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Flashcards in SAC - EXTENDED RESPONSE Deck (12):
1

INTRODUCTION

SS: The artworks made by American artist Chuck Close (1940) and Indigenous Australian artist Christian Thompson (1978) systematically demonstrates their distinctive practices in reference to their own different historical and cultural contexts.

- Close: globally renowned...
- His artworks...
- On the other hand...

The artworks made by American artist Chuck Close (1940) and Indigenous Australian artist Christian Thompson (1978) systematically demonstrates their distinctive practices in reference to their own different historical and cultural contexts. Close is globally renowned for his unique and inventive techniques when crafting his own gigantic mosaic-patterned paintings. His artworks: Emma and Self-Portraits/Scribble/Etching Portfolio illustrate the artist’s exclusive focus on the human face. On the other hand, Thompson examines the Indigenous Australian story through his own symbolic performative self-portraits such as Invaded Dreams and Black Gum (1,2,3).

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PARAGRAPH ONE PART 1

TS: Even though both artists craft personal and recognizable pieces of art, the historical and cultural contexts that are purposely embedded in each of their artworks help convey their own contrasting issues and connotations.

Even though both artists craft personal and recognizable pieces of art, the historical and cultural contexts that are purposely embedded in each of their artworks help convey their own contrasting issues and connotations. In reference to Close’s artworks, the historical context was mainly drawn from the artist’s own personal experience. At the end of the first year of Kindergarten (1945), Close suffered from prosopagnosia (face blindness), a condition that interferes with his ability to recognize human faces. Also, in 1988, Close endured a sudden rupture of a spinal artery which later left him permanently paralyzed. These significant but unfortunate events were able to prompt Close to explore painting in a different way. This is evident in the way he uses his niece’s face (artwork 1) as well as employing a grid technique to deliberately distort the facial appearance of the subject matter. He has purposely resembled his own personal representation of face recognition as well as communicating the notion of humanity.

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PARAGRAPH ONE PART 2

... In Close’s monochrome self-portraits, the viewer is shown repeated imagery of the artist’s expressionless face...

In Close’s monochrome self-portraits, the viewer is shown repeated imagery of the artist’s expressionless face. During his Studio Process (artwork 2), the deliberate transparent appearance of certain colours implicitly illustrates Close’s thought process (Face deterioration) when using his own personal experience as inspiration. On the other hand, Thompson’s photograph (artwork 1) immediately interprets the historical context of the First Fleet (January 26th 1788). Even though this significant time in history has personally affected the artist’s own beliefs and values (Like Close), the First Fleet was also recognised as a major event to all the indigenous Australians at the time. The historical and cultural context in Thompson’s second artwork are examined through the notions of colonialism, liberalism and globalization. In Invaded Dreams, the model of the ship covering the person’s face (historical object) has evidently been used to demonstrate the significance of the First Fleet.

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PARAGRAPH ONE PART 3

... Close’s portrait (artwork 1) reflects the cultural context of American pop culture, which is generalized and enjoyed by ordinary people within society...

Close’s portrait (artwork 1) reflects the cultural context of American pop culture, which is generalized and enjoyed by ordinary people within society. In contrast, Thompson’s photographs both emulate his personal connections with the Indigenous Australian culture. In both artworks, the artist has deliberately concealed the face in order to show the loss of indigenous values and traditions within society. This was greatly caused by British soldiers colonizing on Australian soil.

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PARAGRAPH TWO PART 1

TS: Even though Close and Thompson both skillfully use photography in their studio processes, it is clear that they have intricately used different artistic and personal styles in order to illustrate their own personal narratives.

Even though Close and Thompson both skillfully use photography in their studio processes, it is clear that they have intricately used different artistic and personal styles in order to illustrate their own personal narratives. Close’s semi-abstract self-portrait of his niece has been influenced by his own inability to recognize human faces. While attending Yale summer school of Music and Art, Close was taught and inspired by the contemporary art movements: Minimalism, Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism. In reference to artwork 1, it is evident that he has been influenced by components from the Abstract Expressionism period and therefore, has artistically styled his pixelated artwork by using a grid system technique. This not only demonstrates Close’s own portrayal of face recognition, but he has re-invented painting in order to deal with face blindness. Furthermore, he has used selective but realistic colours to transform and distort the original image that he has painted.

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PARAGRAPH TWO PART 2

In contrast, Thompson’s Type C photograph (artwork 1), depicts a faceless figure that is concealed behind a historical object (a model ship). The artist has deliberately explored British colonization in order to illustrate the significance of the event. As a result of his own personal interest and connection to this particular historical incident, Thompson has artistically styled his artwork in the form of a photograph. Throughout his Studio Process, the artist has used photography to capture a moment in time that symbolically reflects a meaningful past event.

7

PARAGRAPH THREE PART 1

TS: Although both artists were greatly influenced by their own personal styles, their selective use of materials, techniques and processes demonstrate how Close’s studio process was far more complex and intricate (with regards to Close’s prosopagnosia and paralysis) as opposed to Thompson’s simple artistic method.

Although both artists were greatly influenced by their own personal styles, their selective use of materials, techniques and processes demonstrate how Close’s studio process was far more complex and intricate (with regards to Close’s prosopagnosia and paralysis) as opposed to Thompson’s simple artistic method. In Close’s etching portfolio, the artist has deliberately but artistically drawn and etched scribbled lines/marks. This is evidently shown by the artist’s interwoven net of coloured thread-like scribbles. Close has used nine different coloured pencils, a monochrome colour for each self-portrait plate. The viewer is able to notice a comparison between Close’s series of self-portraits and Andy Warhol’s (Postmodernist) Marilyn Monroe series. Even though both artists have used different printmaking processes, the way the artworks have been arranged in Warhol’s series (and the repeated imagery of the subject matter) has inspired Close to follow the same presentation style. Throughout the printmaking process, the artist has also applied and replicated the same scribbling and etching style for the remaining self-portraits.

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PARAGRAPH THREE PART 2

... Additionally, Close’s experience with face blindness has influenced the development of his own personal style which has therefore helped him craft these (unified-like) self-portraits...

Additionally, Close’s experience with face blindness has influenced the development of his own personal style which has therefore helped him craft these (unified-like) self-portraits. In contrast, Thompson’s artistic style correlates with culture, diversity and the global environment. The momentous object (Red flowering gum plants) within each Type C Photograph (artwork 2) are used by the artist to either symbolize a loss of identity or to illustrate the loss of a cultural connection between the land and oneself. Thompson has also been influenced by his own culture and his perception of past events. Again, he has used red flowering gum plants as a way to personally reflect on Indigenous Australian culture.

9

PARAGRAPH FOUR

TS: The art elements used by each of the artists have been applied in response to their own historical and cultural contexts and therefore, has further helped communicate their own ideas and aesthetic qualities.

The art elements used by each of the artists have been applied in response to their own historical and cultural contexts and therefore, has further helped communicate their own ideas and aesthetic qualities. In reference to postmodernism, Close has used colour and shape (organic shape) to further enhance his mosaic-patterned painting while maintaining consistency to the original photograph. Implied texture has also been applied throughout the artwork as a result of Close’s grid system technique. Ultimately, the artist has used colour, shape and texture to elicit a feeling of childlike joy (depicted by the young child’s smile) and happiness in the viewer. On the other hand, Thompson has used tonal value to create a solemn and isolated setting. The realistic shape of the ship is used to either represent a journey or an adventure. However, the faceless figure concealed behind the ship illustrates a far more sentimental message and therefore, evokes an ominous mood in the viewer.

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PARAGRAPH FIVE PART 1

TS: The art principles used by each of the artists have been applied in response to their own historical and cultural contexts and therefore, has further helped communicate their own ideas and aesthetic qualities.

The art principles used by each of the artists have been applied in response to their own historical and cultural contexts and therefore, has further helped communicate their own ideas and aesthetic qualities. Close dominantly focuses the viewer’s attention on the repeated faces. These are considered the most important parts of the composition. The effect of repeated imagery (First used by Andy Warhol) helps increase recognition during memory recall. Nonetheless, this shows the viewers how Close has applied his own personal experience of face blindness into his series of self-portraits. The artist has deliberately used an expressionless face in order to evoke a feeling of melancholy in the viewer. During his Studio process, Close’s diverse use of colour increases the visual interest in the artwork. Also, each colour might visually represent a unique emotion and therefore, is able to conjure a specific innate emotional response in the viewer.

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PARAGRAPH FIVE PART 2

...In contrast, the red flowering gum plants in Thompson’s photographs are used to emphasize the significance of Indigenous culture...

In contrast, the red flowering gum plants in Thompson’s photographs are used to emphasize the significance of Indigenous culture. The texture and the natural repetition of the red flowering gum plants also evoke a feeling of calmness and beauty in the viewer. Thompson assembles his three photographs in order to visually create unity and balance. Furthermore, the stark contrast between the red flowers and the black hoodie illustrate the loss of indigenous identity and therefore, can be perceived by the viewer as a fearful and menacing figure.

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CONCLUSION

SS: Chuck Close and Christian Thompson are both artists from the contemporary art movement.

Chuck Close and Christian Thompson are both artists from the contemporary art movement. Their distinctive practices demonstrate their unique interpretation of historical and cultural events. Close is well-known for his recognizable mosaic paintings and self-portraits while Thompson’s photographs that conceal the human face symbolically examines the Indigenous Australian story.