Initially, I wanted to reform the original painting to guide people to be honest with each other, as people are becoming more and more insincere. I thought over how to implement this for a long time, and I came up with multiple ways to do this: 1) take a photograph of me and my best friend talking, and deliver the ambience of sincerity through it, 2) imitate the original painting using a photo that I took, or 3) modify the painting in a way I can deliver the message. I chose the third option, mainly to strongly criticize how people often make deceptive facial expressions.
Instead of focusing on style or movement, like I did in warm-up exercise, I chose to focus mainly on the intention of the artist. As explained above, the artist wanted to satirize how people hide their true selves from others by drawing a man who’s wearing an overcoat that hides his entire body, on a regular suit and regular tie. We can’t even see the man’s hair; its color and shape are not visible due to his fedora. The artist also intentionally drew an apple on the man’s face. Because of these measures the artist took, the viewers are not able to deduce anything from the man; all we know is that the person is a he. This inspired my work; I liked the theme of secrecy he used, which I think is a big problem in today’s society.
In order to implement this, I first thought of changing the background of the original painting to a more specific one like a working environment, or an interior of a house, so that viewers can deduce a little bit about his background. However, I wanted to twist the theme one step further: instead of giving more information of the man and let viewers become more friendly with him, I wanted to show his facial expression and see if viewers actually become more attached to him. If he’s smiling, would you believe that he is happy? If he looks sad, would you believe that as well?
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