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Visit to Burnet Art Gallery at Chambers

On Tuesday February 23, 2010, we as a class visited the Burnet Art Gallery at Chambers, The Luxury Art Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. It was interesting to learn that the hotel we visited was the No. 1 art hotel in the world despite there being only a couple. The art work is collected by Ralph Burnet. One art piece that caught my eye the most and chose to write about from the art gallery is 'Flare' of 2009 by Machiko Edmondson from Tokyo, Japan. The art piece is oil on canvas. Machiko is described to use the "seduction of fashion photography to lure the viewer into the world of idealized beauty". She draws "the viewer into her works 'shifting their reading between fantasy and the style of painting, the skin of the image and the skin of the painted surface, these works become paintings of unattainable desire.'"

The painting in itself draws so much attention simply because of the perspective on beauty it portrays. 'Flare' emphasizes the face as beauty thus it is cropped only to the face and only the face is shown, showing a pair of fiery eyes, a nose and lips with some strands of hair. The fact that she decided not to show the whole head conveys her opinion on beauty is only evident on the face and hair is not as important as suggested by the limit she places on the amount of hair she shows. The thing that drew me to the painting the most is the fiery eyes. It sets it apart from the rest of the painting because of the color contrast that it provides the art work. Since the eyes are the contrast, it adds much more emphasis to it and portrays the beauty of the eyes.

Despite the amount of focus Machiko places on the face, she also presents a lot of ambiguity through the amount of darkness that surrounds her radiant and pale face. The dark corners around the cheeks and the dark hair gives the sense of secret and unknown which when tied to the theme of beauty indicates that there is more to beauty than meets the eye. There is more to it than simply the face and that only a few understand and know about it. Since she represents the idealized beauty, there are a lot of contradictions and uncertainty about what beauty is. This is shown through the lack of expression on her face as suggested by her straight lips and the fact that her eyebrows are covered which tells a lot about a person's emotions. Since it is covered, it symbolizes the cover up of true emotions.

There are also spots across the face coming from the top right corner which suggests enhances the theme of fashion photography. Through this, Machiko is able to create a realistic feeling in the painting which represents the reality and conveys the realism of beauty.