What is secret? Is it something that is not known or meant to be known by others? Maybe it's a secretive person? Or the idea of secret or classified information? Is a secret a mystery? Maybe you just can't keep a secret? Or perhaps you know something that others do not - like what's the meaning of life?
Foundations of Art students just finished up their "Secrets" artworks. Students were given the theme of secrets, so we first had to talk about the definion of "secret," both noun and verb, and discuss all of the meanings, interpretations, contexts, and phrases associated with secrets. After everyone had a clear understanding of our theme, we looked at some artworks and artists that use the idea of secrets - the secret of Mona Lisa's smile, the artist Banksy, who keeps his identity a secret, and other artists that use the theme of secrets in their art.
Next, we went over the Postmodern Principles of art that students could choose from as a focus. The Postmodern Principles are eight important art making processes commonly found in contemporary art. Students looked at examples of artworks showing the different principles, analyzed the artworks, developed their own definition of the principle, and finally brainstormed ideas for an artwork using that principle within the context of secrets.
Many different different "secret" artworks developed... Secret identity, secret ingredient, personal secrets, keeping a secret, secret journal, to name a few.
The begining of our "secret" journey...
As students developed their artworks, some ideas became more clear, others changed mid-project, and a few simple ideas were abandoned for more complex, meaningful interpretations. Finished arworks show understanding of present-day themes using contemporary art practices. Students were also able to convey an idea, a feeling, or a meaning. And a few were able to really push themselves and acheive what they had never before imagined.