My final project is one of my favorite pieces that I have done this semester. I was a little scared when the project was intially assigned because I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with it, but as always, once I started the whole thing just came together nicer than I ever could have imagined. I took Robert Colescott’s piece titled “Saturday Night Special” and did exactly as he would do and flipped it on it’s head. Colescott is known for layering in his pieces, and for my project, I decided to dismantle his layers and separate them into individual pieces and adding my own modern touch to them. The main portion of the painting is a picture of a white woman who appears to be hooking up with a black male and is caught by who I’m assuming is the black man’s spouse or significant other who stands there half naked (Sexualization of women — characteristic of colescott’s work) holding a gun. Although there is no explanation of this piece, I assumed that he was making a point about the controversy over itnerratial relations; a problem that is still relevant today. There has been more of an increase over the years in interracial couples, however there is still a negative stigma that surrounds the issue. I used this piece of Colescott’s painting and added in a piece of typography, a characteristics not found in any of colescott’s painting, but a piece I felt contributed to the overall message. On the second part of my project, I focused on the voilence that is shown on a tv screen in the other corner of the paitning. I took this piece and enlarged it bringing focus to the modern problems with police brutality. My Connotative message is very strong in that the viewer will probably experience a feeling of discomfort. I did this on purpose because a lot of Colescott’s paintings also evoked this same feeling of discomfort as they touch on very controversial topics. Denotatively, I tried to incoporate a similar brush stroke pattern that was abrupt, along with the use of very bright colors in contrast with darker one.
Looking back on the semester, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that it isn’t always necessary to be given step by step directions when it comes to creating art. It is actually sometimes better when we are left to think for ourselves and make use of our imagination. I had no idea that I was creative, as I still cannot draw anything better than a stick figure. However, I also realized that art is more than just about drawing. The way that I view art has forever been changed, and I have this class to thank for that.
THere was a student exhibit on 4/20 of which Loyola students displayed some of their best pieces from the year. ALthough there weren’t any students in the exhibit to explain their pieces to me, I was thoroughly impressed by some of the pieces that I saw. THis piece in particular stood out to me because the message that the artist was trying to deliever was recieved loud and clear. Homelessness is a topic that many of us are aware of, but don’t pay too much attention to because it doesn’t affect us. We often times assume that homeless people are homeless because of the poor decisions that they’ve made in life, however this piece makes the point that any one of us could be homeless at any point. The words surrounding the three pictures of names of people that could also fall into the trap, and right at the bottom and in the center it says, “YOU.” I thouhgt this piece was very powerful and very creative.
I thought this video was pretty interesting. It covered a range of different topic related to how data visualizations are used today, but the thing that stuck out to me the most was the idea that visual information is sometimes the best way to reach people. I know for me personally, I am a visual and auditory learner. I process thing first by hearing them, and then develop a deeper understanding for what I’m trying to process after seeing it visually. The video mentioned how visual information is sometimes the best way to change someone’s mindset and overall behavior. When I heard this, I thought to myself, “wow that is so true” because if you think about all of the major issues going on all across the world in today’s society, it is so easy for us to ignore major issues when they aren’t in our immediate attention. This is why the media is so important in shaping our minds and helping us to become aware of the things that may not be affecting us directly, but are pressing issues for many others in different parts of the world. For example, the water crsis going on in Flint, Michigan and the war going on in Syria are two huge issues that have not affected me or any of my family members directly, but the more I saw videos and saw pictures on how it’s affected so many other people, I couldn’t help but begin to feel more passionate about the issues. We need visual stimulation so that it can open our eyes to different things, and help us to understand the many things that are occuring in the world around us.
I also think that is interesting how our brain was designed to process these patterns in a way that makes sense to us in order to help us grow and survive. If we were unable to process the things that we see, we would constantly be in danger as visual information tells us a lot in regards to not only what’s going around in our immediate environments, but also about emotion, It allows us to respond to our environment in a way that contributes to our overall well-being.
The Bathers (1909)
Three Graces at the Bathers Poo: Venus is Still Venus (1985)
These three paintings were the three paintings that stood out to me the most while we were at the museum. The first one particularly stood our to me because of the body positioning of the women figures. It is titled “The Bathers” as it captures what is typically viewed as a very innocent type of nudity, however the artist turned what could have been seen an innocent depiction of how life was back then into an erotic image of a few women flaunting their valoptuous assets. The contrast between the colors used; a darker background and lighter figures makes their character pop which directs the viewers eye even more so to their erotic positioning. I liked this painting because it was completley unexpected for me. I also liked the fact that the artist chose to draw women that were more heavy set as opposed to super skinny women. In today’s society, it is rare to find artists who celebrate curvy women, so it was refreshing to see for me.
The second painting that I chose also shows women bathing, but in a very different way. I love this picture because of how detailed it was, and I felt like just by looking at it, I could create my own story as to why the figures looked the way they did.The white figure’s body posture and the detail in her face and in her eyes screams snobbiness, while that of the darker skinned figures express feelings of discomfort, skepticism, and maybe even slight confusion. I wish I could talk to the artist so that I could ask him more about his purpose/ the background story of the painting.
The last painting that I chose was the most interesting to me. The painting had so much texture, and it almost looked like it was in 3D. I liked it especially because I felt like it tied in really well with the line project that we are starting. It gave me a better idea of what you meant when you said if you copy a pattern of lines over and over again, you could end up with some really cook. This painting is so simple, but has so many unique characterisitics to it.
I found Calvino’s article on Visibility super interesting. Although some of his ideas were complex, I think the purpose of the article was to get his reader to think about how they process things, and how we use our imagination to visualize things/dream/create art. I personally, am a visual learner, but I also need auditory stimuli to help stimulate my brain. I need multiple types of stimuli in order to produce visual images in my mind. For example, when I am trying to remember information from my classes during a test, I not only invision myself taking the notes, but I also invision the professor saying the answer during his or her lectures. In this sense, I use both visual and auditory parts of my imagination to help me remember things much like what movie directors do when they are trying to write our the scripts. Some are able to visualize the thoughts, actions and images of the characters in their heads while they write, while others must process things sometimes subconsciously while they are sleeping or day dreaming. Each person uses their imagination in a different way which is part of what makes us all so unique in the way we think, act, and percieve things.
I thought the article was quite interesting. I don’t know if I understood a lot of the metaphors that he used which is probably due to me not being familiar with a lot of the paintings that he referenced. Overall, I thought he had some really interesting points. The part that stuck out to me the most was the point that he made in the last few sentences. In his final point, the author claims that art is like a cat. The first time that I read it, I was completely thrown off and confused as to how he could pair art and cats together. However, after I reread the section a few times, I came to the conclusion that based off the example that he provided, art can be hard to understand because unless you are the artist who painted the painting or created the sculpture, the meaning is not also so clear, This, perhaps is because there is no direct relationshipbetween the artwork and the person viewing it. The author says that in order to understand why the cat did not come to its owner after being called, one must first not only recognize that there is something directly standing in between the cat and it’s owner, but also that there is an underlying message being commuicated through the cat’s actions as well. This is very much like artwork. We aren’t always able to understand what the art is trying to communicate because there could be another object standing in our way of reciving it’s full message. Thiscould be literal, like a physical object, or something more abstract such as an untrained eye which could significantly inhibit their ability to understand more complex artwork.