Chen’s Canvas: Perfection

Chen%27s+Canvas%3A+Perfection

Jason Chen, JagWire reporter/illustrator

I suppose even my fun and happy soul can be dark and dreary at times, and it shows in this piece of art. When you view this piece, you might develop nightmares — or at least young children will.

Today we’ll be examining a rhythm collage that I created once again for AP Studio Art. The name of the piece — Perfection — reflects on the impossible desire of utopia.

This piece, unlike some of my other projects, has a deeper meaning and message behind it. It represents the ideals and philosophy of utopian societies, which lead to dystopian societies. Each layer of this collage conveys a message, even the background.

If you inspect the background clearly, you’ll notice that it’s a layer of newspaper, patterned together in an arrangement of stripes. The use of stripes is to invoke the feeling of entrapment and also furthers the use of rhythm in the image. I chose newspaper as a medium since everything of print and information in dystopian societies is corrupt.

The burnt texture of the newspaper was created by using a sponge — dabbing paint onto the surface. Even this simple detail has a purpose, for it adds to that expression of restricted knowledge and information in dystopian societies. People are protected from the truths in the world and are in return only fed clouded pieces of information.

The layer on top of the background consists of seemingly ghostly figures. They seem almost robotic, their faces emotionless — perhaps a result of the oppression placed upon them. The faces were created in pen, using planar analysis to capture the facial structure. The limbs were a loose hand stroke of the brush, used to create the weak and lanky arms and legs.

The bodies of the figures are clothed in folded magazine sheets. They were then painted over in black and white: colors of good and evil, colors of depression, colors of pain. Each dress is different — lavish even — yet the dull colors convey the burden and pressure of dystopian life.

The final layer, a slash of red acrylic, ties the piece together. The red lines increase the sense of rhythm in the project and depict the women as feeling trapped. The red also resembles blood just by chance, giving the piece a dark feeling that I actually didn’t plan for. The image definitely turned out with a much heavier tone than I anticipated.

Rhythmic collage made with an array of materials depicts the life of those in dystopian societies.
By Jason Chen
Rhythmic collage made with an array of materials depicts the life of those in dystopian societies.

The collage turned out very nicely and really invokes emotions. The piece, unlike the title, isn’t perfect. Nothing in our world can be; therefore, the utopian dream is indeed only a dream.

Junior Jason Chen is quite the artist and his art reflects on a wide range of styles and topics through mediums that include watercolor, pen and ink, pencils; and frequently a touch of acrylic. In AP Studio Art, his classmates regularly comment on having him; “sacrificed to the art gods.”  

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