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Art Class - Self Portraits

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Self portraits are one of the examples from the book that could reveal aspects of individuals. The book talks about Frida Kahlo's self portraits. In her paintings, her face is almost never changed, however her surroundings are always different. They show the things that have shaped her personality and her life. All of her paintings tell us more about her past and who she is on the inside. Another example from the book is the idealized body. This reflects the essence of humanity. The idealized body can be different based on each culture. The idealized body is really what people compare themselves too and strive to achieve within their lives.

One of the several strategies that artists use to fight oppression discussed in the book is demonstrating oppression by portraying it in their paintings. The book says that in the early 1900's, the artist Lewis Hine photographed child labor in textile mills and mines in order to bring attention to how mistreated the children were. The status quo, in my understanding, is a artists way of portraying how things really are in the world. They show how things are, how they were, and how they will be. The image they portray can be related to any time because the world continues to act the same way, never changing. Status quo can be use comically or as a serious matter, so long as it holds to be true.

The type of tomb that I have decided to describe is the furnished tombs. Furnished tombs are from ancient cultures. These were created for the belief that the afterlife was much like the living life and that people would need to use furnishings and other worldly tools in their afterlife. Because they believed this, people were often buried with the tools and furnishings that would be needed for them to continue living in the afterlife. These tombs were not for the poor, only the wealthy and powerful could afford to have them.

The artwork that I have chosen to describe is the painting "Ophelia" painted by John Everett Millais. This painting is of a woman who appears to have drowned in a pond. She is floating dead in the water. The pond is in a forest and it appears to be very isolated, with no people, roads, trails, or even animals. I believe that its simplicity is used to portray a sense of peace that comes with death. The peace of the woods and the stillness of the water in the pond shows that this woman's life has truly come to an end and she is completely at peace now.



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