Sunday, September 4, 2011

Last Night Out in Minneapolis

This is a glimpse of a farewell to the people I will miss as well as a place that I have come to know and love. It will be there for all of us whenever we choose to return.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wegman's World

William Wegman originally planned on painting before he met his dog, Man Ray, who he began to collaborate with in photos. Although Wegman has experienced vast success, the content of his well-known photographs might not appeal to everyone. I have chosen to make an artist book based on the tactics applied in Wegman's photos. By dressing up a dog and placing that dog in an inappropriate scene for an animal, Wegman was able to raise questions with his audience about the existence of an animal. Wegman's work is unpredictable and humorous through the creation of bizarre scenes where a dog plays a human. Although I do not particularly appreciate the affect of those scenes, I am intrigued by Wegman's ideas and what he was trying to convey through his photos.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tour de Walker

The piece I chose that I believe has strong formal qualities is Hippopotamus by Paul Thek. This piece is very interesting to me because of the media he used and the effect it has on the viewer. He used beeswax, plexiglass, metal and rubber in order to create a faux slab of hippopotamus flesh. If his intent was to rear the media into appearing like an actual hippopotamus he comes eerily close. Although you can see drips of wax, you still cannot help but be thinking that you are staring at raw flesh pierced by rods of metal. I highly doubt he was going for beauty in this piece but because of its strong formal qualities it will make just about anyone stop and look and wonder about the hippo in a glass box.

The piece that I chose for strong content was the piece done by Lucio Fontana called Concetto Spaziale (Spatial Concept-Expectation). Lucio Fontana challenged the ideas behind painting when he created this piece. I can imagine many people who look at art and the first thing they say is "I could do that" would most likely have that reaction to this piece. But even though it appears to be a painted black line down the middle of a canvas, there is a lot more to it than that. By doing this painting, Fontana was challenging and experimenting with space. When I look at this piece I am intrigued that space or rather a blank, white canvas can be tweaked in a way that may not seem that dramatic but the concept behind that step is packed with dramatic elements. The reason I liked this piece so much is because, exactly as the title says, you are expecting something, you are quetioning and you are curious about that black puncture on the canvas.

The third piece at the Walker that we were told to look at was one that lacks both formal and content qualities. I am not sure that I saw one that struck me as lacking in both these categories. Even though there are some artworks that do not thrill me as much as others do it does not mean that I find them lacking in formal qualities or content. For example, I was going to say that Black Curve by Ellsworth Kelly was lacking in formal and content qualities but then you hear the background or find something out about the artist's concepts and or other background information and it completely changes your mind about it. So, I honestly can't write about a piece that was lacking because there were not any that I thought were. However, this does not mean that I liked all of them.

The piece that I chose that carried both formal and content qualities was Untitled by Shiraga Kazuo. This painting resinates texture. When we were on the tour everyone said that they wanted to reach out and touch it. Now if a painting makes people what to do that, then i must have very strong formal qualities. This painting was all over the place, the colors and textures were active and alive. I could picture in my mind the artist making this piece, I could imagine his movement across the canvas or perhaps where he might have sat down or smeared an area with his hand. The content was powerful as well. Although the tour guide said that Kazuo had no reference to war when this piece was made, he painted it in 1959 right at the beginning of the war in Vietnam. This painting looks like an explosion with dark colors of blood red, deep purples and blues to add to that image. Even though an artist does not intend for their artwork to come across or be read in a certain way it doesn't mean that it won't happen.

The last piece that had to be chosen was one that changed our view of what art is. Also, I chose a piece that made me want to go experiment and try different things. I really was impressed with Robert Irwin's piece Untitled. I am not quite sure why I was taken by this piece. It expressed a sense of calm quiet. Those expressions were created by Robert Irwin's use of synthetic fabric, wood, flood and florescent lights. This piece made me really excited about the endless possibilities in creating art and what art means. The power of art also is shown in his piece because it seems so simplified but at the same time so complex.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Supposed Favorite

For this assignment we were suppose to pick a favorite piece of art which I find impossible to do because I am always discovering artists. And plus, it's hard to choose! But I recently came across this piece done by Bryan Schnelle. I have seen some of his other work with his signature black face mask over the subject of his piece. So this one is a bit different which I was glad to see. I think that Schnelle is one of those artists who can create something that appears simple but at the same time creates such an impact.
I could not find details on this piece, so I am not sure exactly what the size and medium are, though I am guessing maybe black sharpie is in there. The title is "Waiting." There is a barely clothed woman who appears to be in a state of oblivion with a bottle pressed into her lips while a cigarette lingers in her had. Her stance makes her seem like she could just float away. Nothing really seems to be making her stay in the place she is. Above her head are the words written "waiting for the shit to hit the fan." What do those words have in relation to the woman drinking below. Has the shit already hit the fan? Is she in a state of denial? Does that even matter? She doesn't seem to concerned. Are there so many of us who expect that something in their world is spiraling downward but at the same time expecting it and ignoring it.
I may be completely off in saying this but from what I get from this picture is a woman who has her demons like everyone else but is going with what she has. But at the same time I'm not satisfied with that interpretation. I guess I'll need more time to consider this piece. I'd be curious to hear other's opinions about what they think...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Midway's Secret Life of Objects: Commentary on "You Got What You Deserved" by Jack Pierson

At first glance, the piece by Jack Pierso, which is titled "You Got What You Deserved", seems like the last thing one might set there eyes upon in one of the rooms at Midway Contemporary Art's current gallery exhibition The Secret Life of Objects but in fact it was the one piece that intrigued me first and most. It hardly seems that it should have caught my attention upon entering the room. The frame is one the wall where you enter the room from but it is not the art immediately in front of you, nor the brightest, nor the biggest. It is a 14"x11" piece of paper that has the words "you got what you deserved"; a line then separates the page with a hard graphite line, and underneath the words "right off Hollywood Blvd." How could this not make you stop and think and then pause and then perhaps reconsider what you originally thought in the first place.
For some reason, when I read those words I felt threatened as the viewer. Nobody wrote that note to me, I was just standing in front of this piece of paper with two phrases written in different styles in graphite separated by a single thin line. It made me wonder who originally this note was written for. When we were taking a tour of the gallery, after inquiring about "You Got What You Deserved," it so happens that Jack Pierson used an actual note that he had found on Hollywood Blvd. and went on to do a whole series on notes and scraps of paper that he found off Hollywood Blvd. When I had that in the back of my head, I wondered what the story was behind this threatening note. Who got what they deserved off of Hollywood Blvd? Who was this meant for? And what did they do? Of course, I also considered the fact that anybody could have picked up a note on Hollywood Blvd. and read the words "you got what you deserved" and realized they did have it coming. Perhaps that is what Jack Pierson thought.

***They did not have an image of this piece on the website, so I did my own imitation of it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mining the M.I.A. and Creating Imaginary Installation

I selected three images that introduce the viewer to three very contrasting characters. These pieces are being shown at an installation designed to mirror that of a quiet, dimly lit, and almost claustrophobic coffee shop. Each of these pieces would be set in three different corners of the coffee shop so that none of them are particularly close to the other one. Each individual piece would be positioned against the wall at a table surface height so as to allude the viewer imagine themselves also as a patron hidden in a corner of a coffee shop. The purpose of presenting these pieces at a mimic coffee shop would question the viewer how three different personalities shown in these pieces is any different from when they venture out into the world themselves. People everywhere contrast in character just as much as these three pieces seem to do. But people do not always take the time to realize or even just wonder that perhaps, just across the coffee shop is an innocent and naive girl, or a telegraph operator with questionable motives, or even a woman who seems to have plucked nearly all the hairs from her head.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Cherry's Jubilee"

The painting, “Cherry’s Jubilee,” is hard to pass by. I found it immediately striking the first time I saw it. The content shows a young, tattooed women. Her appearance is the first thing to introduced opposing themes. She is dressed in a dress that looks like it came from a theater costume closet. The black and white stripped dress is met by two matching bubble gum pink bows at her waist. She is wearing black and white fingerless gloves, which accentuates the way she is biting on her pinky finger. The gloves are offset by a shrunken black and white stripped top hat with a black bow and feather slouched to the right side of her head. She is an attractive girl. Her black bob frames her face perfectly contrasting her porcelain skin and her crimson colored lips. Her eyes draw you into a dark abyss of wonder and question. Her arms, both covered with tattoos of music notes, a palm tree, a harp, a flamingo, a band-aid, among others, are pulled into her chest.

If the viewer is not immediately intrigued by her appearance, one would want to question her surroundings. She seems to have made her way into a carnival. Her cropped body, from the waist up, is framed between a ferris wheel and a carousel painted in grey hues with a powdery blue sky.

This painting interests me, like I already said, for a number of reasons. Of course my eyes like the colors and the content of the piece but the longer I look at it the more I want to know her story. I begin to ask myself a lot of questions. Who is she? Where is she from? Why is she at an empty carnival? Why is she dressed like that? Of course these questions I can only speculate at? But the fact that I am not quite sure what to make of this women leads me to something. She doesn’t look out of place in the painting but when you ask why would she be there, you don’t know? Everyone has their own story and people always surprise you. You can never think that everyone fits into certain guidelines. It’s better when they don’t. Perhaps that’s why she is called “cherry’s Jubilee.”