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Joe Testa-Secca’s creation offers criticism on the Fingerprint Scan

Joe Testa-Secca’s 1983 piece,Fingerprint Scan is the artwork chosen for my visual analysis report.This serigraph is edition 37 out of a 175 collection and the medium used is colour screen-printing on paper. In this piece, Testa-Secca explores the theme of identity and character. The elements and principles of art have been successfully used in his representation of masculinity within the outline of a thumbprint.

The ink is used to create an implied line as there is no continuous mark. Using ink and the silkscreen process allows these lines to be bold and impressive which showcases character as the eyes, lips, head and neck within the thumbprint design are distinctively thicker areas of ink. The implicit contour in the implicitlines are visible and permit volume to the work. Evidently, these lines therefore function to describe the masculine figure and facial features while simultaneous communicating the shape of a thumbprint.The colours used in the piece are black and orange which lends variety to the piece. The secondary hue of fluorescent orange allows the observer to distinguish the facial features from the fingerprint and the blackcolour enables us to ascertain these features. Unity and is maintained in the piece as a symmetrical face is visible and the colours combine to make the work visually appealing.

The element of light is used in tandem with these elements of line and colour as it helps us differentiate the two different images in the work and adds a warm temperature to the picture.For instance, the absence of light allows us to identify the eyes as being two circular and dark areas. Since the work is a screen-print, two-dimensional space is employed. However, this adds to the volume effect created by the contour lines as the face seems to “pop” out of the canvas as the observer walks backwards from the work.

Each human fingerprint is unique and whereas persons may have a lot of physical similarities and resemblance in facial features, this piece surely reminds the observer that each human being is special and has his/her own intrinsic and exotic mark to leave on the world. These principles and elements of art work together to create a personification of identity.

Fingerprints remain unchanged for our entire lives and actually can give insight to our personality. The artist embeds the loop fingerprint in his design which is notably the most common type of fingerprint out there. It symbolizes persons of average intelligence and a pleasant personality. This is important as the artwork has a universal appeal, meaning that the average onlooker can relate to the piece while simultaneously being reminded of how unique of a person they are in the earth. Since the face is so realistic within the thumbprint, it definitely creates a connection in the onlooker and appeals to us in a profound way. This artwork is therefore very effective, not only in employing the principles and elements of art but also in resonating with the viewer to create a lasting impact.

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