Analysis of Non-Traditional Art Essay

1. The first work of art is a graffiti peace retrieved from the gallery PerfectDefect site, one of the largest online databases of this kind of art. The formal elements of the work are easier to analyze than its content because of the obscurity of the message. This work of art is composed of strong lines. The depicted letters are placed in a one-point linear perspective, with the vanishing point located somewhere in the background of the picture, with a diagonal recession. The artist uses light and dark to accentuate the shape of the letters, placing the source of light in the background and above. The graffiti includes for the most part analogous color schemes, concentrating on blue and green colors. The texture of the letters has a smooth surface quality.

The subject matter of the picture is the word that is depicted which is read as “Kalis.” The painting is most probably in the “wildstyle” that is rather difficult for an outsider to read and decipher. The content is defined by the relationship between the picture and various symbols adopted in graffiti. Contextual criticism, for example, might uncover that this piece of graffiti is used to denote a boundary of a gang group and in this way is connected with a practical meaning. A structuralist analysis could focus on uncovering the meaning by exploring the relationship to surrounding structures and identifying the place where this graffiti was painted.

Finally, this work of art can be considered representational since it depicts an inscription, adding the depiction of light/darkness in a real-world setting.

2. The second work is the snow sculpture, an exciting but temporary piece of art created for an exhibition. The statue was found on the Canadian Snow Sculpture Team’s website and is called Inuk and the Dancing Bear. John McKinnon produced it in January 2003.

A form is a sculptural object: the figure of a man and a bear positioned against the snowy background.

With a combination of classical and expressive lines, the author creates a balanced impression, neither boring nor over-agitating the viewer. Since it is a sculpture, it does not have such formal elements as light and dark and perspective, typically found in paintings. The texture of the sculpture resembles the material it is made of – snow and does not depart from the original composition of the material.

The representation of the animal is the subject matter of the work. From the content viewpoint, it can be seen as symbolic – associated with certain character traits related to a specific animal. The sculpture draws on legendary characters and represents native folk tales. It can also be meant to bring in an element of wild nature into human existence. Finally, the work can be meant as pure, applied art that serves to diversify and decorate urban surroundings.

The snow sculpture described has an evident representational character. It is easily associated with the object of reality it depicts – the animal and the man.

Canadian Snow Sculpture Team. (2003, January). Inuk and the Dancing Bear. Mt. Taebaek, Korea. Retrieved August 29, 2006, from
Yard/Kalis. Retrieved August 29, 2006, from


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