People perceive beauty in vastly different ways. Attractiveness is valued immensely by virtually all people. The importance of beauty is prevalent globally, but global ideas of beauty differ wildly. I spent 5 weeks in Indonesia this past August and was astounded by their ideas of what is beautiful and how my ideas differed. What I found particularly intriguing was the overwhelming poverty there, but also the persistent obsession with beauty. There are features of physical attractiveness that cannot be maintained by the poor. I noticed many features like this that first world countries take for granted. I wanted to portray this in some way visually, so I drew teeth. I noticed the poor dental care in people of all classes and compared it to what I have noticed in America. Teeth, I think, are really valued by Westerners, but can be difficult and expensive to maintain. Perhaps this is why they are valued as nice teeth can be a sign of wealth considering all the costs to maintain them. Beauty, while greatly valued, cannot be maintained by the majority of the global population. And thus, the perception of beauty becomes distorted. This distorted perception I think, is present in all people, in all cultures, in some way, even though those ways are vastly different.
For the second half of my summer assignment, I searched a lot for inspiration and struggled to find any, especially because I am in Indonesia which put lots of strain on me. Something that I really love in pretty much all cases- art, clothing, design- is black and white or something monochromatic. I want to present these pieces as a series, just like the teeth watercolors.
Here are some other pieces I made. They will be one part of the summer assignment. I don't think turning in just one piece of this kind is enough. I am looking at these three pieces as a series because they are all related and more interesting if there are more.
I am currently spending the last five weeks of my summer in Indonesia staying with a family. We visited Pekalongan to see the huge Arab side of the family where I did some drawing. In my artist statement I talked a lot about beauty and distortion and here, in this third world country, there are lots of differences in how people look and how people feel about their image. I think people in America pay lot s of attention to their teeth because it can be a sign of wealth and hygiene. That is not the case here which is why I made this painting.
I am an art student at Maggie Walker and this is the place where I talk about what we're making and what we're learning... Through this I can pour out my heart about my artistic experience.