Brian McNeely – Concentration
What is the central idea of your concentration?
The central idea of my concentration is facial distortion. I have experimented through pushing the expressive potential of different facial features, contours, perspectives, and situations. Humor is a main theme, and my pieces are mostly caricatures. Using a variety of models and locations for my pieces allows the ideas and feelings expressed to range a wide span. Images that are differently composed and differently distorted can explore different visual ideas.
How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea? You may refer to specific images as examples. When referencing specific images, please indicate the image number.
I began by experimenting with different media and techniques before finding a process I felt comfortable with. I started with a realist approach to pastels (#1) because that was what I was used to, and I let the distortion of the face happen naturally from the situation of the image. I then branched out to pencils and tried drawing a stretched-out portrait (#2). My exploration of media and techniques continued with experimentation with charcoal and mixed media and the use of blind contour to distort the face (#3 and #4). In each piece, I focused on a different visual idea, emphasizing different parts of the face, like the mouth and jaw, the nose, the eyes, or sometimes distorting the whole figure to give the piece more context. Towards the end, I started adding a narrative element, thereby telling a different story with each piece (#9, #10, #11, #12).