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Comparative Study

Marc Cruz
This study will focus on international artist Douglas Coupland, and local artist
Tara Bogart. The works that I am focusing on comes from three different series,
featured in different exhibitions. I will be examining Douglas Couplands Gorgon
High-Tech Japanese Trendy Emo Tomorrow Boy and Brilliant Information
Overload Pop Head along with Tara Bogarts A Modern Hair Study. Themes
explored within each artwork is revolved around identity and modern society.
Evaluation of Cultural Significance: Our Modern World
Among the countless attributes of his work, Douglas Coupland is known for his communication through the
use of recent technology to present the re-contextualization of current contemporary culture. Our Modern World
addresses larger societal obsessions by revealing the artists personal ones. The exhibition was held at the Royal
Ontario Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, between January 22 March 21, 2015
Facebook has an algorithm that can recognize a
persons face, which resulted in users to feel as if their
privacy is being invaded. Couplands Deep Face series
explores the corporates action in using facial recognition.
Deep Face displays portraits of photographs by Thomas
Ruff or screen shots by Andy Warhol that have been
covered through deflection techniques and scientific
camouflage. The obscured faces are painted over the high
resolution photographs to conceal the identity,
representing the state of in-betweenness that is spread
through the modern mind.

Douglas Coupland, Deep Face Series, Acrylic on archival print,


49 x 37
Analysis of Formal Qualities:Douglas Couplands Our Modern
World

Bold bright colors, usually


primary colors

Contrast between colors on


black and white

Use of asymmetrical versus


symmetrical shapes

Large variety of material, and


use of mixed media

Theme of the curiosity of the


crooked and captivating
Douglas Coupland, Shes A Good Girl dimensions of pop culture and Installation view of Douglas Coupland at
Loves Her Boyfriend, 2014, Acrylic on Daniel Faria Gallery, 2015
archival print, 49 x 37
20th century pop art
Interpretation of Function and Purpose: Couplands Gorgon
High-Tech Japanese Trendy Emo Tomorrow Boy
Douglas Coupland focused on Facebooks approach to identify the
faces of those who are posted to the website by using facial recognition
algorithms, which users see as an unsettling initiative. The proposition
adds to an invasion to privacy. Couplands technique to camouflage the
individual distorts the image, affecting Facebooks ability to detect who's in
the photograph.

The influences of pop art, adds to Couplands intentions to focus on


modern culture and contemporary technologies. His interest in the virtues of
identities expressions through the means of contemporary society,
illuminates the purpose of exploring Facebooks competence in recognizing
an individual's face.

Privacy in today's modern society has become an important issue.


Furthermore, the advancement in technologies has manufactured easier
attempts to present personal information online. This takes away from
having the direct seclusion thats important to an individual. Douglas Coupland, Gorgon High-Tech
Japanese Trendy Emo Tomorrow Boy,
2014, Acrylic on archival print, 49 x 37
Evaluation of Cultural Significance: everywhere is anywhere is
anything is everything
Douglas Couplands everywhere
is anywhere is anything is everything
was the first major museum exhibition
of Couplands work. It was presented at
the Vancouver Art Gallery during May
31 September 1, 2014.
This exhibition features new
installations created specifically for this
presentation as well as works made since
the early 2000s. It examines ideas of Douglas Coupland, installation view of Pop Explosion
cultural identity, technologys universality His integration of popular culture, advanced technologies,
and contemporary life, that are contemporary events and historical references of art, exploits an
fundamental concepts to Couplands work identifiable style. By including everyday objects and materials with
including both optimism and emotion. distinguishable images that have developed into culturally historic
Concise social investigation in an array photos, he inquires the manner of things, images, and activity of
of forms including installation, prints, modern life. Furthermore affecting our comprehension of the world
photography, paintings, wallpaper, quilts that surrounds us.
and sculpture are encounters within
Couplands art work.
Analysis of Formal Qualities: everywhere is anywhere is anything
is everything

Bold bright colors

Strong political and social


commentary

Modern and contemporary


styles

Contrasts between vivid colors


black or white

Themes of cultural identity and


the advancement of modern
technology
Douglas Coupland, Liquid Video Game
Douglas Coupland, Slogans for the
Pop Head, 2010, acrylic and epoxy on
21st Century, 2011-2014 (detail)
pigment print, Collection of Lucia Haugen
Lundin
Interpretation of Function And Purpose: Couplands Brilliant
Information Overload Pop Head
The identity of the person photographed is unidentifiable so that
they become an anonymous individual adolescent. Abstract
Expressionism is referenced by the The vivid, multi-coloured
dripping paint and is also signified to the often strained emotional
state of teenagers and identities that are still being formed by
superficial influences .
By covering the subjects face, the viewer is forced to be blind
to the individual's identity. The dripping paint adds to the modern
culture, expressing the overload of ideas within an millennials mind.
The expression also signifies a chaos within the persons body,
including external and internal objects.
The center of Coupland's work usually consists of a compulsive
obsession with contemporary and modern culture. Coupland exploits
the strategies, techniques and aspects of Pop Art by integrating
items and images taken straight from everyday life, while
incorporating these contemporary culture through the use of new
technologies. Douglas Coupland
Brilliant Information Overload Pop Head, 2010
acrylic and epoxy on pigment print
Collection of Lucia Haugen Lundin
Evaluation of Cultural Significance: a modern hair study
In 2011, Tara Bogart visited the photo
archives of the National Library of France.
While there, she witnessed Felix Nadars Hair
Study , which depicts a womans back and her
hair up in a , and with only that, it stuck with
her.
Felix Nadar Hair Study
a modern hair study is made up of portraits of young women
photographed from behind. With the intentions of focusing on the
back, Bogart wanted the viewer to be confronted with all of the
outlining characteristics that make each woman distinctive.

Bogart wrote on her website in these intimate portraits I am a


voyeur concentrating on a generation that is not mine. While
certain ideals are often relevant to different generations, the ways
in which women adorn and modify themselves often indicate the
struggles of a young adult with their own ideology and
individuality.
Tara Bogart, installation view of a modern hair study
Analysis of Formal Qualities: Bogart
Pale, muted, and pastel colors
Colors of background are balanced with
portrait of woman
Females are the focus of each portrait
Consistency of proportions between portrait
and shapes
Stylized as 1840s photographes
Themes of identity and individuality

Devon, from a modern hair study Hollister, from a modern hair study

Caresse, from a modern hair study Left: Bridgette and Right: Claire, from a modern hair study Quetress, from a modern hair study
Interpretation of Function and Purpose: a modern hair study
The focus of each portrait in the a modern hair study by Tara
Bogart is of a woman shot from behind. The interpretation is to
center the viewers attention to see the individuality each woman
possesses. By avoiding the faces of the women, and only
displaying identifiable characteristics such as hair style and color,
tattoos, and piercings, designates the viewer to view the
uniqueness each individual holds.

Bogart chose subjects that were in their twenties as she


wanted to focus on the modern age. By only displaying the backs
of the women and bare shoulders, the reveal of subjects are
tempting elements, emotional conditions, range of mood, and self
identification. Each portrait encloses how identity and the way a
person presents themselves are in relation to acts of nature. The
vulnerable contrast of hair and skin against neutral, pale, and
pastel backgrounds, with oval-shaped images deliver the studies
as a way to present the natural beauty in human individuality.

Alexis, from a modern hair


study
Comparisons and Connections Between Our Modern World
and everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything
Symmetrical shapes Similarities Dripping paint
Styles of pop art with influences Styles of pop and abstract
from Andy Warhol and Thomas Bold bright colors, usually primary expressionist art
Ruff colors Hiding the identity of individuals
Facebooks algorithm influenced Contrast between colors on black through the means of
the purpose of the series and white background contemporary events
Focused on modern culture and Coupland was focused on cultural Focused on cultural identity,
contemporary technologies identity through the use of popular technologys universality and
affecting personal privacy culture, advanced technologies, contemporary life
contemporary events and
historical references of art
Comparisons and Connections Between a modern hair study

Oval shaped portrait


Pale, muted, and pastel colors
and Our Modern World Bold bright colors, usually
primary colors
Connections to 1840 stylized Contrast between colors on
photgraphs Similarities black and white background
Females are the focus of each Symmetrical shapes
portrait with intentions of Identities of subjects are hidden from Styles of pop art with influences
viewing the indivialtity women the viewer from Andy Warhol and Thomas
have Focused on contemporary culture Ruff
The reveal of subjects are Perspective of hiding persons Facebooks algorithm influenced
tempting elements, emotional identity through shapes or the purpose of the series
conditions, range of mood, and photographing the subject from Focused on modern culture and
self identification behind contemporary technologies
affecting personal privacy
Comparisons and Connections Between everywhere is anywhere
is anything is everything and a modern hair study
Dripping paint Similarities Oval shaped portrait
Mixed media Pale, muted, and pastel colors
Bold bright colors, usually Focused on the exploration of Connections to 1840 stylized
primary colors cultural identity photgraphs
Contrast between colors on Viewers are forced to be blind Viewer is only left with the
black and white background to the subjects facial subjects hair color and style,
Styles of pop and abstract appearance tattoos, or piercings.
expressionist art Modernized aspects of Females are the focus of each
Focused on cultural identity, human behavior portrait with intentions of viewing
technologys universality and The face of the subjects are the indivialtity women have
contemporary life hidden from the viewer,
making them anonymous
Comparisons and Connections Between Our Modern World,
everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything and a
modern hair study
Symmetrical shapes Oval shaped portrait Dripping paint
Mixed Media Pale, muted, and pastel Mixed media
Bold bright colors, usually colors Bold bright colors, usually
primary colors Females are the focus of primary colors
Contrast between colors on each portrait with intentions Contrast between colors on
black and white background of viewing the indivialtity black and white background
Focused on violation of personal women have Focused on cultural identity,
identity through advanced Connections to 1840 technologys universality and
technology stylized photgraphs contemporary life
The reveal of subjects are
tempting elements,
emotional conditions, range
of mood, and self
Similarities identification

All three are focused on hiding the identity of the individual photographed
The focus of all three are an exploration of how a person identity is perceived through other aspects other than
their face
The subjects faces are hidden by camouflage of shapes or from being photographed from behind
Evaluation of Cultural Significance: World//Series
Being in a diverse school has influenced me to
create a digital series. The artist that influenced me to
create the series was Piet Mondrian. Mondrians use of
asymmetrical balance of compositions is what drew me
into his art. create a series that focused on the
nationality of individuals and the influence it has on their
identity. The main influence from Mondrian was his use
of asymmetrical balance, limited palettes, and vertical
and horizontal lines.
I used my peers as a subject, and focused on those who were born outside of the United States. I used
Mondrians focus on nature and looked at the lines on a map of the cities of which my peers were from. The
representation of the lines may show one part of the individual but does not make up their entire identity. Using
primary colors, as well as black and white had the capability to created a simple balance between the horizontal
and vertical lines with the gray background. I came up with the style of this series after seeing Douglas
Couplands Deep Face series. His use of symmetrical shapes helped contrast between Mondrians work, allowing
for me to use Mondrians focus on nature and Couplands technique of concealed faces of individuals. While
hiding their identity, the viewer is stuck with the anonymous peers.
Analysis of Formal Qualities: World//Series
Digital Media

Limited palette of primary colors


with black and white against a black
and white photograph

Symmetrical lines showing


asymmetrical composition

Balance of shapes and colors

Themes of individuality and use of


cartography to show a connection
between individual and lines

Bogot, Digital Manipulation, October Inspirations from Piet Mondrain and Baghdad, Digital Manipulation,
2016, 20.32 x 27.94 cm October 2016, 20.32 x 27.94 cm
modern art
Interpretation of Function and Purpose: World//Series
Without any context of the meaning behind my series, the viewer is
left with their own interpretation. The anonymous feeling is unknown and
forced to try and understand why the subjects face is covered, and if the
shapes have any meaning. The uncertainty leaves the audience to
assume the persons background and identity.

The context of each portrait is focused on each individuals cultural


background. I used Mondrians techniques in using an asymmetrical
balance of shapes, limited palettes, and vertical and horizontal lines to
focus on basic elements, with the reveal of the essence between the
balance of nature and the universe.

Using my peers who have origins of outside the U.S, I looked at their
home towns and the cartography of lines to create asymmetrical balance
over the subjects face. The lines represent a part of their origins, which is
usually left on the outside of the person. I wanted to illuminate the idea of a
persons identity is further more than their nationality. Sometimes a persons Chandigarh Digital Manipulation, October
2016, 20.32 x 27.94 cm
identities is overpowered by their race, covering who they really are.
Comparisons and Connections Between: World//Series and
Douglas Copland
Mixed Media
Digital media Styles of pop art or abstract
Symmetrical lines showing Similarities expressionism
asymmetrical composition Focused on violation of personal
Balance of shapes and colors Bold bright colors, identity through advanced
Themes of individuality and use of usually primary colors technology and on cultural identity,
cartography to show a connection Contrast between vivid technologys universality and
between individual and lines colors on black and contemporary life
Inspirations from Piet Mondrian white background
Facial features are
covered by camouflaged
objects
Contemporary culture is
explored through the
means of hidden
identities
Comparisons and Connections Between: World//Series and Tara
Oval shaped portrait Bogart Limited palette of primary
Pale, muted, and pastel colors colors with black and white
Females are the focus of each Similarities against a black and white
portrait with intentions of photograph
viewing the indivialtity women Focused on the identity of Symmetrical lines showing
have individuals through the asymmetrical composition
Connections to 1840 stylized means of characteristics Balance of shapes and colors
photgraphs other than the persons Themes of individuality and
The reveal of subjects are faces use of cartography to show a
tempting elements, emotional Anonymous subjects add to connection between individual
conditions, range of mood, and an unknown identities and lines
self identification Themes are meant for Inspirations from Piet
viewers to be left with Mondrian
nameless people, leaving
their characteristics in
incognito