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The Recreation of ‘the Creation of Adam’ Over Time

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The Recreation Of ‘The Creation Of Adam’ Over Time

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Art has no purpose beyond its own self. Art exists to celebrate life, nature, and the world we live in. And to some extent, to expose problems in society. We can conclude that we use our senses to identify ourselves with an artwork. However, there came a time where people developed curiosity towards art based on realism. In the 1500s, the renaissance or the ‘rebirth’ of art came into play. A painting by Michelangelo named ‘The Creation of Adam’ sparked an interest amongst Europeans. The painting located on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling represents many things, but mainly, the creation of mankind.

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Michelangelo shows us how God looks at us. He paints the background with vivid colors but shifts his focus on God trying to reach Adam to give him consciousness. Neither touch hands. While God tries putting all his energy into reaching Adam’s hand, Adam lays on a rock attempting to try to touch. Although some may think Adam seemed lazy, or that God tried to give Adam consciousness, this shows how humans have a lack of devotion towards God. One assumes that God can only be realized fully or known through the process of devotional service and, thus, the atheistic cannot know Him because they we are not willing to build a relationship with Him. Man has tarnished and misrepresented religion so much that individuals who are seeking to understand higher are afraid to do so out of fear of being labeled a “sheep” among other things.

Although art might be a way to please the eye, it can be used as a way to mock others. On February 18, 2012 the ShockBlast Website attempted to make the painting become a mockery to the internet. By altering the painting and turning it into a meme, the meme became act of internet trolling. The image is an exact replica of the painting except for Adam’s face. “A ‘meme’ is a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea. The majority of modern memes are captioned photos that are intended to be funny, often as a way to publicly ridicule human behavior. Other memes can be videos and verbal expressions. Some memes have heavier and more philosophical content.”

In chapter 1 of Ways of Seeing, John Berger discusses the ideas on perception of art by the viewers. He established the idea that “it’s seeing that establishes our place in the world” shortly adding “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” He talks about how art and photography, you have to ‘judge by its cover’ because they are both visual. He then argues how they viewers can think and see things differently. He states how those who view art and photography tend to not always approach it with the same meaning. However, he then goes into more depth about how art and photography can be altered to make the viewer see that the artist wants them to see.

The word meme “Meme” originated from a book titled “The Selfish Gene” written by Richard Dawkin in 1976, showing how the word has been around even before the internet was created. The book talks about meme as ways or things human behavior and culture not only share but evolve from. As we have entered a new generation, technology has taken center stage and a large portion of people spending time online. Memes are things such as funny images, funny videos, and inside jokes. They became a way in which we communicate with each other and a part of everyday internet culture.

A meme can mean something different to everybody, but it can also form a bond with each other and create a snapshot of the moment in time. Memes are used and what they are or present. However, in this case the image is an mockery towards art or even towards people of wealth. Meanwhile you can access a meme anywhere in the internet, a painting is much more valuable and harder to obtain. Art over the decades have represented wealth. During the renaissance, only those who came from wealthy backgrounds were able to have an expensive taste acquiring what they wanted without going out there way to get it.

Even though a meme is used to help us relate to funny moments, aerosol artists help us see art in a different way. On November 4, 2006 in Waterloo, Iowa the Weekend Edition Saturday from NPR News interviews a man named Paco Rosic. Rosic recreates the painting ‘The Creation of Adam’ with spray paint on a building ceiling in downtown Waterloo. The spray painting by Rosic illustrates his accomplishments as an aerosol artist and as a son. Just like Michelangelo, he painted half of the panting on his back. Meanwhile Michelangelo took a few years to finish his painting, it only took Rosic 4 months to complete his. He uses part of his past with his mother to recreate the painting. “Paco’s fascination with the Sistine Chapel began at age 6, when his mother Anna began sharing her passion for art. In the family home outside of Sarajevo, Anna, Paco and his older brother Alen would study books filled with the works of Pablo Picasso and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.”

Rosic did not let time discouraged him from pursuing his dreams. Due to the dedication and appreciation towards art, he showed how in order for us to be fulfilled in this life we must embrace who we are and what we are capable of achieving. There is something about problems and difficulties that bring out the best in us, as they force us to focus on what really matters. While Rosic struggled to look for a perfect place to paint his work of art, he never gave up. However because he used spray paint, the colors are more vigorous. Compared to the meme and the actual oil painting, this recreation was more colorful and vivid. The way is painted is different from the meme. Anyone can create a meme, but spray paints take more time and precision.

In John Berger:Ways of Seeing, he establishes that “the way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe” affirming that seeing might come first; however, we often use that to relate to past experiences. A primary function of a painting can interpreted in many ways. In this case being black feminism. On May 16, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois: Michael Blackmon recreated ‘The Creation of Adam’ with black women. While replacing the white male figures in the painting, she uses black women to show the viewer how she sees herself. Inspired by the Michelangelo and her parents, she felt the need to recreate a painting with people who looked like her.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Rosales states how she wants her “daughter to grow up proud of her curls and coils, her brown skin, and for her to identify as a woman of color, a woman of value”. She used her recreation of the panting as a social commentary to show her awareness of discrimination against black people. From a very early age, we are taught things from a materialistic point of view. We are influenced to do things such as go to school, get an education, get a job, make money, have a family of your own, and a wide range of other things that are supposed to help us become successful and happy in life. Although, these things are essential to our advancement in life, they are not as important as our parents, family, teachers, and mentors telling us to “love yourself” or even mentioning what self love is. Apart from not being influenced to self-love, in western culture we are not properly educated on the all-important knowledge of self.

Later on in her interview, she claims that people of color were ‘underrepresented’ and ‘misrepresented’ and still are. She wanted to show that not everything revolves around white people. “And when you consider that all human life came out of Africa, the Garden of Eden and all, then it only makes sense to paint God as a black woman, sparking life in her own image.” With this, one can assume Rosales wanted equality for future women and children of her skin complexion. In chapter 1 of Ways of Seeing, Berger approaches that art no longer exist the way it did due to the mystified ways people change them turning them into more political issues instead of something that can be appreciated as history itself. Later on in Chapter 3, he discuss how nudity was used in paintings. Berger talks how women were viewed and treated as objects to portray power to men. Later on he defines nakedness “as being oneself.” Later adding that nudity is “to be seen naked by others, not recognizing oneself.” Here Berger claims how some artist cannot resist women objectification. He claims how artists failed to create a different perception in culture due to the fact of how media and society at the time wouldn’t change how men thoughts were towards women.

In the original painting, Michelangelo plays a neoplatonic thought by representing mankind in 1500s by showing Adam as a image of the form of an “Ideal man” rather than a natural way. Forcing us to consider the idea of a man rather than the physical and temporary real man. Meanwhile in Rosales painting, she paints women with bodies with whom she and other black women can identify with. Beautiful, knowledgeable, old, and wise black women.

All these recreations represent something different but are all connected by the same concept. In our current age, all spirituality and religion has been somewhat lost, as we have surrendered to dealings of the lower self, succumbing to temptation, anger, lust, and material desires. It is not known the power to manifest anything that you wish to be true until you put yourself out there. Like Michelangelo, Rosales, the meme, and Rosic, they all show the reminiscing we humans do. While we are here, bound by time and space, we serve as a connection to the future and the past. Just like a meme and a painting, they are both things we can go back to in the further future. Art will always play a big role in society.

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