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Beatrice Rudolph: capstone

Date

2015

Authors

Rudolph, Beatrice, artist

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Abstract

The artist's statement: My love for horses, birds and the natural world has dominated my work until recently, when I found myself drawn to a subject I would not have normally investigated. Watching my father suffer and die of ALS, compounded by personally experiencing a series of abnormal illnesses forced me to examine the topic of disease. Because of these events, medication has become an integral part of my life. However, I find this in conflict with my kinship with animals, who had to be manipulated and abused to develop medicines that help myself and many others survive. This led me to examine animal testing and drug advertising in my work. The portrait series I painted is of my father. It is meant to depict in an abstracted way the stages of ALS as he lost motor function, and in a way, who he was. These paintings are small and intimate. I used a portrait format to capture his likeness and personality because as he suffered from the disease, he not only became physically weaker, but his personality seemed to diminish. By gradually restricting my range of motion and eventually switching to painting with my non-dominant hand, I hoped to better understand what he had gone through. It opened my eyes to the level of frustration that he must have experienced, as the neurodegenerative disease took over. The drug advertisement series is based on my own personal experiences. These paintings resemble a style often used in the early 1900's, where the connection between the selected imagery and the text was often unclear to the audience. The compositions were simple, with limited backgrounds and often a single figure, relying heavily on text to convey their meaning. The format seemed perfect to display the contradiction of my need for medication and my love for animals, because the advertisements themselves seemed to be contradictory. These pieces are my way of sharing my coming-to-terms with the reality of my existence. I continued my investigation into animal testing by creating works that demonstrate the connection between the tests conducted and the reality of the human experience. The diptych is based on a dark-light box test and the circular piece on an elevated zero maze test. Both rely on using a mouse's aversion to light as a parallel to depression in humans. By drawing attention to this through color and other emotionally loaded devices, I hope to start a conversation about the validity of tests like these.

Description

2015 Spring.
Colorado State University Art and Art History Department capstone project.
Capstone contains the artist's statement, a list of works, and images of works.

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Subject

painting

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