Thursday, December 10, 2009

Final Project

Ishita Dharnidharka
Untitled, 2009. Acrylic paint on mirror (11" x 11").
For this piece I was interested in exploring the concept of Encroachment.


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  2. Ishita Dhamidharka’s Untitled (2009), acrylic paint on mirror, explores the concept of encroachment. Dhamidharka explores this concept through the replication of one of Andy Warhol’s 1960s screen-printed portraits of Marilyn Monroe. It is important to note Warhol’s prints were themselves based upon Gene Korman’s publicity photo for Monroe’s 1953 film Niagra. Dhamidharka highlights the fact that her work is encroaching on that of Warhol, and perhaps Korman also, by placing a printed reproduction of the Warhol original next to her piece. The placement of the printed reproduction next to Dhamidharka’s replication emphasizes the similarities and differences between the works. This is most evident in the shared color scheme which, thought not quite exact, unites the replication and the original. Though the colors are themselves non-representational, the shared color scheme dominated by the complementary red and green hues emphasizes the iconic representation of Monroe. While from a distance the piece maintains the iconic qualities of the original photograph and Warhol’s this is somewhat diminished upon closer examination which reveals thick brushstrokes and somewhat poorly defined edges. The thin detailed and crisp lines of Warhol’s original evoke the photographic portrait while this is some what lost in the replication. The brushstrokes in the paint additionally create a unique, textured surface in contrast to the smooth, mass-produced appearance of Warhol’s print. The most prominent diversion that Dhamidharka makes from the original is the replacement of the foreground, the skin of Marilyn’s face, with the blank mirror surface. This choice extends Dhamidharka’s exploration of encroachment in a number of ways; just as the piece replicates Warhol’s print, the mirror creates a replication of the reality from which it is being observed. Furthermore the viewer is in a way encroaching on the painting through its observation as the act of drawing closer inherently changes the reflection in the mirror; the comfort of the audience is perhaps also encroached upon as the appearance of their own reflection in the piece can be disconcerting.

  3. A very well thought out post. Thank you. I do, however, have one question: How can a color be labeled abstract,representational, and/or non-representational? Instead I would argue that some formal qualities, color including, assist in the determination of a work of arts realism/abstraction/non-representational label.