, and conclusions about them immediately.  

              The first work I found was painted by the ever so popular, Pablo Picasso in 1924. It's titled "Head of a Woman", which if you look at the painting above, it is exactly that. What originally caught my attention is the color scheme of the painting. It's a very plain, creamy color scheme with the added pop of red in her shirt. Half of her face is painted white, while the other half is a peachy nude color. I attempted to dig deeper into the meaning of the painting by paying close attention to the woman's facial expression. As if the color difference separates the face in half, the pink side is giving off the emotion of depression or grief, while the white side of the face is looking directly toward the viewer, giving off a blank expression. The pink side of the face shows her eye focused toward the ground. When you are ashamed or feel less than you should, you tend to look toward the floor, as if you are "unworthy" of others. Her eyebrow is also curved, suggesting that she is upset. On the white side of her face, her eyebrow is straight, suggesting no emotion on that side. The white can stand for feeling flushed, or a whole side of blank emotion. Her eye contact is directly toward the audience of the painting. When a subject is looking "through the picture" toward the viewer, to what seems to be out of their realm, it can signify a lost emotion, or not being quite sure what they are looking for. I believe this painting is of a woman who is torn between her true emotions and those being shown on the outside. This could be an example of Freud's Unconscious technique due the woman second guessing her natural first emotion in a situation. 

          My second work of choice was a photograph by Henry Wessel. He focused on black and white photos taken in what he likes to call "America's Social Landscape". This photo caught my eye just as I was about to write off Henry's photos as boring and less than eye-catching. What interests me about this photo is that both subjects aren't showing their faces. When you take faces out of a photo, it naturally becomes more relatable. The couple are sitting on a grassy area. Both subjects leaning into one another while seeming to be looking at something else into the distance. I like that it is unknown if the two individuals are a just friends, or in a relationship. And if so, you aren't aware how long they have been together or if they are significantly in love. There's an innocence to the photo by the simplicity of the situation being captured. The two subjects are experiencing something, just by looking at it into the distance. The image captured the shear excitement and simplicity of sharing an experience with someone you are with. Sharing an experience, learning something new, or witnessing together can bond you with whoever you are with. This photograph encompasses that moment without you even realizing it. 

          Seeing paintings done by multiple artists that I have studied in various art history classes throughout my life was more than a treat. To finally see them in person was a wonder in itself.  I could write the longest blog post about art and the appreciation everyone should have for it, but instead I will just finish this up with this:

"The world doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?" - Pablo Picasso 

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