Monday, April 14, 2008

"Yellow side, Red Side" by Jim Dine

When one first looks upon Jim Dine’s “Yellow Side, Red Side” immediately the deep reds in the center of the piece catch your eye. What looks like the shape of a heart, Dine uses the color ruby red to bring out true shape of abstract love. However with love the shape also resembles that of a strawberry which could prove that Dine was just in the mood for something sweet lead on by the love of food. Ones eye then notices the shape of flowers next though out the composition. Dark charcoal type colors fill the flowers which could mean many of different things such as with love comes darkness or obstacles. Or with love, with life comes growth, beauty, something flowers are known to symbolize. Dine uses a certain art technique which is fascinating because of his known creditability for being a “pop artist.” When he designed his flowers for this particular piece he used the technique known as aquatint and dry point, or a similar way of calling it printmaking. Its easily noticeable the way he designs the flowers, they are a ink base type medium which is darkly printed over the red background but then fades slightly when printed in the soft yellow background. It’s then interesting how Dine uses Jackson Polacks famous, drip painting technique over his own piece. He uses a dark red, like the heart in the center of the page and drips it all over his piece. He then brushes it out and forms these deep swirls all along his piece, leaving some of it in the style of drip and then the other in his own unique style. The backgrounds are just as intriguing as the piece as a whole. On the left of the page the background is filled with a soft lemon type yellow which brings calm to the whole thing. Dine has so much going on in the foreground that when the viewer does take notice of the background it brings out a calm from the whole storm he has imagined. On the right side is a soft red, more towards baby pink. Its easily noticeable that Dine used mixed his primary colors yellow and red with white to form these soft less distracting colors.

Also in the middle of the art work is a dark steam which connects with the flowers to create a dark flow through this piece. Going back to the flowers its interesting how Dine does this with his work. The soft backgrounds and deep foreground would have been enough to follow his typical flow of pop art, but instead he decides to include these dark images to set off the colors. The way his aquatint medium works is it’s a process using flat inks or a wash drawing by etching on a copper plate. It think connects with dry point because it’s a technique used to produce a print which connects to a form of printmaking. When closely looked at, Dine printed his image first on the red side, then to the yellow but then there are soft almost none noticeable dark marks not inline with the flowers on the yellow side. It looks like Dine reversed his image and lightly stand the opposite side of the image also on the yellow side, but not on the red. Its also noticeable that the dipping was not print made because there is more red on the pink side then on the yellow. It also looks as if Dine got some of the drips of ink onto the yellow side because there is traces of black dots throughout that particular side.

Dine uses these two pictures and puts a soft white background to these colorful pieces. It looks as if they are photographs which could show that this work is something that occurs in everyday life. It’s as if someone photographs a picture of themselves, this piece has a life and heart of its own. It endures the darkness of everyday society but at the same time it also grows and matures, like a tree. The heart, the source of all life, the main focus to humans stands out more then life itself. Without a heart there is no life, so soul, so art. Dine truly steps out of his normal pop art boundaries to form this unique piece of pop art, which is why he is a artist genius in eyes of many.

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