The Fracture

Made by Seth Geiser · UNLISTED (SHOWN IN POOLS)

Using 1957-D No. 1 by Clyfford Still as my basis, I attempted to translate my reaction from seeing 1957-D into a digital image.

Created: September 5th, 2016



The intention was to capture the aftermath of my initial reaction to seeing 1957-D No. 1 by Clyfford Still in a digital image, attempting to loosely follow Still's style. This meant attempting to create an abstract image of my own introspection that took place shortly after seeing 1957-D No. 1 for the first time. Because my reaction was a precarious release of the emotional tension I mistakenly let accumulate within myself, I ended up somewhat broken from an emotional standpoint.



The work that spawned this is 1957-D No. 1 by Clyfford Still, which can be found here. That piece is an oil on canvas composed of streaks of different color (in this case, yellow, black, white, a sort of off-white color, and a small streak of a reddish tone).



I decided to try the "reinterpretation/abstraction" approach to my work. I started by reflecting on the first #lookingout assignment, where the two works that I researched were "Going West" by Jackson Pollock and "1957-D No. 1" by Clyfford Still. Of the two, the work I focused on was 1957-D No. 1. Rather than try to recreate the work in digital form, I decided to look back on my initial reactions to seeing the work and then attempted to translate these reactions into a digital image.



Because I do not have Photoshop installed on my computer (will take care of that at some point) and did not check out a laptop with PS installed, I used GIMP, which is a free and open-source alternative to Photoshop. It's not the best, but it works fine enough for now. As for the actual image, I decided to use red, black, and yellow for the main color palette instead of yellow, black, and white. I started by using a lasso tool to select abstract shapes on the digital canvas, and the result can be seen in the first image below. Afterwards, I set up the brush in a way that allowed for more torn/jagged edges. I used that to roughen up the edges between colors and create fragments in the black areas. The results of that can be seen in the second image below. After that, I used a GIMP filter that creates the effect of the image being on a canvas (low setting), and the final result can be seen in the main image and the third image below.



I'm not too sure whether or not I accurately captured the essence of the original work "1957-D No. 1" in the making of what I call "The Fracture" (I'm sure there's at least one work of art out there with that name). The style, abstract, is there, but I don't feel like I truly captured the essence of Still's work (I could be wrong). As I worked on this, I learned a little more about the program I used (GIMP), as well as image work and editing in general. For next time, I'd probably try recreating the actual work instead of trying to do something original, especially with so little experience with image work. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how to feel about how this work turned out.

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62-150 Intro to Media Synthesis and Analysis

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New creative industries are empowering new modes of collaborative consumption, creation and reuse of media. This often relies on successful collaborations between cross-trained artists, designers a...more


Using 1957-D No. 1 by Clyfford Still as my basis, I attempted to translate my reaction from seeing 1957-D into a digital image.