H. Funkhouser

Atelier Concentration (1st Semester)

What is the central idea of your concentration?

This concentration’s central idea is drug abuse among famous people. Every celebrity depicted in these portraits died of an overdose. We often see celebrities and want to be in their place, but we don’t take the time to look at how being in the limelight truly affects one’s quality of life. Even those who have seemingly everything struggle with addiction. Everyone has a side that they keep below the surface. The lives of celebrities are not as glamorous as the media shows us they are.

How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea?

The work in my concentration is supposed to portray the celebrities in their prime. I tried to choose the more iconic looks/eras of these stars, the way we tend to remember them. Although they were struggling with substance abuse, they still have a picture-perfect facade. This follows the idea of fleeting beauty. The celebrities are a perfect image of what society wants to be, but underneath their “picture perfect” appearance, they have problems just like everyone else. With their drug abuse, their beauty fades. The backgrounds are all related to the individual’s life as a star. The background in piece 2 is a representation of how I envision Jimi Hendrix’s music coming to life. The background in piece 5 represents the colors I feel from Amy Winehouse’s voice, and they’re broken up as a representation of her life. Some backgrounds are more symbolic, such as the background in my first piece. The poppies are a symbol of eternal sleep, as they are sleep inducing in The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland’s most famous film. I also put music notes in the back because she was a talented singer. The notes are the tune of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” another reference to The Wizard of Oz, and this song is supposed to be representative of the peace we hope is found after an individual leaves this world. In my third piece, the background is purple, as Prince is widely known for “Purple Rain.” The doves are a reference to his song, “When Doves Cry,” and doves are commonly symbolic of peace as well. Because the backgrounds relate to the individual’s fame, I intend to remind the viewer that all of them possessed wonderful talent, and they were taken too soon.

Atelier Concentration (2nd Semester)

What is the central idea of your concentration?

My second concentration focuses on my long struggle with anxiety. Each piece deals with a different branch of my anxiety. I often feel held back, or restricted, by my own mind. Through the years, it’s started to weigh on me very heavily. Lately, I have been stepping out of my comfort zone more and more, instead of holding myself back. These pieces themselves are a step outside of my comfort zone, as I’m used to making art with less personal meanings. These pieces make me feel vulnerable, like I am putting part of my mind on display. I hope to one day look back at these pieces and wonder how I ever felt the way the figure in the piece is depicted.

How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea?

These pieces all contain a figure in stripes trapped in some way. The trapped figure is a representation of myself. The striped outfit is intended to remind the viewer of prison clothing. I chose this as my self-representation because I tend to feel imprisoned in my mind when faced with my fears. The prisoner is trapped by something different in every piece. These different things are the depiction of my fears themselves. Piece 1 features clocks and hourglasses to portray the anxiety I experience when time moves too quickly. In piece 4, I am entangled in a spider’s web, obviously representing my fear of spiders. I chose a different color for each piece because every fear is an individual bridge I have to cross. I experience all of them on different levels. I tried to choose the color that I felt was the closest to how I feel about that specific fear.

Yukon High School Art
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