The Tempest 1

This postmodern piece is an illustration that signifies what it means to be looked at through layers of theoretical examinations that are historically rich in context and contemporary culture.

The Tempest 1

Throughout my academic career, I have been enamored by the way in which the female subject and the spectator create tension in the visual field; does she make the spectator aware of looking? Is she bound to the spectator’s pleasure?  Who is the author of her position? This postmodern piece is an illustration that signifies what it means to be looked at through layers of theoretical examinations that are historically rich in context and contemporary culture.

The background supporting the classically positioned figure consists of ripped paper representing the ideological fragments in which the female subject positions herself for viewing. The Surrealistic connotation is a deeper element of fantasy that meets the viewer somewhere between asleep and awake. This is where the collage of painted paper hides the emotion that drives the figure into submission. The simple line drawing emphasizes a lyrical fluidity representing the beauty the female figure possesses and is often obsessed over. The vintage paper comes from my personal 1944 copy of Shakespeare’s comedy, The Tempest…itself open to a variety of interpretations connotating spectacle, allegory and enchantment, adding to the mystery of the work.

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Shappee, M. The Tempest 1. 2020. 18″ x 36″ Collage. Mixed Media: Paper, Acrylic Paint, and Vintage Paper on Canvas.

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