Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tom Phillips' "A Humument"

Page 33

On page 33 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips expresses his deep emotions through his artwork and writing by combining them into one piece and exhibits them with distinct displays of colors, sketch marks, shapes, and text. Phillips had many pieces that displayed his feelings but in this piece he tells a story through a few words. The words he circled and highlighted the words by sketching black marks all around them made the piece stand out even before it was maximized on the screen.

Page 33 is a document that has writing set up into paragraphs that are all scratched up in a organized way beginning from the middle and coming out to every corner and side. The scratched up imagery of the piece was a coral- black that ends up disguising the writing surrounded by the words that are circled and boxed in. The other color besides the coal-black was a cherry- red that Phillips used to box in the other words that were imminent to his piece. The next huge color on the page that at times may be neglected through the piece is the general color of the document, which is a pigment of a light salmon- pink, the color may symbolize the color of human flesh or of the color of love, Phillips uses the light color on the bottom to bring the other colors on top of it to stand out because they are the ones that create meaning through his piece. These colors are similar and different alike but the colors are used to express his passion at that moment in time when he was creating the piece and tells a story to the audience through a couple of words.

The first thing that visually seizes your attention when you look at the piece is the several words at the top of the piece that are boxed in with the coal- black and the cherry- red, darkly and precisely highlighted with the two colors. The second thing you notice in the piece is the single lonely word that is circled with a coral- black. The final things that are noticed through viewing page 33 is the organized sketch marks that look like spider webs because there are two very similar and visible sketches that are surrounding both of the phrases in the piece that are highlighted. At one point in the middle of the page the two sketch marks become intertwined. The piece could also be looked at, as if you were looking into a cave and at the end of the cave are the words that Phillips chose to emphasize in his piece. The sketch marks could also be a visual of the reader going into a time warp. The imagery may in fact visually be attempting to literally pull the reader in the words so they can read them and understand what Phillips message is through a couple of phrases. Phillips chooses his colors and imagery wisely in order to have the reader’s attention focused in an organized and understanding way so his message can be insightful to the reader because Phillips physical art guides the reader through his work and into his mind of mixed and insightful emotions.

The visual piece of the Phillips’ page 33 is very important to understanding the page, but not only the colors, text, shapes and sketches create his true meaning the fact that the piece is untitled shows that Phillips wants the audience to come up with their own title and find their own meanings through his work, or it may be because Phillips who is a very talented artist believes that he needs no title to give the piece true meaning, the true meaning is in the art piece.

The font that Phillips used was very small and hard to read, the purpose of the font size and type was to hide the story but emphasize the words in the boxes in circles because those few words tell the story. The font also makes the story seem almost like it has to physically and visually hidden from the world. The words that were emphasized in the piece beginning from where the piece visually caught your eye was at the top where the words were boxed in by two dark colors, coral-black and cherry- red was as follows, “he had when first two necromancers, love.” The first sentence means that “he” as in Phillips had his first two “necromancers” meaning people who do some sort of black magic, Phillips describes them as two people because they are in noun form so Phillips may have had fallen in love with two enchantresses which are two women who are very attractive and uses magic or sorcery to put something or someone under a spell. The next few words are separated by a cherry- red thicker line which meant that Phillips wanted the two sides separated even though they are both physically on the top of the page the phrase says as follows, “coloured it with colors, and filled it with objects of ambition.” Generally the word “coloured” was used in the early 17th century to describe a skin color but Phillips used it to say that he coloured his love for the enchantresses with many colors or with various feelings and emotions. The last part of the sentence Phillips says that he also filled those feelings and emotions that initially are accompanied by nothing less than objects of Phillips commitment. The last word Phillips emphasizes is “softly” which was toward the bottom of the page in the last paragraph, Phillips says that his feelings were being expressed softly as to not harm anything.

The story in the art piece that Phillips created is meaning to say is that he had this positive intention with these two enchantresses and showed his love to them through his subtle feelings and emotions, but demonstrated softly as to not hurt what he had with them. The text, colors, shapes, scratch marks all show that Phillips was creating a guide with his art in order to lead the reader to the true meaning in his work which was his personal story based on those few words. The story could have been originally based on someone else’s life but Phillips made it his own life by emphasizing words and creating meaning in that sense. The words he chose told the reader how Phillips was feeling, he felt like he had put all his determination into two people and it caused him to realize that he was wasting his time and his life.


Jessica F. 6 said...

For this Formal piece I felt like it was an improvement since the beginning of the year. The piece also had to do with art, just like my previous piece. The page 33 which was the one I wrote about and the Humument which was the book it was in were both filled with text and colors. Those texts and colors told a story. Analyzing a piece of art has improved my way of writing because we had to go beyond just colors and shapes and add more detail and vocabulary to the writing piece.