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Scholarly research papers. (Continuous Thread of multiple research papers).

Reflection on Modern Masters: Pablo Picasso

After watching the Modern Masters: Picasso, it was informative to know more about Picasso’s upbringing and how early his artistic journey began. To know that his father was an art teacher and artist himself was interesting to have learned too, but not all surprising. more so to know that his father was considered a “bad artist”, but was able to cultivate his son’s talent proves to be encouraging and heuristic.

Given in this instance, that main observation contradicts society’s viewpoint of what a “bad” artist is from a “good” one because his father was still able to teach his son, and mold him to become very confident in his abilities even from learning the basics.

I think that there is no such thing as a “bad” artist or art. Perhaps, art that is considered less likely to be appealing and successful results from an artist that is not skillfully and academically “trained” to construct traditional art. 

In correlation, most children who are brought up in a creative, and engaging environment around people that are immersed in the arts tend to be more hands-on in their approach because they are skillful as they have developed their artistic abilities gradually and precisely. And with their knowledge, they are successful with how they use their resources.

However, referring back to what is considered to be a “bad artist” from the lack of academic and artistic background, there are successful visual artists that have soared to evolve as the greatest of all time like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kurt Cobian, Billy Childish, and Yoko Ono- to name a few. Just goes to show you that the artistic endeavors they pursued still became prominent without formal education or to have created representational art. All styles and genres of art matter.

With that said, even though Picasso had formal training from his father as stated previously together by academies, as he vigorously worked, and studied from the masters- his work drastically changed from traditional/representational to figurative, abstract, non-representational, surrealistic, and expressionistic.

Through the styles from Neoclassical from Analytic and Synthetic Cubism to African-inspired art etc, he filtered between creating representational vs non-representation solo and collaborative artwork. He knew how to achieve both the traditional and radical principles within his art. And chose to rip  “reality apart”.

What attracts me to Picasso’s artistry is that he expanded beyond drawing and painting. He practiced other art forms like sculpture, ceramics, set design, and poetry. This is fascinating to me because I love to discover and research artists that engage in multiple arts. This observation shows how versatile Picasso truly was a jack of all trades, he did not limit himself and expressed freely as he did.

I am very much inspired by him as it gives me the courage to push out of my comfort zone. I want to immerse myself in all forms of art and enjoy the journey it takes me. The differentiated subjects that Picasso approached would be another aspect that I appreciate instead of the typical analysis of his work that represented women.

I want to point out how he drew and painted various subject matters that are worthy of discussion such as loneliness and despair, death, nature, propaganda, terrorism, etc. His range of subject matter also shows how mentally sharp he was which he effectively translated his influences and knowledge into art. 

In closing, Three Picasso artworks that attract me are Girl before a Mirror, Three Musicians, and Child with a Dove

(5’4″ x 4′ 3″) 1932 oil on canvas painting, Girl Before a Mirror, appeals to me because of the strong vibrant colors. I like the various shapes of triangles, circles, and ovals together with other angular shapes. How everything intertwines together, gives it a very psychedelic and illusionary feel. For example, the Bezold effect illustrates the adjacent colors of multiple colors like red, green, yellow, and black.

Girl Before a Mirror

  The 1921 collage & oil painting Three Musicians, would be my favorite out of the three. I like the juxtaposition of the elements (my favorite practice is collage). And I enjoy how flat the shapes are, which is what makes this piece stand out.  Dimensionally, it is cool that the white figure’s leg is tilted slightly to the left as the table is to the right. Also, like the neutral colors that are presented in this piece. 

The Three Musicians

Lastly, 1901 (29 in x 21 in) oil on canvas painting, Girl with a Dove is subtle to me. It gives me a delicate feeling as the likeliest matter depicts a little girl holding a dove closely to her. This reminds me of the nurturing bond that some children have with animals from an early age. 

Girl with a Dove

Art History 180: Critique Two. Two assigned readings that we get to choose. Readings: “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” By Linda Nochlin, and “The Female Hero and The Making of a Feminist Canon: Artemisia Gentileschi’s representation of Susanna and Judith” by Judith Pollock.

There are two academic, and art-historical sources discussed in this second critique such as “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” By Linda Nochilin, and “The Female Hero and The Making of a Feminist Canon: Artemisia Gentileschi’s representation of Susanna and Judith” by Judith Gentileschi Pollock. These two sources by Nochilin and Pollock have caught my interest to write in regard to the subjectivity of women artists. To note specifically, the question delves further into the concern and observation that the ‘quantity’ of women artists, in fact, ‘GREAT’ ones are at a low chance of recognition?

In this critique, I beg the question as I will analyze to understand the framing of Nochilin’s academic publication’s title: “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”. To explain, I challenge the approach of her phrasing as to why it is in question about the lack of great women artists- whereas we have a new generation of women artists that are multidiscipline. In other words, multidisciplinary artists experiment with different media and mediums. Inform you, a few great, upcoming, and innovative artists are Danielle Joy Mckinney (NYC native painter), Alberta Whittle (Barbadian-Scottish experimental artist), and Ann Veronica Janssens (Belgian ‘contemporary’ visual artist)- among other amazing women artists. These few are making a substantial change regarding social issues too, in their work that catalyzes their artistic career overall.

Artist: Danielle Joy Mckinney
Artist: Alberta Whittle
Artist: Ann Veronica Janssens

In addition, another point that I want to focus on would be the onlook of the artistic components (terminology) that highlight style/aesthetic, technique, and concept that can be semi-separated from the medium but more so functional together with the media since artists in general (no matter what form of art), displays their artistry on a platform, for consumers to potentially possess the physical form of beauty. Do you want to know what beauty is? Art, more so a human being or beings manifesting, creates and structuralizes a piece of beauty that is physical. To which is passed on by one touch of another (universally), for a soul connection: in attempts to share our likeness, but to also acknowledge and learn from what makes everyone and everything different too. Include, technically speaking, every human being and species embody both a feminine and masculine disposition for reference from the occurrent reflection of Adam and Eve during the biblical times. More so that like men, women are valuable on earth especially when the discussion of beauty and the arts are involved. Say, women, especially women artists, are quite emotive artists.

Speaking of women emotive artists, there is an academic article that I mentioned earlier: “The Female Hero and The Making of a Feminist Canon: Artemisia Gentileschi’s representation of Susanna and Judith” by Judith Gentileschi Pollock that could give further insight into the feminist theory that both Pollock and Nochilin seem to have a jointed view on. In detail, this particular study in the article especially about feminism and art history revolves around the discussion about art history for women is far from receptive, constructive along the anticipation to share less conventional ways in their art. I will note that I like how the section in that article describes MANY women. To describe women that are labeled under that section of feminism and art history lies the implied question of Pollock gives insight as to what type of women would be referred to when looking at who is the “best”.

However, I honestly do not like the arrangement as to how the subtopic was conveyed in the written format that it is shown. For instance, I do not like the overall tone that women artists were and still are depicted as feminists with a ‘difficult” and/or “demanding” approach and attitude when it comes to the business side of their artistic approach. To me, it seems like an underlying, division that keeps women artists at bay to a certain extent, to prevent them from potentiation in surpassing their counterparts.

However, what I could take away from that section in the article would be that there is a general description of the different backgrounds of women. For example, women of color, white women, lesbians, mothers, non-mothers, etc. Pollock’s explanation about the classification of women artists and their backgrounds is evident in my likeness of including ALL WOMEN. With that said, the observation that women are already seen as less than in most social contexts: in motherhood, as a businesswoman, provider, etc. are already limiting beliefs and pressure out onto them so it is, even more of a challenge for them to pursue their artistic careers. Perhaps the abovementioned titled probing question of Nochilin’s: “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”: should be rephrased. There are great women artists out there.

Globally, an emergence of great women artists is gradually surfacing from different parts of the world. They are also creating different types and forms of art than the traditional portraiture commissions they did centuries ago. Maybe another reason as to why women artists now are not considered as great is because of their choice of media, medium, and approach that is less conventional. I think the real question should be: Why isn’t there bigger anticipation to discover women artists that are great, plus to provide them beneficial opportunities that could propel them forward in the right direction, than the high societal, glossy art world type of platform? The art world needs exposure to different subjectivity than just the 50s stereotypical depiction of what a woman is supposed to be and do.

Now, I see more of a DIY (Do it yourself, independent) approach that women are establishing in self-promoting themselves rather than being a sell-out to the art world. Another observation to point out is that for decades it has been established in the art world (now and then) that male visual artists are the forefront runners in capitalism of the reproduction of art. So even if there were more opportunities presented to women artists, would they even get that recognition and support full throttle?

Those are the answers that I aim to ask rather than agreeing or analyzing with the opinion of art historians, Pollock and Nochilin’s viewpoint that 1. There are no supremely great women artists (Nochilin’s viewpoint), and 2. Women’s narrative and subjectivity differed now than they did then (centuries ago) during certain periods like the medieval and any other periods and cultures.

In conclusion, those are the thoughts that I grasped from both “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” By Linda Nochilin, and “The Female Hero and The Making of a Feminist Canon: Artemisia Gentileschi’s representation of Susanna and Judith” by Judith Gentileschi Pollock. Further, I wish to aim an extension to this critique and/or argument towards my view of these two articles would be: how these beliefs are looked upon in the present time that begs the question of, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” Together with analyzing Pollock’s article breaking down the different aspects of feminism and who and how it is applied.

Source 1: Neil Wilkof. Linda Nochlin, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists”? Relevant as Ever, Controversial as Ever. London: Newstex, 2018. Print. (PDF):

Source 2: The Female Hero and The Making of a Feminist Canon: Artemisia Gentileschi’s representation of Susanna and Judith” by Judith Gentileschi Pollock.

Compare & Contrast Research Paper: Jackson Pollock, Joan Mitchell, and Yoko Ono. Purposes of Art.

Instructions: Based on my Professor’s prompt in our Content & Form course. It was required of the class to do a 2,500 compare & contrast research paper on three artists. To research other sources and use the book “Theories of Documents of Contemporary Art” to write about each of their visual narratives & personal account about their art.

The three artists are Jackson Pollock, Yoko Ono, and Joan Mitchell. Again, it is 2,500 words so feel free to read and come back to it if you must. I want to share with you guys my research paper, for you to enjoy and perhaps further the conversation about art & of these artists.

Jackson Pollock in front of ‘Summertime: Number 9A’ for LIFE magazine, 1949
Jackson Pollock was. Source:
Yoko Ono
Artist: Joan Mitchell

In discussion are three brilliant artists: Jackson Pollock, Joan Mitchell, and Yoko Ono. In the book, Theories of Documents of Contemporary Art (TDCA), in-depth there are personal accounts of each of their contemporary practices.

To gain further insight into each of their viewpoints was enthralling and informative to read. I’m very much familiar with all three of them, but still know little of their artistry or even them as a person. Reading this book to the capacity from where I have stopped, has given me the freedom to explore the context of Ono, Pollock, and Mitchell’s work. Not just their work, but also their biographical background.

It is such a treat to grasp and process particularly the visual narratives of all three. Also, to compare and contrast their perspective of creation,  political views together with their aesthetic expression in this research paper. I will begin with the context behind the sociopolitical context of World War II that affected all including artists. 

The events before and after WWII impacted everyone’s lives globally. World War II is important to mention because, in correlation, music genres (rock and rap) were and still are the impetus that opposes propaganda and warfare. Music as an extension of art is verbal, and art contrived of many different things whether it is painting/drawing, arts, and craft, filmmaking, etc.- is a physically tangible way to capture the symbolism through the creativity of fighting against.

re: hate, propaganda, warfare, or any other societal or environmental issues. There is no difference between the relation of art and war, especially during World War II.

The correlation between art and war can be communicated that stems from two main issues. One is that art is of culture that had been linked to the center of an “Ideological war”. The term “Ideological war” means ideas that clash and disagree with opposing ideals, concepts, beliefs in which nations or a collective strategically use their influence to encourage their interests intentionally in an extensive manner.

The second issue revolves around the observation that during World War II, people had lost everything and were victims of brutality including those who were artists. 

With that said, a lot of artists were subjected to the most difficult conditions (in an occupied country run by the military, into apprehension and death cramps- being the most severe). Individuals, families, and more artists like Yoko Ono were victims of such savagery, and those that made it illustrated the haunting events or experiences as testimony.

It was their will in the need to create as the impulse became an expressive interpretation of self-preservation, a survival instinct that helped them through critical times.

Chapter one of the book, (TDCA), describes how the events of World War II became a major context or foundation, from which the most prominent artists have emerged: They fought for their creative ideology through alienation, and there was a great urge to separate themselves from the harshness and conventional ways of society. How they got through tribulations was through artistic expression. 

Additionally,  not so much Pollock or Mitchell suffered effectively from WWII, but artist Yoko Ono is a prime example of being subjected to World War II, but before I inform more into the formative years of her artistic journey. I’m going to discuss her hardships.

Being a direct child victim of WWII, plays a crucial role in The traumatizing events of tragic heavy fire-bombs ( March 9, 1945), being starved, separated from her family in hiding that stemmed from  World War II had negatively impacted Ono. With this in mind, what she had gone through, proved that she had gone through the worst. 

Instead of becoming trapped by her haunting encounter, it is what made her both an outsider yet the aggressor. She expressed that this particular experience has helped her to understand what it was like to be an outsider, and how she developed her aggressive attitude towards the things she wants. The bittersweet part is that it made her a stronger individual in which she persevered and channeled into her genius.

Furthermore, to speak of her genius, her early childhood, adolescence, and artistry will furtherly be discussed. Ono was born on February 18, 1933, in Tokyo City to parents Isoko Ono, a classical pianist, and Eisuke Ono, a wealthy banker. It is documented that Ono comes from a line of Japanese Warriors whose maternal grandfather, Zenjiro Yasuda, is associated with the Yasuda clan and zaibatsu- a Japanese samurai kin group dates in the Sengoku period and Edo period. And Zaibatsu is a substantial Japanese business conglomerate.

With that said, her father mainly derived from an extended tree of samurai warriors and scholars. To note, there is no surprise that Ono’s confident yet fierce personality shines through the way it did, she came from a prominent, well-rounded, and disciplined family (from her father’s side as little is known of her mother’s).

In addition to growing up from a line of talented, business-driven, and competitive family members: Ono grew up within that catalyst.

To further mention, considering that her father was a wealthy banker, he was already established, traveling, but on the hop. Two weeks before Ono’s birth, he was transferred to San Francisco by his employer, the Yokohama Specie Bank. The family soon followed after, and Ono met her father when she was two. Ono’s younger brother, Keisuke was born in December 1936. Before experiencing WWII, Ono’s interest in music started early. She was enrolled in piano lessons from the age of 4.

As I mentioned, the family moved frequently, and in 1937 they transferred back to Japan. By this point, Ono was enrolled in one of the most private and elite schools in Japan- Tokyo’s elite Gakushūin (also known as the Peers School). After two years there, the family moved to New York City in 1940, but eventually transferred back to Hanoi, Vietnam then again to Japan. Ono was enrolled in Keimei Gakuen, an exclusive Christian primary school run by the Mitsui family. 

Tokyo’s elite Gakushūin (also known as the Peers School)
Keimei Gakuen, an exclusive Christian primary school

Thereon, she remained in Tokyo in every part of World War II. With attention to her early year’s training in piano lessons, this is the first introduction to her creativity. To point out is that her mother Isoko Ono was a classical pianist so I get the sense that her creativity was influenced by her mother. And I think that she had learned to be financially stable and disciplined from her father.

Moreover, after surviving WWII, and as Gakushuin reopened, she enrolled in that school. She graduated in 1951 and was accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University (being the first woman of that department), but she left school after two semesters. 

Even though Ono temporarily left the option of academics, I noticed a correlation between Ono and Pollock’s story about education. Along the same lines, but slightly different, Pollock enrolled at Manual Arts High School but had gotten expelled (for unknown reasons). He was also expelled earlier, in 1928 from another high school.

With this in mind, I wonder if there is something to the dynamic of an artist’s upbringing with rebellion and identity. Artists like Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Billy Childish- to name a few, were all expelled from school for different reasons, but still thrived on their terms- whether they were kicked out or willing to leave.

I think that is interesting to note because it is interesting that they were rebellious which continued to translate later in their life. I noticed that the rebellion started so early which had greatly affected their ability to forge a successful career. They broke social barriers and went beyond the norm, and used their talents that reflected so much success yet freedom.

Referring back to Ono, Before recognition as a multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, and peace activist. She has also worked in filmmaking and as a performer. Ono’s first introduction to the art world was when she had visited galleries and art happenings in the city. She displayed her artistic endeavors and had the opportunity to not only meet but engaged in the arts with American Visual artists and musicians, La Monte Young, and John Cage (her mentor).

La Monte Young and Yoko Ono
La Monte Young and Yoko Ono

I mentioned priorly the phrase “art happenings”, this is mentioned in the book (TDCA) on page 738, Ono mentions the artistic theorized experience of “the happening” in the segment To the Wesleyan People (1966). She describes her artistic experience as not a “happening”, but more so that is reflected from sensory perceptions. She expresses, “It is not “a togetherness, as most happenings are, but a dealing with oneself”.

She furtherly describes the experience as a “wish” or “hope”. Ono expressed greatly that art is like breathing to her. If she doesn’t do it, then she starts to choke. Whether it is collage/ assemblage, instruction paintings, or music- “It is unblocked one’s mind with visual, auditory, and kinetic perceptions” to be in the now of wonderment as she expressed that most of her events (art) are spent in wonderment.

 Unlike Ono, Pollock doesn’t believe in a “wish”, “hope” or even a happy accident. On the contrary, Pollock’s view of creation seems interesting and different from Ono’s entirely. As I mentioned before, he did not acknowledge happy accidents nor do I think he would have with “happenings”.

In a 1950 interview with him and William Wright, he was asked about what he thought about Freud’s statement about not accepting there are happy accidents. On page 24, in the book (TDCA), Pollock states, “With experience-it seems to be possible to control the flow of the pain, to a great extent, and I don’t use-I don’t use the accident-because I deny the accident”.

As has been noted, he does not accept nor gone forth with happy accidents, instead, he pushed to be more direct with an immediate approach. In the interview, there is more of an understanding of his approach when he discusses more of his process with Wright. When asked a theorized question about whether the artist paints from the unconscious as the canvas perhaps must act as the unconscious of the person that views it. Pollock responded, 

“The pictures I contemplate painting would constitute a halfway state, an attempt to point out the direction of the future, without arriving there completely.”  

Pollock furtherly responds with another answer that describes the way he works. Pollocks describe that the paint he used was flown liquid and the brushes were more of sticks than real brushes. He emphasized that the brushes do not touch the canvas, but only just above. He describes the painting as free with the freedom to move about the canvas. With that said, I think Pollock’s perspective is no right or wrong as it is truly unique and to his own. 

Pollock is considered to be one the greatest American painters of his time and even when he was younger, he thrived as he developed an interest in Native American culture while surveying trips with his father. He was heavily influenced by Mexican muralists especially José Clemente Orozco and deemed the Prometheus as “The greatest painting that was in North America.”

José Clemente Orozco
‘Prometheus’ by José Clemente Orozco

Before his adolescence and artistic endeavors, the first is that Pollock was born as Paul Jackson Pollock in Cody, Wyoming, in 1912. He was the youngest of five sons to Stella May née McClure and Leroy Pollock who were Presbyterian (both of Irish and Scots Irish descent). His father was a farmer, and his mother was a weaver, both of them were in his life.  Though, when Pollock was just 10 months old, his mother moved all her sons to San Diego, and they never returned to Cody. He also grew up in Arizona and Chico, California.

Paul Jackson Pollock

Moreover, after settling in California, they lived in the Vermont Square neighborhood of Los Angeles. Pollock enrolled at Manual Arts High School but eventually got expelled. That didn’t stop him though, later in his life around the 1930s, Pollock and his brother moved to New York City. They both studied under Thomas Hart at the Art Students League. 

Thomas Hart at the Art Students League.

Even though Pollock had a disinterest in Benton’s rural American subject: the lasting effect of the professor’s pulsating approach to painting, and how confident he had influenced him. To note, Pollock and Glen Rounds, a fellow art student, and Benton toured in the summer in the Western United States in the early 1930s.

Correspondingly, to Pollock’s upbringing, specifically of his mother’s creative background (as a weaver), and his father’s love for nature/agriculture, Mitchell’s mother, Marion Strobel Mitchell was a poet. To bring attention to, both parents of Pollock and Mitchell’s mother were artistic and evolved in the environment. I wonder if that influenced both Mitchell and Pollock? 

Furthermore, it seems that on the aspects of competitiveness, nature, art, abstract, and movement: Both Pollock and Mitchell have a shared perspective on their approach to the arts, but before I mentioned that, I will discuss more of both of their upbringings- which differs.

Oppositely, from Pollock’s rural (later adjusted transition to city-life) upbringing, Mitchell was born in lively Chicago, Illinois in 1925. She grew up in an active and artistic environment, hobbies like diving, skating, and art interested her. She routinely attended Saturday art classes at the Art Institute and later spent her summers in a Chicago Art Institute-run art colony, Oxbow. Mitchell’s later works reflected her sportsmanship as she approached art like a competitive sport.

On the aspect of their careers, Pollock had an earlier start than Mitchell when it came to working and establishing himself in a different period, scene, and of around peers (considering that they have a 12 year age difference). Eventually, their influential paths crossed in the New York art scene. 

In addition to Pollock’s career, in the late 1930s, liquid paint became his favorite medium. He often attended an experimental workshop in NYC (owned by Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros). He perfected the “drip” technique and used paint pouring as one of several techniques on canvases of the early 1940s. Before 1938-42, he worked for the WPA Federal Art Project. He signed a gallery contract with Peggy Guggenheim in 1943 and she commissioned him to paint the 2.4 x 6.1 m Mural (1943). On page 24 of the book, TDCA, there is an interview with Pollock and William Wright in 1950. 

Contrary to Pollock’s inventiveness and disapproval of “happy accidents ‘, for a more direct and applied approach, Mitchell’s process is quite spontaneous and direct.

Jackson Pollock

In addition to Mitchell’s career, she studied and obtained degrees (the highest one being an MFA), she maintained a “fellow robust creative discourse” with artists such as Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and Philip Guston. Furthermore, she gained critical acclaim and recognition as she was known for her expansive abstract paintings. And exhibited her work internationally at the biggest named galleries, like the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York. 

Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York. 

I feel more connected to her perspective more so than Ono and Pollock. An interesting statement from Joan Mitchell sparked further interest for me to explore her ideology. In the book, (TDCA), Mitchell expresses, “I think any involvement of any kind is to forget not being alive”.

This is a powerful statement because it is effective and surely resonating with all artists. Art is created to exist! An artist is the water jug that hydrates the canvas which is the soil, for it to grow. The markings are the product that nourishes the consumers who want to invest in the resulting product. Art is fruit whether it is pure or bruised, which is subjective to one’s perception.

Another remark of Mitchell’s interview with the French philosopher, Yves Michaud, was about the meaning of a picture. Mitchell’s response was insightful, optimistic, and nonlimiting. It is in the demeanor of most artists when describing their work as if there are no defined answers. Mitchell states, “If I don’t know, then it’s not working. If it seems right to me, then it has a meaning, but I can’t tell you what it means… It works when it means something when I don’t question it anymore”.

To explain, I think that Mitchell is onto something. Sometimes when creating art, it can derive from an instinct rather than it being logical. It could have logical merits; I think of this specific statement that touches upon the process as operating from feeling rather than pushing to intellectually “finalize” a concrete idea.

Like in Pollock’s work and Ono’s, the way Mitchell approaches her work by using primarily oil paints on primed canvas or white ground is interesting. Along with using gestural, sometimes violent brushwork. Art critic Irving Sandler best described Mitchell’s work as poetry from prose. Describing her work, Mitchell expresses that her work is more like a poem than an allegory or a story. And she thinks that the process of painting is both still and continuous which practice is without time unlike filmmaking, photography, and music

In essence, after researching, and analyzing all: Ono, Pollock, and Mitchell’s Visual narratives, I came to an applied conclusion that, Perhaps, art is transformative and never-ending without any goodbyes. If one was to look at it this way, maybe art, specifically painting, is just a visitor in and out of disguise, between the conscious and subconscious.  And always in movement. Never is any piece of art or creation truly, just one entity.

Artist research paper: Kruger, Chicago, Neshat.

Art 101 Content & Form course instructions. Assignment instructions: Material Culture & Everyday Life. Read p. 282 – 383. Read 6-10. There are several artists in the chapter to note. Warhol, Kruger, Hamilton, page 335 on Claes Oldenburg and Judy Chicago on page 358. Write and Compare/Contrast 4–5-page paper with images on a page on the following artists: Barbara Kruger, Shirin Neshat, and Judy Chicago (Neshat is not in your book. Do outside research). “Please process their visual narratives. Try to “feel” what they felt. If anything, we must appreciate the creative madness that each one possessed”, said Professor Monterrubio.

Week 5: Purposes of Art II. Material Culture & Everyday Life.

Chapter four of the book, “Theories of Documents of Contemporary Art” (TDCA), discusses Material Culture and Everyday Life. In addition, the prime focus would be on female artists such as Shirin Neshat, Judy Chicago, and Barbara Kruger. Besides being female, these three artists changed the game in the art world just as much of the males did like Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Richard Hamilton.

Left: Barbara Kruger (Credit: Efi Michalarou), Top right: Judy Chicago (Credit: Sebastian Kim), and Bottom right: Shirin Neshat (Credit: Rodolfo Martinez)

Further in this research paper, the interwoven conjunctions of personal accounts together with visual narratives of how art was created by these artists, and translated through media. The perspective of the “material culture” will be explored and analyzed.

Furthermore, An interesting passage about Barbara Kruger sparked this conversation in a direction that will give further insight into how some of these artists felt about the media, and how they illustrated their narrative through art against the negative depictions of women displayed by the media.

In addition, On page 294, Kruger’s artistic approach through the practice of photography, television, and film. Kruger focused on unmasking gender stereotypes that were perpetrated by the media. Specifically, Kruger constructed photomontages that conveyed gender differences which were encrypted by the psychological state of the male-dominated desire.

Barbara Kruger. Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground). 1989. Silkscreen portrait made by the artist.

To note, of patriarchy, the art world is a male-orientated ‘sport’ and it had been that way for centuries. For instance, before the 19th century, women were not allowed to paint. To explain, marriage inhibited women to follow their ambitions, and it wasn’t until 1882 when the Married Property Act was established that the husbands had complete control of the wife’s property, and was automatically granted custody of their children due to financially having the upper hand.

The only way that married women could pursue their passion as an artist would be to seek the permission of their husbands while still carrying duties of the household. Women were only seen as a housewife, to be married off, bear children, and strengthen familial ties through marriage. With that said, it wasn’t until the 19th century where married women were attending places like a Convent to learn how to read and place. This gave women the liberating experience to express themselves in a way of not just solely being defined as a woman, mother, or wife.

In correlation, this observation is still seen in the present between women artists’ artistic careers and their duties. For instance, from pages 358 to 362, Judy Chicago’s artwork The Dinner Party: A Symbol of Our Heritage (1979) talks about her experience as an art student that worked with many women who were china painters. Chicago attended exhibitions, met painters, and visited their houses together with her asking questions about the history of china painting.

Judy Chicago addresses volunteers in The Dinner Party studio, c. 1978. Photo: Amy Meadow
Judy Chicago. The Dinner Party: A Symbol of Our Heritage (1979)
Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, 1974‒79. Ceramic, porcelain, textile, 576 x 576 in. (1463 x 1463 cm).

Furthermore, she took into account that many of these women had been painting for more than forty years, and worked full-time in their home studios. They painted, taught, and showed china painting, but still, their  Chicago describes:

“Even though some of them had been painting for as long as forty years, they didn’t know how, nor did they have the resources, to present their work properly; it was poorly exhibited, improperly installed, and inadequately lighted, and it sold for outrageously low prices” (360). To explain, many of the talented china-painters did not have the resources or support that should have been accessible for them.

To point out even further is that many china-painters had pursued art school when young, but had married and became mothers. Given these points, it makes Chicago’s vision and stance about the experience, and perspective of women through art even stronger.

Her goal with The Dinner Party was to pay homage to women’s contribution to art and to highlight the matter of what respect should be given to women, while also trying to appeal to a large audience with her work.  More of her narrative on this artistic approach, she describes, “It would express the way women had been confined, and the piece would thus reflect both women’s accomplishments and their oppression” (360).

Judy Chicago addresses volunteers in The Dinner Party studio, c. 1978. Photo: Amy Meadow
Judy Chicago designing the entry banners, 1978. 
Study for Emily Dickinson from The Dinner Party, 1977. Ink, photo, and collage on paper, 23 1/8 x 35 in. (61 x 91.4 cm).

Another key point, Chicago wanted to emphasize the fact that women have been tremendously affected psychologically. Women’s achievements were and still are excluded, so female artists like Chicago, Kruger, Neshat all pushed women’s history through art. For instance, Chicago specifically used techniques that are traditionally associated with women like china-painting and needlework.

Comparatively,  to Kruger’s approach of exposing gender stereotypes, so has Shirin Neshat. Contemporary visual artist, Neshat

Shirin Neshat (left) at Berkeley circa 1979. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.
Shirin Neshat with one of her paintings circa the 1980s. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

Has challenged the status quo as she has explored contentious principles like gender. with Neshat’s artistic journey, she describes having to destroy the art she did create due to dissatisfaction.

To note, within the 10 years that she spent working beside her husband at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, she did not fully immerse herself in making art. She was intimidated by the art scene and wanted to create substantial art. Eventually, after being surrounded by other creators (artists, architects, and philosophers), the atmosphere of the Storefront helped reignite her interest in art.

By the time 1993 came, she began to make serious art starting with photography. To note,  Neshat returned to Iran (documented within the year that Ayatollah Khomeini- the former supreme leader of Iran had died). Neshat recounted the 1990 experience as being both terrifying and exciting as she witnessed a country that was ideologically based.  To explain, the Iranian culture was and still is hard pushed politically which affected people’s wellbeing like their physical appearance and behavior but more on a public scale.

In addition, the earlier works of Neshat’s included the observations and accounts of the above-mentioned along with photographs such as the Unveiling (1993) and Women of Allah (1993–97) series, which investigated femininity through Islamic fundamentalism and militancy in her home country. She also channeled the frustrations of political issues from her home country through the artistic approach of Persian calligraphy that was furtherly conveyed from her portraits of the Women of Allah series.

Shirin Neshat, I Am Its Secret, 1993. © Shirin Neshat. Photo by Plauto. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.
Shirin Neshat, Fervor (film still), 2000. Photo by Larry Barns. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

For the most part, most of her work refers to the social, cultural, and religious codes of Muslim societies and against the complicatedness of certain oppositions like sexism, fascism, etc. Within Neshat’s work, she has emphasized that she shows two films art once that coordinates or correlates with each other.

Not only did Neshat feel intimidated by the art scene, but so did Kruger at the beginning of her art career. Referring back to the beginning of Kruger’s artistic journey, it was intimidating to enter New York galleries because of the atmosphere of the art perhaps, rejecting the welcome to women who were and are independent and ‘non-masochistic. That did not stop Kruger though because she received support from differentiated groups like the Public Art Fund for her work.

Another similar point about one’s dissatisfaction about their work: is that like Neshat, Kruger felt that a lot of her art (abstract pieces) were going to be “meaningless and mindless”. With attention to this point, Kruger experimented between the practices of poetry (the late 1960s), arts and crafts (1970s), and collage (the early 1980s).

Equally important, what I find interesting about Kruger’s artwork like Chicago’s is that she recontextualized mainstream magazine images along with the use of her bold phrases to approach topics like feminism, consumerism, and individual independence and desire.

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Your gaze hits the side of my face), 1981
Barbara Kruger, Untitled (We have received orders not to move), 1982

Moreover, important women that are often overlooked, were highlighted and credited by Chicago. She has advocated for women’s rights and sought out to convey through her artwork the struggle that women face for power and equality in male-dominant societies. With these given points, I find this all to be very interesting because there is an analysis to make between the women and male artists. To explain, as it may be obvious as it was mentioned earlier in this essay, the art world is a male-dominated scene. It has always been that way.

Not only do women artists have to go through what is true to them as artists, but there is also the weight that they have to carry of establishing themselves. It doesn’t seem to be as complex as it is for women, but not men.

Not only do women artists have to go through what is true to them as artists, but there is also the weight that they have to carry of establishing themselves more effectively because they are women. There are fewer opportunities for them. It doesn’t seem to be as complex for me as it is for women. What is worth more investigating would be the male artists’ narrative of how they painted women or approached feminine topics through their art.

Speaking of which, I will explore just that, of women or feminine topics that are illustrated by male artists, and on the narrative of the media. In the book (TCDA), on page 337, There is a personal account in the interview of G.R Swenson with artist Roy Lichtenstein, and there is a single statement that is worth mentioning. When Swenson asked, “What is Pop Art”? Lichtenstein described Pop Art or commercial art as a subject matter more so in painting. With this point in mind, there is a contrast between subject matter and how it is perceived by Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol in his studio, New York 1964 (Photo by Evelyn Hofer/Getty Images)

When discussing the women figures in his pop art paintings, Warhol describes painting them as surface subjects. Warhol explains, ” I don’t feel I’m representing the main sex symbols of our time in some of my pictures, such as Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth.”… He continues, “I just see Monroe as just another person.” With that said, I analyzed this statement as neutral. I think that Warhol was not trying to paint or exploit the “sex symbols” of that time, it seems that he painted Monroe for just the person that she was already.

Andy Warhol. Marilyn Monroe, 1967. Medium
Portfolio of ten screenprints. Dimensions
composition and sheet (each):
36 x 36″ (91.5 x 91.5 cm). Publisher
Factory Additions, New York. Printer:
Aetna Silkscreen Products, Inc., New York
Edition: 250
Credit: Gift of Mr. David WhitneyCopyright
© 2021 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual
Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Type: Portfolio
Department: Drawings and Prints

 In addition, famous and beautiful women like Monroe, Taylor, etc are viewed in the media as a sex symbols. The way women are painted in men artists’ work, goes to show how it is complex to look at or acknowledge the subject with respect. To explain, I mean that subjects about the women in the paintings by men are perceived as a negative connotation by the media.

For example, most of Pablo Picasso’s paintings are about his relationships with women. Documented his marriages, flings, and affairs- a great number of women in his painting carried a negative connotation by the media due to the drama context of his relationships. Just as important, another example of Pablo Picasso of this point would be Picasso’s 1907 oil on canvas artwork, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. 

Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907. Period: Cubism. Subject: Women. Medium: Oil on canvas.
Dimensions: 243.9 cm × 233.7 cm (96 in × 92 in). Location:  The Museum of Moden Art

There is an interesting dynamic to the point that Picasso painted or portrayed five nude female prostitutes in a brothel on Carrer d’Avinyó, a street in Barcelona. To note, when it was received by the public, of course, there was a backlash but not to a certain extent as Judy Chicago received by art critics of her Dinner Party series.

Art critics felt her work lacked meaning and was just a display of “vaginas on plates”. This point is important because men who paint women like Picasso and Warhol are perceived as male artists that are embarking more on the fierce, exotic, new experimental type of feedback yet Chicago had gotten feedback about her work. Despite the rejection by art critics, and even though Chicago’s Dinner Party was popular and had captivated the general public; she still faced emotional distress.

In a 1981 interview, Chicago expressed that the “backlash of threats and hateful castigation in reaction to the work brought on the only period of suicide risk she’d ever experienced in her life”. In other words, during this experience, she described herself as a ” wounded animal”. She had to rely on acquaintances and friends to recoup during the day to day life and while working on new material in solace.

Furthermore, I think that it is hypocritical and Misogynic that male artists that have painted women so vulgarly were never really analyzed versus the backlash that women artists received when it is about the subject of women altogether. I think that the media, meaning the public that consumes the media, most are narrow-minded and judgemental to be informed about women’s history as they only think about the mass appeal or the “trophy”.

Another point is that I think that Chicago’s Dinner Party is a beautiful example that represents women’s existence, accomplishments, and history. It also conveys symbolic butterfly imagery about liberation. It also illustrates the purpose of the historical context between the seventeenth century to the twentieth century. Of the time when women had social and political control along with female power of all colors too. Whereas, in the male-dominated art world, most artworks of females created by men are used as superficial and transparent measures.

Artist Richard Hamilton explained it best in a 1957 letter to Peter and Alison Smithson. He explained the ” merit” of pop art in the art world. Hamilton states, “I find I am not yet sure about the ” sincerity” of Pop Art”. To note, he means the authenticity of the art movement and artworks of Pop Art. Hamilton describes:

” It seems to me that the artist, the intellectual, is not the alien that he was and his consumption of popular culture is due in some measure, to his new role as a creator of popular culture” (TDCA, 298). To explain, the artist has sold his soul by creating superficial subjects in his work. Hamilton further explains,

“The techniques of the mass media are powerful and it is fortunate for a society that the mechanics of the mass media do breed people with visual taste and discrimination”(TDCA et. al, 298). In this case, he is talking about mass media on art in full-scope through cinema, tv magazines, newspapers, radio, advertising, and so on. ” It must have gloss and glamour, and evoke a yearning for possession” (298).

Artist Image: 1970 Chris Morphet.

Moreover, as Pop art is represented, it’s required of the artist to “have a sense of personal responsibility as part of that culture, to recognize that his act is directed towards an audience and their needs”. Given these points, I disagree with this ideology or concept, it is important too. mentioned because it gives an audience insight about the perception of some possibly most artists that appeal towards a mass culture or media.

Mass media or culture is all about exploitation and teaching history that is taught for others to be superior in a negative way. It teaches those to follow along with a belief system of greed, fame, high sex appeal, and industrialization. In the art world, there is more of that of the abovementioned, and that doesn’t change with artists that are about representing a false illusion to mass media.

All in all, women artists specifically,  Barbara Kruger, Judy Chicago, and Shirin Neshat: pushed beyond subjects that pushed beyond mass media, culture, and appeal. Even on subjects that were about femininity, women’s accomplishments, and tribulations. These women artists created art that had merit and class to describe it as even when they doubted their abilities and creative process in a male-dominated art world as the art scene then we’re about mass culture and popularization.

Chicago, Neshat, and Kruger gave the torch to all women of colors and all sexes of artists to speak beyond the superficial and derogatory subjects in art. People like me who share similar viewpoints on this, greatly appreciate their contribution.

Judy Chicago stands in The Dinner Party studio; behind her, stacks of chalices are waiting to be fired and painted, 1978.
Barbara Kruger in her New York City studio, ca. The Mid-1970s; Photo by Susan Katz for
“The woman I am”. Collection, part of the
Archives of women artists, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Betty Boyd Dettre Library & Research paper.
Shirin Neshat, Women without men, still da film, 2010.

Art 101 Andy Warhol Reflection and/or Research Paper

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is feat1d.jpg
Andy Warhol. 📸 Credit N/A

Ownership of mines which is an extraordinary wellspring of a book named, Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art; A Source Of Artists’ Writings by Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz, is wealthy in the setting. To clarify, on pages 340-346 the book gives a rich setting to a few of Andy Warhol’s methods of reasoning, named Warhol as would be natural for Him: Untitled Statements’ (1963-87). An assertion of his that engaged me was from him speaking with regards to who he was personally.

📸 Photo: RDA/Getty Images
Andy Warhol.

He furnished a response that essentially embodied best his portrayal personally. Warhol states, “Assuming you need to thoroughly understand Andy Warhol, simply take a gander at the surface: of my artistic creations and movies and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it” (340). This statement is an intriguing one because from grasping and deciphering what he communicated, workmanship mirrors the craftsman moreover to the craftsman considering separated parts of life through workmanship. I consider it an accept it as it is a sort of approach. It’s anything but old as well as the basic portrayal of what his identity was: both personally, and craftsman though it is available for whoever gets there first whether or not one needs to do as such.

One more illustration of the philosophical insight is the summed-up perception of how Andy Warhol showed up at the center of attention. Warhol was viewed as the principal center in the focal point of where every other person strutted around.
Oppositely, on page 346, Warhol examined how the media saw his notoriety as being somebody that everybody needed to be near, yet his insight contrasted.

Warhol communicated how it was in reverse to feel that everybody at the Factory needed to consider him to be the principal fascination. In reality, he expressed, “Individuals weren’t especially keen on seeing me, they were keen on seeing one another” (346). He communicated how he paid the lease of the Factory as it was an open climate for everybody to come. Warhol affirms, “The groups came essentially because the entryway was open”. I view this snippet of data as fascinating because during that time the Factory was such a spot to be. There were entertainers, movie producers, imaginative originators, stage creation team, visual craftsmen, and so on: that went all through that spot.

Andy Warhol at the Silver Factory in New York City, 1964. 📸 Credit: © EVE ARNOLD | MAGNUM PHOTOS
Andy Warhol in the Silver Factory 📸 via Pinterest

To add, I think it is amazing how Warhol put resources into a studio that was cool given as well that everybody needed to make workmanship and social associations. In those days anybody could become famous without formal instruction, you just needed to have boldness and expectation to follow what you needed.

Andy Warhol pursued his career with boldness and with great expectation. As said by my professor Diego Monterrubio, Andy Warhol wore many hats such as titles as an American artist, film director, and producer. Professor Monterrubio describes Warhol as someone who was an American leading individual in the visual art movement of pop art.  Similar to his statement, I would say the same. Like Jean-Micheal Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Kenny Scharf- Andy Warhol was and still is a prominent figure in the art world specifically in regards to pop art. According to the dictionary of Oxford Languages, pop art is defined as an artistic movement established on current ‘approved’ culture and the mass media, especially as a critical or ironic comment on conventional fine art values.

‘A chaotic, musical sensibility’: Jean-Michel Basquiat at an exhibition of his work in 1988. He died later that year. 📸 Photograph: Julio Donoso/Sygma via Getty Images
📸 Credit. Photo: Jack Mitchell / Getty Images
Keith Haring photographed with one of his large-scale paintings in April 1984.
Kenny Scharf
“Train Bombing”
Double L Train Halsey Station NY
📸 Credit: Photo by Timmy

A couple of sources portray his works that investigated connections between imaginative style along with promoting and VIP culture that thrived by the 1960s. Warhol explored different avenues regarding a wide scope of media like artwork, silkscreening, photography, film, and model. Likewise, there are two focuses to cover: one with regards to Warhol’s point of view on pop craftsmanship and one more with regards to his cherished media.

On page 343, Warhol considers his 1963 outing to California and described that pop was wherever where it was shown. This advises me that pop craftsmanship is like how it was portrayed now as it was then, at that point, however it is efficiently manufactured more noteworthy at present. I think that it is entertaining that Warhol communicated how pop workmanship in those days was underestimated because it is as yet that way right up ’til today. To note, Warhol appeared to have been astonished by the start of this “advanced” idea of pop workmanship from encountering his outing to California. He validates, “We were seeing the future and we knew it without a doubt”.

Long Beach, California, 1963 📸CC0 1.0 Universal
Nov. 1, 1963: Los Angeles Times and surrounding buildings viewed from the intersection of 1st and Broadway.
📸 (Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

Correspondingly,  about his perspective about pop art, his favorite media is discussed along with how he saw himself as an artist. On page 344, there is a piece of information that gives insight into Warhol’s favorite media. Warhol informs, “The best atmosphere I can think of is film because it’s three-dimensional physically and two-dimensional emotionally” (344). This said I can only assume that Warhol perceived the media of film to be pleasing. I think that Warhol enjoyed filmmaking as much as the other media he worked with, but perhaps film allowed him to be more emotive, and explorative?

I beg the question of which would possibly confirm my analysis based on another statement. Warhol made another statement about films particularly movies and how people have such an opportunity to enjoy them. Warhol expressed, “I do think movies should arouse you, should get you excited about people, should be prurient” (344). Well, I am sure that Warhol would have been just as interested in how advanced technology came to be in filmmaking; however, like Warhol, I too have a disinterest in action films (certain ones).

I think that he made a good point that action movies are redundant, but he said it best. Warhol revealed, “I could never stand to watch all the most popular action shows on TV because they’re essentially the same plots and the same shots and the same cuts over and over again”. I can agree with Warhol because action movies these days are very repetitive, I couldn’t imagine how it was back then. For example,  the lead actors or actresses now that play the superhero are given a victory end, and it is nothing new that happens with the plot. That is just my personal opinion which is similar to Warhol’s.

About the lead person, Warhol made a parallel statement about himself living life and as an artist. First, about his role as an artist, he viewed himself as a self-described American artist that represented the U.S in his art. And though he thought of himself as a “pure artist”, he did not take himself seriously as one. Further, as for living, Warhol has always been inclined to think that he was watching tv instead of living life. With this in mind, Joan Mitchell mentioned something along the lines too of looking into life as an outsider. How interesting?

In continuous, Warhol gave an exceptional theory that most people every so often would vocalize that what happens in movies are unreal, yet life events are unreal too. What Warhol said was thought-provoking to me because I think that most people would say something similar considering that movies are exaggerated and/or sympathetic revisions that reflect life- it depends on people’s perspective.

Warhol’s perspective of life is abstract but resonates. He explains, “I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there”. In other words, he means that when things happen to a person, it is like watching television and a person might not feel anything at all. This outlook was greatly impacted prior and afterward on his near-death experience from being shot by a radical feminist, Valerie Solanas.

Andy Warhol at a photoshoot Shows him bandaged from the attempted assassination he endured years prior. 📸 Credit:

Speaking of which, to bring attention to health issues, I wonder if this notion about life derived from his childhood. To clarify, I am talking about his near-death experience in his 40s, but most importantly his health condition (Sydenham’s chorea) that transpired during his childhood into the rest of his life. Documents show that when he was younger suffering from his health condition, he was confined to bed. During this time, his imagination soared as he drew books, listened to the radio, and collected pictures of movie stars around his bed. Do you see the link? Particularly of the point that Warhol’s concept parallels his misfortunes in which he had to face early in life. Warhol said it himself that this period play an imperative part in the development of his personality, skill-set, and preferences. In retrospect to this point, I can see why Warhol thought and felt like he was watching tv more than he was living life. 

Equally important, I think the previous points made reflect Warhol’s once passion for film and storytelling to give someone else the expanded view of an opportunity to play upon their role too however they wanted without being limited to our genetic makeup, and to what we know about life to an extent.

Andy Warhol, in 1986. A judge on Monday ruled that his “Prince Series works can reasonably be perceived to have transformed Prince from a vulnerable, uncomfortable person to an iconic, larger-than-life figure.” 📸 Credit…DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images

Moreover, speaking of roles, after Warhol graduated from Schenley High School in 1945, he wanted to study art education at the University of Pittsburgh to become an art teacher. Instead, he enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology (known now as Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh) and studied commercial art. Subsequently, he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in pictorial design in 1949 and moved later that year to New York City to which he embarked on a career in magazine illustration and advertising. Either way, whether as an art teacher or commercial artist, Warhol made a promising career.

Andy Warhol. 📸 Credit:
Andy Warhol & friends. 📸 Credit :

Warhol made a promising career indeed, have you seen his works? It is guaranteed that you have, you most likely are familiar with his notable works like his 1962 canvas, and Synthetic polymer painted ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’. What about his 1964, 40 inched painting on canvas series of Marilyn Monroe, or his 1966 piece titled Banana. My two favorite pieces of Warhol’s are the 1976 ‘Skull’ & the 1962 work titled ‘Do it yourself’ (sailboats).

Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s 1962 Soup Cans. 📸Copyright
© 2021 Andy Warhol Foundation /
ARS, NY / TM Licensed by Campbell’s
Soup Co. All rights reserved.
Andy Warhol. Gold Marilyn Monroe. 1962 📸 Credit: Copyright
© 2021 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual
Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) 1967 FS II.22-31 1.
Andy Warhol’s 1967 ‘Banana’. Album cover art
for The Velvet Underground.

First, there appear to be variations of Andy Warhol’s skills piece, but I like the colorization of the umber, green and yellow versions. That particular one intrigues me. I like that the skull is well developed in composition with such contrast, the eyes and within the mouth are dark. I also feel like the shadows underneath the skull appeal to the eye as it makes the element as a whole more distorted and/or dimensional in aspect. I think the colors compliment each other as yellow goes with green (looks like a lighter yellow-green).

Andy Warhol’s iconic ten-part silkscreen Skulls (1976). © Andy Warhol

Next, would be my likeness to his 1962 work titled ‘Do it yourself’ (sailboats). I find it aesthetically pleasing that he designed within a system. To explain, there are numbers scattered around in the artwork as if it is the basis of a framework. For example, the type of design framework that you see in a coloring book which you have to connect the numbers using colors to outline the full composition in its entirety. The white fluffiness of the clouds makes the composition more interesting too because It is both white and pink which compliments.

Andy Warhol, Do It Yourself (Sailboat) (1962). Image courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, 📸 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

In essence, my professor Deigo Monterrubio made a point that Warhol lived an eccentric life in which there is much more to delve into, but this is a generalized description that I found absorbing to discuss in this research and reflection paper.

Gunung Brintik and properly named now too as Kampung Pelangi or “Rainbow Village”.

These are images from my previous Color Theory Course of the Color and Culture Research Presentation. I narrowed the historical research info to Semerang which is the capital and largest city of Central Java province in Indonesia. Best known for its populous estimated 1.8 people, historically known for its cleanest tourist destination in Southeast Asia.

I furtherly narrowed it down to a specific area in Semarang and that is the “Rainbow Village” originally named Gunung Brintik and properly named now too as Kampung Pelangi.  The historical specifics of the village are limited due to it being such a small village that has been built up slowly by the community there.

Most would look at Architecture as being an art form itself of its process in construction and how well the buildings are built with more stable materials. As you see here of the village, it is degraded. Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)
The village was revamped with found material and the once “degraded look” buildings were transformed with colors that make it look like pop art. Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)
Designs like rectangles, stripes, arches, triangles, and other shapes are shown. Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)

It is documented that the Central Java community and the Indonesian Government ( From the Southern district of Semarang) invested (it is said) over  3 billion on the revamped village in attempts to bid off the reputation it had been a “degraded slum”.

Mayor Hendrar Prihadi, who oversaw the project expressed that it encourages “ the active involvement of citizens in the improvement of their home” as the whole community came together to build up the village.

In addition, Prihadi also included that within the village a food court will be built along with a parking lot in the structure or area near the Kembang market to bring more variety of food together with entertainment. 

During the process of the project, the first phase of restoration took a month, and the second phase was to paint the entire surrounding of the village houses. 

Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)

From viewing the previous images, the rainbow villages’ homes are beautifully covered with differentiated color schemes of purple, turquoise, orange, blue, yellow, and so many other fascinating and engaging colors. The roofs, walls, doors, corridors of windows, railings, and every interior and exterior area that you can think of is painted. To add,

Another interesting piece of imagery would be the puzzle designs on the wall that stands out the most to me which makes this particular area of the village to be very creative. Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)
Even other parts of the passageways are covered in bright-colored, circular/spiral, or angular shapes. Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)
Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)

In addition, murals have been included.  Little is known about the symbolism behind these pieces shown in the pictures below, but the compositions look very significant as the first scene perhaps suggests tradition and celebration or unity or even proud leadership of its culture. Thus, the purpose behind the project is to uplift and show the community’s contribution to the arts and entertainment that plays a factor in their daily lives. Since the village has been revamped by the community, these images indicate that.

In a few pictures are murals that greatly contrast in storytelling whatever that may be, from a  dark subject to a childlike illustration. They all bring excitement to what it shows. Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)
Colors varying from black to white, saturated colors of red and blue are shown in this picture. If you look closely there are gray tones that depict the hair of an elderly individual and its skin kind of looks pale of each character in the photo. Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)
Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)
This image of the pony shows more of a faded paint job that shows the tints or variations of highlights seen specifically in the pony’s body structure, parts of hair, and eye. Of the background, are parts of opaque paint application colors of yellows, blues, greens, and orange along with the saturated and darker parts of the entire composition. Photo credit📸 : Anom Harya. anomharyacom (IG)
Photo credit📸 : @tilytravels (IG)
More of these beautiful photos of  “Rainbow Village” are taken by traveler Natalie Marie. It is documented from Mare’s travel blog called Tilly Travels. The Rainbow Village proves to be an international tourist site after being revamped. Photo credit📸 : @tilytravels (IG)

Similarly, Haung’s historical, old military settlement of a village in Taiwan was on the verge of destruction (by the Taiwanese government), but he fought; refusing to move and take the offered

Art History 180: Methods and Theories of Art History

Two chosen readings: “Orientalism” by Edward Said and (PDF) on Canvas: “The Imaginary Orient’ by Linda Nochlin

Two academic articles that I chose to critique are: “Orientalism” by Edward Said, and “The Imaginary Orient’ by Linda Nochlin. What urged me to write about the subject of Orientalism would be the term. Perhaps, I have heard the term and the concept of Orientalism, but there is still a lack of understanding about what Orientalism really means to me. To note, I did a basic Google search of this term and discovered that the term “Orientalism” refers to artifacts, the stylistic, and/or traits that describe the people and cultures of Asia. To inform, most studies about Orientalism are researched and written from Western scholars’ perspective, and certain observations could possibly be biased, skewed or premature to accurately, misinform the merit of these particular styles and traits of artworks.  About defining Orientalism, American professor and literary critic Edward Said’s ideology about Orientalism is said to heavily rely upon the Binal differences between the West and East which leads to misunderstandings and destruction.

 In addition, as I read the article “Orientalism” by Said, I further found his observation about Orientalism to be interesting as his analysis of it describes how there is a separation between culture from what is considered to be imperial practice and ideology. Further upon this separation of what Orientalism really entails, questions are raised about the structure to which Orientalism is academically analyzed. Specifically, American art historian Linda Nochlin has questioned the breakdown of the Orientalist Exhibition, and whether or not there are other insightful and expansive ideologies about it than just the “normal” art-historical studies about this subject matter. With that said, I too wonder about the narrative to which the Orientalist exhibition has been examined, especially of artworks made by nonwestern people. 

Furthermore, what is more interesting to me would be the statement made by Nonchilin as she states that “Orientalist images can hardly be discussed without some attempt to clarify whose reality we are talking about”. With the observation of this particular sentence, as a reader this appeals to my interest in wanting to know more about how Orientalism is perceived through images that possibly have double interpretations. In other words, whether Orientalist imagery is based upon pulling influence from reality or through imagination. Speaking of reality vs imagination (both likeness and from differences). To point out, I read a interesting part (through Nochilin’s breakdown of the Orientalist exhibition), that explore the perspective of Donald Rosenthal- the former organizer of the show to which he provided a thought provoking and seemingly controversial statement about how the characteristic of nineteenth-century Orientalism was an attempt to document reality through imagery through painting as it is called Orientalist painting.

 On the other hand, referring back to the article “Orientalism” by Said, Said dissects Orientalism through literature as he develops his argument to contrast the diverse practice of writing and cultural politics, language and power. For me to highlight, I noticed the difference of how both Said and Nochilin have presented their analysis. To clarify, Said has inspected Orientalism through literature while Nochilin assessed Orientalism through imagery. I think that in this critique, this point is to be made clear because these two authors scoped the same topic from examples that may or may not depict the differentiated and contended arguments of how European civilization (through Western culture) not only colonized, but exploited and appropriated The Middle East. This explanation can be reviewed in Said’s article that Europeans’ perspective of people from the Middle East can be looked at from its motive to translate their perspective (on all aspects) of what makes up the Middle East (Islamic) culture that promoted colonialism. 

This said, it must be clear that the European’s motive through their tactics was to translate Orientalism through structuralized forms of control meaning in a systematic capitalist,social hierarchy level way: whether the control was applied through all sorts of media, controlling of land, ownership of the Orient and/or Orient with how they bred (family household), and through their ideas and skills/trade. What I found interesting though, is that there is a underlying contradictory observation that Nochillin  points out is how in certain paintings, there is a obvious depiction of “White slavery” specfcally through the acts of sexual slavery, forced prosititution, and human trafficaking imposed upon caucasian women and even children that were treated this way by non-Europeans such as: the Ottomans. To explain, during the 15th-16th and more so in the 19th century (in regards to the Barbay slave trade), there were Arab slave trades that captured European slaves under the Muslim rule. So, between Nochillin and Said’s documentations, I notice how there is this skewed scenario of how the Eurpoeans colonized the Orient as the Orient (at some point, prior 15th/16th century) have also participated as being the perpetrator in such heinous acts that strongly demonstrates opposition, control, and domination. 

Also, I think that the possible reason why Nochlin’s viewpoint in her article can correlate to the feminists’ theory because in general, there seems to be a concern with how European women were victim to such domination, but the focus seems to only focus about Europeans colonize The Middle East (the Orient)- whether they were children, women, men. There is a double standard on parts I seems to correlate to and find myself using Nochillin’s viewpoint as a catalyst in this discussion because her argument is not targeted to just one entity yet intends to highlight other examples that illustrates the same form of chaos when it comes to Orientalism between the West and Middle East (as the big whole picture rather than sweeping one or a few accounts over the other). To conclude, there needs to be effective anticipation to see this dynamic from all angles (or at least try to) considering that from my own observation that whether one was from the Middle East or from Western civilization: that colonization as a tactic stemming from Orientalism has been applied to most of our ethic.

Anti-Asian Racism Zoom colloquium: ARTH 142 (01) – Arts of South Asia essay reflection.

This reflection essay discusses Anti-Asian Racism which is also the title. The AACIG members and panelists: Dr. Ryan Shin, Dr. Jaehan Bae, and Dr. Maria Lim

gave a succinct overview that breaks up the talk into three sections.

The first section discussed the statistics of recent crimes and violence inflicted on Asian Americans and communities.

The second section informs the audience about visual representations that negatively depict Asian/Asian Americans in popular culture.

Lastly, the third section emphasizes interventions and strategies to approach these issues in art education.

The overall purpose of the Zoom colloquium on Anti-Asian Racism is to inform a broad audience about current issues like racism and the pandemic (Corona-virus). These two major concerns are correlated and spoken about in this reflection because of the problematic hate and violence against Asian/Asian Americans specifically.

In sum, one of the panelists showed a great amount of information in between the three above-mentioned sections. First, statistics were shown to educate the audience about how much hate and violence Asians and/or Asian Americans have been targeted since the pandemic.

I learned that 40% of U.S adults believe that since the pandemic, racist views towards Asians have become frequent. To add, it has been reported that 1,800 racist incidents against Asian Americans began from March to May of 2020.

With these given statistics, it is heartbreaking and horrible that this is even happening. Most importantly, it should be known that racism hasn’t gone anywhere nor will it ever will, as long as there are hateful people in this world.

Furthermore, in the zoom colloquium, examples of covert and overt racism were shown to differentiate how overt racism is “generally socially acceptable” whereas covert racism is socially acceptable or practiced, but it should be mentioned that both of these racism components are damaging and hurtful.

What is even more hurtful and unbelievable would be how racism has manifested, translated, and used against Asian Americans for decades. For instance, The Chinese Exclusion Act (1882,1892, 1902), The Asian Exclusion Act (1924), The Magnuson Act (1943), and The Immigration Act (1965).

These acts were all political responses enacted against Asian Americans. To explain, preventing them to become U.S citizens, and inhibiting immigrants from having a successful life without division. Unfortunately, for centuries, decades, and in the present still, Asian Americans like African Americans were enslaved or thrown into concentration camps.

As the time came to the past where violence became less direct but more clever in the approach of modern slavery. To clarify, imprisonment, harsh work labor, poverty, etc; racism translated more directly through representations of Asians and Asian Americans in History and visual culture.

Moreover, It was sad, but I was not surprised about the various ways in which negative and racial representations were interpreted of Asian Americans.

Most media from movies such as Kill Bill, Memoirs of Geisha, and The Simpsons- to name a few, all contributed to the framework of dismantling or tearing down the identity of Asian Americans through the hate that results from racism.

To explain, Asian characters who are men or women are portrayed as evil, sneaky, poisonous, provocative, sexual, etc.

Similarly, such poor and poor representations of Asian Americans and their cultures correlate further to what African Americans have gone through with blackface in the media.

Another example, of Latin women like Rita Moreno, typecast into a box of her acting career by playing differentiated roles that had no actual merit, truth, or resemblance to the culture she was playing. It is sickening.

To note, racism is from the lack of understanding that each person is valuable in their way and their heritage should not be appropriated and twisted. Sadly, it has been that way for the longest as every human race has been colonized and mistreated in various ways.

There is one point that I would like to connect from the course studies of the Art History class I’m taking to this talk would be just that. Colonization and appropriation of each race.

In addition, what is even more frightening is how Asian Americans are to blame for “spreading” the coronavirus to the U.S. I think that is so wickedly evil and sad that one or more could even think that. Matter of fact, even carrying out harm to them under this false preconception.

With this said,  it makes me feel that there is hope because people are fighting back. To clarify, the Asian communities and people, in general, are fighting back against bias, and hate that is inflicted upon them.

Specifically, I am also talking about artists and teachers confronting Anti-Asian Racism through art intervention and visual strategies. By implementing this strategy, artists and others are creating art interventions against racism of both covert and overt acts in all educational, social, and political areas together with analyzing all media to expose and address racial gazes in society.

To conclude, from what I have learned from this zoom lecture is that one as a society of unique human beings should protect one another. It should not be a constant duty to fight against racism, but unfortunately, it is so in this world due to the lack of understanding, compassion, and anticipation to do better for change.

I learned greatly from this talk as it was another constant reminder that one should also never stay quiet when you see a person targeted for a hateful act. A duty that we should all focus on is to become better human beings, for love could cultivate as a reflection of healthy interactive environments whether than it be driven from hate.

Zoom scholarly talk:

Art History: Critique on articles: Art on My Mind “Altars of Sacrifice: Remembering Basquiat” (35-48) and “Diasporic Landscapes of Longing” (on Carrie Mae Weems) (65-73)

In this fourth critique, I would like to expand on both articles: Art on My Mind “Altars of Sacrifice: Remembering Basquiat” (35-48) and “Diasporic Landscapes of Longing” (on Carrie Mae Weems) (65-73). ” (35-48) and “Diasporic Landscapes of Longing” (on Carrie Mae Weems) (65-73). To start, other African American individuals and/or as a collective similar to myself may or may not feel like they have the responsibility of bringing attention to these two specific artists (Basquiat and Weems), and I want to mention the responsibility that I feel like I have to educate myself and share these artists to others- to an extent. The work of both artists deserves way more attention than just Basquiat being considered the key component to street art by his use of graffiti in his earlier career OR Weems being highly controversial through her work. If anything, that is what made their work prominent and resonate within the African American community because their work spoke about social and political issues that were damaging to the livelihoods of African Americans on all aspects like direct and covert racism, less work opportunities, discrimination because of the color of their skin, police brutality and way more that needs to be discussed.

 Further, those issues mentioned above are not even half of what African Americans have been through as a whole and more specifically in the 80s as there were countless encounters of police brutality and exploitation among African American and particularly black artists. Just because Jean Michel Basquiat and Carrie Mae Weems were artists, does not exclude the fact that they still experienced injustice especially in the art world. It is for certain that Basquiat has endured a great amount of exploitation within the art world with art critics and other artists that had constantly kicked him down and depicted him as a puppet- either Andy Warhol’s puppet or a puppet to the masses.

I get the sense that Basquiat knew this from the start going way back to his childhood as he experienced such diversity of mental illness within his family, homelessness (he decided to be homeless), being hit by a car, and the constant fear of becoming nobody. To note, the statement about the constant fear that he probably could have endured to not be a nobody is an assumption, but I have read and watched numerous sources like documentaries and articles about Basquiat’s life to have a good sense that is why he fought so hard to become somebody of stature. 

Basquiat’s role of being both the master and the puppet over his artistry proved a point that any African American individual or collective could become somebody given their experience of adversity and pain. What stood out to me was that from the observation of Basquiat’s street art with friend and collaborator Al Daiz, he depicted rawness as he wrote stanzas inspired by William Burroughs cut up technique. These stanzas touched upon subjects such as colonization, capitalism, abandonment and much more that people refused to talk about. At first through his street art writings, he bombed walls so that it was in people’s faces in order to make them question over it. This strategy was no different when Basquiat started to work on high art like painting on canvases. Like Pablo Picasso with his political agenda, pushed and pushed to illustrate the struggles that many African Americans faced such as himself. 

JMB & Al Daiz

Referring back to Basquiat’s street art it was just as effective as the rest of his art because graffiti back in the 70s and 80s turned out to be a phenomenon because it was documentation of literature and imagery that was photographed and making international headway, for the most prominent artists that dared to speak up against injustice in their own way. As said before, Basquiat did the same, and so did Weems. Speaking of photography, being an African American woman photographer back then was not as easy as it is now for female artists. To mention, there is still injustice that African American women artists face today that is just as crucial to speak and act against for equal and effective change and representation. However, back then in the 80s more so, Black women artists such as photographers like Weems had to pave the way to document what they had (technology did not exist like that back then). Photography being the medium, Weems translated her strong messages through the media or practice of photography, and I think that photography is really effective for art in general, but to also record history which Weems had done.

Carrie Mae Weems


In conclusion, like Basquiat, Weems documented racism, discrimination and every other injustice that not only African Americans went through, but of the horrid and dominating or colonizing injustice that minorities as whole suffered from. Learning more about these two artists and what they have contributed to, allows me to be grateful for my own voice. It gives me the opportunity to find the courage to use my voice in ways that are not passive but soaring (not entirely in a radical way), but to highlight injustice that deeply needs to be rectified. Lastly, I am proud of the heritage to which I am rooted from and given with such insight to raise awareness on all aspects that uplifts and educate younger generations about such art and artists that reflected greatly on what African Americans have been through, and contributed to within society throughout years, and/or decades. 

Artist Research Blog #2 Tuesday, March 25, 2020 

Robert Mapplethorpe

This is Robert Mapplethorpe (B. November 4, 1946-March 9, 1989). He was born in Floral Park, Nassau County, Long Island, New York, and grew up having an interest to the arts. He later studied for he studied for a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he majored in Graphic Arts, but didn’t obtain his degree having dropped. Mapplethorpe continued to soar while he developed and honed his skills while living with his then girlfriend and musician Patti Smith from 1967 to 1972. It is well known that during those periods they created art together and she supported them both by working at a few jobs with one of them being bookstores. 

The correlation that I have found with Mapplethorpe is that of his love interests together with one being photography- it may seem like a small observation, but I noticed that a few of Mapplethorpe’s significant others at various times had impacted his work and with great respect too given that he was already talented. In the late 1960′s into the early 1970′s his artistic approach expanded by using such equipment’s like a Polaroid and medium-format camera. In 1972, he met art curator Sam Wagstaff, who became his lover, patron, and mentor. Mapplethorpe grew to photograph friends and acquaintances, including artists, composers, and socialites with the sources of Wagstaff along with his help of a studio for Mapplethorpe. From 1977 until 1980, he was romantically and collaboratively associated with Drummer and writer Jack Fritscher, who introduced him to the Mine-shaft (a members-only BDSM gay leather bar and sex club in Manhattan). Mapplethorpe grew more  there for being the Mine-shaft’s official photographer. Also to note, an artist that had such an impact on Mapplethorpe was George Dureau in which he “re-staged”, and arranged Dureau’s early photographs. 

Themes of Mapplethorpe’s work consists of statuesque male and female nudes, delicate flower still life, and highly formal portraits of artists and celebrities. Throughout his career, He utilize different photographic techniques, such as photogravures and Ilfochrome Cibachrome (a dye destruction positive-to-positive photographic process used for the reproduction of film transparencies on photographic paper), and used photographs to incorporate into his collages (early in his early in his career. “I don’t like that particular word ‘shocking.’ I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before”, said Mapplethorpe told ARTnews  in late 1988. 

To me, the body of work Mapplethorpe did was unexpected. Especially to those, that I feel, may have not accepted a lifestyle that was more open meaning of one’s exploration when it comes to sexuality. Though his work was controversial and even criticized back then, I feel that Mapplethorpe’s work is another bold, and vulnerable collective source of what beautiful and was open to interpretation from a male’s perspective. In Smith’s memoir, she expressed his artistic vision best as she had not just a romantic, but an artistic bond with him as well. Smith says, “He was not looking to make a political statement or an announcement of his evolving sexual persuasion. He was presenting something new, something not seen or explored as he saw and explored it. Robert sought to elevate aspects of male experience, to imbue homosexuality with mysticism”. 

Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) Ajitto, 1981 Gelatin silver print 17 15/16 x 14 inches (45.6 x 35.6 cm) Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Gift, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, 1995 95.4322
Lisa Lyon, 1980
Self Portrait, 1975
Ken Moody and Robert Sherman, 1984

Yutaka Takanashi “Tokyoites 1978-1983”, 1980s, gelatin silver print © Yutaka Takanashi.
© Yutaka Takanashi, Courtesy of Alexis Fabry (Toluca Editions), Paris.
© Yutaka Takanashi, Courtesy of Alexis Fabry (Toluca Editions), Paris.
Hachiko Square, Shibuya train station, April 25th, 1965 © Yutaka Takanashi, Courtesy of Christoph Elting and Martina Luckgen, Cologne.

The photographer behind these beautiful works is named Yutaka Takanashi. He was born on February 6th, 1935 in Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan. He is currently 81. Briefly, it’s known that he was evacuated to  Saitama (Saitama). Saitama is a city in Japan. In 1953, he graduated from graduated from Tokyo Metropolitan Aoyama High School and attended the photography department of Nihon University in which he graduated from in 1957. During his college experience, he received awards  of his photographs from the Sankei Camera magazine together with his work published in the September issue of Sankei Camera already establishing himself more professionally. His education didn’t stop there as he continued his studies at Kuwasawa Design School in 1959 and graduated in 1961. Takanashi’s style consists of  commercial photography,  photographed fashion, urban design, and city life, and is best known for his depiction of Tokyo.

—————————————————————————————————-These chosen four appealed to my eyes right away. Specifically speaking of the first photo. So minimalist, and it greatly shows the dark and light values within the capture. What also attracts me would be the creme color scheme. It is very clean as the railings of the elevator align perfectly in sync giving it a contour parallelism between it. In correlation, I like how the gentlemen’s white shirt matches with the coating of the elevator, and the same with the guy traveling down the escalator. His shirt matches the roof/ceiling of the entire structure and the side of it. Giving it an equaled symbolization of white and black, yin & yang, cleanness & dirtiness, below and above, hell and heaven- if one likes to take the analogy that far. —————————————————————————————————-

Artist Research Blog #3 Tuesday, March 25, 2020

The second photo is my absolute favorite out of all. How the Ultramarine colored-like car is parked right in front of an establishment makes it out to be so mysterious. I like how the glow lamp hangs over in between the corridor of the building as the red wrinkled formed banner over the door is shown. Also, what seems to be a cool appearance is another car. It is cropped and not fully shown, but it could pass as a reflection to the car that is visible to the eye or a whole separate car behind another establishment. —————————————————————————————————-

I like the third photo for the glass stained windows. The soft purple looks really nice and goes well together with the light green, and orange. The windows gives the room a light green hue inside, but both green and purple on the outside as the bucket and other items matches up to the overall color schemes. —————————————————————————————————-

Favorite element to observe in this piece would be the double exposure effect on the woman’s face onto the gentlemen’s back. It looks so cool and out of placed like a ghostly shadow. As it shows, the woman is inside to the left side of the image looking directly at the window giving its overall effect from the opposite side. 

Artist Research Blog #4. April 6th, 2021

__________________________________________________ This is the work of Kreshonna Keane. Keane is a New York based portrait photographer that translates the juxtapositions between her subjects and the environment together with addressing social stigmas, highlighting culture and celebrating life.  The very first introduction of her work I immediately felt a connection to her art in which her voice roars with her operating a camera as an instrument to develop and illustrate with. Her beautiful, crisp, and united body of work represents all that she aims to transmit. I love how some subjects of her work are not entirely politically correct, but still delves into the perspectives and scenarios of what is to be African American and the blossoming portals of their lives. Being an African American woman myself, instantly I felt connected- not to focus on ethnicity fully, it is just a factor that is worth mentioning, but more so of the environment. Within these particular photographs that I chose from Keane’s portfolio,  touches upon many different aspects like unity, LGBT community or communities, self love including confidence, style & fashion, and lifestyle- for a lack of better words. Vibrant, trans-formative, inviting wold be how  describe her work. There is so much to explore of it that it’ll be greed-like to ask for more.


Kreshonna Keane Instagram: Portfolio:

Research Blog #5 April 11, 2021

Meet Martha Cooper. Cooper is well known as documenting the Graffiti and Hip-Hop scene in the 1970′s and 1980′s and has brought international eyes of what was transpiring then when it came to documenting the work of the numerous artist’s work and even them. From the start photography has been a passion of Cooper’s since the tender age of three as she picked up the hobby and the artistic journey became so much bigger than her and life itself. What I find inspiring about cooper is that she was so well versed academically as she grew up. Keep in mind that everyone is different. There are those who go to school and thrive, and those who thrive without school, so my point is that I’m inspired by how everything seemed to have aligned with what she wanted to develop throughout her artistic journey. Cooper obtained an art degree at 19, later received a degree in anthropology, and taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. Her real first experience began in Japan when she documented elaborate tattoos, and it expansively grew into photo-journalistic work of many subjects and genres of architectural/landscape, social life, fine-art- among a few, not just solely what she is known for. 

Felipe Dana

Artist Research Blog #6 April 12th, 2021

This is Felipe Dana. He is a Brazilian photojournalist for the Associated Press (AP) and is known for his work of covering social inequality and urban violence in Latin America and conflicts in the Middle East. From the beginning, Dana had started his career as an assistant photographer when he was only 15 and had expanded artistic journey in which he pursued a degree in photography as well as worked on commercial assignments, contributing to various local and international news agencies.

Dana has received great amounts of rewards for his work such as World Press Photo award in 2013 and 2017 and had participated in the first World Press Photo Masterclass Latin America in 2015. He was also part of the Associated Press team’s finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Recognition further grew when he was named Agency Photographer of the Year by the Guardian and Ibero American Photographer of the Year by Poyi Latam. Other numerous of awards he received were from Pictures of the Year International (Poyi), National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), Overseas Press Club of America (OPC)- to name a few.  Accolades are great as so recognition for astonishing and truthful work, but personally what I find admirable about Dana’s work is that he pushes for truth no matter how raw it is. The work of his reflects boldness and such a depth dynamic of what is currently happening in the world whether that be about health, gangs, Rio Olympics, family portraits, poverty, historic places, mining corporations -of that being just a few subjects that he explores. 

Research Artist Blog #7

Here is Aaron Siskind smoking a cigarette and having fun in this photograph. I picked this photo because it is so lively even though it is dated and unfortunately Siskind is no longer here with us, but his work lives on, and this capture demonstrates to me that is still very detailed orientated. Siskind was an  American photographer whose work focuses on the details of things, presented as flat surfaces that created a new image (remix) of the original subject. He was associated with the abstract expressionist movement and was close friends wit painters Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Willem De Kooning to name a few. Siskind impact of the world of photography started later in his life when he received a camera as a wedding gift and began taking pictures on his honeymoon. Way prior to that, Siskind was born in New York City, and grew up on the Lower East Side. He was a pillar for education when he was young and after graduating from City College, he became a public school English teacher specifically a grade school teacher in the New York Public School System for 25 years. Early in his career Siskind was a member of the New York Photo League as he produced several memorably socially conscious series of images in the 1930′s, among them “Harlem Document”.  Siskind’s work used subject material from the real world like close-up details of painted walls and graffiti, tar repair on asphalt pavement, rocks, lava flows, dappled shadows on an old horse, Olmec stone heads ancient statuary and the Arch of Constantine in Rome, and a series of nudes (”Louise”). Siskind traveled and worked all over the world, and the trip most  known and documented that he took was to Mexico in 1955 and the 1970′s along with Rome in 1963 and 1967. He did the Tar Series in Providence, Vermont. And Route 88 near West-port, Rhode Island in the 1980′s. These particular locations or trips influenced his work greatly with covering such great detail of his subject matter as presented organically. Siskind continued making photographs until his death (February 8, 1991).

Alec Soth Artist Lecture | Artist Research post #8

I viewed (via zoom) Alec Soth’s artist lecture on Thursday April 29th. I was in two zoom meetings, a course I’m in currently, and Soth’s talk. Even though the talk was up entirely until the end, I was multitasking, and it took a while for me to process what I had viewed.  And the about the only thing that I had recounted from it that day was how he spoke about collaboration being an imperative factor to an artist’s direction which I agreed upon (still do). Besides trusting your own intuition and on the focus of translating what you already know plus what you are learning, it is beneficial to work with others, for you are greatly exposing yourself to other ideas, perspectives, cultures, new information and etc. that could expand your mindset and artistic measures.

That is only one aspect which was not enough for me to soak up his rich lecture as it was highly informative, so I viewed it again on my own time. Also, thanks to my professor who’d posted it for those who haven’t seen it. Before I go even further on discussing what I picked up from my second viewing, I would like to acknowledge how well spoken and approachable he was and is. Soth comes across as an artist that resonates and pull from his own experiences by using his energy to reflect more. That is what made the introduction so enjoyable to watch and hear because he described how life was before and after the internet boom.

He illustrated from a grid how life was before and after the internet boom. Descriptively how the internet formulated in the 90′s into the 2000′s. He mentioned how he acknowledged then and even now of the digital world but wanted to hold onto the physical- with that being said, capturing the real world and developing those images into something physical like prints. He wanted to hold onto that physical likeness of memories (in my own words). Another thing that he had mentioned would be failure and how that is important for students to hear more than the success stories. I couldn’t agree more.

I strongly agree failure plays much of a greater like success which we all know general when achieving things in life, but for artists I think that it is to be emphasized more because it brings experience. It is also a reminder that failure is an opportunity to learn. From my own experience I fail more than I succeed when it comes to my artistry, and I couldn’t wrap my head around it. As I journeyed along my artistic venture and had met people along with experimenting more in my element; I began to realize that I have to make a great amount of shitty work before I can slowly develop my own sense of self as an artist, and to be okay with that is a journey in itself.

Failure has pushed me to be more vocal about how I the world I am in and how can I contribute through such imagery and mediums that I work with together with acknowledging the lifelong student in me to continue to be a learner, and not one to hold back based on the illusion of thinking I know it all. That is what I gathered from that very point of his during the talk, and that is my expanded view of it. There is more to be said about the artist talk and would love to break it down further than that, but I’m going to leave it there. I enjoyed how he tackled his shyness when he first started out taking pictures of people, and how he approached more boarder subjects rather than sticking to what he knew only. Thus, I enjoyed how he introduced the beginning of how things were and after the internet boom and how it continues to affect his work throughout. A very humble and reflective photographer and artist.

Weekend Photo Story : Destination of any. 

1. Strolling around the neighborhood with no cars in sight or people. checking both ways, I walked across a path over to the next street.  What I like about this capture is the yellow vertical line connecting to the other side and the crack between the ductile tar street. Realizing that in these times, out and about, walking on the grounds.. still navigating- we will cross over paths whether we are alone or with people in sight. 

2. The well famous RHCP song Under the bridge popped in my head when I took this photo and strangely I saw something buried underneath the bridge. 

3. Capture three interconnects with capture two. I found it interesting to have found a sign underneath the bridge. I liked how the coating of the rails color coordinated with the red sign. I wondered who buried this sign underneath the sand of this bridge. 

4. I’m inspired by light trail photography, ofc I did not shoot this in  the dark or as  a long exposure shot, but I found inspiration in the words. Signal ahead or ahead signal (whichever way you want to phrase it) as I saw a few cars pass I reflected that we are all traveling somewhere… to a certain destination through the motions. 

5.  I captured water which I thought was so cool to shoot up close. The  water  looked so beautiful running down into the sewage. it appealed to me. 

6.   I love the details of this trunk that was once full, now half or even below half of the size. Immersed in the contour details of the trunk, I had to take a picture of this rigid and circular composition of how it looks in between and around. I love nature!

7. This capture is one of my favorites of the bunch. I like lights of any sort. If I remember correctly, this picture was taken around 11am in the morning. I wondered if it was ever going to shut off, but it didn’t when I arrived back to where I live. The orange lightbox looked pretty as the fogged gray sky complimented the subject. Light guides us along.  

8. Do you like to drink orange water? infused specifically lol. I spotted an orange on the grainy sand-like ground. The bright orange color swiftly captured my eyes when I walked along the trail back to the parking  lot at Mill Creek trail.

9. Shot a capture of this cute light house decoration. I loved how it was hanging on a tree. I like the color red too so it was nice to get the details and the overall composition especially the symbolization that lighthouses in general are directional for ships and etc. 

10. Flowers are a destination gush to most hearts of women. I like to think that flowers are a symbolization of beauty and growth. My stepfather had gifted my mother these beautiful flowers for Valentine times day. What a nice and warming gesture of appreciation for that all she contributes to as a mother, wife, and an amazing woman.

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