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Unit 1- Autobiography

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography”.- Federico Fellini

“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”– Frida Kahlo

Your first assignment is to create a piece that is about YOU. It could be a self-portrait, a scene from your childhood, a still-life of your belongings, or a collage. As long as it is personal and communicates some aspect of who you are- it is up to you. As artists we express who we are, and care about through our work both consciously and subconsciously.

Here are some examples from art history:

Durers frontal self portrait makes him look important and almost religious
Rembrandt created many self portraits throughout his life. We can almost watch him grow older through his art
Van Gogh too is known for his many self portraits. 20 of them created in only 2 years!
For Frida Kahlo painting was a kind of therapy. (Another autobiographical piece by Frida- it does not have to include the face.)
Picasso too has many self portraits, done in his many different styles

In this piece titles “I and the village” Chagall chose to portray scenes from his childhood

Rothko’s pieces are more of an expression of inner emtions than outside appearance

And some more modern contemporary examples:

Artist Bret cook created this series of large scale autobiographical pieces including drawing writing as well as displaying objects and artifacts from his life. click here to see more

Many of you may have read the graphic novels by Marjane Sartapi titled “Persepolis” documenting her life growing up in Iran.

Working on the final studio pieces…..

Wheelworking vs. handbuilding. Sothea vs. the pig

Reflection questions..

* Since this is an autobiographical piece, what are you aiming to portray about yourself?

* What artists did you research to inform your work? Why? And how did they inform your work?

* Did you idea change and develop? How?

* Explain your choice of materials and techniques.

* What elements and principles are emphasized in this work? How do those choices impact the meaning?

* Describe the process you went through to create your work.

* What are your technical strengths? Areas you still need to work on?

* Did you learn anything from creating this piece? Did it lead to ideas for future work?

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