Monday, November 17, 2014

Contemporary Art (pt. 4)

The American artist Alfred Leslie modeled his work after Caravaggio.  His realistic artwork, very similar to Hard-Edge painting, frequently uses lighting to create stark contrasts and vividly defined images.  In his painting entitled 7A.M. News, from 1978, we notice a lone woman holding a newspaper with only photographs and no words.  She sits in a barren room in front of a table with a plate (holding an egg), a coffee cup, and a small television set.  The lighting of the room is artificial, coming from the tv.  Interestingly enough, however, the woman looks upward, as if expecting an overhead, or heavenly light to come down on her (as in Caravaggio's Conversion of St. Paul).  But the room is completely empty otherwise.  The woman is surrounded by media influences: the newspaper and the television.  Perhaps she looks up in the spirit of wanting something more than just media and news, but the artist keeps her trapped within the painting, as if to assert that there can be no escape from such an environment.  This is the attitude of the Postmodern world, maybe even more so today, in America.

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