It is first utilized to bring the reader into the piece and make the introduction pop, with “Late evening rays [...] casting a gentle glow” and “the soft luminescence of the art studio” becoming “a fluorescent glare.” Immediately, the reader knows what the essay will generally be about: art.
Still, in the beginning of the essay, a lot of information is left out, leaving the reader begging for details to contextualize the mental images Bobby leaves them.
It was the difference between drawing a man's face and using abstraction to explore his soul.
But thus was the fundamental gap in my artistic understanding—the difference between the surface realities that I wanted to depict, and the profound though elusive truths of the human condition that art could explore.
Just as Bobby the new artist’s “lines began to unabashedly disregard the rules of depth or tonality,” so too did art slowly—from the playful light of Monet’s Impressionism, to the square faces of Picasso’s Cubism and the complete abstraction of Pollock’s expressionism—care less and less about how realistic it was and more about the message it conveyed.
In Bobby’s words, “It was the difference between drawing a man's face and using abstraction to explore his soul.” Disclaimer: With exception of the removal of identifying details, essays are reproduced as originally submitted in applications; any errors in submissions are maintained to preserve the integrity of the piece.
Indeed, not only does this essay document Bobby’s development from child to young adult, but Bobby’s art also matures from something orderly and superficial to something abstract and deeply meaningful.
What separates Bobby’s essay from a well-written story, however, is the subtextual narrative it provides the reader.
I suppose this is strange, as the rest of my life can best be characterized by everything the studio is not: cleanliness and order and structure.
But then again, the studio was like nothing else in my life, beyond anything in which I've ever felt comfortable or at ease. My carefully composed sketchbooks—the proportions just right, the contrast perfected, the whiteness of the background meticulously preserved—were often marred by the frenzied strokes of my instructor's charcoal as he tried to teach me not to draw accurately, but passionately. But thus was the fundamental gap in my artistic understanding—the difference between the surface realities that I wanted to depict, and the profound though elusive truths of the human condition that art could explore.