Sunday, September 06, 2009

When Art Turns Ugly

violenceI decided to spend my time working on an art concept I had. It involved finding actual photographs of violent acts (non-fatal) such as punching, slapping, kicking, choking, etc. and converting them into line drawings, stamps, prints and such with the possibility of making a collage or series of some sort. The initial attraction to the idea came from the sheer energy of the images, and how simplifying the images, stripping away colors, shades, etc. distilled the energy of the original image. As I continued however, something more emerged; being confronted with violence  in this way, often with women or children as the subject, couldn't help but evoke some emotion. Eventually some of the images I found, even though the victims suffered no worse than bruises, became so disturbing that I had to take a break. I think for  me it was the emotion displayed by the attackers that finally got to me. The emotions ranged from mere passionate rage, to utter malevolent hatred. I think for this reason alone, I am motivated to go through  with the project. Whatever art comes from this is not likely to sell much, but I think it will do a good job of illustrating the ugliness of violence and explore what creates it. If only I could find a way to not be "preaching to the choir" so-to-speak.

1 comment:

  1. That's a tricky one, the preaching to the choir, and desired avoidance thereof, that is. Something I've wrestled with, too.

    It might take a couple of years of working with your images before you come to that eureka moment. Definitely take those breaks away from the images as needed, but keep working!