p. 70 Yolanda Cuomo and Emily Jones

Task 1

Sister Corita’s Rules

Step 1: Tweet a synopsis of your task

Step 2: Research the artist and make a visual portrait

Yolanda Cuomo is an American artist, educator, art director and designer. She was born in New Jersey in 1957 and is well-known for her collaborative work with artists such as Richard Avedon and Diane Arbus. Soon after Cuomo graduated from The Copper Union in 1980, she began work as a Junior Designer at Condé Nast, working alongside Marvin Israel. In 1985, Cuomo was named Art Director of fashion magazine Vue created by The Village Voice. When the magazine was force to stop after six issues, Cuomo opened her first studio in Manhattan with her two assistants, Bonnie Briant and Jonno Rattman. In 2011, Cuomo and her studio team began a collaboration with Jeu de Paume in Paris, to create and design a large retrospective of Diane Arbus’ work. A year on, she also coauthored New York at Night with Norma Stevens: a body of photographs published by PowerHouse Books. Designing and bookmaking has been a large part of Cuomo’s career, as she is associated with over 85 books, previous to New York at Night. This inspired my portrait of Cuomo as it is a large part of her identity. I decided to create a weaved collage of the spines of books Cuomo has been a part of designing, including the spine of her co-authored book. In my task, Cuomo suggests to take inspiration from everything and everywhere, hence merging so many of her accomplishments into one self-portrait.

Step 3: Critical analysis of artist and image in their style

After researching the designs Cuomo uses in her books, posters and magazines, the colours she uses are earth-toned with an occasion pop of colour. She uses fonts which are bold and strong, with the letters in block capitals and large spacing. I have re-created a poster inspired by the front page of her website, using a similar style of lettering, but adding my own monochromatic aesthetic. I’ve used words from Sister Corita’s rules in order to create it: trust, experiment, save, advice, trust, make, create and happiness. I sourced the letters from a magazine in order to create more texture and dimension.

Step 4: Complete Assignment

Step 5: Critical Rationale

I enjoyed reading the advice Yolanda Cuomo gave to her students as it really resonated with me. I struggle to create when overthinking a task which meant the main focus for this task was to simply create. Sister Corita’s first rule “Find a place you trust”, was the most influential to beginning this task as I felt more comfortable and relaxed in an environment I trusted, encouraging my photography. A fellow student gave me advice to not make x amount of images, but to just create a body of work based on what I already had. She reiterated the rule of not over-analysing anything I was making. In order for me to follow the rest of the rules, I needed to break some. I experimented with my images by merging different layers of them together in order to create a new image. I asked a fellow student for advice on this again, and she explained to me that the resulted image left her feeling as though the environment was mysterious and eerie. I found it interesting that I had created an image from somewhere out of photographs which make me feel calm and remind me of such a peaceful place. In the future, I hope to keep Sister Coritas rules a constant in my practice as I think they will help me to absorb as much information and help as possible. They will enable me to break free of my comfort zone and utilize my resources more effectively.

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