The Junkman of Africa

 

Untitled – Dilomprizulike

This Untitled piece of art is a piece created by the African artist Dil Humphrey-Umezulike who is better known as Dilomprizulike “the junkman of Africa” [1]. The creation date proved to be difficult to find, although I believe it was created between 2000 and 2005 since this piece was used in galleries around that time. Dilomprizulike uses these random pieces of trash and clothing that are discarded all over urban Africa and turns them in to art work. This particular piece shows what looks like an African woman in traditional dress.

I really like this piece because I always have enjoyed art that is created from ordinary objects, especially trash. The idea of using the discarded elements of our lives and turning them into art just speaks to me. This piece shows an African woman in traditional dress. There is a theme in the majority of Dilomprizulike pieces. He was born in 1960 so he got to see more of the African traditional lifestyle than many of the younger Africans do now. He is trying to battle the conflicting traditions and urbanization through his art. He is bridging the gap in many ways through his traditional artwork that utilizes elements of modern refuse. Overall I think Dilomprizulike did an awesome job with this piece because of the recycling methods he uses.

[1] “junkmania.” junkmania. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2013. <http://www.thejunkyardafrika.net/&gt;.

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China’s “Mona Lisa”

Zhang Zeduan – Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival (清明上河圖)

 Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival is a piece drawn by Zhang Zeduan during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). This is a great piece and is currently the only living piece that was made by Zhang. This panoramic painting was made on a scroll much like the majority of paintings at the time. This being a scroll means it’s about 10in x 17ft 3in [1] in dimension.

 I really enjoy this piece because it provides a nice little window into the day in the life during the Northern Song Dynasty. This picture depicts the Qingming Festival in the capital city of Bianjing, which is now Kaifeng, Henan Province. This scroll shows all of the different people of Bianjing. This includes the working class and royalty. From a historical point of view, this piece is invaluable as it provides a cross section of China so many years ago. I think Zhang did a really great job with this piece. He was able to draw hundreds of people with expressions and postures as well as scenery and architecture with great accuracy and aesthetically pleasing detail. It is truly worth of being called China’s Mona Lisa.

[1] Hosack, Karen. “The Qingming Scroll.” Great paintings in the world’s masterpieces    explored and explained. London: DK Pub. 2011. 10. Print

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“Viractual” Experience Gallery

Artists today have a plethora of technology at their disposal. Some artists take this technology and use it to form their art work. Below are six pieces that I picked to exemplify the “Viractual” experience.

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Joseph Nechvatal – Birth of the Viractual

Joseph Nechvatal created this piece in 2001. It has been categorized as Digital art. Digital art is term used when the art work uses technology as a primary part of the creation or the exhibition of art. I found this piece very interesting because Nechvatal utilizes technology and develops a new concept called viractualism. Viractualism is the effort to combine the neurological and biological with the technological.

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Wade Guyton – Untitled

This piece is called Untitled and was created by Wade Guyton in 2006. This particular piece was created using an Epson DURABrite on a standard 12 x 8 3/4 inch book page. This piece is very interesting to me, mainly because of the picture in the background and the simulated fire. Also, I really like how the printer was used somewhat unconventionally in order to add chaos to the picture. This makes it very unique to that printer and that method in such a way that it can never be recreated.

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Wade Guyton – Untitled

This piece is called Painting by Wade Guyton. Painting was completed 2006. It features many X’s printed on to linen. Guyton used the Epson UltraChrome printer for this piece. The painting is a print on a linen canvas that was folded, pulled, and sometimes squashed into the printer. This produced a genuine image. I like this piece, for the same reason like most paintings from this genre, because Guyton uses technology in a way to make art. He took something that was very office or business oriented and turned it into an artist’s brush.

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Wade Guyton – Untitled

Untitled was a piece created by Wade Guyton in 2008. He utilized an Epson UltraChrome inkjet to print on linen that when pieced together was 84 in. by 587 in. for a total area of approximately 342.42 ft2. In this case Guyton used technology to create a big black and white piece of paper. I enjoy this piece of art because the artist was able to use modern technology in a clever way. Also, the fact that I can see imperfections in the printed pieces is a message about technology and its impact on daily life. This is one of those pieces of art that the process is just as or more important than the actual art.

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Lillian F. Schwartz – Mona/Leo

Mona/Leo is a piece created by Lillian F. Schwartz in 1987. Schwartz can be considered a computer-wiz. She used a few computer programs and techniques to create this Mona Lisa and Leonard da Vinci conglomerate. She used morphing algorithms, ultrasonic imaging, and digital radiography to just name a few techniques to find the “Real” Mona Lisa. I enjoy this piece because Schwartz is like an investigative artist. She uses a lot of the same tools that forensic scientists use but she was able to analyze two of the greatest works by Leonardo da Vinci.

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Neri Oxman – Beast

Beast is a piece of art created by Neri Oxman in 2008. Oxman has studied engineering, medicine, and architecture. All of these things can be seen in her work. This one in particular definitely features engineering and architecture. The fantastic thing about this piece is that it was created with a 3-D printer. I love this because 3-D printers are a relatively new technology that is being used to sculpt very intricate and beautiful pieces.

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How WWI affected art and artists

World War I had a dramatic impact on the arts. This was the first war to include the new technology of the era. This included machine guns, aircraft, grenades, and chemical warfare. All of these innovations led to a terribly tragic war that was like nothing the modern world had ever seen.

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John Nash – Over the Top

The piece Over the Top, drawn by John Nash, was a piece created in 1918 to exemplify the tragedy of World War I. John Nash was an English painter, illustrator, and engraver born in London. Nash joined the war effort in 1916 as an official war artist. Over the Top depicts the Artists Rifles fighting in the Welsh Ridge counter-attack. The Artists Rifles is a volunteer regiment of the British Army. In Over the Top, John Nash shows how trench warfare was fought. Trench warfare was basically a defensive strategy where both sides dig into the ground and fight from trench to trench. Of the Eighty men that that were in the Artists Rifles it is reported that sixty-eight were killed or wounded in the first few minutes. [1] John Nash was one of the twelve who went without injury from shellfire. Painting from only his memory Hall recreated the scene from the counter-attack.

I really enjoy this piece of art. Nash reveals with, methodical neutrality, how nonsensical and absurd trench warfare was. Artistically this piece was drawn in a somewhat Early Modern tone. His subject matter was definitely correct. Overall I think that WWI influenced this piece greatly. WWI showed exactly how efficient mankind had become at killing one another and Nash was able to capture this in his piece Over the Top.

[1] Gregory, Barry. (2006). A History of the Artists Rifles 1859-1947, p. 176.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nash_(artist)

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My Impression of Impressionism

The Impressionist era was a time for change when it came to how artists viewed art and how they thought they should convey it. The Impressionists developed this movement initially in France around the late 19th century. These artists aimed to accurately and objectively capture reality with the use of light and color in each painting. Below I will be featuring two of the principal Impressionist painters, Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro.

ImageClaude Monet – Impression, Sunrise

Impression, Sunrise is considered one of Monet’s most famous works, was completed in 1872. It depicts a handful of boats in a harbor at sunrise. Monet was clearly using the Impressionist painting archetype with his brushstrokes and attention to specific details. The brushstrokes are short and thick and were seemingly applied quickly. This stroke style tries to capture the rhythm and motion of the water. Also, the colors were placed adjacent to each other in such a way to that the viewer’s eye mixes them together which is clearly shown in the sky.

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Camille Pissarro – Peasant girl drinking her coffee

Camille Pissarro’s painting Peasant girl drinking her coffee is a good example of Impressionism. Pissarro shows a young woman with a cup of coffee sitting in a room. This painting uses Impressionist technique just like the previous painting through brushstrokes and lighting. The strokes were definitely made quickly and in short bursts. Pissarro used contrasting colors that were only blended through the viewer’s eye. The strokes and colors in the background really try to show the solemnity of the scene. It leaves an impression of quietness and maybe even hard thought.

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The Three Philosophers – Giorgione

I definitely do have an appreciation for Impressionism even when you compare it to art from other periods like The Three Philosophers – Giorgione. The Three Philosophers is a piece that was in between 1505 and 1509 during the High Renaissance. Giorgione captured an interest in human achievement and this painting was a very good example of Humanistic qualities. I find all three painting appealing for different reasons. I definitely enjoy Humanistic and Impressionist art. Impressionism is a valid art form because it seeks the traditional things that all art forms set out to achieve but in a different manner. Impressionists like to capture the impression of a scene rather than the actual scene itself. I believe that Impressionism was a necessary stepping stone for artists and viewers alike to be able to convey and interpret art more effectively.

<http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5c/Claude_Monet%2C_Impression%2C_soleil_levant%2C_1872.jpg>

<http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ex5aN69iyZ4/Tlp8_qsEnPI/AAAAAAABaU8/8xpTfklKipk/s1600/Pissarro%2BPeasant%2Bgirl%2Bdrinking%2Bher%2Bcoffee%252C%2B1891.jpg>

<http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/ThreePhilosophers.jpg>

 

 

 

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Art and Revolution During the Classical Era

The 18th century was a time of revolution, philosophy, evolution, and reevaluation. Some of the most lasting and monumental events happened during this period. The Age of Enlightenment was brought forth as well as the French and American revolutions. Science and philosophy both increased in notability and prominence during this period. I will be showing three pieces that were selected based on not only their aesthetic qualities, but the way they embrace the revolutionary theme of the Classical Era.

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George Washington - Charles Willson Peale

George Washington is a painting that was commissioned by the U.S. Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. The council selected Charles Willson Peale as the artist. Peale, in order to paint the background, traveled to both Trenton and Princeton battlegrounds in 1779. By all accounts this painting was completed somewhere between June and August of 1780.  This particular portrait depicts George Washington posed after the Battle of Trenton which was a turning point during the Revolutionary War. This painting exemplifies the revolutionary theme of the Classical era very strongly by portraying the leader of the American Revolution as the victor of one of the major turning point battles in the Revolutionary War.  Optimism is manifested through the look on George Washington’s face with his glowing radiance. This shows confidence in George Washington and in the future of a new nation.

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Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine – Jacques Louis David

David was commissioned by Napoleon to commemorate his consecration that took place on December 2, 1804. The story being portrayed by Jacques Louis David is somewhat of an interesting one. Originally David was to portray the event with Napoleon crowning himself. The Emperor crowned his own head in order to avoid showing obedience to the Pontiff. David eventually found that it would not be a good decision to paint what was a relatively disrespectful action and decided to portray Napoleon crowning Josephine with the pope blessing her. Jacques Louis David was a revolutionist. Napoleon took power after the execution of King Louis XVI which was in result of the French Revolution. David represented a stronger government in his painting. The people were drawn in a way to inspire unity and confidence in the newly founded leaders.

Fidelio - Beethoven

Fidelio was Beethoven’s only opera. Fidelio is a celebration of equality, solidarity, and liberties which are all ideas contained in the Age of Enlightenment and revolutionary theory. The opera Fidelio follows a man who was locked in a jail cell by the criminal governor. There are some very good comparisons between this opera and the French Revolution. The criminal governor was in absolute power over the people, much like King Louis XVI. Ultimately the people triumph over the corrupt governor much like they did in the French Revolution. Fidelio is a great representation of political idealism, human rights, and triumph over tyranny.

Sources

Langford, Jeffrey Alan. Evenings at the opera: an exploration of the basic repertoire. Milwaukee, WI: Amadeus Press, 2011. Print.

Scott, Bruce. “Strife and Salvation: Beethoven’s ‘Fidelio’ : NPR.” NPR : National Public Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2013. <http://www.npr.org/2011/01/07/132712125/strife-and-salvation-beethovens-fidelio>.

Willette, Dr. Jeanne S. M.. “The American Revolution « Art History Unstuffed.” Art History Unstuffed. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Mar. 2013.

<http://www.arthistoryunstuffed.com/tag/the-american-revolution/>.

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Council of Trent and the Baroque Era

David_Bernini_1623

The piece that I felt really embraces the baroque era is David by Bernini. This sculpture was also completed earlier by two other artists, Donatello and Michelangelo.  Unlike the previous renditions of David from the Bible, Bernini did not represent him after or during the slaying of Goliath. Bernini’s David was in the process of loading his sling. Bernini paid much attention to being accurate with the story from the Bible. David was actually a shepherd in this sculpture, and that is shown with the shepherds pouch around his neck and shoulder.

The characteristics of baroque art are, for the most part, dictated by the Catholic Church. The Council of Trent was the Catholic Church’s initiative to counter the Protestant Reformation. The Council of Trent established many decrees and canons on things like church practices and faith, but the most interesting among these decrees was their take on the arts and how this affected the religious art of the baroque era. Art was expected to be realistic, clear, correct to the dogma of the Catholic Church, and inspire devotion. This meant for many artists that their productions had to satisfy the church or papacy in order for them to be accepted, especially if they were contracted by the Catholic Church. This was a part of the Catholic Church’s effort to negate Protestant Reformation.

 From the Council of Trent’s 25th session

“…every superstition shall be removed, all filthy lucre be abolished; finally, all lasciviousness be avoided; in such wise that figures shall not be painted or adorned with a beauty exciting to lust; nor the celebration of the saints, and the visitation of relics be by any perverted into revellings and drunkenness; as if festivals are celebrated to the honour of the saints by luxury and wantonness.” (ewtn)

Bernini’s David embodies the Baroque era artistic style. David is not illustrated as a bronze God slaying Goliath like Donatello and Michelangelo portrayed him; rather he is shown as a shepherd carefully preparing and winding up for his attack. This sculpture was the first rendition of David that incorporates the surroundings into the scene. This is definitely the type of sculpture that needs to be thoroughly examined from all sides in order to truly appreciate the art.  Bernini sculpted David in such a way that his body is in torsion and he is preparing his sling. This really looks like a pitcher or quarterback trying to maximize the energy in his release. This shows that he is not only physically preparing but also mentally and even spiritually. This is not only a difference in Bernini and Donatello or Michelangelo’s David but also a difference in philosophies between the Baroque/anti-reformation and the Protestant ideologies. Bernini’s David showed faith in God, where the others showed a godly image.

Sources

zantine. “Bernini – Smarthistory.” Smarthistory: a multimedia web-book about art and art history. N.p. n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.

                 <http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/Bernini-David.html&gt;.

“File:David Bernini 1623.jpg – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.

                 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:David_Bernini_1623.jpg&gt;.

“Pius IV  Council of Trent-25.” EWTN Global Catholic Television Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.                

                 <http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/trent25.htm&gt;.

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