The mural by John Biggers I chose to analyze the visualelements of is Origins.
Both Origins and Ascension are extremely beautiful, butOrigins stuck out to me the most because it reminds me of a scene from the filmThe Wiz. It is also one of my favorite pieces on campus. This mural was createdin July 1990, but it was not until March 28, 1992 that Winston-Salem Delta FineArts presented the mural to the university. It can be found on the west wall ofthe O’Kelly Library atrium. Every time I enter the library I make sure to get aglimpse of it.When it comes to works of art,every inch of it has some type of symbolism attached to it. No work of art ismeaningless; it tells a story or represents something. Biggers mural, Origins, represents a deepmessage.
However, that is not thesubject of this paper. The subject of this paper is to describe and analyze thevisual elements. The visual elements I chosewere unity, variety, and color. These elements jut seem to catch the eye themost in my opinion.
When it comes to the visual elementof unity Biggers all of the compositions of the mural seem to belong together. Itcreates a sense of harmony before even knowing what the subject of the muralis. Biggers uses a repetition of circles, squares, and triangles to put thispiece together. When first trying to define the unity in the mural I was havinga hard time because although you can see the unity, it is not easy to explain. For example, variety in artwork isreferred to as the use of contrasting elements. Variety is obvious in this paintingby the amount of different sizes of the figures and objects, as well as theplacement of them. Just like unity,Biggers use of different shapes plays a role in showing the variety.
If you look closely at the five figures ofthe women, you will notice that they are not all the same size, nor are theyfacing the same direction. There is even a figure that is hidden in the centerof the painting.Moving on to the last visualelement, color, Biggers really makes great choices in his use of color. We allknow that color is placed into different categories such as, primary,secondary, warm, cool, etc.
Here in this mural the use of warm colors isendless like orange, yellow, and red. These colors give the piece energy andexcitement. The use of blue is very heavy as well, but blue is a cool color. Itprovides a calming energy over the work of art.
So as I mentioned before, this piece is oneof my favorite pieces and every time I see it, I am in awe by the beauty thatit represents, and the energy that it provides to the atmosphere in which itlives.