I wanted to use the ‘Face Swap’ filter to create the portrait of my partner, Lauren. I chose many different photographs of famous people to swap onto Lauren’s face, such as Zac Efron, the Queen, Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump. I wanted to use people who are very popular in the media and celebrities who Lauren liked.
The finished outcome is shown below.
Left to right, top row: Hilary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, the Queen. Second row: Beyoncé, Zac Efron. Third row: Andy Warhol, Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian.
The face swaps allowed elements of Lauren to show through like her hair, but shows the face of different people everybody knows. I think I have carried out what I wanted to portray successfully (using low tech media, inspired by Petra Cortright and using different characters in a photograph like Cindy Sherman).
This week in Constellation, I have been learning about the Hip Hop Subculture. I have been looking at the case studies,
Do The Right Thing (Lee, 1989)
Extract from : Kellner, D (1997) Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics in the films of Spike Lee pp78-81.
Reid, M (ed) (1997) Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, Cambridge,
Whitley, Z (2011) Dressing Viciously: Hip-Hop music, fashion and cultural crossover
Adamson, Pavitt (eds) (2011) Postmodernism. Style and Subversion 1970-1990. V&A publishing, London
Introduction to Subcultures, objects and identity – key concepts
Extracts from ;
Clarke, S; Hall, S; Jefferson, T; Roberts, B (1975) Subcultures, Cultures and Class
Gleder, K; Thornton, S (eds) (1997) The Subcultures Reader, Routledge, London pp100-111
I have been looking at the subculture of hip hop and how the style re-signifies objects and dress, intensifies/ exaggerates a meaning and how recycling is used.
The Hip Hop scene began in the areas of poverty in New York. It was synonymous with a black race identity. Graffiti was a huge part of the scene and the behaviour. Graffiti is illegal, however, Hip Hop used it as part of their identity, like an activist message. In this constellation lesson, I also learnt about afrocentrism and the fusion between afrocentrism and hip hop.
Run DMC are a perfect example of hip hop style.
An example of the fusion between afrocentrism and hip hop is Salt ‘n’ Pepa.
How Can the Subculture Hip Hop Link to My Practice?
Can be in influenced from anywhere.
Both Goth and Hip Hop take and borrow objects from the past or from other cultures (e.g.- Afrocentrism) and create new meanings (e.g.- Trilby hat).
Both subcultures alter meanings and functions to things (e.g.- sportswear and jewellery).
Afrocentrism was making pollitical statements swell as creating a fusion with the NYC cultures. It was not just about expressing yourself, it gave you a voice for your culture.
I have start to see things differently, in depth analysis.
Collage can work in look. Changing the meaning through a new context. Putting things that don’t belong, creating fusions (e.g.- African culture and American culture.
For my next material project, I was put in the group Me and You. In this project, I am looking at portraits. At the beginning, we were divided into pairs and set a task to work as partners to create portraits of each other.
For my partner’s portrait, I looked at Petra Cortright for inspiration. Petra Cortright is a Los Angeles, California-based artist who works with photography, painting and digital media. I will be looking at her work using low tech media to create videos with special effects. She uses her laptop webcam to make videos of herself with effects to distort her face. This link takes you to a video made by her webcam and is called, ‘vvebcam 2007’.
Here, Cortright adds cartoons and special effects to her face while looking into the camera. I wanted to use this type of basic technology, but with basic technology lots of people are using today. I chose Snapchat as it has lots of different effects to create videos and photographs in the same way as Cortright created.
Above is a still from the video, ‘vvebcam’.
I also researched Cindy Sherman. Cindy Sherman is an American photographer, she is mostly known for her conceptual portraits. She made a series of 69 black and white ‘untitled film still’s’ made from 1977 to 1980. In each still, Sherman appears as characters from a film. ‘Untitled Film Still #17’ is shown below.
Cindy Sherman collected wigs and clothes to create the stills, they are set in many different locations, both inside buildings and outside.
More examples of the Film Stills are above, from left to right, ‘Untitled Film Still #53’, ‘Untitled Film Still #27’ and ‘Untitled Film Still #48’.
I liked the way Cindy Sherman used herself but transformed the way she looked to create the photographs. I wanted to do the same type of thing with Lauren’s portrait and create different persona’s with each photo. I wanted to use the basic technology like Petra Cortright but transform her like Cindy Sherman, showing how times have changed from using webcams to create videos and how we can simply click a button and look like someone else on Snapchat.
During my Constellation study group, Smells Like Teen Spirit, I will be analysing different looks within street style and looking at emerging motifs and themes expressed visually.
I have been looking at the subculture Goth this week.
The research material used for this week:
Hodkinson, P (2007) Gothic Music and Subculture
Spooner, C; McEvoy, E (eds) (2007) The Routledge Companion to Gothic, Routledge, Oxon
Spooner, C (2006) Contemporary Gothic, Reaktion Books, London
Steele, V (2008) Gothic. Dark Glamour, Yale University Press, New Haven.
Image of the Goths
Mourning dress no flesh is shown, borrowed from Victorians. Corsets also a big element to Goth style.
Gloves- in keeping of the Victorian look
Black and purple colours of most of their clothing
Fabric- elements of lace, typical use of lace in the victorian mourning dress
Jewellery- lockets, crucifix, links to the victorian times but also suggests death
Spider/cobweb jewellery insects from ground link to death and being buried underground. This is a new motif
Makeup- this is a contemporary addition. Pale face, often used white makeup to look vampire like, looks like a corpse. Breaks rules of makeup, makeup used to make you look healthy and natural. Black/ blue lipstick, implies death. Red lipstick, vampire inspired for blood
Shredded clothing- This is a new motif. Suggests decay
Stitching- new motif from Dracula. Implies corpses, stitching together dead bodies
Some features are recurring in male goths. For example, they were the same white makeup. They have inputs from the ‘fetish’ scene, such as the chains, studded jewellery, PVC and leather.
The ‘Fetish’ scene (ripped fabric, PVC, leather, piercings, tattoos and coloured hair) have all branched from Gothic style.
The techno goth/ steam punk is a new edition to the gothic scene. However, it still takes aspects of Victorian style such as the corsets but they are made from PVC which is from the ‘fetish’ scene.
How Can the Goth Subculture Relate to My Practice?
They use recycled materials from the past
There are combined different meanings
They draw on historical sources in whatever discipline
They modify their clothing to create new meanings, something that I could use during my practice
Cultural context looking at androgynous meaning, breaking rules. Eg- makeup for both males ad females, challenging gender
The use of symbolism acts as a short hand to convey meanings
Influences can come from anywhere. Eg- literary context, influenced by movies, the past, other subcultures.
I chose shaped painting as one of my material projects. During this project, I have learnt painting skills and have been inducted to use machines such as the band saw, the sander and the pillar drill.
To begin, I chose a ram skull because the horns bend and twist which was perfect for this project. This is a photograph of my visual research to help me understand the shapes of a ram skull.
I drew the outline onto a thin wooden board ready to be cut on the band saw. Once cut, I sanded the sides down and primed the board. Next, I began under painting the board in green to help the layers of paint stand out much more.
Then, I started to add the translucent layers of paint to the horns and skull and used techniques like ‘dry brush’ to create effects that still allowed the green to peep through.
The photograph below shows the painting almost complete.
Just as I was finishing the painting, I decided the painting looked lost. I wanted to add a background that complimented the painting and give it more depth. I used thick cardboard to cut out the layer that would go behind the skull.
The colour purple was used to show off the vibrant colours of the green’s and yellow’s used in the painting. I think adding the background has worked successfully and makes the overall painting better as it ties it all in, putting the viewers focus on the skull.
Ellsworth Kelly was one of the artists I researched during this project. His work is very simple yet striking.
I especially like ‘Red Relief over Dark Blue (2004)’. I think the colours are eye catching and the shape is interesting as it isn’t a just a square. Here Ellsworth Kelly stands infront of his piece of work. As you can see, the work is fairly large.
In this workshop, I created collage’s from old magazines and new magazines. I wanted to make fashion based collages, making them colourful and black and white.
This was the first collage I created using new magazines. I wanted to use bright colours and focus on things such as a unicorn, the doll face with the huge false eyelashes and the toy car. To me, I feel as though these objects are playful and childlike. The breasts and the outfit in the centre looks grown up and adult like. They don’t match up with the images in the collage.
Here is another collage I created using Vogue magazine’s from the 1970’s and 1990 newspaper articles.
The collage is made up of black and white images and backgrounds. I found images of the women in an old Vogue magazine I was looking through.
I looked at the artist Kurt Schwitters for inspiration while making these collage’s. Schwitters began making collage’s in 1918, he made his collages out of trash he found or no longer wanted such as bus tickets, wallpaper, playing cards and pretty much everyday items that he found.
‘Picture of Spatial Growths- Picture with Two Small Dogs (1920-39)’ is a mixture of mediums, oil paints, wood, paper, cardboard and china on board. Schwitters started making this using discarded rubbish and printed ephemera in Germany in 1920. Seventeen years later, Schwitters brought the painting with him to Norway when he escaped Nazi Germany. In Norway, Schwitters added discarded rubbish such as theatre tickets, newspaper cutting, receipts and a box with two China dogs which he found/ used there.
I really like how Schwitters took the collage with him to Norway, 17 years later to carry on working with it. The layers of collage shows the artist’s life at two very different times.
In this life drawing session, we focused on memorizing the model’s body for thirty seconds. Once thirty seconds were up, the model stopped posing and we had to remember the pose and draw from memory for three minutes. As the group got more used to drawing from their memory, we was given the challenge of remembering two thirty-second poses and drawing them one after the other. The material used is charcoal.
The next task was portraiture. As a group, we looked at Frank Auerbach. We were looking at the way he uses the impasto technique. Auerbach draws a portrait using charcoal or paint, then if he does not like the portrait or wants to start again instead of using a new piece of paper he rubs the charcoal around the page and draws again on top of it. The layers can become extremely thick, which is known as impasto. To create depth and highlights, Auerbach uses an eraser and removes layers of the medium used.
The portrait above in the slide show is of Estella West who was one of his regular sitters. It is called ‘Head of E.O.W.’ and was created using charcoal, paper and watercolour on paper. The task was to create a portrait of the model in the same way as Frank Auerbach.The first stage was to draw the basic outline and features of her face, working quickly to add layers of depth and tone.
Here are five of the beginning portraits, layering the lines on top of each other in the style of Auerbach.
The images above show the portrait as time went on.
The next step was to move to the person to our right, and draw on top of their portrait, attempting to correct the drawing. Below, you can see other people’s portraits and my lines of charcoal on top of theirs.
After we had moved around and drawn over pieces of work, we went back to our own portrait to see how it had changed.
This is how my work had changed. I think the proportions have changed slightly and the shoulders and arms fill more of the paper now. We then had to rub the charcoal lines out with our hands and draw on top again, creating more and more layers as the activity went on. The next step was to rub out areas of the face were it was highlighted with an eraser.
After this, I used charcoal and started to define areas such as the eyes, the clothes and the hair.
Here the drawing is finished. I think the contrast of dark and light has worked well, however, the proportions of the face could be improved.