Visual Arts Subjective Frame Essay

Analyse how each artist has used their personal experiences as a basis for creating artworks
Personal experience fuels individuals to create art, where creativity serves as a medium for processing important events in one’s life. This statement is true throughout history, regardless of centuries, genders and classes. Bill Viola is a contemporary artist whose use of video and sound installations has allowed him to share his memories and experiences with his audience, using reoccurring themes of religion and water. Francisco de Goya was a Spanish romantic painter whose paintings changed dramatically in theme and style due to his personal experiences and beliefs, at the expense of his popularity at the time. Both artists have experienced particularly traumatic events in their lives that have served as the basis for the creation of their artworks.
Water is a strong theme in the majority of Bill Viola’s artworks due to an experience he had as a boy. On a fishing trip with his uncle, Viola fell into the water, hit the bottom and found himself in a dreamlike underwater paradise and as he said in an interview, “the feeling is I glimpsed this world, that was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen”. Since this experience, mostly subconsciously, Viola has used water as the basis for many of his works, including 5 Angels for the Millennium (2001). This work features figured rising and sinking into water,   projected into the walls of the Gasometer in Oberhausen. The projections are made surreal through the use of unnatural colour, reversal of the videos (so falling looks like rising), the use of very loud, consuming audio of underwater sounds, and the extremely slow speed at which the videos are projected. The audience is drawn to the projections which are displayed above their heads in the dark, “cathedral like” space, as Viola describes it. The works capture the beauty and serenity that Viola discovered underwater and shares this experience with the audience....