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I wanted to create something interesting that inspired discussion. My original Rothko-based works from Module 1 looked neat, but they did not have much of a message beyond generic "corporations are evil" themes. I added the layer of a fictional artist who "created" these works to make it more of an exploration of artists and critics rather than just the themes they discuss. The people involved in the creative process are part of the creative process too, even though they are usually ignored save for providing a bit of historical context. Here I wanted to place the spotlight on the characters.

The artist having recently died was an intentional decision I made early on. I felt like if he was still alive, his body of works would be incomplete, and they would not tell a full story. I mention his death briefly in the introduction, again in the third work's analysis (the soup cans), and once again in the last work, which is more obviously about his death. In-universe, there is "likely no connection" between the painting and his passing, but really I chose The Last Supper as a death-focused work to conclude Oren's story. It also makes it a little spooky, because it raises the question of whether Oren knew of his impending demise, and I intentionally leave this open (I never say how he actually died, and "it was ruled an accident" is suspicious).

When I came up with the name "Behind the Art" I hadn't thought of the fictional artist yet, but it does work well as a double meaning. The advertisements appear literally behind the art in most of the works, but Oren is the man figuratively behind the art, as he is the one who supposedly created it.

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