Arts in New York City: Baruch College, Fall 2008, Professor Roslyn Bernstein
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Pandora’s Box



I have made many a collage, which is why I knew I did not want to make mine on an 8 and a half by 11 sheet of paper.  I love making collages and I did not want to be limited to a small amount of space.  Initially, I used a magazine with very large pictures, so the materials I was working with required a lot of space.  I decided to use a box because it has an inside and an outside.  The outside of my box represents the surface, or for me personally, my outward appearance.  There is a large photograph of a hand opening a doorknob.  I liked the used of black and white in this picture so I decided the entire outside the box would look more uniform if it was mostly black and white.  On the surface, it often looks like my life is uniform, and everything appears to be in order.  Once one opens the door and see inside, or for instance look into the box, they realize that there is a lot more than what meets the eye. 

The inside of the box represents the inner workings of my mind.  The “Luna Sunrise” wrapper represents me because I am full of contradictions, just as Luna, in other words the Moon, contradicts the Sun.  I travel a lot, hence the Metrocard.  I recognize different seasons in my life, which is why there is “the fall” in my collage.  I used the wrapper of a “Cup Noodles” because it was spicy chile chicken flavor and I love spicy food, but I am very lazy when it comes to cooking so I make food that is quick and easy. 

There are items hanging in the box to add depth.  It parallels the depth of my thoughts. The beaded flowers are part of a friendship bracelet.  Its bright colors brighten up the box like my friends light up my life.   There are soda bottle caps to represent my sentimentality. Strawberry crush soda is one of my favorite sodas. I have fond memories drinking that soda, and I have a lot of memory and significance attached the flavor strawberry as it is.  The geometrical metal design is just something I found.  Art is often just found spontaneously, but that does not necessarily undermine an object’s importance. I then used the metal as a part of the bigger picture.  I see it as a cage for the bird that is “flying” through it.  “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is the title of one of my favorite poems and books by Maya Angelou.  At the end of the poem, Angelou says, “The caged bird sings for freedom.”  Freedom has always been a very important concept to me.  I cannot stand being forced into a certain position or being controlled.  The woman with the apple reminds me of my favorite perfume, DKNY Red Delicious, and it also reminds me of temptation.  Freedom brings temptation upon us, but it also emphasizes the importance of responsibility. 

At the bottom of the inside of the box is the word “faith” because it is the basis of my beliefs and ambitions.  Also, if it weren’t for my faith, my life would not have a strong foundation, but it would be rather shaky.  I believe that no matter what, my faith should remain something I can always fall back on.  I hope that the rest of my collage can speak for itself, but if not, I leave it up to your own interpretation.  No matter what, however, please enjoy it, it’s art. 



1 Anna { 12.10.08 at 6:06 am }

Emily, I love how you chose to emphasize the importance of freedom in your life yet at the same time contain your collage within the limitations of a box. I admire your passion for freedom and independence, and I am sure experiencing college in a new state is a big step for you. I wish I could do the same.

I also love the picture of the door on the back of the box. While others may be more inviting and open, some may be quiet and shy. I believe that all it takes is for others to knock at their door to really get to know the person and go beyond the surface. Good job. 🙂

2 markbosse { 12.13.08 at 4:07 am }

I really like the concept of the box. I think in illustrating your own philosophies and proclivities the 3 dimensional structure was essential. You are obviously a very complex person.
Good job!

3 Keyana { 12.29.08 at 3:40 am }

I really like that you used a shoebox as the medium to express your collage. You creatively incorporated symbolism into your collage, as seen on the back where you included the image of a door opening, like opening the door to your soul and the real you. I learned a lot about you through this, nice job.