A theme as related to visual art is an idea passed on by a certain art work. The work may vary from a play to a picture and many others. So basically a theme is in a certain piece of work is identified as like the common idea being expressed in a certain piece of art. The choice of the theme of an artist would basically depict as a certain kind of life at some point. Caution needs to be taken into great care as we may want to associate a theme as the main matter of an art piece. Various ways to address a piece of would then present itself.
We may want to unearth its growth period as from when it was started the various aspects brought out by another artist. This points out that a certain theme can be taken by various artists. It doesn’t restrict the use of them rather visual art give sway to acquire a theme used by an artist but it should be brought out a clear and original point. The method scrutinizing the origin of a certain piece of work plays a major role as it puts work of art in a development subsequent. Allowing the same piece of art to be related to a certain culture from which they can be identified with, also can be regarded as a great achievement (Woods & Open University, 2012).
The same article also points a chronological aspect of dealing with a piece of art bring itself a stumbling block. This can be drawn from the fact that different culture does have works of art which are somewhat similar. So it points the fact that it would difficult to relate a certain piece of art to a community where else we have a same kind of theme being portrayed in a certain community. This might lead to confusion different cultures do exhibit different lifestyles. It was however noticed that different pieces of work made in varying generation or era, may be conveyed in relation to the particular cultural intent at that period.
A theme generally runs throughout the history of visual art period and with it definitely bring some wide aspects of it. It is however to point out that a particular piece of work may convey the different themes. It all depends on the aspect or point of view it is taken up on. We should also deduce that thematic representation of a certain piece of work or works in general brings an avenue on how to deal with themes that would be considered as complex. In our choice of case study as related to various artists who brought it out, we shall consider the story telling theme (Breeur & Melle, 2012).
Various folktale lives of saints and heroes can be seen and experienced in our societies today. They have opted to use storytelling as an art theme to drive in their intended information. They would inquire about the basis or root a story is built on, On what community belongs. We take a look at the Christin life in the European part of the world back in the 15 century. People would want to relate to or with the life of a saint that had existed before. They could keep them in memory and apply them in their lives. Sassetta an Italian artist would portray life lived with one of the Saints Francis. Francis was a son of a Merchant who happen to be rich. In resultant to that status he would be highly regarded in the community. As the norm would go, the son was probably expected to adopt the father's life style but in contrary to the expectations he chose a different lifestyle
He decided to live a destitute life in the line of doing the gospel. He would then associate himself with the poor and would end to spending his life preaching. Sassetta made a painting to illustrate the life lived by the Saint. He would create a an overview of his lifestyle. He made this possible through single painting. One illustration represented by the artist was the Saint sharing what he had with the poor. He was seen giving a cloak a destitute man. We can deduce that he was involved in acts of giving to the poor as depicted by the artist. In the same piece of art, the artist would bring the spiritual life of Francis into light. He illustrated it through a transparent wall where Francis was taking a nap. An angel is then seen as he gives him a dream more of a vision illustrating the City of God (Gaut & Livingston, 2003).
We shall then another step in the works of great artist and on that note we take a look at an Indian artist . Sahibdin was his name, we painted a picture illustrating the life story of Rama a Prince. The prince was also depicted as an incarnation of Vishnu a god in the Hindu religion. Being a prince and a great asset to the community, Rama was to be in the kingly line. But he never had the chance to enjoy that as he was expelled. A demon later takes his wife, which probes Rama to find her. In his quest he gets himself to the same community that exiled him. In his piece of art, Sahibdin arrange Rama’s life chronology. In one section he illustrates the demon with the twenty heads and many arms where we can relate to the plot earlier stated of the demon plans. Its show how the Demon was questing have attacked on the palace. Below that the artist show the son of the demon with his army also ready to ambush the kingdom.
The artist then takes as to other scenarios that would help us understand the Rama story more where he shows Rama with a friend being shot at. The evil led army shoots arrows to the which can be seen to turn into snakes. The the evil army can be seen leaving the palace after their accomplished attack. He then talks for a part where he illustrates the demon son giving the message that they had captured Rama. They would later return to the demon palace where he is acknowledged and joyfully welcomed back into the palace. The Ram's wife would be seen in one of the sections or cells presented by the artist in confinement then she is taken to witness the defeat of his husband Rama. We can clearly deduce from this works or art by Sahibdin that if an audience knew of Rama story, they could do a follow up the cell picture he made (Dumbadze & Hudson, 2012).
We can clearly see the impact of historical chronology in facilitating this theme of art. It has given the artist an important tool in applying the stories in accomplishing the visual artistic endeavors. We then take a picture in the works of another artist who made art came into life. He goes by the name Christian Boltanski, also dwelling on the theme on the basis of European culture. He would use the famous episode called the holocaust. It involved the killings of Jews of European origin and other population in the war of the World War II created by the Nazis. The artist ventured into this through an interesting manner. He would later present his works in the same way. He would go to a Jewish school by the name Chase where he found photos that represented students who graduated from the school.
He took the pictures relating the class of 1931. He recorded the photo by taking shots of them. The interesting thing is that he enlarged the photos that brought a unclear blur image to view. An image that would be seen as if they are long gone, well they were long gone but it was interesting the way he brought it. He would use lamps in front of the picture which represented the interrogation lamps. But it was deduced that they represented halos as well. Quite an interesting point of view Christian brought (Grimshaw & Ravetz , 2005).
We then consider the work of arts of Olivia Plender. She adapted from the history various influences that included the nineteenth-century works of art and literature to twentieth-century. Plender’s targets on the audience is wide is this can be deduced from the kind artistic works she does. It largely included pencil drawing, publications and lastly and performance installation. Taking an insight pin her piece of work such as For Art Now Live, a ghost story from one other series, similar story lined kind of material is would be released from her. In this particular story themed work of art, the reader will be involved in coming up with a visual creation as which they could relate to . The audience will be absorbed by the story’s subject, which involved an artist coming to terms with his own beliefs , which finds its way into the of religion and spiritualism. The deploys the application of sound effects and music, with which she involves her audience in her entire work of art. This creates an important interface between her and her audience.
In Why I never became a dancer,Tracy Emin deploys her emotional encounters with life as the root and subject of her inner feeling. She takes us from the traumatic events of life which includes the death of either her friend or that of her family member, an incidence that involved her being raped and the abortion that she had to commit. She also deployed to other emotions such as love, hate, and her yearning for things in life. Her artistic works of work could be noticed as quest to attain solutions in the rotten past. So far we can deduce the use of storytelling as theme in the work of art. Going forth, it revealed her current predicaments in life . She would later develop a behavior that would see her lamenting all the things she went through and transforming them in the piece of art that would later find its way to an audience. By revealing and sharing what's on her mind and what she felt which many people would tend to shy away from, Emin opens up an avenue into the field of visual art (Revel-Neher, Kogman-Appel & Meyer, 2009).
Why I Never Became a Dancer also bring another picture once an audience experiences it. During her somewhat boredom characterized teenage life, and the sex experience of what can be considered a tender age, she would distance herself from men. She would then adapt dancing as a way to help her cope with life. It can be deduced from the story on how she strived to achieve her purposeful desire in life. The audience can also learn from her humiliation by boys with whom she had slept with , led to her discovering the kind support she could achieve all in the name of liberating female sexuality. The story ends with the artist in a large room in quite a happy mood or rather joyous mood. It can be noticed that the entire piece of work was under the decision made by the artist to come out to the public by declaring her current state of mind and in turn bring a whole new revolution which can be regarded as an added measure on life. The individual nature of Emin's work of art made way and would be accepted by various readers all over.
Gillian’s OBEConfess All On Video. Don't Worry You Will Be in Disguise. Intrigued? Call Gillian Version II brought a new aspect in the use of storytelling in art. This basically involves a response from various participants taking part in a confession on camera ordeal. This piece of work was made possible by 'fly-on-the-wall' documentaries and TV chat shows, whee the participant would be involved in making the confession in them. As usual it received opposition mainly from the religious circles. Questions would be probed on the motives behind the confessions . Hiding their faces on camera, the participant would bring into light what no one ever knew about them. This can be adapted by the audience in relation to the thematic view point involved. Gillian involves the audience in this artwork by bringing out the past experience or stories told by the participants. Hence this can be adapted in our case study as is is relevant to the our quest (Eco & Musée du Louvre, 2009).
We can also take into consideration Paula Rego’s art work series which also are in the same field as storytelling art pieces. We begin with the story The Maids where it is a painting describing a story at heart . It depicts a real life scenario involving the Papin sisters, Christine and Lea, who were maids for a certain rich family. In this piece of work, she shows what unraveled as would be seen caused by a frightened feeling. They would kill the mother and the daughter of the family whom they worked for. As an audience deductions can be made where Paula focused on the nature relationship of the sisters . She also related to their relationship with the family members they had murdered. We can relate the story told to the audience as they get to scrutinize the picture for better understanding
Having a peek into another of her piece, The fitting, Paula brings in a romantic story which turned fatal. She deploys imagery and symbolism to help her audience to recreate the unveiling misery. She also uses of magical realism to relate the problems involving psychology and sexuality all from a female way of perception. In The Family another piece by Paula, she describes the picture in the following way. A father and husband who has been absent in his family life comes into the picture plane and only to be harassed by his daughter and his wife. The kind of information relayed can be taken as ambiguous. This might lead to various ways in which the family cold ends. Hence the audience will have a venue to come up with his or own thinking that can represent how the scenario would end (Pollock, 2012).
We take another story themed piece of her. Termed as Celestina’s house, The picture unfolds with the tale of Celestina, who as would be described as of Spanish decent. Celestina would depict tough and provoking qualities of a woman. The picture deploys the proper use of Celestina’s story to expound more on the ages of women involve however as Paula latter puts it, “if there are seven ages of woman as of man, then her Celestina has already lived through at least thirteen.”Another piece is the The Interrogator’s Garden which she developed to show what victims of torture face and what they don’t choose to share. Here a soldier sits as a camp encompassed by the tools of his acts, on the other hand Paula presents a desirable side of the interrogator. He is depicted as a romantic monster, a symbol meant to ridicule . In this we can identify through the artist the, other side of the story in the quest.
The policeman's daughter, is another piece of art by this artist. Paula Rego came up with a series of painting to illustrate a family relationship. According to her work, their relationship between the daughter and father was deteriorating. The Policeman’s Daughter seems to be angry angry, her hand into boot as she wipes it clean, a depiction of the painting shows the onset of the relationship. The daughter is depicted by the artist as an innocent young girl, the toy castle representing security at her disposal. The story also shows the creativity of the artist as she brings out the various aspects of the picture.
In Swallows The Poison Apple, Rego rewrites the story of Snow White to expose the importance of youth. Dressed in this manner, Snow White appears not to be as beautiful as her age mate would look but she is shown to appear as a middle aged woman. In relation to this piece of work and after she eats the poisoned apple, she lays next overturned furniture. This depicts on how painful the ordeal might have been. Her body is in between a blanket that has sprung blossoms. Rego further shows the conflict of reality embedded in the social norm applied to a females value in both on aging basis as well as the violence related basis.
Dog woman, which was Inspired by a friend story directed to her. Paula depicts her Dog Woman in pastels, relating to the features of Degas’ drawings. “To be a dog woman is not necessarily to be downtrodden; that has very little to do with it,” She further explains, “In these pictures every woman's a dog woman, not downtrodden, but powerful. To be bestial is good. It's physical. Eating, snarling, all activities to do with sensation are positive. To picture a woman as a dog is utterly believable." (Grimshaw & Ravetz , 2005).
In her works of Snow White playing with her father's trophy, she relates this to her childhood memories . Her work shows a compromised folklore, in which fairy tale and horror bring out a womanés experience. She would remember the times she would go to the movies with the Dad .In the story themed artwork, Snow White Playing With Her Father’s Trophies, further depicts the heroine, in a white dress the represents virginity and innocence. She illustrates the heroin sitting in an unladylike insinuating resentments towards her dad. The audience can further deduce from her work that, the story show the relationship barriers involving the dad and Snow White.
The works cited above has brought an illustration pointing the works of the above mentioned artist are on the storytelling theme. This allowed us student to choose the works of art and the themes best cited by the artists mentioned above. Having a critical outlook on the issues they raised helped in identifying the information they relayed. Also further citations were considered in explaining the works of the artists. A rational point of view was applied in theme portrayed by the works of arts.
Breeur, R., & Melle, U. (2012). Life, subjectivity & art: Essays in honor of Rudolf Bernet. Dordrecht: Springer.
Dumbadze, A., & Hudson, S. (2012). Contemporary Art: 1989 to the Present. Chicester: Wiley.
Eco, U., & Musée du Louvre. (2009). The infinity of lists. New York: Rizzoli.
Gaut, B. N., & Livingston, P. (2003). The creation of art: New essays in philosophical aesthetics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Grimshaw, A. & Ravetz , A. (2005). Visualizing Anthropology. Bristol. Intellect Books.
Pollock, J. (2012). You are here: Essays on the art of poetry in Canada. Erin, Ont: Porcupine's Quill.
Revel-Neher, E., Kogman-Appel, K., & Meyer, M. (2009). Between Judaism and Christianity: Art historical essays in honor of Elisheva (Elisabeth) Revel-Neher. Leiden: Brill.
Woods, K., & Open University. (2012). Art & visual culture, 1100-1600: Medieval to Renaissance. London: Tate Publishing.