For this piece, I wanted to create a self portrait using pieces from maps of places that are important to me. The reason that I wanted to do this is because I wanted the piece to depict how people are strongly influenced and affected by the places that they are involved with in their life.
In order to accomplish this, I used many, many maps and put small pieces of them in a collage in order to make up a picture of myself. I got this idea from the artist Matthew Cusick, who, when doing his own work, takes many, many maps and puts them together in a collage in order to create a certain image. He has a wide range of subject matter including scenery such as waves or highways and portraits and close ups of people. But I chose to do a portrait of myself because I have rarely done this in the past and I have always had a great love of doing portraiture. The pieces that Matthew Cusik created that captivated me the most were the ones that he did of people’s faces. When I first saw his work, I was in awe of it.The way that he included such intricate detail in these pieces was very inspiring to me. It was amazing how he could use such a difficult material to work with and make it look so beautiful. It was also such a special and imaginative idea. It was very original and I had never seen anything like it before. So that is why I chose to do this project. It was a good way to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.
Another artist that I emulated was Alighiero e Boetti. The way that I emulated this artist was because he also used maps in his artwork by creating a collage. Although, he had a different subject matter as well because he created large maps using flags of the places that he was mapping and drawing, instead of doing portraiture, but he has the same general concept. His work was interesting to me because the idea of thinking about a map in this way was something that I would have never thought of, so it was very creative and unique in my opinion.
The places that I chose to use in my drawing are many places in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. I chose these places because they have had a large impact on my life. The places I chose from Minnesota are Eden Prairie, which is where I have lived my whole life. Also, the Minneapolis and St. Paul area because that is where I would go to spend my free time and hang out with friends before I went to college. I also included the Rochester are in Southern Minnesota because that is where my dad’s side of the family is from so I spent a lot of time there visiting them when I was growing up. And finally, the Duluth Superior area because I have a cabin up there near McGreggor so that is probably my favorite place to go to in Minnesota.
In Wisconsin, I obviously chose to include Menomonie because I go to school and currently live there. I used Green Bay and Oshkosh because I have friends who live there, so I have been there to visit them. I also included Milwaulkee because I took a trip there with a friend to go to a concert. And Warrens, because when I was younger I would go to Jellystone Park which is in Warrens.
Finally, in Iowa, I chose Ames, because my brother went to school there and currently lives and works there. I also chose Iowa City because my sister is attending school there. My mom is from Humbolt and my grandma lives there so I added that. And my aunt and uncles on my mom’s side of the family live in Fort Dodge. So I chose to include that. I also included a little bit of Chicago because I have taken some trips there as well. All of these places have many great memories for me. It is very interesting, because some of them are recent memories that I’m very fond of, and some of them are very distant memories. It is interesting to think about the places that stick out most to you in your life.
This project was extremely difficult for me. The hardest thing about this project was the material and getting it to work the way that I wanted it to. It was difficult to come across good maps that will work for the specific picture that I was using, and to come up with enough of the same kind of map in order to use it for this project. It was also very hard to get so much detail when using such a difficult material.
Overall, it did not turn out at all how I wanted it to. I think that the face looks very scary. The background looks alright, but it still could be a lot better! I am going to try and rework it so that it will look a little better. I am hoping I will be able to do this!!!