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A $10 Billion Industry

By Jenny Tang, V Form

A $10 Billion Industry

In many communities of color in Asia, West Africa, and Latin America, fair skin is glorified, and skin-bleaching is as normal as applying lotion.

There is a multitude of causes. In some communities, colorism stems from classism: being tan means you work in the fields and are poor. According, having light skin indicates a wealthy indoor lifestyle and is desirable. In other communities, colorism has deep colonial roots: fair skin of European rulers symbolizes power and calls for worship. Whatever the cause, prejudice against dark skin harms many individuals, both on a personal level by causing shame and on a social level by increasing discrimination. Sadly, despite substantial evidence attesting to the health risks of skin-bleaching, an entire industry of skin-lightening products worth $10 billion continues to thrive today.

The three women in the artwork are Yanusha Yogarajah, Nyakim Gatwech, and Jella, who are all beauty influencers celebrating dark skin. Drawn as standing in solidarity, their confrontational gazes ask us, “What will you do about colorism?” (more…)

Cerberus: In Dramatic, Dark Lines for Studio Art

By Helen Huang, V Form

Cerberus: In Dramatic, Dark Lines for Studio Art

This pencil drawing is one of many pieces I am making for my concentration in Studio III. In my concentration, I am focusing on mythical creatures in the modern world. For this particular piece, I chose the idea of drawing the Greek mythological creature, Cerberus, but with a modern twist. I made the dog cute and fluffy and set him on a soft blanket with his toys near a fireplace. I wanted to make the whole composition seem cozy and welcoming, which is the opposite of what Cerberus in Greek mythology is like. The shadow of the dog, drawn with dramatic, harsh lines, is a reference to the true nature of Cerberus: scary and foreboding, which contrasts with the cuteness of the dog, drawn with soft, careful lines. I purposely chose this composition because I wanted to show that mythical creatures can evolve into what we want to see them as. Personally, I enjoy the idea of having a cute three-headed dog rather than a scary one, and therefore in my perspective, Cerberus looks like the dog in the piece. (more…)

“Two Worlds”–Drawing with Color Pencil and Gouache

By Leean Li, V Form

“Two Worlds”–Drawing with Color Pencil and Gouache

Made with color pencil and gouache (a type of paint) on bright orange paper, this drawing is called Two Worlds. It examines pollution, part of my concentration topic for my Studio III portfolio. I approached the subject from a third person perspective. Inside the apartment, a couple sits comfortably, while outside is a polluted world which animals have to escape. The depiction reveals a discrepancy between human and animals’ experience with pollution. We never realize the price the ecosystem paid for us to enjoy our daily conveniences, such as having electricity and running water. Additionally, since our general public regard pollution as distant and irrelevant, we often made little effort to change. Nevertheless, to accept a polluted world is our selfish decision, negligent of not only the future of humanity but also of the entire ecosystem. (more…)

Studio Art Concentration: Interpretations of Snakes

By Rosanna Zhao, V Form

Studio Art Concentration: Interpretations of Snakes

Growing up as a devout Christian, I always found myself looking at snakes in a negative light; they represented sin and temptation, luring man and woman to take a bite from the fruit that ruined their lives forever. However, as I became increasingly fascinated by the fashion world, a new representation of snakes enlightened me. Wrapped around models and flashing in bold reds and yellows, snakes became a more regal and daring creature in my eyes. Inspired by the two drastically different images of snakes, I focused my Advanced Studio Art concentration on the distinct interpretations of snakes in different time periods and cultures.

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Studio I Art: Zoanthids and Coral

By Charlotte Bertsch, III Form

Studio I Art:  Zoanthids and Coral

Zoanthids live on rocky and rubbly areas in flat intertidal zones. This particular kind of zoanthid, zoanthus sociatus, can be found on the highest part of the intertidal zone, which means that the coral is located in a middle ground between tide marks and is underwater during high tide and above water during low tide. The other kinds of zoanthids live on the upper levels in the lower surf zone, which indicates that they are located in the region where waves break. (more…)

A Portrait of This Artist’s Portraiture

By Lulu Eastman, VI Form

A Portrait of This Artist’s Portraiture

This year in Studio III, my AP concentration is portraiture. I love to convey images of humans in my art, whether they are real people that I know personally or figures from my imagination. In my portraits, I capture the subject’s personality or identity to share this aspect with the viewer. The most common mediums I use in my art are pencil, colored pencil, and acrylic paints. (more…)