I decided to further my self portrait and let go until the point where the painting didn’t look like a portrait any more. I decided to complete the painting while sober in this case, because I knew I had no inhibitions about making it a mess at this point, as that was my aim. Unfortunately I won’t be able to add an image of the exhibited work before this is read, but below I have an image of the finished painting which I will not be including in the exhibition.
Rather, I will be exhibiting the finished animation of this self portrait’s descent into madness, alongside the other two finished animations. Since the last crit I have also edited the other two paintings into looped animations, whereas before they were .GIFs. Their slow changes makes it more mesmerising to watch.
The finished videos, that can be seen in Autumn Assessment, appear on their sides, because they will be exhibited on a portrait orientation television.
Attached is a draft of my personal statement for this term’s assessment. Please take a read, and do comment with advice, and thoughts! Thank you.
At our crit, people seemed to agree that I could push this painting even further in terms of letting go. I considered progressing by creating another painting about mental illness, but perhaps more open to interpretation, (the current piece is too prescriptive and illustrative of the specific study I am writing), of a portrait that kind of melts. However, I think that I will kill two birds with one stone, and keep working on the current painting, making it more and more abstract and painterly, perhaps ending up with a pool of flesh colours. I think that the painting at the moment has too many muted flesh colours, but if this contributes to the finished piece, I won’t mind this.
This idea was explored and extended to the idea of making it more of an endurance piece, filming the process of creating the painting, while drunk, and also becoming more and more exhausted, and also to the idea of painting just more and more crazy layers until the painting is physically thicker.
Kate also pointed out that it is very static, which would work if I was trying to convince people that it was just a normal painting like Bill Viola does, but is less interesting than if I wanted to make it more of an animation. I could make my puddle of flesh more dynamic by rotating it perhaps at the end, or at least by moving the focus of the film.
They also gave me lots more ideas in terms of artist influences I can look at, so I will be adding some influences in my Artist Influences section now.
Below is the finished painted animation commenting on the link between stress and depression. As stress levels increase, the depression levels increase and the clarity (and quality) of the painting, and of thought, decrease. This was achieved by me drinking slightly more at each stage. I don’t think that this is something I want to make common practice, although it did successfully lead to a much looser style towards the end.
After photographing each stage, and uploading the images into photoshop, then ordering and lining up each photograph, I made a slideshow. I wanted the transition of each frame to be very slow and hypnotising. My housemate said that “watching it is like being drunk”.
I made two versions of the slideshow; one almost eight minutes long, in the hopes that if it was hung on the wall, perhaps in a frame, viewers would find the change almost imperceptible. They wouldn’t be completely sure if the portrait was moving or not without watching for a long time, making the portrait quite magical. I will put this version below as well.
I have rejected my original plan of conducting a psychological study. It was too complex, and I decided it wasn’t going to work. I was going to make a complex painting (but couldn’t decide what it should be of), and ask two groups of people to interpret it, after telling each group that a different artist made it. I wanted to investigate whether priming the groups with different information would result in different interpretations.
My new idea is more simple, and is more of an illustration of a psychological study I am currently writing, for my Research Methods module. The hypothesis is that siblings, and stress, are both predictors of depression. So I will be animating an oil self portrait. I will add more and more stressors into the background, while at the same time my expression will get more and more downfallen, until I end up with a sad self portrait, surrounded by a busy background, and holding a bottle of alcohol.
For each stage, I will also be drinking slightly more; more drinking as stress levels go up. This also means that with more stress, the less defined and more messy the painting will become.
I will be taking photographs at each stage to use for the animation. There will be five main stages, but I will take more photos when I add each element perhaps. The gradual changes should be imperceptible when animated with a slow fade between each picture.
This whole process is very experimental! It is a continuing my exploration of animating paintings. Below are a couple that I have made in the past, and that I really enjoyed. I think they worked well, despite being very difficult, but I was sober while I was working, so this one may be a bit more difficult.
For the above piece I used a new medium called Brusho. My experimentation with this can be seen below.