Project 44: Imitation Exercise PART 2

For PART 2 I am going to ask you to look at your selected artworks a little closer.

When we talk about a THEME we are talking about the fundamental or universal meaning of a piece of art. There are themes in LITERATURE, MUSIC, FILM, ART and PHOTOGRAPHY.

The THEME of a PHOTOGRAPH is not the same as a subject. Think about this picture by Dorthea Lange. She SUBJECT is a migrant farm worker and her children.



The THEME is usually the meaning behind the photo. The THEME for this photo could be: "Economic uncertainty" or "the pain of not being able to help your children." Subjects are usually nouns. Themes are verbs and adjectives.

We begin the process of exploring the theme by describing the photo in detail.
"This photo depicts a woman wearing shabby clothes. She is wearing no makeup and her hair is not styled. She is holding a baby and two children are leaning against her. They look like a family, although we cannot see the children's faces. They all look dirty. The woman has a far-away look. Her wrinkled forehead makes her look like she is worried about something. She is sitting in a tent or the shade of some temporary structure."  
The description of the photo helps provide evidence for the THEME I identified. If I identify "economic uncertainty" as the theme of this photo, I would need to explain how the photo shows economic uncertainty. In the case of this photo, the children are covered in dirt, the mother looks worried, they are not in a home. All of these elements work together to show the economic uncertainty of the scene. There is also sadness in her face and the fact that we cannot see the faces of the children.

THEME is the best way a photographer can express and emotion in his or her art.

For each of your emulation artworks, I want you to explore the THEME. There is no right or wrong theme. However, you can be on the mark or off the mark. Look at the photo carefully. Notice what elements in the photo explain the THEME. Use the graphic organizer below in Photoshop to complete this component of Project 44.