About Art and Artists

All kinds of art from all kinds of artists


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Denny Gerwin Artist Statement Excercise

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After enduring a childhood full of biblical prophesies, I can’t shake the belief that humanity is doomed, that individuals are predisposed to struggle with their immortality, and that it will all end in a grand horrific event. Conversely, I have abandoned the notion that we will all get what we deserve in the end; either this wretched world followed by fiery hell, or this satisfactory world of temporary examination followed by eternity in paradise. Because I don’t believe those things, I can be amused instead of terrified. I am astonished by how humanity is both awesome and awful.
This body of work is made in amusement. I use the most historied medium known to make objects that look like our world’s vacated marks of human existence — the unearthed artifacts. This apocalyptic prediction is certainly not original. It is simply a record of my marks made on down-scaled, familar looking ceramic constructions while reveling in our demise.”

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Denny Gerwin, an upcoming ceramic artist, wrote this as his artist statement. I found it to be quite stunning; written very well and from the heart. When you observe his artwork you definitely see the connection of his statement to his work. His creations look apocalyptic; humanity in it’s final hours. I find it amazing how each piece look so believable. When I see them they make me feel lonely, empty and distraught. To imagine this world becoming nothing but a wasteland is frightening, yet perhaps an inevitable possibility. That greatly shows in Denny’s artwork. Regardless, of anyone’s beliefs, you must admit he is a talented artist with a great hand at writing. Personally, I like to believe in a better place after death, but even if that is true the earth will still lose it’s liveliness someday.

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If people continue in a downward spiral then it will be no surprise that everything will crumble beneath us. With war, hate, greed, the thirst for power and many other negative feelings, humanity will fall apart. Perhaps, instead of looking at Denny’s artist statement as just dark and depressing, we should delve deeper into what it’s saying. If we really consider his words, then maybe we can learn to change from them. What I mean is we should try to be better because of it. Since there is so many truths to what he has to say, we should take that as encouragement to try and prove him wrong. At least, humans should try to be better and try to get along. If the world tried to unite as much as possible, then maybe when the world does end, we’ll at least be able to say we did the best we can…

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Marcel Duchamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marcel Duchamp is one of the most revolutionary artist of the 20th century, right up there with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. He is a famous painter sculptor, chess player and conceptual artist. He in fact, created the concept of conceptual art, feeling that art shouldn’t be just about physical appearances, but of the mind as well. What this means is that art didn’t necessarily have to be pleasing to the eye, but provoke thought. Marcel also felt that art wasn’t truly completed, only by the viewers adding their feelings and thoughts was it then finished. In his own words, he explains it this way.

“The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”

Marcel’s choice of media ranged from paint to everyday or common objects, but he would sometimes alter them in some way. An example is the bicycle wheel that he placed upside down and on top of a stool. Whenever he would sign his artwork he tended to sign them with made-up names. Part of Marcel’s art was purposely humorous. I believe part of him wanted to upset or frustrate critics because he enjoyed the reactions. He preferred not to categorize his art, but instead stray from what we know as art as much as possible. He wanted to stand out and stand alone.

My feelings for Marcel Duchamp’s work is mixed. I admire him for revolutionizing art and doing something different form what we’re used to. However, I kind of don’t like that this form of art seems like a cheat for some people. Others that follow in his footsteps aren’t necessarily passionate about art, but can use his method as a way for excusing cheap art. Even if it isn’t good or feels like the art is a con, people who do this can get away with it simply because they say it is art, so therefore it is. Although some might mean this, others may use it as a way to deceive people. Another reason I feel unsure about this art form created by Marcel is I feel that extremely talented artist might be overshadowed by others less talented. What I can consider talented is people who handcraft everything and have the skills to make their own work. Regardless of my feelings, Marcel Duchamp will continue to be a famous artist who changed the way we see and think about art for many more years to come.

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Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Duchamp

http://www.understandingduchamp.com/

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/marcel-duchamp-1036

http://www.askart.com/AskART/interest/base_essay.aspx?id=84&glossary=1&pg=style

http://nga.gov.au/international/catalogue/Detail.cfm?IRN=44875


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Mona Hatoum

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Mona Hatoum is recognized as a video artist and installation artist, focusing much of her artwork on politics, contradictions and conflict. Having dealt with it herself, what with being Lebanese and raised with Palestinian parents. Also, with her love of art growing up and her father’s complete disapproval of it. Mona really depicts these concepts well in her art, and I believe her own connection is what makes it even better. Much of her work involves the world or people’s feelings and struggles. In a way, we can all relate to this, therefore making her work all the more relatable. Although her work has a certain message it wishes to convey it is also up to the viewers to make their own interpretation. She does this purposefully so that people can complete the art with themselves.

Mona’s medium is a variety of things, such as metal, glass, soap, paper, and furniture. In most cases the image of the continents is displayed. In others the feeling of being caged or confined also shows up. In this method she really can connect all people to understand each piece in many ways. It can remind us of home, our mental or physical health, emotions and life altogether.

I enjoy Mona’s work, since it seems really deep to me. It’s simplistic, but the message is so crisp and clear. Enough can be said without words and I love that. It really catches my interest and through her artwork I can tell she really connects. She also seems kind in nature and someone I’d enjoy sitting down and talking to.

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Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mona_Hatoum

http://whitecube.com/artists/mona_hatoum/

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/mona-hatoum-2365


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James Luna

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James Luna is best known as a Mexican-American performance artist and multimedia installation artist. His artwork focuses mainly on Indian culture and his own connection to it. Being part Indian himself, through his work he can tell a greater story about the modern day Indian. He explained that when he saw displays at the museums, they all seemed one-sided. Like reading from a textbook, it wasn’t very personal and felt distant. Since James grew up with Indian in his blood, he thought who better than to speak about a real Indian, especially when the Indian he’s talking about is himself. He knows himself better than anyone so of course his words and stories would be genuine. In one of his most recognized works, James is seen lying down in a display case with little signs explaining about his scars, history and personal belongings. Another well known performance by him is James getting out of the display case and asking his audiences if they want to take a picture with a real life Indian. All in all, his work can be humorous, meaningful and educating.

Jame’s media is real life I would say, with an Indian twist. He uses everyday objects, Indian attire and text to explain his work. All his work relates to Indian culture and his own experience.

I think James Luna’s work is interesting and pretty neat. I can tell it’s something he enjoys doing and it’s not a bad idea to educate people. He does it in a way that doesn’t seem boring, but rather intriguing. I get the feeling he peaks audiences’ curiosity and gives them a surprise. If you see some of the images below, you’ll understand what I mean. 

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Sources:

http://www.jamesluna.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Luna

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/james-luna-30545878/


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Bricolage and Braconnage

Bricolage and braconnage in many ways go hand-in-hand, and have in artworks such as those from Tom Friedman. To better understand, bricolage means “do-it-yourself” and braconnage means “poaching” as explained in the article Bric-a-Brac: The Everday Work of Tom Friedman written by Jo Applin. Art that conveys bricolage demonstrates the concept of looking backwards and forward. “American Bricolage” explains it as “traditional artistic materials” conveying “new cultural syntax out of the debris of the already given.” Todd Alden, the writer of Small Tasks: A User’s Manual describes bricolage as a “contradiction, a hodge podge, a stitching together of distinct cultural forms.” Another way to relate it is generating it into something not necessarily new, but at least into something else. Bracconage is about establishing modes of reading, in which the reader takes in the subject before them, but in a rather dynamic process. The readers are the braconneurs and establish their own routes through the given material. What this means is really the reader is the viewer, and interprets what he/she is seeing in a way that interests them. Conceptual art like that of Tom Friedman’s is a good example of this, for the fact that it is open to “poaching” of viewers. His work is “do-it-yourself” and made from pre-made materials, such as gum or cereal boxes. With that being said, his work falls right into the concept of bricolage and briconnage. This art form is actually quite popular and used by many other artists. 

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Rebecca Horn

 


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Portia Munson

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Portia Munson creates a variety of different art. Them being installations, paintings, photography and sculpture. However the art she is most recognized for is her conceptual art consisting of many color organized miscellaneous objects. As you’ll see in the images below, she color coordinates  these installations with many seemingly useless or unimportant items. These objects by themselves seem like nothing of great value, yet Portia manages to make them look stunning when grouped together. They really do look beautiful and somehow make you feel happy and uplifted. Although there is no deep meaning or story to be told, it certainly is eye candy for the brain. Each display keeps your interest because it’s so neat to dissect each part that makes up the whole. Each piece looks like something you’d find at a garage sale or thrift, but is now something of greater beauty.

Portia is naturally a collector of these types of things and actually grabbed these objects from her own storage. She sorts things items as so: pink for girls, blue for boys, and green for nature. She states that she is an environmentalist and feminist. What she means by that is that she is interested in how our culture is obsessed with consumption. She also has a deep interest in gender issues, but a deeper interest in the environment. She shows this in her artwork, having viewers recognize just how much stuff is out there that we don’t really need, but want. She brings it to our attention that maybe there is much more than we realize and that pollution is a prime concern because of this.

I love Portia’s art a lot. I for one, love color and the fact that she used it in such a creative manner really inspires me. It’s so clever and yet seems so simple, it’s like how didn’t anyone think of it before? I enjoy the mood each one sets just based on the colors and the playfulness based on the items. Very beautiful!  

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Sources:

http://www.portiamunson.com/about.html

Portia Munson’s….Stuff

http://edu.warhol.org/app_munson.html


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Rebecca Horn

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Rebecca Horn is a multi-talented artist, having plenty of experience in performances, films, sculptures, spatial installations, drawings and photographs. However, I’ll be going over Rebecca’s conceptual art which is dark in appearance, but intriguing in nature. Much of her work is meant to be metaphoric, telling a bit of a story which can cover a variety of topics. These topics can be mythical, historical, literary and spiritual in their vibe, but more importantly get the viewer to really consider what it all means to them. She has a taste for body extensions, masks and feather objects to name a few. If you’ll notice in the images below, she also tends to make her sculptures hang or float which also plays on kinetics. This type of work is called kinetic sculptures and it’s a recognized aspect of Rebecca’s work. This use of kinetics is enough to turn her everyday objects into something different; something new. It is no longer just a regular item, but part of the bigger picture, a story waiting to be told.

Rebecca uses ready-made objects and changes them in certain ways. Usually this change involves strings or hooks to give an appearance of dangling in mid air. Another thing she likes to do is use bindings or straps for her body extensions. You can also see that she doesn’t use much color, but rather sticks with dark tones. This is likely to keep her work somewhat simplistic and to not distract from what she really wants you to see.

I find Rebecca Horn’s work interesting, and I enjoy the stories behind each one. I like how she keeps us wanting to understand more, and how it’s open for interpretation. I’m sure there isn’t one set answer for each creation, but the mystery is enough to entice us. I find the simplicity beautiful and even poetic. I appreciate that she carries her own style throughout all her pieces and doesn’t come off as generic.

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Sources:

http://www.rebecca-horn.de/pages/biography.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Horn

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/rebecca-horn-2269