Concentration Commentary

(or Artist Statement)

  Please email your 1st draft to:

<> or <>

by April 25 or sooner.


Commentary Questions:

What is the central idea of your Concentration?

How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea?  You may refer to specific images as examples.


How to begin your statement:

1.  Go to and read the short write up on how to write a good artist statement.

2.  Read your example sheets below ( or refer to past year student Powerpoints on our server or go to <> for more examples):

3.  Begin by answering these questions

Title of theme:

Expand on the meaning of the concept:

Why your theme intrigues you or is of particular interest to you:

The media and materials you are using:

Why are you using them?

How does it tie into your theme?

Describe what you principles and elements of design (or metaphor or symbol) you are working with and how it ties in to the theme and concept:

Describe the compositional tools that you are experimenting with and how it ties in to the theme and concept:

List the artists or schools of art that are influencing you.  Describe how they are influencing you.

4.  Begin to form these ideas into two paragraphs answering the two Commentary Questions above.


Artist Statement 1

    My concentration is a series of abstractions constructed using pastel and ink. I decided to explore the concept of stylizing various shapes and designs found in both nature as well as technology. I chose to focus on zooming in on specially the lines and shapes of these designs and creating animate abstractions from them.

    When I first started my concentrations, I created my abstractions from still lives that I had set up. These first concentrations, such as numbers 1, 2 and 3, were geometrically balanced and had an overall scheme to them which prevented them from having a clear focal point. However, I widened the variety of pictures from which I was creating my abstractions and began focusing on computerized designs and images from nature. I focused on the movement of the lines in each picture and embellished them to that they could embody the shape of the design. The negative spaces that the ink encompasses become the placeholders for the color. The lines eventually began to transform into shapes themselves, such as in concentrations 7 and on. The color palette also began to change as my concentrations progress; I began with mostly analogous colors but eventually became more confident in my color choices. Starting with concentration number 9, I began exploring with complimentary colors and different blending techniques. The transformation of my concentrations enabled me to create this seemingly spontaneous series. However, each piece required careful planning and drafting which was later become more complex and intricate. 

Artist Statement 2


    I was interested by the possibility that ordinary games could be depicted dramatically to evoke a sense of grandeur.  I sought to find unusual vantage points that a player might not normally see. I used charcoal to establish dark rich volumes and ebony pencil to render intricate details and subtle reflections. In my series, I placed special emphasis on perspective, illusion of depth, and exaggeration of proportion to give the game pieces a definitive, towering prominence in the composition.

    From the beginning, I employed spatial and proportional exaggeration as a means to lend to the game pieces an air of importance. Starting from my first drawing, I employed a “peek-a-boo” effect, enlarging a pawn at the corner of the composition in order to break the page, create an illusion of depth, and most importantly create a bridge from my vision into the world of the audience. In # 3 (Connect-Four), I began to embrace an ant’s perspective and the Connect-Four slots became a majestic monolith. This was a theme I carried throughout my 7th and 8th pieces in which the “Sorry” pieces and beer bottles, respectively, served to create a distinct world—almost a maze, through which the ant—and the viewer’s eye—wanders. Beginning with #10 (mahjong), I developed the concept to depict game pieces in such a way that they seemed to be falling on top of or speeding towards the viewer, establishing a more dramatic atmosphere. This was achieved by juxtaposing objects of extreme proportions to really attain that “in-your-face” feel. The concept is apparent in both my 10th piece, in which the mahjong piece seems to begin descending onto the viewer, and my 11th piece, in which the large king chess piece held by the hand is almost an ominous overhang above the viewer, almost as a human foot would crush an ant. This impression was perhaps best captured in my final piece, in which the die assumes massive proportions and seems to be speeding towards the face of the viewer.


 Artist Statement 3


    My concentration revolves around the theme of isolation and alienation in the modern world using the subway as my context. I was intrigued by the downcast and exhausted body language and expressions of commuters in transit. I found the subway particularly evocative because, despite the suffocating proximity and unusually closeness of the other commuters, each person was intently contemplating their own lives, completely unaware that everyone else was consumed by the same personal reflection.

      The concept behind my concentration was always about the isolation of people in modern society but my pieces evolved from simply observing commuters to making the viewer become a part of the scene. In #’s 1-3 there is a definite separation between the viewer and the piece but by #12 the viewer feels as if they are on the subway, being tilted and pushed into the mass of humanity around them. In #4 I reached a turning point in my work because the viewer was invited to become another passenger on the subway. I began adding cut paper and elevating my focal points form the paper in #5 to further show the chaotic atmosphere of the subway. In preparation for each drawing I began taking pictures undetected on the subway that often turned out at strange and tilted angles. I began to employ this tilted perspective in the background of #6 to further emphasize the jostling of the subway. Having established the crowed feeling I began to use the harsh florescent lighting of the subway to emphasize the focal point in each piece. I began exaggerating the contrast on the clothes and especially the faces of my subjects in #10 to illustrate the downcast and pensive expressions of someone caught up in their own thoughts. In addition, I drew on paper bags to show the leathery and alienated faces of commuters in a working community. I made the subway out of tracing paper because it captured the boldness of the black and white charcoal, which created the uninviting and cold surface of the subway walls. In the same piece I began to vary the distance of my subjects from the viewer, intensifying the allusion that the viewer was a commuter on the train as well. In #12 I further increased the contrast of the piece so that the majority of the commuters were hidden in the dark underbelly of the subway while my focal point was bathed in the alienating glow of the lights above, isolating him from the surrounding people.