Thursday, September 27, 2007
Charcoal, White Charcoal, Eraser on paper
This drawing is by Odilon Redon and it is entitled Eye Balloon. It is a drawing made with white and black charcoal and an eraser. It was created by Redon in 1878. The balloon seems to be in the middleground and is floating in the air, which makes the foreground and background blend together as one expanse of space below the floating balloon. The balloon is in the center of the picture with sky on either side and the dark ground below.
Redon has used value on the entire paper surface, even the sky, to create interest and contrast with the white in the eye. This definitely puts emphasis on the eye and creates the illusion of form, which makes the eye pop out as if it were 3-d. It is possible to tell that the ground is an expanse of deep space, but it seems much flatter than the eye balloon, which is another reason the balloon sticks out so much. There is texture erased into the ground to give it some interest. There are lines that come down from the balloon that are holding the basket, and there are lines that go up from the balloon to balance the drawing vertically and make the balloon look stable. The lines on the top look like eye lashes. The basket on the balloon at second glance is a skull. The values are so harmonious from the lines, or wires, to the skull that the skull blends in and does not catch the viewer’s eye right away. It seems only there to create an aftershock.
This has definitely been created with a specific mood to evoke a feeling. The background gives the picture an eerie feeling because it is so dark and then there are sharply erased textures, which seem almost knife-like. The balloon could just be a balloon above a field on a cloudy day, but the eyelashes and the fact that the eyelids pop out make it not just another Macy’s Parade balloon, but more like a monster. The discovery of the skull makes it seem like the monster of death is watching and drifting overhead.
I liked the drawing right away. The eye as a balloon caught my attention because I like to draw eyes too. But then, the composition of the drawing seemed simple and boring because of the central placement of the balloon. I do, however, think it is a successful drawing because the meaning and mood is more important than having a dynamic composition.
Redon, Odilon. Eye Balloon. 1878. Museum of Modern Art, New York. 26 Sept. 2007 < http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2005/redon/ redon.html>.