Monika Correa
Posted: 19/8/14
Week 2 – Compositional Interpretation

Contextual Information:
Artist: Frida Kahlo
Title: What I Saw In The Water
Year of Creation: 1938
Dimensions: 36″ x 27 3/4″
Collection/ Source: www.fridakahlo.org
Technique: Oil on canvas
Genre: Painting – Surrealism
Image URL/ Origin: http://www.fridakahlo.org/what-i-saw-in-the-water.jsp

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Content

This artwork ‘what I saw in the water’ painted by legendary surrealist artists Frida Kahlo is a reflection of her childhood and her family life. The painting exemplifies the games she used to play in the bathtub and bringing the imaginable stories to life. There is a lot of communication happening in the painting with many characters representing her relatives and friends.

Colour Analysis

*There are different copies of edited images of the artwork online. I am basing my critique on one copy that seemed most genuine on an academic website.

The colour pallet for this artwork consists of earth tones in which is a common quality of a surrealist artwork. Sepia tones and low saturation is a quality in which allows the viewer to feel like it’s a memory or it’s a dream.

Spatial Organisation

The horizon of the painting is where the feet are sticking from the bottom of the bathtub. The water makes a line that divides the painting in two parts. The bottom half is where a lot of the content is. Kahlo has centred the focal point onto the drain. The drain creates a direction that flows through the content on the bottom half of the painting.

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Light

There is a lot of shadowing that creates a form of realism and emphasis on the shapes of the objects. The clean bright bath creates a balance in the painting. This doesn’t make the artwork completely sombre although still is quit serious and bazar in the collection of content.

Expressive Content

This work by Frida Kahlo is very expressive and emotional. The viewer is not left with an end to the story or a resolution. This work enables the audience to use their own imagination and to have a sense of freedom In each individual perspective.

Contextual Information:
Agnecy: McCann Erickson
Title: Dumb Ways To Die
Year of Creation: 2012 when the advertisement was released
Dimensions: multiple sizes 
Collection/ Source: ww.mccann.com.au
Technique: Graphic Design
Genre: Advertisement
Image URL/ Origin: http://mccann.com.au/project/dumb-ways-to-die/

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Content

This advertisement is apart of a series of promotional posters that were designed for the campaign for Melbourne’s Metro Trains. It turned into a very large promotional advertisement that included posters, tv ads, phone apps, games and even a song written to raise awareness of train safety. The campaign has been very successful and has been shared around the world for its witty humour and intelligent advertising. Most importantly has made a significant decrease of train platform and rail crossing accidents.

Colour Analysis

The design of this particular advert has very strong colours that are contrasting and gives a lively effect. There is a focus on the character in the centre of the advert due to its bright pink skin tone. The style of design is very creative and basic to reach at a wide variety of people including children and adults. These flat colours have very little tone, only to emphasise the characters eye brows and mouth. There is a round rim of tone on the bottom part of the characters where you can see the piranhas have eaten. The designer has done this to accentuate a basic cartoon like image of what the layers of the body are like.

Spatial Organisation

The focal point of the advertisement is on the character. It takes up around 70% of the advertisement and has vertical symmetry that creates a unifying balance in its design.

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Light

There is no great detail of tones and shadowing because of its flat imagery and basic design style. As mentioned in ‘colour’ there is little tone used to identify the characters eyebrows and mouth as well as the depth of the characters insides.

 

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Expressive Content

The content of this advert is humour and entertaining. It is aesthetically pleasing and can understand the attraction towards the series of advertisements. The contour shapes and colour palette has a lot to do with its overall successful design. The style of design is very popular and common in today’s visual communication, through logo development and minimalist advertisements.

References:

Bell, P, (2001). Content Analysis of Visual Images. In Van Leeuwen, Theo and Jewitt, Carey, Handbook of visual analysis, (pp.10 – 35). SAGE.

Hansen, Lone Koefoed (2014). What’s in a word? :why natural isn’t objectively better. Interactions 21 (1) pp.22-23

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