A couple of weeks ago I was told that I needed to have a piece of work ready for an exhibition in my studio by this week. As I have arrived late to the course, after a brief month and a half of confusion at the University of Westminster, I have found it difficult to make friends in my new class as it is past the ‘freshers’ introduction phase. So I started thinking about who would be seeing this piece of work and how I could kill two birds with one stone, as such. I started this project by focusing on an unflattering but highly comical picture of me taken in a club. After looking at Shepard Fairey’s work with his ‘OBEY’ propaganda style posters, I simplified the image of my face to a simple black and white drawing and started adding simple text around it. I then went on to simplify this drawing even further in order to turn it into a stencil, as I found working in photoshop took away the humour of the piece but working by hand was too tedious and bland but I still wanted the piece to have a ‘hand-made’ feel to it. After a lot of development and fine tuning I came up with this A2 design:
This piece is meant to be many things, it is both propaganda and portraiture, performance and visual. The portraiture side of this piece led me to add in a list of my ‘qualities’, which flits between negative and positive descriptions showing both sides to my personality and desperate situation: ‘FUN LOVING LONELY COOL SAD FREE SPIRIT’. I didn’t want the final poster to be perfectly presented, like the experiments I was getting out of photoshop as I felt that the messiness of it was important to show the honesty behind it. I am hoping that this piece confuses people, I hope people don’t know whether to take is as a joke or to take it seriously and get in contact, the piece contains my own contact details so I am interested to see whether anyone does try to use them. The title I have chosen ‘THIS IS A SERIOUS ADVERT’ is also meant to disorientate people between fiction and reality, does the audience laugh or do they get involved? This was inspired by my recent lectures on semiotics which has made me more aware of the viewers interpretation of my work and therefore made me question how much control I have over the work once it is out of my bedroom and into the studio for all to see. I am not usually an ‘image maker’ so I struggled a lot with getting this piece together, I am thinking of maybe turning the portrait of myself into a tag to start putting around places that I visit frequently to start making this identity and advertisement I have made recognised by everyday people possibly even mapping my journey into and around university using these stickers.