Aim: This project is in some ways the antithesis of the previous one. last time, you used an object to draw ‘for’ you; this time you will allow your own emotional responses to direct your physical mark-making.
Method: Take 10 pieces of card and give them to friends. Ask them to write down a characteristic of someone in a novel or newspaper article in the first person. Ask them to choose something which might engender an emotional or physical response. Examples might be ‘I killed 15 women’ or ‘I won the lottery’ or ‘ I feel nervous at parties’.
Ask someone to sit for you as a model. Every 10 minutes ask them to read from one of the cards. If you don’t have access to a model, make a self portrait or simply imbue another object, chair perhaps – with these qualities.
- I am getting old and no one wants to marry me anymore
- Follow me if you are a good one!
- Who wants money?? I will give you a lot money!!!
- Don’t use your bedroom for work unless you are a prostitute
- I am going to have a baby!!
- I like to eat human flesh even though I know it is wrong
- I won the lottery today!!
- I killed my baby!!
- I am not afraid of death but I am in no hurry to die
- I turned myself into a fly and I can’t turn it back now
Reflection : An emotional response
I am usually very emotional when it comes to make art. What I draw, how I draw and the colours I use is a reflection of how I am feeling. This exercise I thought would be a very natural thing to me. Sometimes, I would pick up a card and nothing would change the way I was drawing my self portrait. Sometimes, depending on what card I picked up, I really tried to feel the meaning of the sentence and it triggered in me, feelings and I wanted to express on my portrait. The first thing that came out when a feeling arised was to use my hands. It definetely expresses a lot of how the sentence affected me. I tried to respond with a facial expressions as well , which changed many times during the exercise. I can easly emotionally respond my state of mind on my mark making. I let it flow, I let my hands take its course and the result I think could be quite interesting. I think my cards sayings did not have a big impact in me, except the ones: ‘ I eat human flesh and I killed my baby’. My emotional reaction when I am drawing can’t be predicted, it comes without a warning, feeling and emotions just appears when I least expected and it can be seen in some of my art. This project made me feel mechanical and was not natural as I read instructions before performing it. I couldn’t let it naturally flow because I knew how it supposed to be conducted. This project could be great if I could just send an emotional response I had in a few pieces of artwork I have done the last year. Drawings I did in the middle of the night, or anytime when I was feeling sad, angry or frustrated for any reason. I think the objective is the same but the result is more real.
Contextual focus point: Erade De Kooning
Erased De Kooning – 1953 by Robert Rauschenberg
Looking at the piece online is tricky. I definetely cannot see the marks of the erased drawing and I am sure there are some. Nevertheless, it is a difficult piece to express any feelings to be honest. After researching about Robert Rauschenberg’s reason to Erase a De Kooning it then started to make more sense. First it is important to consider the time it happened: 1953. Abstract Expressionism came during a period of political instability in Europe and America was suffering culturally and economically. Abstract Expressionism dealt with that time, depicting emotions, abstraction,experimentation, exploring the subconscious .Robert Rauschenberg was a painter and sculptor and in 1951 he started a series of monochromatic painting called : ‘white paintings’ – basically canvas completely covered in white. Between 1952-1954 he worked on ‘Black paintings ‘ and then ‘red paintings’. “Erased De Kooning” in my opinion was an extension of what he was creating at the time. Rauschenberg was a conceptual/experimental artist, his project was clearly explained to De Kooning who surprisingly agreed with it. Opposite that what might could sound an act of ‘vandalism’ or ‘an scandal’ at the time, Rauschenberg needed a piece from someone that even if he erased , it would continue to be a piece of art. The drawing De Kooning gave to Rauschenberg was done in charcoal, oil painting and pencil and it took him a month to erased everything. It could be said he really worked on it. I think this work was a collaboration art and what Robert Rauschenberg did was ahead of his time because today, art is accepted in all shapes, forms and concepts.