Thursday, October 9, 2008
They're blowing my mind today...
Last week I wrote a bit about my students--feeling inspired by their intrepid determination in tackling what I hand them with gusto, ie. barreling into a 4'x6' drawing in a mid-level drawing class with not much worry.
On Tuesday we critique the drawings they've been working on for over a month now--large scale self-portraits made of collaged drawings. These images have very much been about constructing a face and allowing the image/piece itself guide them in terms of the next step--as opposed to privileging mimetic representation.
We begin by drawing a lot--making a zillion varying contour line drawings from a mirror. After amassing a fair-sized pile of visual information (the raw material) they begin to build their faces. Some incline right away toward a more abstracted rendering, falling quickly in love with layering shape and value and mark (that would be Karen, her remarkable collage not included above) and others stay closer to the mirror (see Michael's version, above right). At some point though, the sheer massiveness of what they must make sets them loose and I can almost see them begin to INVENT--this is when our conversations (my favorite part of teaching) get really good. Misty (above left) broke into her stash of lace and thread, Cassidy posited the notion of a body slapped together in jagged, raw fragments--nearly seeming to emerge from the paper itself, and Craig imaged himself a hundred times over--his face and body receding into a roiling, Ensor-like crowd.
If charged with making yourself from scratch (or a ton of dirty pieces of gritty paper and some glue) what would you make?