Art 3 – Hung Liu, Christopher Brown, working with photographs for memory and history – due 5/14


Watch the video on Hung Liu and explain how the ways in which she uses photography makes it different than simply copying or reproducing an image. How does she transform the photograph into something painterly and meaningful. How does she make it her own?

After reading the following two articles, comment about the following:

How does Christopher Brown use photography in his paintings and why does he choose historic photos?  What are his visual concerns in his painintgs and what are his emotional or conceptual concerns? What is he trying to do or say with his paintings?

Christopher Brown in conversation with Thomas Bolt

Brushing Up on History


3 responses »

  1. Hung Liu tries to understand the person without imposing her own ideas on them. She acknowledges that they are a human being and tries to create this sense of memory within them even though she doesn’t know them.

    Christopher Brown’s paintings incorporate historical photos to create this almost discontinuity between the viewer and the subjects. No one actually knows the people so there’s a leftover aura of mystery. He’s very concerned with imagery and what’s lost when translating an image from itself to the canvas. What ends up being conveyed is a feeling of not knowing the entire story.

  2. Hung Liu is finding personal connecting with an image before she paints. Because she has experienced the Cultural Revolution, she understands the life of the people portrayed in the images. She uses symbolic images to represent the give voice to the person.
    Liu makes the paintings her own by incorporating her dripping technique.

    Christopher Brown uses photographic foreshortening, very flat, circular compositions with many figures when he is recreating historical events. He is trying to preserve the story behind the image.

  3. Hung Liu forms a connection with the subjects of her paintings; although she does not personally know the people in the photographs, she forms a bond with them, at times relating her own life and experiences with those possibly experienced by the photographs’ subjects. To differentiate from the photograph, Liu incorporates her own style, using drips to break up the picture plane and to symbolize dissolution and the disintegration of memory. She also incorporates animals (such as butterflies) to symbolize aspects of the subject’s life or experience.

    Christopher Brown uses photographs for inspiration. He prefers historic photos because of their black-and-white quality/the mystique that photos lacking color evoke (and at times because of the momentousness and/or tragedy of the historical event). Visually he explores light, water, and refractions. Emotionally and conceptually he is concerned with the passage of time and with provoking the viewer. With his paintings, Brown attempts to add new meaning and importance to relatively regular (and sometimes even mundane) objects and occurrences.

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