Saturday, March 7, 2009

My First Exhibition: Lao Eyes 2!!!

So last weekend was fun. As I mentioned in my last post, Greg, Jesse, and I had our art featured in the second run-through of Lao Eyes, our school's teacher exhibition, downtown at Harley Bar. For those of you who do not live in China, a "laowai" is a foreigner, making "lao eye" an adorable play on words. As per your many (one) requests, I'll go ahead and get my pictures up here, with a couple of explanations, for your aesthetic enjoyment...

This is the whole kit n' kaboodle, all together...the untitled seven deadly sins series. I thought about interspersing the pieces together with the other artworks, but ever since I finished Pride, I've been thinking about it as a cohesive whole. Now, for a closer look...

Gluttony: 1 of 7. My favorite of the bunch. Originally, the word "gluttony" was included in the cityscape below, but I hated how it looked, so I inked it out and filled the remaining space with what you see here, setting the lettering for the rest of the series.

Sloth: 2 of 7. Get it? Heh heh.

Wrath: 3 of 7. This one took the longest by far. The Major Arcana VI card of the Tarot is "The Lovers" and this card is modeled off its equivalent of the Rider-Waite deck. In this version of the card, Adam is taking his rib back.

Greed: 4 of 7. I've done a couple of pieces now (some unrelated to this) of a world being held by an enormous space hand or space person. At first, I really didn't like this one and almost scrapped it, but after a while it really grew on me.

Envy: 5 of 7. Pretty self-explanatory.

Lust: 6 of 7. This was a really hard one to come up with. The final concept was the mouth as a sexual organ, holding a heart inside it as a lure.

Pride: 7 of 7. This was the absolute hardest one to come up with, and I didn't even start it until the Monday right before the art show. It started with a Google search of "pride," which eventually lead me to Wikipedia, which eventually led to the article "vanitas," which lead to my idea.

From that article:

In the arts, vanitas is a type of symbolic still life painting commonly executed by Northern European painters in Flanders and the Netherlands in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The term vanitas itself refers to the arts, learning and time. The word is Latin, meaning "emptiness" and loosely translated corresponds to the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:2 from the Bible is often quoted in conjunction with this term. The Vulgate (Latin translation of the Bible) renders the verse as Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas. The verse is translated as Vanity of vanities; all is vanity by the King James Version of the Bible, and Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless by the New International Version of the Bible.

Paintings executed in the vanitas style are meant as a reminder of the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death, encouraging a sombre world view.

Common vanitas symbols include skulls, which are a reminder of the certainty of death; rotten fruit, which symbolizes decay like ageing; bubbles, which symbolize the brevity of life and suddenness of death; smoke, watches, and hourglasses, which symbolize the brevity of life; and musical instruments, which symbolize brevity and the ephemeral nature of life.

The actual skull here is modeled off the sculpture "Vanitas" from the same article.

Prince of Orange Ren√© de Chalons died in battle in 1544, at age 25. His widow commissioned the sculptor Ligier Richier to represent him offering his heart to God, set against the painted splendour of his former worldly estate. This production resides today at the Church of Saint-√Čtienne, Bar-le-Duc.

Though he's offering his heart to God, it looks to me like he's checking himself out in a hand mirror.

Greg also has pictures up on his blog of his and Anthony's work...check it out!

1 comment:

Brittany said...

Thanks for sharing these! I love "Gluttony," "Greed" and "Envy" They're simple, poignant, and most people can relate. Clearly, I'm going to Hell.