Surreal Closing Credits Image

If you watch the episodes of The Prisoner to the end, you will see very surreal scene. The penny farthing bicycle is standing in a desert with classical columns and statues with an ethereal atmosphere. What better canvas to merge in the skyful of men in bowlers from Magritte’s Golconda?

Prisoner of Golconde

Prisoner of Golconda

Process using GIMP: I captured the scene from the episode by stopping the playback and clipping with the snipping tool. The Magritte image was opened as a layer, but had to crop to just the sky portion to eliminate buildings and other parts. I selected the sky by color and deleted to transparent. Once placed over the background, this layer still needed some careful erasing where the men were in front of objects. Once satisfied, merge visible layers and export. I had to go back and touch up a bit with the clone tool, but otherwise I like the result.

This is a second go at Visual Assignment 17, and is worth three credit units.

I think we’re all prisoners on this bus.

Visual Assignment Adapt an Artist’s Work

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.

Mao Number 6

Mao Number 6

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!
Be Seeing You

Visual Assignment Comic Book Effect

Number 6 The Photographer

Number 6 The Photographer

Visual Assignment 341 asks us to, “Take a picture and experiment with the “Halftone Effect” in some photo editing software to create a comic book effect.”

I started with a snip of the Snipping Tool of a scene from The Prisoner episode 7, “Many Happy Returns”. Number 6 finds a camera at the abandoned Village store, and checks out its action. In GIMP, I used a variety of effects, but mostly the edge detect and the newsprint effects, along with adjustment of color and white balance, and some reversing of colors to work with them.

Does isolating one frame and presenting it in a radically different medium enhance our understanding of the subject? Perhaps it can bring out shades of emotion, intent, and interpretation that remains hidden in the swiftly moving video stream.

One Credit Unit, but lots of fun! And something else to pursue…

My Village Vacation

My Village Vacation

My Village Vacation

Visual Assignment 1674 asks us to, “Make a collage of five pictures from your favorite vacation destinations.” I went a little bit beyond five, but the vacation was so much fun and had so much to see!

I took advantage of all the villagers being on holiday somewhere else during The Prisoner episode 7, “Many Happy Returns”. Wandering the Village, I paused the video (in Windows Media Player, of all things!) at the various photo opportunities, then used the Snipping Tool to capture the scenes. Once enough snapshots were accumulated, I used GIMP to make a collage. The “My Village Vacation” title was created in Word (where my Village font works), saved as a pdf, then opened as a layer in GIMP, sized and placed. Once all the layers were merged together, I still needed to crop the overall image to eliminate some misalignments around the edges.

Wandering around a deserted village has been one of those long-remembered childhood fantasies. Even more grandiose would be a deserted Earth! I used to daydream (about age 12) about being the last person on Earth, able to go anywhere I wanted because of all the abandoned cars and fuel and food.

Two credit units!

Free Warhol!

Andy Warhol was an innovator in the world of Pop Art, blurring the line between commercial art and fine art, between artist-as-creator and artist-as-appropriator. Claes Oldenburg is an innovator in the world of Pop Art, blurring the line between everyday objects as objects and everyday objects as art. In both cases, the implication of artistic ownership is one of freedom: freedom to represent, freedom to appropriate, freedom to modify, freedom to mass produce.

In the spirit of artistic freedom and appropriation, and in homage to a recent image posted by cogdog on his trip through the midwest, I present an appropriation of an image by Laszlo Ilyes (laszlo-photo) (cc by 2.0 found on Flickr at I choose this particular image because the letters in FREE were almost plain white, to see if that would have any particular effect with the Warholizing process. And because it was Creative Commons licensed for use and modification.

Here is Laszlo’s original photo of Oldenburg’s creation:

Laszlo Ilyes' photo of Claes Oldenburg's art

Laszlo Ilyes’ photo of Claes Oldenburg’s art

And here is my appropriation, Warholization (using the services of LunaPic, and alteration (flipping the center image using Gimp).

Free rubber stamp x9

Art is Free