The Bathers Analysis

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The appropriated version of “Australian Beach Pattern” is “The Bathers” which was taken by photographic artist, Anne Zahalka, in 1989. She commented on art and conventions of the past with irony on contemporary culture as well as traditional visual communication. In “The Bathers”, Zahalka set up her work’s concept base on Meere’s painting and subverts its original meaning with humour and parody. She replaced a range of body types and people from different background such as the hairy man, Italian looking lady, which reflects Australian multicultural diversity. Additionally, it encourages consideration on Australian traditions and customs that we hold. The artwork alters the audience’s perceptions of Australian identity. In Charles Meere’s work,…show more content…
However, both artists have different material practice. Charles Meere created his work by oil on canvas with complex overlapping human composition. It employs the use of all three levels: foreground, middle-ground and background. Conversely, Zahalka arranged her piece in front of a painted backdrop, the figures cannot recede into the space provided and all subjects seem almost at the same compositional level, which reduces the image’s depth. However, the colours used are very vibrant in comparison to Charles Meere’s. She has made use of performance art to stage her concept. She took photo of real models in a studio, in front of an artificial, painted backdrop where you can see the edges and creases. Zahalka imported sand, furniture, beach paraphernalia, set up the painted backdrop and staged people to convey her message of non-stereotypical Australians and comments strongly on the traditional techniques of art. Through technology, Zahalka has utilised a modern medium of photography in order to represent her work, which is chromogenic colour print or also called type C. Chromogenic colour prints are full colour prints, and this method of producing prints is the most common photographic process. The photosensitive paper is usually plastic based and available in large rolls. A computerised light-jet printing machine is used, which exposes the digital image file onto the photographic paper. It allows the production of very large prints while retaining high resolution. Many of Zahalka’s works have also been produced by this method. The use of technology in “The Bathers” emphasises new contemporary context which relate to our future society and rapid

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