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Art Analysis Paper

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Art Analysis Paper
The Joan Brown’s “Noel In The Kitchen” is a painting. The medium of this art work is oil on canvas. The technique she used appears to be heavy brush strokes. The size of the painting is very large, approximately 8x5 Ft. It is a representational work, which displays a small child, two dogs and some regular attributes of a household kitchen. The image can be broken down into the few blocks. On the front, there is a little child, assumingly named Noel, reaching the top of the kitchen cabinet. He is surrounded by two dogs, one of them seating and looking away from the boy. Another dog is positioned next to Noel, towering over the child. The second block includes the floor of the room and the kitchen cabinet with dishes on the top. Third part of the image is the wall behind the desk. It appears to be shaded and out of focus. The overall intensity of colors happens to be fading towards the right side of the paining. It gives balance to the image by counterweighing the representative images on the left. The large kitchen cabinet is painted brightly red, immediately focusing viewer’s attention on itself as a center of composition. All figures are placed on the various levels, which provide space effect in relationship to the floor and vertical axis. The floor is painted with clear lines distinction in yellow, black and blue colors. By looking at the painting from some distance, the relationship between shapes is very thin and objects are highly recognizable. However, by looking from a close distance, it becomes obvious that there is overlapping of shapes and colors, which speaks of very intense brush work. The texture of surface is extremely uneven. There are many layers of colors, one over each other, in the different parts of the art work. It becomes approximately 4 inches thick at one point, and in another area you can even see the canvas. The painting appears to be very balanced in context as well. A little child on the left is trying to stand up and reach the sink. He looks really vulnerable and innocent. He is leaning as if he would fall, but there are two dogs guarding him from the both sides. There are two fry pans on the other side of the cabinet, which may also present danger to the child, since they are positioned on the corner, with handles pointing towards the floor. This is another hazardous peril that presents danger to the boy. One of the dogs is looking towards the fry pans as if he is aware of this danger. Also, the static and heavy table counter- balances this instability.
“Girl In A Pink Hat” by Wayne Thiebaud is also a painting. It is relatively small in size, and the medium appears to be oil on canvas. The technique used is a painting with very careful thin lines with soft contour and colors. There is no overlapping and the distinction between the objects is very obvious. The surface of the art work is flat, which creates a contrast with a heavy looking, antique-crafted frame. Central and the only subject of this painting is a young naked woman, displayed only top of her body to her waist, wearing a pink hat. She is half turned to a viewer, as if she is looking to the left. The work is representational. The woman is right at the center of the paining along vertical axis. The background of the image is almost entirely white, besides the part painted blue, which is supposed to represent a shadow from the pink hat. The paining is very balanced. The colors used make the skin, the hair and the hat look like it could be a photo print. However, to draw distinctions between body parts, Wayne Thiebaud used slight touches of green, blue and silver colors. The woman appears to be in a process of dreaming. Her sight is pointed to the left, leaving impression she is not looking at anything in particular. Her shoulders are lowered and belly is pointed forward, as if she is caring some emotional weight on her. The large frame of the painting is just increasing this feeling. It actually downplays the sexuality and vulgarity of the naked woman, and the white background can easily be an expression of emptiness.
The heavy brushstrokes, contrast of colors, overlapping of shades and overall distortion of the entire image, makes “Noel In The Kitchen” close to an abstract expressionists work, specifically to that part represented by William De Kooning. However, the representational nature of this work refers to some personalization of the situation. Joan Brown was a mom, which is why there is this feeling of constant alertness coming from the painting. She is worried that her child might fall, or reach a heavy object that could hurt him. This type of feeling is entirely a product of author’s sub-consciousness. It is stored there as a part of her main instinct of protecting her child. However, the size, the brushwork and the relief of the texture make it hard to believe that the art was made by a female artist. Even compared to an ABEX action painting, this art work seems too intense, which in the historical context would explain the attention of the public to the artist and her success. In the male dominated art world, still highly influenced by the New York ABEX artists, it had to take a huge amount of intensity and heavy brush works for a female artist to get noticed. Which is why this would be the main contrast to Wayne Thiebaud’s “Girl In A Pink Hat.” As a male artist he isn’t trying to “out-paint” ABEX artists from the East; instead he even receives his portion of fame for being counter-reactionist to the ABEX paining. Another difference from Joan Brown’s work is that the painting isn’t personalized at all. There is no touching sentiment and dreamy illusion. Instead, a commonplace of a naked girl in a pink hat suggests irony and author’s detachment from the painting. The blue shadow refers to the quality of advertisement, which is widely found in many others of author’s works. It is a male artist’s work, which displays some type of stereotype of a woman. Being half naked, sexual, vulgar and vulnerable image, “The Girl…” is displayed in a pink hat. Pink color of the hat also serves as multiplier of those stereotypes. But it could be just too easy to say that Wayne Thiebaud is affected by those stereotypes entirely. He reveals himself and his commitment of self discovery through an emptiness of the background and the subject’s emotions on the image. The heavy frame, troubled dreamy sight and the white surrounding speak very honestly about author’s intentions. He is being very honest to the public through his sub-consciousness, just like Joan Brown in her “Noel In The Kitchen.”
Comparing these two art works invokes in me some completely different feeling and responses. Joan Brown’s painting refers to warmth of home, to the childhood and parentship. The intensity of colors and texture refers to a parent’s emotions and attention to its child. It is a very honest work of art, which even I can personalize myself with. It is filled with emotions and it takes a great pleasure of looking at it. Wayne Thiebaud’s “Girl In A Pink Hat” is also a honest work of art. It expresses some common stereotypes, as well as the author’s response to them. At first, I caught myself exploring the work’s sexuality and vulgarism, at the same time my female friend was noticing the emotional side of the painting. The empty white and the cold blue background of the paining puzzled me, until I realized that this is exactly why I didn’t feel connection to this work. The presence of connection, the honesty and the good warm energy it gave me, made Joan Brown’s “Noel In The Kitchen” much more preferable to me then Wayne Thiebaud’s “Girl In A Pink Hat.”

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