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!
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