Welcome to A Conversation with Art
Today’s theme is about equality, right down the middle.
We are going to start with looking at a figure that is divided equally from the top of her head all the way down to her toes. Let’s begin with thinking about our left side versus our right. We might look the same on both sides but we probably favor a particular hand to write with or when kicking a ball a dominant foot. The color helps the viewer focus on why the figure is divided even when the artist kept the texture similar throughout the artwork.
Let’s have a conversation. The artist made this work with the intention to make a statement. She created the oil painting and oil pastel life-size so when approaching the work you stand before a large figure confronting you or you confronting her. The artwork is about a woman not being treated equally. And to make sure the viewer knows she is talking about a whole person, she outlined the figure in red and has the hands crossing over to either side.
For a moment, let’s look at equality in another way. This is a beautiful archival large format print of a moth. The artist uses a technique that captures the moth’s astonishing details. The lines and shapes on the moth are symmetrical, in nature we see this identical patterning, the wings on both sides are the same.
Let’s have a conversation with another wing, a Hawk’s wing. The artist depicts the same astonishing textural details with ink on paper but the wings are not symmetrical. The patterning shifts from left to right. The artist decided to illustrate the magnificent patterning of nature with unlike markings. The viewer doesn’t question the divergent patterning, the equality of both sides, the left and right. They are from the same hawk.
Let’s go back to looking at the figure. The top portion of the body and arms look the same, but the head is in motion, turning side to side, back and forth, shaking its head NO. The viewer tries to decide where to focus, is there a line right down the middle?
Let’s have a conversation. The equality in this painting is about a Two-Faced Figure, which is the title of the watercolor. The artist painted the head as a gesture, a signal, by creating its head moving in all directions at the same time.
Here is another watercolor painting with a figure's head, the artist made a decision not to include the figure's body. Looking again, only half of the face is revealed, branches with green leaves is masking the other half. We know a face usually has the same features on either side, but in this work, the only eye revealed is open steering right at us, the mouth is closed. The artist has deep feelings that are exposed in her artwork about who am I as a woman and as a Latin- American. Her larger-than-life face in this painting is positioned in a personal landscape where relationships, survival, and creativity is pondered.