On this page I will be posting my research into different movements and artists that will influence me when it comes to designing my Personal Camouflage.
Cubism was mainly pioneered by both Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The Cubist Movement was formed shortly after the expressionist movement, and was seen as a significant leap in change. As the expressionist movement was more about fluid brush strokes, less structure and no definite. However, when the cubist movement was started, it was breaking all those rules. It was formed mainly out of structured geometric shapes and used strokes to define where one colour ends and the other begins. Also the brush strokes where allot more rushed and harsh compared to the earlier movements.
The Cubist movement can be seen as a early form of camouflage, or where it has originated from. This is because of the way the cubist movement combines numerous different shapes, bush strokes and colours in a way that merges together as one piece whilst keeping the uniqueness of each section. Allowing it to portray the message effectively and appropriately. Much like the personal camouflage I am going to be designing.
1. Georges Braque, Landscape near L’Estaque, 1908, Oil on canvas, 46 x 38 cm, Paris, Musee National d’Art Moderne
- Historical Events: Clarence White’s Morning (1908), Cubist paintings exhibited in Paris (1907)
This piece created by Braque was one of the earliest forms of cubism but still has a very realistic look. This was created shortly after the first Cubist Exhibition in 1907, meaning that the cubist movement would have been recognised as a movement for the first time making this piece new and exciting and even innovative.. This piece compared to the piece above, seems to break all the rules when it comes to the Expressionist movement. For example; This piece has a lot more structure, defines each block of colour using a stroke, has harsh, linear brush strokes and uses a better sense of perspective.
This piece could be seen to be representing a journey, This is due to the harsh, pure, contrasting brush strokes creating a perspective shot, which leads the viewers eyes down it to represent ‘where they should be going’. This piece would have been seen as anti-traditional and would have stood out across a room compared to the other art works being created at the time.
You could say that this piece has been influenced by the work of Vincent Van Gogh, due to the way that the piece uses linear, structural lines to show harsher ways of depicting a story and create shading. Much like Van Gogh did.
- 2. Pablo Picasso, Nude in a Forest, 1908, Oil on canvas, 186 x 107 cm, Leningrad, Hermitage
- Historical Events: Clarence White’s Morning (1908), Cubist paintings exhibited in Paris (1907)
In this piece, Pablo Picasso has created a cubist portrait of a woman. However, when creating this piece, he has realized something, that most artists of that era or even this haven’t realized. This is that, you are unable to recreate a slice of time exactly if you are drawing from a primary source. This is because time, light, shade and people change gradually over time. Meaning it would be impossible to create a replica of that moment. Therefore, Picasso has focussed on creating very geometric body parts, and focussing on one bodily feature at a time instead of thinking about it as a whole and trying to get the body features in proportion. Therefore, his finished piece ends up as a out of proportioned women, who is shaded in all sorts of directions due to time changing as this is happening.
This painting uses a different style of shading compared to Braque’s cubist piece around the same era, as his was more harsh and linear, where as this is blended well and is more fluid. I think this piece works really well as it represents what he is trying to recreate in a sense, but in his own perception/interpretation.
As the Movement moved on, the cubism moved more into a Analytical style. This is where the artists have recreated the still scene, in a way that comes across as confusing due to it merging with the background. Also that the viewer has to analyse the piece to get the narrative behind it. I think that this style of cubism is good as it makes the piece more interesting to the viewer and they can each get their own interpretation. However, some people may find it a turn off as it may be too busy and distracting.
- 1. Georges Braque, Woman in an Armchair (Woman Reading), 1911, Oil on canvas, 128 x 81 cm, Basle, Private Collection
- Historical Events: Art Nouveau/Deco Movements gather strength (1910-25), First Picasso exhibit in US (1911), Vorticism is adapted by Alvin London Coburn (1910)
In this painting, Braque has deconstructed then reconstructed the figure of a woman in a armchair. By doing this he has created a abstract representation of what he sees when painting this woman.
I think that when looking at this piece you can see a link to Egyptian styled etchings, as the colours used and use of painting created the illusion of etchings being made into stone. This creates an eternal mood, as if the woman was there forever. Also the white highlights used gives the piece more energy.
In this piece there is good use of contrasting the linear lines with the fluid brush strokes. This could be seen to represent change in time whilst this was being painted. The Emotions given off are; hectic, frustration, mis understood, misleading and cold. A power complex network of light gives the piece a aesthetic pleasing feel.
I think that this piece could be representing how from a long way away a person can look a certain way, but as you get closer and get to know them , the person looks a lot different.
Also the way you can see through the person to the background, means that you can see through the exterior look and into what they are really like on the inside. This also allows the brick to be personified, as it is giving the in-animate object humanistic qualities.
In this piece, you can see how it would have influenced the work of photographer David Hockney, when he is constructing his cubist pieces. You can see how Braque would have been inspired by the work of Alvin Coburn as in 1910, he adopted the Vortiscm technique and used it to create abstract photographs (vortograph).
The Vorticism movement is an adaptation of the Cubist movement, but also as a independent alternative to Futurism. It was pioneered by Wyndham Lewis, an artist, writer and polemicist who started the Vorticism movement through a British avant-garde group formed in London 1914. This movement lasted until the First World War in 1920, although Lewis attempted to revive it later on. Throughout the whole Vorticism movement you can see how camouflage to this day would have been influenced and shaped to resemble certain attributes of this movement as well as Cubism.
In Wyndham Lewis’ work you can see a direct link to the work of Picasso and Braque due to the similarities between Cubism and Vorticism. However I would say that Lewis’ work obtains more depth and perspective due to the way he uses the linear structure of his work to guide your eyes throughout the design. I think this works really well at capturing the viewers attention due to the way this creates a clearer focal point throughout all of his work.
Wyndham Lewis was the writer for the short lived literary magazine ‘Blast’ of which there where 2 editions. The first edition featured a bright pink soft cover, with a range of bold innovative typographic designs. This has been seen as an emblem of the modernist movement of the 20th century. In picture (3.) features the cover for the second edition where Lewis has incorporated his involvement in the Vorticism movement with the cover. This features a very abstract linear design that is in Black &White. This is unusual for Lewis to put one of his Black and White woodcuts on the cover as most of his work was in colour and had a sense of energy, and vibrance about them. However this could have been a reaction to the upcoming World War One, as there would have been a sense of tension and awareness in the atmosphere as just 33days after this edition was published war was declared on Germany. Therefore, Wyndham Lewis may have chosen to use this piece as a representation of the hardship, struggles and gloom that was too come. Where as most of his other pieces pre-World War One would have been colourful, bright and vibrant to perhaps represent a hopeful utopian future.
“When Lewis returned from the trenches, he hoped to revivify the Vorticist spirit, planning a third issue of Blast and regaining contact with old allies. But the whole context of pre-war experimentation had been dispersed by the destructive power of mechanized warfare, which persuaded most of the former Vorticists to pursue more representational directions thereafter. By 1920 even Lewis was obliged to admit that the movement was dead.” - Richard Cook
This quote gives us more insight in to the Vorticist cover created by Wyndham Lewis, as the harsh, liner lines and the use of the cold black and white colour scheme may have been used as a representation of the ‘mechanised warfare’ that would have been currently made and would inevitably shape our not too distant future.
The work created by Wyndham Lewis will help me when coming up with a design for my Personal Camouflage as his use of colour and shapes work well at depicting a story and getting across emotion. Something I hope to do through my design.
Alvin Langdon Coburn
Alvin Langdon Coburn was a photographer or ‘photo-secessionists’ around the same era as Wyndham Lewis . His photography was, later on in his career, majorly effected by the Vorticism movement. Coburn’s work around lens photography was seen as experimental has early on in the 20th century he focused his work on distorting/deforming his photographs by using a technique which he later termed as ‘vortograph’. This technique was very similar to a kaleidoscope due to the way it abstracts the surfaces viewed by reflecting the image at different angles, and was developed around 1913 when Coburn used a pin hole camera to capture abstracted/distorted images of streets and buildings.
These pieces created by Alvin Langdon Coburn have a clear link to the work of Wyndham Lewis and the Vorticism movement, due to the linear movements, abstraction of the images and sense of perspective created. I feel the effect this movement has on Coburn’s work creates a very innovative adaptation of the Vorticism movement which captures the viewers attention. Overall I would say these pieces have been influenced by the work of Lewis’ second edition of ‘Blast’ , which is interesting because they were both working on completely different mediums (woodcut and pin hold photography).
The work by Alvin Langdon Coburn will influence me when I create my own Personal Camouflage as he has inspired me to look into different mediums, and effects I can achieve.
(The typographic images for this campaign are not displayed properly through the slideshow)
In these designs by Safmiester inc. is a rebranding for Aizone where they have created strong black and white typographic and optical illusions which reflect the dynamic, vibrant nature of the brand.
I have chosen to research this rebranding as the way Sagmiester .inc has designed this has a definite link to camouflage and the cubist and vortisict movement where camouflage in design originated. I feel that these pieces work really well at creating a aesthetically pleasing and camouflage due to the use of simple shapes and colour used throughout the design. This gives a modern approach to camouflage and makes a lot more eye capturing.
Also I feel that the typographic illusions are very interesting and work well at capturing the viewers attention due to the way they type seems to trick the eye into seeing different things.
These techniques and modern, simplistic approach used for both the photographic and typographic illusions work really well and may influence me when it comes to my final design.
THis installation created by Banksy was one of his most controversial pieces ever created. What Banksy is communicating through this installation is how its easy for us to miss the things that are right in front of us. To do this is decided to play around with the idea of animals camouflaging themselves into their habitats by getting an elephnt and using face paint, paint a camouflage onto the elephant. By doing this he created quite a stir around the idea od animal cruelty.
The reason I chose to research this piece by Banksy is because the way he has applied his own personal camouflage to an animal that it should not be possible to camouflage could be seen as a reference to how we camouflage things about ourselves that you should not be able to camouflage, like your personality.
I feel that this artwork by Banksy has inspired me to be more innovative with my design so that it allows the viewer to interact with the design.