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Art's analysis - Admission/Application Essay Example

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Summary
Audrey Flack, Study for Marilyn (Vanitas) II Formal analysis. This work of art is a photograph of a collection of objects. The image is roughly square in shape, and contained in a plain white frame which enhances the bright colors of the items displayed. There is a black and white photographic image of the actress Marilyn Monroe in the middle right of the image which draws the eye because it is the largest object in the frame…
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Art's analysis

Download file to see previous pages... This image dominates the rest of the picture and so it suggests that the main theme of the picture is the natural beauty of this particular iconic American actress. This picture of Marilyn Monroe’s face is placed to the right, whereas there is smaller photograph of two children placed on the left. Again, the photograph is in black and white but this time it is framed in a white outline in the way that family photographs of the 1950s used to be made. Still further to the left there is another black and white facial image, but this appears to be the reflection of the main Marilyn Monroe in an oval mirror. These black and white images of faces are arranged in a horizontal line across the middle of the square space that the picture occupies. This makes them the main focus for the viewer. They are photographs of photographs, and in one case a reflection of a photograph within the main photograph. These layers of meaning prompt the viewer to think about how Marilyn Monroe was presented in many different photographic images. Above and below the photographs there are brightly colored cloths which form a sort of frame for the whole picture. In the top left of the picture there is a purple piece of cloth artfully crumpled so that it forms sinuous shadows alternating with shiny fabric surface. This is complemented on the bottom right with a similar cloth in a bright, deep pink color. These fabrics bring warm tones into the picture and their shiny texture suggests luxury and femininity. In the opposite corners there are two objects in cooler colors: a blue glass filled with shiny pearls in the bottom left and a bunch of glistening green grapes in the top right. These objects add a three dimensional quality to the image because of the roundness of the glass, and of the pearls and grapes which reflect the light. Both the color and the spherical quality are a sharp contrast with the two dimensional nature of the flat grey photographs. Other objects in the picture are arranged in the foreground or at the top. A small blue and white china cup picks up the same blue as that of the glass, while two pears echo the green of the grapes. Many of the items appear to be set in deliberate relationship to each other, such as for example the red extended lipstick and the red candle: both are held in shiny casings. There are also two powder puffs, one at the top, and one at the bottom, and there are two timepieces, one in the form of a pocket watch on the right and the other a pink egg-timer on the left. There are two open fruits in the center of the image: an orange and a peach complete with stone. A striking feature of this image is therefore the arrangement of items in pairs. The artist has avoided using obvious symmetry in her photograph, but there is nevertheless balance between the upper and lower halves of the image, and between the areas marked by a diagonal from lower left to upper right. Each object is identifiable and is recognizable as having its own function, but there is no obvious narrative connection between them in the composition. The eye is drawn to each object in turn, from the face, to the blue glass, to the pink rose, and then to the smaller objects which crowd the space. The light and shadow reveal that objects have been placed in such a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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