In the “Self-Portrait” by Chuck Close, the compositional structure appears to consist of subject within a glass or a glassy texture bearing diagonal grid. The grid frame exhibits patterns of intersecting line segments forming tiny squares which carry with them specific details of color and shape. Each square making the diagonal grid of the human face may be observed to encapsulate a somewhat abstract irregular form with a set of colors distinct from the rest yet as a whole, the unique pieces converge to unify into a focus that lies somewhere in the plane that connects the substance of the eyes to the lower portion of the face. One recognizes the finite sense of continuity in the balanced wholeness of the portrait that evokes a character of calm insight as seen through the composition of the eyes and the presence of symmetry indicating how the artist strives to attain an ideal head pose and tilt that introduces the confidence of the figure to the audience. Apparently, the glassy effect neutralizes the rather rigid and rough-looking facial profile as sustained by the quality of light in perspective as well as the mild blend of shades. Chuck Close’s “Self-Portrait” speaks to the viewer in a way that communicates the essence of parts in an approach that signifies how the coming of captured irregularities may proceed to establish logic and meaning of the art in-toto. On the other hand, while the work of Close in “Self-Portrait” takes on a modern concept, the creation of “Sunday on La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat tends to remind a critical viewer of an art in the period of Neo-impressionism. Strokes of subtle and sublime impressions are projected in each figure where Seurat occurs to refine all curves and lines to the mood of a carefree Sunday just as how the thematic time and space is ideally imagined. Softness among elements in texture, color, and movement implies rhythm of pure order and smooth gestures that send the painting adrift to a valuable social dimension which flourishes one’s concrete thought of a light afternoon day in which the chief subject is leisure. “Sunday on La Grande Jatte” as it is exudes richness in classic attitude that can be dated back to the Renaissance wherein the equilibrium existing between emotion and intellect in the characters of the composition is highly manifested in the spatial arrangement of literal forms which go well with the aspect of meticulously blended hues. Within Seurat’s frame, the look and feel of landscape is poignant much as the sight of fashion in French women’s late 19th century clothing and demeanor that reflect through the image of hats, long ballooning skirts, and fancy umbrellas of common design featured with even distribution across the scenery. Compared to Close’s “Self-Portrait” which seems to represent the notion of individualism and centered at pondering on the man’s modern expression, Seurat’s “Sunday on La Grande Jatte” promotes the value of having company, a symbol of mutual affection, so that the principle of focal point in this case is applied in a manner that renders one to look around and examine the painting’s context from the inside out. It would feel as if Close’s theme, on the contrary, draws the inspecting task from the outside going in since the external with all the minute significant details are initially scattered for the view to collect the parts of the work into the
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This paper discusses the use of visual elements and principles of design in the following two art pieces: “Self-Portrait” by Chuck Close and “Sunday on La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat. It will address each work individually and then compare the two works, pointing to specific commonalities and contrasts in how the artists chose to use elements and principles…
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