In this essay, I
have chosen 2 artists I want to look at and research more so I can choose who
to pick for front cover of a magazine.
I had to choose out
of James Turell and Kara Walker. Then I have to choose an artist who I
personally think is monumental.
The artist I chose
to look at first was Kara Walker, and her piece ‘A Subtlety” also known as
”Tbe Sugar Baby”.
The main influences
in this was slavery and racism. Kara is a black woman herself, and for her she
probably hears a lot of people judging her from her skin colour, and back when
slavery was badly happening…. It made black people feel lower than anything.
They dealt with the belief that you had to be white, to be accepted. They
believed that, blacks need to be bleached to look pretty. They got told they
were only good for being slaves, and in this piece, she built. It has features
of a black woman. It wears a kerchief just like slaves working in the sugar
factory had to back in the days. Its showing us that, throughout everything that’s
happened to the
black slaves, there beat down. But still standing. And that is very brave thing
to do. Whites treat the blacks like they were just slaves, mot humans. They
were known as the Cleopatra to whites. The woman who raised your kids, cleaned
up for you. So, you could go back home and enjoy your fancy meals and clean
house and clothes, so they could go back and be treat like nothing more than
usual. Sugar means a lot than just ‘something sweet’. To them, it brings the
whole history back up and it hurts them.
This piece was built
in Williamsburg, at the abandoned dominos sugar factory which was built in
It is 75½ feet long,
and 35½ feet high and was made from, 330 foam boards and 35 tons of sugar, the
15 little statues were made with resin. This project took 250 workers in total
to build. And it is displayed inside of the sugar factory, for people to see.
However, the factory was due to get knocked down, so it may or may not have
been destroyed now. The statues texture is confusing to describe, because sugar
is often soft. But, id assume the statue would be hard because it would fall to
pieces if it wasn’t. This piece is based from history yet, doesn’t hit me fully
with emotions, but it does make me feel awful for the people this will badly
my opinion on this
piece is that, it speaks a thousand words. It shows us that the world is messed
up that bad, black people think they must be white just to be classified as
”beautiful”. And that it wrong. Kara is very brave, and I love this piece. I
think Kara’s aims were to make us see that the past can still haunt you. Everyone
knows about the awful slavery back then, and it still happens to this day in
some places. Kara said in an interview, ”ghosts can hurt, history doesn’t go
away.” This says a lot. Just because she wasn’t probably alive when the
slavery was happening, doesn’t mean it can’t affect her. Her family and friends
could’ve been slaves. It will always hurt. Because history doesn’t go away, and
especially not something like that. The title of this piece doesn’t really make
sense, and I don’t like it. But when you read up about the piece you find out a
lot more than you would from the title. If someone told me the name of the
piece, and not showed me a photo. I would think it’d be something so huge. I
would think of a little kid, holding a lollipop, something ‘sweet’ because
sugar is sweet.
Monumental can be in
2 or more ways, however the way I’m seeing it is… it’s big in size, or has a
big meaning which affects a lot of people. For example, history… like wars,
politics, slavery, the big world problems.
This piece was both
of those. It was ginormous in size. 75½ feet long and 35½ feet high. While it
was that high and long, it also had 15 statues beside it. These are known as
banana boys. There was 5 made of solid sugar, which were ”fruit picking” and
then 10 of them were holding baskets, om their back and holding them in front,
they were made of resin. Because they had weak ankles and wrists and kept
breaking. And It was monumental in the meaning way too. This piece was about
slavery and racism. The fact this piece
shows us the stereotypical black woman, this shows us a lot of the history.
Sugar is brown,
before you refine it to turn it white. This is like saying, black people must
bleach their skin, to turn white. Kara Walker was the woman who was in 12 years
a slave. That film touched a lot of people, and it made my whole family cry.
It’s awful the way white people treated and still do treat the blacks. But Kara
is monumental in all her work, she focuses on main problems, mostly slavery
though. And she wants us to see how badly it affected them.
The artist I chose
to research myself was Banksy.
Banksy’s work is
always based on a theme, whether it is anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, anti-war,
it always comes with a strong eye-opening message.
depicts poverty, greed, despair and racism. All of his work, is loved by many.
For example, he did a piece of Steve Jobs carrying a bag, based on migrating.
This came with a message, and a point. Steve Jobs dad was a migrant, if he
didn’t migrate them we wouldn’t have had apple. 7 billion every year, paying
for tax. That wouldn’t be happening. Banksy thinks we need to stop being so
harsh on people, and give them a chance.
Banksy once said,
”I want to save the world”, but says he doesn’t know how to. So maybe, him
producing his artwork can help change the world in some way. The city is a huge
gallery, so he does his work in cities. I think it’s amazing. Banksy uses his
art, as a weapon.
The piece I chose from
Banksy is one of my favorites, it was the one based in San Francisco, on
Columbus Avenue. It is the one saying ”IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED – CALL AN
AIRSTRIKE” I’m not sure if this piece has a title, as most of Banksy’s work
doesn’t have a tile and you can’t find it anywhere online. Banksy is a graffiti
artist, he mainly does his work on walls and pavements and such. From the
photos, his work seems to be on the side of a building and it is taking up most
of the wall. So, I think it will be very big.
the materials which
he used were probably stencils, spray cans, ladders and tape.
this is displayed
nicely on the side of a wall, open for everyone to see. Thousands of people
will go by everyday noticing it. Because spray paint is done on walls mostly, I’d
assume the wall would be rough and hard. It won’t feel soft because it is a
when I see the
writing, which is in red and not black like the stenciled-out kid. It grabs my
attention, and within that I feel like there is truth within the saying. Banksy
focused and aimed this at the American government, and the way they see things.
If things don’t go to plan, they don’t sit back and decide plan B, they just
rush into sending an airstrike, blowing up places which can kill innocent
people. This piece is strong, and Banksy is giving the government a kick in the
teeth, by putting a kid next to the text. Like, saying there will be innocent
kids who lose their lives because of the way the government work. Banksy’s
works are eye openers really.
His work is
monumental, not in scale. But in meaning. He focuses on real life problems. He
uses art, as a weapon. The cool thing about is work, is that they mostly don’t
come with titles. I feel this I because, if you give something a title, you’re
putting it in a column. But if it doesn’t have a title, your view is your own.
I think he wants everyone to view it as they do, not what someone else tells
them it is. His work is massively monumental, it reaches thousands of people.
His work is always understood and always fights against the problems. Like
racism, poverty, despair, greed. That is why I love Banksy.
What I’ve recently
just noticed is that, whenever Banksy does a piece of artwork involving texts,
his text is always in red. I think that is because the colour red is vibrant
yet negative. It catches your attention quickly too. For this airstrike piece,
it is written in red. I think this is because we need the government to notice
that by them resorting to calling airstrikes, its teaching children that its
acceptable to rush to violence when something doesn’t work out. Banksy’s work
is monumental in many ways, but it is because what he says is truth, but
nobody’s ever been brave enough to say it.