That’s a great argument–against a claim I never made. I never said he didn’t stand out from the background. Of course he does. He’s a completely different color.
I also never said the artist’s other art looked bad. In fact, I said the exact opposite. I like all his other art, but think this one doesn’t look as good. Why would my aesthetic assessment of his other art have any influence on my aesthetic assessment of this one? Are they all going to be put together in a single work? No–they stand alone, so I judge them alone.
Perhaps my explanation for what I dislike was unclear, so I will try again.
I think it looks bad because it has no floor or shadows. I think the background looks so realistic that I see it as real. The fact that parts of it stick out in front of Obama make it look even more like it’s supposed to be real.
But, without the shadows and floor, it looks wrong. There’s this constant fight between seeing Obama as really there in front of a real bush, and seeing Obama as just added to a preexisting background. The best I can do to resolve it is to see him in a floating chair, which is weird.
By cropping out the floor and where the shadows would be, I remove that disconcerting effect, and I can enjoy the art better. I then also crop out part of the top to restore balance, so Obama doesn’t look like he’s really short.
And while scale can add something to the art, I’ve never once found that it fixes what I perceive as an aesthetic flaw. Making it bigger just makes any flaws stand out more. Changing the context can fix it, but bigger just makes flaws more apparent. And, to be honest, I can’t conceive of why it would. The best art looks good at a distance and close up.
One thing I’ve learned about arguing aesthetic tastes is that there is no way that I can convince you of mine, nor me yours. The best we can do is communicate why we feel the way we feel. I hope I have made myself sufficiently clear.
My opinion is that it looks really good until I see the feet and the fact that he’s not standing on anything. It works when the background looks fake, but not when it looks real. And this background looks real.