Monday, April 14, 2008

Jerry Uelsmann: Description of Artwork

This is the last quarter of my senior year. As a final assignment, Mr. Gallagher, my English teacher, wants us to write a fifteen-page research paper. This research paper is based on an artist. As a first step, I was asked to choose an artist who I am interested in and who have artwork that is able to attract my attention the most. Mr. Gallagher has given us a list of artist in which we can choose from. After roaming through the pages and artworks of these artists, I decide to choose the last name on the list—Jerry Uelsmann. He is a photographer who creates unique pieces of artwork. His photographs are motivating and inspiration. Most of his photographs are related to nature in some way. The unrealistic, and yet, real images in his photographs has caught my attention. I am interested in knowing the method he used in order to create such an effect in his photographs. Now, I am onto Step Three, where I must choose one to three pieces of his artwork. I must then try to describe them to the best of my ability and to make my reader see what I am seeing by painting a replica of the image with my own words.
I have only chosen one piece to write about because I can find a lot of information on this single piece. This confirms the declaration that “an image is worth a thousand words.” The piece that I choose does not have a title. It shows the image of a rectangular room that does not have a roof. We can only see three sides—two long and one short—of this room. The readers face the shorter wall. Because there is no roof, the sky can be seen. The sky is overwhelmed with clouds that range from light gray to dark gray. The clouds are puffy. The sky and the room take up a forty-sixty proportions. At about one inch away from the top and one inch way from the left side of the photograph, there is a sun-like object that casts blinding-white light. On the bottom left corner of the photograph, there is a door. The doorway is totally black. On the wall that faces the readers, there is a painting of a couple standing in front of a curtain. In the painting, they appear to stand on a balcony. Also, on that wall, there is a rectangular door. A light is hanging off from the top of this door. It is turned on and the light is white. On the right-hand side wall, there is a fireplace. There is a clock-like image above the mantel. It is circular and it is made up of two concentric circles with a point in the center. The clock is white; the light of the sun-like object has cast its light onto the clock. Near the bottom left hand side of the photograph, there is a table. On the table, there is a stand, which holds several sheets of paper. The paper on the top of the stand is filled with words and pencil marks. The stand and the paper are tilted by approximately sixty degrees Northwest. The table has six legs, three on each side. Two of the legs are connected on each side. There is a long white candle on the table; it is placed into a metal candle holder. On the top of these sheets of paper, there is a little white note. It is rectangular and it is the only object in the whole photograph that is actually white—pure white. And a person-like figure is standing on the white note. The person is a miniature. He is dressed in a black suit. A room-length carpet spreads on the room’s floor. The carpet has abstract patterns on it and it has a white embroidered border with black dots. In the fireplace, there are a few objects. However, since the photograph is in black and white, it is difficult to identify what the objects really are. Four blocks of wooden log are lying on the floor on the right hand side of the fireplace. They lie horizontally against the fireplace. Three of the logs have the same size while one of them is very narrow and flat. The flat and narrow log lies farthest away from the fireplace. On this side of the wall, there is a framed painting of a female character that is hung approximately half a inch above the black cabinet. On top of the cabinet, there is person-like figure dressed in white. She seems to be holding a brown teddy bear.

The first thing I noticed when I looked at this photograph for the first time is the cloudy sky and the sheets of white paper that is on the stand. In real life, there would not be a house that is open sky. However, in Jerry Uelsmann’s unrealistic photograph, there is. The reason the paper caught my attention is that it is white and that there is a note, that is whiter, lying on it. A miniature man dressed in black is standing on the note. This fascinates me and fills me with wonders. Because the photograph is in black and white, it is difficult to identify the identity of an object in the image. Therefore, the colors—black and white—plays a major role in Uelsmann’s photographs. The painting on the wall that faces the reader does not seem to be a painting. The couple seems to be real; they appear as if they are really standing on a balcony in the room. This is the strange part about the painting. A balcony supposed to be facing the outside with the curtains behind them. However, the balcony faces inward instead of outward. This is very interesting for me to research about and to explore. How does Uelsmann manage to do that. After carefully viewing the entire photograph, I find something interesting about it that is also similar in the other photographs that Uelsmann has taken. There are faces of different people in the photographs. In the fireplace, there are two faces—one of a man and one of a woman. The woman’s face is smaller in size compared to the man’s face. The sky is filled with faces—large and small in sizes. On the carpet that is on the floor, there appears to be an image of a lady at every corner. She appears to be wearing a crown. The only face that is actually large enough in size and specific facial expression is the face of a man who lies at the bottom right hand corner of the wall facing the readers. It appears to be sad and angry. It has beard hanging from his chin and he appears to be an elder.

*Note: all the person-like figure has been given a pronoun of she or he because she or he appears to be a female or male, although I had not specify

Tuesday, April 1, 2008