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History of Design Reflective Essay Y2S1

Hey! Here’s my reflective essay on Interactivity in “The Penis Wall” for Question iii.

Clickity click –> Final HOD Essay

History of Design (VC) | Lecture 4: Graphic Design So Far

This week, I am focusing on two things: International Typographic Style & Psychedelic. The former is an impactful  movement that shaped Visual Communication heavily in terms of organisation of information. The latter is a movement that I’m focusing on purely based on aesthetics and the message behind it which intrigued me.

International Typographic Style

- Traces back to Neue Grafik
- aka Swiss Style 
- Emerged in Russia, Netherlands & Germany 
- Further developed by designers in Switzerland 
- Emphasis on readability & objectivity to communicate ideas effectively 

Characteristics: 
- Usage of grids & Sans-serif typefaces 
- Style is associated with preference for photography instead of illustrations/drawings as a primary design in addition to text

Reflection:

The emphasis on clarity for this movement paved the way for universally understood way of communication through visuals. It creates a sense of order and control in my opinion. This allowed room to play more with the graphic element be it photography or illustrations etc since the texts are more structured using compositional grids. It is also laid out better to create a better eye flow that is natural so that the message comes across more clearly.

Psychedelic

- Art, Graphic or Visual Displays related to/ influenced by Psychedelic experiences & hallucinations form psychoactive drugs 
- Visual Arts were a counterpart to psychedelic music
- Evident in concert photos & record album covers
- Generated controversy due to its links to illicit substance

Characteristics: 
- Kaleidoscope swirling/spiral patterns
- Strong colour palette
- Concentric circles & repetition of motifs & symbols (eg. Paisley)
- Art Nouveau & Victorian influences

It also had an influence on comic book artists who created undergroudn genre of comic book known as “underground comix“. They were often satirical in nature.

Underground Comix

Posters/Visuals:

Reflection:

I think this movement stood out to me visually due to its association with Art Nouveau influences, which in my reflections before, I did highlight my interest in. The contrasting colours were refreshing to see and although jarring at times, it somehow created harmony as colours were carefully curated to complement one another and placed with thought. In this art form, in my opinion, the text came secondary to the image shown. I believe this is due to the fact that since they were attracting controversy, through this manner, they were still able to attract their targeted audience and those who were interested in the scene. It created almost a, “camoflouge” for them to continue existing and to spread their movement/style/message.

History of Design (VC) | Lecture 3 Reflection: To Bauhaus & Beyond

Lecture 3 was pretty insightful and there were many styles/art movement that really intrigued me. However, for the purpose of this reflection, I am going to focus on two of them which is Cubism as well as Surrealism.

Cubism

- Invented around 1907-1908
- By artists Pablo Picasso & Georges Braque
- Very much focused on the different perspectives of human figures
- Resulted in painting that appeared fragmented and abstracted.

2 different styles of Cubism :

  • First Stage: Analytical – Muted, earthy tones were used
  • Second Stage: Synthetic –  More colourful and used mixed media

Juan Gris

Portrait of Josette Gris, 1916
Juan Gris

My favourite artwork shared during the lecture was one by Juan Gris, called Portrait of Josette Gris. Between the two styles of Cubism, I much rather prefer the Analytical style. Although Juan Gris was more known for his works in Synthetic Cubism Style, this particular painting stood out to me. The earthy tones and the form of the figure created a sombre feeling. The depth was created with shadows in various rigid shape form.

Though the shapes used in Cubism were angular, it’s interesting to still be able to see movement and life in the paintings.

Pablo Picasso

Better known for portraits

Georges Braque

Better known for landscapes

 

Surrealism

- Founded by Andre Breton, a poet in Paris in 1924
- Artistic & Literary movement 
- Played with irrational and subconscious mind 
- Possessed dream-like visuals, symbolism, unexpected juxtapositions & collage images

Andre Breton

- Advocates that artists should bypass reason & rationality by accessing unconscious mind to create art
- These techniques were later known as automatism 
- Allowed artists to embrace chance when creating surrealist art

Sigmund Freud

- Influential works, esp book called 'The interpretation of Dreams (1899)
- Legitimised the importance of dreams and unconscious as revelations of human emotion & desire

Salvador Dali

- Influenced by Renaissance masters
- Had a bizarre surrealist style
- A skilled classical painter and illustrator
- Works often include ants or eggs

Final Reflections:

I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s lecture as it encased quite a lot of information that were interesting to me. Surrealism was the first art movement that caught my eyes, back when I was in secondary school as I was intrigued by the peculiar style it has and how it was able to convey a message that was individualistic, subjective and very personal.

It also played with the subconscious mind and was able to capture the essence of what the artists’ minds looked like. In my opinion, due to their renaissance-style, technical paintings, that contrasted with it’s almost “psychedelic” or a state of mind that was a daze etc, it created a sense of believability that could still resonate with a lot of viewers or followers of the art.

Links used:

https://www.theartstory.org/movement/surrealism/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud

https://www.theartstory.org/artist/miro-joan/

https://www.theartstory.org/movement/surrealism/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrealism

 

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