Julio Pastor: (Auto)biographical Stories As Told By The Artworks - Ways in which Painting, Graphic Art and Photography Address the Process of their own Creation

Mentor: Alena Alexandrova

Independent reviewer: Michele Faguet

Enschede, 2010


Media theorists have commonly associated the word hypermediation with a particular way of painting. In works such as these, the artist places an emphasis on the gesture so that the material can work as the trace of the painter's movement. I start this essay by discussing a few examples of paintings by Jackson Pollock, which could be understood under this indexical reading. After this, I carry on by considering whether other case studies drawn from classical, modern and contemporary art history, can also show the process of their own creation through other understandings.

In Cubist Paintings, for example, a joined reading under iconic and indexical terms would equally allow the viewer to grasp the methodology undertook during the production of the work. The same would happen with the series of paintings by Monet of Rouen Cathedral. In which by interpreting the pass of time through out the different canvases - as if reading a comic a strip - one would be able to understand how the work was created.

After comparing different ways in which painting can show the process of its creation I carry on by turning my attention to photography: a medium which, arguably, works under indexical means by definition. The case of photography leads me to consider certain paintings which use photographs as models. By making clear that such images were the starting point for their paintings, artists such as Edgar Degas, Chuck Close and Gerhard Richter didn't only manage to show a step involved in their creative process but also brought about interesting comparisons between the intrinsic characteristics of the two mediums.

The two last chapters of my thesis bring about examples of paintings which show the process involved during their productions in very different means. In Chapter Six I discuss two self-portraits from classic painting. Over both of them an iconic reading serves as a starting point for grasping the steps involved in their making. Finally I explain how the Date Paintings by On Kawara use a symbolic reading (rather than an iconic or indexical one) to bring about in the viewer theunderstanding of the day in which they were created.