Just as Bobby the new artist’s “lines began to unabashedly disregard the rules of depth or tonality,” so too did art slowly—from the playful light of Monet’s Impressionism, to the square faces of Picasso’s Cubism and the complete abstraction of Pollock’s expressionism—care less and less about how realistic it was and more about the message it conveyed.
In Bobby’s words, “It was the difference between drawing a man's face and using abstraction to explore his soul.” Disclaimer: With exception of the removal of identifying details, essays are reproduced as originally submitted in applications; any errors in submissions are maintained to preserve the integrity of the piece.
It was the difference between drawing a man's face and using abstraction to explore his soul.
But thus was the fundamental gap in my artistic understanding—the difference between the surface realities that I wanted to depict, and the profound though elusive truths of the human condition that art could explore.
Indeed, not only does this essay document Bobby’s development from child to young adult, but Bobby’s art also matures from something orderly and superficial to something abstract and deeply meaningful.
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What separates Bobby’s essay from a well-written story, however, is the subtextual narrative it provides the reader.No, it was not so clean and not so white and not so nice.But I have drawn—rather, lived—in this studio for most of my past ten years.I cherished this connection—a relationship built upon flowing melodies rather than broken phrases.After each impromptu concert, he carefully guided my fingers along the smooth, worn body of the flute, clapping after I successfully played my first tentative note.And I can't tell you exactly when or why my attitude changed, but eventually my own lines began to unabashedly disregard the rules of depth or tonality to which I had once dutifully adhered, my fervor leaving in its wake black fingerprints and smudges where once had existed unsoiled whiteness.It was in this studio that I eventually made the leap into a new realm of art—a realm in which I was neither experienced nor comfortable.I suppose this is strange, as the rest of my life can best be characterized by everything the studio is not: cleanliness and order and structure.But then again, the studio was like nothing else in my life, beyond anything in which I've ever felt comfortable or at ease. My carefully composed sketchbooks—the proportions just right, the contrast perfected, the whiteness of the background meticulously preserved—were often marred by the frenzied strokes of my instructor's charcoal as he tried to teach me not to draw accurately, but passionately. But thus was the fundamental gap in my artistic understanding—the difference between the surface realities that I wanted to depict, and the profound though elusive truths of the human condition that art could explore.Throughout the rest of the piece, Bobby’s use of imagery brings his essay to life, with “black fingerprints and smudges” and “unsoiled whiteness” being used to describe his art.He also uses imagery to illustrate the contrast between his organized, type A persona and the abstract art he eventually creates.