Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Inventing an Icon

The best iconic images are blunt. Simple. Realism is unhelpful, really. It's distracting. When I was working on this I'd recently been working on a series of gesture images, with a more painterly and realistic outline, so I took effort here to make the fist awkward. Awkward because protest isn't graceful or lovely, it's rough and tumble, but also because awkwardly drawn anatomies are more sincere somehow. Cimabue is more sincere than Raphael. Ben Shahn is less slick than Norman Rockwell or Andrew Wyeth. It's as if we see the imperfections in a rendering and feel the need to look past them for something more. It isn't a realistic diagram or rendering so it must mean something too. Realism is itself. Unrealism is more suggestive.

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