In 1965, American artist James Rosenquist completed F-111, a ten by eighty-six foot painting that would be his claim to critical fame. From 1957 to 1960, Rosenquist made a living painting billboards, signs, and advertisements in New York, which helped him develop his visual style. Today, Rosenquist is known for being a key figure in the Pop Art movement; a movement in which mass-produced visual commodities rooted in popular culture (such as advertisements or comic books) are adapted to the context of fine art. One of the key aspects of this was Rosenquist's use of recognizable and familiar imagery, such as the ones used in F-111. The jet is likely an homage to Rosenquist's parents, both being amateur pilots, while the other images reflect the visual simplicity and familiarity of an advertisement.
To view the piece in its full form, play all the videos at once.
In order to update this project, I wanted to keep the notion of making something huge and inspired by a billboard, but it a virtual space rather than a physical. So I transformed the piece into a four panel animation that stretches across four YouTube videos. Like the original, F-1111 takes commercial images and images of popular culture, and puts them in the context of fine art. I've used modern imagery that is easily recognizable, and icons that best represent contemporary culture. These include the Apple logo, an Angry Bird, a Big Mac, a speech from president Obama, and gameplay footage from Halo. The notion that the icons and videos are flying by tries to replicate the random placement of images in the original. It gives one a sense of clustered images being thrown at you all at once. Additionally, I've attempted to re-create the visual style of the original. The back of the plane is two-toned with white and pink, the mid-section is brightly colored, and the front employs a foodstuffs background. In order to create this, I took an image of a jet plane, inserted it into Adobe After Effects, and made four videos in which images and videos from YouTube move from the right side of the screen to the left. The sound of all videos that fly by is set at -48 decibels, until they pass by the screen, in which the sound is brought up to zero decibels, and then back down to -48 as the video flies off screen.
I've decided to call it F-1111 because there are four panels of animation, hence, four 1's. And this is a clever way of saying that it is an update to F-111, adding on an extra '1' to the title.