Art has a varied place in pop culture, but it is no less ubiquitous. In television and film art exists within itself, but because of the realism of this moving visual medium I think we can at times forget this. Famous works are often used as reference whether it be the butt of a joke or a just a simple comparison. In some instances it could even be said that art has created pop culture, which is easily seen as art has defined culture in general for millenia. I think pop culture has been born from post modernism, its self awareness and irony are readily apparent, if even only to those who truly pay it attention. As an example we now have shows like the real world, that began as a social experiment and could conceivably be considered art (tacky if not bad art), and as time has progressed we have created shows with the sole purpose of poking fun at these reality television programs. Therein lies irony and a self awareness of that irony. Done.
Art has its place in politics, whether it be the pretentious and obstinant commentary of an angst filled musician or a well thought out look at a particular subject or issue through any medium.
I think art can easily and effectively convey ideas and philosophies. In this way it leads a dual purpose; one, it is fun and interesting to look at, second, it can get a message across. But to this point I also think art it severely neglected by the majority of our society and these ideas are not always easily conveyed because of many people’s lack of motivation to enjoy it.
Our world faces a plethora of problems and issues and the artists who take the time to notice and attempt to bring about awareness and create solutions deserve attention.
Art does not always have to provide a commentary and I don’t think it always should, but if the point is to bring awareness and it is done with tact I hope the masses would take note of it.
Politics and art, it seems to be such a controversial topic, artist use their medium as a way to express themselves. For example, take the graffiti artist Banksy, he isn’t out there to tag walls just for the hell of it, he is out there telling a story. Here are a few of his images which I feel can tell a story on its own without words.
Another prime example would be a war photographer in Iraq, when they take a photograph of all the people who are maimed, what do you see? I see corruption. People think we are over there for the good of the U.S I feel it shows that we are over there doing more wrong than good, we are destroying and hurting innocent people who had nothing to do with what happened here in the U.S There are many children whose lives are being taken from them.
Adam Ferguson is a documentary photographer who showing politics and art, and again this photograph need no words for someone to understand what is going on.
Sabastiao Salgado is a Brazilian photojournalist and an amazing one at that. His images contain a strange paradox being that of beauty and suffering coupled together. His images are harrowing to say the least. To admit that they aren’t filled with commentary would do them a great injustice, but to say they are just for use as document would do the same.
His works are on exhibit at many galleries and are also for purchase, which leads to some complex ethical questions. Do these images serve as an exploitative art form, or are they merely a harrowing commentary constructed only to make us feel especially those who are apt to purchase?
I believe his images have a profound impact on those who view them and in this lies a great power and responsibility (insert Spiderman puns here). I think it is very important a distinction is made between what is art and what it exploitation. As I have said Salgado’s images are beautiful and evocative, but if there is not responsibility behind them I think they lose their power and direction. The influence they carry weighs on the shoulders of those who are intent to try and change the world for the people suffering. It would seem only natural if a person is a observer and moreso a documentarian of theses atrocities it should be well within their reach to provide aid to those who suffer.
Anthony (TJ) Dehn
Albrecht Durer Four Horsemen
On gaining self awareness and the ability to remember art has played a pretty significant role in my life. From a young age I would doodle aimlessly and much without training. During high school I would attempt to hone these skills and become an “artist”. Like most adolescents I had a limited attention span and drawing, painting, cutting and pasting were the only things that could hold it if even only for a short duration. I eventually became interested in photography and took the classes my school offered.
High school proved to be where I would leave art for a fairly long while. As my abilities laid dormant for a number of years I found myself yearning for something without finding it right away…
One glorious summer day my girlfriend asked if I would like to take a photography course with her. With casual indifference I accepted the offer and then waited until the very last minute to sign up for the class. Needless to say (but I am going to anyway) I entered the classroom and immediately fell in love again, not with my girlfriend, but with the haunting aroma of the darkroom.
To make a really long, but ultimately epic and possibly greatest story ever told, short I started making art again and I have not stopped since. I am very interested in almost every medium and I enjoy attempting all of them and merging a number of them together.
With photography I make distinct correlations with classical painting and use of light. While I will agree painting is vastly more difficult the principles are similar. Looking at the masters and their respective works it is easily seen that they had a profound understanding of light and how it might compliment a subject. As a photographer this is one basic understanding I hold very dear. I think to gain depth in any two dimensional medium light has to be understood and taken into great consideration.
Through the history of painting (and all art) and its grand evolution I believe artists exponetially gain a better understanding of light and its control over every interesting subject. I believe this why photography has had such a prolific impact on me. My basic understanding of what makes art possible poses so many interesting questions and answers so many others.
The history of art has helped me understand the fundamental nature of its existence and its meaning to me. And without light none of it would be possible.
Young Woman at an Open Half Door
A 1645 Rembrant Oil on Canvas, called ‘Young Women at an Open Half Door. What strikes me the most about this painting is where the young woman is looking. It looks like she is waiting for someone or she is looking out in fear she will be caught by someone. The way her hands are placed on the top of the half door, her left hand is turned in almost like a hesitation, while her right is flat on top ready to push the door open. I wonder is she standing on the inside of the door or the out side of the door. The size of the painting itself is of good size, it is about human scale. The only known texture is the canvas itself, the painting is very smooth. The canvas itself is about the size human scale as well. The artist probably didn’t need a ladder to paint this scene. You can also see how light reflects on the image. You see the weave of the canvas, but the paint is one layer, two dimensional; it lacks texture and depth. In her corset lace this is the only place in the painting where you see the direction of brush strokes.
When I am looking at this painting, I am left feeling wonder and confusion. What is she looking at? Is she being flirtations with someone in the distance? Is she looking out for herself? Her facial expressions are very soft, the right corner of her mouth is tight, her chin is a pinch to her left shoulder like she is looking away but still wants to see what is to her right. She is uncertain, half in and half out of the door way. There is no setting in this painting. Except that she is being frames with the door way, which is also being framed by the frame itself. Her clothes are very neutral and dark in color, almost looks like she may be of working class status, however the only sighting of color is the red beaded necklace around her neck. Makes me wonder is she being flirtations with a man? Was this a gift to her? Or is this her only piece of jewelry? Her right sleeve is pushed up just a little bit like she was cleaning or cooking which leads me to believe she is a working girl. The artist framed her within the door way and I feel the way her arms are placed is framing her as well. The corners of the door frame are both leading to the top of her head.
My experience of this artwork is telling me that she is a woman of lower or working class. She may have something of value (the read necklace) or it was a gift given to her. Maybe she was being flirtations and was given this as a gift and she is showing it off. Looking off to the side at the man who gave her this red necklace. Or to show everyone else “hey I have this beautiful necklace by a wonderful man and I’m showing it off”.
I feel the intention of this artist was to capture the viewer with wonder and question. After looking at it as a whole, then taking it apart into pieces, then as a whole again I am still left in wonder, wondering what is her expression? What is she looking at? The red necklace, the only piece of color, is it a symbol or lust? Is she a working class girl with a rich lover on the side? This is a beautiful painting, that anyone could look at and make up any kind of story to fit the feel of the artist.
Painting with egg tempera can lend itself to a amazing sense of realism. Its permanence and quick drying make it difficult and time consuming. By looking at art works from varying time periods it shows egg tempera’s ability to convey a level of detail other mediums can fail to achieve.
Giotto’s Stefaneschi Polyptych looks like it is conveying the death and resurrection of Christ. Considering the age of the work it appears to still be in amazing condition, which describes egg tempera’s ability to withstand aging. Again the level of detail involved is pretty awesome. The painting really tells a vivid story and its interesting to examine as you begin to notice more and more going on.
Alex Garcia is a modern artist who paints with egg tempera. His portraits also contain a great deal of detail and realism, but they also have a classical quality and are reminiscent of renaissance portraiture, the example uses especially reminds me of the Mona Lisa.
Jack Darcus painted the last example which is titled small wedding ship. In my opinion it fuses a few different eras stylistically. It reminds me of 1920s Harlem renaissance art with hints of art deco. It tones down the realism in favor of exaggeration and creative lighting. I think its my favorite. I love the colors and the flat and boxy nature of the city.
I believe my connection with art would have started when I was little. I would always have a camera in my hand. And as I grew older, I started to actually understand photos and posing people as apposed to just pressing a button. I feel that is what a lot of people think I do, just press a button and it is just that easy… People do not think of what goes into taking a photograph, lighting, posing, and understanding your camera.
People need photographs, it freezes time and let’s you have it forever and share it with everyone. I knew I wanted to be a photographer at a young age watching my family look at old photographs of a loved one who had passed telling stories about them at that particular moment in the photograph it was almost as the person in that photograph was with you at that moment. It became more serious when I went to high school and got to develop my own film for the first time. It seriously was like magic, being able to see it appear right in front of you, knowing you did that all from start to finish, it truly was a work of art.
I hope that when people look at my work, they see my passion and understand I am not just someone who can press a button, but someone that is an artist.