Round Fourteen: Red

Mariam Tronchoni vs. Sofia Bonati

A quick This vs. That for today as the paintbrush is calling me! These images are somewhat similar to pieces I shared under ‘Splashes’. But these images are more similar in some ways as they only use black and white and red for the colour impact. Red has many associations and can be used in art rather well (see my post Red). Let’s see how Tronchoni and Bonati utilise the colour of love.

What I like about the first image (Tronchoni):

This piece is very simple. It’s direct and to the point, which is kind of refreshing. We have a woman looking at us in a rather coy manner. I think all aspects of the image work well – I especially love her hair – but overall it doesn’t quite compute to me. I think that the red might overpower the image and actually detract. I imagine a cooler colour, such as blue or green would have worked better. I can see how red goes better with the content of the image – a semi-seductive girl, luring us in for a lustful time. But I think that opposing this notion through cold colours would be more successful. It would play into the concept of women luring men in only to break their hearts – a kind of conflict between seeing someone attractive and seductive, and seeing the potential consequences. How many men would ignore the icy blue touches and look only at the lips? Another interpretation of the image could be to do with the saying ‘rose tinted glasses’. They are red, but because of how our lady looks out at us I disregard this interpretation. Clearly she doesn’t even look through the glasses, so it rather becomes our rose tint to look through. Does this make us see her more fondly? I don’t think so.

Overall, not a bad image, but I would prefer some more depth in ideas with the colour alternatives I suggested. I also find her eyes are a bit lacking, which may be Tronchoni’s point, but it is hard not to think it is poor execution. Perhaps the glass eyes contrast with the red, showing us how men put lust into just about everything, inanimate or otherwise. Again, for me the glass eyes would work better with a cold colour to reinforce the (potential) destructive nature of this particular lady.


What I like about the second image (Bonati):

I love this piece. It almost reminds me of a puppet carved out of wood. Her face is stunning, and it’s simplicity is quite fine. In fact, it is really enough in this context. The obvious pen strokes on her face enhance the wooden puppet aspects, but work against creating any realism in her hair. Clearly that type of hair is not possible, even in the puppet realm. She has no body, and could be suspended by stings. But if she is a puppet, then at one stage she might have been a human, because there is no denying that her eyes are very much alive. This contrasts with Tronchoni’s image, where I have criticized the eyes. The touch of red works well and adds the alive / once was alive nature. The colour has not been sucked out of her, or she is ready to come to life. It is also stylized on her cheeks which looks great, as well as looking like it could have been painted on. Puppet clues appear with each word I write (yet I didn’t even see her as a puppet until today – crazy!). Nevertheless, I love, love, love this piece. So much energy in the eyes, and the simplicity of style, as well as mixture of pen strokes works to make a delightfully wondrous piece.


I’ll cut to the chase and crown Bonati the winner. You might have seen that coming. Sometimes the old This vs. That can be an easy choice, which just goes to show the varying levels on which art can compete. Similar styles can often be miles apart. I guess some artists just have that magic touch and can bring any piece of paper to life. Well, at least Bonati can.

Do you agree?  Let me know who you would crown winner.

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