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Green Boy
figure; head; male; boy, figurative, perception, half-toning, pattern, media, monochromatic, illusion, vibration, popular media, representational, large-scale, painting, ambiguous,fragmented, pop art,flat image, pop art, oil painting, colour, pattern, pixels, illusion, perception, boy, boy, portrait, trust,
description

Cran performs  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  trickery by combining several styles and techniques in a single work. This is achieved also in Green Boy. While the work may at first seem to be a depiction only of  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  patterns, it is possible to make out a boy’s head, in profile, represented in the image. The image of the head is broken down into dots of varying sizes.  This is called half-toning, and is used in  printAn exactly repeatable visual statement which exists as two-dimensional physical material.  media. If you look very closely at a magazine or a newspaper, perhaps with a magnifying glass, you will see the half-toning present there as well, but much smaller. This is because the image Cran has used was appropriated from a  printAn exactly repeatable visual statement which exists as two-dimensional physical material.  source that used half-toning; he has then enlarged the image and, as a result, enlarged the dots.

To add to the  illusionA deceptive or misleading image or idea. (Artlex.com)  of vibration in this image, the artist has added bright green stripes to the foreground. The three  shadesDark value of a colour made by adding black.  of green in this work seem to rub against each other, and as a result the parts of the image we are not focusing on at a given time will seem to move.

Because of the size of this work, it is almost impossible to see it as a  representationalTo stand for; symbolize. To depict or portray subjects a viewer may recognize as having a likeness; the opposite of abstraction. A representation is such a depiction. (Artlex.com)  image when close up, but it is easy to do so from far away (if you step back from your computer a few feet, you will likely find it easier to see the boy’s head and more difficult to see the individual dots and lines). This fact of the work, in turn, suggests metaphorically that in order for us to see what a thing (or an idea) really is, we must examine it from various distances (or perspectives). It also suggests, because it uses  printAn exactly repeatable visual statement which exists as two-dimensional physical material.  media, that the trouble with perception extends to the way we receive news and other information - that we cannot be sure of anything, and may not be able to trust words and photographs.

additional resources Things to Think About
  • Can you think of an example of an idea or event that had different meanings for different people? How might their perspectives, or their distance from the event, have altered the way they perceived it or thought about it?
Studio Activity

Large self-portrait

Chris Cran, in Green Boy, presents such a large artwork that it is almost impossible to see it as a  representationalTo stand for; symbolize. To depict or portray subjects a viewer may recognize as having a likeness; the opposite of abstraction. A representation is such a depiction. (Artlex.com)  image when close up, but it is easy to do so from far away.

  • Make a self-portrait first by finding a small photograph of yourself.
  • Using a photocopier, enlarge the photograph by at least 200%. Notice how the image begins to break down as it is photocopied.
  • If you like this effect, you may make a photocopy of the photocopy, which will cause the image to break apart even more.
  • You can use lines, dots, or other shapes to obscure it, or you can use washes of colour.

Monochromatic

Draw or paint a  monochromaticColour scheme using one hue and all its tints and shades for a unifying effect.  picture using only a single  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  but with different tones.

A poem about yourself

Write two poems about yourself.

  • Poem 1 could focus on your own feelings and thoughts about yourself.
  • Poem 2 could be more general, or based on the way you see the outside world.
  • Then combine the poems together by alternating lines. That is, make a third poem by combining the two in this pattern:
  • line 1 from poem 1,
  • line 1 from poem 2,
  • line 2 from poem 1,
  • line 2 from poem 2,
  • line 3 from poem 1,
  • line 3 from poem 2,
  • etc.
  • What does this new, third poem suggest about you, through the combination of thoughts and feelings, that the other two did not say individually?
References

Anderson, Jack. ‘Messages reflected in work of artists.’ Regina Leader Post, April 3, 2008.

Anderson, Jack. ‘Installation challenges fixed world of objects.’ Regina Leader Post, July 14, 2004.

Author unknown.  Chris Cran.  Exhibition catalogue. Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta, 1987.

Author unknown.  ‘Chris Cran Lives!’  Artichoke, Vol 06 No 01, 1994.

Gustafson, Paula.  ‘Chris Cran: Surveying the Damage.’  Artichoke, Vol 10 No 03, 1998.

Nasgaard, Raold. Surveying the Damage: 1977-1997.  Exhibition catalogue.  Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, British Columbia, 1998.

Tousley, Nancy.  ‘Essentials: Chris Cran: The Physics of Admiration.’  Canadian Art, Fall, 2003.  Retrieved from the Internet on August 23, 2008 from:  http://www.canadianart.ca/art/features/2003/09/14/129/

Whyte, Ryan.  ‘The Alberta Biennial.’  Artichoke, Vol 08 No 03, 1996.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning