Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Makeup #6 Miranda July

Miranda July- who changed her last name to July because it was her most productive month- is a film artist, musician, and actress. I was most impressed with her films so I will dedicate this post to her most impressive productions. In 1996 July began a project called Joanie4Jackie that turned out as a compilation of videocassettes of short films by women connected by a theme of a chain letter. She sent the cassettes to the series subscribers and offered to sell them to other people as well. In addition to the chain letter series, July created Co-Star Series, through which she involved her friends from larger cities select a group of films outside the ones of the chain letter and added them to the mix. The Joanie4Jackie series also screened at film festivals and DIY movie events. Named number 1 in "25 New Faces of Indie Film" from Filmmaker Magazine in 2004, July won a slot in the Sundance workshop and developed her first feature-length film called Me and You and Everyone We Know. It won great prestige in the Cannes Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, and the San Francisco Film Festival.
July stated, "What a terrible mistake to let go of something wonderful for something real." Had she let this reality take away from her creative ideas that lead to her success, she would not be the prominant woman she is in today's society. 

Makeup # 5 Nina Katchadourian

Nina Katchadourian is an American conceptual artist and interacts themes of mapping, translation, and public space with his artwork. Her works vary from sculpture, to video, sound, and photography, many of her creations contain “a careful yet ironic attention to systems and processes characterizes her work”. Many of Katchadourian's pieces connect order and impromptu coordination. In the "sorted books" series involves an unarranged order of volumes on the shelves of friends and transfers to “commissioned photographed orderings of books in museum and library collections”. She also has a series of pieces where she mended the natural rips in real spider webs. However, Katchadourian also has a series of maps an charts which portrays her explicit obsession. One of her works called "Family Tree" involves made up genealogies for objects like stones and airplane and fragments of maps. She also had a fascination for public space and had a piece where she sorted vast numbers of cars in more than a dozen parking lots by color. She also installed a telescope on street corner in New York Manhattan street corner, which was focused on the office of a lawyer on the 17th floor of an office building, who would arrange objects in his window to send coded messages to the observer.


Makeup #4 Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson is a Denmark native artist known for his sculptures and diverse installations. He uses lights, ice, heat, and other aesthetic to manipulate your sense. The installations embody a connection between technology, nature, the industrial, craft, and technology. One if his installations from 1999 called Your natural denudation inverted uses steam. Denudation is basically a sum of the process of decomposing and reduction in relief or elevation of landforms and landscapes. In this installation a natural geyser (natural phenomenon in his homeland Iceland) was imitated by piping a stream of steam through the museum’s heating system. Steel framework was comprised of steel scaffold trees, an aesthetic geyser, and an eerie mass of water that pierces every sensory of the body. Wood, rubber, water, and steam were the key components in creating this 8 x 48 x 83 ft installation. The installation actually began grew icicles off the tree and Eliasson commented that the “quality of the phenomena that ice can create has for me something to do with the process--that it changes all the time”. I got this sense of purpose in every single aspect of the installation. The title of the piece came from Eliasson’s idea about simulating some sort of geothermal action. The meaning of “denudation” made him think about the “curatorial ideas of the show” and since his installation wasn’t actually a natural denudation and was artificial, he titled it “unnatural denudation”.
"Your natural denudation inverted." Pointing out that "your" experience is central rather than my ideas about it. – Olafur Eliasson

Monday, November 29, 2010

Makeup # 3 WIlliam Kentridge

William Kentridge is an artist I actually heard about over Summer 2010 in my 2D Design Class.  The subjects to his pieces remind have deep touchy roots in sociology but usually posses some sort of capricious undertone or comedic relief that portray his self-expression to a T.  The first piece of his I saw was actually a video animation he created completely using subtractive and additive methods to a series of charcoal drawings. Motion was given to a 2D charcoal drawing by just wiping certain areas of the charcoal off the paper. I started looking up more of his videos and found that ALL of his animations were constructed through a process of filming a drawing. He would make changes to the drawings, by either subtracting or adding more charcoal or involving small other objects, and film it again. This type of skill takes much practice and painstaking attention to detail- even more difficult because he does everything by hand and not through a CAD program. In this way, using these methods, Kentridge can defy reality in his 2D drawings by opening their eyes and create a pulsating animation. When it comes to displaying his work, Kentridge involves both the media animations and the original drawings together in an exhibit so all can appreciate his mastered technique.

Video recorded while Kentridge was recording motion using strictly shredded black construction paper swirling with handmade wind to portray "Breathe".

William Kentridge - Sobriety, Obesity & Growing Old (1991)

Makeup #2 Karen Yaskinky

Karen Yaskinky is an artist known for her animated installations and drawings.  She teaches in Film/Media Studies at Johns Hopkins and at MICA in Baltimore.  Film festivals have screener her animations worldwide. Her animations have been showed worldwide and gained notoriety at various film festivals.  I checked out one of her animations titled “Enough to drive you mad” which she unveiled in 2009.

This video began with the spookily intricate cartoon of a young girl hugging a horse or donkey. Yaskinky gave the girl blowing hair in the wind and poised eye movement, which allowed her to be portrayed young and innocent. The sound track and animation changed and startled me- the young girl now transformed into an old woman with a bandana covering her hair. The donkey turned red and the only remnants of the girl that you could see were her white hands rubbing and hugging the animal. Yet again, the figure of the girl was present and she now had a clowns face. A small 2D cartoon-like drawing of a man trailed him up the donkeys back and back down. The film ended with the little girl with a swimming bonnet on and walking away and disappearing from the camera’s viewpoint. These characters are used in many of her other types of artwork like paintings and such. During the film, colored dots moved eagerly around the screen at some moments that made me research the method behind this theme. In an interview Yaskinky stated “I feel like we humans are all tiny dots in the huge scheme of things and in this realization, there is freedom and beauty”. This film is eccentric and I can’t say I understood fully the meaning behind it- yet again that IS what made it so interesting. 

Makeup #1: Saya Woolfalk

As soon as I clicked the link for Saya Woolfalk's website, I was enthralled. The sudden sensation of color and obscurity in the illustration on the Home Page excited me. Before looking at her artwork I wanted to find a bit more about the artist because I feel that I can grow a better insight on the work before I even view it. In this disclaimer she stated, "My work considers the idea that symbolic and ideological systems can be activated and re-imagined through collaboration, imaginative play and masquerade. To effect this re-imagining objects, bodies, and landscapes are constructed to immerse us in the logic of another place”. I peered through her portraits and eventually stumbled upon pictures of her 3D and 4D work and immediately dove into her folder “No Place”. Woolfalk created this realm that reflected the future of human life in a place of possibilities and impossibilities. A series of colorful, whimsical, and intricate designs using gouache on paper and replicated installations portrayed landmarks in this hypothesized “utopia”. Woolfalk also worked with an anthropologist and filmmaker and created a 30-minute video titled “Ethnography of No Place” which I just had to see. Her work isn’t an eye sore what so ever- I actually feel like I would get mentally lost in her installations and almost did in the video below containing video excerpts from “Ethnography of No Place”. 

INSTILLATION: No Place (pre)Constructed: Portal, 2007 

PAINTING: Gouache on paper, 20" x 26"
Fertility Gate, 2006


A very popular denim brand, Levi's, has used Walt Whitman as their muse for commercials and adds. This use of historical literature from a great and notable poet and essayist. His poem "Oh pioneers" has been embedded into the Levi campaign to capture the souls of wanders and revolutionaries worldwide. This was a great strategic idea by the Levi team to enhance their marketing and exposure. The light hearted yet meaningful slogan has been used in commercials, billboards, and other advertisements. The artwork here collaborated literature and poetics to become the label name for revolutionaries and young souls.

Dali Elephants

One of my buddies is studying sculpture at MICA in Baltimore and before he decided on sculpture as his major he did a lot of work in drawing, painting, and graphic design. He did an imitation piece of the Dali Elephants by Salvador Dali which is actually a pretty cool interpretation of their particular shape. He drew the elephants with colossal legs, very thin and frail-almost as if they were wooden stilts. This elephant is actually a recurring symbol in most of Dali's pieces which were inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini's sculpture which portrays and elephant "with long, multi-jointed, almost invisible legs of desire along with obelisks on their backs". Surrealism with a sense of the improbable factor is what comes to mind when I look at these bizarre hallucinatory creatures. Describing his characters as "hand-painted dream photographs", Dali uses reoccurring images such as his elephants like burning giraffes and human figures with cabinet drawers opening outward from their bodies. Artwork like this allows aspiring artists to really create beyond reality,
"I am painting pictures which make me die for joy, I am creating with an absolute naturalness, without the slightest aesthetic concern, I am making things that inspire me with a profound emotion and I am trying to paint them honestly."—Salvador Dalí, in Dawn Ades, Dalí and Surrealism.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Caitlin Hackett

Caitlin Hackett is an artist in Brooklyn, NY who draws and paints mythical new creatures. Using  a ballpoint pen and watercolor, Hackett completely transforms an everyday animal into an intriguing mutiny. With sociological moral in mind, she creates some of the purest and intricate and large scale pieces of work. Here is a small excerpt written by Hackett which I found on her website, in the "About" section.
"In my work I am exploring the relationship between humans and animals; the idea of the human denial of our animal nature and of humans as the dominant species, as well as the mutation of the animal created by the human interpretation of the animal...I invent creatures, anthropomorphic, mutated, or pseudo mythical in imagery, using my imaginary world and bringing it into the physical world in an attempt to create a language that speaks about the human animal relationship and the natural and unnatural elements of it."

Her website is definitely one to check in on; with her early work, large scale work, small works, illustrations, and artwork in progress up for display. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chalk Art

Chalk art is in a sense like an outdoor installation. When you look at pictures of the artwork, you sometimes find yourself not really knowing what is really there. I think these pieces wouldn't exactly be appreciated as 2d art as much as they are on the streets of local areas. Simply involving chalk and the platform of the artist's choice; these installations are freaking nuts and extremely realistic and persuasive.

Audrey Kawasaki

Today I stumbled upon an artist whose work was very interesting. Audrey Kawasaki in a young Japanese artist who is known for her paintings and drawings on fresh wood planks. Typically portraits of Japanese men and women, her images are lifelike yet subdued with cartoon characteristics. She is known for her distinctive, erotically charged portrayals of young adolescent women (which are beautiful yet somewhat disturbing). Her portraits are all pretty similar in technique, but all portray completely different people and settings. Kawasaki's paintings are typically oil and graphite on wood.
"The themes in Audrey Kawasaki's work are contradictions within themselves. Her work is both innocent and erotic. Each subject is attractive yet disturbing. Audrey's precise technical style is at once influenced by both manga comics and Art Nouveau. Her sharp graphic imagery is combined with the natural grain of the wood panels she paints on, bringing an unexpected warmth to enigmatic subject matter. 

The figures she paints are seductive and contain an air of melancholy. They exist in their own sensually esoteric realm, yet at the same time present a sense of accessibility that draws the observer to them. These mysterious young women captivate with the direct stare of their bedroom eyes. 

2 years Pratt Institute, Brooklyn - Fine Arts Painting"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tat tat tatted UP!

Though I am pretty modest when it comes to tattoos ( i only have one small one behind my left ear), I have recently started thinking about getting another one. My friend Tawni Boltz is my age and is inked up with some of the classiest tattoos I have seen. Her father is a tattoo artist in Brooklyn, and his tattoos are some of the purest forms of art in tattoo form that I have ever seen- and yes, I do see drawing tattoos as art. Though some are a bit basic in content and have a child-influenced feel, some are truly remarkable.  These images are some from his website, Some pretty awesome pieces.

Propaganda in WWII

Wrapping up this Fall semester, my History of Western Civ 2 class began talking about propaganda used in WWII. This propaganda directly affected the youth of America to sway the future generations to support the country in their affairs in German. Through Disney cartoon shorts, America portrayed Hitler and Nazi Germany with a grim face. This propaganda swayed many minds of all Americans through the portrayal of racial connotations in a television program held dear in the hearts of all ages since their generation's youth.  Disney was a source of nationalism and taught every young boy and girl life lessons through trusted cartoon figures. This tactic was very effective and is used in today's society through artwork in trusted newspapers or television programs. 

"This is a Disney short from 1943. Disney did cartoons like these to get American support in WWII. They were racist and depicted Nazi's as demons... even though they kinda were, but I don't think brainwashing children like this is exactly ethical. Find the full version of this cartoon, as well as others like this by Disney online."

Smooth Design

After seeing this billboard in Baltimore, it made me think about the power of historical icons. The man figure down on one knee is the face of the national bohemian beer which is popular in Baltimore. The famous face of the Utz potato chips is being proposed to. These two popular Maryland icons are both used strategically in the design of this billboard for the SMYTH jewelry store. Using icons like this and adding the clever pitch "Where Baltimore gets engaged" signifies a sense of unity among Baltimore locals and persuades them to go to this store to get their diamond jewelry. Very clever SMYTH, very clever.

mc escher

I have always been fascinated with Mc Escher. He involved mathematical scenarios with his designs for his artwork. He did a range of tessellations , which involve a series of images which transform cleanly into other images or create a linking pattern of the same image with no negative space. His tessellations and execution of the mathematical phenomena is very inspiring. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Post number 2. Recently I started getting a better hold on future careers and ambitions. I talked to one of my mentors about the cinematic arts. I've always been interested in analyzing films and figuring out what aspects go into film production-behind the scenes. Production Designers and Visual Effects Producers work out what special effects are needed to create the overriding feel of a film that the producer and director are trying to convey. They hire the sculptors, animators, and other artists to join in the creation of the visual effects in the film. I was really inspired by films such as What Dreams May Come, where a father travels through a paint created dream land to find his wife's soul, and Inglorious Basterds.

but i might have to start with the clapperboard...
Post number 2. Recently I started getting a better hold on future careers and ambitions. I talked to one of my mentors about the cinematic arts. I've always been interested in analyzing films and figuring out what aspects go into film production-behind the scenes. Production Designers and Visual Effects Producers work out what special effects are needed to create the overriding feel of a film that the producer and director are trying to convey. They hire the sculptors, animators, and other artists to join in the creation of the visual effects in the film. I was really inspired by films such as What Dreams May Come, where a father travels through a paint created dream land to find his wife's soul, and Inglorious Basterds.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Post #1-Tim Burton

I can talk about anything?

I like Tim Burton. A lot. I like all of the movies he's produced, his short films, animations, cartoons, doodles-I sat through a 2 hour interview of him on Bloomberg once. I've never been more fascinated with what someone was saying in my entire life. He stammered a lot, but I think he just had so much to say. I used to have a speech impediment until i was 13 and if I talk too fast or if I'm just really tired you can still hear it. I have too much to say too. I went to his exhibit at MoMA in New York a couple months ago when i was visiting my sister in Brooklyn.It might have been the coolest thing I have ever been to. They had sculptures he created in his animated films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline and tons of small sketches and large scale expressions of his imagination. I've been drawn to Tim Burton films since I saw James and the Giant Peach and Edward Scissorhands but it wasn't until the past couple years that I started doing research on him and his productions. He's eccentric and coincidentally was married to Helena Bonham Carter who is one of my favorite actresses and Johnny Depp is his son's godfather-both of them are typically seen in Burton's films.  His expression with basic evenly weighted lines in his sketches are really inspiring and really captivate my attention. I can get lost in the copies of his sketch books my Oma gave me. The special effects, lighting, and all the studio art incorporated  in his movies are remarkable. Though he may have not physically created all of them, most were from his influence. Especially in his films Big Fish and Sweeney Todd. There's a scene in Big Fish where he literally freezes the scene at the circus and has a man walk through the circus ring, pushing the frozen popcorn in the air out of his path. Its ridiculous. 
 I'm posting some images, links to his website,videos, and some other sweet stuff. its the bees knees