The appearance of art is often influenced by the time period in which it was created. Throughout history, artists style which is “a characteristic, or a number of characteristics, that we can identify as constant, recurring or coherent” (587), influences the appearance of their pieces. This essay will briefly touch on the style, movement and appearance of my two works from the online museum visit, “George Washington” and “Green Marilyn”.
In 1795 Gilbert Stuart painted “George Washington” utilizing oil on canvas. Stuart’s style is representational, meaning that it is easily recognizable (29). Further, his artwork is naturalistic meaning the items portrayed in the work appear as they would in life (29). Stuart was a portrait painter. He painted rich and famous individuals in the late 1700’s into the beginning of the 19th century. This is the period during and after the American Revolution. Many of his subjects were important figures to the Revolution, including President Washington. He paid close attention to detail and painted individuals to look as they would in life. The painting I chose in the online museum visit is one of a series created by Stuart of President Washington. This painting was so naturalistic in style that was chosen to be used on the one dollar bill.
Andy Warhol created “Green Marilyn” in 1962. It was one of his famous mass productions. In order to do this he used silkscreen on synthetic polymer paint on canvas. Warhol is the most famous pop artist. Pop art is the “fine art of commercial images” (544). He would take an image of a famous person or item, like Marilyn Monroe or Campbell’s soup cans, and repeat the image over and over and then mass reproduce the images. According to the text, “Warhol’s style was cool and detached” (545). He would not comment on his work, he did not indicate if the work had an underlying meaning or if he was commenting on society during the 60’s and 70’s. He simply indicated that the art was in what you saw, not in a deeper meaning. His work was representative of the items, as was Stuart’s portraits of his subjects. However, he would often use color to make the image unique and not exactly as it would appear naturally.
This essay briefly explored the style and appearance of Gilbert Stuart and Andy Warhol’s work. Both created works that were representative of life but they had very different styles. Stuart painted portraits that were meant to look exactly like the subject while Warhol took commercial subjects and repeated their images and mass produced them making them appear not as natural.