Length: 1370 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)
I. Phenomenological Description and Interpretation
All five of the archetypal shapes are in my self-portrait. First of all, the outside appearance is that of a square of rectangle. I feel that people who do not know me do not perceive any of the characteristics that the other shapes represent. Stability is the only characteristic represented by the shapes that people perceive of me. Inside my stable world is a circle in the middle of the bottom of the box. Within the circle is a triangle. This represents how spirituality is the center of my inner self and I find balance within my spirituality. Coming up from the center of the box is a spiral. As the spiral reaches its apex, there is an equidistant cross. This represents how I am constantly growing in order to reach a critical decision-making time of my life (what I want to do for the rest of my life).
All of the Yoruba chromatics have been used in portraying my personality. But the most abundant type by far is dudu. The majority of the inside of my box are colors of brown, black, and gray. These colors show how I am very practical and down to earth. People who do not know me see me as down to earth and this does not change even when one gets to know me. The person at the bottom of the box has all three types on him. This represents how at some point in time my close friends see all the personality traits (aloof, passionate, and practical). The inside of the circle at the bottom of the box is colored orange. This shows how I am more passionate when it comes to my spirituality. The inside of the triangle is colored shades of red and blue. This shows how I am passionate, yet cool since I have found a balance.
The color contrast of my self-portrait is very weak. There are no strong contrasts between light and dark. I am not dramatic or intense by any means. The weak contrast in colors illustrates how I have a subtle personality. The lack of pastel colors shows that I do not have a delicate personality.
The line directions in my self-portrait are all horizontal and vertical. The majority of the direction is horizontal, which shows how my personality is very passive. The vertical lines show that I have a stable personality as well as the potential to be dynamic.
The lack of diagonal lines demonstrates how I do not have a dramatic personality. All of the line types in my self-portrait are straight and regular lines. This shows how I have a highly regimented and rigid personality. I am not artistic nor chaotic nor irritating or boring.
The texture of the outside of my box is very random. Since it is covered in aluminum foil, there are a different variety of textures. It all depends on how or where you look at it (me). Some parts are smooth and some are rough. Some parts are bumpy and some parts are sharp and jagged. The diverse textures on the box show how different people might perceive me different ways depending on how and where you look at me. The inside of the box has small ridges that cover the entire inside. The ridges in the box are like the ocean or a lake on a calm, tranquil day. This shows how, overall, I am a calm and tranquil person. The person at the bottom of the box is fuzzy. This shows how I am a caring and loving person. The tape hovering over the bottom of the box is smooth which illustrates how when you start to get to know me, I am easy to get along with.
The outside surface of by box is completely covered with aluminum foil. Tin foil can produce a very ambiguous picture. If you glance at the box, you might get a glimpse of who you are but it is very vague. As you look closer at certain spot that reflects, you can begin to make out who you are. Not every spot on the foil will reflect a picture. It almost looks confusing. The use of tin foil demonstrates how I might confuse people at first but if you look at me closely and in the right spot, I reflect the feelings and ideas of people around me.
My self-portrait starts of with a tin foil box. As said above, you have to see me the right way in order to reflect yourself. Once you open me up, there are strips of tape that make a sort of fence before you get to the real me. This shows how even though once you open me up, you still have to do a little bit of work to get to know who I really am. At the bottom of the box is where are all of my true traits are. Only the people who really know me see these traits. The circle is in the middle, which shows how my spirituality is the center part of my life. Around that are a finish line, a dog, a person, and a picture of a thunderstorm with lightning. The finish line represents how I am goal-oriented and competitive. It also represents how I am strong-minded (when I put my mind on something, I do it). The dog shows how I am a loyal and faithful person. This goes as far as from my friends to my spirituality. The fuzzy person represents how I am friendly and my friends are a very important part of my life. The thunderstorm and lightning show how I am love nature and weather. This is important because it is what I might do with the rest of my life. All of these qualities seem to revolve around my spirituality and
balance with the spiral leading up to the cross to show that I have grown and changed in order make the upcoming decision to determine my future as a human being.
II. Formalist Interpretation
Traditional African Aesthetic Formalisms was one theme studied in the unit of formalism that inspired me. The Yoruba chromatics (dudu, fun-fun, and pupa) can be seen in my project. The way they used certain types of colors to represent traits about your personality is spectacular. The Australian Aboriginal DreamTime art also relates to my self-portrait. The picture of the thunderstorm and lightning in my self-portrait is a symbol, which comes from the ancient Australian Aborigines. Both of theses works of art used in my project came from active learning workshops that we did throughout the semester.
III. Expressionist Interpretation
Spirituality, Healing, and Transcendence is one theme of expressionism that relates to my self-portrait. The Navajo night chant was used in order to heal people that were sick. The fuzzy person in the bottom of my box shows that I am caring, loving, and willing to help people get well who are sick. The Gabra concept of FINN is also related to my project. According to the Gabra people, FINN means balance or the interconnectedness of all things. The center of my self-portrait is a triangle, which means balance, and everything around it in my project is interconnected to make me how I am. Every object in my self-portrait is connected to each other by some other object. This interconnectedness makes my personality what it is.
IV. Realism/Idealism Interpretation
The Metamorphosis is one piece of literature from Realism/Idealism that relates to my self-portrait. In the story a man slowly changes into a beetle. Even though he endures this wacky change, it actually isn’t so strange considering his family and friends have treated him like a bug his whole life. This is shown in the spiral in my project. The spiral represents change. Although I will most likely determine my own fate as a change, I will also most likely reflect the way I was treated in the past by my family friends as I change. The way you are brought up and the people you hang around have a huge impact on how and what you change into.