Last week, Kate Temple led the Drawing Room session for May. As inspiration we used Douglas Gordon’s Blind Stars piece which is currently on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. In this piece, various stars of the past had their eyes removed. I don’t think much of such pieces as they a) mean nothing to me, b) aren’t visually appealing, c) have no skill behind them that I can see. It would be as if I decided to take a series of animal pictures and randomly swapped their heads with no care to aesthetics.
As much as the source had no appeal to me, I found the session to be fun and rewarding. I am learning the value of adding to existing works. Our goal was to use this technique of cutting and collage to transform images. A great selection of pictures of people was supplied. It was a real pleasure to peruse the images and pick items we found interesting. I worked on 2, and brought another 2 home to work on later.
I am pleased with both of the pictures I worked on, so to do them justice I’m going to post them separately.
This first piece was actually of a photo I initially looked over when I was picking images. I don’t know the origin, but this photo has the appearance of a colonial record. I found the man’s gaze to be quite intense. I didn’t want to destroy that power he held by disfiguring his face, or body, and instead decided to intensify. The rays emanating from his head serves this purpose I believe.
Interestingly, a day or so after doing this, I was looking back at a blog by last session’s artist, Cotelo Rosa Serván, and realised that I had seen similar red rays in one of the pictures on her site a few weeks earlier: here. That’s a lesson on how easy it is to copy ideas without realising.
Update: I forgot to mention in my original description of this yesterday that I created this image by cutting strips out of the monochrome photo image and placing it on top of a metallic red sheet that I chose. The variation of tone in the red is just reflection. The diagonal corner frame that I left in is part of the original image. My second piece also uses this metallic red background sheet.