Tate Modern Visit March 2017



This piece of work I have seen several times before at the Tate Modern however when visiting it this time I was at a point in my own practice where I wanted to start showing a connection in the work.

Red explores diverse scenes and subjects based in Ukraine about political and military parades and also gives snapshots of families and friends showing emotional connections towards one another all of this aside none of the pictures has a significant event connected to them the reoccurring theme within all of the images is the colour RED!! From reading the description I became apparent that the red represented the Soviet. In Russia red is seen as beauty, blood and the flag, however, it is also about communism and quite possibly this is what the work is about.

To have a reoccurring factor in your work is one that will begin to take place in mine. It shows connection and uniformity in any work that is created and could quite possibly be shown by using:

  • colour
  • subject
  • location
  • content



Orlan.. A woman of difference.

0dd4d34f237e47ca1985f016cffbb156Orlan, an artist that shocks, makes heads turn and makes you owe in amazing. All of this is shown through the dedication she has to her work and how far she will actually go to show self-expressions by botching her body. Surgeons have done cosmetic surgery on her to make her look like the Mona Lisa and she has also offered skin grafts to celebrities like Madona.

In a Guardian article, it states that an ectopic pregnancy is what started her creative path, the surgeon that performed the surgery on her was a ‘priest’ to her. Her crew were there to film and the idea of surgery was to play an important part in her work. She explains “Pain is an anachronism. I have great confidence in morphine.”

Her career is about rebirth and re-inventing herself with technology and going under the knife, changing her appearance. May would question the reason behind these surgeries and why? Is she doing it for her appearance? For self satisfaction? No, she proudly states “my goal was to be different, strong; to sculpt my own body to reinvent the self. It’s all about being different and creating a clash with society because of that. I tried to use surgery not to better myself or become a younger version of myself, but to work on the concept of image and surgery the other way around. I was the first artist to do it,” From this statement, it shows an artist taking Western art to a new level and making herself a walking gallery.

The work Orlan has performed on herself is linked to the idea of my practice by becoming something you are not. Becoming a being that is strong, striking and confident. Also being influenced by a figure/ thing to become different and to be unique.




Warhol & His Factory

The fascination with Warhol grows deeper as I read more and research more work. Much of his work wasn’t made by himself he usually had a team that would help and he sure would need it to make humungous prints. However, aside from his practice, Warhol had created this scene/ environment where aspiring artists would surround Warhol creating an art circle.

The photographs above were taken by Stephen Shore who captured moments from inside The Factory over three years where secrets would be revealed in years to come.

“Contrary to the pop-culture mythmaking around the art studio that has prevailed in the years since, the world the photographs depict isn’t one of the glamorous parties and anarchic debauchery. Instead, we see Edie Sedgwick using the Factory’s only payphone, Lou Reed splayed on a couch like a gangly teenage boy, and even Nico sitting at Shore’s parents’ kitchen table, being fed matzohs by his mother. These are photos of quiet, bored moments, as well as the hard work of Warhol’s constant processes of making: silk-screening, shooting films, installing exhibitions, and only the occasional party.”

The paragraph explains that pop-culture isn’t what communities think it is and that it is the complete opposite of the ideology that has been created. It shows these celebrities and artists involved with the pop culture are your regular everyday person once behind closed doors. It proves that these people have different personas that are seen by different people.

Playing with persona’s will be involved in future work that I plan on creating whether that be during this project or future ones. They question is though how can I create an atmosphere where people will be able to get the hint to relax and rewind, however, create a different persona when confronted by people that are out of this environment.


Factory records: Andy Warhol’s 1960s captured by Stephen Shore – in pictures

Behind the walls of Andy Warhol’s secretive Factory

Andy Warhol Tate

Terry Richardson

Much of Richardson’s work is work that I knew off but never knew it was his. He is the photographer that is so indulged into the celebrity world he has become the celebrity behind the camera. The bold personality of Richardson is transformed into his photo-shoots using props, make-up and creating characters for celebrities who essentially already have fake personas. The constant use of the white backdrops in his work really help the viewers focus directly onto the celebrities and what they are doing.

People he particularly works with time and time again are Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus, two people who already have bold personalities, however, the Richardson touch helps to transcend these people into more dramatic and flamboyant versions.

Recent work involves him collaborating with Kylie Jenner who admits it’s “a dream come true. ” Now, this tells me that Richardson is a form of an idol for these celebrities as they know the popularity and fame that follow with the work Richardson produces.

Indulging yourself so much into the celebrity world will be the target I want to achieve through the Instagram created.

Richardson also directed the Wrecking Ball music video:

The video is an example of the simplicity in Richardson’s work and it’s this simplicity that is present in the video that draws the attention of the viewers towards the shocking symbolism that grabbed the world such as Miley swinging on the wrecking ball and the lack of clothing.

The shock factor needs to be present in my own work.

Picasso –

The Weeping Woman, the painting that explores fragmentation, being figurative and create an abstract feeling and given the sense of abstraction.  From researching into many of Picasso’s different styles, Cubism is one that stands out. Highly influenced by the effects of the Spanish Civil War he became obsessed with this symbol of a weeping woman. Paintings and drawings were created from mixed media building layers to create strong pigments to make a striking palette on canvas. On the Tate website, it states that he commented: “For years I’ve painted her in torture forms, not through sadism, and not with pleasure either; just obeying a vision that forced itself on me.”

Picasso’s work, in general, has had a great influence on my work especially the painting of The Weeping Woman. The use of shapes, block colours and layering is a technique that is present in my practice and one that will be used in future work and most possibly final outcomes. I like how he uses complimentary colours to build up expression and to make every detail in the painting fight against each other enhancing the power. Use of mark marking also adds to this power and is carried out throughout adding depth and dynamic to a flat two-dimensional painting, bring it to life.



Weeping Woman 1937 by Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

The different depictions of the Weeping Woman I find are intriguing. Every drawing/painting of her have characteristics that give her this identity and are present in all. The characteristics of the eyes, mouth and the irregular shaped head are the only ones present, the use of materials and methods is what changes the emotion and dynamic of this person and creates a contrast between each image.

She is seen again in the painting Guernica and again she is drawn in a different depiction.


Again the same characteristics are present however, the lack of colour and the body posture suggest pain and terror and this is causing the weeping. This is the earliest version of her.

How does this relate to my work? The work created by Picasso is what influenced my practice and to create work that is fragmented and divided by the use of different angles of the face create a strange combination. The way He builds emotion in his work is what I wanted to create, and I have done this through the use of projection a technique that is contemporary and different but also gives a playful aspect to the process of creating the work.

Mixed Media – Gillian Ayres.

Gillian Ayres – National Museum Cardiff 2017


The image isn’t the best of images as no photographs were allowed to be taken however, this was a must. I needed an image to be able to speak about, I needed an image so I can take apart the elements and decompose the marks Ayres has forged out of the materials used.

The drawings particularly this one were strong and striking with the colours which have been built up using layers of different papers and mediums. This brings dimension and dynamic to the work something that I find is not present in the paintings. It’s playful, which again is shown through the materials that are used. The juxtapositions that are made from combining ink with acrylic shows the emotions and energy that was put into the drawings, for example, the bold black ink shows the mania that is held in this drawing which creates that juxtaposition with the soft oil pastel marks. Once you have stepped back from the painting you really get the sense of balance that has been created through the dynamics of the materials in the drawing.

Being playful with the use of materials is useful to my work and it is a way of working that has been present for a long time and it will continue to be the main factor. It needs to be made stronger and I will do this by using mixed-media in my drawings and it will be present in one of the final outcomes for this module. A tutor from my foundation always told me the drawings of my photographs never complimented them and this is the target. THE NEED TO COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER. I will find a way where the strength of both the photograph and the drawing are equal.

Gillian Ayres – National Museum Cardiff 2017

During a tutorial, I was told to just go and see this work which I didn’t however, during the critical writing workshops with Jonathan I stumbled into the space in the museum that had Ayres work on display and I immediately fell in love. They way she piles layers and layers of paint using delicious colours that completely each other creates an abstract work that is large and striking.

In the brochure supplied by the Museum, it tells us not to “read Ayres work so literally” because it means it would be a “misinterpretation” as the titles for the work is chosen after the work has been made. It also tells us that many of these paintings done in the 50s were inspired by the countryside of Snowdonia, clearly something you wouldn’t be able to tell when you first look at the work. Although this is the first thought of the work, you can see the natural colours in the work which shows a representation of the mountains Ayres climbed during this time. The way the layers have been built up leaving surfaces that are rough and ‘glupey’ producing an earthly feel and giving an aura of freedom making you feel peaceful and happy, emotions that Ayres would have had from escaping London.

Why does this have an importance to me? I don’t know, they just grab my attention. How colour interaction is an importance to my work. Not the concept but the colours. The contrasts and juxtapositions that are forged are elements that can be played within my own practice. These can be formed in either research or development in work towards the final outcomes I plan on creating.


Out of all of the exhibition, there was one section that I had a particular interest in and this being the mixed-media drawings Ayres created alongside her paintings which are playful, experimental and just shows the energetic artist. I explore this in my next post about the artist: Mixed Media – Gillian Ayres.