Visual Assignment 17 asks us to “Adapt a famous artist’s work to change or reinforce its possible message.” There are a lot of artists out there, but Warhol is always fun to work with. (There is another assignment to “Warhol something”, but I did that in the past, plus it’s only one point). I have chosen to work with his portraits of Mao, but to add Number 6 into the mix.
The method was relatively trivial. Using GIMP, I opened as layers the pair of photos I wanted to merge. After resizing Number 6’s image to fit the face to Mao, I added transparency to the layer and I then erased everything not of the head. Some Mao imagery remained visible, so I had to use the clone tool to better hide those. Merge down so it is one picture. Repeat for the other three pair. Then take the four, adjust sizes and locations, crop to image, and export as jpg. Oh, and add some posterization to the faces.
Within the Prisoner universe, these images speak to the question of identity. We don’t know Number 6’s name (but I think I heard him called “Gary” in episode 3, “A. B. and C.), but I bet it isn’t Mao. While Number 6 strives for individual identity and freedom from constraint, Mao worked for collective identity and suppressed individual freedom. In Warhol’s art, particularly his portraits and multiples, individual identity is stressed and distorted, yet replicated into multiple new identities.
Three Credit Units!
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