"City Colors"

Essay by atlgapCollege, UndergraduateA+, July 2004

download word file, 1 pages 2.8

This piece of artwork is a print of a photograph entitled "City Colors" by Sandra Baker. She has taken an almost cliché picture of the statue of liberty and completely transformed the mood and the statement of the figure. The photograph is taken from the lower left side of lady liberty at an angle that leads the viewer up her right arm and also up her face. It is cropped so that the only complete figures in the photograph are her arm and her face. The flames are not visible, but the viewer knows that they are outside of the picture plane. The folds of her garment under her right arm can slightly be distinguished and only portions of her crown are visible. The border crops anything behind her left ear.

The placement of lady liberty has a substantial impact on the piece. With the actual figure being placed on the lower right side of the picture plane the focal point easily becomes the strong arm that creates the vertical linear movement through the center of the piece.

The negative space is quite simple and merely captures the sky behind. What makes this piece so strong is the actual colors of the sky. Very vivid reds, yellows, oranges, and deep rich purples compose the sky giving the picture a surreal look. I wonder if the sky was actually captured that color or if it had be altered digitally. The other point of washing the pigment out of lady liberty also makes the colors stand out even more so. Lady is a pale gray that suggests that she is made of stone rather than what she is actually made of.

The artist is trying to associate a new mood with the statue, possibly following the events of 9/11. It is...