Sunday, April 25, 2010

Whitney Biennial

I was so surprised and excited about how many female artists were exhibiting in the Whitney Biennial this year! I felt that the entire exhibition was very intimate and, for some reason, I was really drawn to a lot of the works created by the female artists of the exhibit.
Stephanie Sinclair's Self- Immolation in Afghanistan: A Cry for Help (2005) was an extremely graphic and emotional piece. This work consisted of a series of 9 photographs of young women being treated for self-inflicted burns. These women set themselves on fire in acts of utter desperation to escape the prolonged abuse from their husbands or families. ( After reading about her work, I later discovered that many of these women are the child brides of arranged marriages in Afghanistan) The piece is extremely moving because of its raw graphic content. Through the photographs Sinclair tells the story of these women's struggle. In the photographs she uses selective focus to bring the viewer in and out of the image, she also aligns them horizontally, at eye level, across the entire room. As you stand there, surrounded by images of women in their most vulnerable state, you can't help but feel the emotions beaming through the photographs. This piece is very much about the bravery of these women as well as their suffering, it represents and exposes the violence against women that occurs everyday. I thought the piece was really well done, not just the images, but the story and message the images tell was extremely moving and inspirational to me.
Kate Gilmore's work Standing Here (2010) was also really compelling to me. As I first walked into the room I notice the huge white box, made out of sheet rock, with big holes all over it. Then I noticed the large projection on the wall next to it, which is a video of the artist kicking and punching holes from the inside of the box in an attempt to climb out of it. This piece was so interesting to me, not because of the physical objects that made up the piece, like Sinclair's work, but because of the concept behind the work. The physical objects of the work, I thought, were much less important than the concept. Similar to Sinclair's photographs, Gilmore's work deals with the struggle of women, however, in a very different way. This piece acts as a metaphor for the conflicts and obstacles women face in todays word. Rather than putting it right in your face, like Sinclair's piece does, Gilmore's work forces the viewer to look further into the piece and really think about it. The artist overcomes the limitations of her female clothing, heels, pantyhose, and a polka-dot dress, and uses her sheer muscle power and determination to break out of a self-constructed obstacle. Both of the works address female identity and struggle but in two very different ways. When I was viewing the works, each piece rose different questions in my mind, however, both had me thinking about the struggles and strength of women. I found them both to be very successful in the way they were created and presented.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Project 3


I got a new girlfriend, though I don't like girls.
I haven't much money, but I buy her pearls.

I'm always embarrassed, but I give her flowers,
and talk on the phone every evening for hours.

We go to the movies, and she gets to pick.
She wants to hold hands, though it makes me feel sick.

She likes when I smell goo, so I take a bath.
I do what she asks me, and she does my math.

For this projects I would like to emphasize the many layers of this boy's relationship with his girlfriend. I would also like to highlight the cute and funny qualities of the poem with illustrations. I plan to create a book that requires the reader to physically flip through the many layers behind the real reason this boy has a girlfriend. I plan to draw an illustration for each line of the poem, then scan it into Adobe Illustrator, and then use the Live Trace and Live Paint tools. The actual material for the book will be some kind of thick paper, which I will then stitch together with thread.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Collaborative Presentation

Landscapes of the Mind:
How an artist's real world influences the alternate realities in his art

This exhibit brings together three artists, Florian Maier-Aichen, Oliver Wasow, and George Grie who each create alternate realities through the use of digitized media. While Wasow and Maier-Aichen begin with a photograph, Grie starts with an image from his mind. Each artists has unique intentions about what he wants the viewer to take away from his images. This also varies the degree to which each artist's work compares to the real world.

Oliver Wasow:

George Grie:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Inherited Traits Discussion

The art in this exhibit exists in both the physical pieces as well as the concepts behind the works. Traditionally, art has been thought of as beautiful masterpieces created entirely by the artist. However, conceptual art has changed all of that. Works of art no longer have to be beautiful and more importantly don't necessarily have to involve the artist "touch". The art now exists in the concept behind the pieces as well as in the viewers interpretation.

For the piece Accent Elimination, by Nina Katchadourian, what is physically there is only a small part of the art. It's simply a bunch of purchased TVs on tall white pedestals, none of which were created by the artist. The art exists in the concept behind what the artists has chosen to play on the TV screens as well as how it is analyzed and interpreted by the viewers. Also, in her piece The Nightgown, only a portion of the work was created by her. Majority of the photographs where taken by her mother. However, the actual art in this work is created through the story the photographs tell; the emotional timeline the viewer is presented with. Although her many of her pieces aren't created by her alone, the art is. The concepts and thoughts behind the works are her own and this is where the true art exists, in the ideas.

Heidi Kumao's works involve a lot of consideration in the creation of the pieces. Her piece Transplant and Trace definitely involve a lot of work on her part, in order to have the images line up with the book and the hanging tag. However, the beauty of this piece isn't how perfectly the projection lines up with the objects displayed, its the message behind the piece. What is being displayed on the screen and how she creates these messages through the use of these objects and projections is the real art of the piece. Her piece Translator is a combination of different kinds of machinery and objects. However, the purpose of these objects has been completely changed, they no longer function in the way they were supposed to. Similar to the work of Marcel Duchamp, these found objects now have and new purpose and, therefore, they have a new meaning, which was created by the artists, and can now be considered art. Her work is deeply conceptual due to the fact that she first begins with an idea and then chooses her medium.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Project #2

For this project I wanted to play with the idea of public vs. private. I wanted to use images of different parts of my body in their most natural state. The images show different parts of me which are normally concealed or altered, with makeup or clothes, before I go out in public. Each photograph shows a different flaw or imperfection that I see when I look at myself. The text for this piece was taken from the first few lines of a Walt Whitman poem, "Song of Myself". The poem is about a persons coming of age as well as discovering yourself as you grow older and celebrating the beauty of nature.

I used photoshop to play around with the lighting of the different images. I also flipped two of the images horizontally because I thought they were more successful that way. The clone tool was very useful as well in making background of the images work together. I used illustrator to create the text in the images and to align everything the way I wanted.

Exhibit Presentations

Andrew Matlack and Bryan Borut "When Video Game Worlds Collide"
This presentation compared video game artist, Sid Meier and Shigery Miyamoto. It was nice to see two artists both working in the same industry but with very different ideas. Sid Meier, for example, works with mostly PC games involving realistic themes and strategy while Shigery Miaymoto works with video game consoles, such as Nintendo, to create completely fictional games based around various super heros. It amazing to think about the evolution of video games. They are constantly improving and very year they become more and more complex. I thought this presentation made a really interesting comparison of the two different kinds of video games, as well as the two different artists.

Joey Gambatese and Ceire Parker "Reality, Virtuality, and Digital Synergy"
This presentation compared two artists, Rafal Lozano-Hemmor and Masaki Fujinata, both working with digital art that involves the participation of its viewers. Both of these artists are interested in art that is controlled by the public; everyone is free to manipulate these pieces, in fact, they are asked to do so. I love the idea of involving the viewers of your artwork. I think both of these artists do a wonderful job of making art for everyone and allowing their art to not just be seen but experienced. I enjoyed hearing about Masaki Fujinata's piece, Portray the Silhouette (2006), involvinng the creation of false shadows in which viewer is allowed to interact with it.

Lindsay Brown, Matt Kozdron, & Brittany Shurts "The Expression of Color"
This presentation was so interesting because it showed us the artists behind advertisements we constantly see. Peter Jaworowski, Neil Duerden, and Joe Mcnally are all artists who create commercial or documentary images through the use of photography and photoshop. It's interesting to think about how these artists come up with their ideas and how they make something as simple as Sprite seem exciting and colorful. I enjoyed seeing the different advertisements individually and then seeing them next to one another at the end. Joe McNally's images from "The Panorama of War" were my favorites. The beautiful colors and strong emotions he is able to capture with his camera is truly amazing.

Ryan Janelli and Lizz Lesso "Untitled"
This presentation compared artists, Paul Smith and Feng Mengbo, who are both working with digital media to create works for which they are the subject of. I thought Paul Smith's pieces on Masculinity were hysterical as well as really interesting. Its nice to see an artist who works with big ideas but does it in a less serious, and in some cases, comical way. Feng Mengbo also works with bigger issues, such as Communist China, in his artwork. Although he wanted to be considered a "game artist," I thought the video game shown, in which Mengbo is the character, was interesting but not quite understandable. The other video games we looked at all had a clearly defined goal and strategy, but I couldn't really grasp the purpose of the video camera in this one or what the game was really about.

Emirys Brito, Elle Rohana, Adriana Kelly "Synthesizing Nature"
I really enjoyed this presentation because it was so different from all the others. Annea Lockwood, Petri Kuljuntausta, and Hildegard Westerkamp are all artists working with natural occurring sounds, but in very different ways. I thought the most interesting was Petri Kuljuntausta and his "frozen sounds." I was really fascinated with his ideas about finding internal sounds and noticing the actual sound of a sound. At first it was a little hard for me to understand, but after listening to the recording it all made sense. I also enjoyed Annea Lockwoods sounds of nature and the environment. It's amazing to me to think about people being able to make beautiful compositions with millions of simple sounds that don't seem to go together at all. These artist added something new to the table and I thought it was really interesting to learn about as well as very nicely presented.