Visual analysis enhances organization and arrangement of the visible information of a piece of art that the audience translates from what is seen to written words. This is a universal procedure and guideline that can be applied to any piece of art, for any period of time irrespective of whether it is a sculpture, photograph or a painting.
For my visual analysis, I chose to describe Mukaii Kumotaro performing in Tiger’s Cave, New York, 2007. The performance is by Mukai who provides a smooth collection form, representing a stylish visual representation in the performance. On the stage, it represents a character and an art of a bald man wearing only thongs with the body covered with a white and brown paint marks that resembles war paint. The character has bent limbs that form sharp claws pointing downwards. The face is scrupled and signifies a silent scream compared to that of a guitar melody or someone in pain.
Different arts are used by artists to explore different themes and ideas to send clear messages to the audience; for example, this piece of art represents a theme of scare, despair, and hopeless (Hudson and Noonan 28). This is a theme that is revolving around death and has been heavily explored by the name Tiger’s cave. The structure of this piece provides a visual representation of a scaring creature ready to attack with the sharp claws.
For detailed analysis of this art, elements that are the building blocks of any art will be discussed, incorporating how they are used by the artist in this artwork. First, line as an element can be used to generate more advanced shapes that can direct an individual from one point to another in the art. In this piece of art, horizontal and vertical lines are effectively used to show the bending nature of the body and finger claws that is used in killing or scaring.
It is affirmed that different colors have the ability to add value to any artwork and makes the observer move his/her eye across the art with ease while grasping the message being relayed, in addition to providing sticking differences in the artwork. It can be observed that the front end of the art is lighter than the back, affirming the two different behavioral sides of the character; the dull and bright side of the creature.
Organic and inorganic shapes are used to give a design of the body parts like the head, bending nature, and the finger claws. When shapes are presented in three dimensions, they generate forms that have different lengths and depths, giving the artwork more emphasis of the rear and front body parts. Space as an element is the demarcation between and around the object; the view of the image is affected by increasing and decreasing the amount of the area. The artist has succeeded in providing enough space for the object that makes it visible due to the amount of space given. This has made the object easy to view by the audience.
The art has a collection of different colors merged to form uniform whole colors of black, brown and white. The black color is used to provide for a background signifying an unknown negative connotation. In this art, black represents a black death showing grief by the art character bending with claws pointing like it wants to scratch something. Black has also been used to punctuate the other colors of brown and white to provide a contrast that allows the art character to be visible (Sayre 77).
At the rear part of the body, brown color creates a feeling of coolness, evoking a state of nostalgia. In art, it can be interpreted to signify that any place passed by the character is so quiet to insinuate that people or creatures have been eliminated and the major focus is to continue with the elimination ahead. The artist has also succeeded in using brown with other colors to show a moody environment or landscape occupied by the art character. Color white is fully used at the front body part to show perfection and innocence of the art character, though in this context it signifies death and unhappiness that is to be brought about the character. The white color here could also symbolize bad luck for any person or creature that meets the character. The artist has achieved his intention by using white sparingly with others colors representing a life threatening situation.
Texture, for example, can make a rugged mountain appear rough but on the actual image, it may be smoothly felt. The texture used by art is a smooth flowing one that efficiently draws attention to the face and claws of the fingers. In the art, only the parts that scare are made to be noticed; the background is not important, and smooth black has been used to make it unnoticeable.
It is affirmed that design principles including balancing of the different components discussed above will ensure the achievement of harmony in the object. This is the balancing of elements, such as line, colors, forms and shapes. In this case, the object occupies almost three quarters of the page to ensure visibility. Color balance provides a distinction of the two different situation or scenarios faced by the character the dull side and the bright side.
Composition of the art has seen the integration of smooth texture covering the body to emphasize on the scary nature of the character. The colors used give the user a simplified task in moving the eye from one end to another in trying to understand the message. There has been a lot of emphasis on the scary nature of the object with the bald head and scrupled face. With the bending claws, everybody’s attention is drawn to the fingers.
The pattern of the object is consistent with the intended message or theme, the light shone is reflecting in front of the object to provide the body distinctions with proportions having different light intensity.
Light is shown on the front part of the body to produce the white color. In this case, this has been used to distinguish the two worlds that the character is passing through; behind is a state of lifeless and quietness, and the front is a depiction of life prior to the actions of the character.
In summary, design elements and principles have made it possible for Mukai to communicate his message and theme to his audience effectively. The audience can now understand and interpret the work and what each component represents in the actual or real world.
Hudson Suzanne, and Noonan Nancy. The Art of Writing about Art. Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning, 2002.
Henry Sayre M. Writing about Art Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005.