Artist Statement for Strange Fruit

My initial vision for this assignment was to do a mostly vector drawing for a fake band called, Raging Sperm. The sparta-like sperm were to attack an egg with spears, very phallic like. However, I found that I wasn’t able to draw the idea to my satisfaction on photoshop and with vectors.

After some wasted hours and attempts at Sperm Warriors, I decided to change my idea entirely to an album cover for my real band, Strange Fruit. During slavery, when coloured people were lynched, their bodies were referred to as strange fruit. That idea has always been unnerving and interesting to me.

The vision I had for Strange Fruit was of an apple hanged by a noose. The idea of using the apple as the head of the victim and lightly drawing a silhouette of a man seemed impressive to me, but considering my difficulty drawing a sperm, I ditched the silhouette idea and went for sweet and simple instead. Retrospectively, I think the silhouette might have been overkill had I attempted it (and if I had, even if didn’t like it, I would have left it in the photo despite my better judgement, because I wouldn’t be able to let it go after all that work). The silhouette would have beat my audience over the head with the message and tone of the band.

So, I looked up an eerie youtube video of how to tie a noose, bought an apple and waited for twilight to get the lighting I wanted for the photo. Afterwards, the play in photoshop is really a loss of recollection. I just played around with the background and colour of the photo – the only thing I had in mind was that I wanted the apple’s colour to pop and for the rest of the image to be simplistic and not detract from the focus i.e. the noose/apple. I saved the project throughout the experimenting process and tinkered until I felt I couldn’t do any better. The scene played as, I saved the last time, not knowing it would be my final – continued to tinker, didn’t like where I had gone forward, quit the program without saving and took my backup as the good copy. I think that’s probably a good way to move forward with anything I do in the future; keep working on the art until I screw it up and then just revert back to the last best version?!

I hope you like it.

And I don’t endorse suicide in any way!



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