John Wall is a creative artist who mainly focuses on photography. He is known for specializing in the photography of nature (animals and plants), urban scenes, national parks, historical sites and monuments, as well as any other scenes that are out of the ordinary. This paper will critically analyze one of John Wall’s interesting and creative artworks. The artwork that was chosen for the purpose of completing this paper, is a photograph titled “T.R and family”. This paper will focus on analyzing elements and principles of the artwork, such as line, shape, color, and texture. In addition, the paper will also critically analyze the artwork by looking at principles of design like balance, emphasis, focal point, rhythm, pattern, and repetition. Lastly, any themes or symbolism that is relevant to this artwork will be identified and analyzed. The photograph that is to be analyzed is the one shown on the image above.
The “T.R and family” photograph is an artwork by John Wall that is done in black and white. It is a family photo that shows an elderly man, woman and other grownups. The photo also shows several children, whereby some seem to be in their teenage years while others, seem to be less than 10 years old. There are 8 persons in total shown on the photo. The images on the photo resemble a family made up of an older couple, their children, along with their spouses, and their grandchildren. The photograph is taken in front of their house. By looking closely at the photograph, one can see images that closely resemble windowpanes, therefore, giving the assumption that the family has taken the photo in front of their house. However, except for the window looking images that appear in the upper left and right side corners of the photograph, there are no other appearances of the house. There is also a good view of leafy short bushes that appear immediately behind the family (FineartAmerica 1).
All the women in this photograph are dressed in white, while the men are dressed in black. There are four men in the photograph, three of which are dressed in black coats and different color trousers, except for a young boy who seems to be approximately 10 years of age. He is wearing a polo-neck t-shirt, black trousers, and black gumboots. There are four women in the photo. Two women are wearing long white gowns and flowered hats. The other two are a teenage girl and another young girl who seems to be nearly 10 years of age. These two are wearing short white dresses.
The photograph is done on plain paper, and its texture is smooth. It is a family photo of the Roosevelt family and was taken in 1903. The photograph shows the members of the family, standing vertically upright. The photo was taken at the home of Teddy Roosevelt in Long Island, New York (FineartAmerica 1). The family members stand in two lines, with some people standing in the front line and others on the back line. However, the alignment and arrangement of images are done in a manner that allows the photographer to feature everything and everyone that he wants to (Barrett 122). For instance, all people fit in the photo horizontally and vertically and nothing is left out of the photo. In addition, there is lots of space left between the edge of the photo and the last person on the line, on each side of this photo. This gave the artist an opportunity to feature other details such as the bushes, as shown in the photograph.
The artist skillfully employed his artistic skills to create a balance between the family and other images featured in the photograph. For instance, the people, who are the most important piece in the artwork, are placed at the center of the photograph, while the part of the house and the bushes are at the side. This helps draw the viewers’ attention more to the family, rather than on the other images. In addition, the photo looks well balanced, because the standing positions of both men and women are strategic. The photo shows a well-balanced family, whereby men and women are intertwined well. This makes the photo more interesting than it would look if all men stood together and the women stood separately from them. This is an important aspect, it helps balance the photograph and makes it interesting. Men and women are dressed differently in terms of color and style. Therefore, by distributing them evenly throughout the photograph, the viewer is given an opportunity to look at all sides of the artwork and notice interesting details. The even distribution of the color (created by the clothes worn by the family members) also helps to create balance in the photograph.
The arrangement of the images on the photograph has been well designed to ensure a successful emphasis on the important details (Barrett 122). For instance, the elderly woman and man are placed at the front of the photograph. They are the most important persons in the photo and are known as Mr. and Mrs. Teddy Roosevelt (FineartAmerica 1). They are the central figures in the photo because all the other people are their descendants. The photograph intents to show Mr. Teddy Roosevelt’s family and therefore, it is essential to emphasize their presence by placing them at strategic points on the photograph. In addition, they are the only persons seated, and this shows their importance on the photo. They have children leaning against their chairs, thus creating the impression that they have grandchildren to match and complement their old age. The other people are standing behind the elderly man and woman to help to ensure that they are well visible and that they are not blocked, thus interfering with the balance and coordination of images in the photograph.
The color of the clothes is symbolic. All women are dressed in white or bright colors. On the other hand, all men are dressed in black or dark colored clothes. This helps to emphasize and symbolize the position of women and men in the society at that time. Women were required to be beautiful, pretty, light-hearted and subjects to the men. This might be the reason why the photograph shows all women (both older and young) dressed in bright colors. Men were expected to be hardy leaders in the family and protectors of women. The black color of their clothes symbolizes this position of men in the society during the days when the photograph was taken. The lighting of the photograph is bright, despite the fact that it has been done in black and white. This helps illuminate the faces of the people on the photograph, making them visible to the viewer. The theme of family ties and unity is an important element in this artwork. It shows the happiness of a having a nice family, grown married children and grandchildren. This is symbolized by the posture of the teenager, as well as the younger boy and girl. They lean on their grandparent as a sign of their dependence on them.