“Emma is Still Alive” is a piece created by aspiring artist Klever Javier Cobena. Drawing inspiration from Tom Phillips “A Humument”, the artist conveys a dark, mystifying, and gruesome atmosphere within his piece, using the contrasting original work of Jane Austen’s “Emma”. The concept behind both of these works is taking any medium of literature (i.e. a book) and turning it it into something completely new using different design aesthetics and artistic techniques. Originally a story of a young girl living in an upper class home in England, Cobena re-works that story with the the intention of driving it as far away from the original concept as possible. Using horror as a medium, Cobena decides to tell a tale of a a gruesome massacre, using only his design aesthetics and few highlighted words already within the pages of the book. Within the composition, a vast majority of the pieces are composed of either black ink, black paint, or black cut paper. Cobena, preferring black as a sort of “negative” color, utilizes materials such as Micron Ink Pens, Pigma Brushes, and Black Gouache Paints to re-work and block out certain words within the pages. With the given emphasis on certain select words that weren’t blocked out, Cobena re-tells the story through the artwork spread throughout the page. Certain examples within “Emma is Still Alive” include pages within like “Here Lies her Sins” and “Vision Of Shadow”, that use overlaps of two pages to create a single composition. Cobena uses nothing more than an exacto knife and a pen to create these overlaps, and express a single idea and theme with an overlap of two pages. Cobena also strongly integrates the concept of certain patterns of staccato nature, and legato nature. Using these concepts, Cobena creates certain moods and certain ideas using patterns differing between these two traits. On one page for example, one can view a sort of blood pattern running down on the words of a page, created using only a colored pencil and an HB sketch pencil. It has a a flowing, smooth pattern, and gives the viewer that feel and imagery of a bloody mess. On another page, there are images of sharp, jagged edges blacked out with a pigma brush, giving the viewer a sense of danger. Other design asthetics included with the piece also include ambigeouity, where Cobena utilizes the words on the page to create a layout that is very eye wandering and complex. There are also stable compositions, where he instead makes a focal point on the composition, drawing the viewers attention to a specific spot. Although most of these pages consists of mostly black color schemes, there are also works of color included within the piece. Cobena skillfully shifts certain traits of pure bright colors like prismatic blues and reds, to make them less saturated, decreasing their value, and keeping the visualities of darkness and negativity to stick to his theme. All while conveying their intense expressions and ideas they were intended to.
This exhibit is presented by Jaichan Kirty. Jaichan Kirty was born and raised in Guyana, then moved to New York where he now lives and studies. Gathering inspiration from Tom Phillips’s altered text, A Humument, Kirty curate a project that integrates both words and visuals. Like Phillips, Kirty found an inexpensive used book entitled Portrait of Ivan. The Portrait of Ivan is about a young boy coming of age while he is also discovering himself. Kirty transformed this book into new artistic creations both in appearance, using ink, paint, pencil, cut-outs, and folding. Kirty also created a new title and theme for Portrait of Ivan. He had many ideas into the new title but finally decided on one, which is Portrait Van. The idea behind this new title came from the new juxtaposition theme for Portrait of Ivan, which is mysterious and creepy. This is a juxtaposition of Portrait of Ivan because a boy be coming of age is supposed to be nice and pleasant. The opposite of that is mysterious and creepy. In order for Kirty to create these compositions and start changing Portrait of Ivan into Portrait Van, Kirty blocked out a huge amount of the pages and selected words and phrases to emphasize. He then created images using those words and phrases he wanted to emphasize in that page of the book. The first piece of this exhibit is called “So that’s what it looks like”. Kirty has created a new window (a new view) into this book by using over-lapping to create an illusion of a boy, (Ivan) looking through a new page by cutting a square on the next page in the book. Kirty uses an X-Acto knife to carefully cut this square out of the page. Also Kirty uses sharpie markers to cover up a huge amount of the pages leaving out a few words that create its own new story. These words creates a whole new meaning of this page. “So that’s what it looks like”. The second piece is called “inside the house”. Kirty blocked out a huge amount of the page and selected words and phrases to emphasize. “Opening her eyes” and “Photograph of the house when it’s winter”, which he used to create images. The first image is an eye-opening and then he uses white computer paper to cut out the shape of a house to emphasize the “Photography of the house when it’s winter”. Kirty then used the cut out of the house and glued it on the previous page and used sharpie to create what it seems to be the inside of the house. The third and last piece of this exhibit is called “Blue Print”. “Blueprint” was created when Kirty painted over a picture with saturated primary colors. Kirty painted a blue box and inside that box is a print of a foot-step, hence the title Blue Print. After painting over the picture, Kirty then closed the book allowing the paint to print over on the other page creating a paint splatter effect. The resulting work merges image and text for each new project or concept in both courses he was taking COMD 1100 and English 1101.