Friday, October 11, 2013

Intertextuality: Star Wars and Honeybuns

"A New Hope for the Hungry" -- acrylic on canvas
     For our second project in Art III, we were given the theme of intertextuality. Intertextuality involves combining unrelated objects or concepts to change meaning. For example, if you draw a Disney princess and put a gun in her hand, she is no longer innocent and adorable. I had several ideas, but none of them were very exciting. I thought of putting Kermit the muppet next to a real frog, creating a giant cockroach and having it attack Apex High School, and having a chicken sitting on top of Big Bird as an egg. Instead of these, I decided to recreate a scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, but have Leia's hair be honeybuns that Han Solo is eating. The honeybuns and Han's sneakiness change a scene filled with tension in the movie into one with playfulness and humor. This idea felt the most interesting, and I just couldn't get it out of my head.
      Originally I wanted to paint the background, then photo transfer images of Han and Leia onto the canvas and touch them up with paint. To get the transfer to show up, I had to first paint white silhouettes of the people. I then covered with the area with a clear acrylic gloss and placed the pictures face-down. Unfortunately, I wasn't fast enough, and the photo transfer worked hardly at all, so I ended up doing the whole thing in acrylic. Painting all of the details in Han and Leia was painstaking, and took about a week to finish. While the faces aren't exactly how I had imagined them, I am happy with the end result.
      The risks I took in this project were minor, but had a major impact. This was the first time I had ever attempted a photo transfer -- and it failed. I had also never painted people before, only trees and images without shading.
      Of the five characteristics of great art, I think concept and emotion were most prominent in my piece. The technique and medium are nothing new or unique, but as far as I know my idea is original. The art also provoked a wide range of reactions, including laughter and being grossed out. Personally, I find it funny.
     My favorite thing about painting -- and art in general -- is the creation process. Starting with only a white canvas and five colors -- red, blue, yellow, white, and black -- I could create this painting, with all of its variation in color and shadow.