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Friday, January 21, 2011

Art Proj HCJ Part 4 - What a Lovely Proposal

Art Project - Hazy Cosmic Jive, Part 4

Another c/p post. This is the proposal that's being turned in. It's a sort of pitch that is to be turned into ze teacher, before starting the actual project. Anyways, without further ado, PASTING POWER!

"January 19, 2011


“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” – John Lennon

My collection, hereby titled ‘Hazy Cosmic Jive’, will be a collection of nine 16x20 oil paintings, possibly supplemented with the use of sharpie and colored pencils. It will be named as such for a various number of reasons, the first of which being that it plays with the theme that I hope to address in this collection.

The primary theme that I will be touching on is the differentiation between reality and imagination. Imagination and reality live co-dependently on one another, as reality can be changed as a subject of one’s imagination, and yet one’s imagination is somewhat confined by what that person has experienced or learned of in reality. Neither force dominates the other. Several aspects of my collection exhibit this idea.

The name ‘Hazy Cosmic Jive’ finds its origins in the David Bowie song, ‘Starman’, which details the efforts of children to meet an extraterrestrial being, whose extraordinary powers prevent him from coming to Earth as he fears that “he’ll blow [the children’s] minds”. In a sense, this song conveys the message that we all need to tap into what is beyond believing in order to receive the awesomeness that is Starman, just as we must look beyond reality to imagination to see our complete picture. The phrase ‘hazy cosmic jive’ personifies this idea, as it describes a universal harmony that remains elusive and hazy to us – the harmony between reality and imagination.

As a brief visual overview, the nine pieces can be assembled together in a 3x3 configuration, or lined up across in a panoramic landscape view. The purpose of this is to convey the idea that one’s perception of the world can be altered by a simple change of perspective. Each piece will focus on a character, all of whom will be drawn from popular culture, with the exception of a self portrait, which will be the center piece. Rather than create original characters for the pieces depicting fictional characters, I have decided to depict characters from the media and popular culture to reiterate the idea that all things of our imagination are drawn from what we’ve experienced in reality.

The aesthetics of the art will be lined in pencil in the style of cartoon art director and character designer, Derrick J. Wyatt. As it is my intention to push the boundaries between what is possible and impossible, I decided to use Wyatt’s design philosophy because of its extremely stylized nature. There is no doubt that it pushes boundaries, in its organic, flowing style. However, to incorporate some form of reality into this artwork, my detailing will be based more heavily on the art of Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki. Despite the extremely fantastical subjects of his work, his signature art style incorporates his creatures into a very realistic believable world. While his style is not particularly  detailed, its attention to the defining characteristics of its subjects, particularly texture, creates a very realistic, yet imaginative style. Though both of these artists work in animation, their approach to representing these characters is extremely different. I hope that my fusion of their two signature styles will effectively represent the idea I’m trying to convey.

Emulating the style of artist Drew Struzan, a painter most known for his work of painting movie posters, the pieces will primarily be painted in oils, with minimal colored pencils used for touch ups, or detailing. Struzan’s composition creates a very epic vibe, adding a lot of power to his works. His combination of portraits of main characters, coupled with small scenes depicting pivotal moments in the movies his works are based on exhibit a uniquely overpowering vibe, as each portion of the poster carries surplus emotion. The sharpie may potentially be used to outline the focus points of the pieces (the characters). The purpose of this is to contrast the very realistic oils with thick black lines that would not typically be found in real life. Outlining the pieces with sharpie, I hope to achieve an effect nearly reminiscent of animation cels or frames from a cartoon, further working to incorporate the idea that reality and fantasy are codependent.

For reference, the icons that will be featured, from left to right, are:
The Death Star (Star Wars), Iron Man and Captain American (Marvel), Godzilla (Godzilla), Optimus Prime (Transformers), me, Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro), GIR (Invader Zim), Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), Pikachu (Pokemon)"

A note that I didn't put down in the proposal is that all the characters on the right side of the portrait find their roots in Japanese fantasy (Godzilla, Totoro and Pikachu). Cool coincidence. 

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