Monday, 17 December 2007

Winsor McCay

This is taken from part of a comic (Little Nemo in Slumberland) by Winsor McCay. The comic strips were very popular and were featured weekly in the New York Herald in the early 1900's.

Little Nemo in Slumberland is a big favourite of mine. McCays characters are so charming and the colour pallete he uses is eye catching to me because they're not really used in any other work in this day in age. The stories in the comics are so unusual and really do seem dream-like. They're not particularly nice stories-they were often quite violent, threatening, dark and surreal. I think that's why I like it so much. I like odd things that are quirky, dark and surreal, so Little Nemo in Slumberland does it for me.
It's easy to tell what's going on in the comics without the need of the words there. It's all sequential and very easy to follow. The fact that most of the images are closely sequential (almost like a stop motion animation) make it more interesting to me for some reason. The image above is a good example of this technique.

Koloman Moser

Koloman Moser was an Austrian artist who put alot of influence on twentieth-century graphic art and was one of the artists of the Vienna Secession movement. His designs in architecture, furniture, jewelry, graphics, and tapestries helped characterize the work of this era. Moser drew with the style of clean lines and repetitive motifs of classical Greek and Roman art and architecture.

Apparently this image to the right shows "the Judgement of Paris, a story from classical mythology. In the foreground stand three goddesses: Venus, Juno and Minerva. They are parading in front of Paris whose task it is to choose the most beautiful. The choice of subject matter can perhaps be seen as an artist's flattery of his patron, complimenting him on his good judgement and taste"

His work is great and I love the simplicity of the lines. Things aren't over complicated in his work which I like...his characters are made up of a simple language. The only major detail is in the clothing of the characters which is made up of pattern. I'm a big fan of detail, so to see it in such a manner with simplicity of lines is fresh and inspiring for me.

Arthur Rackham

Arthur Rackham produced elaborate illustrations for children's literature and fairy tales, and also for some adult books.
"to make my small elves coats" illustration above is from A Midsummer Night's Dream. It clearly shows what's going on...little elves making coats. He's used lots of clues to show this and to make it obvious for the viewer. I'm a fan of fairytale illustrations and Rackham is my favourite. His drawings have so much character and life to them, and it's always fun to try to figure out what's going on in each illustration. It makes your mind run wild. The colour palette he uses is unusual but lovely. The darkness of it gives an oddness and unusual feeling to the illustrations which I love. His use of line and detail is amazing...each illustration of his I've seen have been quite mysterious and eerie.

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is known mainly for taking photographs of herself in different costumes and works in series. Her series Untitled Film Stills are more well know and are all done in black and white. She places herself as an unnamed actress in shots reminiscent of foreign films, Hollywood pictures, B-Movies and Film Noir.

The props she uses in the photographs can tell us an awful lot about what she’s trying to tell us in the photograph, and what her character is like. I like the fact that the characters in her photographs are portrayed as being sexy and seductive, and then in others she's seen as being innocent and immature. This image to the left shows a woman lying on what seems to be a bed, with a book in front of her and looking up at something-I imagine that she's watching a TV. Her looking up makes the image quite seductive, and the way she's dressed is flirtatious. Her as a character is maybe an exaggerated stereotype of the actresses in the films at this period of time in the 1970's.
The way she dressed up as actresses etc is really clever in my opinion. She did it well and looked as if it came naturally to her. She knew exactly what she wanted to say in each photograph and to me, sucessfully did it.