Wednesday, February 17, 2010

MIA | Transformation of Animals

Animals are portrayed in so many ways. Natural form and color, cartoon and illustrative, abstract, etc etc. The three pieces I have chosen from the MIA all relate to each other in the sense of transformation from their natural state.
The key to this exhibit is the lack of color, the over abundance of white and hygienic. The rooms must all be this way to show the make the colors jump more. Keep this in mind throughout the layout.

Panda by Takashi Murakami

The first piece, in the center of a room, is Panda by Takashi Murakami. The viewer notices the cartoon like qualities of the panda... the bright colors, the big smile, the goofy eyes. The viewer recognizes it's an animal, just a variation of it's natural form. It brings thoughts of cartoons and possibly even pop music on speed. The animal is recognizable but it has been abstracted from it's natural state. The bold statement of color brings the viewer in and wondering what could possibly be next.

Tribe, from "Survival" by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Going through a doorway the viewer is brought to another room with a partial wall placed in the center of the room. On the partial wall, the piece "Tribe, from 'Survival'" hangs. It shows a hare. It's easy to recognize the animal it is by it's tail and ears, but it's still not a detailed animal. It's less detailed than the Panda sculpture. It involves less color, too. It seems like it's only a silhouette... so it transforms into a shape with no depth. It's becoming more simple. How is this relating to the sculpture Panda that was in the room before? Though the painting is quite simple in comparison, it still has a two bold colors, yellow and red, to create the hare. The notice of bold colors and theme of an animal is what keeps these two cohesive.

Golden Bird by Constantin Brancusi

Through the last doorway, the viewer is brought to the third and final room. In the center is the Golden Bird by Constantin Brancusi. The final transformation. The color, the shape, the depth... nothing of this resembles any animal at first glance. The only way it is even legible as an animal is the graceful movement in the sculpture. It's beautiful and simple, just as a bird is. No bird has this sort of gold in reality, though they may capture that essence. What about this one? How is this all still a cohesive unit? Gold is bold. It isn't quite like an average color palette color, it's just bold in itself. It seems luxurious rather than brash, like the past two. It has an elegance to it that nicely contrasts the past two and their differences. The Golden Bird is the final piece... the transformation is now complete. The gallery is over.

Image Sources:
Panda by Takashi Muramaki -
Tribe, from "Survival" by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith -
Golden Bird by
Constantin Brancusi -


  1. Very interesting that you and Emily picked one of the same pieces but in the way that you both have described them gives them a very different feeling.

  2. That panda is actually from a cartoon/anime titled "Superflat" that was a promotion tool honoring Louis Vuitton. (Monogram, 2007) (First Love, 2009)

    And the music is by Fantastic Plastic Machine which fits your description, "pop music on speed."