Matisse Smith Vuong – Legacy

Legacy’ conveys feelings of self-doubt, disappointment, and the constant struggle of not living up to your family’s expectations.

I want this piece to confront this topic but more subtly, so to represent that I placed the character who has bad grades in the corner of the family portrait like she is trying to hide from the embarrassment and guilt she feels from letting her family down. To emphasize this point even more I surrounded the portrait itself with honorable metals and pictures of all her other family members getting rewards and trophies for their achievements, as if they were there to taunt and belittle her.

I resonate with this piece a lot as someone who grew up in a household that stresses the importance of being a top student, having the best grades, and being constantly compared to my siblings and friends.

This particular piece took a long time to plan and sketch out my ideas until I finally settled on a family portrait on the wall along with several other achievements surrounding the family to show how successful everyone else is in the family except for the one kid who has bad grades written all over her. Once I was happy I put a base background consisting of grey, blue, white, and brown, so that the colors on the actual pieces could pop out. I took my time to carefully paint out each detail making sure my lines were clean, or a least clear enough for people to know what it was. For this one, I tried to mix animated and classical styles together because I wanted it to look like a very rich, posh, successful family. I finally finished with a brown stain to create deeper shadows around certain areas that would have shadows or depth in them, to add a more 3d effect to the pieces, so that the stuff on the wall can look like they are coming off the wall and into your face.