Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hey, Look!

Night Watch (1642) by Rembrandt van Rijn, though famous, hardly relates to the viewer. Through this project, I wanted to bring the viewer into the art. Some key features of the painting (or this small photograph of a specific portion of the Rembrandt painting) are 1.) the characters depicted looking in several different directions but never breaking the fourth wall and 2.) the hand that we know extends out to the viewer because of the shadow. I placed a photo of a man looking directly at the camera on the extended hand and integrated his shadow onto the painting to make him seem a part of the painting, though obviously separate. The presence of the man addresses the lack of relationship between art and viewer in Night Watch. His presence also creates three "planes" or layers of content: one containing the painting, the second containing the man on the extended hand, and the last contains the viewer because the man addresses them as part of the art. The size of the print turned out smaller than I intended with no way of enlarging it without distorting the image. I did not know whether this added to or took away from the meaning of my work but it seemed a successful move to pass it around like a "postcard" during the critique.

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