The Red Room - Sean Riggins

This gallery includes the use of the color red to portray various subject-based themes. The representations in this gallery will include the use of red to convey themes such as love, religion, action, and femininity. There will also be some coverage and explanation of the principles of design and formal elements to describe the paintings and photographs displayed.

This silkscreen print depicts a woman in a red dress. The woman looks young, wild, and hectic with her hands raised. The dress is transparent, thus, the viewer can see the woman’s nude body beneath. The use of red in this piece really creates the emotion of this frenzied subject and draws attention to her vulnerability. The saturation of this hue serves to make the scene very dramatic. There is also implied movement by the subject’s semi twisted perspective, as her head is in profile view while her body is in frontal view.
The photograph depicts a pair of black suede women’s slip on shoes with red patent leather writing spelling the word love across the vamp. The contrast of the red writing over black draws attention to the lettering and really makes the message apparent. The smooth and shiny texture of the red writing on top of the dull, black suede also serves to draw focus to the essence or substance of this piece.
This acrylic on canvas painting depicts a man and a woman in the foreground of a red landscape embracing each other, both of whom have a knife behind the other. The high saturation and upper-mid value of intensity of red background in this scene both serve as contrast and emotional content. The contrast here between the subjects and the foreground makes the foreground scene stand out and draw the viewers attention. The emotional content is escalated by the use of red.
This oil on canvas painting displays a young nude woman sitting on a bed. In this image, both the main subject and the tone of the painting have a red hue. If we look at the subject we get an implied sense of love and lust by the way her skin looks flushed with red. The red tone to the entire painting gives unity to this piece, as it creates a complete perception of love and/or lust.
Depicted in this oil on panel painting is a woman with a crown and a red robe holding a child. Surrounding the two main subjects are angels with instruments. The woman’s robe is a darker value of red which gives a more common expression of emotion while still drawing attention to the central image of the painting and giving the viewer indication that she loves the child in her arms. The principle design of balance also pulls focus to the middle of this piece as there is rotational symmetry of multiple angels surrounding the common center.
This Western painting on postcard shows a man holding the bleeding foot of another. This image uses line, red of two different values, and saturation to create emotion. The lines in this painting are straight, angled, and sharp which provides some tension to the scene of someone’s bleeding foot. The highly saturated and darker value of red blood on the foot also provide the drama or anxiety of pain. However, what may give this painting its name, Love, is the use of the less saturated and lighter value of red. The entire image is almost pink and the soft hue gives the viewer a feeling of comfort and sincerity as the man warmly holds the bleeding foot.
In the oil, ink, and watercolour on canvas painting there is depiction of a red splatter above some blossoms and rocks. There is also what looks like blonde hair streaming out the side of the red splatter across the right side of the painting. The balance of this painting is asymmetrical, with weight on the left side of the piece that draws the viewer’s eye toward the red splatter. The use of red also contrasts against a lighter white background which gives the audience a main area of focus. The use of line in the dots and smears of the red paint as well as the curved blonde wisps extending from the source suggest desperation or tragedy of an untitled and unknown event.
There are two main subjects depicted in this oil on canvas painting. On the left we see Jesus with his arms folded around himself and on the right we see a larger man in a red robe pouring water over Jesus’s head, Baptizing him. The red color of the man’s robe contrasts the entire scene which draws attention to his importance in this event. The principles of design of proportion and scale help guide the viewer’s eye and suggest the authority of the man in the red robe as he is much larger than Jesus and looks as if to be substantially bigger than most regular men.
Depicted in this fresco painting is a scene of four women and a child crossing the Red Sea. The theme of this fresco is religious in nature as it recounts a historical event of Jewish people escaping Egypt. Emphasis and focus are achieved in the color, line, and texture of the woman in the red dress. The detail in the curved lines and the shadowing of the woman in the red dress, as well as the child next to her, make them appear to have three-dimensional form as they pop out in the foreground. When compared to the women in the background, there is far less detail in the line and shading, which makes them appear flat and more two-dimensional. Emphasis on the female subject is also accomplished by the contrast of her clothing, as she stands out in a saturated red dress among the rest of the painting, in which the other subjects wear more tertiary colors with less intensity and saturation.
This painting displays a red train engine as its central subject. The use of color, shape, and unity create the recognizable and dominant image of a train against geometric shapes. The red serves as contrast against its surroundings with its vibrant hue. The shapes of this painting create unity as they form a complete image from primarily jagged and straight lines. There is emphasis of the frontal view of a train engine and the billowing smoke from its chimney with the more seldom use of curved lines.
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