Friday, January 27, 2012

written art discussion

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Today, artists from diverse cultures communicate their artistic ideas in a global context, while still retaining links to the artistic traditions of their own culture. This multicultural development is due to the rapid advances in technology, communication, and travel, making possible the shared interest from different cultures in multicultural works of art. Artists such as Alan Tucker, who draws from the traditional aboriginal style of art, and Masami Teraoka, who paints in the traditional Japanese art form, use these traditional styles of art, while expressing their artistic ideas in a global context, ensuring people from different cultures can enjoy and understand their work. Other artists though, such as Allan Mitelman, who has a multicultural background, tend to not focus on these issues in their works of art, and focus on other issues when completing a work of art.

Alan Tucker, in his painting, ‘Racism in football,’ communicates his artistic ideas in a global context while still retaining links to the artistic traditions of his aboriginal culture. In his painting, Tucker uses acrylic on canvas, for the combination of painting, drawing and written text. The images are cartoon like and ‘racism in football,’ and ‘reconciliation’ has been written centrally across the painting in large to stand out. There are also a lot of little groups of text throughout the composition and four large pictures making up the whole. The first of the pictures in the left hand corner showing white men each saying racist remarks to an aboriginal man. In the right hand corner, there is an aboriginal man in the traditional aboriginal markings, playing a didgerydoo, and in the left-hand corner there is a boomerang, and another white man saying a racist remark. Then in the right hand bottom corner there are four aboriginal men wearing sporting uniforms, holding an aboriginal flag with a football in the middle.

Balance has been achieved throughout this composition, although the elements have been distributed in unequal proportions, visual balance has been achieved through the placement of the elements in relation to each other. Harmony has also been created, because the composition has been organized in such a way, so that the diverse elements are smoothly blended into a related whole. This has been achieved through the repetition of similar elements, such as the writing. There is more writing on the left side than the right side, but this has been balanced through the heavier drawings on the right side. This variation in the painting creates sufficient discord to create visual interest. Contrast has been created through the letters in ‘racism in football,’ using some heavy bold letters which have been colored in contrast to the light letters left uncolored. Through this contrast, and the central placement of the words ‘racism in football,’ the scale of the written words adds variety. A minor rhythm has been created through the repetition of words throughout the composition. Subtle variation in tone and proportion of the words enhance visual appeal. The colour is naturalistic and representational. It is also pure and bright and has no tone. This work is unified because it has a continuous flow of movement throughout the composition and the eye travels over the whole picture.

Alan Tucker uses the theme of football, to show the politics of race and conflict that can sometimes be seen on the football field. He is telling the story of a specific incident that happened in a match between Melbourne and Collingwood in 14. It is a very serious picture and has a lot of impact, although the overall visual effect is decorative and has a soft quality, the message is by no means ‘soft.’ Tucker uses his backgrounds of both Aboriginal and European descent to express his ideas on racism in a global context, while being able to retain his links to his Aboriginality. It seems he has deliberately made the picture very balanced to show that he is considering all points of view, but can only see one outcome, and that is of the racism that occurred.

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I believe that this painting has worked very well to convey the message of racism, as it comes across as neutral and doesn’t condemn anyone making them continue to look over each point the artist has to make. By making the painting have a ‘soft,’ side, the artist has made the painting more interesting, and attracts the viewer to be more involved in the decoding process of finding out more of the reasons behind the painting. The written text is an important part of understanding the action created in the artwork.(Themes,17,p.)

Another artist who has retained links to the traditions of their cultural art, while communicating their ideas on a global context, is Masami Teraoka, in his painting, ‘McDonalds Hamburgers invading Japan/Flying Fries,’ which uses watercolour on canvas. The painting depicts a Japanese girl and some McDonalds fries slipping out of her hands, as she is finding it hard to hold them with out her traditional chop sticks. She is poking her tongue out, and is positioned in the right hand corner of the picture. There are the golden arches of McDonalds framed in the right hand top corner of the picture and some traditional Japanese writing in the left-hand top corner.

The lines of the writing and of the railing beside the girl, create an obvious linear direction towards the right hand side of the picture, to where the girl is positioned. Because the girl is positioned off centre, the picture looks heavy to the right hand side and unbalanced, giving an unstable effect. The high contrast of the heavy dark figure of the girl, compared to the lighter objects around her, create a dramatic visual effect adding to the discord of the painting. Through this contrast, the artist creates the girl as being the focal point and emphasis. This emphasis heightens the mood and feeling of the artwork. The dark tones and aggressive heavy black line work, create a feeling of frustration. The overall organization of the artwork into a cohesive whole, has been unified through the placement of the objects, which ensure that there is something in each corner to not make the painting too unbalanced in contrast to the heavy figure of the girl in the right hand corner. This creates a continuous flow of movement, causing the eye to travel over the whole picture plane.

Through this painting, Masami Teraoka, is trying to express his feelings about the two diverse cultures which have influenced him, his Japanese and American cultures. His style of art has been influenced by the Ukiyo-e artists of Edo, old Tokyo, and the American pop artists of the 160’s. The Clash of his Eastern culture and of his new life in America, impacted tremendously on Teraoka. Through his art he has considered this, and this painting is Teraoka’s interpretation of the McDonalds ‘invasion’ of Japan from a Japanese perspective. He has deliberately formed the composition to be imbalance, to create a feeling of disturbance or discord. The picture is lopsided to communicate a sense of instability.(Atlines1,16,p7)

Allan Miteman, in his painting from 187, which is untitled, uses oil on canvas. While Mitelman was born in Poland and migrated to Australia in 15 and settled in Melbourne, his work shows no signs of these two diverse cultures, like the last two artists. Mitelman’s work, instead shows the beauty of surfaces, colour and texture in an artwork. This particular painting of Mitelman’s shows two large rectangles, and patches which look to have been sponged on in many different shades of blue.

The two large rectangles suggest stability and strength in the painting. Repetition has been used of the blue patches, and these blue patches throughout the composition make it harmonious, because the painting shares the similar features throughout. There is a contrast between the lighter and darker blues, but the colour is balanced throughout, the monochromatic colour scheme.

This painting is all about surfaces, the mark making, colour and the texture. It is highly evocative and plays with the viewer’s imagination, and requires a long inspection to get the full impact of the painting. This work is minimal in style, and is abstract, but this is not to undermine the features of the painting. At close inspection another world is created through the imagination of the viewer. Miteman, unlike Alan Tucker and Masami Teraoka, isn’t trying to convey a global message, but has made the artwork simply for artistic and visual purposes.(Williams,16,p.158)

It is obvious that it is possible for artists from diverse cultures to effectively communicate their ideas in a global context while still retaining links to the artistic traditions of their own culture, which has been shown through the work of Alan Tucker, and Masami Teraoka. These artists have drawn from their own experiences from each of their cultures to communicate their ideas through works of art. This has made possible the shared interest from different cultures in multicultural works of art. Although it is possible for artist to show their multiculturalism in works of art, some artists such as Allan Mitelman chose not to, and chose to concentrate on other aspects of creating an artwork.


Williams,d,16,Art Now, Contemporary art post-170 Book Two, McGraw Hill book company, Roseville

17,Themes, senior Art Painting and Drawing,Open Access Support Centre, Woolloongabba

16,Artlines1 Book of readings,Senior Art Visual studies, Open Access Support Centre, Wooloongabba


Williams,d,16,Art Now, Contemporary art post-170 Book Two, McGraw Hill book company, Roseville

17,Themes, senior Art Painting and Drawing,Open Access Support Centre, Woolloongabba

16,Artlines1 Book of readings,Senior Art Visual studies, Open Access Support Centre, Wooloongabba

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