When you (a student) are dealing with iconic images (such as Steve McCurry’s ‘Afghan Girl’ photograph) and want to integrate the icon somehow into your own art, be careful: think through your reasons, the outcome, and what the audience (or examiner) response might be to the outcome.
As an examiner I frequently encounter iconic images that have been used (re-used?) in a piece of student art, and the Afghan girl is a good example.
Her face often becomes part of a visual statement about the role of women and/or about beauty. Students are often captivated by the power of those eyes and want to project that power into and through their own artwork.
It’s not a new or particularly original idea (in any case neither of those are visual arts assessment criteria) – I have already seen versions of the Afghan girl during the current examination session – but insofar as the original is so striking and powerful, it’s quite a risky business – because comparison with the original is unlikely to do the copy any favours.
It may be a way of trying to show “exploration of ideas reflecting cultural and historical awareness and artistic qualities” and if skilful enough might also show evidence of “technical competence”.
I blogged previously about the use of Barbie for similar purposes almost exactly two years ago (April 27th 2010)…
So welcome Afghan Girl!
The new (or alternative?) Barbie?