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Photographer Comparison Essay: Cindy Sherman and Omar Diop

Introduction

The following study will analyse and compare the modern day photographers- well known for their conceptual portraits- American Cindy Sherman (b. 1954) and Senegalese Omar Victor Diop (b. 1980). The works selected are Albert Badin by Diop and Untitled (Self-Portrait with Sundress), both which include a persona explored through self-portraiture and conceptual portraiture. Thus, the works go at hand with my theme of individuality.

Cindy Sherman researched aesthetic arts at college or university, focusing firstly on painting before later dealing with photography, which is now her most prominent medium. Sherman is one of the most respected photography enthusiasts of the late twentieth century. The majority of her photographs are self-portraits, each featuring a feminist element which test the representation of ladies in society and multimedia, as well as American popular culture. Hence, her works are a vehicle for commentary on modern-day American modern culture.

Omar Victor Diop examined at the business enterprise Institution of Paris and proved helpful in marketing communications before concentrating only on photography. His most well-known series is Diaspora (2014) featuring staged self-portraits inspired by Spanish portraiture of the 14th and 15th hundred years. It explores the individuality of modern Africans and the role of African history, culture and history in the formation of such. Thus, his works explore the interconnectedness of collective and personal personality.

Note: Diop's name is both effectively spelt as Omar Victor Diop and Omar Viktor Diop. In such a study, the previous will be utilized.

Diop

Analysis of formal qualities

Diop's series Diaspora- indicating the dispersion of people from their original homeland-was first exhibited in 2014. The series appropriates Spanish portraiture of visible African information who experienced African diaspora in the 14th and 15th century, with Diop as the topic. Diop produced this series while residing in Spain, where he experienced cultural alienation. In recreating portraits of famous Africans who have been alienated in the most extreme sense in European countries- experiencing racism, mocking, and complete abandonment from society- Diop conducts a personal seek out both his own identity and the collective personality of Africans in European countries.

The work looked into in this comparative study is Albert Badin (medium), a entertainment of a traditional portrait by Gustaf Lundberg. Badin- at first named Couchi- was born in 1747 or 1750 in either Africa or Saint Croix before having into slavery. Badin- meaning trickster- was cared for as a noble savage and permitted to work as a Swedish court-servant and butler of Queen Luisa Ulrika of Sweden. Badin was also a diarist and a fond person in the Swedish courtly life.

As with the other results in the Diaspora series, Badin- as mentioned by Diop- "didn't fulfil the most common prospects of the African diaspora insofar as these were informed, stylish and comfortable, even if a few of them were managed by white people and cared for as the exotic other. " (via theguardian. com) Thus, through recreating the family portrait, Diop investigates his own ethnic heritage and gives statistics omitted from background a voice once more, as well as celebrates them, as despite existing "at a time where it was most unlikely to allow them to flourish - during colonisation and slavery. " (via trueafrica. co) they managed to lead an effective life.

Diop achieves this through restaging the initial portrait, wearing a near-identical costume and recreating the composition and colour design of cool tones of blue and white, which create a feeling of harmony and balance.

However, the portrait is not exactly copied in Diop's piece, merely appropriated. It is easily recognisable, however, the works in Diop's series all have a modern-day narrative through references to football. In Albert Badin, they are a whistle and a red card which replace the initial work's chess items. Curator Raquel Wilson has explained the utilization of sports equipment shows the "duality of living a life of glory and acceptance" while together confronting the "difficulties to be 'other'" (via omarviktor. com). Modern African players achieved popularity in European countries, yet face still racism, similarly to Badin. Diop claims that this is the "kind of paradox I am looking into in my own work. " as "there's a very interesting mixture of glory, hero-worship and exclusion. " (via theguardian. com). The use of soccer equipment in Diop's works ties alongside one another racism in both past and present.

In conditions of formal attributes, the work mimics and appropriates the initial portrait. Diop has a near equivalent angled tilted mind, however, the original portrait is entitled left whereas Diop becomes to the right. Diop wears an identical costume and pose, as well as facial expression: both figures have eye-contact with the viewers in a confrontational, yet playful and manner, as though the figure were challenging the audience to a game of chess or- in Diop's work- presenting the audience with a red card and whistling at him. In football, this means that the player has to leave the field. This could be representative of Diop criticising the audience and indeed society of omitting Badin from background, punishing them with the red cards.

Annotations of Diop

Modern appearance: through the high quality of photo, the piece looks sleek and elegant, which is to be expected, as Diop also works popular photography. The task is not edited to mimic the old and worn appearance of the initial piece, as Diop desires to give the piece a specific modern look. Although Diop recreates a family portrait from the 18th hundred years, there is a clear modern narrative through the aesthetics of the task and the use of football equipment. This features that problems Badin experienced more than 100 years ago- such as racism and alienation- remain contemporary issues today, and really should not be ignored.

Comments on racism in history and present through football props: "By causing all the information carry things related to sports, like balls, red cards and studs, I connected them to the present in order to situate them within the issue on immigration and the integration of foreigners into Western societies. All these eminent but unidentified people were the first ever to obtain acceptance for black people for their exceptional ability. Today, it's a talent for sports that gives you that passport. " (Omar Victor Diop via trueafrica. co)

Symbolic form: Diop holds the whistle and red credit card in a staged manner, allowing the viewer to clearly start to see the objects. The viewer's eyesight is attracted to them, indicating their importance.

Head considered right: Diop does not exactly replicate the initial portrait, although the entire structure is near equivalent.

Annotations of original portrait

Head considered left: one of the key differences between Diop's work and the initial portrait.

Chess pieces: Badin keep chess portions, representing his intellectual as well as playful and amusing personality.

Interpretation of function and purpose

Diop himself poses as a overlooked man. The work is a self-portrait, so when a Sengalese himself, Diop thus explores his own personal information, as well as his African heritage. Diop's work shows the link and interconnectedness between ethnical and collective personal information and his personal identity, critically through adding himself in the shoes of information of the African diaspora as Diop takes on the role of Badin and poses as him. Through the use of modern sports equipment and the luxurious appearance of the picture, there's a modern narrative prevalent in the part. As Diop stated, he "wished to bring these abundant historical characters into the current discussion about the African diaspora and modern issues around immigration, integration and acceptance. " (via thegurdian. com)

Evaluation of cultural significance

As mentioned previously, Diop gives African historical figures omitted from historical discourse a speech who Diop areas "should be celebrated" (via trueafrica. co) and makes the numbers into a modern narrative once more. Diop himself is one of the modern generation of young, successful Africans who decided to go with not to abandon their country, despite being shown the chance to: Diop's family is in top of the middle-class and Diop researched and worked in Europe for quite some time. Thus, contemporary issues associated with Senegal and photography equipment influence his work greatly. The portrayal of Africa in often a negative one, displaying nothing but poverty and generalising the top and diverse continent to nothing but stereotypes. In depicting successful African results who were forgotten in historical discourse, Diop reminds the viewers of the complexity of African background and culture, and speaks against and troubles the negative representation of Africans in popular culture.

Furthermore, Diop explores what this means to be always a part of modern Africa, and investigates how history influences both personal and collective identity. Through confronting the viewer with historical characters- perhaps in a damning way, displayed through showing the audience with a red-card- Diop makes the viewers to contemplate and think about African history, critically as Diop himself exhibited the series in Dakar and later in France, that includes a colonial former and a big amount of African immigrants. Therefore, both the artist and the audience contemplates the balance and interconnectedness of modern-day Africa and the rich and complex African diaspora.

Sherman

Annotations

Caricature of stereotype: On this work, Sherman takes on the role of any middle-class girl, which is suggested by her tacky jewellery and outfit, on holiday, shown by her intense sun-tan. Thus, Sherman manages a multitude of stereotypes in the work: People in the usa, women, and the working-class.

Analysis of formal qualities

The work analysed is Untitled (Self-Portrait with Sundress), however, while researching, it was found that sources have also titled the part Untitled (Self-Portrait with Spraytan). In such a study, the ex - will be utilized in line with the public sale site artnet. com, which was deemed a trusted source. The piece was created in 2003 and it is a chromogenic print on clean white paper with full margins, and 66 * 40 cm.

The work is a part of Sherman's early 2000s series of self-portraits, which feature Sherman in various outfits and poses, portraying feminine stereotypes in American film, television set, and advertising. Through the medium of photography, Sherman mimics reality and constructs new id: a persona. In doing this, Sherman criticises the subject and role she takes on. In the case of Untitled (Self-Portrait with Spray Tan), Sherman critiques American contemporary society for its superficiality and consumerism as well as banality.

As with the majority of Sherman's work, this can be a self-portrait, in which Sherman uses makeup, costume, and props to depict one common American stereotype and visually and socially-defined personality type. Sherman is scarcely recognisable and easily changeable as she depicts an intensely tanned subject matter in a sundress. The subject is posed in an unnatural manner, and her features are exaggerated, thus building a caricature.

In terms of visible properties, Sherman

Quotes

"I feel I'm anonymous in my work. WHENEVER I go through the pictures, I never see myself; they aren't self-portraits. Sometimes I disappear. " - via artlyst

Interpretation of function and purpose

The work causes the viewer to confront and reconsider stereotypes through. Sherman will not determine where she stand in relation to he works, and the interpretation is left available to the viewer. Ultimately, the result of the public to her work says more about the viewer than the themes themselves.

In another sense, Sherman argues that personal personal information is comprised only of social dictates and personal intention in that she constructs a persona completely of vison and socially described personality archetypes. more

Protagonist can get away from role, identity build, substance, persona - Sherman does not fix herself in single interpersonal position (quote)

Evaluation of ethnic significance

Sherman has performed a significant role in various art motions, each which are mirrored in the piece.

Feminist movement: Appearing in the late 1960s, the activity searched for to criticise and change the earth through skill, with a specific concentrate on women and their functions in contemporary society over a longer time of their time, being the nineteenth to twenty-first hundred years. Sherman, as other feminist performers, include the female perspective in their works and question the cultural landscape of these framework. She explores femininity as a interpersonal construct and examines feminine typologies. In Untitled (Self-Portrait with Sundress), Sherman takes on the role of the stereotype of any sun-tanned, middle-class American female on vacation, with a so-called 'cheap' appearance. Through creating this character, Sherman explores the role of appearance in the formation of identity, particularly feminine id. Thus, Sherman reworks archetypes as both a originator- and female- and personality. She re-establishes women and what this means to be a woman in today's world, and freezes herself in the role she will take through the medium of photography. Thus, the works are both deeply personal and feminist.

The Pictures Generation: This label often identifies both contemporary designers and specifically visible artists mixed up in seventies and eighties. Critically, the music artists use appropriation and montage, as well as explore the constructed mother nature of images through the medium of picture taking. Much like Sherman's work, people of this movements often seek to activate social criticism in viewers saturated by mass media. Indeed, the musicians and artists themselves were heavily inspired by the saturated image culture of america, and therefore, the works test traditional art varieties and imitate the artificiality of mass media and specifically advertising. Works appear mass-produced and blur between artwork and popular images, because they are constructed with conceptual frameworks. Sherman specifically explores the boundaries between original and fabricated actuality through an exaggerated appearance with a obviously staged environment and paper the photos in large-scale and glowing colours, yet the works are obviously inspired by fact. This creates a blend of performance and photography itself.

Diop & Sherman

Making comparisons and connections

Formal qualities: Whilst both works discuss the medium of photography and are self-portraits, the themes portrayed are significantly different. Both Sherman and Diop undertake personas which vary greatly: Sherman poses as an American sun-tanned female, Diop is a historical body.

In terms of aesthetic properties, the photographs

Position, composition

Both artists appropriate to some extent. Diop straight mimics a historical family portrait, whereas Sherman imitates a particular archetype. The topic is easily recognisable, and thus leads the audience to question the role of appearances in the forming of identity, and exactly how appearances can or cannot be misleading: does the fact that the music artists decorate as a figure mean they will be the shape? As the works are self-portraits and the subject is the musician themselves, there is undoubtedly a solid personal connect to each improve the artist.

Furthermore, both works have a strong element of artificiality. The photographs are staged and show the topic in exaggerated costume and make-up, and are not made to be an accurate reflection of simple fact. However, Sherman intentionally creates a caricature of the topic, whereas Diop recreates a historical portrait with added soccer props, holding a symbolic so this means.

Function and purpose: Critically, Diop explores the paradox of modern and historical individuality, as well as the role of background in the formation of contemporary African identification. Through posing himself as Albert Badin and the use of soccer symbolism, Diop's work investigates the link between our culture, the history of our own homeland, collective and personal personal information of Africans. Contrarily, Sherman's work does not have a focus on background, and instead centers entirely on modern American society and how this influences the personal personal information of women.

Cultural significance: In conditions of cultural value, the two music artists discuss little to no similarities.

However, critically, both music artists represent their own ethnic context through their works: Sherman mirrors American stereotypes whereas Diop explores the contemporary question many young Africans face today, being controlling cultural history and modern personality.

Making connections to possess art work making practice

Formal qualities: Picture taking, self-portraits, costume and use of props, simple background

Function and purpose: Aim of parts, small size?, artificiality ЇЖ Sherman

Cultural significance: Cultural aspect ЇЖ Diop

Sources:

http://www. artnet. com/artists/cindy-sherman/untitled-self-portrait-with-sundress-aHQ26YzCxxzu-QkGJzHEAQ2

http://www. artlyst. com/Cindy. Sherman

http://www. rencontres-arles. com/C. aspx?VP3=CMS3&VF=ARLAR1_213_VForm&FRM=Frame%3AARLAR1_254

http://africanah. org/omar-victor-diop-2/

http://www. omarviktor. com/project-diaspora

http://trueafrica. co/article/omar-victor-diop-on-dakars-spectrum-of-possibilities/

https://i-d. vice. com/en_gb/article/omar-victor-diop-is-documenting-a-new-generation-of-african-creatives

http://www. theartstory. org/movement-feminist-art. htm

http://www. theartstory. org/movement-the-pictures-generation. htm

http://www. theartstory. org/movement-conceptual-art. htm

http://www. blackpast. org/gah/badin-adolf-1747-1822

http://www. artspace. com/magazine/art_101/art_market/pictures_generation-51922

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