Classical Constraints

The cornerstone project of my undergraduate study at George Mason University.
Classical Constraints

Classical Constraints

Charcoal on paper

Classical Constraints #1

Classical Constraints #1

Charcoal on paper

Classical Constraints #2

Classical Constraints #2

Charcoal on paper

Classical Constraints #3

Classical Constraints #3

Charcoal on paper

    In this series, entitled Classical Constraints, I explore the containment of two-dimensional art by the traditional rectangular frame.  Historically, two-dimensional art has been limited to the rectilinear shape of a canvas or paper and consequently contained by a frame.  The frame constricts the content of the work to a specific size and space, thus regulating the layout of the content itself through its arbitrary boundaries.  My project seeks to call attention to this limitation by portraying life size figures that are conscious of the frame and in turn interact with it.  The figures grapple with their prisons in various ways, whether pushing against its walls, peering outside the space they inhabit, or stepping out of the frame all together.  Regardless of each body’s specific motion, the figures seek to escape from their boundaries, and in turn, question centuries of artistic tradition.

      The element that I find most striking about this project is the concept of art as meta-art.  Classical Constraints is a work of art that comments upon art itself, using rendered figures to highlight art conventions, specifically the rectilinear frame.  The drawn figures are aware of their existence as an element of an artwork and attempt to break free of its artificial, arbitrary limits.  The meta-art concept transforms the work from a simple rendering of figures to a dialogue that questions artistic conventions and the value of tradition in the contemporary age.

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