Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Exquisite Corpse

The original exquisite corpse, drawn by three different people.
The theme we chose was "Ancient Greence", and I drew the last third, with Medusa.

We were instructed to create a composition using our group work, as long as words or colors were not used, and that I followed my style card, which was Kourous. It worked quite beautifully for the piece.

Greek for young man, "kouros" refers to the standing nude male scultpures, representing ideal youth in full strength and beauty, from the archaic period of Greek art. These captivating aloof figures reflect their counterparts made by Egyptians, from whom the Greeks learned how to carve stone. The frontal pose (oriented entirely toward the front, with no twist or curving in the pose) of the kouroi is stiffish, arms straight down with hands drawn into fists, one straight leg placed somewhat forward. Nevertheless, compared to their Egyptian brothers, these have a more feel of flesh, of an organic being, as they began to incorporate the delight into human body that distinguishes Greek art. Originally expressionless, kouroi bore a peculiar and charming upturned "archaic smile" by the sixth century.

I tried to envision what I could of stone, by using lots of marks and gestures. The grey tones and texture help envision as well.

Explanation of parts of the piece-
Ancient Greece was dominated by mythology, and one of the most famous is the tale of Medusa and her legendary slaying by Perseus. Medusa was one of three Gorgons, vicious monsters born out of ancient sea deities, and her siblings included Stheno (commonly seen with red snakes), and a less-known Euryale.

Top left is Stheno, the most vicious and ferocious of the Gorgons, who killed more than her two other sisters combined.

Top right is Euryale, known for crying, particularly when Medusa was slayed.

So to speak, Medusa did not have a lot of say in what happened to her; she was raped by Poseidon, so Athena punished her by making her mortal. She is seen yearning, reaching out for her sisters, who were still immortal and forever out of her reach.

To envision Medusa's mortality, I created a semi-circle on the bottom could that be interpreted as a either a mirror or shield. Perseus killed Medusa with the use of a mirror, and then saved her head to use as the ultimate shield- presented as a gift for Athena. Whichever interpretation, Medusa is eternally cursed and surrounded by her mortality at the bottom of the picture. She led a very sad and unfortunate existence, one I hope I helped portray somewhat in my composition.

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