E. Rodriguez: Field Exercise 6

Made by eir

Appropriate some content in order to generate art. Draw inspiration from PopArt and StreetArt.

Created: October 9th, 2015



I'm not the most art conscious person; when shown any piece of artwork, even with knowledge of its context, I can only really appreciate the aesthetics of the piece. While I might understand the intention, I normally have trouble emotionally resonating with it. Mostly I'm just thinking, "Do I like the look of this?"

For this project, I wanted to look at pieces of artwork, in particular artwork that addresses provocative subjects, and pick away at them so they lose their intention and are judged instead for their purely aesthetic qualities. This will be an attempt to depict how I view art a majority of the time.


Context and Process

As stated in the previous section, my goal was to take provocative pieces of artwork, pieces that are specifically designed to make you emotionally connect to the intent of the piece, and strip away those elements, leaving behind only the aesthetic value. The point was to depict my own general experiences with art. I was inspired by the film we watched in class, and how it mentioned some artists, street artists in particular, modified particular images to make their meaning lose impact.

In order to begin, I actually googled "controversial topics today" and found a list of possible topics. 


Afterwards, I choose topics that I personally had strong feelings towards or believed would invoke strong feelings in a majority of people. From that point on, I searched for art pieces, in a variety of art styles, I thought I could work with to mostly keep the aesthetic but lose the intent.




From the altered artworks, I created a collage on powerpoint.

The alterations were all generated on photoshop. The easiest pieces to work with were the comics; all I needed to do was erase the text and they retained their aesthetic. For most of the others, I simply blended the elements of the art that gave depicted intent to the piece: for the animal testing painting I blended away the brushes and paint cups, for farming painting I blended away the knife, etc. One of the most difficult ones in this category was immigration painting. The wall itself, in addition to the night sky, implied america, so I had to blend the wall into a single color. I also had to mirror image the scene over the fence, because the original painting made it clear that the subjects were being kept out.

The most difficult pieces overall were the abortion and euthanasia paintings. For the first, it was very difficult to remove the meaning. I faded the painting to the point where there is still some color but not enough where the audience is certain its blood. For the second, I blended the nose tube away, but that was the only element of intent I really could.



Overall, I think I was successful in my intent. For the comics I simply I had to remove their text and their aesthetics implies they're simply funny little cartoons. For the paintings I was able to "blend away" successfully, they all retain their imagery for the most part, even the immigration painting which I made the biggest changes too. 

For the abortion and euthanasia paintings, however, I think I was less successful. While I faded away the color so the blood wasn't as obvious, with time an observer could probably tell that this is an aborted fetus. And I'm also not certain there's much more I could have done to distort the intent but keep the aesthetic. For the euthanasia painting, I think if I could've overlaid the skeleton with a human hand, I could have been successful. However, I don't think I have the art skills required to recreate a hand in the aesthetic of this painting.



I was surprised that at the paintings that I was unsuccessful at removing their intent. With the euthanasia painting I understand what I'd had alter to achieve, but I'm not sure how. For the abortion painting I'm completely unsure. If I were to do this again, perhaps I'd try researching more of photoshop's features to see if there was a way to alter the paintings in a way I want while retaining the aesthetic. Or perhaps I'd use a different tool entirely.

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Appropriate some content in order to generate art. Draw inspiration from PopArt and StreetArt.