Art History Comparison Paper

Submitted By batmanbegins718
Words: 1009
Pages: 5

Comparing Two Works of Art I went to the Swope Art Museum for the second time as required in the class assignment, and I found it just as rewarding as the first time I visited. I made time to go in, find my piece, and quickly leave after I had taken a few pictures. Instead, I lost track of time and completely ignored my phone. The artwork was so captivating, and all the pieces took my attention. Most of the pieces were ones I had seen already, but I noticed things I hadn’t noticed in the first place. After taking my time to choose my first painting, I finally decided. I chose the painting called Daily News. When you first take a look at the artwork, you notice the naked woman leaning against the wall while sitting on a stool. Although it is clear the woman is upset, you cannot realize why until you really focus on the rest of the painting. A closer look will show you that on the newspaper that is laying on the floor, the front page has an article written about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The first painting, Daily News, is quite similar to the second painting I chose. This piece is called, Young Man Desires Position, and it also contains a person slouched over. This depicts a man who has graduated from art school, and he is trying to find a job unsuccessfully. You can tell this is what causes him to look so solemn because of the portfolio leaning against the wall contains artwork. Also, his position on the chair is slouched, and his facial expression shows gloom as well. This shows that he is still finding a job that suits his qualifications, but it has been a difficult process. Although the motivation behind each of these works are different, they are similar because of the inspiration that caused the artists to want to paint these. The inspiration came from their personal lives. In Daily News, Billy Marrow Jackson, the artist, was married to a black woman. Being a white man himself, the interracial marriage caused many attacks which included the defacement of their home. The emotions caused by how they were treated gave Jackson the inspiration to create this piece. The artist that painted Young Man Desires Position, Gordon Samstag, was having a very difficult time getting a job doing what he was qualified to do. Samstag was faced with many struggles which included making a living for himself. He had the opportunity to give up on his dream to pursue a different career, but instead he pushed himself through and eventually started making money by selling his artwork. The inspiration that caused both of the pieces to be created was from each of the artist’s personal life. In this way, the two paintings are similar. Although the paintings seem different, there are a few other ways in how they are similar. There are many principles of design that both pieces have in common. The first example would be unity. Both pieces have a person as their focal point, making them necessary to the composition of the piece as a whole. Both works of art also have horizontal balance. In Daily News, the use of the doors in the painting create horizontal balance. The doors on the left side and the window and doorframe on the right seem to even out in visual emphasis. Horizontal balance is also present in Young Man Desires Position, his coat on the wall opposite the man creates visual balance. Both of these two artists created people for their focal points. The woman is emphasized by being the middle, displaying the important meaning she plays in the piece. The point of this artwork is her distress over the article on the newspaper. The man is not centered, but he is painted as larger than the rest,