Week 2


Student name: Matt Hillesheim

Date of post: 8/9/2014

Topic and relevant lecture week: Artwork, Introduction Perception


Contextual information:

Artist – Jacob Bannon

Title – Axe to Fall

Year of creation –2009

Dimensions – 1379px vs 1225px

Collection/source – Converge album Áxe to Fall

Technique, material – Watercolour

Genre – Portrait

Style – Modern

Image URL / originhttp://uploads7.wikipaintings.org/images/rembrandt/self-portrait-with-plumed-beret-1629.jpg!Blog.jpg



An illustrated piece of artwork used as the cover for the band Converge on the record ‘Axe to Fall’, depicting a repeated image of a woman’s profile broken down in repetition. Each copy is differentiated from each other with one woman’s teeth being shown and various forms of indented lines on the woman’s neck. The women are depicted from side on slightly gazing upwards with a combination of warm and cold colours to create contrast between the woman’s features. Artist Jacob Bannon described the artwork as following; “just wanted to have something that felt timeless and sort of embodied the whole emotional gamut of the record, something that was explosive and powerful but also something that felt poetic and soft at the same time. It could look violent and beautiful at the same time”.


Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis

The image is highly saturated to stark contrast between the prominent colours. The rich saturation is due to technological processing and editing. The use of warm (blue) and cold (black, gold/brown, grey) colours are used to emphasize the contrast between the various features of the women. For example the blue emphasizes the neck area, gold/brown emphasizes the facial features and black emphasizes the space, eyes and the outline of the teeth.


Spatial organization

The focal point of the image is the bright blue colouring slightly below the centre of the image. This makes the audience view the bottom half of the image before moving up in an anti-clockwise manner to the woman on the right with the teeth before moving towards the left. Perspective is difficult to interpret due to the failure to see any depth or horizon in the image.



The light comes from the illustrated features of the women with a dark backdrop. In other words the colours (especially the bright blue) are the points which give the image light.


Expressive content

The image as a whole is difficult to fully take in without viewing for a period of time. The graininess and high saturation gives the image as a whole multiple layers and design elements. These features make the image cold and dark yet attractive through design and colour elements.


Contrasting elements with the use of colour almost make the user ignore the dark space. As it took me a while to realize the black space between head and neck gives an indication that the woman’s neck has been snapped. Illustrating the violent portion of the image as Jacob Bannon described. While the feminine features of the central woman are the beautiful aspects of the image.



Contextual information:

Artist – Edvard Munch

Title – The Scream

Year of creation –1893

Dimensions – 91cm x73.5cm

Collection/source – National Gallery, Oslo

Technique, material – Tempera, Cardboard

Genre – Landscape

Style – Modern Art

Image URL / originhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Scream.jpg



A painting of an alien like man screaming on a boardwalk during a settings sun. Edvard Munch described the scenario which inspired the painting in his diary as “One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream”.

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis

A wide range of colours is used in the painting with low saturation. Compared to the other example the colours and style is very organic. Value across the image changes between different sections and highlights. For example the boardwalk and water have dark (low value) highlights and the clothing of the central character and two background people have low value. In contrast to the bright yellow and orange sky which has high value.


Spatial organization

The vanishing point appears to be off the painting on the left side in line with the horizon. The horizon is somewhat skewed from the waved lines which helps emphasize the confusion and eeriness of the painting as a whole. These feelings evoked are emulated from the central figure whose body is waved itself, then leading the eyes to the sea and sky which is continually wavy. The central figure is the focal point and is viewed from the audience from above with the horizon.



The light in the painting suggestively comes from the red and orange background which signifies a sun setting. This is further proven as the dark highlights on the boardwalk implies a shadow.

Expressive content

The painting as illustrated in its title is to evoke the emotions of a scream. Suggestively in the form of distance between reality and delusion felt from the central figure as seen from the colours and waves. The reality is the realist form of a boardwalk occupied by seemingly normal human figure whereas the delusional aspect is in unnatural wave form. The central figure is portrayed as an unhuman alien like form in agony. It could either be suggested the central figure is unhuman or they are human and are experiencing feelings of disconnect with reality, which would mean the painting is the perspective of the central figure. The overall atmosphere is conceived as creepy or eerie because of the unnatural elements being connected with natural ‘normal’ elements.


Gillian Rose., (2001). Chapter 4: Semiology. In Gillian Rose., Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials, (pp.69 – 99). [Follow the link to this eBook, and click on Chapter 4.]








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