29 October 2007
True Colors By Glenn Carpenter: An Analysis
I began my search in the fine and performing arts building at Moraine Valley Community College. I’m a very politically active person so this piece caught my eye instantly because of the way it portrays the capital building. It seems so ominous and instantly instills fear into the viewer, something I think needs to be felt when the subject of our current administration is brought up.
There were positive and negatives to choosing a piece of art at school. I love the fact that it’s a large print that I could get up close to and evaluate thoroughly without having to worry that details might be missing, such as you find when researching artwork online. I could see all colors, details, and textures just as the artist intended them to look. I did not like however that information on the artist was so scarce. When I look at a piece of art I also like to be able to look up information that may help me realize the motivation the artist had and the vision he wished to carry across.
Despite the various works of art on campus I decided to stick with this piece of art because it jumped out at me more so than any other piece I’ve seen on campus, as a photographer I think I better understand what goes into making a work better than I’d understand a painting.
True Colors is really a great piece that speaks a lot about what the artist thinks about our government which makes it a representative piece. He uses a place that we recognize, the capital building, and puts it in new light. The fact that the capital building is in completely black, a color that often represents evil and darkness gives the piece an overall feeling of not only distain but fear. The artist achieves this look by using a technique called backlighting. Backlighting is when the subject you’re focusing on is directly in front of your direct light source, the product is a silhouette form that can be very powerful when used correctly, such as here. The artist does a great job of capturing this without over exposing the clouds. They add not only great texture to the piece but also their colors help to reinforce the seemingly menacing feeling consistent with the piece. This work also portrays a great example of linear perspective. The trees in the foreground help lead our eye back to the capital building reestablishing it as the focal point of the image.