A hybrid piece which makes use of graphite, ink and digital manipulation.

The screen cap I had to work with today involved an archetypal hostage narrative, where urban terrorists held innocent locals captive at gunpoint. As they planned to blow open the armored truck they hiked, the hero (center) schemed a non-violent method of removal.

Rather than dive into the representation I’ve been working back into for this project, I pushed a few timeline points toward pure abstraction. However, the picture plane is still solid and visible and individual rectangular units move about the plane in humanistic roles. The aggressive figure holding the gun (center right) menaces the milder shapes to the left, both in terms of an out-jutting abstraction of arm and gun, and via the sharp-edged wedge of light he stands on. Overlapping environmental elements locate the abstracted scene in a kind of hybrid, time-spanning physical geography.

The hero juts into the center, partially out of the picture plane (suggesting he his rooted in reality). His rectangular form indicates the complexity of thought (with punctuations of clarity) needed to resolve the situation.

Why did I choose dark rectangles to represent the menacing forces? Not all of the bad guys are dark–one is gray, but the two men with guns were given darker tone so that they would stand out most against the light desert. I experimented with leaving the aggressive elements white, light gray or pinkish, but found they lacked a certain punch when contrasted with more neutral areas. Black is a strong, dominating tone in gray scale and worked well for the idea.

Why rectangles? And why am I asking myself questions? 🙂 I distilled the forms down into essential, upright shapes, with a nod to Theo Van Doesberg’s cow and, oddly to the repeated representations I found of the World Trade Center towers today. The skyscrapers were naturally propagated across news stations and social media networks on 9/11, and I was struck by the immensely powerful presence of hard-edged rectangular forms. They at once call to mind the all-knowing monoliths of 2001 and 2010–while existing with undeniable strength of design against a clean sky. Seeing the before and after skyline images repeated as a rhythm for the day, the immense void left by the absence of such strong geometrics led to my inclusion of them in this interpretive scene.

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