Posted by Blair Warren
People sometimes believe that the difference between their own convictions or way of thought to that of another's is merely their counterpart's misconstruction of a concept. Is this really accurate? Do we as humans have the liberty to categorize a person's beliefs or process of thought as right or wrong, with no space in-between?
Rebecca Baruc '15, an American Studies major and Studio Art minor, said, "When I look at things like the human form, I see abstractions and lines intersected. That's how you translate something onto two-dimensional paper. It's like you're creating an illusion when you're doing a portrait." Rebecca makes a good point, relative not only to creating art but also in the understanding of others. Everything that is believed is, in one way or another, an illusion of 'truths' that belong to the processes of one's own mind.
Rebecca attended the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland last semester and is back on the Skidmore campus this semester. During her term away, she spent focused time cultivating not only her art, but also the processing of it.
"It was exciting, I really loved it. It was two weeks of printmaking, two weeks of live model and two months of free time for self-determined studio art." When she returned to Skidmore, her works were exhibited from Jan. 21 - 27 in the Case Gallery of Case Center. Each piece represents not only her artistic talent, but also her own way of seeing the world and the people in it.
"I didn't title any of these pieces because I didn't want to be pedantic, by saying 'this is called this, so you should think that,'" Rebecca said, but one of her pieces that stuck out she sometimes referred to as 'The Feminist Essay Procrastination'.
"I had one essay to write the whole term about anything in art history, so I decided to write about feminism in contemporary art. Every time I sat down to write the essay, though, I would procrastinate by drawing these self-portraits. I don't think any of them look exactly like me, but they're all essences of who I am. It's multi-faceted, which is the conclusion of feminism in art today and is not constituted by just one female artist. Also, feminism in art history is what allowed me to become a confident female art student today."
Rebecca finds inspiration in the works of naturalist painters, specifically John Singer Sargent. She also admires the innovation of Klimt as well as the interactive, performance art pieces of Aneesh Kapoor.
While abroad, Rebecca discovered new ways of expressing what she saw in both the world and in people in her artwork.
"I've been really obsessed with delineation; it was an obsession I wanted to pursue. I also wanted to get over treating things as precious. So, I had this portrait of my friend and I delineated the color areas. I decided I've done a lot of portraits, so this doesn't have to precious. I also doodle a lot, so I wanted to take that line and make it invade a nice portrait. It's all connected; it started in the life room, where I had to draw her [a nude woman] as she moved, but then I put my geometric doodling into it. This made me see her form as abstract shapes, which then creeped into everything I did."
Rebecca explained the importance of letting go of preconceived notions of what may seem right or wrong, giving the mind an openness to freeform, let things take shape, and create.
"I learned not to judge the process. For example, with delineation and doodling, I was told to explore different surfaces to do it on. At one point I was sitting at my desk delineating a toilet paper roll and wondering, why am I doing this? It's so easy to judge something that you're doing but I learned that it was all part of a larger process, which is probably the best thing I learned. I hope that people take away from this how to not feel scared about pursuing their curiosities. Just don't filter yourself."