Monday, April 14, 2008
Julie Mehretu’s work is one of a kind. Upon looking at her work a passerby may think it looks like a lot of random chicken scratch, but these many crisscrossing lines and triangles stemming from these lines both hold meaning and value to an attracted viewer. Painted on a grey to black toned background, white “strings” are painted in every direction. An endless amount of triangles are made just from the crisscrossing of strings. The colors that make up the triangles for the most part are solid red, blue, white, and transparent sea foam green. These triangles look very disorganized, yet looking at the painting it looks as if there is center to this painting. The geometric unity of this portrait is unique and perfect. Looking closer to the painting, one would realize that not all the shapes are triangles. There are some circles, rectangles, and even semi circles that are completely random, or so we think.
The hundreds of “strings” that appear in this painting give an expression that each and every line is connected to a triangle, as if it was a kite. This kite symbolization brings an onlooker to his or her past childhood experiences with kites and running with kites. An onlooker would become attracted to this painting because the painting gives the onlooker a sense of youth and happiness only a child could experience through the pointless running around in circles to keep a kite up. This remembrance of the past gives hint to a meaning of the meaning crisscrossing strings of the painting. There is a television show called “Heroes” where a Japanese dude traces the strings of time back to an event that could change history. This makes me think that all these strings in the painting are like the strings of time, a minute, a day, and a year. Each triangle in this painting represents events happened or happening. The size of the triangles can represent the magnitude of the events, or they can represent a more present event that has happened.