Brian Manley (Art & Design)
Re-visiting Orientalism: cross-cultural bridge building in the 21st century
The purpose of this project is to create a series of paintings and drawings that reference a recent resurgent genre of artwork known as Orientalism. The Orientalists of the late 19th century were American and European artists who traveled extensively through North Africa, Arabia, Persia and India painting the cities and peoples of those lands. I will research the central artists of this genre and travel to several of their common destinations in the Near East. While seeking evidence of timeless cultural elements in Arabia, I plan to research and gather reference images that reflect contemporary modification of traditional values and lifestyles. Visits to museums, cultural centers, archaeological sites and rural village settings will be part of a cultural and historical information gathering phase of this project. Photography and extensive sketching will be a critical part of the research during the time spent in the Middle East. These reference images and sketches will then be used to create a series of paintings that reflect on Orientalism from a contemporary perspective.
The completed paintings and drawings will be used to apply for exhibitions in regional, national and international venues. They may also be used for publication in scholarly and popular journals.