When we were walking through Julia Jacquette’s exhibition, the piece that struck me the most was the painting of the couple’s resort, which shows the reflections of two people and a tree in the water of a pool. When I first looked at the piece, it was not quite clear to me that the colors in the water were supposed to be reflections. In fact, I did not realize that people were represented in the painting at all until we took a tour of the gallery on Monday and the painting was explained to the class.

The painting became even more interesting to me when Jacquette started to describe the scene that it was created from. In the original picture, a seemingly perfect man and woman are standing by the side of the pool at a couple’s resort. Jacquette described the scene as looking so perfect that you instantly wanted to go to the resort as well. This speaks to the power that advertisements can have over people. By setting up the “picture perfect” scene, one advertisement can draw people to something that they were not interested in before seeing the advertisement.

Touring the exhibition with Jacquette added to the enjoyment of her artwork. Many of her pieces addressed different social issues, but without her explanations, I may not have picked up on that on my own, especially for the more abstract pieces. Jacquette spoke about trying to make her art interesting enough to get people to look at it, but I think the allure of her work comes from the specific ways in which she represents different social issues.

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  1. Hi Becca–

    I had the same experience with that work! It also didn’t occur to me that it was from the advertisement for a resort and yet I could instantly see it in that context once we were told. I think it was a very interesting choice how she chose to focus in on the reflection of the two figures, distorted and unclear. It’s quite symbolic of how our own impressions of the resort are just as distorted and superficial, even if we don’t realize it ourselves. This work and all the other ones really force the viewer to question what it is that is enticing us to buy the product. In reality, a lot of the time what appeals to us has nothing to do with the product at all–as exemplified in the golden beads she magnified from the Dior ad or the water droplets. I loved going through the exhibit with her, seeing how she saw advertisements, and how this related to my own visual experience as a consumer.

     

    –Erica

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