Sunflowers VS Existential Dread

Sunflowers VS Existential Dread

A Zine About Choices

A zIne about Choices

Sunflowers VS Existential Dread takes its inspiration from the MET (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) collection. The content came to life through a conversation with my brilliant friend Emily, and her extensive knowledge of philosophy (Jean-Paul Sartre in this case). Read the digital copy, print it, and see the images and credits below.

Digital Zine

Digital Zine

Printable Zine

Printable Zine

Download and print out the one page Sunflowers VS Existential Dread zine by clicking and saving the image below. Feel free to make and distribute them if you like. Let me know if you want to use any of my zines to raise money for charity. I’m here for that!

The Original (Copies)

The Original (Copies)

Sir Anthony Van Dyck

Sir Anthony Van Dyck

Sir Anthony Van Dyck with a Sunflower - 1644 - Trace from Wenceslow Hollar - Colour and Refinement based on original

This piece is copied from Wencelow Hollar’s copy of the Sir Anthony Van Dyck’s self Portrait. This image has been drawn on shrink film using markers. This gives it a somewhat painterly feel when translated to black and white.

Pierrot

Pierrot

Pierrot in pain ca. 1854-55. Photograph by Nadar. Subject, the mime Jean-Charles Deburau.

Pierrot in Pain is a colour piece taken from Nadar’s black and white photograph. I had plans to shrink it into a little pendant and liked the way the circle cutouts looked so much, I added more to make the choices feel never-ending. A little distance between the piece and the paper below gave the circles some nice shading. No need to draw it in myself! I love Jean-Charles Deburau’s expression in the original. I don’t really have it here, because the original has more of an element of surprise, while this one is more mournful. His body language is so wonderfully expressive.

Olga Kokhlova

Olga Kokhlova

Head of a Woman (Olga Kokhlova), Picasso, 1927.
Head of a Woman (Olga Kokhlova), Picasso, 1927.

Taken from The MET’s description: “the subject is his deteriorating marriage to the Russian dancer Olga Kokhlova, who, despairing over Picasso’s loss of interest, had become emotionally unstable. Picasso had by that time already met his next lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter, although Olga would not know it until 1935.” I thought it was the perfect emblem of nagging despair for ENTROPY. Poor Olga.

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde Existential Crisis
Taken from a Thomas Nast cartoon lambasting Oscar Wilde: "Mr. O'Wilde, You are not the first one that has grasped at a Shadow" Originally published in Harper's Bazar - February 11, 1882

Here’s one that looks considerably better in black and white. My black pen isn’t fine enough, unfortunately. It’s the only image I used post-oven. I used a white gel pen to go over the dark spots, creating cross-hatching in the negative. Gel pen does not shrink on top of shrink film, so it has to be added after the piece has been baked and cooled. The original piece lambasts Wilde but I think context makes this figure more contemplative and less self absorbed.

Duke Brand Cigarettes

Duke Brand Cigarettes

Sunflower Cigarette Illustration
Sunflower - Haughtiness, from the series Floral Beauties and Language of Flowers for Duke brand cigarettes

My portrait doesn’t look much like the original at all, though the placement of features is similar. There are lots of flaws here and too much ink on the face. Shrink film always makes ink darker so this poor lady ended up absolutely pink. Still, I love the original composition. It was fun to have multiple Sunflowers too, so they could speak as a group and say “we”. This solved the problem of deciding whether to use “I” or “You” in their statements. “We” may or may not be inclusive of the audience, which I think makes it less like a command.

Thanks for checking out my week 2 March break zine project! I’ve got a ton of zines with different styles and themes. So far, they’re all free to read online, or download and print. Check them out:

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