Connections Investigation

 Objective: I will create a work of art that represents human connection(s) through illustration of at least one figure. 

Connections Investigation Art has spoken about who we are as people and how we interact with each other in our surroundings, societies and cultures for thousands of years. It speaks about relationships and often creates controversial conversations with viewers. For this investigation, you will be asked to think about connections you have with the people and world around you. You could also think about connections on a grander scale – people across cultures and around the world? How do they interact? You will then develop a unique visual representation. This visual representation must also make a connection with the viewers of your work. How will you get the viewer thinking?

  • How do I connect with the world around me?
  • How do I connect with my friends?
  • How do I connect with my family?
  • How do we connect with people from other places and cultures?
  • Do we need to be more connected?

Please take a look at the art historical references below and the following video to get you thinking…

Step 1. Investigate Artists

Michelangelo: Connections with Spiritual Figures


This is one of the most famous connections ever painted. Michelangelo portrayed Adam ALMOST touching God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Italy. The one inch between their fingers said so much.

Frida Kahlo, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele: Connections Between Two

frida kahlo and diego

Frida Kahlo was one of the most famous female artists ever. Frida used art as a sort of therapy, her work often portrayed love and heartbreak. Above Frida painted a self-portrait with long time husband and painter, Diego Rivera, on her head. He was on her mind, literally. Do you think their connection was happy or hurtful?


Egon Schiele is know for his stylized, vivid portraits of people. Often his drawings and paintings included two people and reflected the inner physce, feelings, and pyspsychology the human mind.



Gustav Klimt is infamous for his intricate patterns and portrayal of love. Above you will see the ever true love between a mother and child. Klimt’s patterns add a whimsical touch and emphasize the happiness shared.

Pablo Picasso, Laylah Ali and Duane Hanson: Connections in Society


Picasso’s Guernica is a universal and infamous painting about the effects of war. During the Spanish civil war, the town of Guernica, Spain was bombed by opposing forces and Picasso dramatically and abstractly represents the horror and emotion of that event. What if human connections are not positive? How could you portray this?

laylah ali 2

laylah ali

Laylah Ali (shown above) also portrays negative human connections. Her drawings and painting often feature hurtful encounters between people and social groups. One of her main topics is racism.


Lastly, Duane Hanson creates sculptures that highlight and expose specific social groups within society. His sculptures are so incredibly life-like, that when they are placed in galleries, visitors often mistake them as real people. Hanson’s sculptures often cause the viewer to be judgmental. This creates a conversation about how we disconnect.

Step 2: Watch Video to Gain Perspective

Please watch the following video and begin thinking about how you will address the concept of Connections:

Step 3: Begin Planning Project

Create 3 Thumbnail Sketches with written explanations (10 points).

Sketches are how you decide exactly what your artwork will look like.  Think of it as a rough draft. How will you represent your idea? What will it look like? Which sketch has the most interesting composition? Sketches will be checked by Ms. Rhodes.  

sketches 2Shearing thumbs-sm

Complete the Project Proposal (20 points)

Project Proposal: After you have created multiple ideas and sketches, select the idea that you like best. Now think about, what materials would you like to use to create the artwork? Will it be 2D or 3D?


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