Instagram Critique — Erika’s “Who Am I”

ErikaLee_Art - Who Am I

Another AP Art Studio critique for Erika! It’s really satisfying to see the bridging of concepts and stylistic elements from the previous piece of hers that I critiqued, such as her use of tape as a symbol of projected self-image and the contrasting balance of geometry obscuring figuration. A good portfolio should not only display technical skills, but also a clarity of concept across work!

Artist: Erika / @erikalee_art
Critique Format
: 50 minutes / Instagram comment
Requested Feedback: General Feedback / Concept

Hi Erika! Thanks for tagging us!

In this piece, your concept and method of conveying it caught my attention first. Physiognomy is certainly a head turning word, and your explanation and example provides a lot of groundwork for how the viewer is to view the piece. I’m curious what one might think without that context, but I suppose it’s a moot point. Your description of it as a pseudoscience charges the concept as something that you and the viewer should consider with skepticism.

With this in mind, the green geometry of the taped lines over your face immediately grabs the eye. I’ll note that as the central focus, it also bears the most scrutiny for craft. I notice that your rendering of the points and lines of the geometry is a little more crude than the example you’re referencing, perhaps as a result of the medium. There is a hint of disorganization in the assembly of the lines – it seems that the “dots” were placed on the piece first, then the lines applied in no particular order second. Perhaps a more unified look could be achieved by putting the dots on last? Or a second dot to “cap” the lines. This is of course a pretty negligible detail, but I figured worth mentioning to drive in the point that your focal point will give the first impression of the piece as a whole.

A more exciting observation (besides the lovely compositional lines) is how the subject matter references and reinforces your concept of self-image and self-fulfilling prophecy. The mirror, the hand in front of it, and the subtle recreation of the piece on the drawing board all point to the multifaceted nature of self-image, and collectively nod to the viewer’s lens as another facet of self. You see yourself drawing yourself, and thus become yourself – both as drawing and artist. But is that perception real? Or does it only become real because you made it? Though perhaps those questions aren’t meant to be answered, the physiognomic geometry and your description of it hints at an answer – these self-perceptions are a scientific process. Maybe they will become outdated and deemed pseudoscience eventually, but they were real and believed by some before.

I’m out of characters!

-Chris @ CritHub

Check out Erika’s work on Instagram:

Chris Schneider
Founder of CritHub and multidisciplinary sculptor.