Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Aten, Apollo and Amor" by Rachell Sumpter

This piece by Rachell Sumpter was done with gouache and pastel on paper, whose texture is made apparent by the pastels' soft application. The subtle flecks and hues scattered throughout the piece make me wish I was more adventurous with different media, instead of resorting all the time to different photoshop brushes.

This scene is very surreal, and it is striking to see not one, but three sun-like disks in the sky rendered by an absense of coloration inside orange and pink hazes. I don't know why the artist chose such a serious title for a whimsical piece (Aten and Apollo are the Egyption and Greek sun gods respectively, while Amor is son of Venus and Mars), but it does prime the viewer to see something a bit transcendental in the scene and share the awe shown by the crowds of people. Rendering the people in bright, solid colors with guache really makes them stand out against the softness of the pastel. The perspective on the people gives the flat, undrendered ground some dimensionality, and the way they end up a line of very differently-colored specks bunched together in a line near the horizon draws a lot of attention to that spot. The way the horizon itself is created by an abrupt end to the strange orange haze is a nice touch which focuses your attention first to the sky, which is the real subject of this piece.

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