R. Minick

Atelier Concentration (1st Semester)

What is the central idea of your concentration?

After taking Art History, I was inspired to recreate some of the masterpieces I studied. I desired my renditions to represent the timelessness of art.

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

My version of the Birth of Venus was the first piece that I made for this series. It came with some obstacles because Botticelli stretched his Venus from shoulders to hip, elongating her figure and illustrating the model of beauty for his lifetime. Along with her larger than life beauty, another struggle I faced was using colored pencil. This was my first time using the medium. My favorite piece in the concentration is the Melun Diptych by Fouquet. This one is lesser known but one of the most striking paintings I have ever seen. At first glance, you notice the Madonna and baby Jesus because of their luminescent white skin. Then, your eyes drift from them to the red cherubs surrounding the holy figures. Finally, you begin to see the blue cherubs emerge from spaces that your eyes told you were only the gaps between the red. Fouquet took color and bent it into a dreamlike sentimentalism that can not be forgotten after first glance. In Olympia by Manet, his version of the lounging nude sits in the light, making her milky white flesh pale in comparison to her black servant who stands in the shadows. In my parody of the masterpiece, flesh is gone and only grey skeletons stand in their places. The skeletal version of the iconic Swing by Fragonard has an unnerving backstory. The woman swinging in her frivolous dress elicits the Rococo style of luxury. The man below her to the left is her lover and the man behind her, her servant. The lover goes unseen by the servant. The Virgin of Guadeloupe, the truest icon, is still recognizable as a skeleton. The skeletal Ophelia I depicted still sinks in her dress like Millais intended. These icons long outlive their creators, their fans, their curators, their repairers. They show us that when our skin and bones can no longer tell the tales of time, art will explain the past, record the present, and predict the future.

Atelier Concentration (2nd Semester)

What is the central idea of your concentration?

The main concept represented by these pieces are idioms about the body. My concentration was inspired by everyday conversations and my desire to represent them in a cartoonish way that is all my own.

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

Each frame illustrates a common saying. Some pieces include a “weight on your chest” and a “devil on your shoulder.” The body parts are somewhat interchangeable but one body represents idioms about love and the other one deals with duality. One piece is “heart on your sleeve.” In it a large crow hangs over the heart stitched on the androgynous persons sleeve. This is from the origin of the saying, Iago says to let the crows peck at the exposed heart in Othello by Shakespeare. The love’s feet is “over the moon.” The charms on the anklet represent other imagery from the children’s poem “cow jumped over the moon.” The tattoos symbolise themes of love. The hands in the duality body represent the idiom “not letting your right hand know what the left hand is doing.” This is an idiom from the bible. The snake represents sin under the table and the other hand reaches for a cross symbolizing salvation. In “weight on your chest” the hands struggle to lift the mountain on its chest. This is the only piece that was created to stand alone.

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