Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Contemporary Artistic Response Project

For my final project, I re-created what Vincent van Gogh’s artwork might have looked like if he were to take a postmodern approach. Vincent van Gogh focused a great deal of his artwork on landscapes and self-portraits, so I wanted to use these two key elements of his work in my re-creation.  He was known for his bright contrasting colors and intense brushstrokes which created implied texture and gave the illusion of flow and movement in his pieces.  After printing out various landscapes and self-portraits that Van Gogh created, I noticed that so many of his paintings used the same or very similar colors and color schemes.  After cutting out some of his self-portraits, I realized that they could be placed on different sections of his landscape paintings and almost completely blend into them.  I noticed this trend with four specific landscape paintings of his so I decided to work with those.

The composition of my piece is divided into four sections which make up one big rectangle.  I used four different landscapes by Van Gogh, so the focal point will most likely vary from viewer to viewer but for me it is in yellow hats at the bottom right of the piece.  My eye then moves about in a counter-clockwise rotation to analyze the other three landscapes.  Van Gogh used complimentary color schemes in his paintings, so each individual landscape has a different combination of complimentary colors.  Van Gogh suffered with depression and mental illness, and critics believe that this influenced his artwork.  I incorporated this into my piece by chopping different self portraits of his, and placing them in scattered fashions within the landscapes, which gives the viewer an unsettling feeling.   This represents the connotative meaning of the piece.  Since the colors in his portraits almost identically matched with those in his landscapes, they appear to blend deeply into the background of the landscapes.  This is meant to symbolize a loss of self, which was something that Van Gogh struggled with, especially towards the end of his life. While the four landscapes appear to be in a symmetrical neat arrangement on the piece at first glance, when you look more closely, one of the landscapes is actually placed sideways.  This symbolizes and calls to attention the fact that while people may seem fine, many people can be suffering with depression or mental illnesses that we are not aware of.  Just like in van Gogh’s landscape paintings which may seem positive at first glance, many of them have darker underlying meanings that are symbolic of his struggle with depression and mental illness.

Overall I really enjoyed this class and feel that I have taken away a lot from it.  My favorite project of the semester was the Advertisement Breakdown.  I am a marketing major and am very interested in the advertisement and media side of the industry.  It was fun to be able to play around with different advertisements to then create a whole new piece based on my visual analysis of one advertisement.  I have an internship this summer for Athlon media group, which is a company that publishes magazines. Our focus on visual analyses of this piece along with all of the other artworks we analyzed has helped me to better understand what advertisements and art might be trying to communicate to the viewer.  This will definitely help me in my internship and even my future career.  I am happy to have been able to express the creative side of me through the projects and assignments in this class and there is nothing that I would really change about it.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Postmodern Mixed Media Visual Analysis

For my Postmodern mixed media project, I started with the quote "A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy."  In the center of the piece, I photoshopped together green images of eyes, snakes, and tigers.  Above the green images, I pasted a picture of the four main characters from the move Mean Girls all wearing pink.  Around these images I used red paint to paint an abstract shaped background.  I then used black ink to add to the background and really move the viewer's eye around the piece.  The main color scheme is complimentary between the green and pink, and the red and black background seems to compete with the pink, making it almost difficult to look at together.

This piece implies tones of envy.  The green eyes, snakes, and tigers in the center give the viewer more negative feelings of jealousy and competitiveness.  The picture of the Mean Girls characters give the viewer a sense of teenage drama and pettiness that often stems from jealousy and lying.  This piece is meant to draw from the typical "mean girl" characters that girls often encounter during high school.  The piece is meant to show how negative judgments often stem from jealousy and only provide you with satisfaction more than anything else.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Luminous Connections

Loyola brought Light City to campus with amazing interactive light displays.  The displays included  videos projected onto buildings and walls, as well as musical light displays, and colorful lights near McManus theater and throughout campus.  It was well worth it to stop by and admire this collection of creative, exciting, unique, and bright displays made by students.  One of the most interesting displays that I saw was the one outside of McManus Theater.  It consisted of a built structure with a clear glass window to look through that had an amazing intricate lit up silver display inside it.  On the outside of the structure, people were given the option to write a thought on a silver tag and tape it to the wall.  Bringing Light City to Loyola was a wonderful way for students to express their creativity with unique and fun exhibits and displays.  On one of the descriptions of the event, it explained that the "exhibition signals the emergence of light from the darkness of winter."  This is a really positive message, especially now moving into spring, and the students involved did an amazing job conveying this message on our campus.  Below are some photos from the event.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Postmodernism Notes

  • In the middle ages, it was unusual to encounter anyone with different beliefs
  •  In Postmodern age, it’s common to encounter people with many different beliefs
  • All the world’s cultures and rituals intermix and are all over mass media & cyberspace
  •  “we live increasingly in a world of interconnected differences-differences amplified and multiplied at the speed of electricity”
  •  Postmodern intellectuals have attempted to map the mix of identities, realities, cultures, races, gender roles, technologies, economies, cyber-spaces and mediascapes of our rapidly changing postmodern world
  • These postmodern artists or architects simply take note of the new mix of messages, symbol, cultures and media, and then create a video, song, painting or building that reflects the Postmodern condition
  • 3 cultural periods of which a unique cultural logic dominates
  •  The Age of Realism – the era of the bourgeois, historical novel
  • The Age of Modernism – modernist culture expressed its dissatisfaction with the world; themes of alienation, rootlessness, lack of identity, solitude, and social fragmentation
  •  The Age of Postmodernism – reflect the dislocation and fragmentation of language communities – splintered into small groups – each speaking a “curious private language of its own, each profession developing its private code or dialect, and finally each individual coming to be a kind of linguistic island, separated from everyone else.”
Jean Baudrillard – Hyperreal and Imaginary
  • Disneyland – presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, when in fact all of LA and the American surrounding it are no longer real, but of the order of the hyperreal and of simulation
  • Conceals the fact that real childishness is everywhere

Frederic Jameson – Postmodernism
  • Van Gogh’s painting of the peasant shoes: 2 ways of reading it
  • the raw materials/initial content
  • surface of color à utopian gesture
  • 2nd reading: the work of art emerges within the gap between Earth and World; the meaningless materiality of the body and nature and the meaning endowment of history and of the social
  • Andy Warhol’s Diamond Dust Shoes: random collection of dead objects hanging together on the canvas
  • Differences between the high modernist and postmodernist moment between the shoes of Van Gogh and the shoes of Andy Warhol:
  • The emergence of a new kind of flatness or depthlessness, a new kind of superficiality in the most literal sense
  • role of photography
  •  color: bright utopian vs deathly black and white
  • a kind of return of the repressed in Diamond Dust Shoes

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Shape of Time

In George Kubler's, The Shape of Time, Kubler discusses artists' biographies and how they are limited in that they are unable to completely depict how an artist's life is related to his or her artwork.  A biography simply focuses on that one single artist's life, making him or her the main unit of study.  The problem with this is that an artists work goes beyond just the artist, but the events and experiences that have surrounded and shaped the artist as well.  Kubler also discusses talent and how one's talent cannot be measured by degree of talent but rather on the kind of talent.  He also discusses various conditions which reinforce talent such as physical energy, durable health, and powers of concentration.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Data Visualization

Far more data than we are able to process surrounds us in our every day lives.  This is why data visualization has become such a common practice in today's world.  The process of taking data and incorporating it into visual experiences through the media encourages people to envision and perceive the data and hopefully find some personal meaning within it.  In Edward Tufte's video, Julie Steele discusses that data visualization is more than just a creative process, but actually more of a linear process of decision making based on three basic principles that should always inform your design.   The first is what you want to communicate as the designer.  The second is accounting for the reader's own opinions and biases and how they will perceive the data.  The third is the data itself and how it informs the truth.  Since we as humans, have brains that quickly recognize patterns, a lot of information can be communicated visually at once.  This is why using colors or images for specific audiences is important so that you can appeal to your audience emotionally and get them to quickly engage with the information.

One lesson that I found particularly important in the video was at the end when Tufte says that it is important when we are looking at data or information, that we see it to learn something from it and not just to confirm something we already believe.  So often, people tend to look at data and see it as something they already think they know or believe and use the data to confirm these preconceptions.  The purpose of collecting data is to then learn something from that data.  It should serve to provide revelations, or show us something we have never seen before.  It is important that we always keep our minds open to learning new things through data visualization.