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Sustained Investigation (Concentration) Statement

  1. The central idea of my concentration is something unusual breaking routine. I wanted to show groups of people going through the expected, and running through their usual habits; all while being totally ignorant of the exciting and electric events happening right in front of their faces. In order to emphasize this, I made the only recurring element a single girl, captivated by what no one else seems to notice.
  2. I particularly wanted to explore my concentration through color, so throughout my concentration I focused on using blue and pink. Throughout the pieces, I have blue act as the ‘routine,’ and pink act as the ‘unusual thing.’ As a small detail, the girl’s body remains blue while a pink light is reflected on her face, indicating that she is able to observe the absurd around her. Meanwhile, the other characters eyes remain closed or staring straight ahead. Another decision I made with my concentration was to have no true linear story. I wanted each piece to be able to represent its own ‘unusual thing,’ unique from the other ‘unusual things,’ and able to represent its own independent story, even though the girl directly connects each piece. I was influenced by the idea of potential in Chris Van Allsberg’s “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick;” and I thought an idea as simple as ‘something unusual breaking routine’ could demonstrate that potential. I liked the idea that any viewer could take one, or a few, or even all of the pieces and approach it differently. I want the viewer to try to come up with their own ideas to what it means, and tell their own story.

Score Rationale

  • The topic—unusual things that break routine—is unmistakably and coherently integrated with the work. This evocative, engaging theme is sustained through all of the works in the portfolio. The scenes depict “groups of people going through the expected, and running through their usual habits; all while being totally ignorant of the exciting and electric events happening right around in front of their faces.” The one exception is a girl with pink light reflecting on her face (seen in each image), indicating that she is able to observe the absurd around her. Her presence brings consistency to the work. Although the works are independent narratives, there are clearly unifying tactics in the stories. In some of the images, the fantastical shifts introduce animals. For example, in image 2, a large bullish creature is purchasing the typical eggs and milk at an average neighborhood grocery store. In image 3 the shadow of a jogger becomes a roaring lion and, in image 6, a wolf sits in the chair of a hairdresser.
  • Image 4 is a clear example of work that demonstrates original thinking. The girl on the right, emphasized by the pink face, is the only figure with a readable expression facing the viewer. The direction of her glance and the expression on her face suggest concern directed at what is occurring on the table at the bottom of the composition. The work takes risk with the multiple perspectives present. The background uses classical one point perspective, while the table drawing our attention is presented from an aerial perspective, confronting the viewer. The use of space, perspective, contrasting values, and warm colors create interest about this gathering of figures drinking coffee.
  • The work conveys a sense of successful transformation and growth. Compositional use of the picture plane and perspective evolve throughout the work. The delivery of the intended ideas becomes more mature and more open to interpretation. For example, the use of perspective in images 3 and 6 is not as strong, and the links between the human figures and the animal imagery are mostly literal. Images 5, 7, and 8, on the other hand, exemplify use of compositional space while leaving room for interpretation of the more sophisticated analogies presented.
  • When digital processes are used (images 1, 3, 6, and 9 through 12), the work demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of analog drawing issues. Image 6 combines media in a digital platform. Surfaces were created using watercolor, colored pencil, and gel pen. They were scanned, merged, and embellished in Photoshop. Mark-making is fluid and consistent despite the differences in materials. Four of the drawings (images 9 through 12) were completed digitally, but analog techniques are addressed with varying intentions. Line quality is more gestural and energetic in images 9 and 10, and more precise in images 11 and 12. There is a convincing use of light and shade to render form and the illusion of depth in all seven of the digital pieces.