ARTS 1301 Art Appreciation
Written Formal Analysis
Your Name: Stephanie Gonzalez
Artwork Information: 5 points
Artist’s name (or culture if there is no artist) Esther BubleyTitle of artwork Elevated Train Platform with Gum Machines, New York City
Year it was created 1947
Media used 1999
Visual Description: 20 points
Begin by describing the piece visually. Write as though your audience has never seen this work before. Is it representational, abstract, or non-objective? What is the subject? Is it a portrait? A landscape? A religious scene? A cluster of geometric shapes? Describe exactly what you see and how it is arranged. 150 word minimum.
The “Elevated Train Platform with Gum Machines, New York City”, by Esther Bubley, is a representational landscape piece of art that illustrates two men standing waiting for their train at a train platform. This art is taken diagonally as if the viewer is standing and looking to the left. The main focus the artist wants the viewer to see is the five bright red gum machines that are on five poles and two men standing in front of them. Both of the men are wearing suits. The first one is standing in front of the second pole and the second man is standing beside the fifth pole. The first gum machine to the right is closer to us and the fifth gum machine is farther away from us. The viewer can focus on the subject because everything else is blurry and faded off. In front of the men and the gum machines, there is a faded train track and some buildings that looks like shops.
Formal Analysis: Elements of Design: 30 points
Describe the form by breaking down the individual parts that make up the composition. Identify and analyze the dominant elements of design apparent in the work. You must discuss three of the elements. Fully analyze and explain their function in the work, and use the terminology from your readings. 75 word minimum for each element.
Elements of Design: Line, Shape, Space, Texture, Value, and Color
Element 1: Psychological lines are lines that do not exist in real life but create a visual sense. For example, in this work we look in the direction the two men are looking which tells us the train will probably come from the left side. Diagonal lines suggest movement in this work. The artist uses diagonal lines with the gum machines and the train tracks to act as if a person is walking by and seeing this.
Element 2: Space plays a big role in this work of art. Overlapping is shown in this art by showing that the figures to the right are closest to us and the figures to the left are farthest away from us. The man and the gum machine to the right appear to be right in front of us. Atmospheric perspective is also shown in this art. The buildings in front of the train track appear to fade away and lose color compared to the buildings closer to us on the right.
Element 3: Analogous colors are the colors that are directly next to each other on the color wheel. In this art, there are perfect examples of analogous colors. We see a pattern of the color red on the first gum machine, orange on the second, red on the third, and orange on the last gum machine. The building in front of the men is also red. The train track appears to be red-violet, similar to the suits the men are wearing.
Formal Analysis: Principles of Design: 30 points
Describe the form by breaking down the individual parts that make up the composition. Identify and analyze the dominant principles of design apparent in the work. You must discuss three of the principles. Fully analyze and explain their function in the work, and use the terminology from your readings. 75 word minimum for each principle.
Principles of Design: Balance, Emphasis, Scale ; Proportion, Movement, Rhythm ; Repetition, and Unity
Principle 1: Repetition refers to an object being repeated in a regular arrangement. As we can see in this art, there are five gum machines are perfectly lined up diagonally to where the viewer can see they are all similar. The first and second gum machine show a lot of detail, while the farthest ones show very little detail. By looking at the machines closest to us, we can automatically assume the other machines are identical too.
Principle 2: The artist uses scale and proportion to explain the size of his objects. By using depth and distance and aligning the gum machines with the men, we can see that the first gum machine on the right is closer to us than the man on the right. We can also say that the man on the far left appears to be taller since he is as tall as the gum machine, while the other man appears to be shorter.
Principle 3: Emphasis is where the artist directs the viewer to look and pay most attention too. In this art, most of the contrast is on the gum machines as they are a bright red and orange color. There is less contrast in the buildings as they seem to be blurrier compared to everything else. Therefore, the artist uses emphasis to make the focal point and have the viewers pay most attention to the gum machines and the men.
Content Analysis: 15 points
Analyze the content of the work, as well as the way the elements and principles of design contribute to your interpretation. What ideas are represented by this piece? Discuss any mood, idea, concept, emotion, or point of view present in the work. Use the elements and principles of design as evidence to support your analysis. 100 word minimum.
One idea represented by this piece could be to show the way New York used to be back in the 1900’s. With the use of analogous colors, red, orange and violet, it can show the viewers how many things were in bright colors. Also, the way the men are dressed show that they used to dress in suits and hats. By the use of emphasis, the author lets the viewers know what to pay attention too, which are the gum machines that are very bright in color. By using scale and proportion, the author lets the viewers feel as if they are at the train platform waiting for the train as well. Space allows the viewers to feel like they are closer to the gum machine on the right since it appears closer. Based on my interpretation, this piece of art gave me a feeling of calm and peaceful as if I’m ready to take the train and go home.