So, shouldn't this hold true for even the most unlikely of works?
Works, perhaps, such as Trollface?
|This is the part where you start to get a bad feeling about where the article is headed|
To understand what Trollface is up to, however, we first have to reconstruct the lofty tradition of portraiture and, more importantly, the kind of lies that artists use to make their work more interesting. See, Trollface is interesting because of its distortions, but the distortions are actually nothing new.
Check out this face from Pablo Picasso's famous work "Girl Before A Mirror":
|"My boyfriend dresses as a minotaur while making love to me. I feel conflicted about this."|
|When suddenly the third dimension happened!|
The interesting thing about Picasso is that he's actually drawing upon quite a long tradition in portraiture of spacial manipulation. Check out this fragment from a self portrait by Dürer:
|Albrecht Dürer: a man that could use a hug|
|He painted himself as the "Man of Sorrows" when he wasn't painting himself as Jesus. He was Medieval Kanye West.|
Picasso, as a classically trained realist, almost certainly knew of this technique even if he was not familiar with Dürer's specific use (although actually I would be very surprised to hear that he hadn't studied any of Dürer's works). Both artists tapped into this distortion as a way of creating a sense of dynamism in their pieces.
As did Whynne, the creator of Trollface.
Let's look at the image once more.
Alright, you have Trollface firmly in mind?
Now, look at just the right side of Trollface:
Seem familiar? It doesn't have the bold outline that Picasso's piece does, but I think it's clear that this is a side view. The grin stretches back far beyond the eye, the nose is tilted to show the side and the outline (an aspective view, remember?) and the flatness of the left side of the eye suggests the curving and flattening that takes place when the eye is seen in a 3/4 view. (I can understand if that last one is a bit of a stretch for people... just roll with me here, folks.) Most tellingly of all, Whynne's original intent was to draw the internet meme character "Rape Rodent:"
|The Internet: Giving You Nightmares Since 1998|
The other side, as with the Picasso, is where things get weird:
|Derp. Herpa derp.|
So, what we can conclude is that Trollface is making use of the same strategies of distortion we see in Picasso, Dürer, Cezanne, Michelangelo, Ingres, and countless other classical artists. I'm not sure if this was a conscious effort on the part of the artist, but it ultimately doesn't matter. Even if the effect was accidental, the result is the same. I would suggest that the popularity of Trollface in part comes from the dynamism of the piece, the way he seems to turn away slyly while still keeping his whole attention upon your reaction.
What we can take away more broadly from this is that the techniques of fine art are present even in things that appear to be simple cartoons.
And, of course, there's one other possibility:
This whole article might be complete bullshit.
U mad bro?
|This actually sums up all my articles.|
I actually haven't decided whether this article is serious or not. Expect me to change my position when it's expedient. Sorry for the missed article last week. I'll try to get an extra one out this week. As always, feel free to leave comments, complaints, or, best of all, your own interpretations, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org . And, if you like what you've read here, share it on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Reddit, Equestria Daily, Xanga, Netscape, or whatever else you crazy kids are using to surf the blogoblag these days.