Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The final project of the semester came as another exciting prospect. Before I decided to pursue an education in the Fine Arts, a majority of my interests lied in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and women's studies. I began my collegiate career at Binghamton University, enrolled as a Psychology major. I have always been fascinated in the ways in which people function and the reasons why they do so. Throughout my life I have encountered a large variety of psychologically ill people which fueled my interest in such. Upon further studies I strayed from psychology to other fields of social sciences. Supplement of course to all these studies was my growing affinity for the making of art which filled the rest of my course load. Eventually I shifted my focus to the arts, but never completely deserted my interest and study of social and psychological studies.
The assignment at hand was to interpret a figure through the lens of the distinction of Freud's concepts of id, ego, and superego. This guideline to some may seem specific, but there is much mobility within the topic. One of the most intriguing prospects being the relation of self in how you can literally depict oneself, and the manner in which it is depicted. I knew immediately that I wanted to do a self portrait, a feat that I have only tackled a few times. The process itself was self exploratory to say the least. I wanted to portray the constant struggle that's in play between the id and supergo. I consider myself to be a pretty balanced person, when it comes to maintaining stability and at the same time losing control.
As with most pieces, I visualize the outcome before I even begin the process. I knew that I wanted to paint my head (face) in a more realistic, controlled manner, thus representing the supergo. This was my attempt to utilize control both internally and externally.
Second, I wanted to brush strokes to become more instinctual and liberal than the previous from the neck to the chest. This I consider as the portrayal of my ego. I chose to portray myself in the nude to exploit my utmost vulnerability into not only my form, but my psyche. The balance between the actual form, and looseness in which it is painted, while still adhering to some structure was all intentional. Another factor is the physical location of such a style, which is the heart.
Lastly, the abdomen and genitals are all engulfed in a rage of primal paint application; this is the id. It is all of those guttural impulses that drive every one of us, the thirst for violence, for sex, and some scatological as well. I applied the paint and wax furiously, sometimes even with stabbing motions.
Although it may not be obvious to all the reasons behind my actions, I feel the balance of each three factors when I view this work.
Another element I chose to include were samples of handwriting. I recently cultivated an interest in handwriting analysis and it's psychological implications. I learned that the mental state of any individual can be traced through their handwriting, changing from mood to mood as it were. This serves as a manifestation of one's true deepset emotions, often without the scribe being none the wiser. The text I included is a collection of song lyrics, lines I have written, and poetry. It is not important to me that the viewer knows the literal text, only the hint of which gives the allusion to internal thought processes.
Although I am currently pleased with the aesthetic of my painting, I consider it to be a work in progress. I've really enjoyed getting assigned more open ended problems to face so I can really explore myself as an artist.


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