Artist Research Paper #1
Choose an artist who works in 2D formats creating drawings,
paintings, animation, manga, anime, or illustration. Choose one or
more works of art from the artist to write a Formal Analysis.
Analyze the work (this is called a Formal Analysis in the world of
art) using the seven recognized art elements and the principles of
design. The art elements may include Line, Value, Color, Shape,
Form, Space and Texture. Principles of design include Balance,
Rhythm, Repetition, Size, Scale, Proportion, Emphasis, Unity,
Movement, Variety, and Contrast. Other areas of discussion may
include the use of Light and Perspective (Linear and/or Isometric).
Only discuss using art elements/principles of design that stand
out in the work you are analyzing.
Begin by writing about why you like the work. What stands out?
Which art elements? Is it the color? The camera angle? The
illusion of depth? When writing your paper, begin with the
strongest elements and move from there. Hint: Develop and build
on your observations in a logical sequence. Have someone proof
read your paper.
Here is an example of a nicely written paper: PLEASE SEE THE
EXAMPLE ESSAY I HAVE ATTACHED
Besides analyzing the art, also present a Contextualization of the
work. A Contextualization in art represents the "Ws." Who, what,
where, when, why; this is where your research comes in. Provide
proper citations in an acceptable format such as APA, MLA,
Chicago or Turabian.
Please provide an image of the art you analyze as an attachment.
Length of paper is minimum two pages, double-spaced. The is no
maximum length requirement. However, I'm looking for quality
over quantity in your analysis and context research.
23 April 2019
2D Design and Color
Art Research Paper
The two dimensional artist who I resonate with the best is known as Banksy. He is a
street artist who has recently made his presence known in the “commercial industry.” Although it
is not confirmed, he is believed to have been born in Bristol, England in 1974 which makes him
about 45 years old. His identity is not actually known, but in an article written by Will EllsworthJones published to the Smithsonian.com, the author gives much insight to an interview he had
with Banksy, and we are able to see a sliver of who is behind these amazing works of art. In an
effort to explain why Banksy hides behind his name, Ellsworth-Jones states, “By 1999, he was
headed to London. He was also beginning to retreat into anonymity. Evading the authorities was
one explanation—Banksy ‘has issues with the cops.’ But he also discovered that anonymity
created its own invaluable buzz.” As most people can imagine, remaining anonymous has its
benefits, but I personally believe that the main reason is to avoid living in the public eye. Famous
people are unable to go out in public without being harassed, and this probably plays a role in
Banksy’s choice to remain anonymous.
One of his most famous works to date is one that was recently destroyed. Banksy works
as a stenciled artist, and this “Girl With Balloon” piece is just one of many repeated works
throughout the world. In an article on HexagonGallery.com, it is stated, “Girl with Balloon first
surfaced in 2002 on a dirty concrete wall under the stairway of a loading dock in the South Bank of
London. Since then, the young girl letting go of her balloon has become a popular symbol of innocence
and hope in the face of diversity, and is one of the best-known examples of Banksy art in the world.”
In a recent auction for the rare piece on canvas, the moments after the piece was sold, a
paper shredder took the piece and “destroyed” half of it. To some, the piece was ruined. But to
most, the piece was made even more valuable. The composition itself is a beautiful piece with
the very recognizable Banksy touch. The use of black and grey along with spot color makes the
piece vibrant even though it shouldn’t be. The use of line drags our eyes from the girl, down her
arm to her hand, and across the piece to the heart-shaped balloon. We see movement within the
piece through the wind blowing her hair, dress, and the balloon to the right. The piece is
excellently balanced with the girl in the bottom left and the balloon floating away in the top
right. The size of the girl dwarfs the balloon, but again, the use of spot color give weight to the
balloon which balances the composition even more.
In Banksy’s recent work, “Season’s Greetings,” we see a great deal going on. I find this
to be my favorite of all his works, even though it is straightforward once you see the full scope.
As I look at the child enjoying the “snow,” I find myself traveling into that world and I
feel like I am right next to him. This might be due to the fact that Banksy has created depth
within this piece from the darkness surrounding the child, as well as the dumpster fire “behind”
him on the side wall. The depth along with the movement displayed from the ashes falling down
allows me to find myself deep into the world of this art. I can imagine the ashes falling and the
boy jumping around as he laughs in the cool winter night. I can feel the warmth of the dumpster
fire and hear the crackling in the silence surrounding the boy. The piece was beautifully
composed with the use of black and white and a spot color of red and orange in the fire. The grey
brick wall and the graffiti on the dumpster gives life to the piece and texturizes the work in a
beautiful way. The greatest part about the piece is the irony it shows. Banksy uses three
dimensions to tell a story but only uses paint in the two dimensions of the walls. The use of space
tells two completely different stories and invokes a feeling of guilt within the viewer. On one
side of the wall, a child is enjoying the winter night and the snowfall that is occurring. On the
other side of the wall, you see the “snow cloud” trace back to its origins which happen to be a
dumpster fire. Once you put it all together, you realize that the children of today are essentially
playing in toxic snow and rain due to all of the pollutants we have put into the atmosphere.
Banksy used space in such an amazing matter and I have never felt emotion as strongly as I have
in this piece.
In just these two pieces alone, you can start to get a feel of the repetition Banksy shows.
He consistently uses neutral backgrounds, black and white paint, and then splashes of spot color
to give the art life. He emphasizes everything in the perfect manner through color, and makes us
think about things we often overlook. Banksy uses his art to call the viewer to action such as the
pollution we are putting out in the atmosphere, or in other pieces in which he highlights
Ellsworth-Jones, Will. “The Story Behind Banksy.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 1
Feb. 2013, www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-story-behind-banksy-4310304/.
Friedman, Jacob. “Girl With Balloon.” Hexagon Gallery, 15 Mar. 2017,
Purchase answer to see full