MAS 963 People I


Since several of you will be out next Thursday and most of you are in the midst of preparing for a week of consortium meetings, I am not going to give a formal reading or design assignment this week.

To start our section on the representation of individuals, I would like you all to do the following exercise:

In a recent New Yorker article about Rembrandt, the critic Simon Schama said

In fact, portraits are a three-way negotiation, involving the sitter's sense of identity, the painter's perception of that identity, and the social conventions that the portrait is expected to satisfy... In seventeenth centruy Holland, artists were required to supply a good likeness of the sitter, but even artists who gave little thought to such matters assumed that a likeness would be something other than a facsimile

I'd like for you to find 3 examples of "portraits". One should be textual - a written description (by someone else) of a person. One should be a painting or drawing. And one should be a photograph. Include the text passage and the images on your assignment page. For each one, describe what the portait says about the person and how it does so. Does it call upon a common vocabulary of cultural icons to place the subject in a particular role or subculture? Is the portrait of a real or fictional person? Do you think the subject would agree with or like your assessment? What is the portraitist role in this process?

This assignment is due Tuesday Oct 19 by 5:00 p.m. Please submit the URL of your designs online.