Art and Mind

The human mind is a very powerful tool and organ. There are however imperfections in the way it processes things. Illusions for example, are visual stimuli that trick the brain because the brain cannot process all visual images correctly. Why do we see puddles forming up the road while we are driving in our cars on a hot summer day? Why do some parts of a drawing look bigger when in fact they are smaller? There have been many artists that have used illusions in their paintings, M. C. Escher, Scott Kim, and Salvador Dali. Each artist employed a different illusionary style.

In Dalis works of art, he often uses perceptual ambiguity and e often see hidden faces of himself or others that are painted into his paintings. To see these images, we must step away and look at certain objects from a different perspective. We must first comprehend why illusions happen to begin exploring perceptual ambiguity. To answer the first question proposed above, we must understand that heat makes light waves bend. So, the light streaming in from the sky doesn’t travel in a straight line to your eye from up above, it comes to your eye from a different direction, in fact it looks like its coming from the pavement.

So your brain doesn’t quite know how to interpret it, it ees a patch of sky right in the middle of the road, and ends up thinking that its a puddle of water. This is also what happens in deserts, when the heat distorts light from the sky to make look like there’s a lake in the middle of the sand. So why do we see illusions in works of art? Well, we know that the brain processes whatever it is fed. For example, if something is small, your brain thinks it’s far away. If something is your brain thinks it’s up close.

There are other assumptions that your brain makes too, all based on the fact that it remembers what it’s seen before, and assumes that what it sees now will be similar. Of course, all things small are not far away and all things big are not close, so sometimes your brain makes an assumption and its wrong. Perceptual ambiguity or double imagery has been around for a long time. One of the earliest examples of this phenomenon is a picture of an old woman and a younger one where one can see one or the other depending on what features one focuss on first.

Ones view of this image remains static until the viewer starts to pay attention to different regions and contours. Researchers have found that certain regions will favor one perception from the other. Once a certain feature is identified as one part f the face, the viewer can follow the lines that develop from that feature and fill in the rest of the picture, creating another different stable view. The human visual system tends to group like or related regions together, so we cannot see the two mixed views at one time. Researchers have also found that we do not need to shift our gaze for the image to reverse.

The reversal may happen, but it usually happens at a slower rate. One test was done where the image was stabilized onto the retina, so any eye movements would have no effect perception wise during the subjects viewing. This indicated that higher cortical processing was ccurring during the viewing of the image, which in turn indicated that viewing anything is an active process. The human brain needs to process information in order to make sense out of it. Salvador Dali was a Surrealist that also used perspective ambiguity in his works. Dali was a Spaniard, born in 1904 in Figueres, Spain.

As he was growing up he attended the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid, and three years after his first one-man show in 1925, became internationally renowned. He was a big part of the Surrealist movement until war broke out and his apolitical attitude clashed with the Surrealists. He was ushed out of the Surrealist movement after a trial, but many still associated him with Surrealism, and showed his paintings at Surrealist exhibitions. After a couple of years, he moved onto a new style, where he was preoccupied with religion and science. Dali died from heart failure and respiratory complications in 1989.

In 1962, Dali painted a painting titled “Vision of Hell,” which combined his Surrealistic style with his classical style. In this painting, the viewer can see three images of a face or person, which some say looks like Dali himself. The first image can be seen in the upper center part of the painting, ext to the divine figure of either Mary or Christ. The second can be seen in the lower left center part of the painting, forming from a puff of smoke. The last and most dominant face in the painting can be seen by focusing on the black drops just a little left of center.

They can be viewed as tears falling from an eye, the black streak above the eye is the eyebrow of the right eye, and the nose is formed by the lower part of the torso under the bosom, with the pitchfork making up one nostril. It looks like the figure is frowning or just very upset, the other pitchforks underneath seem to be making up the mouth. In another work by Dali, The Slave Market with Disappearing Bust of Voltaire,” one can make out the face of Voltaire, but if the viewer looks closer, the eyes could be substituted for heads, and the shadows under the cheek could be substituted for clothing nuns would wear.

We can see from the Dali example, and also from the old woman/young woman example that the brain is imperfect in catching everything. The way we perceive artwork makes big differences. If our brain were perfect, we would be able to catch all hidden images, and even see both images at the same time, but because we have imperfect brains, we cannot see the other image unless our perception changes.

The Chinese healing art of acupuncture

The Chinese healing art of acupuncture is one that can be dated back at least two thousand years. Some authorities maintain that acupuncture has been practiced in China for even four thousand years. Though its exact age is vague, what is certain is that up until the recent twentieth century, much of the population of the world was uninformed about acupuncture, its origins, and its capacity to promote and maintain good health.

Even today in relatively “advanced” nations such as the United States there are many who hold acupuncture under the stereotype of a new or radical medicine, one which would almost always be a second choice after more familiar Western approaches to handling illness. Acupuncture (and its related Moxibustion) are practiced medical treatments that are over 5,000 years old. Very basically, Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles, (sometimes in conjunction with electrical stimulus), on the body’s surface, in order to influence physiological functioning of the body.

The first record of Acupuncture is found in the 4,700 year old Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine). This is said to be the oldest medical textbook in the world. It is said to have been written down from even earlier theories by Shen Nung, the father of Chinese Medicine. Shen Nung documented theories about circulation, pulse, and the heart over 4,000 years before European medicine had any concept about them. As the basis of Acupuncture, Shen Nung theorized that the body had an energy force running throughout it. This energy force is known as Qi (roughly pronounced Chee).

The Qi consists of all essential life activities which include the spiritual, emotional, mental and the physical aspects of life. A person’s health is influenced by the flow of Qi in the body, in combination with the universal forces of Yin and Yang Energy constantly flows up and down these pathways. When pathways become obstructed, deficient, excessive, or just unbalanced, Yin and Yang are said to be thrown out of balance. This causes illness. Acupuncture is said to restore the balance. Acupuncturists can use as many as nine types of Acupuncture needles, though only six are commonly used today.

These needles vary in length, width of shaft, and shape of head. Today, most needles are disposible. They are used once and disgarded in accordance with medical biohazard regulations and guidlines. There are a few different precise methods by which Acupuncturists insert needles. Points can be needled anywhere in the range of 15 degrees to 90 degrees relative to the skin surface, depending on the treatment called for. In most cases, a sensation, felt by the patient, is desired. This sensation, which is not pain, is called deqi (pronounced dah-chee).

The following techniques are some which may be used by an Acupuncturist immediately following insertion: Raising and Thrusting, Twirling or Rotation, Combination of Raising/Thrusting and Rotation, Plucking, Scraping (vibrations sent through the needle), and Trembling (another vibration technique). Once again, techniques are carefully chosen based on the ailment. Another popular treatment method is Moxibustion, which is the treatment of diseases by applying heat to Acupuncture points. Acupuncture and Moxibustion are considered complimentary forms of treatment, and are commonly used together.

Moxibustion is used for ailments such as bronchial asthma, bronchitis, certain types of paralysis, and arthritic disorders. Cupping is another type of treatment. This is a method of stimulating Acupuncture points by applying suction through a metal, wood or glass jar, in which a partial vacuum has been created. This technique produces blood congestion at the site, and therefore stimulates it. Cupping is used for low backache, sprains, soft tissue injuries, and helping relieve fluid from the lungs in chronic bronchitis.

1. By some unknown process, Acupuncture raises levels of triglycerides, specific hormones, prostaglandins, white blood counts, gamma globulins, opsonins, and overall anti-body levels. This is called the “Augmentation of Immunity” Theory. 2. The “Endorphin” Theory states that Acupuncture stimulates the secretions of endorphins in the body (specifically Enkaphalins). 3. The “Neurotransmitter” Theory states that certain neurotransmitter levels (such as Seratonin and Noradrenaline) are affected by Acupuncture. 4. “Circulatory” Theory: this states that Acupuncture has the effect of constricting or dilating blood vessels.

This may be caused by the body’s release of Vasodilaters (such as Histamine), in response to Acupuncture. 5. One of the most popular theories is the “Gate Control” Theory. According to this theory, the perception of pain is controlled by a part of the nervous system which regulates the impulse, which will later be interpreted as pain. This part of the nervous system is called the “Gate. ” If the gate is hit with too many impulses, it becomes overwhelmed, and it closes. This prevents some of the impulses from getting through. The first gates to close would be the ones that are the smallest.

The nerve fibers that carry the impulses of pain are rather small nerve fibers called “C” fibers. These are the gates that close during Acupuncture Acupuncture today enjoys what may be its greatest popularity to date. It is important to note that this popularity, however, is a fairly recent achievement of the medicine. In the early 20th century, China, as the rest of Asia, experienced a flood of Europeans and American influence. As early as the late 1890’s the European germ theories of Koch, List, and Pasteur were starting to arrive in China, marking the beginning of Western medicine in the Far East.

By 1912, acupuncture was in precipitous decline, barely able to counter this growth of biomedicine. At the same time, traditional Chinese medicine had gained a small hold in Europe and North America but was far from accepted, and by the beginning of the First World War, the art of acupuncture was close to cultural extinction in China. With this tidbit on the history of acupuncture, it is clear that this medicinal art is indeed one of the oldest and most complex that exists, based on ideas and theories formulated over hundreds of years.

Acupuncture has come a long way since its origins and has won an uphill battle against time, misunderstanding, and criticism to gain the great popularity that it enjoys today. Despite its successes, however, there are still many legislative and public opinion battles to be fought in terms of its acceptance and utilization as a modern medicine. It is hoped that within the next several years, acupuncture will break through the remaining political barriers and that the world will see practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine as primary care providers with licensing in all states, much the way chiropractors are today.

The Censorship of Art

Things are heating up in America. People are protesting outside of the movie theaters, concerts, and book and record stores of this great nation everywhere. What is all the fuss about? Censorship, Government officials and raving mad protesters alike have been trying to stop the expressive creativity in everything from Marilyn Manson to Mark Twain. One of the biggest shake-ups happened in museums all over the world recently that would have made Michelangelo and DiVinchis hair stand on end.

In the Constitution of the United States, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, religion, press, the right to assemble and to petition the government; the Ninth Amendment says, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”. So it seems one cannot use any of the other rights to quell the rights of an individual or group. Then why is the government trying to censor literature, movies, music and art? All of the worlds modern society has become desensitized and easily trainable.

Therefore society has come to accept the ideals, morals, and values driven into the psyche by the dominant forces in the nation: the Government and the Church. By quieting the objective voice these two institutions stand in the lead and stay in control. One might assume that the blood-sucking politicians have nothing better to do than to look for things that offend any one major group of people (i. e. the church) to obtain votes. In this manner the government is becoming more and more controlling and artistic censorship is just another way to maintain control.

Things were not always so. Government had very little to say about censoring anything. Was it not only three decades ago that as one nation the population was united by the ideals of peace love, and harmony? As an art student in the 60s era, Robert Mansfield states in his article, Artistic Freedom: government challenge “the first amendment was seldom an issue of concernIn fact it seemed that boundaries of expression were governed only by individual creative ability intellect and imagination”. Where have these ideals gone?

It seems in recent years they have disappeared with the freedom of thought. Why is it so important to some people not to offend? It seems the people easily offended are the ones deciding what is acceptable for the population. “Well about a decade ago when the nation debated about funding controversial art,” writes John Cloud of TIME magazine, “in the capital of crude, few people consider rude art a problem. ” Articles ranging in titles from “New Yorks Art Attack” to “Creative Chaos” are appearing in TIME and other numerous front-page materials across the country. In H. G.

Hovagimyans TOKARTOK: The Censorship of Art, he states: “Artists are often asked to change parts of their works to conform to the publics morality. This has been going on since the Pope asked Michelangelo to paint fig leaves on Adam and Eve. ” Yes do not forget about the control the church has had on artistic expression since the beginning of time. When the church has something to say everyone listens. It is amusing how when something offends the church it quickly disappears. However, when these people see some bubble that looks like the face of the Virgin Mary in a tortilla chip, they start worshiping it.

Next comes a media circus and before lunch it is all over CNN and every other news broadcast in the world. It is obvious the government uses those situations to promote the Church and its ideals of acceptable art even if it is a tortilla chip. As the 1960s came to an end the meaning and importance of the first amendment became indisputable. The Democratic National Convention in Chicago, protesting against the Vietnam War and the political assassinations of the late 1960s (with the governments interjection and objection) showed that the so-called guaranteed right of freedom of expression was not so guaranteed anymore.

This point was proven again by the incident at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, where students rallying against the presidents decision to send troops into Cambodia without declaring war were arrested, beaten, bombed with tear gas, and ultimately shot at by a dozen men armed with M-1 rifles. “A total of 67 shots were fired in 13 seconds. ” Is what it said in on the May 4th Task Force of Kent State University. Four of the students were killed and nine were wounded. The extent the government would go to in order to quell the objective voice was proven that day.

The government proves once again, in modern times, that they cannot be trustworthy of humanities unalterable rights by trying to censor artistic expression. In September 1999 an exhibit called SENSATION went on display at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. One of the artists, Chris Ofili, portrayed a black Madonna adorned with elephant dung and pictures of womens crotches from porn magazines. New York City Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, said ” The idea of having so-called works of art in which people are throwing elephant dung at a picture of the Virgin Mary is sick.

What is sick is that the government seems to have the idea that it can make decisions for the nation. Had the Mayor decided to go to the exhibit the mayor would have found out Ofili includes elephant dung in all of the works not just the religious portraits. It would also come to pass to the mayor that elephant dung symbolizes regeneration to the African culture. The wonderful Mayor then threatened to cut the museums funding of about $7 million dollars (a third of the museum’s budget) unless SENSATION was cancelled. Now bad mouthing the exhibit is one thing, but to threaten to cut the funding is another story.

In an article that appeared in TIME Daily news: When a Mayor and the Constitution Collide, the article shows how the First amendment is just a notch in the mountains to government officials. What is important to the government is forcing their ideals of morality onto others. “Monday Federal court judge ruled that the mayor trampled all over the first Amendment in his attempts to remove funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art because of an exhibit he deemed offensive. ” Guiliani withheld $500,000 a month from the museum from October 1st 1999 until the court hearing which ruled against the mayor.

The dictator mayor Guiliani then suggests the board of the museum resign. Time arts writer Steven Madoff said, ” Theres no end to the gall that Guiliani has. ” The mayor tried to close down this museum for one single painting? A little harsh one would think. Mrs. Hillary Clinton in a public statement to the press defended the museum saying, “Its not appropriate to penalize and punish an institution such as the Brooklyn Museum,” She then added to her statement that she would not go to see this exhibit because she would find certain things offensive.

Everything Giuliani tried to do has backfired including the attempt to evict the museum from the city owned building. What right does any government official have to cut funding to a program in which there are so many artists work, time, and effort? Just on account of one person finding it to be offensive does not mean that everyone else will. What one person sees as tasteless may be tasteful to another. Remember that society does have the option to go and see the work or not to go to see the work. The all-powerful mayor never went to see the exhibit himself, but somehow found the time to criticize it.

In a Letter from the Brooklyn Museum of Art Director Arnold L. Lehman he comments on the way SENSATION is a refreshing and attracting part of this exhibit. He stated, “SENSATION is a part of our plan to revitalize the very concept of how art whether traditional or the most challenging can speak to people in their own languageour museum must be central to the topical sociocultural issues, expressed through art, that drive our daily lives. ” Art means so many things to so many different people. So how can the government decide what the public wants to see?

It has more to do with what the government does not want the public to see. The government is afraid people will see new controversial art and think a thought or two and realize what a laughingstock life has been made due to the need for control. On the National Coalition Against Censorship web site in an article The Long and Short of It, the article reads: ” Mayor Giulianis reaction to the Sensation exhibit stimulated a satirical installation from artist Hans Haacke, now on display at the Whitney Museum of Art Biennial Exhibit in New York.

The provocative artwork, Sanitation, links the current culture wars to the banning of “degenerate” art in Munich in 1937. It displays the text of the First Amendment along with quotations in Nazi-style script from Patrick Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Jesse Helms and Mayor Giuliani and is surrounded by garbage cans blaring the sounds of marching troops. So far the controversy over Sanitation has not evoked a peep from Mayor Giuliani. ” The fact of the matter is that the mayor will not have anything to say he has already lost the battle.

Federal Court Judge Nina Gershon stated in the article When the Mayor and the Constitution Collide, “There is no federal constitutional issue more grave than the effort by government officials to censor works of expression to abide by government demands for orthodoxy. ” Why should the nation have to harmonize to the morals of the government? The fact of the matter is the nation should not have to conform to the governments morality. The government, in this manner, has violated the god given right of choice in order to quell the voices of objectivity and maintain its all-powerful reign.

The Church has tried to extinguish the voices of artists for centuries. With the exhibit SENSATION the Church had petitions at 36 congregations all over Staten Island to close the museum, cut the funding, and for the board to resign. The petition read, “To allow the display of a painting of an obvious desecration of a saint we Catholics hold so high in our reverence is unspeakable. ” It went on to say “if you and the board of directors see this as art and insist on displaying it, then we call for your resignation and the board members immediately.

Monsignor Peter G. Finn who organized the 36 parishes on Staten Island to post the petitions in their churches said in an interview that appeared in the Staten Island Advance, “We dont want to fund a museum that attacks religion. Especially if on the walls of the institution has the names of Isaiah, Jeremiah, St. Peter and St. Paul carvedit is a mockery of the intent of the place. ” Now one must realize this is the Church demanding for a board of directors of one of the most highly regarded museums in the world to resign. Who do they think they are? God?

Performance artist Karen Finley, dramatized the plight of women by appearing on stage naked and covered with melted chocolate in 1990, was denied money because her performance helped spur debate over how the NEA hands out money. “She and three other artists were excluded from NEA grants in 1990 because the NEA holds grants to a “general standard of decency. “” So said the article on CNNs web site Supreme Court studies federal funding of art- March 31, 1998. If the church is so offended then why is it that the Christian Coalition and the NEA fund hardcore pornography?

The NEA has admitted to this in the article Christian Coalitions stand on the Arts that appears on the Christian Coalition web site that reads: “Over the years, the NEA has funded and continues to fund materials that are indeed hardcore pornography. Some examples include “art” that promotes lesbianism for 12 year old girls, brother/sister team rape of a younger sister, the sexual torture of a male prostitute, and such well-known examples as photos of a crucifix submerged in urine and a play depicting Christ as a homosexual. “

So much for a “general standard of decency”. The play this refers to is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which had a run on Broadway and a national touring company, but it was not posted all over the news and CNN. Thank God this society is not in 399 BC, when the philosopher Socrates was put to death for undermining the beliefs in the gods and corrupting the morals of the young. If it were new radical ideas and opinions about religion would carry with them an electric chair. Filmmaker Kevin Smith recently released his new film entitled DOGMA.

The movie is about a young woman who is Jesus Christs distant niece in modern times and has to save the world from two fallen angels who want to get back into heaven. In order to do so they would have to disobey God. Since God is infallible this would prove everything false including the existence of the world. Hence the end of the world and all creation gets sucked into a big black hole. The movie includes a black 13th apostle, and a woman plays God. The fanatical Church was offended by this movie.

The Catholic League, a lay group with 350,000 members and an intimidating letterhead, had pressured the Walt Disney Co. d its subsidiary Miramax Films to drop DOGMA. People protested outside movie theatres with signs that read: stop desecrating our god now. “Every week I go to church,” says Kevin Smith in an article on TIME on the web “and sooner or later the priest makes a joke! How come a priest can mix religion and jokes, but if I do it, I’m anti-Catholic? ” One should wonder if those same people protest outside of the theatres of the porn movies that their Catholic Coalition supports and funds. Well these people have more versions of their so-called concrete bible than china has egg rolls.

So it is no wonder they are confused. In an interview on Moviefone. com with Elizabeth Castelli the Professor of Religion, at Barnard College she states how the Bible is used for control purposes. She said “the Bible is a fragmentary record that was written by various religious communitiestexts in the Bible were also written with the explicit goal of persuading their audiences into accepting a particular point of view. ” So the Bible has some mumbo-jumbo in it in order to maintain control over what people think, say, and do.

The Church sticks beliefs to followers minds that have doubt. When one expresses that doubt the Church then tries to put down ones expression to support control. What censorship is really about is the control of our new ideas and opinions that undermine the supremacy of religion or the state. “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. ” Once said French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The “chains” being the qualifying factors government or the church set on the rights and freedoms people have. We are supposed to have rights independent of any government intervention.

Over the years our right to have freedom of speech has proven to be frivolous and impertinent to the two dominant institutions of the modern world. Furthermore the nations revered Bill of Rights has been kicked to the curb by the government and the Church for many years. Neither the government nor the Church has the right to interdict material that can be injurious to their faith or morals. What if every civil rights speaker were required by law to include the views of the Ku Klux Klan in their speeches? Every statement one believed to be true would be worthless while being undercut by falsehood.

The nation is quickly becoming a country of cowards and bullies. Our politicians are unable or unwilling to defend the rights embodied in the constitution” Says H. G. Hovagimyan. Fear that new ideas will bring strong opinions that speak out opposing views and take away some control from the Church and government disgust and fury these two institutions. We as a society have the choice to see, hear, and read controversial books, music, movies, and art. Neither governmental tyranny nor the Churchs intimidation should abridge that choice.

Designers/Artists of the Past

Art and design do coveys various types of communication, for informative purposes and for entertainment value. In order for a creator to produce something creative they must draw from their inner impulses, and the environmental and historical influences around them in order to communicate a language. Throughout the centuries art and design has seen numerous art movement arise depicting their views on how are and design should be communicated in the hope for social reformation.

They sought about enforcing changes in art and design by creating new ideals, adopting and adapting to old ideal and regurgitating new ones in order to form new art movements throughout each era. However they never succeeded to conform to one art style, instead they carved theories, styles and techniques into history. With the emergence of the following eras we have arguably gained three of the greatest painters/designers the world has ever known. They have not only brought some of world famous paintings and advertisements, they have also developed theories and techniques in which all new designers/artists follow when creating work.

Techniques like the way we construct our pieces with strong visual depth of field, and illusions can be obtained from the eighteenth century, decoration style, Rococo. Art Nouveau with its sensuous curves, flowing lines and its ease with abstract motifs, ensured that all things resembles handwork and handicrafts and not purely bland conformity. The Bauhaus however followed on after the Art Nouveau and striped ornamentation leaving behind clean lines and function, ensuring that students reform to an artistic process (Malyon, 1997-2001).

Rococo was an art style during the eighteenth century. It emerged from French migrs, who used the word to designate the whimsical fashion of the old shellwork style (style rocaille). It was seen to be the climax or degeneration of Baroque, however both styles had little effect on architectural construction, and were regarded as merely a new kind of decoration which culminated in the resolution of architectural forms of the interiors (pilasters and architraves), rather than being an actual style (The Age, 2004).

Rococos decoration portrayed the carefree life of the aristocracy rather than on grand heroes or pious martyrs (Delahunt, 1996). Love and romance was portrayed considerably as they were seen to be better subjects for art rather than historical or religious subjects. The eighteenth centuries notion of painting was as a staged fiction in order to involve the viewer on a purely imaginative level. The style produced many artists who were masters of light, colour and fantasy.

Arguably one of the greatest painters was Giambattista Tiepolo (1696- 1770). His works combined Illusionism and Veronses extravagance from High Baroque. However he also paints with imagination by transposing the world of ancient history, myth, the scriptures and the sacred legends into a grandiose, even theatrical languages. His work The banquet of Cleopatra (figure 1) represents this era of luxury and extravagance, through its shear size and its dramatic style it captures a famous incident from the life of the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra.

Tiepolo has portrayed Plinys story of a wager between Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, and Mark Anthony, Roman consul in Egypt. This story shows them challenging each other to spend the most on a single banquet, Cleopatra finally winning by dissolving one of the rarest pearls of the ancient world in vinegar and swallowing it. This theatrical piece portrays the setting in the The banquet of Cleopatra with no relevance to Egypt apart from two Egyptian figures and a Sphinx fountain. Instead of creating a painting of historical information, Tiepolo has portrayed a kind of exotic, grand fantasy.

The clothing that he has painted them in too shows no historical continuity as Cleopatra is wearing a 16th Century Venetian dress, and Mark Anthony is in a Roman costume. Rather than the justaucorps, waistcoats and breeches that the men typically wore, or a polonaise a robe, which was lifted up and poufed in back, supported by a bustle pad that gave the illusion that the lady had an overly large backside, known as Cul de Paris, which the women typically wore (Jaeggi, 2003).

Tieopolo paved a style which can be can be characterised by a free, graceful movement; through a playful use of line, and delicate colours by artist and designers today. His techniques radiate strength, movement and colour, through carefully painted tiles, the placement of each columns and the way he has aligned each characters gaze allows the viewers eyes to be lead to the banquet setting. This rule of placement can be applied to all visual artists and communicators today ensuring the viewer obtain the message being conveyed by the artist/designer.

In a broad term the artist/designer is an inventor of images, who draws on his own inner impulses and tries to communicate them through a language of information and gesture (Jacques Garamound). Another Art Movement focusing on the international style of decoration and architecture, was Art Nouveau (New Art in French) It was developed in the 1880s and 1890s however arose largely as a reaction against the increasing drabness of industrialized society. One major result of the nineteenth century was mass production, and although it did provide a greater number of commodities at a lower cost, it did cause masses of bland uniformity to goods.

The movement put emphasis on decoration and artistic unity, links the movement to contemporary Symbolist ideas in art, as seen in the work of the Vienna Secessionists, but the movement was also akin to William Morris Arts and Crafts movement in England, which attempted to eradicate the divide line between art and audience. Morris states that everything could and should be art (www. bpib. com). Art Nouveau arose to combat the negative results of industrialisation and the struggle with historicism.

The new ornamentation was carried out through all design disciplines transcending what they though was the boundary between fine arts and applied arts. A room was not just a room in which one placed art, but was considered a total work of art, to which ornamentation served as a linking member, not just arbitrarily employed, but organically arising from the construction and function of an object (A Concise History P:44). One of the foremost exponents of Art Nouveau was Alphonse Mucha a Czech artist who was born in Bohemia in 1860 and moved to Paris in 1890 where he became the star of the poster-art movement.

The exciting rigid Victorian attitudes were giving way in Paris, allowing various modes of expression to adapt. Being that his ideals expressed the Victorian idealisation of womankind using strong compositions, sensuous curves, flowing lines and the ease with which abstracted and stylised motifs from the natural world coincided with new trends in both art and society (Mourey, 2002). The Art Nouveau precepts were used too, but never at the expense of his vision. Muchas style is virtually synonymous with French Art Nouveau and he is one of the most imitated artists and designers of all time.

Although he did not create Art Nouveau, his work especially as a poster artist, came to symbolise the full flowering of the style and the era. One of the pieces that gained him extreme recognition was Au Quartier Latin (Figure 2) a lithographic poster, created in 1982. This new style was advertised extensively through the medium of the poster. Like the poster Au Quartier Latin it draws the passers by into a direct, sometimes short-lived, correspondence. However what attracted the viewers was the artwork itself rather than the advertisement. The wording can be seen couched and cleverly integrated into the design.

Because of its aesthetic enhancement, the message was more likely to make a favourable and memorable impression on the viewer (The world and I, 1987). In order to have the viewer linger longer over the advertisement Mucha presented insouciant, flirtatious females in occasional dishabille (The world and I, 1987). It seems though that Mucha had a fascination with the femme fatale. Quite like the artists from the Rococo period Mucha seemed inspired by a variety of contemporary literary sources or by celebrated historical archetypes such as Delilah, Helen of Troy or Cleopatra.

While artist though this Art Nouveau style was rejecting industrial mass production and thought that they reformed handwork and the handicrafts, by replacing patterns with their vegetation, they were merely replacing one kind of ornamentation with another (A Concise History P:95). The compression of space can be seen as a characteristic that todays artists/designers have opted to illuminate from their rules of thumb, as the message seems to get lost amongst the excessive elaboration.

Todays artists/designers have selected sections of their work to reveal Art Nouveaus elegance. They have integrated formats of sweeping lines, exotic shapes and resplendent juxtapostitioning of tone through aspects of their work rather than engrossing the whole artwork with imagery, this is what we call minimalism. Bauhaus occurred during the period 1919-1933, and was focused on forming the ideas that made students realise that the future is primarily about industry and mass production rather than individual craftsmanship.

It was a firmly established industrial design movement that stripped away decoration and left behind clean lines and function. Some say it was the removal of human craft, but to the teachers and followers of Bauhaus, function was their major concern, removing the past from the damage that World War One caused, so rather than adding decoration to the objects like Rococo, they returned to the basics design fundamentals. Bauhaus was thought to be the design of purest forms, simple structures and the exclusion of ornamentation and excess (Carvan, 2003).

Although Baroque and Rococo tried to establish a style with exquisite decoration and ornamentation, they were unsuccessful as ornamentation as a rule makes the product, more expensive (A Concise History P:13). It was a beautiful art form that can co-exist with industrial products but not merely by itself as they cause the products to be costly and extremely time consuming. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) was perhaps the most influential architect of the mid-20th-Century. Miess phrase less in more became the essence of architecture paving his way through the style, and also influencing todays designers.

He achieved international recognition as one of the leading figures of modern architecture, due to the German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona Exhibition. The Pavilion was built from glass, travertine and different kinds of marble. It was contrived to accommodate the official reception presided over the King Alphonso XIII of Spain with the German authorities. Some say that he stripped architecture of all humanity, creating cold, sterile and unlivable environments, others praise his work, saying he created architecture in its most pure form.

However as individuals having natural prejudices and preconceptions to design it can mean all sorts of things to others and absolutely nothing got the rest of the population (Powell, 2000). Due to an obvious abundance of followers Van der Rohe s Barcelona lounge chair (Figure 3) is a notable piece of modern design and part of the permanent design in todays history, being replicated around the world. Each chair is meticulously constructed of hand polished stainless steel and individually sewn squares of fine leather. The straps and buttons are made of cowhide while cushions are made of urethane foam with dacron polyester fibrefill.

Although his chairs were constructed using machinery he always believed that adding the perfection and uniqueness could only he created by hand, hence the sewing and polishing of each chair. He had a highly developed sense of classical proportion, appreciation of modern structure and materials, and keen sense of craftsmanship, which has had a profound effect on todays artists/designers. They seek influence from the art period and also replicate his work. ­­­­­ Bauhaus probing means to reconcile the artist and the machine became an inspiration to todays artists/designers around the world.

Without its particular attention to pursuing new forms and new solutions, todays artists/designers would not have returned to the fundamentals, the basic materials or even the basic rule of design. Today, Bauhaus is still an influential movement, still effecting todays industrial design culture. (Whitford; Masters and students, 1992, P 10) proclaimed, everyone is sitting on a chair with tubular steel frame, using an adjustable reading lamp, or living in a house partly or entirely constructed form prefabricated elements.

Communication will continue to occur throughout the following eras as individuals need to be informed and continually entertained. There is a constant demand for new ideas designers today have opted to borrow elements from the past design styles, like imaginative metaphorical paintings from the Rococo era, or streamlined dynamic lines, organically formed handles, chair legs, that are reminiscent of Art Nouveau, or even the basic material and fundamental design of Bauhaus.

As design should ooze individuality depict their art and design within trends rather than making rules in which everyone has to conform to. Socialism cannot be changed by conforming a culture to sets of rules in art and design. Designs rules are not like that of the law, rather they are an act of individualism.

Performing Arts Essay

Our performed piece was based upon the poem called Amber written by Jennie Fontana. This was our stimulus and my first impression of the poem was of the sea and waves. This was the overriding theme for the piece, which we were to perform. To introduce us to the end piece we had to first understand what it was we were dealing with, in musical terms. We learnt the basic terms of music and what they meant and we tried to create a little piece which demonstrated at least one of characteristics. The piece, which I created, was based upon tempo and pitch.

I played a basic set of notes on the keyboard and then speeded them up and then I stopped, (using silence) and then proceeded to step up an octave. I did this three times. Everybody else in the group did this so we could have some sound recognition about what each sounded like. After this we had to be taught simple ways of writing down music in terms that we could understand. I have had previous lessons in guitar so I know the basic chords and notes, however with the class we learnt how to write it in a way that we used numbers and lines, TAB. The way we were taught to right a minimalist form of notation was to produce dots.

Say you were using a drum and you were counting your beats, one, two, three, four. And on every third of the four beats you would hit your drum. We would write this down like this: This gave us a way of remembering the rhythm of the piece and who should be playing what were. This was very useful especially with four people playing instruments. We used this form of notation in a piece we created. This was were we all had percussion instruments and had to come up with 4 lines of 4 bars. We had to use the above notation to create the rhythm and the piece.

When it came to rehearsing the major problem was keeping time as we all set off at 1-line intervals. So you had other instruments playing a different set of notes as you were trying to concentrate on yours. However we got through that and we performed what I considered a very good piece of exploratory music. We then after that went on to produce Motifs. These are where they can represent something, conjure up something and can be perceived to be an emotion or character. One of the pieces of motif work which we studied was performed and written by Tschaikovsky.

This showed how a simple motif could be changed and adapted to take on what would seem like a completely different melody. This was achieved by either quickening the tempo of the piece of music or playing it in different octaves, to produce more sinister sounds if played within a low octave. I produced a motif which was a basic riff on the piano going up and down the notes within one octave played really softly, this was to suggest loneliness. By now we had a fairly good but basic understanding of the basic concepts of music. This then led us to our final piece. As everybody seemed to have a group I went away and did something myself.

This didn’t work, as I couldn’t play everything that I wanted to play and everything that I wanted to perform. I decided to find myself a group and try and pass, on some ideas. This is where I started using the wave idea and thanks to the keyboard’s memory banks, the keyboard could play wave sounds at different pitch levels this gave us a background and an introduction to a tone, which we could set for the overall piece. The texture of the sound was of smooth cloth of silk with ripples going through it. This was very effective and instantly produced a relaxed sullen atmosphere.

This was thought up by Dawn who had been driving me mad by playing every single tone on the keyboard. I then tried to come up with a set of chords which could mimic the sea, so that you feel when it’s calm and then when it’s not. I produced this by having a set three for 1 round then changed on the second with almost the same chords but just changing one. This I felt gave us an undulation, with the pitch change. After this I would then strum loudly and make them more definitely with lower and deeper chords, followed by the playing of the previous chords but lightly to say as if the sea had finished now.

We also had a drum which played a constant beat throughout which gave a sense of stability also it made the whole piece sound more definite and more powerful. The sound of the drum also increased with the drumming. This was played by Jess and not only did it sound powerful it acted as a counter for me to get my strumming right. Our performance itself was I thought really good and produced a good all round effect, though I think the penny pipe would have given extra effects to the whole piece, this was played by Mrs Brooks during one of our rehearsals and it really sounded like it was at the sea, calming and soothing.

Performing Arts Essay on Drama. How we got there What we did to get there What sort of style we used First thing before we started on our mini projects we had to be told about different styles. The style which we got told to do was of Stanisnavski. This is were you try and make everything as real as you possibly can. The stage which your acting on takes on whole new worlds, ships, volcanoes. The idea is to make it seem as believable as possible. There are a few problems with doing it this way though.

Firstly the set designs are usually the main focus for attention. This can be a problem, because if you are in a west end theatre and you have a fairly large budget you will try to make everything look as pretty as possible. If you have good actors but nothing special and they don’t appeal to the audience (it could be the script as well) then the audience will start wondering around looking for other things to keep there eyes occupied, the stage setting usually do this so much that they will distract the watcher from the play itself.

We got there by first looking at a poem (remember this is a first draft and you’ll be able to hand me the poem on the rewrite, thanks Adam) and tried to get some inspiration from it. We couldn’t no matter how hard we tried to. We came up with some story lines but they were of not of any high standard and so Mr Young decided to try something else. We had to go away and make our own characters up and add them to a scene depending on what each of the characters ended up on introducing themselves to. This turned out to be all right as I managed to pull off an old and cranky man with a short life span upon his hands.

Toby was a high level manager, Buzz was a slightly odd accountant, Scott owned the vinyl record shop which I bought out and Steve was the but sucking lawyer who turned Toby in. We improvised in and around the office down at the pub, curry house and then finally a leaving party for Toby who was going to the states for a new managerial job. We decided to stick with the party because it bought all of us into the limelight, also it made available the chance to use my rather loud voice which I just love to use.

Our performance was really good; we tried to make it ass believable as possible but the fighting scene at the end wasn’t as good as it could have been. However I do think our characters were well worked on and we almost convinced the audience to who we were and what we were doing in the scene. The scene itself had plenty of tension within it brought about by silence and glancing stares. There was also good proxemics in the way we used the space. This also relates to some of the dance work we’ve been doing also that we can’t just use some of the stage its better if we use all of it if you can.

Performing Arts Essay on Dance To begin with we started to look at different ways of moving and different positions we could use to put across points. This was shown by our dance teacher who also taught us how to warm up properly. For our stimulus we got given a poem. This poem was about the 7 effects of life (I can’t remember what it was called). We read the poem in 3 major different ways to see if we could get different perspectives from it. The first way we read it was once around each then to spilt it up into three main parts and then to rearrange the poem and spilt it into three separate parts.

This turned out to be interesting as the 7 main ideas of the poem came through again. And immediately we came up with the idea of having 7 moves within the dance sequence to emphasise this. The problem for us was that at this point was that we had plenty of ideas but we already had chosen the music to go with it. I think this was a big problem. This was because we were trying to get moves to fit to the music instead of getting the better moves and putting them to a more suitable piece of music.

How we decided how things might work was that we listened to the music and listened to the main bass line of the piece. This became the overlying concept of our performance, as most of the moves were to do with were the heavy major beats. When it came to figuring out what moves came in and what stayed out we didn’t have enough to take any out. This is how difficult we were finding dance. So when the dance teacher next came in we asked her for some help and she pointed us in a new direction of using freeze frames to the beats.

This was almost it but we were lacking something to stick the opening sequence to the ending sequence so we choose Jazz hands. This came as a joke but in the end it looked like it was supposed to be in the piece. We then started to string these ideas together and started to come up with timings and started to rehearse parts more than others because it was more complicated not it the way dance complicated but in the way of peoples stretch ability. Because Darren and me could go almost to the bottom on squat and the girls could the girls had to be slightly slower in going down as we got up so that it looked in sync.

We were also having problems with rehearsing times as our time was getting cut down because of trying to find a suitably large enough place to rehearse with music. When we came to perform it we were quite nervous as we had seen other’s, and they looked dance wise more superior. The performance itself I thought was pretty good. It wasn’t I envisioned the final piece to be like though what we were dancing to I think yeah it was an all right piece of dance. I don’t think it added to the meaning to the poem. The only thing we took from that poem was the 7 moves.

The techniques we used were mainly small motifs by themselves with links, which linked them together. We also used the same thing to show repetition, which was also apparent within the poem. We used freeze frames and the whole dance scene was mostly non-naturalistic. This can also be used and is used within drama. I feel we used good proxemics as we used superb area of the stage. I think this showed we had added confidence because we had been rehearsing within relatively small areas and we expanded to take most of the stage area.

There are only a couple of things that I would change within the piece. That is to make it less bouncy and more fluid there were to many stops and halts to the whole movement of the piece which I felt gave it a disjointed feel. Also if I was to restart this I would use music which had a more regular beat to it. Performing Arts Essay on Final Performance This was to be our last major assessed practical of the current module and this had to include all three aspects of performing arts. This was dance, drama and music.

Our overriding theme for this piece was to be light for our whole school assembly. The first thing that we all heard full school assembly was that everything was everything that everyone expected. Do the old nativity play and tell a story about how the light saved us. We quickly decided to move away from this, as we didn’t want to bore our audience to what they would expect. We had to think what would work and whole inspiration came really from Michael who came up with the idea of a star dance. And everybody went yep great.

What else are we going to do and then Jess came up with the rather largely cool idea of having a reunion and having the start dance to take them forward through time to see what would happen. After this initial outburst people started coming out with more and more ideas and then it became slightly over loaded. So we got put into separate groups and given pen and paper to script out what we though would be a suitable run through. Every came up with different ideas but some collaborated and hung together nicely. The theme of reunion was stuck along with the idea of star dance.

We then started the short process of picking roles and picking songs to sing. We needed something with light in it so we used The Rolling Stones Shine a light and John Lennon’s Imagine. We then started to rehearse the main performance as I was doing mainly stage and lights I didn’t have an acting part I was singing and technical. Then I came up with a really good idea for were to put the start dance. This had never ever been done at the time that I had been at the school and this meant that it was going to be a surprise no matter who said what.

My idea was to use the upstairs balcony which overlooked the hall. This would be a big surprise. I had to sell the idea and this again didn’t take long. The main stage of the acting was to be taking place and this was to be a largely fun affair as people couldn’t concentrate long before the next one liner came out and even deeper and thicker plot lines came out. The funniest I though was that Michael was once a school stud ‘the man’ and was going out with who everybody thought was the pick of the bunch and then he left came back 20 years later and he had turned into a munich.

Some of the funniest lines we could use within the final performance because it would lower the tone of the overall performance which was fair enough but there were a couple I thought would have brought the house down. When it came to final performance there was hardly anything that hadn’t been done the stardance looked almost perfect and the singing was pretty bang on also. We had a wonderful acting, which brought across a point as well as make everybody laugh. The stage set for the dancers up above and there was also the lights which had to be places pretty well to make sure everyone was highlighted and seen properly.

What are the general informations about Modern Art

Wherever man lives there is art, because art is anything made or done by man that affects or moves us so that we feel and see beauty. Man uses his imagination to invent a unique beauty in which the artist sees his feelings and inspiration affects on how he will express his art. Through the major development of technologies and social changes that have taken place in the 19th century, Modern art flourished during this period and caused a lot movements of modern art to form, some of these famous movement are cubism, abstract expressionism, pop art, and surreal art.

Modern art also become man’s inspiration in life because these great art can express a unique feeling in which a person is attracted to that kind. This also means that a modern artist learns from himself and does not need any major training, a modern artist learns by himself through his experiences and imagination Modern art runs a very important role in man’s life throughout history, because it that does not only give us inspiration but also the freedom to express ourselves through the use of different mediums.

Parallel to the scientific, technological, and social changes that have taken place in the 20th century are the rich varieties of art styles that have developed. Notable are the number of “isms”, such as Fauvism, expressionism, cubism, futurism, constructivism, neoplasticism, surrealism, precisionism. Modern Art didn’t have a main origin from where it came from. But there is a general agreement that it was first seen between 18th century to 19th century, from the French revolutionist movement. Art in its broader meaning, however, involves both skill and creative imagination in a musical, literary, visual, or performance context.

Art provides the person or people who produce it and the community that observes it with an experience that might be aesthetic, emotional, intellectual, or a combination of these qualities. Modern Art does not follow any traditional rule, in fact Modern Art breaks this barrier. In the traditional way of painting, you must the true nature of your work; you must have the balance in creating it. The rules that are working on our universe must be applied to the old traditional painting. All of these, are the opposites of the principles of Modern Art.

Modern does not follow any rule, for example a modernist painter like Vincent Van Gogh, he used different kind of color pigments that represents the real color of an object like a field for example, he uses the color blue for the ground and red for the sky or yellow for the trees. Modern artist does not just put their painting s on and on, they work also with harmony. (Harmony is the art principle that produces an impression on unity through the selection and arrangement of consistent objects and ideas. ) Their work might vary in size, shape, texture and color.

Most people, especially Traditionalists, do not like Modern Art only because it is unconventional. They find it harder to relate a Picasso or a Kandinsky than to a painting or sculpture by Michelangelo. With Modern Art, you are more likely to ask yourself the question: “What is it? ” only by reading the title of the painting do you then find out the answer to your question. An artist’s medium affects the style of the work. Thus, a sculptor must treat stone differently from wood; a musician achieves different effects with drums than with violins; a writer must meet certain demands of poetry that might be irrelevant to the novel.

Local tradition also affects art styles. Pottery design in one area and period may be geometric and in another, naturalistic. Indian tradition prescribed closely curled hair in depictions of the Buddha, just as Western tradition decreed blond hair for depictions of Jesus Christ. Eastern artists paid no heed to scientific perspective, which has been a major concern of Western painters since the Renaissance. The main focus of Modern Art is to portray their subjects in a more abstract level, In which some modern artist uses their feelings and imagination in creating their masterpiece.

The freedom to express yourself into some visual medium is also another kind of Modern Art. A person appreciates the beauty of modern art because of the emotional attraction that binds them to the art. Some people say they remember something deeper in their life because they saw a painting that struck them. This happens because a Modern artist uses his freedom to feel and express their work. Sometimes we might look to a painting and might interpret another meaning, this is also one beauty of a modern art because you could look through a painting with many broad meaning, and it may depend on how the person would look at it.

Many people accept Modern Art because of the nature of a man to create things. Knowing that being a Modern Art artist requires a lot of persistence, experience, imagination, freedom to express your feelings, understanding, skill, creativeness constant practice, inspiration and most of all passion lets a modern artist truly a respectable man. In the second half of the 19th century painters began to revolt against the classic codes of composition, careful execution, harmonious coloring, and heroic subject matter. Patronage by the church and state sharply declined at the same time that artists’ views became more independent and subjective.

Courbet, Corot, and others of the Barbizon school, Manet, Degas, and Toulouse-Lautrec chose to paint scenes of ordinary daily and nocturnal life that often offended the sense of decorum of their contemporaries. The roots of modern art can be seen in French 19th-century avant-garde painting, which resulted in several movements, including impressionism and postimpressionism. The common denominator among leading late-19th-century artists was a diminished concern for realism and a greater emphasis on personal freedom of expression.

About the turn of the century, a group of French painters formed a movement called fauvism, which focused on utilizing dramatic lines and colors and had a significant impact on modern art. French and German artists, including the fauves and a German group known as Die Brcke, were influenced by the boldness and power of the art of indigenous peoples from around the world. Around 1911 some work of a second group of German artists, Der Blaue Reiter, moved toward semiabstract and abstract painting.

Interested in indigenous sculpture also played a role in the development of cubism, which arose between 1907 and 1914 with the help of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The most influential style of the modern period, it emphasized the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane and rejected traditional perspective. Several Italian artists employed the cubist style but emphasized motion. Their movement was called futurism. Cubism was crucial to the development of abstract art, which began to be seen in German and Swiss art around 1910.

Simultaneously, Russian artists were aware of cubism and developed two branches of it: suprematism and constructivism. Dutch artists sought to create a universal, harmonious style suitable to every aspect of contemporary life. Their movement, De Stijl, involved the expression of pure plastics (forms) and often reduced the range of color in a work to just primary colors. The dada movement, which arose both in Europe and America during World War I (1914-1918), comprised a group of war resisters who chose a nonsense word, dada (French for “hobbyhorse”), to describe their antiaesthetic works.

By 1922 some practitioners of Dadaism moved to surrealism, in which accident, chance, and the subconscious were employed in the creation of art. Until the late 1940s, nearly all-modern American art styles originated in Europe. The Ashcan school was a reaction against impressionism and concentrated on ordinary—even ugly—city scenes. Fauvism and cubism were relatively unknown in America until after the Armory Show, an international art exhibition held in New York City in 1913. The precisionist style grew out of cubism and depicted a sharp-focus, stylized realism.

Despite the growing acceptance of European modernism in the United States, exemplified by the 1929 founding of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the 1930s were also a period of reaction and rebellion against imported styles. Urban realist painters depicted the harsh political, social, and economic conditions of the Great Depression era. Regionalists drew inspiration from rural midwestern life and folklore. A number of American artists after the 1930s created a new movement called abstract expressionism, which derived from the surrealists an interest in the subconscious, symbolism, and myth.

In reaction against abstract expressionism, other American artists drew their imagery from everyday, popular-culture objects. They became known as pop artists. Internationally, abstract painting continued to develop, resulting in op art, in which stark black-and-white patterns or brilliant color contrasts were intended to create optical illusions; and in minimalism, which ranged from geometric forms to serialized patterns and almost monochromatic canvases. Conceptual art, in which the artist’s idea or concept took precedence over the actual work, grew from minimalism.

By the 1980s a reaction had developed against abstract styles, leading to a revival of figurative and narrative painting known as neoexpressionism. Like modern painters, sculptors were influenced by primitive and ancient art. Some reduced form to the simplest level. Others, affected by cubism, depicted the human figure with emphasis on geometric planes. In Russia, constructivists emphasized sculptural space rather than mass. French dadaist Marcel Duchamp made the first mobile sculpture in 1913, using found objects; he was later to give the name mobiles to the movable sculptures of American artist Alexander Calder.

The definition of recent sculpture has been expanded to include a wide spectrum of new styles, materials, and techniques. Minimalists, earthwork sculptors, kinetic artists, light artists, video artists, and pop art sculptors have all developed their art. In the mid-1980s organic forms began reappearing in sculpture, a trend known as postminimalist or postmodern sculpture. The need to create has always been a part of man’s nature. The art he creates always reflects his culture and the time period in which the artist lives. The art he makes reveals feelings, beliefs, ideas and his way of life.

The story of modern painting begins in the 19th century. The industrial and democratic revolutions of this time brought about dramatic social changes and a faster way of life. New art styles developed quickly also. Many styles of art developed as reactions to earlier art styles just as new governments were born out of revolution against the old. The invention of photography and the ability of artists to buy ready-made paint in tubes also led the painter in new directions. Some moved away from copying nature and others moved out-of-doors to paint.

Art History Essay

World War I virtually severed artistic relations between America and Europe. Cultural interchange and patronage was interrupted by problems of social and political urgency, though most artists tended to be antiwar. Visual propaganda was left to the commercial designers and illustrators, while American painters continued in their efforts to consolidate the issues detonated by the Armory show. Dominant tendency in American painting after World War I towards cubism and abstraction was called “Precisionism”.

The artists of this group had been influenced by cubism, which they saw in the work of Marcel Duchamp, a French Dada painter who appeared in New York City after 1915. Unlike European Cubism, where objects tended to break apart visually into numerous planes, Precisionists tried to reduce forms to their simplest shapes, up to the point of being abstract. For all of the artists working in this style, precisionism meant getting rid of all visual excess.

Buildings and forms were reduced to basic geometric shapes, and the volume of buildings was adjusted to create a balanced, austere composition. Curves and straight edges were carefully balanced. Often, buildings or objects were isolated and removed from any context so that an abstract quality results. Precisionism was based in realism, but was controlled by geometric simplification stemming from cubism. The works are almost photographically realistic, stripped of almost all detail. Precisionism was widespread between 1920 and 1935, and continued on a smaller scale through the 1940s.

As was true with most American art movements of the 20th century, the precisionist artists reflected the American concern with the growing industrial scene, machinery, the city, and even prosaic elements of the architectural landscape. As American business grew, the need for urban office space expanded. In most cities, architects could create office space only by building upward. Typical office towers had self-supporting outer stone or brick walls, with the interior structure formed by a skeleton of iron columns and wrought iron beams.

James Bogardus was a nineteenth-century American inventor, machinist, architect, engineer, manufacturer, and builder. His inventions included the eccentric mill, the self-supporting cast iron faade, and most importantly, the skeletal steel-framework of our urban environment. With the construction of The First Cast Iron House Erected in 1850 he had created the first all-iron building ever. In photography during the 19th century there were many revelations as well that happened in America, such as the flexible film invented by George Easton.

However one of the prime movers to premiere photography as an art form was Alfred Stieglitz. Through his own pictures, he showed expression and evoked feeling in viewers. In Fifth Avenue style was created by weather, mood, and atmosphere which all created significant textures. He was also the first to ever have a gallery: Gallery 291. Here he displayed his own works as well as others and it was all strictly photography. After reviewing the varieties of artistic breakthroughs that occurred here in America, it is the idea, the creativity, and the drive to be different, which makes American art.

Although some may have been influenced by European styles and may even appear indifferent, its the concept behind the work. Its the influence of the times in America that only an American can feel, whether it be war, money, farm life, or city life. The art was created from a world built upon industry and how to function and prosper within that society. It was the expression of those feelings induced by social hardships and economic triumphs which was the foundation for new art styles.

Charging into the modern turne

Turner has out-prodiged almost all former prodigies. He has made a picture with real rain, behind which is real sunshine, and you expect a rainbow every minute. Meanwhile, there comes a train down upon you, really moving at the rate of fifty miles a hour, and which the reader had best make haste to see, lest it should dash out of the picture…. as for the manner in which ‘Speed’ is done, of that the less is said the better, -only it is a positive fact that there is a steam coach going fifty miles and hour.

The world has never seen anything like this picture . This was Thackeray’s response to Turner’s Rain, Steam and Speed upon seeing it at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1844. A large canvas displayed in the place of honour on the back wall of the East room of the exhibition, the painting was at the time and important and provocative comment on modern technology in general and more specifically on the steam locomotive and the Great Western Railway that was featured so prominently in the title.

This painting was significant because although this was not the first time railways had been the depicted in art, it was the first time for this kind of subject matter to be taken up on such a large scale and for public display. Both Ian Carter and Gerald Finley assert that despite the criticism already written about this complex work it remains engaging and still retains layers of meaning that have not been brought to light.

Rain, Steam and Speed can be read as a celebration of new technology and the new Britain that was forming in its wake, a lament for a passing ‘golden’ age, or as Carter suggests as a combination of the two, it “is about loss but also about progress. To be more precise it is about the casualties of progress and the impossibility of not changing. ” In other words, this painting presents the viewer with a visual metaphor depicting the dialectic, between change and stasis, between the old and the new, that arises in the condition of modernity.

Using this perspective as a starting point, this paper will explore some of the themes of this difficult work and examine some of the issues that surround this still evocative painting. The “history of former ages exhibits nothing to be compared with the mental activity of the present. Steam which annihilates time and space, fills mankind with schemes for advantage or defense”. The British public’s response to advances made in the field of science and to the new technology of the Industrial Revolution was mixed.

Gerald Finley says that for those who considered these new developments in a positive light it was reassuring that the “laws of science and technology were, after all rooted in nature and these developments seemed to promise widespread economic and social improvement. ” At the same time there were detractors and this was because of the perceived threat of further encroachment on what some considered to be the ‘natural order of things’. Railroads struck many at this time as the seminal achievement of the industrial age, so it is not surprising that public ambivalence extended to the steam locomotive and rail travel as well.

It signified to many the destruction of the countryside and a change in the old agrarian based social order. In conjunction with this shift, which was really a shift to a capitalist economy, the steam revolution fundamentally changed the fabric of peoples lives, it changed the way people experienced time and space, it shrunk the boundaries of their world and changed their imagined geographies. This had implications for the way people perceived the world at large and also imaged the nation. The subject matter of Rain, Steam and Speed is the Maidenhead railway crossing of the Thames.

A golden brown landscape punctuated by the river to the left takes up the bottom portion of the painting. The top half is tinged by a blue sky that is marked by swirls of gold and white, which straighten around the around the locomotive, creating vertical lines above and behind its carriages and at the end and before the locomotive forms parallel vertical lines. Out of this comes the train, advancing along dark parallel iron rails, which are executed to look as though they are of infinite length. The eye is drawn to the “misty limitless distance”.

The speed in the title is suggested by the definition of the rail line at two points, this also serves to concentrate attention on the machine element, the locomotive. In reference to this subject matter Rodner says, “Turner’s choice of a railroad subject not only fit the mood of the times but also completed his artistic program of utilizing modern technology to reaffirm fundamental truths on the human condition. At the same time it forced him to find ways to realize, with paint, the essentials of mechanized energy. ” The rest of this discussion will shed some light on this statement.

Initially it is useful to examine the painting as a whole, and look at it as a traditional landscape, Ian Carter describes the ways that this landscape can then be read in terms of classical figures and representations. The most important of his observations to this discussion of the work is Carter’s assertion that in this context, the ploughman in the painting, rather than being just a symbol of the age that is passing, can be read as “a reference to Virgil and Horace and through them, to routine pastoral conventions.

These pastoral conventions, employed in landscape painting, were a strategy used in England (since the late seventeenth century) to legitimize the power and wealth of emergent agrarian capitalist estates by making them appear timeless and part of a ‘natural’ order. These conventions, drawn from classical writers, maintain that human action is set within “a tamed, a cultivated natural world.

The ordered world of this ‘tamed nature’ would be understood in reference to its opposite, ‘wild nature’ — usually associated with death and disorder — which threatens its fragile harmony. To a contemporary conservative public, railways came to be associated with this kind of threatening disordering force. This can be witnessed in the works of contemporary writers, (for example, Ruskin, Wordsworth, and Dickens) who viewed railways as agents of destruction, which were fundamentally altering not only the physical landscape but the social order as well.

These changes were viewed as disruptive, they had the effect of bringing the neo-pastoral celebration of the so called ‘natural order’ under scrutiny; changing circumstances and new opportunities afforded by the railways threatened this interpretation of the world and its ‘natural’ hierarchy. A new capitalist ethic was really the driving force for these changes, the railways were simply a product of capitalism and a vehicle for its continued proliferation.

As David Harvey explains, capitalism is…a revolutionary mode of production, always restlessly searching out new organizational forms, new technologies, new lifestyles, and new modalities of production and exploitations. ” Thus, this capitalist expansion and the industrialization that followed in its wake elicited a huge change in the lives of nineteenth century Britons. This sense of disruption is taken up in Rain, Steam and Speed with its depiction of a pastoral, rural idyll cut down the middle by a speeding, ‘wild’ locomotive.

Instead of trying to make the locomotive blend in with the landscape it traverses, naturalizing it and thereby diffusing its threatening connotations , Turner imparts a sense of the rupture it is causing in the landscape and by extension to the social fabric as well. He does this by employing the aesthetic system of the Sublime. The locomotive could boast a majority of those affective qualities, which Burke had assigned to the sublime; it possessed a demonic appearance, was an object of great size and possessed great power.

It also emitted deafening noises and it obscured its own form through its high speeds and its emissions of large amounts of steam and smoke. Furthermore its infamy was intensified through its notoriety as a source of spectacular and often fatal accidents. The sublime was an aesthetic used to evoke a feeling of awe or fear, and Burke says that all things that elicit this response can be said to be sublime. This can include things that have an ‘infernal appearance, are powerful or of great size, are enveloped in obscurity or darkness, and which emit loud sounds’.

Often the sublime was evoked to create a sense of suprahuman powers in action, to create a sense of the disparity between human endeavour and ‘timeless forces’, for example, nature or the passage of time. In this case, the unstoppable momentum of technological change (and by extension change in the fabric of everyday life) that seemed to be only tenuously under human control could be one of these ‘timeless forces’. James Hamilton explains that the fallibility of human endeavour was a theme dear to Turner’s heart.

His evocation of the sublime in this case could mean both the fallibility of the technology (it was prone to spectacular accidents) and the fallibility of the patterns of human life that the technology was altering. In Finley’s discussion of Rain, Steam and Speed, he examines the role of the sublime in earlier works that take up industrial subject matter. He asserts that many of those qualities ascribed to this aesthetic could be found on industrial sites and that sublimity was used to elevate this new and unusual subject matter.

Turner’s steam locomotive, as an industrial image, is similarly sublime. In fact, Finley asserts that the painting as a whole “is an embodiment of energy; and energy as an expression of power is a quality of the sublime. An equally important quality of the sublime is obscurity. The distinctive title given by Turner to this subject seems highly appropriate for a sublime subject: rain, steam and speed are elements and qualities which either veil or effectively blur forms and thereby render them obscure. The sublime is also generated here by the immediacy of the train image.

The train in the painting is thus transformed by Turner’s use of the sublime. It becomes the agent of disaster that threatens the ideal pastoral landscape, and in so doing no longer supports the pastoral order. As a way of communicating the sublime nature of the industrial subject matter in Rain, Steam and Speed Turner paints the locomotive using Rembrantesque colours, and dramatic chiaroscuro. Gage says that Turner looked to Rembrant in order to find a pictorial language that expressed the drama of modern times.

The dark train passes through a landscape rendered in gold, creams and watery blues and creates a striking contrast to it. This palette is a clue to an understanding of the work — it acts as metaphor for a model of historical decline that has its roots in Hesiod. Ages referred to as Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron were classical references Turner would have assumed the viewers of his painting would be familiar with. Carter says that by using this choice of colour, he “shows us a golden age ravished by a train, the iron age’s harbinger and embodiment.

This iron age in Hesiod is a period of complete moral breakdown, and there was a real perception that civilization as the early Victorians knew it was being fundamentally altered by this technology at this time in the 1840,s. There is a gendered aspect to this painting that is also supported by Tuner’s choice of colours, the landscape rendered in pastels is ruptured by the “ochrous railways single diagonal knife thrust”. This dramatic configuration underlines the distinction between nature, associated with the passive and the female, and culture associated the rational and the male.

In this context, the painting can be read as the domination of (female) nature overpowered by (male) technology and although this can be viewed on the one hand as destructive, it could also be viewed on the on the other hand as a celebration of the mastery of ‘man’ over nature. It is important not to forget that although there was a lot of fear and uneasiness surrounding the development of the railway, people were also fascinated by it. Although Turner may have shared these reservations about this new technology, it is reasonable to assume that he was also caught up, to a certain extent, in the optimism about the railways.

Rain, Steam and Speed is held up by Hamilton as an acknowledgment of the engineering feats of I. K. Brunel, the man who designed the bridge at Maidenhead that is so prominently featured in the work. This bridge had the lowest and flattest arches of any that had come before, and critics stridently voiced their concerns that it would fall — it didn’t. Turner ally’s himself with Brunel and publicly applauds his engineering prowess by depicting “a steam engine passing both along Brunel’s line and over his Maidenhead Bridge and in a violent storm.

One could extend this to say that Rain, Steam and Speed was also an acknowledgment of the feat of steam locomotive technology in general which was the force that created the need for great engineering feats like Brunel’s in the first place. The “collision between celebration and regret” in reference to railway expansion is the social perspective infused in this painting. Public sentiment was divided between hope for the new modern possibilities the railways afforded, and trepidation over further destruction of the countryside and traditional ways of life that would inevitably come in the wake of and extended rail network.

This is not the whole picture however, the effects of the expansion of railways, were more deeply consequential and insidious than the above would suggest. Finley says: “Steam driven machinery having penetrated the popular experience was as much responsible for the shifts in and the shaping and directing of human lives as it was for the physical and cultural changes in the countryside. ” This shaping and directing of human lives manifested itself in a variety of ways.

Many of the strategies introduced to facilitate the development of the railways (“to mitigate their potential for technical and financial mayhem”) had lasting implications on people’s lives. These strategies, such as standardized time, uniform industrial organization, and regulation of private activities have become established features of modern life, so established in fact that they are rarely questioned. These were not the only effects that altered people’s lives in this way, but it would be impossible in the scope of this paper to go into all of them.

It is important to note however one other way that railways impacted the lives of Britons, and that is the way that it changed people’s conceptions of time and space. England had shrunk in size with the advent of railway travel. Due to greater travel speeds the time it took to travel over a given distance was greatly reduced, this was envisioned as a shrinkage of space. Time and space seemed to have collapsed. Although he does not take up issues of time and space compression explicitly, Turner does take up the issue of speed (as the title Rain, Steam and Speed would suggest, which is the intersection of time and space.

It seems reasonable then that the train in the painting would signal that sense of the world getting smaller to a public who was just getting used to this disorienting aspect of speed. This sense of shrinking space may have also have called up associations of the new image of a progressive ‘modern’ nation (Britain), and this would in turn bring up associations with the empire — popularly thought of as a progressive, civilizing force — at large. Space and time were familiar concepts to Turner, and in earlier works he had manipulated space and time concepts effectively.

One of the ways that Turner manipulated these elements was in the way “he would call upon history, with its wholly different order of time (time past but with lessons or implications for the present or the future), as a way to engage his audience in a dialogue about the interaction humans in, and with nature. Adhering to concepts of pictorial unity he portrayed protagonists in an appropriate local and historical context for whatever action or event was being depicted.

Finley says that, “In Rain, Steam and Speed Turner seems to have adopted a similar point of view; indeed in this work the interrelationship and interdependence of space and time seem to have achieved a decisive pictorial formulation. The locomotive, which steams diagonally forward into the picture’s foreground, seems to exist in the present, leaving the past behind it, but it is ready to plunge inexorably into the future. ”

The ploughman evokes the past, and provides the contrast for the locomotive that functions as the present. The juxtaposition of these two things Finley says, implies something about the rapidity of technological change, and suggests the way “the easy going past give[s] way to the quick living future. ” This is an accurate description of the way the compression of time and space affect the way people view the future and experience the present.

Rather than looking at the locomotive in strictly general terms as an agent in wider processes leading to this “quick living future”, it is interesting to look at the ways in which the locomotive itself was looked at within the context of its time (it is after all the focal point for the painting). Thus far, the locomotive has been discussed as an aspect of a larger shift to new technology and in reference to widespread cultural changes, its use as an agent of the sublime within the painting has also been discussed.

The only thing missing which may provide some more insight into popular sentiment about the railway, is an examination of how the locomotive itself was portrayed in popular forms, to do this Carter examines contemporary caricature. In these depiction’s he finds anxieties surrounding the change that the railways are eliciting, and that the locomotive becomes the personification of the disruption that this is causing. A good example is a cartoon by George Cruikshank titled The Railway Dragon in which the machine becomes a monstrous mechanized animal.

Linking this cartoon with Turner’s Rain, Steam and Speed Carter comes up with a chilling analogy, “George Cruikshank’s The Railway Dragon reverses over its prey, with steam gauges for eyes and firebox door for ravening mouth. The shape of this locomotive back head precisely recalls Cruikshank’s earlier stocking capped and fire-belching Jacobin monster. The front elevation of Turner’s locomotive echoes these caricatures…accept this similarity and that white splodge [on the smokebox front] becomes the key to Turner’s entire painting: the modest space into which a doomed old world must place its head so the Dr. Guillot’s machine — that epitome of enlightened rationality, invented to suppress the ancien regimes haphazard axework — may do its fatal work. Form follows function.

This rational machine, this Jacobin machine will, indeed, mean the end of civilization as those who viewed the painting at the 1844 Royal Academy exhibition had known it. No wonder, perhaps that Rain, Steam and Speed disturbed that audience, fifty years after the terror. ” In Rain, Steam and Speed Turner paints a hare running ahead of this ‘Jacobin monster’.

It does not get run down, and Finley suggests that in doing this he “expresses a vigorous metaphor: he has created dialectic between nature and the machine…” This may be the case but the more interesting question, perhaps, is why Turner does this. Turner has elevated the industrial subject matter of this painting so that it participates in a dialogue about sublime forces. This narrative calls up the struggle between the timeless forces of nature and civilization (the machine mentioned above); between the past and the present-quickly-becoming-future.

The subject matter of this painting, so much embedded in its particular historical context and the anxieties of one age passing in the face of another, is literally, with this evocation of the sublime, taken out of time. Thus the narrative obscures the human beings caught up in this struggle (the displaced rural worker, the aristocrat losing power), and becomes about the struggle itself. This is important to get an understanding of the painting at its deepest level. It is, as was suggested at the beginning of this paper, a visual metaphor for the experience of ‘the modern age’.

It participates in the discourse about change and progress that arises in the condition of modernity, by calling up the dialectic between the (often devalued) past, and the present becoming future (i. e. change/progress) that defines it. The assertive locomotive, harbinger of the modern world, that charges into the center of this painting make clear the urgency of this, this dark ‘rational’ machine must tear through the fields of a ‘natural’ golden age, for this is what it means to be modern. This evocation of the dialectic nature of modernity was at the heart of the colonial project.

In an age of imperialism where the dominant discourse was social Darwinism a nation had to become a ‘progressive, civilizing force’ in order to justify its imperialist/capitalist endeavors (enacted against a ‘less civilized’ anachronistic other — at home and abroad), as well as stave off colonization by a more progressive adversary. Thus, even though this painting embodies, on one level, the contemporary anxieties about new technology, it also participates in a larger discourse about progress, capitalism, colonialism and ultimately the condition of modernity itself.

Schwa’s Past Essay

Schwa’s past is slightly blurred, but it is generally held that the religion has its roots in ancient Egypt. A small breakaway group are believed to have gathered regularly to exchange news and, on occasion, personal accounts of landings by what they called `star-creatures’. These beings were identical to the Egyptian gods, and their belief was that these beings came to their land, from their home amongst the stars, disguised as animals with which they were familiar (the jackal, the cat etc).

Some hieroglyphics have been uncovered by archaeologists which, according to Schwa followers, are the original nscriptions of members of the ancient religion, but have been wrongly interpreted by `UFO fanatics’ as proof that aliens built the pyramids. This leads non-believers to give little weight to what was “actually a true and proper religion”. Since those primitive days the religion has developed enormously, but the biggest and most important advancements have only come in the past decade.

Previously, followers had only gathered in what could be described as `sects’ in many different countries, with the highest concentration being in North America. It wasn’t until 1986 that Jeff Krantz, a 19 year old art student at the University of Michigan, started came to be known as `The Union’, a wave of change that would sweep across the world over a period of two years, and would result in united international Schwa religion. “I had just been transferred from (the University of) Wisconsin in the earlier part of that year,” Krantz says. I had attended regular meetings with about half a dozen other believers.

We met one night each week to talk about stuff related to our belief – that the Earth, and everything on it, was created by extraterrestrial beings. I guess you could say they’re on the same level as he gods of other religions, but we believe that our creators are actual living, breathing beings, not spirits; an analogy would be our superiority over creatures which we created through gene technology, DNA splicing or whatever. “At one of these meetings we decided that we should have some sort of symbol that we could make into stickers.

Each of us could then stick them on books or wherever, just to get people thinking about what they could mean, and also to bring the group together under an identifiable symbol – kind of like a flag. ” The task fell to Adrian Blackwell, another art student whom Krantz saw ften outside of these meetings. “The idea for the sticker kind of came to me when I was on acid,” Blackwell recalls, smiling. “Actually, I saw these two symbols at the same time, almost; an alien head and a starfish. The starfish didn’t really do anything for me, so I drew the other one and the other guys loved it.

A copy of the design is on the cover page. “Yeah, the design was great,” says Krantz, “but I thought it needed some sort of name. That Saturday night I went to a party. I got smashed, and then this name sort of appeared in my head : `Schwaerozni’. I knew it couldn’t have een an accident. Anyway, when I went to write it under the design before we sent it to have the stickers made, I could only fit in `Schwa’. The name stuck. ” After his move to Wisconsin, Krantz stayed in touch with his fellow believers in Michigan. He began working part time at a hardware store for a few months.

His last day at the store was the turning point for the religion. “I used to steal solvent from the store, take it to my dorm and sniff it,” he laughs. “Pretty pathetic, really. Finally my boss caught on to what I was doing, and he called me into his office. He gave me a big lecture about the stupidity of sniffing solvent, the fact that he could have had me charged with shoplifting, don’t ruin your life, blah blah blah. Then he gave me my last paycheck – minus the cost of a can of solvent. That night I was pretty pissed off, and I sniffed a little more than usual.

I was climbing onto the roof to see if I could fly when I thought of this brilliant joke. I thought it was so funny that I forgot all about flying and just went back to my room to write it down before I forgot about it. Later on I told it to the other guys over. Although it had nothing to o with Schwa, they all said that something about it reminded them of it. ” “We all thought the joke was kind of spooky, yeah,” Blackwell says. “But the weirdest thing was the dream I had that night. I saw an alien being come out of a craft, approach me, and touch my forehead.

Then I saw a page from the phone book, zooming in on the University of Wisconsin’s listing. Then Jeff’s full name appeared. After that, a map of North America appeared. It slowly zoomed in on Wisconsin, showing more and more detail, until the whole of my vision was filled with the University campus. An arrow flashed, pointing at the dormitories. Then I woke up. “The next day we had a meeting. Each of us was exited. We just looked around at each other, and we knew. Each of us had had the same dream. We knew that it was really a carrier for that message.

We had to tell everyone we knew the joke. It was a pretty good one, the type you’d tell friends anyway, and it wasn’t dirty so you could tell anyone. But no-one seemed to report any strange dreams afterwards, or even act strange. So, we just decided that the dream only came to believers. ” “They were right about that,” says Krantz, raising his eyes to heaven. “The Uni hated me! Or at least, whoever sorted the mail did. I got a little over two thousand letters over the next year – hundreds from Americans only in the first couple of months, then from all over the world as the joke spread.

Followers now hold this joke as a sacred message from their creators, and since others did not notice anything unusual about it, it has been almost impossible to trace. However, by freak coincidence, a researcher into conspiracy theories, Garo Yellin, was looking at a relative’s photos from a trip to Germany in 1990 when he noticed a message scrawled on the Berlin Wall in the background f one picture. The thing that really grabbed his attention was a crude drawing of an alien head, much like the Schwa symbol.

He enlarged the picture to see the message written next to the head. It was, as far as he could see, this: “Venn ist das nurnstuck git und slotermeyer? Ya! Beigerhund das oder die Flipperwaldt gersput! ” Translation attempts have been made, but apparently this is in a code known only to Schwa followers, in order to protect the joke. “Every letter I got said the same sort of thing,” Krantz continues. “These people had the same beliefs I did, and the dream had revealed my identity o them. They looked to me now as a leader.

I had been chosen to lead my fellow believers in one united faith, which for obvious reasons, I decided to call Schwa. They were of all ages and denominations, but since we are all of lowly status under our creators – and our lives are momentary compared to theirs – they had no problems with me leading them. ” The main concern of the religion is to worship their alien creators in readiness for the coming day of judgment. “Who knows when they will come? ” says Krantz. “All I know is that when they do, they will be performing a little . . weeding, shall we say? They’re going to polish off their creation.

All things you or I consider bad or annoying or dangerous will be made likable, or even eradicated. And we, sentient beings that we are, will be judged – not by the righteousness of our actions, but by our worship of them. Then, all those who did not follow them will be removed from the Earth and from our memories – we will feel no loss or sadness – and we will be left only with happy and peaceful thoughts, and in a Utopian world. “Some, knowing the origins of Schwa, say it is a cult based on ntoxication. Well, it is in a way, but their is a deeper purpose for this.

When intoxicated by some form of drug, we are still awake, but there is a subtle link with the subconscious. We are more receptive to the messages our creators wish to plant in our minds. Hallucinations are not caused by the intoxication directly, but by them, trying to reach us. However,” he laughs, “if you fall over or try to fly, that’s the drug talking! ” Their only festival is held each year on June 12, the date of the incident in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. “That day,” says Krantz, “a mist of ome sort caused masses of people to hallucinate simultaneously.

They say they saw a UFO land, and aliens coming out of the craft. This hallucination was a warning from our creators of the coming day of judgment. ” In celebration of this, followers meet secretly, take drugs, and chant the following : “Oona Schwa gallumbits dangk! ” Once again, this seems to be in some sort of code. The only intelligible translation yet given seems to be a joke on the part of the translator : “Schwa for tuna-safe dolphin meat! ” But the true meaning of this, like their sacred joke, they keep secret.

Michelangelo the Optimistic Artist

Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelos artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in its natural state. Michelangelos poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing him. Michelangelos sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through its many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelos main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism,

Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality. Michelangelos artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in its natural state. Michelangelo Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves.

The second evel was to have statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active and contemplative life- representative of the human striving for, and reception of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the popes tomb when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV.

The overall organization consists of four large triangles at the corner; a series of eight triangular spaces on the outer border; an intermediate series of figures; and nine central panels, all bound together with architectural motifs and nude male figures. The corner triangles depict heroic action in the Old Testament, while the other eight triangles depict the biblical ancestors of Jesus Christ. Michelangelo conceived and executed this huge work as a single unit. Its overall meaning is a problem. The issue has engaged historians of art for generations without satisfactory resolution.

The paintings that were done by Michelangelo had been painted with the brightest colors that just bloomed the whole ceiling as one entered to look. The ceiling had been completed just a little after the Pope had died. The Sistine Chapel is the best fresco ever done. Michelangelo embodied many characteristic qualities of the Renaissance. An individualistic, highly competitive genius (sometimes to the point of eccentricity). Michelangelo was not afraid to show humanity in its natural state – nakedness; even in front of the Pope and the other religious leaders.

Michelangelo portrayed life as it is, ven with its troubles. Michelangelo wanted to express his own artistic ideas. The most puzzling thing about Michelangelos ceiling design is the great number of seemingly irrelevant nude figures that he included in his gigantic fresco. Four youths frame most of the Genesis scenes. We know from historical records that various church officials objected to the many nudes, but Pope Julius gave Michelangelo artistic freedom, and eventually ruled the chapel off limits to anyone save himself, until the painting was completed. The many nude figures are referred to as Ignudi.

They are naked humans, erhaps representing the naked truth. More likely, I think they represent Michelangelos concept of the human potential for perfection. Michelangelo himself said, Whoever strives for perfection is striving for something divine. In painting nude humans, he is suggesting the unfinished human; each of us is born nude with a mind and a body, in Neoplatonic thought, with the power to be our own shapers. Michelangelo has a very great personality for his time. In Rome, in 1536, Michelangelo was at work on the Last Judgment for the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, which he finished in 1541.

The argest fresco of the Renaissance, it depicts Judgment Day. Christ, with a clap of thunder, puts into motion the inevitable separation, with the saved ascending on the left side of the painting and the damned descending on the right into a Dantesque hell. As was his custom, Michelangelo portrayed all the figures nude, but prudish draperies were added by another artist (who was dubbed the breeches-maker) a decade later, as the cultural climate became more conservative. Michelangelo painted his own image in the flayed skin of St. Bartholomew.

Although he was also given another painting ommission, the decoration of the Pauline Chapel in the 1540s, his main energies were directed toward architecture during this phase of his life. Instead of being obedient to classical Greek and Roman practices, Michelangelo used motifscolumns, pediments, and bracketsfor a personal and expressive purpose. A Florentinealthough born March 6, 1475, in the small village of Caprese near ArezzoMichelangelo continued to have a deep attachment to his city, its art, and its culture throughout his long life.

He spent the greater part of his adulthood in Rome, employed by the popes; haracteristically, however, he left instructions that he be buried in Florence, and his body was placed there in a fine monument in the church of Santa Croce. Michelangelo portrayed both optimism and pessimism. Sculptures was where he wanted his heart dedicated. Michelangelo gave up painting apprenticeship to take up a new career in sculpture. Michelangelo then went to Rome, where he was able to examine many newly unearthed classical statues and ruins.

He soon produced his first large-scale sculpture, the over-life-size Bacchus (1496-98, Bargello, Florence). One of the few works of pagan rather than Christian subject matter made by the master, it rivaled ancient statuary, the highest mark of admiration in Renaissance Rome. At about the same time, Michelangelo also did the marble Piet (1498-1500), still in its original place in Saint Peter’s Basilica. One of the most famous works of art, the Piet was probably finished before Michelangelo was 25 years old, and it is the only work he ever signed.

The youthful Mary is shown seated majestically, holding the dead Christ across her lap, a theme borrowed from northern European art. Instead of revealing extreme grief, Mary is restrained, and her expression is one of resignation. In this work, Michelangelo summarizes the sculptural innovations of his 15th-century predecessors such as Donatello, while ushering in the new monumentality of the High Renaissance style of the 16th century. Michelangelo was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi. I did not see Strazzi as complementing him. Michelangelo responds in a pessimistic tone to what should have been a complement.

Michelangelo said, sleep is precious; more precious to be stone, when evil and hame are aboard; it is a blessing not to see, not to hear. Pray, do not disturb me. Speak softly. During his long lifetime, Michelangelo was an intimate of princes and popes, from Lorenzo de’ Medici to Leo X, Clement VIII, and Pius III, as well as cardinals, painters, and poets. Neither easy to get along with nor easy to understand, he expressed his view of himself and the world even more directly in his poetry than in the other arts. Much of his verse deals with art and the hardships he underwent, or with Neoplatonic philosophy and personal relationships.

The great Renaissance poet Ludovico Ariosto wrote succinctly of this famous artist: Michael more than mortal, divine angel. Indeed, Michelangelo was widely awarded the epithetdivine because of his extraordinary accomplishments. Two generations of Italian painters and sculptors were impressed by his treatment of the human figure: Raphael, Annibale Carracci, Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Sebastiano del Piombo, and Titian. In conclusion, Michelangelo (1475-1564), was arguably one of the most inspired creators in the history of art and, with Leonardo da Vinci, he most potent force in the Italian High Renaissance.

As a sculptor, architect, painter, and poet, he exerted a tremendous influence on his contemporaries and on subsequent Western art in general. Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelos works showed humanity in its natural state. Michelangelos sculptures were his goals. Michelangelo was very intelligent for the works that he did. Michelangelo always wanted to finish the works that he worked on before moving on to another. I think that Michelangelo was to good of a person.

He educates the eople of today as well as the people in his time about the true religious aspects that there is to learn. Michelangelo was a role model for the people of his time as well as for the people of today. Michelangelo was also a great poet, a pessimist, but a great one. Michelangelo is my role model. I respect him for the works that he did and the talent that he had. I want to be like Michel. Last Judgment Michelangelos Last Judgment, the large fresco on the altar wall One of Michelangelos best known creations is the of the Sistine Chapel, dates from 1536-1541about 20 years sculpture David (1501-1504).

The 4. 34-m after the famous ceiling frescoes were painted. The painting (14. 2-ft) tall marble statue shows an alert David represents one of the earliest examples of mannerist art. This waiting for his enemy Goliath. It was originally is an alarming view of Judgment Day, with grotesque and created for the piazza in front of the Palazzo Vecchio twisted figures. While Christ stands in the center of the in Florence, Italy, but was later moved to the Galleria fresco meting out justice, the saved rise on the left and the dellAccademia damned descend on the right.

Thomas Cole – one of the most important figures in landscape painting

Painting landscapes was very important during the 19th century. Thomas Cole was one of the most important figures in landscape painting in the United States. He went to many places searching for nature, which he painted to show the unmatchable beauty nature creates. His works of art helped people see and take pride in their great land, which was called America. Cole’s works were often made people feel like they needed to go out in nature and discover the inspiring world of mother earth.

Thomas Cole, born on February 1, 1801 in Lancashire, England, found himself at fourteen working as a textile printer and wood engraver in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Cole returned to his parents in 1819 in Ohio; this is were he learned how to oil paint and how to use different kinds of oil painting techniques under the supervision of a portrait painter, Stein. Cole was very impressed and impacted by the landscapes of the “new world” and how magnificent they were compared to where he came from, which was England. Cole found that art came naturally to him and eventually taught himself how to observe nature and still life.

He started by illustrating American trees, plants, animals, and even Native Americans. With his sketches of nature he made several different paintings including his famous “The Course of Empire”, “The wood chopper”, and “The Oxbow. ” In early 1826, Thomas Cole was most famous for being the creator of the National Academy of Design. As the founder, Cole was urged by fans to paint American scenery, but Cole desired to create a landscape painting that could express moral and religious meanings. He painted and painted and then in 1836 he married and settled in Catskill, New York to Maria Bartow.

In Catskill he made a beautiful landscape painting of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River. He is said to have made a big impact on artists like Frederick Church and Albert Bierstadt. Sadly, Cole died early of a disease on February 11, 1848. But his life wasn’t fruitless, he helped lead the first school of landscape called the Hudson River School into the making; were many more leading artists came. Thomas Dougherty, Asher Brown Durand, Albert Bierstadt, and others came from the Hudson River School and they all became romantic realists and painted about the American country sides.

These realists joined detail panoramic images with moral insights, which they got by hailed romantic writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. These painters saw landscapes having feelings of hope, divinity, and even harmony. The Hudson River School was a very important asset to American culture and art. Bordering countries during the nineteenth century were demolishing America and made Americans want to see their nation survive as an independent nation.

Cole focuses on the American landscape and mixes idealism and realism into his paintings to really get viewers to admire nature and its beauty. He believed that landscape painters needed to have strength determination, and courage to overcome Mother Nature’s more turbulent side. Then, in 1825, John Trumball, an artist, discovered Cole’s magnificent work in a frame at a frame shop. Trumball immediately bought lots of Cole’s works and drew art critics’ attention. With the Hudson River School being so prosperous the National Academy of design was born.

In the early nineteenth century landscape artists painted scenes of America’s east side near the Hudson River, but by the mid-nineteenth century Landscape artists tended to paint portraits of the newly explored western territory and the South American tropics to show a more extravagant side of the United States. Cole’s first major painting, “The Course of the Empire,” was a symbolistic illustration showing the five stages of an empire; which were the savage state, pastoral state, consummation of the empire, destruction, and finally desolation. The different canvases display the relationship between man and the earth.

Thomas Cole believed that human civilizations were not permanent, because of past empires rising and then falling. He said that men can dominate and create a majestic empire, but in time the hard built sturdy empire will fall. In the scenery Cole painted each scene in the same location, but used the different seasons, weather conditions, and time to make a more appropriate mood for each of his different paintings. Cole’s message was that the mother earth was in ultimate and supreme control over the human race and living beings; men cannot stop her will.

In the first canvas of “The Course of the Empire” or better known as “The Savage State” a grassy rich green bay is seen, and in the background smoke is seen rising from a cluster of teepees and mountain. The feel of the painting is natural, undomesticated land with a sense of newness. There are broken trees with thick underbrush and hunters trying to kill dinner. From far away a viewer could see a fire with savages gathering together as hunters are seen running by a stream with hunting weapons. The grisly gray clouds produce a mystifying feel to the mountain while the waves of the ocean brush against the shore.

This piece of art shows the primitive state of the world with the corporation of men. Thomas Cole wrote a description of the primitive state, “The Empire is asserted, although to a limited degree, over sea, land, and the animal kingdom. ” In the second part, also called “The Pastoral State,” The same area is used, but the perspective is altered. What’s different with the second state is that the trees and underbrush are more tamed the grass is lusher and it shows some people doing busy daily things.

It has shepards, soldiers, and working women doing chores and watching the children. Animals are domesticated to help with farming and work, houses are built, and more structures are seen. The mood is also different in this painting; the feeling a viewer gets is a more calm, relaxing, and joyful feeling. The image represents a time were man has altered his surroundings to better suit his needs and family, but still be in touch with nature. “The Consummation of Empire” there are huge advances in technology that the first and second states of an empire.

The perspective is shot at the bay, and it has many buildings, boats and walkways on or near the water, which is calm and serene. The scene shows man being well off and abundant. They overcame nature by making ways of basically living on the water. With “Destruction” the scene is dark and doomed. Man’s buildings and great architecture are destroyed by outside invaders and the people are dieing. Fighting and death is seen everywhere the waters are lashing violently and the clouds are deep and smoky.

The main point to this piece of art is to show that human empires don’t last and often fall in time. Nothing is forever. In the fifth and final part of “The Course of the Empire,” “Desolation” is seen. This one takes place during the night and the night sky is calm and clear. The moon is shining, the clouds are thin and serene, and the water is still and motionless. There are no humans present and the broken pillars and buildings are covered with dark green moss. The area and environment is very wild and untamed, the growth of the plants are out of hand.

On one side of the image two deer can be seen drinking in water that is now unused by humans. The main message of this portrait is that nature will always reign and will regain what she had lost to man. All of the plants and some animals have reappeared but the humans don’t. Cole had different views on the natural world and humans. He felt that America had a wild, untamed beauty to her and that human beings only destroy that beauty. He said that to walk with nature, as a poet is the necessary condition of a perfect artist.

He displayed American landscapes with a new vision in mind, but he also did not forget to make the pictures show the true essence and portray religious and figurative matters. Cole believed that men live and die just like plants and animals; in “The Course of the Empire” Cole used the worn mountains and dry rivers to represent the cycles nature goes through just like how humans go through. Cole’s art can symbolize that as the United States early colonies are fading, a new one is rising; just like as there is death there is also life.

The America Cole represents is a competitive, plentiful, one with a society ranked by classes. Cole Often painted nature in contrast to life. In his “The Oxbow” painting the dead trees and livings ones represented the cycle life goes through. From a far a viewer can see the tranquil bend of the river, a golden yellow light coming from the west, and a storm in the distance with some trees shot out on the nearside of the painting. The image is painted as if the viewers are taken in a moment of time. The artist can’t be seen at a first glance because he is greatly tiny in the picture, but he is in the image.

It seems that Cole tries to get the viewer to see beyond their field of vision to see nature’s colors, lights, and artistry. The storm can be seen as humans who will eventually wipeout the wild and replace it with its own possessions. Thomas Cole is one of the best realists out there. He made Americans and non-Americans see beauty in nature, opportunities, possibilities, and a future in America. He didn’t only inspire a nation, but he also inspired many artists to reach their goals in the art world. Cole was a brilliant, talented artist, and did a mighty fine job in effecting the art world.

The Last Judgement

Michelangelo Buonarroti. One of the greatest artists of all time. A man whose name has become synonymous with the word Masterpiece. The second of five brothers, Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475 at Caprese in Tuscany. His mother died young and when he was six he was placed with a wet nurse, in a family of stone cutters. His father realized how smart the boy was, he quickly put him in school, and there he learned and studied Latin. While at school he met Francesco Granacci, who was six years older than him and who was learning the art of painting and encouraged Michelangelo to follow.

That’s what he did, and now he’s one of the greatest painters of all time. He painted famous pieces like the “Bruges Madonna”, “tondo of the Holy Family and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. But one painting that stuck out in my mind and is one of my favorite paintings by Michelangelo is the Last Judgement. One of his most famous paintings, featuring a picture of the dammed being sent to hell. During the proceeding centuries, the Last Judgement scene has maintained it’s iconography without changing.

Christ, the judge is placed in the center, surrounded by the Apostles on thrones as, if they were in quiet review with the elect and the Reprobates on the opposite side. In this dramatic and swarming vision Michelangelo has completed the tough job of distinguishing the difference between the Elect, the Saints, and the Blessed, from the Damned and the Demons. The composition of the left side of the fresco shows the bodies rising with difficulty from the ground in different stages of decay. “Michelangelo must have had Ezeikiels words that refer to the Resurrection of the dead.

As with every motif, which stimulated his imagination, Michelangelo unites numerous episodes into a artificial sight had taken hold of both of Medieval mentality, and for reasons of realism. ” Michelangelo had referred to the drawing of the resurrection; in these he anticipated the theme of reconquering of vital energy and the more or less decisive separation of the earth. In order to show the tragedy of the great moment, Michelangelo imprints almost fatal movement on the humanity which gathers around Jesus.

The battle of the Centaurs was a reflection of the scheme of the battles of Alexander from Greek sculptures. In the judgement, the ancient idea of destiny and the Nemeses imprint on composition an archaic expressive value which renews, the decision of fates. “There is an monumental female figure, strongly modeled in the clouds in the left of the painting. She turns toward Christ, the judge and seizes a young girl who clasped her around the waste as an act of protection”. ( Abrams pg. 107 Michelangelo the painter) The two figures are on the edge of a cloud strip which serves as a sculptured base.

In Michelangelo’s work, the bodies pass from the sluggishness that joins them with the earth from which they rise with a great deal of difficulty, almost painfully. The ascent is carried out as a rescue in a joining between the colossal nudes”. (Chadwick pg. 324)They are still wrapped in laziness and falling backwards, held up by their reborn partner or friend and by the Angels. They are like lifeless bodies in a mission of a sudden new consciousness of a new beginning that projects them upwards. They seem attracted to a force much like the desire which, in Dante excite Paolo and Francesca.

It’s because of the divine will which calls them to him. Also in the painting, the kneeling Virgin Mary is placed right next to Christ, with his powerful gesture. She is placed in the nude with other figures is order to better establish her action. She is able to wear clothes as you can see from careful examination of the details of her figure. She is seen as her arms and turns imploringly to her son. Mary is no longer a path way between the waiting of the people and the supreme judge. She is gathered in the shadow of the threatening gestures of Christ.

She herself looks like she is almost frightened at the anger of her son. She is completely wrapped in the robes which show the spirit within her, she also seems to bury her face by folding her arms together and holding them close to her face. She seems very scared and frightened, she doesn’t know what else to do besides hide. “ The last Judgement was set up in zones corresponding to the horizontal placement of the lateral wall behind the altar and the illumination from the lost windows was symbolically replace with the representation of Christ”.

Brigstocke pg. 446 Dictionary of Art) The one thing that was immediately noticed about the painting of the Last Judgement is the way it was sectioned off. To the left and right, up and down. The dammed to Christ’s left and the saved on his right. Heaven on top and Hell on the bottom. “The equilibrium is established, calmly and discreetly, by the understated contrapposto of the arms and legs”. ( Morrow and Co. pg. 240 Michelangelo).

The lower section of the painting has the, with the rising of the Elect and the falling of the dammed, has the greatest variety of arrangements, but it does not interfere with the reciprocals between the two opposite zones. In one part a member already revived by the Divine, Christ, calls painfully pulls up his friend or partner, who still lies in the deep sleep of death. In another at the right of the painting, a couple rejects a demon. The whole bottom part of the painting is less crowded with figures, the bodies are being more spread out showing more of the sky. Each figure looks like a statue, perfectly defined by it’s own shape.

The nudity of the figures, the confused agitation of the groups held together in what looks like to be a last attempt of salvation, the lack of distinction between the various characters, who all look to be at the same level in the moment in the hour of the final judgement. ” Again Christ at the center is not to be seen as by the distinction of his clothes, or lack there of , or his other features, but he is recognized only because is placed in the clouds of heaven with great power and glory. “At the lords feet St. Lawrence and St. Bartholomew clouds of heaven and bare the news of Christ the savior.

One thing that you notice is that when St. Bartholomew died he was skinned alive, and while he’s kneeling before Christ he is holding his skin in his left hand”. (Abrams pg121) The angels in the painting who sound the trumpets and they also look to be showing the the books of good and the books of evil works to the alarmed humanity appear lower on the wall as if they were just floating on space or something. At the bottom of the painting there is a figure named Minos, the prince of hell. He is surrounded by a number of demons who have smiles on their faces and don’t seemed to be bothered.

Minos is covered partly by a object that sort of resembles a snake. This could show the form the devil took place in the story of Adam and Eve. All forms of the devil appear in hell, where the dammed are being taken. Also it shows the demons of hell grabbing and pulling the dammed into hell. There also seems to be a demon standing in a boat beating people with the long wooden paddle or stick. The top of the painting has Angels in heaven holding up cross, not on one side, but both sides. On the left and right there are about eleven Angels holding up this cross.

Waiting for the saved to come join them in heaven. They look unhappy and upset with no trace of a smile on their faces like the demons, the reason for this is because they are scared and afraid of what Christ might do. He does not look happy himself, and he is the one judging the saved opposed to the dammed. Anyone below Christ is being dragged to hell with Minos. They are the sinners, the people who can’t be trusted and those who have betrayed Christ.

“The Last Judgement was conceived as a cosmic swirling network of entwined and deformed figures centered on the Apollonian figure of stern, avenging Jesus”. g. 2823 The Encyclopedia of Art). Michelangelo was a brilliant artist and a brilliant man. He painted some of the most amazing pictures and scenes. He is also known for his great sculpting. His most famous being the Pieta (Mary Mourning the dead Christ in her arms). And another sculpture of David. His most famous paintings are of biblical pictured, the Sistine Chapel ceiling to the great Fresco of the Last Judgement. The way he gave great detail to certain parts of the pictures he did was amazing.

For example, the way who put in St. Bartholomew in the portrait underneath Jesus with him holding his own skin, or how he took the time to express the fear in Mary when she sees the wrath of her son. He’s just a great artist with the passion and desire to paint, he was so gifted and it’s just amazing how much he accomplished during his life and how much he did for the world of art and the science of art. I’ve learned so much from looking at the work of the great Michelangelo, he will always be remembered for his place in the world of art and for the wonderful paintings that he has done. And the one thing that I can say is that this, the Last Judgement is truly a masterpiece.

Roman art vs Greek art

Throughout history art has consistently reflected the cultural values and social structures of individual civilizations. Ancient art serves as a useful tool to help historians decipher some important aspects of ancient culture. From art we can determine the basic moral and philosophical beliefs of many ancient societies. The differences in arts purpose in Greece and Rome, for example, show us the fundamental differences in each cultures political and moral system.

The primary objective of Greek art was to explore the order of nature and to convey philosophical thought, while Roman art was used primarily as a medium to project the authority and importance of the current ruler and the greatness of his empire. This change in the meaning of art from Greek to Roman times shows the gradual decline in the importance of intellectualism in ancient western culture. The earliest example of how art reflects the basic moral and philosophical belief systems in individual cultures is seen in the Ancient Egyptian empire.

The art of this time was highly idealized and mainly focused on displaying the divinity and importance of the Pharaoh. The most famous examples of this Theocratic influence on art are the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Chefren. The massive size and artistic perfection of these works, which were mainly dedicated to expressing the divinity of the Pharaoh, show that Egyptian society was based primarily on mythological law. The highly idealized, mythological style of Egyptian art suggests that Egyptian culture as a whole was not concerned with scientific and mathematical truths.

Arts reflection of culture and society extends to the Greek and Roman empires, and shows the importance of intellectualism within each culture. It is apparent that from the beginnings of Greek art, meticulous order and precision were held on a high plateau. The Protogeometric and Geometric periods are good examples of such advanced thinking. The beginnings of the Protogeometric period display a distinct interest in mathematical order. During this period, artists decorated vases with circles and symmetrical patterns.

As the dominant style changed from Protogeometric to Geometric, this order and precision was amplified. The popular circle and semicircle patterns were replaced by linear designs, zigzags, triangles, diamonds, and meanders (Cunningham and Reich, 40). The increased interest in order seems to have been a reflection of the Greek fascination with nature, and mans relationship to nature. This interest in the order of nature eventually evolved into a fascination with the human form and the idea of human perfection.

The way in which the perfect human form was portrayed by Greek artists was of a highly intellectual nature. The early sculptors of the period explored basic human anatomy and its aesthetic value, creating such sculptures as the Kritios Boy, of the Acropolis. The precision and realism of this sculpture captured a more accurate portrayal of the human form than ever before seen. This accomplishment in itself showed strong advancements in intellectual thought, and inspired future generations to further explore aesthetic and order.

Artist such as Polyclitius later envisioned human perfection as a series of mathematical proportions. The Doryphoros, a sculpture done by Polycleatus himself, serves as an excellent example of how art reflects philosophical thought. This sculpture was constructed using a strict mathematical formula that was believed to represent the perfect male body. (Cunningham and Reich, 87) Greek philosophers such as Aristotle further explored the value and importance of visual perfection and its effect on human consciousness.

This exploration was later developed into a branch of philosophy known as Aesthetics. Aesthetics studied the nature and expression of beauty through art as well as the psychological responses to that beauty. Aesthetics arguably represented the highest intellectual point in Greek art and continued to influence philosophers and artists throughout the Hellenistic period. The fact that Greek civilization reached a point at which its art reflected some of the most refined thought ever recorded in the ancient world shows the importance of intellectualism in this great culture.

In contrast, Roman art was used as propaganda that displayed the authority and greatness of Romes current ruler; this in no way reflected evolution of thought. The Romans borrowed creative artistic ideas from the cultures that they conquered and used them to convey powerful and mythological imagery. This is first seen in the early Roman republic. Artworks such as The Bust of Cicero, modified from such Etruscan works as The Head of the Old Couple on the Volterra sarcophagus, served as a vessel with which artists could project the desired political appearance of politicians and statesmen could project .

Artists began to use detailed craftsmanship with which they could portray human emotion and in turn use physical appearance to make a statement about politicians character. (Cunningham and Reich, 144) Needless to say, popular art of the time was commissioned mostly by politicians and statesmen who wished to better their standing with the people they ruled. Art was no longer used to convey philosophical thought or to explore the delicate balance of nature.

By the time of Augustus Caesar and the beginnings of Imperial Rome, the empire had spread as far east as Greece and as far south as Egypt. Only a short time after the Romans entered the Hellenistic era did they begin to recognize the greatness of precision of Greek art. The Romans were quick to adopt the most prevalent characteristics of this art and incorporate it into their own. Roman artists began to use the Greek ideas of detailed anatomy and mathematical proportions to depict the bodies of their rulers.

This, in combination with use of mythological figures to show the divinity of the Caesar, brought Roman propagandistic art to a new level. The Augustus of Prima Porta is an excellent example of such Greek influences. The body of this sculpture is based on that of a Greek God figure such as the Hermes, by Praxtiteles. The artist who was responsible for the carving of the Augustus highly modifies the so-called perfect form in order to convey certain symbols of power.

The most notable difference between this work and the original Greek works is that the subject is clothed with extravagant armor and drapery. The decorative breastplate worn by Augustus in this portrait is a symbol of empirical conquest, specifically, the defeat of the Parthians. The unusual magnitude of his arms is a symbol of the supreme authority he held over his empire. At his feet, a small sculpture of Cupid was carved in an attempt to show Augustuss divine lineage (Cunningham and Reich, 150).

Every aspect of this portrait is highly idealized and centered around the greatness and divinity of Augustus. Because little attempt was made to capture the actual physical appearance of the Emperor, this sculpture can not be considered a portrait but more accurately, a profile of greatness. Such works display the political domination and lack of originality in Roman art. The simplification of art during this period reflects an overall simplification of thought and decline in the importance of intellectualism in western culture.

Michelangelo’s Pieta Essay

To see a scorned, beaten, and crucified man lying dead in the arms of his mother is an image, which can inspire overwhelming emotions within the heart of an observer. Yet, for the longest time I’ve had such difficulty looking at Michelangelo’s Pieta or any piece of art in this way. To me, art has never been about expressing oneself or conveying a message to others, but simply creating an image for the sake of beauty and perfection. When I look at the Pieta I see a cold, solid mass of marble carved by the skilled hands of a master.

I look at it in terms of the technique Michelangelo used, the understanding he had of the human form, the movement within the composition, and ultimately the precision and realism with which the piece was rendered. For it has been upon these standards that I have based my concept of what art is. In my eyes, art has always been just a unique ability that I have. I feel driven by it, not to express some deep emotion, but almost as an obsession to perfect my own ability.

Every stroke of a brush and every motion of a file has been to make what I’ve created more detailed, graceful, and real. I’m only now beginning to realize how much more there is to art than what I had previously understood. When I look at a piece of my work, I see the detail and realism of it, yet somehow I feel that these aspects are all that it possesses. I wonder whether or not I’ve almost turned my sense of art into a science that lacks the essential characteristics of art, which are expression and emotion.

Yet now I have also begun to see that the strictness and precision of my art truly is an expression of who I am, and that through it, one can understand how I perceive the world around me. I feel uncomfortable in a world where nearly every aspect of our lives is becoming less clearly defined and where right and wrong are continually forsaken for a vague sense of truth. So in some respects, art provides me with the sense of structure, order, and continuity, which I feel, is lacking in modern life.

I’ve found that the meaning of art goes far beyond any technique or style, and that for each individual, art is a reflection of his or her own unique identity. While the touching image of a mother and child or the powerful story of the scorned savior in the Pieta may bring tears to the eyes of some. In my eyes the greatest beauty and the deepest meaning exists in the grace and realism that lies within every detail of this masterpiece.

Introduction to the Visual Arts

Throughout history art has played an intricate role in society’s perception of life. Art is used as form of expressionism be it physical or emotional, religious or the mockery of religion. The birth of new artistic eras were due to the technological advancements of the world. Below are a few examples of works of art that from different era in our humanity. Francisco de Stefano’s, named Pesellino during the renaissance, A Miracle of Saint Silvester is a scene representative of an episode of Saint Silvester’s life who was pope during the reign of Constantine the Great.

Originally this work forms the lower portion of an altarpiece. The scene may be recognized as showing the miracle by which the Pope Saint Silvester convinced Helen, the mother of the emperor Constantine, that her son’s conversion to Christianity was justifiable. Saint Silvester is shown bringing back to life a bull that had been killed by a Jewish Doctor, who had argued for his faith. Witnessing this godly act all present at this scene were converted to Christianity. Helen is seen enthroned under the right hand loggia, the Emperor under the left hand, while the Jewish pagans witness the miracle.

Pesellino uses rich colors that entice the spectators’ attention, which was common during the Renaissance. The use of orange, blue, and gold allows the artist to draw the spectators attention to what he feels is imperative within the work. Pesellino composes with an extremely finished style which is apparent with the detail used in the facial features as well as the gold trim that is which is shown on all present within the work. This style of painting opened the door for many artists who followed. Andrea Del Sarto’s Saint John the Baptist only one of few paintings in America composed by Del Sarto.

He composed this work of the patron saint of Florence at the height of his artistic career. The harmonious balance composition, delicate modeling, and glowing tonalities are hallmarks of his artistic style. The graceful design and blending of rich colors reflect the idealized style of the High Renaissance. He also uses Christian and classical traditions such as the portrayal of a coarse hair shirt, pointing hand, and reed cross are representative of Jesus Christ. The use of light on the right arm and pointing hand draws the spectator to focus attention to the cross symbolizing Christ.

The use of analogous colors, red and green gives the spectator a genuine portrayal of human skin and stimulates our eyes. The use of golden halo and ivy reef alludes to Bacchus, who was considered a pagan antetype of both Christ and the Baptist during the Renaissance. The late Roman Hunting Scene is mosaic that was escavated from Antioch in three pieces of pavement. The sheer size of this work is breath taking, 20 ft. 6. 25 inches X 23 ft. 9. 75 inches. The mosaic depicts the hunting of dangerous game, an aristocratic pastime which is represented throughout Roman work.

At first glance from a distance one may mistake the pavement to be a carpet. At the center position is a hunter surrounded by animals in a pattern that doesn’t clutter the mosaic. The animals are portrayed more naturalistic than the humans and were used to fill the voids in the mosaic. The tiles are arranged in an arching motion, which gives the illusion of movement to the spectator. Hunters on foot and horseback attack a variety of animals that are highly placed with in the animal kingdom. There is a sense of grotesqueness due to the portrayal of blood with in the mosaic.

The hunters seem to consider their conquests as sporty due to their facial expressions. The hunters dress in a Hellenistic style. Mosaics were produced by workshops consisting of mastercraftsmen and apprentices. Mosaicists painted or scored the basic designs ad figures into the wet surface. Tesserae were then laid onto a thin bed of sort mortar. Once the entire floor was finished, the surface was polished with an abrasive stone and fine sand. An excellent piece of architecture is the Chapter House from west central France.

It served the purpose of prayer, study, and reflection. The gothic style of the arches, which support the ceiling, is apparent through the pointed rise among them. The use of the arch, a Roman quality, and presence of a vaulted ceiling also reveals many common French and Spanish architectural qualities. The ceiling is divided into six compartments with the vaults springing from piers in the corners of the room. The two columns support provides for the base of the Chapter House. The stain glass windows provide for illuminating sunlight and a refuge from the summer heat.

The fireplace was created for the simple fact that the religious community would gather daily to discuss business and current affairs. In conclusion, each time period provided it’s own form of expressionism be it in paintings, sculpture, mosaics, or architecture. Medieval, Classical, and Renaissance art contain similar qualities but meet spectators’ different needs. They touch their viewers in different ways as shown above. Each work of art remains true to the values that are present within society but each has a unique twist which entices the spectator. Perhaps art is the best record keeper of the world’s history.

Graphic Art Essay

It’s Super Bowl time! Everyone always looks forward to the Super Bowl not just for the big football game, but for their well known hilarious commercials that come out. The job I researched is in charge of making those funny commercials that people can’t wait to see. I did my research on being a Graphic artist. I chose to research being a graphic artist, because I find it very interesting, and hope maybe to pursue this career. Graphic artists depend incredibly on the public.

Graphic artists create artwork, illustrate or promote products, services and idea as well as art work used to improve appearance or attract attention (Michigan Occupational Information system 1). They create advertisements to teach the public about products the public may purchase (Sauer 1). I find their work very exciting. People depend on graphic artists greatly to choose what is the best advertisement for their companies. They plan design and draw illustrations for displays, billboards, catalogs, books, magazines, newspapers, television, and packaging.

Michigan Occupational Information system 1) Being a graphic artist is a rewarding job because you can see the results of your hard work. I feel that I am a very creative and artistic person, therefore I would be very good at this job. I work well with people and can have the patience to deal with the public. What does their work consist of? Graphic artists have six general job tasks in developing a commercial or in their art. First they study the design, layout or propose a sketch. Second they select the technique best suited to produce the desired visual effects to conform to the printing method specified.

Next they formulate the concept and create the design. The following step is to produce the details from memory, live models, manufactured products, or reference material. They discuss the illustrations at various stages of completion with appropriate individuals and make necessary changes or solve problems. Last they send their work to be printed (Michigan Occupational Information system 1). Most graphic artists use computer software, which are the internet, C-D ROM, etc. , to design new images (“Visual Arts” 240).

Graphic design is more commonly done on a Mackintosh than on a PC; many have both types of computers though (“Graphic Designers” 158). On their computers they can create real images of people, nature, etc. for their work (“Visual Arts” 239). Graphic artists are not definitely fine artists, because they can use their computers for their work, although they may be great at painting or drawing (“Graphic Designers” 158). To create good images on their computers graphic artists must be familiar with typefaces and how to manipulate them just right for an effect.

They must also be familiar with classic design and have a good knowledge of how colors, shapes, and layouts effect the viewer’s psychology (“Graphic Designers” 158). A Graphic artist may work with a team or alone. The team may have an art director giving general supervision. Though many may work with a group the majority of graphic artists work alone. Many have the same set of clients for a base income before they get new jobs as freelancers (Michigan Occupational Information System 1). Generally the area in which graphic artists work is clean and well lit.

Their offices might be in places such as office buildings, art studios, department stores, or printing industrial plants. Artists spend most of their time by a computer or at a drawing board (Michigan Occupational System 1). What about the money? “Earnings for a self employed graphic artists vary widely” (“Visual Arts” 241). Freelance artists can set their own rates etc. , therefore their salary is very different from each other or from a salary artists working for a company. The top 10% of graphic artists make more than $43,000, where as the bottom 10% earn less than $15,000 (“Visual Arts” 241).

Working hours are a big factor on whether to go into an occupation or not. Commercial artists on salary usually work 35-40 hours weekly. “They may be required to work irregular hours over overtime during emergencies to meet a deadline” (Michigan Occupational System 1). Graphic artists employed by publishing companies and art and design studios generally work a standard 40-hour week. Freelance artists have flexible, irregular, and long hours (“Visual Arts” 240). Self employed graphic artists can set their own hours, but may spend a lot of time and effort with customers and clients, to help establish their reputation (“Visual Arts” 240).

According to Marcus Cambron, the photographer at Visual Presentations they do a lot of work that “lasts all year around,” for their big annual production of Thunder Over Louisville. “Thunder is our biggest event and it can take a lot of time to coordinate. ” (M. Cambron) The process of designing can be pretty simple. Once a design has been approved the graphic designer prepares the design for professional production or printing. “The printer may require a ‘mechanical’ in which the artwork and copy are arranged on a white board just as it will be photographed.

The designer may also be asked to submit an electronic copy of the design (“Graphic Designers” 158). How do graphic artists effect our lives? “A lot of products we use everyday were designed by commercial artists. ” Commercial artists design many of the television and radio shows, about sale products. Artists that specialize in video presentations make most of the commercials that you see on TV. (Sauer 1) “Artists may also be responsible for the overall layout and design of magazines, newspapers, journals, and other publications” (“Visual Arts” 240).

Video games, touch screen displays in stores and even laser light are all products of multimedia graphic designers (“Graphic Designers”160). Although they do things for commercials they also do things that affect our lives through other big companies. Some designers focus on “Corporate Identity” such as logos and stationary for a company. (“Graphic Designer” 158) An example is again my job shadow company. They do a lot of work for Kroger by producing all their commercials and advertisements. David Cambron the graphic artist for Visual Presentations said “Kroger is our biggest customer. D. Cambron)

So graphic artists play a big role in our lives and we depend a lot on them to let us know what new products etc. that are out or what companies there are that we may need to call etc. Similar to any other occupation, graphic artists have certain educational requirements. “Artists usually develop their skills through the Bachelor’s degree program or other post-secondary training in art or design (“Visual Arts” 239). According to a survey done by the American Institute of Graphic Art 9 out of 10 artists have a college degree.

Among that same group 6 out of the 10 majored in graphic design. Again out of the same group nearly 2 out of the10 majored in fine arts and 2 out of the 10 have a Masters degree (“Visual Arts” 241). The best way to enter the field of graphic design is to have a strong portfolio (“Graphic Designers” 159). “Evidence of appropriate talent and skill, is displayed in an artists portfolio which they create usually through college. ” The portfolio is a collection of hand made, computer generated, or printed examples of an artist’s best work.

Assembling a successful portfolio requires skills usually developed in a Bachelors degree program or other post secondary training in art (“Visual Arts” 241). Beginners can create their portfolio using work from school, in art school, from part time jobs they did, or freelance jobs. The portfolio should continually be updated, to show growing skills, so that it will always be ready for possible job changes (“Graphic Designers”159). Internships also provide great opportunities for artists to develop and make their portfolios better (“Visual Arts” 241).

Competition for this job is expected from the freelancers and the salaried jobs because of the glamorous and exciting images that this talent attract many people who carry this talent. (Amirault 239) Chances for employment is very good for graphic designers through 2005, especially those involved with computer design. (Brymer 239) About 60% of Graphic artists are self employed about 7 times the amount in all professional occupations. (Amirault 239) Employment is expected to grow faster than average occupations through the year 2006. (Amirault 241)

Part of researching my career was to Job Shadow someone in the Graphic arts field. I went to Visual Presentations who does a lot of work for Kroger advertisements and commercials. They also, are in charge of the Advertisements for Thunder over Louisville and for the zoo on Halloween. I learned a lot on my visit to Visual Presentations. I had hands on experience making a commercial for Thunder over Louisville. You really need to be computer educated to be a graphic artist. With out computer skills you can not become a successful graphic artist.

Everything that he showed me was on his computers. Graphic artists are needed today and their buisness will continue to grow. They are a bog part our lives. Whenever you turn in the TV, drive down the highway and see a billboard, or even some of the mail you get, you see the work of a graphic artist. I hope to someday become a Graphic artist and maybe open my own buisness. I know that my research has helped me a lot to know exactly what I want to be, and has helped give me some guidance in reaching my dream.

Modernist Art In Europe

Herbert Herberts thesis of his essay is to investigate the arrival of the machine and modern art and its complexities. During WWI, modernist painting and sculpture paid major attention to machinery, science and industry. Modern art during that time has become a central factor in our culture due to its dominance in public art, museums, media and literature. Herbert brings in background information and stated the avant-garde of Pisarro, van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, etc. The industrial revolution had a stronger grip on society during the 19th entury, and during this time, modern art was associated with primitive nature.

During the rise of industrial art their was a rise of landscapes and paintings of rural everyday life. Also, the new technique and style which became the handcraft to modern art was so avant-garde from the academic art. Modern art was involved with cubism, futurism and vorticism. He explains that all of these arts consisted of the importance of handcraft, creativity, individuality, and original expression. Herbert keeps bringing in the fact the machine was the leading sign of modernity. There was no more of a gap between handwork and the machine.

Also, that the machine became so important in modern art because it was now a part of daily urban life, due to subways, telephones, automobiles, sewing machines, bicycles, televisions, cinema, and more advanced photographic and advertising developments. Herbert states that although the machine became a large factor in art that it was not incorporated in the work of all modernists, such as Picasso and Braque. The author then describes the modern art in epic cubism, and how it focused on geometric architecture and structures of echanical parts with organic rhythm of daily life.

And how Italian futurism dealt with modern city life, but with more immediacy, more implied movement. It was similar to cubist but with more calculations. The cubo-futurists in Russia combined machinery with modernity but did not require the latest industrial form. The Russian Revolution of 1917 led to the adoption of the abstract language. Artists were now considered constructor-inventor because they gave engineering a new creative form. But in France there was no equivalence to Bauhaus or the Constructivists schooling.

The new artistic energies came from the vanguard. Its government did not want radical change. There was the vanguard embrace of modern industry with aesthetic clarity which is related to French culture. Herbert concludes that in modern art there was a very close relationship between art and industry which considering history was avant-garde for its time. I felt that this essay was very clear and to the point. I found it easy to read and somewhat enjoyable. Although I wasnt too sure of Herberts main thesis I found his essay interesting.

Photography, History and Art

Capturing images on film has fascinated the human spirit for centuries In the 16th century artists and scientists used light passing through a small hole in a dark room to project inverted images on the opposite wall. Later the hole was replaced with a lens and by the 18th century a portable box had replaced the room. In 1727, it was discovered that certain chemicals turned dark when exposed to light.

The first attempt to use these chemicals to record the image of a camera was made by Thomas Wedgwood in about 1800. This first attempt was unsuccessful. In 1839, a Frenchmen named Louis Daguerre produced a metal icture called the Daguerreotype. Photography, History and Art of 379) Artistic Photographic images first began appearing in 1889, by Peter Emerson. He came up with the first idea that there should be 2 types of photography, artistic and practical. Emerson inspired a new group of photographers with exciting new ideas and plans. (Photography, History and Art of 380)

By the early 20th century, a network of artistic photographers existed; including the Linked Ring of Brotherhood in London (founded in 1892) and the Photo Secession in New York (founded in 1902). This new movement produced many xceptional photographers one of them being, Alfred Stieglitz. Photography, History and Art of 381) A person who has played a major role in the development of photography as an art form is Alfred Stieglitz.

Stieglitz was born in 1864 to wealthy Jewish parents. He was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was educated in photography in Berlin, Germany. His works spanned 2 centuries, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Photography was his passion and his search for honesty was his obsession. He tried to illustrate his passion and obsession in his work. His photography was the medium though which he expressed imself (Lowe 39).

His background and family life was influenced by an emphasis on education. His family emigrated from Europe to the United States. There is not much information about Stieglitzs family life between their return to Europe in 1866 and their move in 1871 to New York. At school in Hoboken, Alfred became actively interested in baseball. This love of the game of baseball would continue throughout his life. Alfreds detailed descriptions of the thrills of sandlot baseball took on some of the color of reporting that kept him glued to the radio during the World Series (Lowe 39).

The feats he described at age seven were extraordinary. At this young age the intensity of his efforts to excel and the dependence that led him to be inventive about the rules of the game of life. At age 8, Alfred moved from Hoboken across the Hudson to Manhattan. That year Stieglitz and his twin siblings started classes at the Charlier Institute a prestigious private school for boys. Family members described Stieglitz when he was a child as delicate, poetic, and moody (Lowe 45). In June of 1879, Alfred graduated from Townsend Harris High School.

Thus, at the age of 15, he as enrolled as a freshman at the College of the City of New York. Later he returned to Germany to study photochemistry. After ten years in Europe, He returned to New York City and people there had already knew of his works. He became a partner in the Photochrome Engraving Co. He became interested in promoting photography as a whole and artistic expression. He worked as Editor of the American Amateur Photographer. He shed and edited his own magazine Camera Work, from 1903 to 1917. His periodical changed photography for the world. He also set up and judged national exhibits of Pictorialist photography.

He looked ver the 291 Photo-Secession Gallery, where he and others tried to awake the American public to modern European movements in visual arts (Lowe 47). As a photographer himself, he became to feel for the New York life and take pictures of it. His work was considered inappropriate for artistic treatment in photography. His personal style evolved the influence of German painting and Japanese woodblock and two images embody the reality of time. After the closing of the 291 and his magazine, Camera Work. He went back to his own work. (Lowe 48) He took pictures, which would try and convey an emotional and psychological eaning.

Alfred couldnt handle life without a gallery. Between the years of 1917 and 1925 he used rooms at the Anderson Galleries, to promote work of a group of American modernists in both painting and photography. He also opened two other galleries after that. He died at the age of 82 in 1946 (Lowe 50). Stieglitz captured images in time, which is one of the greatest marvels to modern society. His pictures tell a great story. The story can be ill fated or can be delightful. All stories have to be told and thats what I would like to do through the lens of a camera. as the medium though which he expressed himself.

His background and family life was influenced by an emphasis on education. His family emigrated from Europe to the United States. There is not much information about Stieglitzs family life between their return to Europe in 1866 and their move in 1871 to New York. At school in Hoboken, Alfred became actively interested in baseball. This love of the game of baseball would continue throughout his life. Alfreds detailed descriptions of the thrills of sandlot baseball took on some of the color of reporting that kept him glued to the radio during the World Series Lowe 39).

The feats he described at age seven were extraordinary. At this young age the intensity of his efforts to excel and the dependence that led him to be inventive about the rules of the game of life. At age 8, Alfred moved from Hoboken across the Hudson to Manhattan. That year Stieglitz and his twin siblings started classes at the Charlier Institute a prestigious private school for boys. Family members described Stieglitz when he was a child as delicate, poetic, and moody (Lowe 45). In June of 1879, Alfred graduated from Townsend Harris High School.

Thus, at the age of 15, he was enrolled as a freshman at the College of the City of New York. Later he returned to Germany to study photochemistry. After ten years in Europe, He returned to New York City and people there had already knew of his works. He became a partner in the Photochrome Engraving Co. He became interested in promoting photography as a whole and artistic expression. He worked as Editor of the American Amateur Photographer. He shed and edited his own magazine Camera Work, from 1903 to 1917. His periodical changed photography for the world.

He also set up and udged national exhibits of Pictorialist photography. He looked over the 291 Photo-Secession Gallery, where he and others tried to awake the American public to modern European movements in visual arts. As a photographer himself, he became to feel for the New York life and take pictures of it. His work was considered inappropriate for artistic treatment in photography. His personal style evolved the influence of German painting and Japanese woodblock and two images embody the reality of time. After the closing of the 291 and his magazine, Camera Work. He went back to his own work.

He took ictures, which would try and convey an emotional and psychological meaning. Alfred couldnt handle life without a gallery. Between the years of 1917 and 1925 he used rooms at the Anderson Galleries, to promote work of a group of American modernists in both painting and photography. He also opened two other galleries after that. He died at the age of 82 in 1946. Stieglitz captured images in time, which is one of the greatest marvels to modern society. His pictures tell a great story. The story can be ill fated or can be delightful. All stories have to be told and thats what I would like to do through the lens of a camera.

The art of Fernando Botero

The art of Fernando Botero is widely known, revered, paraphrased, imitated and copied, For many, his characteristic rounded, sensuous forms of the human figure, animals, still lifes and landscapes represent the most easily identifiable examples of the modern art of Latin America. For others, he is a cultural hero. To travel with Botero in his native Colombia is to come to realize that he is often seen less as an artist and more as a popular cult figure.

In his native Medelln he is mobbed by people wanting to see him, touch him or have him sign his name to whatever substance they happen to be carrying. On the other hand, Botero’s work has been discredited by those theorists of modern art whose tastes are dictated more by intellectual fashion than by the perception of the power of his images. Botero is undoubtedly one of the most successful artists in both commercial and popular terms, and an artist whose paintings deal with many of the issues that have been at the heart of the Latin American creative process in the twentieth century.

An indispensable figure on many international art and social scenes on at least three continents, Botero’s ‘persona’ might be compared to that of one of the seventeenth -century artists he so much admires, Peter Paul Rubens. Rubens represents the epitome of the standard notions of the “baroque”. His own fleshy, eroticized figures exist in a world of exuberance and plenitude in both the realms of the sacred and the profane. Like Rubens, Botero is an individual whose intense engagement with the world around him enriches his perceptions, heightens his discernment of both the material and spiritual nature of specific things, places and people.

Also in the manner of Rubens, Botero celebrates the palpable, quantifiable tangibilities of earthly existence without slighting more ethereal values. Rubens was a diplomat by both profession and character. Polished in manner and eloquent in his words, he moved easily within many realms of Baroque society in his native Flanders as well as in Italy, England, France and Spain. Botero is similarly peripatetic and likewise gifted in his comprehension of the wide variety of human values and emotions.

He is, in both his personality and his art, as comfortable with bullfighters as with presidents, with nuns as with socialites. His images of this range of types presents his audiences with a panoramic view of the noble and the ignoble of modern society on both sides of the Atlantic, above as well as below the Equator. The term “Botero” has become something of a generic word. In the popular conception, a “Botero” is a man or a woman – or any other animate or inanimate thing – possessed of large, rounded proportions.

There are “Botero forks” and “Botero cats” just as there are “Botero women” or “Botero children”. For many, the concept of “Botero” represents a celebration of sensuality or a reveling in voluptuousness. However, through international exhibitions along some of the most famous streets of the world’s largest cities, his paintings, drawings and monumental sculptures have become so well known that their often complex meanings, in many cases l have become all but obscured.

While Botero’s art is tangibly present as an indispensable part of popular visual culture in the Western imagination, its deeper references and the processes of its creation have become camouflaged by both its highly visible public profile and its commercial appropriation. The art of Botero must be read on a variety of planes. The levels of meaning unfold when scrutinized under the lens of both his historical development and the intentions of the messages that his paintings, drawings and sculptures convey Botero’s career developed out of a virtual void of art historical tradition.

The semi- isolated cities and towns of central Colombia had little contact with the larger world of ”culture” in its conventional contexts when the artist was developing his talent in the 1940s and early 1950s. In another context, however, Botero availed himself of artistic modes distinct from the modernity of the major urban cultural centers of South America at this time. His observation of the colonial images, both painted and sculpted, in the churches of his youth, served as a rich spring that fed the imagination of a child already endowed with a craving to make art.

The religious paintings and sculptures of provincial chapels or home altars naive expressions of religiosity according to standard classifications and hierarchies of art, but central to the spiritual nourishment of the populace throughout the centuries in urban and rural Latin America – are key to understanding the beginnings of the aesthetic of Botero, Later he would excavate his memories of such things, re-encountering and reinventing them in his studio, giving new life to the strong colors, exaggerated forms and expressive faces of the people and things that he had observed in the religious art and the popular commercial prints that were a natural part of his life as a child and a young man in Medelln.

The intersection of the popular and ”high” in art has been critically important to the various discourses of modernity, from the first decades of the twentieth century onward. Botero has engaged in these dialogues between the popular and the elevated, discovering in both aspects that would form critical components of his distinct form of expression. Fernando Botero’s self-identification as a man and an artist from and of Colombia is the single most outstanding characteristic of his art.

In fact, one could cite works in virtually every genre and analyze them according to the specifically Colombian elements present in them. We have seen already how in his religious compositions, such as Our Lady of Colombia, the flag connotes national identity. Banners with the national colors rise from the Virgin’s feet, and the Christ Child holds a tiny Colombian flag. National flags make their appearance in many other works by the artist, and there are numerous instances in which the national colors are introduced in more subtle ways. In the 1989 Man with a Dog, for example, the sitter stands within the courtyard of a colonial house of the type that could easily be seen in any village or town in Colombia – or in the colonial district of Bogota known as La Candelaria.

Its tiled roof, green woodwork and banana trees instantly locate us within a specific ambience. Yet when we further observe the man’s clothing, we realize that his shirt and tie echo the red, yellow and blue of the Colombian flag. In the 1983 painting entitled La Colombiana (Colombiana Woman), a woman in a yellow dress stands just inside the door of a house which could also be located anywhere in the country. Her voluminous red hair is piled high on her head. Hands with perfectly manicured nails painted red hold a cigarette and a cigarette box, seemingly offering one to the viewer. Over her left ear there is a tiny bow which also bears the red, yellow and blue colors.

While not creating individualized portraits, the artist is instead fashioning a picture of a national – or a national ‘type’ – which is as alive in his imagination and as representative of Colombia as any famous political, artistic or literary superstar. Even in his images of significant historical individuals as well as in his artistic paraphrases, Botero will include seemingly incongruous references to Colombia. In the 1990 canvases of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI , the eighteenth-century French monarchs stand outside a house on a typical Colombian village street. A tiny green bird perches on the hand of Marie Antoinette, and both of the rulers are flanked by Colombian flags, which also serve to frame the scene, and suggest that the pictures might represent theatrical performances.

It is, however, the timeless and endlessly repetitive life of the small towns of the interior of the country that provide immeasurable fascination for Botero. Although he grew up in Medellin, he and his family would spend parts of the summers in a village at some distance from the city. This place, El Escorial, remains today fairly similar to its aspect of the 1930s. In many of his paintings Botero recalls both the mundane and the extraordinary events of life in such a town. In a painting such as the 1995 House, a woman stands in her doorway observing the passing scene. Nothing seems to change, but we know that any instant something amazing – wonderful or horrifying – could happen. In a 1994 composition we observe just such an occurrence.

The Woman Falling from a Balcony portrays a young woman, dressed only in a green slip and green highheeled shoes, flying through the air as she is observed by a man standing below. Does this represent a terrible accident, a suicide or a vision of the observer? We can only know the ultimate outcome in our imaginations. In paintings such as this Botero seems to be creating visual analogues to the extraordinary imagination of Gabriel Garca Mrquez who, in his novels and short stories, has created a world that may be described as both banal and wondrous. The imagination of the painter, like that of the writer, conjures up fantastical happenings in village settings in which, seemingly, little or nothing changes throughout the years.

Joan Of Arc By Jules Basten Lepage

“Joan of Arc,” was painted by the French realist artist Jules Bastien-Lepage in 1879. “After the province of Lorraine was lost to Germany following the Franco-Prussian War in 1821, The Frenchmen saw in Joan of Arc a new and powerful symbol. In 1875, Bastien-Lepage, a native of Lorraine began to make studies for a picture of her. In the present painting, exhibited in the Salon of 1880, Joan is shown receiving her revelation in her parents garden. Behind her are Saints Michael, Margaret, and Catherine. (Caption next to painting in The Metropolitan)”

Jules Bastien-Lepage creates a realistic atmosphere, including a supernatural, religious-like presence within his painting. Oil on canvas was used to create the realistic quality of the work. By closely examining the artist’s technique, it is clear that he uses delicate brush strokes in a true to life manner. The colors, and use of light seem to be painted in a layered fashion to give the landscape a sense of depth. The background of the painting is a garden which include foliage and brush that surrounds the primary focus of the painting, Joan of Arc.

The artist put a great effort into the details of the scene. Bastien-Lepage uses a distinct realistic quality in his painting which is visible in each individual leaf and branch. Various hues of earth tones, green and brown being the most evident, are blended together in the garden scene. In the foreground of the painting is Joan of Arc. She is painted with a seemingly thicker paint technique. This makes her a more easily visible aspect in the painting, and catches the onlookers eye.

Joan is dressed in a long brown skirt and blue-gray shirt with white underneath which is the typical clothing style of the 19th century. The clothing is painted to show its wear and tear. Her features and her figure are quite realistic. She seems to have a calm, but troubled expression on her face, as though she is deep in thought. Overall she is painted in a very detailed manner. A less visible, yet still present and important aspect of the painting are the three figures positioned behind Joan, and in front of the house.

The figures are somewhat transparent, and ghostly. Their presence adds a spiritual and or religious feeling to the scene. These three figures presence blends into the scenery. Al three have halos above their heads, and serene looks on their faces. The saint on the right is dressed in what looks to be armor. He looks brave, and as if he is standing guard or going into battle. The middle saint is a praying angel. She is in a dress with a gauzy, white presence around her.

This whiteness gives her an ethereal quality which Bastien-Lepage has painted quite effectively, and adds to the spiritual feeling of the scene. Her presence in the painting seems to represent chastity and virtue. The last figure looks like a young girl or child, who is kneeling with her face hidden in her hands almost as if she is upset. Perhaps Bastien-Lepage painted these three saints not only to illustrate Joan receiving her visions, but to illustrate the bravery, religious yet childlike figure that she was.

Behind Joan of Arc, in the background of the picture is a house. Bastien-Lepage painted the house so that the masonry is visible. The house seems to be small in size, plain, and quaint. Surrounding the house is shrubbery, trees, and more of the garden which is seen throughout the painting. This painting of Joan of Arc is very significant. Bastien-Lepage is able to effectively depict Joan as the true heroine that she was. This is significant because at the time there were not so many women heroines like her.

Raphael: The Madonna of the Candelabra

During the Italian Renaissance Raphael was one of the most influential artists. He painted many brilliant pieces, mastering the use of depth, perspective, and the use of shadow and light. Throughout his life, Raphael used the Madonna as a reoccurring subject in his work. One example of this subject is the Madonna of the Candelabra. This dark shadowy portrayal exemplifies the pure and humanistic ideals of the Madonna that made Raphael’s versions so well known and loved throughout the ages. The timeless beauty and grace that he captured and the realistic qualities of his work are unparalleled.

The Madonna of the Candelabra is oil on panel, a medium common to the time. It was completed between 1513 and 1514, and stands 25 3/16 by 25 7/8 inches. The Madonna of the Candelabra is a part of the permanent collection of the Walters Art Museum located in Baltimore, Maryland. When purchased by collector Henry Walters in the early 1900’s it was the first Raphael Madonna to be incorporated into an American collection(www. thewalters. org). This painting was originally in the Borghese Collection in Rome, and changed hands numerously before it reached its present location(Camesasca 111).

The way that Raphael positioned the Christ Child and Mary suggests that she was looking towards the infant John the Baptist that originally occupied the lower right of the painting. This conclusion comes from an earlier documentation of the original work. Although recognized as authentic, the exact compilation of artists that contributed to this work has been scrutinized(Camesasca 112). Throughout his portrayals of the Madonna, Raphael seems to strive to create a lifelike image that would actually personify the Virgin to the viewer, rather than to put her out of reach by describing her as an object and not a human being.

Most of his Madonnas are a result of earlier pen sketches that he used as studies of the human form and position for his later paintings. He seemed to go over the areas that he believed needed further work with darker strokes of the pen. He always strived for the perfect rendition of a naturalistic pose. His next quandary was the landscapes that would determine the location, be it a field or as in the case of the Madonna of the Candelabra, a shadowy curtained area.

He was said to have had his apprentices pose so that he could capture just the right position that Mary would assume in the painting as related to the landscape(Pope-Hennessy 180). While Raphael was influenced by other artists of the time, such as Michelangelo and Leonardo, he remained unique in his individual style. Raphael began to use the previous renditions of the Madonna as an influence. The symbolism of the Madonna is that of beauty and grace while incorporating a sense of pureness associated with her. The use of the candles in this particular Madonna show the light of Christ that is being brought into the world by Mary.

She is giving birth to the light of the world, according to the Christian faith. The halos around her head and the head of Christ add to the feeling of holiness that the painting was intended to imply. The other figures appear to be angels overlooking the mother and child, as if guardians from heaven sent to watch over them like a shepherd watches over his sheep. There is no reason that this painting was named the Madonna of the Candelabra other than the fact of the presence of the glowing candles in the background.

Raphael didn’t tend to name his work, but rather they picked up their names over the years to differentiate them from the other Madonnas that he completed. While Raphael painted many Madonnas all with slightly different schematics, the Madonna of the Candelabra is very similar to others painted during that time. When compared to the Madonna of the Fish the similarities become clear. Both of these versions of the Madonna and child include other characters in the work, be it the Archangel and the young Tobias in the Madonna of the Fish, or the two angel-like characters in the Madonna of the Candelabra.

The expressions on each of the supporting characters plays the roles of adoration, respect and nervousness to approaching the throne of the Virgin. Also in both works, and most other Madonnas, the Virgin does not look directly at the infant. Her gaze is either cast downward, in the case of the Madonnas of the Candelabra and the Fish. Stylistically, however, the Madonna of the Fish is much more in depth including greater detail than what can be seen in the cropped version.

This is largely due to the way that the Madonna of the Candelabra has been made into a circle deleting perhaps another character, probably John the Baptist, as earlier noted. Although Raphael lived a relatively short life, he completed some of the most beloved paintings that have withstood the ultimate test of time. The way that he gave the viewer an intimate look into the person called “The Madonna” was like no other. He gives her a quality of life and realness that no other artist has been able to capture since that time.

Annunciation in Northern Renaissance Art

Of all religious subjects, that of the Annunciation is closest to the artist as a Christian. The subject is described only by Luke, patron saint of painters, who was popularly believed to have been a master of their craft as well as a physician. 1 Flemish painting was founded in the Low Countries at the start of the fifteenth century. The Low Countries, consisting of what is now Belgium and Holland, as well as the provinces of Artois and Hainault, and the cities of Arras and Cambrai.

No other artists give quite the same sensation of being free to see, through a window of a picture frame, a vanished world preserved in all completeness, as a piece of amber preserves the fragile detail of an insect from centuries ago. 3 Though many artists and works of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are considered to be of Flemish origin, the reality is that artists, either due to intrigue with their area, or for economic reasons, chose to make their home or place of work in the region.

Many of the more famous Flemish artists spent their childhood in Germany, France, or just outside of the Flemish territory. By paying or earning their way into these communities, artists became known as Flemish, and because so many talented people worked closely together, a similarity of style developed, thus we have the Flemish style of painting. Not one artist should be considered to be the greatest painter of the region because quite a few were able to distinguish themselves from the generic, and thus developed their ow individual ways of presenting their ideas.

The Annunciation is one of the most popular biblical scenes depicted in the early northern renaissance painting community. By focusing on this one particular scene, as painted by artists considered to be great at their craft in the Flemish region, either by birth or by employment, it is possible to note the individual style of each, and therefore, prove that not one of these artists should be considered the best. Master Bertram, from Minden, in Westphalia, was the earliest documented painter for whom exist extant panels.

The head of a large workshop, he settled in Hamburg from 1367-1415. In 1410, he was elected Deacon of the painters guild. During is career, he traveled to Rome to heighten his knowledge of painting and other artists. 4 One of the largest Gothic shrines, measuring twenty-four by six feet when opened, the Saint Peter Altarpiece from 1379 was one of Master Bertrams most impressive works. 5 All of the sections of this polyptych have the narrative in rich, bright colors playing against the contrast of the bold, golden background.

Though there was very little attempt at creating a three-dimensional background, the charm in the work is evident. The Annunciation scene from this altarpiece, 31 1/2 x 21 5/8, shows Mary, interrupted from her reading by Gabriel, who holds a ribboned banner arcing Marys head. The Holy Father sends out a child carrying a cross, following a white dove, at Mary. God the Father has features which are lightly sketched in red, which suggests his pure being. Gabriel, although set in a harsher stance, also has the soft red tints, alluding to the angel as someone between human and divine natures.

While not as popular as Jan van Eyck or Gerard David, Master Bertram used large size and eminent charm to his advantage, setting apart his work from others of his era. The symbolism is subtle and the technique is more simple than others, but this was very early in the Northern Renaissance evolution, and for that reason, Master Bertram can be seen as one of the first artists of that time to evolve into the newer style of painting. Jan van Eyck was born possibly at Maaseyck, near Maastricht. Around 1422-4, he worked for John of Bavaria at The Hague.

Jan lived in Lille until the end of 1429. As one of the first Early Netherlandish artists to sign paintings, Jans work combined meticulous technique, detailed observation, and superior intellect and learning. 8 He died in Bruges in late June, 1441. The Annunciation that was the left shutter of a triptych, probably also featuring Nativity and Presentation scenes as well, was completed around 1435-7. A panel transferred to canvas, 36 1/2 x 14 3/8, the scene depicts Madonna as the church, not simply in it. Symbolically, this piece is a whole lot more.

The Annunciation was not just a communication to Mary, it was also the very moment of the Incarnation when the Holy Ghost overshadowed the Virgin and Child conceived in her womb, the consummation of her marriage to God. 9 This painting shows Jehovah standing in a single stained glass window above Mary, accompanied by two seraphim, holding a tablet that reads Ego sum Lux10 (I am the Light). Mary has her hands raised as an elaborately dressed Gabriel relays his message. A divine light shines down on the Virgin alluding to her role as a pure mother of Gods only son.

There are two roundels in the spandrels of the nave arcade above Mary, with bust portraits of Issac and Jacob, the earliest ancestors of Christ. 11 The floor of the church is tiled with images of Samson and David. There are medallions at the corners of these narratives, decorated with zodiac signs. Jan van Eyck is known for his rich glazes and highly detailed paintings, but also for his use of symbolism in disguised form. No one can argue that van Eyck was an important and innovative painter of his time, and to this day is still admired for his superior talent.

Artists learned from his technique and so he became one of the greatest painters to hail from the Northern Renaissance. Hans Memling was born in Steligenstadt, near Frankfurt, around 1433. On January 30, 1465, he obtained citizenship in Bruges, though he may have been living there for some time. 12 While Memling was a soldier in the army of Charles the Bold, he was seriously wounded at the Battle of Nancy. In the winter of 1477, he stayed at Saint Johns Hospital in Bruges, where he painted the Shrine of Saint Ursula and The Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine, among other works. 13

He died in Bruges on August 11, 1494. Memlings Annunciation, completed around 1482, a painted panel 29 1/2 x 22 1/8, depicts Mary in a middle class bedroom with three angels. Eislers observations of this painting include his belief that the angel bearing Marys train, forms a sad smile, and the other angel, the only full-face depiction, has the air of bearing all the sadness and all the griefs which await the Mother of the Crucified One. 15 This does not appear to be the case, however, at first glance. Mary seems less disturbed than she ought to be, calmly but modestly responding to Gabriel with her hand by her heart.

The angel at the right side of Mary lacks interest in the activity, gazing out at the viewer, while none of the other participants do this. This contradicts the impressions of Eisler. He does make some important notes, though. This scene devoid of joy exhibits characteristics of the artists style. The angel holding Marys train, for instance, is typical of Memling. 16 The traditional placement of lilies in the room can be noted in front of the prayer stool. It can be seen that Memling formed his own style, and his own personality into his work.

Memling, for his part, disembodies the person, interprets and idealizes it, putting into the eyes, the features, and the attitude his own anxiety and disgust at the social life of his day. 17 The faces of the characters the artist portrays have emotional expressions that can relate to modern life at the time more than that of depictions of the actual reactions people who existed long ago. While no one can really represent Mary and Gabriel as they actually were, by introducing modern frustration to an old theme, the characterization becomes newer and more real to its viewers.

Thus Memling had a style all his own, though many people look him over as lacking the emotion just described. The local chronicler, at Memlings death, wrote, On the 11h of August died in Bruges Master Hans Memling, whom they lauded as the most skilled and excellent painter of the whole Christian world. 18 Gerard David was a successor of Memlings in Bruges, admitted to the guild of the painters in the community as a master on January 14, 1484. He was active until his death in 1523.

Davids Annunciation of 1490-1500 features a very humble Mary, simply clothed, and more affected by Gabriel than many other depictions of this scene. Her expression is of a gentle fear, as if caught completely off guard. Gabriel is not covered with expensively decorated robes, instead quite simply dressed. A vase of lilies sits on the floor in the bottom left corner of the painting. As in the traditional depictions of the Annunciation, there is a bed behind Mary and a window shining pure light into the room to accentuate the young girl. A small white dove floats above Marys head in a ball of light.

What one remembers from this picture is Davids ability to fill the grave quiet of the scene with feeling and to make the apparition of hovering angel and radiant dove, floating before a frightened girl, seem deeply real and mysterious. 20 One of Davids characteristics is to use lots of blues and dark tones in his palette. His portrait-style figures show Flemish detail and emotion. 21 What sets this artist out from others at the time is his ability to romanticize the setting without losing the realism. People are drawn to his artistic creativity and individuality in presentation.

It is relatively easy to distinguish David from others in the way the characters draw in the viewer, in to how they feel. There has been some confusion in distinguishing works by Memling and David, but by looking at the color choices and portrayal of emotions, it is easy to see that each artist had their own style of painting. Jean, Duc de Berry commissioned the Limbourg brothers to illuminate the Tres Riches Heures. These brothers hailed from Nimwegen in the Duchy of Gelders. The book features devotional and calendar pages, all hand painted with boldness and flair.

In the usual sequence of the Book of Hours, the cycle of hours proper followed the extracts from the Gospel and the two prayers to the Virgin. The Tres Riches Heures includes several series of hours grouped by the object of their devotion. The Hours of the Virgin was traditionally illustrated by scenes representing the main episodes in the mystical life of Mary. 22 The Annunciation page of the Tres Riches Heures, in all the splendor of the International Style, features Mary kneeling at a prie-dieu in a delicately decorated chapel. The golden light shining down is a pictorial metaphor of the Madonnas virginity.

There are small statues on the left. Mary half-turns in modest surprise as the angel, Gabriel kneels before her presenting a green stem with three lilies and a scroll. There are other angels at the top of the chapel in a cantonia who lean in to witness the scene while playing music. God the Father is seen in the upper left, surrounded by the heavenly choir. All around the page, there are angels who float around carrying various instruments. There is a bear and a swan on either side of the three angels, holding the arms of the Duc de Berry. The draperies of the angel are brightly colored and the calligraphy of their lines and that of the banderole seems to initiate the counterpoint echoed in the floating acanthus rinceaux. 25 The chapel is Gothic style, with leaded windows and stone statues.

The individuality that sets the Limbourg brothers apart from other Northern Renaissance artists is so incredibaly apparent. No other artists of that era could compete with the flair of rich color and fine detail in the very unique Tres Riches Heures. According to Snyder, this book is one of the most memorable creations in western art and a show piece for Northern art of its period. In addition, it displays the proclivities of the northern artist in the precision of detail and bright color that led to the incredible vision of Jan van Eyck. 27

These words dont even begin to describe the awe still felt to this day when viewing the painted pages of the Tres Riches Heures of the Limbourg brothers. The artists of the Northern Renaissance had their own style, but going even deeper, the Flemish style artists featured in this paper were innovators, spiritualists, emotional painters who represented their community in ways that no one else had before.

Not one artist from this area can be named the greatest of all time, as each made serious contributions to painting and to society. While most of the artists were born outside of the Flemish region, they all spent time or lived there and are considered Flemish artists. Van Eyck usually the first and most highly regarded painter of the area, but attention should be given to other innovators, such as the Limbourg brothers, Hans Memling, Gerard David, and Master Bertram, all of whom are extremely talented and motivated individuals, popular in their art, and well deserving for the title of One of the Greatest Painters from the Flemish Region.

Greek and Roman Art

Art has changed a great deal since it began many centuries ago. Centuries, however, are not necessary to notice the small changes that are evident even between cultures of similar times. Such is the case with the Greeks and Romans. Both cultures had exquisite pieces of art, but they were very different from each other. The amazing thing about art is that no matter how many differences exist, it is still beautiful in its own sense. There are also a number of similarities that are evident with these two cultures as well, but the point that will be focused on is the differences that are found between Greek and Roman art.

The pieces that will be focused on from the Greeks are Black-Figured Psykter and Red-Figured Kylix Depicting a Young Athelete, and from the Romans are Mummy Portrait of a Man and Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman. The Roman Portraits are located at The Menil Collection in Houston. The Mummy Portrait of a Man is from the Fayum region in Egypt. It was painted about 150-200 B. C. It is painted in encaustic on wood, and is a Fayum portrait. The Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman is also from the Fayum region and painted in encaustic on wood.

This portrait was painted about 150-200 B. C. The term Fayum portrait is actually derived from a Coptic word meaning ” The land of the lake,” which refers to the artificial Lake Qarun. This lake was a project of the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, and it was this lake that made a desert area of about 100 kilometers into one of the most fertile areas in Egypt. It was such an amazing feat that the lake still to this day provides this region water keeping it fertile. The purpose of the Mummy Portrait of a Man as well as the Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman was to identify the mummy.

These portraits were paintings of the person that they identified. The edges of the paintings have paint missing, due to the fact that these portraits were placed over the face of the mummies. The fact that both the artists of these portraits are unknown is due to gravediggers and collectors. When a mummy was found, the main objective was to find out more about the mummy itself, and many times the paintings were disregarded and considered to be of no value. The technique used with Fayum paintings is called encaustic.

This style of painting involves combining the paint with hot wax in order to obtain more resilient colors and also to be able to contrast light and dark better. The only problem with this style of painting is that the wax would get cold and dry up in a short period of time. The artists had to work quickly in order to keep the pigment wax mix wet and able to spread across the canvas or wood. In order to work faster, the painters used wide brush strokes not paying a great deal of attention to the fine lines and details.

One major advantage of using the hot wax with the pigment is that the artist was able to capture a dark or thick appearance as well as a light appearance to the wood while keeping the paint smooth and silky looking. Because of the rushed way in which the portraits were painted allows for similarities between the two. The Portrait of a Man is at a slight angle as compared to the Portrait of a Young Woman, but looking beyond this fact and looking at close detail, it is easy to see the similarities between the ears of the man and woman in each painting.

The eyes on both of the paintings are very similar as well. Both the man and the woman have their eyes deep set in their head, and appear to be staring out into space. Yet another similarity between the two is the eyebrows. Both the man and the woman are depicted as having thick eyebrows as well as a small mouth. Both portraits have long and thin noses. The portrait of the man, as said earlier, is set at an angle as compared to the portrait of the woman, but this seems to be the case for all Fayum portraits.

The hair of the beard on the man looks almost identical to the hair on the woman, as well as the use of light that was used to highlight the neck and ears. Even containing all of these similarities, each of the Fayum portraits have their own meaning and are seen to be as different as the people they represented. The Greek Psykter is a wine cooler that was done using the technique known as black-figured. This means that the figures that are on the Psykter are done in black, while the background is red.

The red background comes from the type of clay that was used to make the wine cooler. The objects that are depicted on the psykter are done in profile as to show as much of the body as possible. Black-figure painting is unable to use light and dark sources because all of the figures are black, making it very different from the Portrait of a Man and the Portrait of a Young Woman. The artist also used purple and white to help to bring out detail and to give a sort of vibrancy to the piece.

The artist Nikosthenes did the Black-Figured Psykter between 530 and 520 B. C. The way that the wine cooler was made is sturdy and is able to stand the test of time as well as have a beauty that will last just as long. Compared to the Portrait of a Man and the Portrait of a Woman, the Black-Figured Psykter as well as the Red-Figured Kylix Depicting a Young Athlete does not show individuality. The Greeks used a combination of ideal parts in their art, making it elegant, but at the same time not showing any actual people. This can also be supported by the fact that even the faces that are on the Greek pieces of art are considered to be perfect unlike all humans.

The Red-Figured Kylix Depicting a Young Athlete was made about 480 B. C. by the painter Antiphon. The technique used here is a red-figured style that was used by the Greeks after the use of the black-figured pieces. This was a monumental discovery for the Greek artists because it made the work of painting the figures in black and using needles to do all the fine details not necessary. Now the painters were able to create the figures that they wanted on the clay and then heat or cook it and the figures would still show up as red, while the background would come out black.

This allowed for more attention to detail as well as the ability to use foreshortening and shadowing. The use of shadowing is more than obvious on the Kylix with the figure of a youth sitting on a stone surrounded by large apatropaic eyes. The ability to foreshadow is shown in many other red-figured works that were done during and around that time. The differences that are found between these four pieces of art can be traced back to the differences that existed between the two cultures. Even though there are similarities, the differences outweigh them by far.

The purpose of the Roman Mummy Portrait of a Man and the Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman differ completely from that of the Greek Black-Figured Psykter and the Red-Figured Kylix Depicting a Young Athelete. The styles of the paintings are also very different as well. The amazing thing that is to noticed is that regardless of the differences that exist, both the Greek and the Roman pieces are considered to be masterpieces of art. The differences that are found add to the uniqueness that each one entails.

Vincent Van Gogh

Perhaps the only way to disentangle, for yourself, the real Vincent Van Gogh from the creation of so many others, is to study the great mass of work he has left behind. Locally, his art is on display at museums including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and New York’s, Metropolitan Museum, and Museum of Modern Art. In addition to his art, some 600 of Van Gogh’s letters survive, all translated into English. Most are written to Vincent’s beloved and devoted brother, Theo, his sole supporter all his adult life, both financially and emotionally. Vincent’s correspondence describes a tortured life.

With a passion or life great as young man ever had, he failed miserably in love, friendship, career, and in the three relationships to which he was most devoted; his Calvinist minister father, his church, and his god. In 1880, at the age of 26, Van Gogh suffered his first nervous breakdown. After a period of desperate wandering, he wrote to his brother, “In spite of everything, I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing. ” Vincent would turn that which had caused him so much suffering, his overfilled heart, toward canvas.

In period of ten years, most of which he was ill, Van Gogh would produce some 800 paintings and a similar number of drawings. His early work depicts humble subjects, peasants mostly, with a gentle hand that at times rivals his idol, Jean Francois Millet. His middle years are portraits, room settings, and “still lifes” of flowers with such intensity it seems the artist had captured a piece of the sun and used in his palate. In his last years, after admitting himself into sanitarium in St. Remy, the sun went inside Vincent, and he created perhaps his finest work. No artist with so much belief in himself, ever endured such failure.

Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting during his life time. He suffered from an illness characterized by numerous attacks of depression. And he suffered from ill-fated luck. When lucid, in good health, Vincent Van Gogh could produce a masterpiece in a single day. To our loss, those days were too few. Heartbroken to learn that his brother was ill, and suffering in his business, Van Gogh took his own life at the age of 37. He would be a burden no more. A hundred years following the death of Vincent, and his brother Theo, who was buried beside him a year later, his painting of Iris’s would sell for a record price of $75,000,000.

Todd Gray: Iconographic Photography

The subjective nature presented in Todd Grays photographs appears to reflect the upbringings of the artist himself. In his photograph entitled Anti-Euro, Gray studied the idea of being a floating entity. He attempts to reveal the notion that all people are mixed in some way and that no one is really pure black or pure white. He conceived the notion of creating his own mythology after reading influential books. Gray states, I would read Greek and African mythology books and try to navigate between the two. I thought Id create my own culture (Philip, Los Angeles Times, January 1997).

Grays other piece entitled, Boxer punching buildings, reveals aspects of his frustration and disturbance toward society. The piece is composed of images of an African American boxer throwing a punch at a large corporate building. He presented it as a series of posters that were placed throughout the city to be viewed by the public. During lecture, he explained that the poster was a metaphor of classic slavery versus the corporate conglomerates of society. Gray explains, I was thinking about the gladiators of the past, dark people who had to fight against domination. The same system seemed to be intact (Philip, Los Angeles Times).

As most identify Gray as being the ex-photographer of Michael Jackson, his attempts and success to step into the realm of fine art was mainly due to expressing his emotions. Gray states, It was important to show that I could do both [fine and commercial art] and keep the integrity. Its like blacks and other minorities share with women, that weve got to work twice as hard to get half as far (Philip, Los Angeles Times). As Gray found himself becoming immersed in commercial arts, he returned to he school where he received his undergraduate degree to recommit himself to art.

It was there that he found his new centerpiece for his artwork and a new perception of the innocent. His interest on Disney characters and toys derived from an observation that cartoons and popular culture influenced people. According to Hunter Drohojowska Philip, He soon found himself viewing the ubiquitousness of seemingly innocent cartoon characters as a form of cultural imperialism (Los Angeles Times). During the past eight or so years, Gray devoted most of his time to nvestigate the ideas of what forms our thinking, or rather, what informs our culture to think a certain way.

His study began with the iconography of characters that are noticed and identified by everyone in this world, Disney characters. His portrayal of simple and lovable cartoon characters seem to transform into intimidating life size portraits of powerhouses. At lecture, Gray discussed the symbolism of various icons; Scrooge was reminiscent to the typical industrialist, overpowering and demanding; Goofy was similar to a homeboy, or ould also be identified as a proletariat, a worker; Daisy Duck is similar to the feminist type, dominant and governing, demanding Daffy (representing men) around.

According to Marilu Knodes article, she writes Each of these are active, recognizable slaves to a commercialized stereotype, with Gray pushing their innocent syntax into a twisted realm of cultural monster (Knode, Abracapocus: Goofy and Sex Looking For God). It seems that the primary intention of Grays utilization of characters is to point out how overpowering simple little characters can be. The idea of Gray photographing the silhouette of these cuddly characters and presenting them as human size was primarily to reveal a different aspect that may not normally be seen.

The impact of Grays photographs evokes much criticism as well as praise among viewers. Though some may not find his work meaningful, his art proves to become a cultural context of society. Though his artwork may not seem very aesthetically pleasing or fit the typical description of art, Grays artwork attempts to do something that many others do not, that is to study the influences of our culture from society. Gray captures the ordinary and reveals the extraordinary; he searches beneath the faade of our cultural framework and re-presents them through his perception.

Grays work may have served as an emotional outlet for himself as well as an informative presentation to his audience and viewers, namely anyone who sees his work. I believe the primary intention of the pictures being life size was that it gave the subject in the image a different aura. Subjectively speaking, if I viewed Goofy as being any smaller, I would mainly reference it to the cartoons instead of any other social context. By the grand scale of the image along with the black and white silhouette, I mainly view it as overpowering and lifelike.

In retrospect, one question I would have formulated for Todd Gray, before the session had ended, is if he had received hostile reactions from viewers after they view his work. Also, I would ask whether or not his work may have different had he grew up in the slums with a lower class family. I question whether creativity is innate or whether it depends on how and what type of environment a person is nurtured. It would have been nice to hear his theory on this subject matter.

The Art Of Body Piercing

There are multiple body art forms in the world today. The art of body piercing has “a colorful history that spans many centuries. ” (History) As a relatively new trend all over the world it represents a new area of interest. Though body piercing is controversial these days, the opinions are divided. The opposition states that rebellion insights body piercing while the practicians say that it brings personal fulfilment. Supporters sustain that body piercing should be viewed as an art not as body mutilation. The majority of the opponents rest in the middle? ed population.

These people claim that piercings spread diseases and infections. Researches show that “The most dangerous of all piercings are the tragus, which sticks out from the middle of the ear. If not carefully pierced, the body will go through shock which it cannot handle and result in paralyzation. ” (Prieto) Genitalia piercing are the most likely to get infected since it is one of the most sensitive parts of the body. The truth is that the healing depends on the way one takes care of the pierced place. Healing can take from one month to two years.

The next argument brought by the opponents is that body piercing is only the bad influence of fashion. It is shown that ” for beauty, the Fulani women of Mali wear giant, hand wrought gold earrings suspended from ear lobe piercing. “(Wilkinson) In the name of fashion “women who live in the region of Sahel in Northern Africa pierce their ears with thin, sharp thorns and wear silver or brass loop earrings . ” (Wilkinson) The reality is that beauty and fashion are major parts of our lives, and appearances will always influence peoples opinions.

Rebellion is another fact brought by the opposition. Often children pierce obvious parts of their body just to rise up against their parents. Some of the punk and rock disciples pierce themselves to riot against the strict society or to make a disconcerting note. Everyone knows that rebellion is a way to show that a culture is not open? minded and that the societys restraints are too tight. The community has always influenced the world population and their lifestyle. People use this kind of art to gain personal fulfilment.

Everyone knows that “by piercing body parts associated with sex, a growing number of people are promoting a personal recognition of this sexuality. Among feminist circles it symbolizes womens regaining control of their bodies in a patriarchal society. “(Audley) Some do it to show their sexual preferences. Ones feeling of being accepted and belonging to a social group is very important today, so some people practice body piercing to feel accepted. People with body piercings recognize themselves as a certain social group.

In our typical society pierced people are viewed as belonging to a certain social group. ” In gay culture [ the piercing of sexual body parts] is often used to declare a deviance from the accepted norms. “(Audley) In their culture it is believed to serve more inward, personal purposes than outward social purposes. Homosexuals also use this kind of art to explore their sexual pleasure. Although it seems a new form of manifestation”body decoration is one of the earliest forms of artistic expression known by the human kind. “( Wilkinson) Body piercing has a long tradition.

It can be traced in tribes from Africa, South America and Pacific where the societies ” have practiced [ for generations] ritual piercing of the ears, nose, lips or genitalia to celebrate the passage from childhood to adulthood. ” ( Wilkinson) Ampalang tribes also practiced body piercing as a part of puberty rites. ” In Polynesia “Trukese women (… ) Pierced their labia to attract suitors. “(Audley) Body piercing can also be traced “back to Rome 400 to 200 A. D. ” (Wilkinson) Roman Centurions wore nipple piercing to hold up their tunics. Ancient Romans also pierced “the foreskin of (… thletes (… ) the purpose was to prevent erections so that athletes would perform better. “(Wilkinson)

In any way people would look, piercings are found all over the world. History shows that “in Europe, Asia and America, previous generations pierced ears has always been a statement of elegance. ” (Wilkinson) Arab youths, when they reach manhood they receive a silver stud for their celebration. Body piercing is not a new art, though it gained a lot of space in todays world, because of that it should be considered a form of art not a form of body mutilation.

Of course there are divided opinions , everyone knows that there are risks, that fashion is an influence in our lives and that rebels are everywhere, but it should be taken into consideration that by practicing this kind of art, people gain personal fulfilment or simply follow their tradition. It is obvious that media is making an image of this product. What should be remembered is that ” fashion is a mirror, which reflects the ever? changing trends of our culture. Appearance and looks have always been a major part (… ), [but] unlike clothes and make? up tattoos and piercing are more committed form of fashion. “

A Look At Picasso

Picassos Guernica is unique and unlike any other photograph or painting of a historical war scene. Historical photographs show scenes and capture moments in time, but when viewing them an intangible wall exists between the viewer and the photograph. The difference between photographs and original paintings is that the painting allows the viewer to break through the wall and actually experience the feelings and emotions expressed in the painting. We only see what we look at and to look is act of choice. (Ways of Seeing 8) The photographers way of seeing is reflected in his choice of subject, they are showing you what they want you to see.

Photographs are taken for a reason; there are many other angles or other scenes a photographer can choose from and it is up to the photographer to decide which one the viewer sees. In essence, the viewer only sees one aspect of the image captured with the lens of the camera. For example, when only the head of a figure is visible in a picture which appeals to visual thinkingas distinguished, for example, from a news photograph which many make use of the sense of sight merely for the purpose of informing us of what went on in a certain placethat figure is always to be seen as being incomplete.

The eye cannot continue beyond the borders of the photograph and the wholeness of the picture is lost. In a painting, the artist has painted all of the elements to be seen simultaneously. The spectator may need time to examine each element of the painting but whenever he reaches a conclusion the simultaneity of the whole painting is here to reverse or quality his conclusion. (Ways of Seeing 26) A painting maintains its own authority, the painting does not capture momentary appearances it creates its own.

In doing so the viewer becomes a part of the painting, when the viewer steps away from the painting he is no longer an influence or a part of the painting. Paintings can not be seen in two places at the same time, when the camera reproduces a painting, it destroys the uniqueness of its image. (Ways of Seeing13) The uniqueness is destroyed because the painting now travels to the spectator rather then the spectator to the painting. The viewer, views it in his or her surroundings and it is influenced by their surroundings.

The true meaning of Picassos Guernica is lifted out of space and time coordinates in the civil war to become a summa on all wars and all victims. (Nash 17) On April 26, 1937 German planes dropped bombs on the town of Guernica and caused many civilian casualties. (Bar 200) When news reached the world, public outcries arouse because the town was the first ever to be bombed in order to intimidate a civilian population. (Success and Failure 166) In January of 1937 Picasso was commissioned by the Spanish Government to paint a mural for its building at the Worlds Fair in Paris.

He played with the subject of the Spanish Civil War but after the bombing occurred, he was influenced to paint about the incident. (Arnheim 18) His first sketch was done on May 1, 1937, just 34 days later Guernica was completed. (Mallen) Guernica was a unique painting for Picasso to create because he never wanted to be influenced by the outside world. Historians argue that Guernica is the exception and Picasso allowed him-self to be influenced and expressed his views.

This assumption has encourage historians predispose to seek political motivation in works of art to read Guernica as Picassos statement on the issues of the Spanish civil War. (Chip 69) It is known that Picasso was an artist who tried avoiding any social responsibilities. A long time friend, D. -H. Kahnweiler often stated that he was the most apolitical man he had ever known. (Chipp 6) Picasso did speak with an American correspondent once and stated, “I have not painted the war because I am not the kind of painter who goes out like a photographer.

But without question the war is in these paintings I have done. ” (Nash 13) When the viewer strips away all of the political issues associated with Guernica, it is a painting about how Picasso imagines suffering; and in it he is painting his own suffering as he daily hears the news from his own country. (Success and Failure 169) Guernica does not affect the painting, the painting effects Guernica. Rather then re-create a disastrous event he had not even witnessed, he was searching for a motif of personal significance that would convey the intensity of his feelings about everything he was reacting to.

Guernica is a rather complex intermingled collage of emotions felt by Picasso, he himself has called the painting an allegorybut never fully explained the symbols he had used and this is probably because they have too many meanings for him. (Success and Failure 167) On one level of Guernica, Picasso found some of his feelings through the spectacle event of bull fighting. (Chipp 46) As a child Picasso was fascinated by bullfighting, a national pastime in his home country of Spain, and grew to admire the tradition.

Bullfighting may shift violently in the bullring from a celebration of human artistry, skill, and courage to the misery of a brutal death in the arenas bloodied sands. (Chipp 47) When Picasso made his first sketch of Guernica, he related the first concept to the only moment in the bullfight when there are no victors, only victims, the corrida. The corrida occurs when the bull is enticed to attack the horse and while the bull gores the horse, the picador drives his lance into the bulls straining neck muscles.

For the bull this means that although he is enjoying a moment of ecstatic gratification, he is also suffering grave damage to his offensives capabilitieshis powerful neck musclesthat will make him a more ready victim to the matadors sword in the final act. (Chipp 50) The violence of the bull-horse struggle is an excellent visual analogue of the agony of the human victims of Guernica as well as that of the Spanish people, divided and locked in a suicidal civil war while reeling under the assaults of foreign invaders. (Chipp 71) Another aspect of Guernica that expresses suffering to the viewer is that the horse is depicted without a peto.

A peto is a padded coat that the horse is required by law to wear in order to help ease its suffering. Before 1927 when this law went into effect, both animals were doomed to die in the ring and always suffered greatly during the encounter, thus giving the first act of the corrida a poignant aspect of suffering. (Chipp 50) This aspect of suffering may have been used to symbolize the helpless suffering that was endured by the people of Guernica. Another important figure that dominates the painting is the mother holding the dead child which may have been inspired by a photograph.

Guernica is unique because Picasso painted images through his eyes and with brush strokes, his paintings were logical in his mind and not influenced by outside sources. In dealing with this image in one of his sketches he again strikes a personal cord with the people of Spain by putting the distraught mother in a familiar pose. Picasso now isolate the mom and child as he had with the suffering horse, makes these figures more compact and congested, creating an agonized image even more like depicting in Goyas Disasters of War.

In Goyas The Disasters of War, number 13, the women has her arms out and head arched back, weakened and exhausted by the events unfolding around her. The mother holding a baby in Guernica expresses the same feeling of exhaustion and her head is arched back in a similar way. The difference lies in Picassos use of color versus Goyas black and white sketches. Goya captured events on the canvas similar to the way a picture captures time on film. Guernica, with its colors and abstractness, goes beyond simply capturing a moment and actually brings the image to life in the viewers mind.

Through all the things mentioned and making references to things people identify with, Picasso successfully takes the viewer into Guernica. The viewer can almost feel the same heartache and terror that the people of Guernica felt. We are made to feel their pain with our eyes. (Success and Failure 169) R. L. Haeberle and Peter Brandts photograph/poster is essentially the same scene as what Picasso would have seen when he painted Guernica. The photograph is not detached from time nor space, we are aware, however slightly, of the photographer selecting that sight from an infinity of other possible sights.

Ways of Seeing10) The poster shows the true brutality of war, the slaughtering of innocent civilian women and children. Haeberle and Brandt created the poster as an outcry against the brutal slaughter of war. (Heyman 116) The question and babies? is raised further emphasizing the brutality. The poster is gruesome and very disturbing however, it does not stir the same kind of feelings and emotions as Guernica. Unlike Guernica, the poster takes a horrid slice of life and freezes it in time. The viewer of And Babies? does not feel like a part of the image, instead only sympathy is felt for the victims. And Babies? nauseating and the viewer quickly turns away from it.

The poster is something the viewer does not want to stare at very long. Picassos version of And Babies? , Guernica, forces the viewer to face the harsh realm of war and actually takes them into the scene. The longer the viewer stares into Guernica, the stronger the emotions seem to build up until the viewer is literally consumed by the painting. Picasso uses not only the images of brutality, but also underlying images that stir up thoughts in the unconscious. People have also found evidence of cryptic references from Vishnu and the Rape of Europa to Pinocchio and Hitler.

Nash 49) This is why Picasso paints instead of taking pictures, these are two similar scenes portrayed with different mediums and generate distinctly different reactions to them. Prior to Picasso and And Babies? , a brilliant artist was commissioned by General Palafox to examine the ruins of the Peninsular Wars (1808-1814) going on in Spain in order to illustrate the glories of its citizens. (Perez Sanchez 185) Francisco Goya drew and painted countless numbers of war scenes depicting hangings, beatings, killings, and mutilations.

These drawings were never published in his lifetime but came out years later and are now his famous Disaster of War etchings. The drawing Grande Hazana! Con Muertos! , in the Disaster of War series, shows a gruesome scene of three men tied to a tree and mutilated because of the war crime of high treason. Unlike the poster And Babies? , Goya was not trying to horrify the viewer, instead Goya painted because he wanted the viewer to look into and reflect on the painting. The victims faces even show calm, and the beautiful proportions of the bodies invite viewing.

Rather, Goya set out to incite reflection before these images, for heroic feats can never be the fruit of excesses of bloody cruelty, heroism, or love of country. (Perez Sanchez 201) Perhaps a reason for this print was in reaction to a murder of a General that was widely known and the murder was perhaps the first of its kind. (Perez Sanchez 200) Essentially the general was accused of being a traitor and was killed by his own men, and after his execution he was dragged, mutilated and hung on a public promenade.

Similar to the bombing of Guernica, which was also the first of its kind, so was the execution and mutilation of the general. Goya and Picasso both painted so that the viewer could reflect on the scene in hope that similar situations will be avoided in the future. Guernica is unique from Goya because Goya froze the scenes he drew while Picasso brings Guernica to life. All three images share a common thread, they all have a high shock value and show that serious moral boundaries have been crossed.

Artists have always expressed themselves through drawings, paintings, or photographs so that when something similar occurs, it can be brought into the public eye for reflection and questioning. The discussion on Picassos Guernica and Goyas Disaster of War prints, shows the aspect of how paintings capture the viewer and draws them into the image. It also presents the difference between Guernica and the Disaster of War prints; mainly that Picasso painted the scene so that it would live out in the viewers mind while Goya froze scenes in time.

The poster And Babies? , while still a similar scene to that of Picassos and Goyas paintings, inhibits the viewer from entering the image. A wall exists that stops the viewer from being engrossed by the photograph. The painting is a complete sentence, while the photograph is missing a verb or a noun thus rendering it an incomplete sentence. Picasso once wrote on the separation between paintings and photographs, one simply paintsone doesnt paste ones ideas on a painting, if the painter has ideas, they come out of how he paints things.

Fear and Loathing in a Clockwork Age

Ah! The noble search for identity. That intangible achievement that all artists lust after and lay in torment over. And during the post war era that struggle reached incredible magnitudes. The world cried out for legions of anti-heroes, who were only virtuous in their unapologetic and brutally honest lack of virtue. And the art world provided as many counter culture messiahs as was needed to “Damn the Man”. The Beats, hippies, and punks are evidence that behind the white picket fence of suburbia lay an America that wanted more out of life than the sugar coated portrayals of domesticity and patriotism it received from pop culture.

The unfortunate side of authenticity often lead to the conclusion that autonomy was an impossible dream and that just mere existence required an individual to compromise his integrity. The post-war generation developed an interesting love-hate relationship with the mass culture of its time. Some, like Andy Warhol, embraced the inevitability of mass culturalization in order to control the beast (yes, this is a reference to Revelations). While others recognized the American Dream as being a hypocrisy and so chose the Golden Eternity instead.

The Beat generation and early hippies sought to separate themselves from mainstream society where they believed they could start anew and fully experience life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The flower child philosophy was in fact very Transcendental, minus the stuffy New England mentality. The sexual, spiritual, and intellectual freedom and autonomy that characterized the Haight-Ashberry scene were closer to the Whitmanesque ideal than anything achieved during his life time. Postwar America was extremely prosperous from the stand point of the middle class white suburbanite.

The only problem was that not everyone fit that mold. And even those who were born into that environment often found its conventions limiting and unfufilling. At home the issues facing minorities went, for the most part, ignored. Jim Crow laws were allowed to stand in the south until major Supreme Court decisions like Brown v. Board of Education declared segregation to be unconstitutional. But even still that did not solve the problem of good old fashioned prejudice, which was as rampant as ever. And not every woman was delighted to once again be her husbands house servant.

The war machine of WW2 had given many women their first pay check. And the sense of power and freedom even menial jobs provided was not something many wanted to trade in for being cooped up in a split level tract house with only the companionship of a vacuum cleaner and a screaming five year old. To the Beats the only solution to a life of domestic stagnation was to pack up and let life lead you down one winding road after another. There was a certain comfort in the unknown. Ambiguity turned survival into a triviality, while one could find the deepest meaning in chance and whimsy.

When mere existence doesnt seem to be guaranteed its the little moments of perfection that become ones focus. No other Beat poet understood that concept as well as Jack Kerouac. “Jack Kerouac single handedly created the beat generation. Although Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and William Burroughs Brought their separate and cumulative madness to the beat generation, it was Kerouac who was the Unifying Principle. “(Krim,p. 4) While Kerouac certainly lived for the moment it would be missing the whole point of his work to claim that was just trying to get his kicks in before it was over.

If anything, he eagerly awaited his termination. And found his solace in moments of pure tranquillity, since they were the closest he could come to the state he named the Golden Eternity, which he believed awaited him after death. This was in opposition to his friend and fellow beat Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg believed “in grasping after life as much as you can because of its sweet sadness and because you would be dead someday”( Hipkiss,p. 63). The Golden Eternity was a perfect void. The beauty of this state of total nothingness was that existence was reduced to its pure and uncontrived elements.

A far cry from the outwardly prosperous, but inwardly hollow and commercial suburban life. Kerouac was a Roman Catholic with a strong fascination with Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies. He melded that into a unique set of beliefs that would not have flown with any Pope, past or present. The vegetative existence he sought was based on the “do nothing” state the Chinese call Wu Wei (Hipkiss, p. 63). Kerouac was particularly interested in mastering the four noble truths. The first being that all life is suffering, and the fourth being that all suffering can be repressed.

Although the only way to repress lifes suffering, aside from maintaining constant and intense meditation, was to return to the blissful void of death (Hipkiss, p. 65). In the “113th Chorus” of Mexico City Blues is a perfect explanation of this blissful void. Since only two lines address life(“Got up and dressed up, and went out & got laid”), it is clear that Kerouacs emphasis is on the hereafter. It is only after everything has ended, that perfection is achieved. The lines “Yet everything is perfect, Because it is empty, Because it is perfect with emptiness, Because its not even happening” echo Shakespeares philosophy on existence.

Examples of such beliefs can be found in the famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy from Hamlet. Where Hamlet recognizes that only while he is inactive does he have possibilities. As soon as he commits to any one course of action his fate is set. Oberon, in his speeches expresses similar sentiments. The last stanza equates emptiness with a state of total knowledge, which is destroyed once we become something. “Everything”, which is the opposite of the void, is ignorant. While the void, or the starting place, is Teaching.

The implication is that if one were to ” numbly not get there” they would be able to achieve and maintain a state of divine emptiness and knowledge. Part of that knowledge was an acceptance of everything else as divine(Hipkiss,p. 70). Kerouac delves deeper into the essence of divinity in “Poem. ” The first half of the poem is a description of how he came to find the Golden Eternity. While most of his poetry is centered on death, Kerouac believed that if one must endure life he should at least stop to smell the roses. Which is exactly what Kerouac was doing right before he passed out and traveled into the void.

During his blackout he sees three divine images. The single word that binds these images is “alone. ” The last stanza is an obvious contortion of John 1:1. Which says “In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ” Kerouac clearly states that not only is Christ capable of divinity, but all things. And like Christ we must chose death to realize our divinity. In fact the Beat mentality, which rejected worldly influences in order to achieve divinity, was a very Christian notion. At the end of Kerouacs black out he has permanently achieved an altered higher state.

This is because of the strange syntax of the line “woke up flat on my back in the grassy sun. ” Unless it is one horrible typo, it is obviously an indication that Kerouac has graduated from a terrestrial plane to a celestial one. He succeeded in escaping the earthly cycles of rebirth, that are found in the Buddhist religion. These cycles are a motif through out “Poem. ” He compares life, in the first stanza, to “the iridescent paraphernalia of radiating candles” and “mentation. ” “Mentation” is an interesting word of Kerouacs own invention. It is a hybrid of the mental and the cyclical process of menstruation.

Also “Poem” ends on a image of radiation similar to the one in the beginning of the poem. Thus creating a cycle within the poem. “And end with it, your goal is your starting place” (Mexico City Blues “113th Chorus”). The entire Fifties and Sixties were colored by Cold War apprehension. Mass hysteria had reached such a fever pitch in the mid fifties that Senator Joseph McCarthy was allowed to conduct the largest witch hunt since Salem. Communists were so vilified by the government and the media that America, in its attempt at containment, started to become the same totalitarian state it claimed to oppose.

Questions began to arise as to the governments size and power. How truly democratic could a nation be if it was imposing its government on others by force? Is there such a thing as free speech anymore? And if the first amendment was more than merely a sham, the Hippies would utilize it to the furthest extent of the law to keep the government off the peoples backs and out of Vietnam. Since they were Americas youth, it was their bodies that would be lying in the soggy Vietnamese soil. Not surprisingly, these youth rebelled in spirited protests and public burning of draft cards.

These common ideals bound the hippies into tight knight communities like the famous Haight-Ashberry district. There they could just be. They were free to let their eccentricities flow on rivers of illicit drugs. Dilated pupils were as de riguer as tie dyed clothing. And no one was on a longer or stranger trip than the Grateful Dead. Besides just being a living, breathing, and touring monument to the Sixties, the Dead had a disciple like following of hippies, young and old, nicknamed Deadheads. A running joke being that old hippies dont die they just stand in line for Dead concerts.

But what was the key to the Grateful Deads pied piper quality? The only answer is the beautiful and tripped out lyrics of poet Robert Hunter and the dizzying jams that whirled together a psychedelic mix of rock, folk, and blue-grass. They provided a place to escape from a hostile and close-minded world for a few hours, or in some cases a few years. “Truckin. ” What more perfect anthem for the bohemian generation? With its steadily rolling beat and Garcias gentle voice, full of yearning, “Truckin” walks a slightly tipsy line between fulfillment and searching.

All things are taken with patience and acceptance, because of the transitory nature of the song. The only constant is motion. The lyrics follow a wave like pattern. The song begins with mostly positive images, and then towards the end reaches a level of fatigue. But instead of simply sloping of there is a promise of regeneration, “Back home- sit down and patch my bones and get back Truckin on. ” Death is equated with settling down. No wonder the Dead were in so much conflict with the mainstream, which valued its security above all else.

In the song, home is just one more destination in a string of many, with no more holding power New York or New Orleans. ” St. Stephen” is true gem, rich in imagery and allusion. First we have St. Stephen for whom the song is titled. While there were several St. Stephens, the song is most likely named after “the protomartyr, for he was the first Christian to die for the Faith. Although not an Apostle, Stephen was one of the seventy-two original disciples, and after Pentecost was appointed one of Jerusalems seven deacons.

Accused by pious Jews of preaching blasphemy, he was arrested, tried before the high priest, Caiphas, and condemned to death by stoning”(Kelly, p. 260). And with him we have the perpetual Grateful Dead image, the rose. In Christianity the rose is a symbol of perfection and eternal life. For example Christ is often refereed to as the Rose of Charon. The rose is that completion and perfection that is all but impossible to achieve, especially during this life. How fitting that it is St. Stephen who has achieved the rose, and is now able to travel freely ” in and out of the garden.

It may also be also be noted that the skeleton with a rose garland, that is such a hallmark of Grateful Dead art work, is commonly identified as St. Stephen. He is a prime example of one of the grateful dead, who lead a life of integrity, kindness, and faithfulness, and was rewarded with eternal life. That is ultimately the Grateful Dead motto. Live life according to your own rules, seek only truth and kindness, and dont worry about what life has in store for you for all things pass and the truly dedicated will be rewarded. The life of a saint is clearly detached from all things worldly.

Stephen prosper in his time, Well he may and he may decline, Did it matter? Does it now? Stephen would answer if he only knew how” shows how truly inconsequential wealth is in the big scheme of things. In fact the question is so absurd that if you posed it to Stephen he wouldnt even be able to answer because his mind is so far removed from such matters. The skeleton is the perfect image for Stephen, because not only is the skeleton total stripped of all societal convention such as clothing( remember that Adam and Eve were naked in the garden) but he also does not have to deal with temptations of the flesh, because he simply doesnt have any.

The next interesting image is the “wishing well with a golden bell. ” It follows the classical notion that hell is located at the center of the earth, as can be seen in the line “bucket hanging clear to hell. ” This image is also found in several other Grateful Dead songs. The fascinating part about this scene is that instead of filling the bucket at the bottom and drawing it up, St. Stephen fills it at the top with his own overflowing waters of eternal life and then lowers it down to the poor souls in hell. This is an allusion to the story of Jesus were he tells the woman at the well that she will receive the waters of eternal life.

The source of the evil is indicated by the golden bell. The message being that if one prizes wealth to much, it will cost his soul. Then there is a scene of dawn searching for meaning. This is most likely the hell, which is “halfway twixt now and then. ” Answers come with the sun, as in Platos “Allegory of the Cave. ” The rest of the song deals with knowledge and enlightenment. There is a dichotomy between the knowledge of society and the true wisdom of St. Stephen. The knowledge of the world is like the “speeding arrow, sharp and narrow” and the Answer Man.

The Answer Man was the star of an old radio program, who answered listeners questions with such speed that he seemed the all the worlds knowledge at his finger tips. Obviously this type of knowledge consists of concrete facts, but cant accommodate the bigger questions that really count. The only other person in this song besides Stephen who has the broader type of wisdom is the Calliope woman. Calliope was the muse of epic poetry in Greek mythology, so obviously her great amount of experience with life has granted her wisdom. “Uncle Johns Band” could be called the Dead anthem.

The fact that it openly invited fans to pack up and follow the Grateful Dead, could explain why many towns tried to ban the bands shows from their towns. Basically it asks people to leave behind conventional society and form their own community centered on peace and love. The image of America is a hostile one, as one can see from “Their walls are built of cannonballs, their motto is Dont Tread on Me. ” After that Hunter invokes a baptismal image of Uncle Johns Band beside a river. The river, besides just being a symbol of life, is an allusion to John the Baptist baptizing in the river Jordan.

The things that need to be discussed are clearly metaphysical because “Its the same story the crow told me. ” In Christian mythology the crow brought wisdom to holy men wandering in the desert. In a way this is metaphor for those seeking enlightenment who are all alone in a world deserted of meaning. The song ends on a salvation image of the band leading its flock home. The simple arrangement and gentle fatherly quality of Garcias voice give the song the simple sweetness of a childrens song or country hymn. And that makes it all the more inviting.

While Garcias view of the government may have been that of a cold fortress, it was nothing compared with totalitarian ogre of Anthony Burgesss A Clockwork Orange. A Clockwork Orange was actually written a few years before the Grateful Dead came around. At that time America was at the height of the Cold War. It dominated the foreign policy of President Kennedy(Downey,p. 34). In an ongoing race to be the most powerful, intelligence agencies on both sides seemed to go to any length to maintain national security.

A Clockwork Orange portrays a future were the government has settled its foreign problems and turned its awesome strength against its own citizens. The shocking apathy of its youth is merely a reaction to the desensitization and debilitation they experience at the hands of their government. Alex, our rebellious yet humble narrator, is an eerie foreshadowing of the Punk movement that swept both England and the US in the seventies and eighties. His taste for “ultra violence” is simply an attempt on his part to control something, in a world that has robbed him of every other choice.

Alex uses destruction to master the powerlessness he has been subject to his whole life. If one looks at the scene were Dim and Georgie attempt to take power, you see that Alex is not content to have control over his own life but he must have authority over others. He beats his “droogs” into submission and makes himself once more dictator over his small dominion. A key to his behavior is found in his name. Alex is named after Alexander the Great, the famous general who conquered the world but took his greatest solace in intellectual pursuits such as philosophy, which he was trained in by Aristotle.

The name Alex, means, depending on which source one trusts, either leader or defender of men( Mathews,p. 36). He acts out because he has been denied his birth right. Despite his viciousness the reader is forced to empathize with Alex. Burgess uses several tools to keep the reader from judging Alex to harshly. From a semiotic stand point, the dialect that Burgess calls nadstat is the most powerful element of the book. First of all the language helps to distance the reader from the atrocity of his crimes(Mathews, p. 38).

It also forces the reader to look at things from Alexs perspective and by doing so recognize ourselves as being like Alex. The repetition of the phrase “Oh my brothers” and the first person narrative also serve to include the audience in the plight of Alex. Also his episodes of ultra violence are phrased in such youthful exuberance that one can not help but savor his twisted individualism. As disconcerting as it may be, violence is Alexs expression of individuality, and that is what causes the disappointment when he willingly becomes a part of the mass culture.

His maturity comes at the price of his individuality, just as Holden Caulfields does . This explains why the American version, which has the last chapter edited, has always been more popular. While Alex might slit our throats, at least he provides hope of autonomy. The theme of A Clockwork Orange can be summed up as Manichean(Mathews,p. 39). That being that there is no such thing as pure evil or goodness, and that each must come from the other. The book is also centered on the Catholic doctrine of free will (Kennard,p. 183). In order to remain human, Alex must have control over his own actions.

Because of his youth he does not fully understand the power of the state, and therefore is powerless against it. Burgess states that as impossible as it is to escape mass culture, it is just as impossible for mass culture to prevent rebellion against it. We get a picture of the person Alex will become in the owner of HOME, F. Alexander. Which stands for both future Alex and father of Alex. We know that Alex will become F. Alexander because when he returns to the house after his treatment, he recognizes the author of A Clockwork Orange as another Alex.

Also they are both the authors of A Clockwork Orange. F. Alexander can be considered a father figure for two reasons. First of all Alex recognizes that his compassion is of the parental type. HOME, is far more home like than his parents apartment. Also by having sex with the wife he plays out the Oedipal drama that Freud believes is a part of human development( Aggeler,p. 82). The son he envisions in the 21st chapter, likewise will become Alex. He even says; “My son, my son. When I had my son I would explain all that to him when he was starry enough to understand.

But then I knew he would not understand or would not want to understand at all and would do all the veshes I had done, yes perhaps even killing some poor starry forella surrounded with mewing kots and koshkas, and I wouldnt be able to really stop him. And nor would he be able to stop his own son, brothers. And so it would itty on, round and round” And so Alex grows up and sells out, but this time he chooses to join the mass culture instead of having it forced upon him against his will. The Ramones embodied the same vibrant, amoral youthfulness as Alex ,of A Clockwork Orange.

They were saviors to rock & roll, which was already beginning to age and sell out. The Ramones put rebellion back into rock. That essential ingredient, and a sense of fun, is what saved the world from a life time of elevator music. “The Ramones, four leather-jacketed reprobates from the glue-sniffing, acid- dropping teen milieu of Forest Hills, Queens, landed on this flabbed scene like a boulder on a box of sugar cream doughnuts”(Loder,p. 367). Even though they were enormously influential the Ramones never became a huge commercial success like the Beatles. Punk stayed mostly underground for a long time.

This was due to the fact that radio stations didnt feel comfortable sticking songs like “Beat on the Brat” or “53rd and 3rd”, which is about a homicidal hustler, between K. C. and the Sunshine Band and Olivia Newton John. The Ramones were rebels all right, and definitely without a cause. Where as the youth of the sixties had lofty ideals, the Ramones and their whole generation saw those ideals crash and burn. “The Ramones, like all 60s children, had grown up on the Beatles, but by the early 70s they had grown up, period”(Bessman,p. 15). “Chain Saw” is a true break in the pop song mold.

It is both a tribute to a favorite slasher flick and parody of the bubble gum sentiments of most pop songs. The last two lines “Ooh, now Im so much in love/ Cause shes the only girl that Im ever thinking of” sound like they could have been taken of any number of pop songs from the sixties. But few of those songs had their love interests sawed to bits by a maniacal serial killer. The satire comes out in full force against the excesses of the government in “Havana Affair. ” By the time this was written the Cuban missile crisis was pretty much forgotten and Vietnam was declared an official disaster.

Yet still the US insisted on sticking its nose into anything that smelled the least bit of Communism. For example in 1973 the CIA sponsored a coup to put Augusto Pinochet in power in Chile instead of Salvador Allende(Downey,p. 43). This song with its ridiculous spy for the CIA sent to infiltrate a Cuban talent show, shows the apathy of the average American for the whole mess. The Ramones did the only thing they could, find the humor in a government that was becoming more corrupt and absurd every day. “53rd & 3rd” deals with a more serious subject matter than many Ramones songs.

The central image is that of a desperate vet from Nam who has been used by his country and then abandoned with a lifetime of pain and trauma that he must deal with on his own. The sad irony is that if he would have committed the same crime in Vietnam against Charlie he would be a hero with medals. But instead he is a fugitive from the same law that made him so willing to kill in the first place. This problem extends beyond the plight of a single vet. An entire nation was victim of a authoritarian government that refused to take responsibility for its mistakes.

For all the hippies who tried to promote drug use as a mind expanding experience, “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment” set forth the blunt truth. Drugs merely provide an easy way out of reality. Not that the Ramones had anything against escaping a dull suburban existence. But they called it for what was. The song also pokes fun at the idealistic notion of peace and love. Here happiness is merely a side effect of being brain dead. “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment” is a testimony to notion that ignorance is bliss. For Hunter S. Thompson not even massive amounts of narcotics could hide the fact that the American Dream was dead.

This statement, from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is most evident in the lines “almost two hours later Dr. Duke and his attorney finally located what was left of the “Old Psychiatrists Club”(the American Dream)- a huge slab of cracked, scorched concrete in a vacant lot full of tall weeds. The owner of a gas station across the road said the place had “burned down about three years ago. ” Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas walks a strange line between fact and fiction. Thompson molds reality to his own ends both in his writing and in his experience. Thompson was greatly influenced by the Beat writers like Jack Kerouac.

Fear and Loathing follows the same spontaneous structure and prose of books like On the Road. The book centers on the disillusionment of a generation left in the wake of the sixties youth movement. “We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled the Sixties. Uppers are going out of style… All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failures is ours, too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole lifestyle that he helped to create… eneration of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid-Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody- or at least some force- is tending that Light at the end of the tunnel. ” Thompsonalso addresses the hypocrisy of authority. In Vegas, as in all of society, ones level of guilt is determined by wealth. Thompson and his attorney are able to get away with anything their tripped out, paranoid schizophrenic minds can envision because they have two very large expense accounts to back them up.

Yet Thompson relates a story of his gentle hippie friend who was arrested and victimized by the police on trumped up vagrancy charges. The section where Thompson describes the speaker setup for the drug conference serves as a metaphor for the nature of authority. The drug expert is depersonalized and distorted by the blaring, “low-fidelity speaker mounted on a steel pole in the corner. ” This creates a kind of wizard of Oz effect. Because the source of the voice is ambiguous, the stupidity of the experts remarks gain an inflated importance.

The fact that he doesnt know an once more about the “drug culture” than the back woods cops he is lecturing to, is hidden by a barrage of degrees, which have nothing to do with street culture. Besides that, the cops dont have enough sense to distinguish fact from fiction anyway. While most artists were grieving the death of the idealistic Sixties and coming to grudging acceptance of the falseness and commercialism of the Seventies, Andy Warhol relished the capitalistic bent of society and played a large part in creating the image driven celebrity culture of the Seventies.

Many think of Warhol as a whore, and of Pop Art as prostitution(Doyle,p. 153). Warhol would probably agree with that statement, but he would defend himself by saying that he enjoyed his profession. But with out moralizing his work, one can see that it was indeed a new form of American Realism, because its subjects were inspired by mass and folk culture. And what could be more realistic than a silk screened photograph. Pop Art, even though it may seem like another form of abstraction, is actually a reaction against the Abstract impressionist movement, which was lead by artists like Jackson Pollack(Banes,p. 4). And if anything thats what Warhols work was about. He presented a little slice of Americana directly to the public without passing his own aesthetic judgments. But Warhols reality, even in his macabre pieces like “Electric Chair” and “Orange Car Crash”, was not a gritty one because we dont usually perceive reality as gritty. As a coping mechanism we cloak the cold hard facts, behind veneers of public image, drugs, and idealism. Marilyn Monroe embodied the two things that interested Warhol the most, celebrity and death.

It is no wonder that he did so many paintings bearing her image. Marilyn was the emblem of, if not the American Dream, at least the Hollywood Dream. She was a testament to the belief that image is everything. How else could one explain how a plain and insecure girl could become an enduring sex symbol. She was pure fabrication, from her appearance( Marilyn was notorious for taking three hours or more just to do her makeup), to her personae and name. That artifice comes across in the painting.

Her features are veiled by flat panels of makeup and her hair color is cartoonish. Marilyn became for Warhol a symbol of the power to shape ones own destiny. The mystery surrounding her death also greatly intrigued Warhol. Although she was not particularly talented and was not a natural beauty she managed to exit life surrounded by conspiracy theories involving everyone from the President to the Mob. To Warhol death was the ultimate celebrity, which he explored extensively in paintings like “Orange Car Crash.

Warhols morbid paintings have a stark reality that is much more powerful than any abstract impressionists interpretation could ever be(Lippard,p. 99). This is because America, as a society, is so used to being barraged with false emotions from the media that we have learned to tune out. But when a person is confronted with tragedy, pure and unadulterated, the reaction is all the more personal and powerful because the artist has not attempted to interpret it. Halston was no stranger to the power of image.

First as Jacqueline Kennedys personal milliner and then as hugely successful celebrity designer during the seventies he single handedly defined the feminine ideal of his time. The womens movement really took hold in the seventies. Fashion at the time was all about power and freedom. As opposed to the demure femininity of the Fifties and Sixties, the disco age was embodied by aggressive sexuality. This is look is epitomized by the quintessential Halston dress. Halston produced many variations on his halter-necked, wrapped, backless dress(Milbank,p. 246).

Lots of bare skin made it sexy yet the cut and the fabric was simple and unadorned. In general, seventies fashion was pared down and close fitting. The growing simplicity and androgyny of day wear was important to women who wanted to be taken seriously in the workplace. Establishing equality with men was of up most importance in the beginning of the womens movement. A large part of that equality involved dispelling the double standard that frowned on promiscuity among women but praised it in men. A closer fit emphasized the contour of the body over the construction of the clothing.

Sexy replaced pretty in the seventies view of beauty. Also blatant sexuality was the rule when it came to Seventies night life. At exclusive discos like Studio54, admission depended on ones ability to attract attention. And Halston ruled the New York fashion scene that presided over places like Studio54 and Andy Warhols Factory. Ultimately the post war period was about learning to cope with quickly changing environment where mass culture and the government was stripping away peoples sense of individuality and autonomy.

The changing landscape allowed repressed minority groups such as women and blacks to finally gain the power they had been denied for so long. While the average white male felt that his opportunities were becoming increasingly limited. This manifested itself in the formation of many counter culture movements. All of which eventually succumbed to or were engulfed by the mass culture. Because the truth of the matter is that as much as culture controls who we are, we control it by virtue of the fact that we make up society.

Winslow Homers “Breezing Up”

The 1873 masterpiece “Breezing Up”, by Winslow Homer located in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC is an oil on canvas painting that measures 23 3/13 X 38 1/6 in.. The primary subject of this painting is a man with three boys in a small wooden sail boat that is moving along with what appears to be a fairly choppy sea. At the center of this painting is the stern of the sail boat. The oldest of the boys is sitting on the high end of the stern with his knees up and his bare feet planted flat on the deck in order to keep him from slipping down into the water. This image forms a powerful triangle in the center of the painting.

The boys use of only one hand on the tiller line combined with his relaxed posture suggest that he is very much at ease with his responsibility of steering the boat. His face is only visible in a semi-profile view which exposes his chin, left cheek, and eye socket. These features are well defined against thick layers of puffy clouds which are lingering over the water. Like the others in the boat he is facing away from the setting sun which causes the light to reflect off the back of his long sleeved shirt and hat. Just to the oys right is the man in the boat who is presumably the father of the boys.

His seated position below the deck allows the viewer only to see his face shoulders, arms, and hands. His red long sleeved shirt is the brightest color in the painting, and his calloused hands show strength as he holds the halyard firm in the cleat with a fully extended arm. Of the four people in the boat he is the only one with a troubled look on his face. According to David Prown this is a very common characteristic in Homers work. He says: Although the adults of Homers world seem isolated, his children frolic together in a cheerful world f laughter and mutuality.

For Homer, growing up seems to imply a loss, a fall from paradise, removal from happy, carefree innocence and high spirits to a serious, lonely existence in which each man is an island unto himself. (Prown 86) This is the perfect description of the expressions of the people in this painting. The children are clearly relaxed and content, but the father has an expression that suggests that he has something weighing heavy on his mind, and that he is receiving only temporary relief as he relaxes on the water with his sons. The other two boys are relaxing up towards the bow of the boat.

The older f the two is stretched out across the deck covering the width of the bow with his leather shoes hovering inches over the water. The youngest of the boys is sitting up right on the deck with his feet resting inside the boat and he has a pleasant look of deep thought on his face. Clearly all of these boys are relaxed and content with their surroundings. Numerous fish inside of the boat suggest that this group has had an afternoon of fishing and recreation. They are not dressed for serious fishing, so there is a good chance they are out there strictly for leisure.

A building off the bow on the distant shore is barely isible, and combined with the long shadows of the setting sun, it seems that they are heading home. Homers soft blue sky and puffy white clouds take up 2/3 of the canvas, leaving only the bottom third for the water and the horizon. The sky is completely empty except for a lone gull whos wings are lit up by the sun as is hovers directly in line with what appears to be a tiny illuminated sail of another boat on the very distant horizon. Homer also has an uncommon ability to recreate curves just as they would appear in nature.

He uses this ability to capture the shape and form of the rolling waves in the sea, by even ore than that he uses it to capture the human experience. The use of the sunlight as it reflects off the cloths of the people in the boat adds to the realistic nature of this painting. The wrinkles of white cotton shirts of the boys are accented brilliantly as the sun illuminates and caused shadows on different parts of their arms. The four people in this painting express more with their body language that they do with their facial expressions.

Particularly the curve of their backs is evidence of their state of relaxation. In the children there is no evidence of tension in their bodies. This is in ontrast with the father’s posture where tension is quite evident. The viewer’s position directly off the stern of the sailboat is a privileged one. It allows Homer’s style of American realism to be truly revealed. The exact details of the small wooden boat are astonishing. He captures everything from the stitches in the sail to the twist of the lines.

Even the grain of the wood in the hull and the mast are perfectly visible. The attention to detail is magnificent. The use of light and shadows across the sail form a drastic contrast. This contrast gives the viewer a real feel for the way the sun is shinning across the water. The spray of water that washes over the bow as the boat bounces through the choppy water is another example of Homers close attention to detail. There is also a merchant ship on the horizon on the right side of the canvas that though distant still retains a great deal of detail.

The sense of comfort and serenity on the boys faces is an interesting contrast to the expression of worry on their fathers face, but this worry clearly is not related to their situation on the water. This work was completed towards the early part of Homer’s painting career, and this is apparent by the look and shape of the water. As his life progressed, Homer began to focus on the power of the water in the sea, and he earned a reputation for being one of the best painters of his time in regards to his ability to capture the motion and and power of waves.

In this painting there is less attention given to the water causing it to have very general and undefined characteristic. This neutral aspect of the water gives the painting an over all feel of relaxation and comfort. Prown gives an interesting description to this painting in in his book American Painting From its Beginnings to the Armory Show. In this book he states: Breezing Up is a seagoing version of Snap the Whip. The boys exert a mutual effort for their common delight.

One adult is present, briefly privileged to share their pleasure. The day is sunny; the air and water are alive. Wind fills the sails, and the boat fairly shudders as it drives through the choppy sea. The thrust of air against the canvas pulls every line taut, and hands work to hold this living machine, quick with the breath of nature under control. (Prown 87). This is a nice description of the work. It seems that one of this paintings main focuses is the pleasure and beauty of children in nature.

Christian And Byzantine Art

Early Christian and Byzantine art started after Jesus death in the first century ranging and ending to the fourth century AD. The art produced during this period was secretive because Christianity was not a formal religion but as a cult; the Romans and rest of Europe persecuted Christians so the artist disguised their work with symbols and hints of Christian aspects. Christianity was the first cult to not involve rituals of sacrifice of animals and refused to worship an Emperor causing the Roman Empire to make Christianity illegal. Byzantine art excelled in the Justinian period in the east during 520-540 AD.

The art was produced in Ravenna, Byzantine, Venice, Sicily, Greece, and Russia. The difference between Christian and Byzantine was Christian was earth beyond realism and Byzantine was more spiritual than worldly style. This art period was sectioned off into three different periods. The first was persecution from the first to the third century. The second was due to Constantine making Christianity legal in the fourth century. The last period is known as New Christian style starting in the fifth century. Most of the art from this period was frescoes, mosaics, and architecture. Byzantine art had many basic characteristics.

The first was expressionistic using color and emotion. Many of the are lacked depth in a two dimensional fashion. The art was symbolic in nature, decorative, detailed. The figures are stiff and rigid with gold. The first period, the persecution, involved roman subject matter and roman style because of the strength and knowledge of the Roman Empire. However, the artist used Christian meaning in symbols to celebrate their religion. Such symbols were a piece of garland meant victory over death, a tendril was the Eucharist, a nude figure is Christmas, a peacock is immortality, and a flying bird is a soul flying to heaven.

The second period, the emergence stage, used Christian subject matter and Roman style. They used Roman style because that is what the artist were taught and used to but were now aloud to use Christian subject matter. Problems set forth during this period because Roman realism was not appropriate for the Christian message. The Christian art was about soul and not body. The Good Shepherd in the Catacombs of St. Pietro and Marcellius is a fresco found in Rome during the fourth century. It contains shapes of crosses with Christ in the center and the good shepherd.

It uses orans that are figures without stretched hands representing a prayer towards Heaven. The Church of San Vitale is made from either 350 to 500 AD. It is made of sliver and gold. The subject matter is two figures of Christ from his younger years and the other is from his martyrdom. Figures of apostles, animals, and birds woven into a network of vines, branches, leaves, and grapes. The Church of San Vitale is found in Ravenna with a brick facing. It is a centrally planned church with a ground level, gallery, and clerestory. The inside shows Old Testament and New Testament scenes, symbols, patterns, and imperial portraits.

Those are beautiful gold mosaics. The Apse Mosaic is found in San Vitale. The subject matter is a beardless Christ in the center. He wears a halo containing the image of Christ and purple robe of royalty. It is natural because of the landscape terrain, shading, and drapery. It is unnatural because the folds are not natural, frontal, Christ is not logically supported by the globe. The Court of Justinian is a mosaic at the left side of the apse at San Vitale. The subject matter is the emperor wearing royal purple and the ArchBishop Maxima. Large green shields with the words Chi-Ris are shown.

This depicts Justinian as Christ represented on earth and head of the Church and state. The Basilica of Haggai Sophia is found in Constantinople. The subject matter is designs of Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Milefus. It is completely original, monumental, and the first domed basilica. The Early Christian and Byzantine art period is the founder of most art found later in the western world. Christianity subject matter is the prime source of art up to the modern era. We find religious art in all styles and the major artists used Christianity in most of their paintings and built structures for Christian churches.

Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens is considered one of the most important Flemish painters of the 17th century. His style became an international definition of the animated, exuberantly sensuous aspects of baroque painting. Combining the bold brushwork, luminous color, and shimmering light of the Venetian school with the fervent vigor of Michelangelo’s art and the formal dynamism of Hellenistic sculpture, Rubens created a vibrant art, its pulsating energies emanating from tensions between the intellectual and emotional, the classical and the romantic.

For 200 years the vitality and eloquence of his work influenced such artists as Antoine Watteau, in the early 18th century,and Eugne Delacroix and Pierre Auguste Renoir, in the 19th century. Rubens’s father, Jan Rubens, was a prominent lawyer and Antwerp alderman. Having converted from Catholicism to Calvinism, Jan Rubens in 1568 fled Flanders with his family because of persecutions against Protestants. In 1577 Peter Paul was born in exile at Siegen, Westphalia (now in Germany), also the birthplace of his brother Philip and his sister Baldina.

There, their father had become the adviser and lover of Princess Anna of Saxony, wife of Prince William I of Orange (William the Silent). On the death of Jan Rubens in 1587, his widow returned the family to Antwerp, where they again became Catholics. After studying the classics in a Latin school and serving as a court page, Peter Paul decided to become a painter. He apprenticed in turn with Tobias Verhaecht, Adam van Noort, and Otto van Veen, called Vaenius, three minor Flemish painters influenced by 16th-century Mannerist artists of the Florentine-Roman school.

The young Rubens was as precocious a painter as he had earlier been a scholar of modern European languages and of classical antiquity. In 1598, at the age of 21, he was accorded the rank of master painter of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. Following the example of many northern European artists of the period, Rubens felt drawn by necessity to travel to Italy, the center of European art for the previous two centuries. In 1600 he arrived in Venice, where he was particularly inspired by the paintings of Titian, Paolo Veronese, and Tintoretto.

Later, while resident in Rome, he was influenced by the works of Michelangelo and Raphael, as well as by ancient Greco-Roman sculpture. Vincenzo Gonzaga (reigned 1587-1612), the duke of Mantua, employed Rubens for about nine years. Besides executing original works, Rubens copied Renaissance paintings for the ducal collection, and in 1605 he served as the duke’s emissary to King Philip III of Spain. During his years in Italy, Rubens saw the early baroque works of the contemporary Italian painters Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio, and he associated with some of the leading humanist intellectuals of the day.

When Rubens left Italy, he was no longer a bourgeois but a gentleman, and he was not a local artist but one of international style and reputation. His mother’s death in 1608 brought Rubens back to Antwerp, where he married Isabella Brant in 1609. Having formulated one of the first innovative expressions of the baroque style while in Italy, Rubens on his return was recognized as the foremost painter of Flanders and, therefore, was immediately employed by the burgomaster of Antwerp.

His success was further confirmed in 1609, when he was engaged as court painter to the Austrian archduke Albert and his wife, the Spanish infanta Isabella, who together ruled the Low Countries as viceroys for the king of Spain. The number of pictures requested from Rubens was so large that he established an enormous workshop in which the master did the initial sketch and final touches, while his apprentices completed all the intermediary steps.

Besides court commissions from Brussels and abroad, the highly devout Rubens was much in demand by the militant Counter Reformation church of Flanders, which regarded his dramatic, emotionally charged interpretations of religious events-such as the Triptych of the Raising of the Cross (1610-11, Antwerp Cathedral)-as images for spiritual recruitment and renewal. Prosperity allowed Rubens to build an Italianate residence in Antwerp, where he housed his extensive collection of art and antiquities. Between 1622 and 1630 Rubens’s value as a diplomat was equal to his importance as a painter.

In 1622 he visited Paris, where the French queen Marie de Mdicis commissioned him, for the Luxembourg Palace, to depict her life in a series of allegorical paintings (completed 1625). Despite the keen loss Rubens felt after the death of his wife in 1626, he continued to be highly productive. In 1628 he was sent by the Flemish viceroys to Spain. While in Madrid he received several commissions from King Philip IV of Spain, who made him secretary of his Privy Council. Rubens also served as a mentor to the young Spanish painter Diego Velzquez.

After a delicate diplomatic mission to London in 1629, he was knighted by a grateful King Charles I of England, for whom he executed several paintings. For Charles, Rubens also made the preliminary sketches (finished in Antwerp, 1636) for the ceiling mural in the Whitehall Palace Banqueting Hall. From 1630, when he married Hlne Fourment, until his death on May 30, 1640, Rubens remained in Antwerp, living primarily at Castle Steen, his country residence. During this final decade he continued executing commissions for the Habsburg monarchs of Austria and Spain.

More and more, he also painted pictures of personal interest, especially of his wife and child and of the Flemish countryside. The concerns of Rubens’s late style, and indeed of his whole career, are summarized in The Judgment of Paris (circa 1635-37, National Gallery, London). In this painting voluptuous goddesses are posed against a verdant landscape, goddesses and landscape both symbolizing the richness of creation. Color is luxuriant, light and shade glow, and the brushwork is sensuous. All these elements further the meaning of the narrative, which is Paris’s selection of what is most beautiful-the lifelong concern of Rubens in his art.

Compare Leonardos Last Supper with that of Tintoretto

The Last Supper by Leonardo is very different to Tintorettos representation of the same incident. The last supper is one of the most important occurrences which took place in the Christian religion such an important event that many have seen the need for the event visually recorded through art the two most famous of these representations are by far Tintorettos and Leonardos works. The Last Supper by Leonardo was created during the renaissance period and is a simple symbolic work with little emotion.

Tintoretto however chose to represent the event in a surrealistic manner to give full impact; A way in which was typical of the art period in which he painted the work, the Mannerist period. The two works although essentially containing the same subject differ immensely. This difference is strongly evident through the artists contrasting use of colour, light, realism, technique perception and focal point/s.

Leonardos version of the Last Supper was painted El fresco depicting the scene passively without emotion. The work has the supper table horizontal across the lower third and Jesus and his twelve disciples dining behind it, before a backdrop of both man made structure and natural landscape. The artwork is un-cluttered and simple. The lighting is subtle and non-dramatic. Colour is conservative and dull this is partly due to the limited paint available and the technique and decay of fresco painting.

The work is very balanced with only one focal point a style that is reflective of the period in which he painted it the Renaissance when the majority lived in harmony. Another attribute of his work, which is typical Renaissance art, is his combination of architectural structures and natural environment. His portrayal of the scene is very realistic and extremely accurate in human form. Leonardo has incorporated the use of drapery to emphasize and create this human form. Tintorettos portrayal of the Last Supper is one of dramatic Metaphysicalism.

It features the dinning table diagonally along the left half of the work behind it Jesus and his Disciples before the table there is a woman cleaning and in the area above them are the angelic presence of cherubs. There are a number of smaller scenes present within the artwork and there are a number of focal points, which lead the viewers eyes over them. The work is full of emotion and is largely unbalanced this is reflective of the time in which the work was created when there was a lot of social outrage and anger.

Tintoretto used fantasy, to the point of surrealism in this work; Cherubs and halos are used to emphasize the religious significance of the event. This work has the presence of women. There is a strong contrast in this work with very deep shadows and vibrant bright highlights due to the dramatic lighting. There is an extremely strong use of colour and chiaroscuro. The two depictions of the Last Supper are very different due to a number of outlying factors.

There are different purposes or functions that each of the artists intended when creating their work. The artists were each motivated by different forces. Time periods differed and therefore social influences were not the same for both of the artists and that is reflected in their style of work. The two last suppers are both unique and individual. There are numerous clear distinctions through these two artists reconstruction of the same scene. Each of the works is creditable and purposeful but in two very distinctively different ways.

The Work of Pierre August Cot and Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The nineteenth century produced a great number of art works from such artists as Pierre August Cot and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Two major themes in these works include images fabricated from the real world and mirror images of everyday situations in life. Cot produced a pair of star struck lovers sharing a moment together in a hidden dugout enclosed by trees and shrubs while Renior recreated a midsummers day with a family enjoying an outing downtown. Each of these painting possesses an iconography in which the artist has contrived within his mind as the main theme to his work.

This image is not intended to influence the viewers individual observation, but to embellish the works particular symbolism. Cot was a wonderfully gifted painter who applied remarkable use of proportional status when creating a two-dimensional painting. The only disadvantage about Cot is that his name is not well known. When this occurs, an artist and his work lack the media voice it needs to posses in order to advance among the inflections of those who do the observing. Therefore personal information is difficult to come across. His work can be classified under representational art.

This form of art uses natural images that look very much like images in the natural world. His portfolio of artwork has not received the noteworthy recognition it so deserves. The Storm, created in 1880, is his only painting to have received praise from the world of art. To showcase another masterpiece completed by Cot, I chose to compare and contrast the composition of Le Printemps . This was also created in the same era and was influenced by images fabricated from the real world. The composition of this painting is quite complete; it includes actual lines, organic shapes, and the illusion of light.

Le Printemps grants the subconscious mind to drift into a fantasy-like state and the illusion of mortality merges with the illusion of realism. Cot portrays the young couple on a swing as his major element. The entire picture is based upon this element and with actual lines, the ropes of the swing and the immediate surrounding environment are defined as background major elements. Two large ropes are attached to a small wooden plank, containing the man and woman. Indentations can be seen where the man is holding on and the illusion of movement is understood.

For the environmental elements, the large tree symbolizes the relationship it has with the swing as well as the direction in which the couple is swaying. When observing this picture, the thought of organic shapes will just not pop into your head. Organic shapes are based on forms found in nature, which are usually rounded, curvy, and irregular. For example, look below the area where the couples feet lay. Underneath is a small area, about a foot in length, which forms a cliff. At the bottom of this proclaimed cliff is a delicate pond, surrounded by water lilies, various foliage, and a dragonfly.

Behind the couple is a trail leading to their secret hide-away, covered by overgrown trees and shrubs. At each glance, mostly all elements within this painting own actual light. This light creates shadows and reflections to give solidity and depth and sometimes animation from within. Towards the upper left of the picture, the suns rays can be seen shining through the trees and reflection takes place on part of the trees leaves, the back of the mans head, on the womans face, and partially on their legs. Basically, everything that is included within the eye of the path shows light and its reflects.

Overall, this painting possess many features that are worthy of a good liberal arts discussion. With the understanding of the elements characterized above, an intelligent judgement can be formed to conclude whether or not Pierre August Cots name should be added to those artists of high standing such as Monet, Piccaso, Rembrandt, Seurat, or van Gogh. On the other hand, Renoir was more concerned with human form without including nature or landscape. Renoir is known around the world as an impressionist. Impressionism concentrates on what the eye actually sees rather than the brains interpretation.

You can see many individual brush strokes of varying hues placed side by side, never blending together. One of Renoirs most distinguished pieces if entitled Le Moulin de la Galette. When observing this artwork, our textbook states that a person will encounter a quick perception of the most delightful of all ways to experience a warm summer day at a local caf or outdoor extravaganza. As spectators, we mentally experience the scene and engross its essential quality rather than its subconscious detail such as warm breezes, music lingering in the background, or sense of personality.

This impression painting illustrates good use of implied lines. These lines are shown within the portraits internal personality. Visibility is present when determining whos looking where, whos talking/listening, whos leading the dance, and what direction the people are following. Such lines imply movement as well as assertive quality, which is indicated by vertical lines. There is little evidence of shading, shadows, or reflection. Renoir used blotches of medium blue to show a slight shadowing on the ground surrounding the dancers. He also portrayed the faces of each person with a hint of gray to indicate the light outside is diminishing.

When looking toward the rear of the picture, black is used to show depth in the crowds population. Other than these examples, Renoir did not put emphasis on shading, shadowing, or reflection. Dark hues of blue and black were used to illustrate the mens clothing and hues of pastels depicted womens apparel. This piece of Renoirs work also possesses two-dimensional space. Two-dimensional space deals with height and width; there is no actual depth. While being fixated with the picture, take notice to the horizontal and vertical lines represented within the shapes of each minor and major element.

Not only can you see the various arrangements, but great spatial organization. There is not a main element strategically placed in this picture. Two women are placed towards the center front; one is sitting on a bench with the other close behind. To the left of them is a group socializing around a table drinking wine and taking part in conversing. To the upper right of the two women is a dancing couple stopped in mid-motion. This view is as if someone has taken a picture and the couple has just looked at the camera in the middle of a dance step.

The further the viewer looks back, more people can be looked upon and it can be determined what their role is with the works symbolism. Unfortunately Renior did not have the best hand dealt in the game of life. He grew up poor and under his fathers strict authority. At first, his work was unnoticed and as his continued his career, his work became more popular. His paintings portrayed the life he wanted to be accustomed to and for some reason, people found that attractive, as if they felt sorry for him. Towards the end of his career, the nude female figure became his most familiar subject.

Flamenco Baile: A Living History

Flamenco is not merely a style of music, song or dance from Spain but rather a way of life that influences the daily activities of many individuals. The art of flamenco was intended to be an outward expression of an individuals most profound emotions and the flamenco way of life. It was never intended to be a technical art performed with stoic precision yet without duende (a passion/feeling for flamenco). The main components and styles of flamenco will be discussed briefly while an in depth presentation of the characteristics of flamenco dance (baile) and its evolution shall emerge subsequently.

Present day flamenco consists of singing (cante), dancing (baile) and guitar playing (toque); each of which is a distinctive art. Those only vaguely introduced to flamenco may be surprised to learn that the cante was and is the centerpiece of the flamenco art form. In contemporary times singers perform in the background and their singing is usually perceived as musical accompaniment to the dancers. Throughout history, however, flamenco has been based on the art of singing and the cantaor (singer) often provided his own rhythmic accompaniment with rapping of the knuckles or a stick (figure 1).

Various styles of flamenco permeate yet the art is divided into four specific categories including deep/profound flamenco (jondo or grande), intermediate flamenco (intermedio), light flamenco (chico) and popular flamenco. Jondo or grande flamenco is the serious flamenco and is comparable with the blues of the southern United States (The Art of Flamenco, p. 47). Of all forms of flamenco this is the most difficult to understand and interpret properly. The artists who explore this style are considered the nobility in the world of flamenco.

In order to grasp this style an artist must have a true feeling of flamenco (duende) hat he is able to pass on to his audience. Jondo flamenco is an emotional art and the artist must possess only enough technical proficiency to allow him/her to communicate with spectators his emotions and passion for flamenco. Jondo flamenco is not concerned with a mastering of technique for improved technique does not mean an increased ability to relate emotions to the public. If an artist becomes too involved with the difficulty or complexity of his art he loses the ability to impart duende for his energy is focused specifically on technique.

Flamenco intermedio consists of styles that tend toward flamenco grande but the intermedio is not s difficult to perform properly and not as moving. Flamenco chico is sensuous, tender and poetic and is usually not intensely moving. This style of flamenco usually consists of shouting, stomping and fast movements. Popular flamenco is the collaboration of all three above forms and does not resemble pure flamenco. It is the commercialization of flamenco and is aimed at the general public who like a good show but seek no emotional involvement.

The contrast between flamenco juerga and popular flamenco is best surmised in the words of an artist, “primitivism versus polish, warmth versus anonymity, creation versus rigidity, emotion versus ntellect, instinct versus schooling, fun versus formality. “(The Art of Flamenco, p. 51). The professional flamenco artist must follow either the commercial route in which the art is sacrificed to some extent to money or the private route in which money is sacrificed, to some extent, for purity of expression.

True flamencos are purists who will in no way compromise the art and if they must go hungry in the process it is just one of the hazards of the trade. The contrast between popular flamenco and flamenco juerga is most evident in the flamenco baile due to its extroverted nature. Often an amateur to the art of flamenco will appreciate the baile most while paying negligible attention to the cante and toque. This occurs mainly because as a beginner one is not able to grasp the soul searing intensity of the song or accompaniment. But one will always be able to appreciate the grace and sensuality of the dancers movements.

Unlike the other forms of flamenco, flamenco baile requires that the body be the means of expression. Flamenco dancers (bailaores) use movement to dig into their emotional selves and express their most unutterable emotions through their bodys movement. A true flamenco bailaore will elicit emotional esponse without analysis. The dance of the arms, hands, shoulders and fingertips is the very essence of the feminine dance (figure 2). The female dancer (bailaora) uses various arm movements, “rhythmically linked, flowing one into the other, forming continuous spirals that culminate in curving, meandering, sinuous fingers.

The hands and fingers receive the emotions articulated by the arms framing a slightly arched body. ” (Flamenco, Body and Soul p. 116). She dances, “with a bending, undulating waist designed by nature itself to express her voluptuous imagination, with her curving shoulders and undulating seeking arms slender romising fingertips begging for sanctuary. With her head and her eyes, and her flashing teeth and her very heart. ” (Flamenco, Body and Soul, p. 116) (figure 3). Hands and fingers may also be incorporated for rhythm by finger snapping, hand clapping or the use of castanets.

It has been suggested, however, that the use of these instruments occurs due to inability to work t! he upper torso. The bailaor uses his feet to create the zapateado (figure 4), a rhythmic coordinated heel and toe movement which produces a syncopated staccato sound. The bailaor digs deep into himself during his dance to ultimately release his distress. The male dancer concentrates all movement to the feet and develops a beat dependent upon inner rhythms. Each baile (dance), or danceable compas (rhythm/beat) does not have traditional characteristics that have to be adhered to.

The rhythm largely determines the dance, and between bailes with very similar rhythms and moods there will be no inherent differences in the dance. Traditionally the bailaoras (female dancer) main concentration was from the hips up and the bailaors (male dancer) from the waist down. However, flamenco dance was revolutionized by two incomparable figures; Antonio el de Bilbao and Carmen Amaya (figure 5). These two individuals altered the trend of flamenco dance by incorporating both feminine and masculine aspects into their dances.

They transformed flamenco baile from non-technical, simple and direct to difficult, complex and extremely technical. Although their style incorporated more technical precision these artists were capable of relaying duende and thus remained true to flamencos original purpose – personal expression. It is strictly up to the dancer to use whatever technique he wishes in whatever manner he wishes, within certain limits, as long as they help him express what he feels and is striving to communicate with he audience. However, only certain movements and techniques are accepted as being truly flamenco.

The inner passion of the dancer must be released through his movement. When precision becomes the focus all energy is centered on the technical aspect of the dance. The dancer no longer focuses on emotional expression or duende and the essence of flamenco has been lost. The origins and development of flamenco baile are obscure and murky yet can be pieced together through historical facts and contemporary similarities in the dance of various cultures. Baile flamenco s believed to be descended from ancient religious dances of the Indian Hindus including the Bharata Natyam, Kathak and Kathakali (figure 6).

These sacred dances involve story telling and spontaneity; although not as openly as in flamenco. Arm gestures, hand movements and footwork bear a striking similarity yet this is where the resemblance ends. Through its evolution flamenco has lost many traditional elements of Indian dance; flamenco dance is not symbolic or religious and does not utilize the various eye and facial movements of classical Indian dance. It is postulated that lay persons dopted the highly civilized religious dances of the Indian Hindus and shed many of the highly stylized gestures, returning to a more basic art form concerned mainly with the expression ! f oneself and ones emotions.

The development of specific Indian dances into flamenco, within Spain, still poses a mystery for the recorded history of flamenco baile does not begin until the caf cantante period in 1842. However, a history has been surmised through available facts and postulation. Traditionally performed in temples during religious rites the sacred Indian dances eventually began o be performed outside the temples in India. As the dances were performed publicly more often, lay persons adopted and modified the movements.

Through caravans and trading vessels different cultures witnessed the simplified dances and returned home with a new and exhilarating form of movement dedicated to personal expression. The more simplified dances also dispersed throughout Spain when Indian gypsies followed Moorish armies during their conquest of Spains southernmost province, Andalusia, during the 6th century. The modified Indian dances arrived with these unique cultures and a distinct dance style was stablished in Spain.

A subsequent event in the development of flamenco was the second influx of gypsies to Spain. Bands of gypsies began an exodus from India during the 9th century due to oppression. They roamed across Asia, Africa and Europe aimlessly searching for a new homeland. During their trek the bands of gypsies dwindled as tribes were left along the way until a few remaining gypsies filtered through the Spanish peninsula. Eventually they settled at Andalusia, a multi-ethnic province in which Jews, Christians and Arabs lived side by side, in the 15th century.

Andalusia was currently the center of Moorish ivilization. The cultural coexistence in Andalusia was destroyed, however, when Spanish Christians completed their re-conquest of the last Moorish stronghold in 1492. With the momentum of this defeat the overly-impassioned Christians decided to purge Spain of all undesirable elements and passed laws ordering the expulsion of Moors, Jews and gypsies who had no useful profession. These laws were followed by a reign of terror against those cultures who refused to comply (Art of Flamenco, p. 44).

It was due to these events that persecuted cultures (Jews, Arabs and Gypsies) who shared no common onds united against oppressive Christians. They grouped together into tribes/bands and went underground hiding in uninhabited regions, living in caves and foraging for food; soon after their banishment the oppressed cultures were joined by Christian fugitives and dissenters. Because of the forced coexistence of the Jews, Christians, Arabs and Indians various folk and religious styles of music, song and dance blended with gypsy abandonment and improvisation.

Controversy often arises about cultural contribution to the art of flamenco. Andalusians contest that flamenco was an established art form within their province. They argue that gypsies brought no style of song or dance of their own but simply adopted the culture of each land where they roamed. They assert that if the gypsies who emigrated from India brought a folk style similar to flamenco then gypsies in other cultures would practice flamenco styles also. This argument is quickly refuted since startling similarities between the music and dance of the Spanish gypsies and gypsies of other countries are present.

Vicente Escudero in his work, “Mi Baile” states that a Russian gypsy dance is very similar to the famuca in its compas (footwork) and movements of he arms plus upper torso; Nevertheless, the dance there has developed much more acrobatically (Lives and Legends of Flamenco, p. 176). In addition, the many falsettos of Hungarian gypsy violin and flamenco guitar are nearly identical as much in feeling as in structure (Lives and Legends of Flamenco, p. 178). Additional accounts of similarities between Spanish gypsy style and gypsies from other countries exist yet will not be explored in depth here.

The Moors ruled in Andalusia for eight centuries and it is thus impossible to deny their influence in the development of flamenco dance. The movements of the upper torso, arms and hands remained in existence due to Moorish approval. However, there was discouragement of feminine footwork due to a ruling in the Koran – women would not utilize footwork in order to not show their legs (Lives and Legends of Flamenco, p. 144). This ruling and the fact that gypsy dancers were not technically trained are the main reasons why feminine footwork was nearly non-existent in flamenco baile until this century.

Throughout all of the debates about the evolution of flamenco it is clear that the art of flamenco had been brewing for many centuries in Andalusia. During the time of the Moors flamenco dance was popular and still somewhat religious yet after their expulsion from Spain all religious affiliation was lost. It was then that the baile along with cante and toque went underground and became the art of a persecuted people. Consequently, the mingling of the various cultural styles of these persecuted people can be cited as the creation of an art form we today call flamenco.

The recorded history of flamenco dance does not begin until the start of the caf cantante period in 1842 and the majority of flamenco dancers, at that time, were gypsies with fundamental technique and sparse repertoires. The footwork of the men was relatively simple and primitive while women, with very few exceptions, used almost no footwork and concentrated on the arms, hands and upper torso. In gypsy or primitive flamenco dance neither men nor women used castanets but relied on movement of the upper torso and their own personalities (gracia) (figure 7).

It was a completely spontaneous dance and provides a look at what flamenco was intended to be. Dance found itself on stage during the caf cantate period, however, and it began to expand in the amount of space it utilized. The arm movements once motivated by inner feelings now became repetitive, oncentric movements made by a number of dancers and the syncopated rhythms of the zapateado (dance concentrating on footwork) became the protocol for male dancers. The larger space of the caf cantante period demanded a company of dancers and choreography became a vital component of flamenco.

During the cafe cantante period choreography dominated flamenco dancing. The possibilities in choreographing flamenco dance were numerous yet the dance became delightful, festive and jovial but also boring and routine. The essence of flamenco was lost and no longer were dancers exploring their motional selves on stage. Then in 1915, Serge Diaghlievs Ballet Russe came to Spain and changed the tide of many art forms including flamenco dance. Diaghliev demonstrated how to utilize space and all the qualities a dancer possessed.

Flamenco dancers suddenly re-evaluated their profession once confronted with Diaghlievs integrity. Three paths were unexpectedly available to flamenco dancers; please the public with routine dances, return to their origins as individual bailaores, or enlarge their companies with more brilliant choreography to present pure flamenco dancing on a large scale. A return to pure flamenco dancing, as it was originally performed by individual dancers, and the development of large professional companies dedicated to authentic flamenco baile were the two new directions in which flamenco dance moved.

Unlike in Indian religious dances the various movements of flamenco do not have specific meanings and the dance is not attempting to convey a story. The techniques and movements in flamenco are not symbolic and in a solo dance no actual story is being told. The dancer utilizes the techniques and movements of the dance to help express the inner self and also utilizes whichever passions or moods are ffecting him at the time of dancing. The same movement can denote love or hate, tragedy or happiness depending on the mood of the dancer.

Dancing is such like an abstract painting in that two individuals will be moved differently by the same dance and the same viewer may be affected differently if viewed on separate occasions. ” (The Art of Flamenco, P. 70) The passionate dancer, when he feels himself moved during the course of a flamenco session, responds with creation of movement and a release of passion and emotions beyond rehearsed arrangements and emories (figure 8).

The technique helps him achieve the release and the arrangement help solidify the technique but his inner passion is his motivating force. Flamenco baile is a wonderfully moving art form which lost its focus for some years but has regained its integrity. It is an art form which relies mainly on the passions of the performer and not on technical precision. Flamenco baile was intended to be a spontaneous art and has returned to its original purpose through the efforts of many dedicated and pure flamencos; both performers and spectators.

Botticelli’s Spring Essay

The renaissance was a time of wonderful art, though one artist in particular stood out, that was Sandro Botticelli. This man created some of the most renowned pieces of art in European history; one great painting was Allegory of Spring. This mythological artwork was an amazing change from the normalcy of past times. Botticellis Allegory of Spring, painted in 1482, is one of the most remarkable and astounding pieces of renaissance art with the wondrous symbols, style, story of the piece and also the intriguing history of Botticelli himself.

Botticelli is considered one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance; one of is finest works was Allegory of Spring. Botticelli, originally named Alessandro di Mariano Filiapepi, was born in Florence, Italy in 1445. He was nicknamed “Botticelli”; meaning little barrel, this name was originally bestowed upon his older brother but for some reason passed on to and adopted by his little brother (4:68). He was first an apprentice to a goldsmith, though at about age thirteen or fourteen he stopped training and traded to painting. He was an apprentice to Filippo Lippi. This mans style formed many of Botticellis early works.

Botticelli also worked with painter and engraver Antonio del Pollaiuolo. Botticelli had his own workshop by 1470; there he spent most of his life working for many great families in Florence at the time, especially the Medici family. As one of the artist in the court of Lorenzo de Medici, he was immensely influenced by its Christian Neoplatonism (5:7). With this in mind he tried to reconcile classical and Christian views. Though working for himself a lot he was also commissioned by many others. He joined Perugino, Ghirlandaio, and Rosselli from 1481 for one year to paint frescos for the Sistine Chapel.

Botticelli worked with some onsequential artist of the Florentine Renaissance, which would shape and change his style of painting. Botticellis works are seen as a landmark of high renaissance. He created some of the greatest works of this time. His early pieces were mostly of the virgin and child (1:78). He first made a name for himself when in 1470 he was public commissioned to paint Fortitude, which would be hung in the Trade law court in Florence. One of his first real milestones was the creation of the Adoration of the Magi, which he painted around 1473-1475.

This painting veered away from some of his earlier more morbid content. This was ne of the first pieces commissioned by the Medici family, who in this case gave many guidelines for the young Botticelli to follow. Botticelli would go on to paint Portrait of an unknown man with a medallion of Cosimo the Elder, in the same time period (5:42). Then he would create one of the most well known Allegory of Spring, quite different subject matter from times before with the conceptions of mythological characters and a defined plot. Then in 1481 he went to Rome to work on frescos of the Sistine Chapel ordered by Pope Sixtus IV.

After this he went on to create the sister painting to Allegory of Spring, Birth f Venus. Botticelli continued to create heroic works of art portraying many different stories and characters. He painted an array of religious artwork as well as portraits and mythological pieces. He was a well-rounded painter who will influence the art world for centuries after his death in 1510. Botticellis style of painting was a combination of the influences of his teacher, but the time and his own creative energy help determine much of his work. Botticelli was an apprentice to Lippi who had a huge influence and him defined many of his early works.

Lippi taught Botticelli the concept of drawing utlines, this was to create the effect of transparency, and to give the painting a certain fluidity and harmony (2:69). A viewer can see this in many of Botticellis work including Allegory of Spring. Botticelli was also influenced by the Pollaiolo brother whom he also works with. These men taught him emotive force and also the usage of color. An obvious idea, which can be viewed in many of Botticellis allegorical paintings, including Allegory of Spring, is the greater amount of luminosity, as well as a softer look of pride (2:70).

Botticelli wanted to accentuate the elegance of the pose and the decoration of he characters also. This artist held a great adhesion to the neo-platonic style of Marsilio Ficino and Agnolo Poliziano. Not only was Botticelli influenced by certain people of this time he was also influenced by the early Greek and Roman culture, especially the ancient mythology. This is the basis of the work Allegory of Spring. The entire story line, characters, and style were partially picked up by these people.

This was a concept new and different at this time, Botticelli did not only use it in this one painting it was also widely present in the equally as famous Birth of Venus. Venus, the Roman goddess of love and eauty, is featured in both of these painting, representing the likeliness of beauty and love as well as ancient Roman culture and religion to Botticelli. The concept of Roman and Greek mythology entwined with some of Botticellis Christian ideas creates what many scholars call Christian Neoplatonism. This would have a huge impact on the style that Botticelli designed for this work.

Neoplatonism is the backbone in this work by one of the most thought provoking painters of the Renaissance. Botticellis notion of replacing the normal Christian-Hierarchy-Portrait painting was remarkable (3:1). This concept of Christian Neoplatonism was new and conventional; Neoplatonism is the collective designation for the philosophical and religious doctrines of the classical pagan philosophy. These theories of knowledge are mainly based on the ideas on explanations of Plato. Neoplatonism seeks to locate the One, or God in Christian Neoplatonism, in the finite world and human experience.

This was and is a complex and confusing way of thinking however it was this that Botticelli based many, including Allegory of Spring, on. This concept really came into play during the third century of Rome. It is partly based on the Greek mythological logic and religion with many newer Christian aspects added upon it. This is an ever-changing subject with many different sects of views and new ideas forming all the time (3:2). Botticellis Allegory of Spring was painted in 1480 with tempura on canvas. This pre-Christian piece was one of the largest panel paintings with mythological themes.

This painting has been in the Uffizi art museum in Florence, Italy since 1919 and was recently restored in 1982. Botticelli painted this in honor of the marriage of Lorenzo Pierfranceso de Media and Seriramide Appiani. Most likely this painting was inspired by Ovid, Lucretius, and the great Roman poet Horace. The picture combines the classical Roman pose of antique statues with the more recent gothic ideas. This painting is overwhelmed with character and ancient mythology creating one of the most prized paintings of the great Italian Renaissance.

The inspiration for this painting could have come from reading the Latin poets Ovids Fasti, but it is more likely that the inspiration came from Verses for the Joust by Agnolo Poliziano. It was in this, which the writer describes a meadow where grasses and lants grew, where the winds blew and where “Happy Spring was ever present”. This poem refers to the neoplatonic thoughts seen throughout the painting (5:7). This is a very complex and intricate painting with an intensely interesting plot. This painting is set in Venus divine garden with a flower filled meadow and a shady grove in the background.

There are numerous slender trees and many mythological characters in the scene. To the left end of the painting is Mercury, the son of Jupiter and the nymph Maia. Virgils Aeneid could have inspired this young traveler with hat, sword and winged sandals. Mercury, who is he herald of Jove, is portraying the dispersing of winter winds and the renewal of spring. Just next to Mercury are the three graces dancing in a circle. One touches cupid above as one turns towards Mercury. Notice the linearity of the outlines of one of the graces that creates a feeling of spirituality with their features and shape (2:68).

The cupid that is motioned to is Amor, the god of passionate love. Amor, or Eros to the Greek, is the winged son of Mars and Venus. This can be seen by the bow, which he carries and also the arrows, quiver and blindfold. Just below Amor is the goddess of love and beauty, Venus. Venus extends her hand toward the three graces to modulate their dance. On the far right is the icy blue god of the west winds, Zephyrus. He embraces Chloris; he is transforming her from nymph into Flora the goddess of spring; Flora is the figure between Chloris and Venus.

This painting is Botticellis conception of spring in a reverse pagan concept. One of Botticellis greatest additions to the artwork he created was the amazing symbolism within. The symbolic meaning to this painting is while spring awakens the world to the beauty, Venus uses love to turn the human heart to truths divine (1:78). This painting is mostly based on the beauty and renewal of life in spring, it also focus on love. Venus, the center point of this painting stirs the flowers to life with her warm winds.

Venus is the symbol of spring this is seen by the adornment of flowers by the graces. She, not only a symbol of spring, represents civilization, governing the world and the actions of men. There are many interpretations of Venus, another idea is the portrayal of spiritual love, with above her, a bandaged Cupid in the process of shooting one of his arrows. Further to the left are the three graces, heir fingers entwined, their hair delicately waving and their transparent dresses, they are dancing harmoniously, while Mercury dispels the clouds from the flower filled garden, with his caduceus.

This wooden stick with two snakes twisting around it, is a symbol of medicine (3:2). Mercury himself is not merely a handsome youth but a revealer of the truth as he touches the clouds to unveil the mysteries (1:78). The characters in this piece have a great depiction of the thoughts of Botticelli. The painting itself has many underlying meanings, also. For example, the blossoming gardens represent the metaphor for the fertility of Flora. Chloris and Flora are the same people in this painting though they are portraying the metamorphosis they she is going throw.

The graces may symbolize liberty. These additions to the painting that Botticelli made had a huge influence on the way many people perceive him and his work. This paintings theme is mainly based on the vivid symbols and representations. Botticelli had a true gift of including and understanding all aspect of artwork when creating this piece. In Birth of Venus much of the same symbolism carries over to add interest and a personal touch to his work. Many of Botticellis successors owe uch to this man who paved a wonderful road to the use of symbolism.

The symbols, the story line, the style of this artwork all come together to form a harmonious conception that the renewal of spring brings. Botticellis every brush stroke signifies the beauty and mysteriousness of the mythological story depicted in this piece. Botticelli brings to life the peacefulness and abundance of new life to Venus garden. This painting is truly a highlight of Renaissance culture and art at its peak, with the fluid brush strokes, the statuesque characters and the true meaning of spring brought together.

The Censorship of Art

Things are heating up in America. People are protesting outside of the movie theaters, concerts, and book and record stores of this great nation everywhere. What is all the fuss about? Censorship, Government officials and raving mad protesters alike have been trying to stop the expressive creativity in everything from Marilyn Manson to Mark Twain. One of the biggest shake-ups happened in museums all over the world recently that would have made Michelangelo and DiVinchis hair stand on end.

In the Constitution of the United States, the First Amendment guarantees reedom of speech, religion, press, the right to assemble and to petition the government; the Ninth Amendment says, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”. So it seems one cannot use any of the other rights to quell the rights of an individual or group. Then why is the government trying to censor literature, movies, music and art? All of the worlds modern society has become desensitized and easily trainable.

Therefore society has come to accept the ideals, morals, and values driven into the psyche y the dominant forces in the nation: the Government and the Church. By quieting the objective voice these two institutions stand in the lead and stay in control. One might assume that the blood-sucking politicians have nothing better to do than to look for things that offend any one major group of people (i. e. the church) to obtain votes. In this manner the government is becoming more and more controlling and artistic censorship is just another way to maintain control.

Things were not always so. Government had very little to say about censoring anything. Was it ot only three decades ago that as one nation the population was united by the ideals of peace love, and harmony? As an art student in the 60s era, Robert Mansfield states in his article, Artistic Freedom: government challenge “the first amendment was seldom an issue of concern… In fact it seemed that boundaries of expression were governed only by individual creative ability intellect and imagination”. Where have these ideals gone?

It seems in recent years they have disappeared with the freedom of thought. Why is it so important to some people not to offend? It seems the people easily ffended are the ones deciding what is acceptable for the population. “Well about a decade ago when the nation debated about funding controversial art,” writes John Cloud of TIME magazine, “in the capital of crude, few people consider rude art a problem. ” Articles ranging in titles from “New Yorks Art Attack” to “Creative Chaos” are appearing in TIME and other numerous front-page materials across the country.

In H. G. Hovagimyans TOKARTOK: The Censorship of Art, he states: “Artists are often asked to change parts of their works to conform to the publics morality. This has een going on since the Pope asked Michelangelo to paint fig leaves on Adam and Eve. ” Yes do not forget about the control the church has had on artistic expression since the beginning of time. When the church has something to say everyone listens. It is amusing how when something offends the church it quickly disappears. However, when these people see some bubble that looks like the face of the Virgin Mary in a tortilla chip, they start worshiping it.

Next comes a media circus and before lunch it is all over CNN and every other news broadcast in the world. It is obvious the government uses those ituations to promote the Church and its ideals of acceptable art even if it is a tortilla chip. As the 1960s came to an end the meaning and importance of the first amendment became indisputable. The Democratic National Convention in Chicago, protesting against the Vietnam War and the political assassinations of the late 1960s (with the governments interjection and objection) showed that the so-called guaranteed right of freedom of expression was not so guaranteed anymore.

This point was proven again by the incident at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, where tudents rallying against the presidents decision to send troops into Cambodia without declaring war were arrested, beaten, bombed with tear gas, and ultimately shot at by a dozen men armed with M-1 rifles. “A total of 67 shots were fired in 13 seconds. ” Is what it said in on the May 4th Task Force of Kent State University. Four of the students were killed and nine were wounded. The extent the government would go to in order to quell the objective voice was proven that day.

The government proves once again, in modern times, that they cannot be trustworthy of humanities unalterable ights by trying to censor artistic expression. In September 1999 an exhibit called SENSATION went on display at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. One of the artists, Chris Ofili, portrayed a black Madonna adorned with elephant dung and pictures of womens crotches from porn magazines. New York City Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, said ” The idea of having so-called works of art in which people are throwing elephant dung at a picture of the Virgin Mary is sick.

What is sick is that the government seems to have the idea that it can make decisions for the nation. Had the Mayor decided to go to the xhibit the mayor would have found out Ofili includes elephant dung in all of the works not just the religious portraits. It would also come to pass to the mayor that elephant dung symbolizes regeneration to the African culture. The wonderful Mayor then threatened to cut the museums funding of about $7 million dollars (a third of the museum’s budget) unless SENSATION was cancelled. Now bad mouthing the exhibit is one thing, but to threaten to cut the funding is another story.

In an article that appeared in TIME Daily news: When a Mayor and the Constitution Collide, the article shows ow the First amendment is just a notch in the mountains to government officials. What is important to the government is forcing their ideals of morality onto others. “Monday Federal court judge ruled that the mayor trampled all over the first Amendment in his attempts to remove funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art because of an exhibit he deemed offensive. ” Guiliani withheld $500,000 a month from the museum from October 1st 1999 until the court hearing which ruled against the mayor.

The dictator mayor Guiliani then suggests the board of the museum resign. Time arts writer Steven Madoff said, ” Theres no end to the gall that Guiliani has. ” The mayor tried to close down this museum for one single painting? A little harsh one would think. Mrs. Hillary Clinton in a public statement to the press defended the museum saying, “Its not appropriate to penalize and punish an institution such as the Brooklyn Museum,” She then added to her statement that she would not go to see this exhibit because she would find certain things offensive.

Everything Giuliani tried to do has backfired including the attempt to evict the museum from the city owned building. What right does any government official have to cut funding to a program in which there are so many artists work, time, and effort? Just on account of one person finding it to be offensive does not mean that everyone else will. What one person sees as tasteless may be tasteful to another. Remember that society does have the option to go and see the work or not to go to see the work. The all-powerful mayor never went to see the exhibit himself, but somehow found the time to criticize it.

In a Letter from the Brooklyn Museum of Art Director Arnold L. Lehman he comments on the way SENSATION s a refreshing and attracting part of this exhibit. He stated, “SENSATION is a part of our plan to revitalize the very concept of how art whether traditional or the most challenging can speak to people in their own language… our museum must be central to the topical sociocultural issues, expressed through art, that drive our daily lives. ” Art means so many things to so many different people. So how can the government decide what the public wants to see?

It has more to do with what the government does not want the public to see. The government is afraid people will see new controversial rt and think a thought or two and realize what a laughingstock life has been made due to the need for control. On the National Coalition Against Censorship web site in an article The Long and Short of It, the article reads: ” Mayor Giulianis reaction to the Sensation exhibit stimulated a satirical installation from artist Hans Haacke, now on display at the Whitney Museum of Art Biennial Exhibit in New York.

The provocative artwork, Sanitation, links the current culture wars to the banning of “degenerate” art in Munich in 1937. It displays the text of the First Amendment along with quotations in Nazi-style script from Patrick Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Jesse Helms and Mayor Giuliani and is surrounded by garbage cans blaring the sounds of marching troops. So far the controversy over Sanitation has not evoked a peep from Mayor Giuliani. ” The fact of the matter is that the mayor will not have anything to say he has already lost the battle.

Federal Court Judge Nina Gershon stated in the article When the Mayor and the Constitution Collide, “There is no federal constitutional issue more grave than the effort by government officials to censor works of expression… to abide by government demands for orthodoxy. Why should the nation have to harmonize to the morals of the government? The fact of the matter is the nation should not have to conform to the governments morality. The government, in this manner, has violated the god given right of choice in order to quell the voices of objectivity and maintain its all-powerful reign.

The Church has tried to extinguish the voices of artists for centuries. With the exhibit SENSATION the Church had petitions at 36 congregations all over Staten Island to close the museum, cut the funding, and for the board to resign. The petition read, “To allow he display of a painting of an obvious desecration of a saint we Catholics hold so high in our reverence is unspeakable. ” It went on to say “if you and the board of directors see this as art and insist on displaying it, then we call for your resignation and the board members immediately.

Monsignor Peter G. Finn who organized the 36 parishes on Staten Island to post the petitions in their churches said in an interview that appeared in the Staten Island Advance, “We dont want to fund a museum that attacks religion. Especially if on the walls of the institution has the names of Isaiah, Jeremiah, St. Peter and St. Paul carved… it is a mockery of the intent of the place. ” Now one must realize this is the Church demanding for a board of directors of one of the most highly regarded museums in the world to resign. Who do they think they are? God?

Performance artist Karen Finley, dramatized the plight of women by appearing on stage naked and covered with melted chocolate in 1990, was denied money because her performance helped spur debate over how the NEA hands out money. “She and three other artists were excluded from NEA grants in 1990 because the NEA holds grants o a “general standard of decency. “” So said the article on CNNs web site Supreme Court studies federal funding of art- March 31, 1998. If the church is so offended then why is it that the Christian Coalition and the NEA fund hardcore pornography?

The NEA has admitted to this in the article Christian Coalitions stand on the Arts that appears on the Christian Coalition web site that reads: “… Over the years, the NEA has funded and continues to fund materials that are indeed hardcore pornography. Some examples include “art” that promotes lesbianism for 12 year old girls, rother/sister team rape of a younger sister, the sexual torture of a male prostitute, and such well-known examples as photos of a crucifix submerged in urine and a play depicting Christ as a homosexual. So much for a “general standard of decency”.

The play this refers to is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which had a run on Broadway and a national touring company, but it was not posted all over the news and CNN. Thank God this society is not in 399 BC, when the philosopher Socrates was put to death for undermining the beliefs in the gods and corrupting the morals of the young. If it were new radical ideas and opinions about religion would carry with them an electric chair. Filmmaker Kevin Smith recently released his new film entitled DOGMA.

The movie is about a young woman who is Jesus Christs distant niece in modern times and has to save the world from two fallen angels who want to get back into heaven. In order to do so they would have to disobey God. Since God is infallible this would prove everything false including the existence of the world. Hence the end of the world and all creation gets sucked into a big black hole. The movie includes a black 13th apostle, nd a woman plays God. The fanatical Church was offended by this movie.

The Catholic League, a lay group with 350,000 members and an intimidating letterhead, had pressured the Walt Disney Co. nd its subsidiary Miramax Films to drop DOGMA. People protested outside movie theatres with signs that read: stop desecrating our god now. “Every week I go to church,” says Kevin Smith in an article on TIME on the web “and sooner or later the priest makes a joke! How come a priest can mix religion and jokes, but if I do it, I’m anti-Catholic? ” One should wonder if those same people protest utside of the theatres of the porn movies that their Catholic Coalition supports and funds. Well these people have more versions of their so-called concrete bible than china has egg rolls.

So it is no wonder they are confused. In an interview on Moviefone. com with Elizabeth Castelli the Professor of Religion, at Barnard College she states how the Bible is used for control purposes. She said “the Bible is a fragmentary record that was written by various religious communities… texts in the Bible were also written with the explicit goal of persuading their audiences into accepting a particular point of view. So the Bible has some mumbo-jumbo in it in order to maintain control over what people think, say, and do.

The Church sticks beliefs to followers minds that have doubt. When one expresses that doubt the Church then tries to put down ones expression to support control. What censorship is really about is the control of our new ideas and opinions that undermine the supremacy of religion or the state. “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. ” Once said French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The “chains” being the qualifying factors government or the church set on the rights and freedoms people have. We are supposed to have rights independent of any government intervention.

Over the years our right to have freedom of speech has proven to be frivolous and impertinent to the two dominant institutions of the modern world. Furthermore the nations revered Bill of Rights has been kicked to the curb by the government and the Church for many years. Neither the government nor the Church has the right to interdict material that can be injurious to their faith or morals. What if every civil rights speaker were required by law to include the views of the Ku Klux Klan in their speeches? Every statement one believed o be true would be worthless while being undercut by falsehood.

The nation is quickly becoming a country of cowards and bullies. Our politicians are unable or unwilling to defend the rights embodied in the constitution… ” Says H. G. Hovagimyan. Fear that new ideas will bring strong opinions that speak out opposing views and take away some control from the Church and government disgust and fury these two institutions. We as a society have the choice to see, hear, and read controversial books, music, movies, and art. Neither governmental tyranny nor the Churchs intimidation should abridge that choice.

Abstract Expressionism Essay

“What about the reality of the everyday world and the reality of painting? They are not the same realities. What is this creative thing that you have struggled to get and where did it come from? What reference or value does it have, outside of the painting itself? ” Ad Reinhardt, in a group discussion at Studio 35, in 1950. My essay starts with the origin and the birth of this great expression in the twentieth century. This movement not only touched painting, it had an affect on various aspects of art-poetry, architecture, theater, film, photography.

Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian are considered to e the pioneer artists to have achieved a truly abstract visual language in painting. Although they worked independently, these artists were united by a belief that abstract painting was capable of evoking a spiritual experience. A central figure of German Expressionism, Kandinsky, in 1911, began to paint densely layered composition of free-floating lines and areas of color, with the intention to reveal his desire to instill visual form with the properties of music.

By 1915, Malevich had invented a new, abstract visual set of paintings consisting of one or more colored geometric shapes on a white field. He visualized a state of feeling, and a ense of bliss and wonder. Mondrian took a different approach with tighter geometric orientation and stricter compositional order. He was also inspired by landscape but he interpreted it as a series of interlocking vertical and horizontal lines. It would be hard to advance any definition of abstract expressionism without taking into account the vast and varied cultural and historical happenings that led to its birth.

This artistic movement evolved over a long time. As we look closely at any of the members of the generation identified with abstract expressionism, their biographies reveal the whole experience of this artistic adventure. It was an odd reaction of the new America from the old Europe. For more than half a century, the general European public had been bombarded of a variety of art exercises. But new wave of artists in Europe and United States saw in change in its future. Abstract was a natural evolution.

It would finally liberate artists from the claims of tradition and lift art to the next level of heights. When the economic and ideological interests began to fade away, a fresh form of thinking evolved. It was not just people’s mental habits that changed the way of life, it was also the ways of life that changed people’s mental abits. The developments in science and technology over the twentieth century have been accompanied by an unprecedented new forms and means of communications.

Born at the beginning of the twentieth century, the artists whom we link together under the name Abstract Expressionists were also the product of the same tension that produced the forms, formations and deformations of their history. It was then, the tension became an art. Willem de Kooning was born in 1904, Arshile Gorky again in 1904, Adolf Gottlieb in 1903, Hans Hoffman in 1880, Barnett Newman in 1905, Mark Rothko n 1903, Clifford Still in 1904, Jackson Pollock in 1912, Ad Reinhardt in 1913 and Robert Motherwell in 1915.

These artists’ initial biographies were programmed around the people who were still living according to the principles set down in the nineteenth century. What artists like Pollock, de Kooning, Kline, Motherwell and others were able to realize in the late forties and early fifties went far beyond the possibilities that were opened up by recent influences. The artists ranged from thirty to forty-two years old then and were coming into the mature periods of their lives and were expressing the maturity of the art.

The economic and cultural circumstances in the United States conditioned and defined their art- the crash of 1929, the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, the American stance of neutrality towards World War II until December 1940. The term “Abstract Expressionism” is misleading. On its first appearance, it seemed like any genuine innovative style, breaking away with the past in a radical manner. By a clearer understanding it revealed that Abstract Expressionism flourished due to some reliable understanding of the painters’ formal and technical concerns and their relationship to previous art.

Unlike European tradition, American art had no classical roots. In the mainstream America art has not been monumental and decorative, but basically popular and realistic. After giving primary debt of the Abstract Expressionism to the European art, the artists managed to preserve some unique and compelling qualities of American expression. These included boldness of imagery, directness of technique, stress on the material physicality of medium and surface, and sincerity of statement.

Abstraction embodied the intellectual achievement and adventurous outlook of the twentieth century, along with other technological breakthroughs. Evolving after photography had proven its ability to capture appearances, abstract expressionism in every walk of art conveyed that could not be captured through a set of lens. It gave complete freedom from conventional concerns and restrains, which led to unobstructed expressiveness and individual exhalation. Even though the work may seem spontaneous, abstract artists employed highly calculated methods.

The relationship between abstract art and modern architecture was particularly strong. Many painters paid homage to architectural principles in their compositions. Kazimir Malevich, in architectonics, experimented ith three-dimensional exploration of ideas. A number of artistic groups and movements evolved which taught the integration of art, architecture and design. German architect, Walter Gropius, developed a series of interlocking geometric forms around a central matrix, which embodied the transformation of abstract planar composition into a functioning three- dimensional form.

Gropius Bauhaus buildings celebrated the industrial materials and construction techniques and banished ornament and hand- crafted elements in favor of sleek form. A number of abstract artists found photography as the most progressive means of expression. Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian artist produced photograms-photographs created without a camera by arranging objects directly on light sensitive paper, which is then exposed to light in bursts or for sustained periods. He created the impression of three-dimensional form by changing the density of lights and darks across the major surface.

As the convention of figurative painting was radically transformed by abstraction, so was the fundamental forms of music. In 1920s Arnold Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone system- a method of composition with twelve tones related only to one another in a way that all the melodic and armonic elements of a composition are derived from a basic arrangement as ordered by the composer. A composition can be made by inverting, reversing the rows or doing both at once. All tones must be used before any is repeated. This method provided composers with a surprising degree of freedom within its orderly framework.

In early abstraction, the relationship between poets and visual artists was so close that many of them worked in both forms of communication. Among better known was Italian Futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinate, as he created a poetic form called parole. Marionette poems were f dissonant compositions with nonsense words in various typefaces and sizes roaming freely on the page, producing a chaotic pattern of forms. He distorted, stretched and fragmented words, so that they lost all connection to their original meaning.

He hoped that the pure force of the words given visual expression would result in a more primitive and original form of communication. The theater had offered painters, writers and musicians a unique forum for concentrating on a single piece of art. But none is more famous which fully embodied abstraction is the Russian Opera, Victory over the Sun, first performed in St. Petersburg in 1913. The plot symbolized the human conquest of natural forces and the conquering of the old by the new, revolved around a group of dictators, who capture the Sun and enclose it in a square container.

Dissonant music sound effects accompanied the actors’ movements and speech. The sets and costumes consisted of black and white cloth sheets painted with geometric forms. The libretto was written in a transitional language which relied on puns and free association of sounds and images. It was thought to communicate the inner state of the speaker more directly. Film, just like photography depends not only on mechanical devices, ut also is able to stimulate motion.

An earliest adventure into abstract film-making was made by Hans Richter who created animated works which consisted of geometric forms arranged according to the laws of chance. He derived from a series of experiments called scroll pictures with variations on formal themes drawn in pencil on long rolls of paper. His interest in painting and drawing led to his investigation of film making. Abstract expressionism was the combination of idealism and spirituality- two graeat schools of thought. I would sum up this essay by quoting from Willem de Kooning describing what abstract art means to him in 951.

He saw it as a an art of spiritual harmony in which all the main characters flew away from the painful realities of life. He said, ” Their own sentiment of form instead was one of comfort. The beauty of comfort. The great curve of a bridge was beautiful because people could go across the river in comfort. To compose in curves like that, and angles, and make works of art with them could only make people happy, they maintained, for the only association was one of comfort. That millions of people have died in war since then, because of that idea of comfort, is something else. “

The Baroque in Italy and Spain

The period called “Baroque” cannot easily be classified. The work that distinguishes this period is stylistically complex and even contradictory. While Baroque was born in Rome during the final years of the sixteenth century, it was not specifically Italian. Nor was it confined to religious art. While Baroque did have ties to the Counter-Reformation, it quickly entered the Protestant North where it was applied primarily to secular subjects. It would also be difficult to claim that Baroque is “the style of absolutism,” because Baroque flourished in the bourgeois Holland no less than in the absolutist monarchies.

Nor do we see the turbulent history of the era reflected in Baroque art. While the seventeenth century was one of almost continuous warfare, these wars had practically no effect on Baroque imagery. It is equally difficult to relate Baroque art to the science and philosophy of the period. While a direct link did exist in the Early and High Renaissance, when an artist could also be a humanist and scientist, this changed in the seventeenth century. During this time, scientific and philosophical thought became too complex, abstract, and systematic for the artists to share.

Still, there is a subtle but an important relationship between Baroque art and science. The complex metaphysics of the humanists, which gave everything religious, meaning, was replaced by a new physics. Human awareness of the world was continuously expanding and the cosmology of such men as Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo broke the ties between sensory perception and science. By placing the sun, not the earth at the center of the universe, it contradicted what our eyes told us: that the sun revolves around the earth.

The worldview of visual reality was forever changed by the new science of the seventeenth century. It would be fair to say that Baroque literally saw with new eyes. Instead of considering Baroque to be the result of religious, political or intellectual developments, it would be more accurate to think of it as one among other basic features that distinguish the period. The strengthened Catholic faith, the absolutist state, and the new science were all factors that combined to give Baroque its fascinating variety. Around 1585, the Papacy began a campaign to make Rome the most beautiful city of the Christian world.

They patronized art on a large scale, which attracted many ambitious young artists. Several of them came from northern Italy and it was they who created the new style. One of the foremost painters of the time was a genius called Caravaggio (1571-1610). Caravaggio produced a new and radical kind of realism He painted directly on the canvas from the live model and he depicted the world that he knew so that his canvases are filled with ordinary people. In “The Calling of St. Matthew” (1599-1602), Caravaggio depicts his subject entirely in terms of contemporary lowlife.

Yet, to identify one of the characters as Jesus, he uses dramatic light and shadow to spotlight the hand gesture of Jesus (based on Michelangelo’s Adam on the Sistine ceiling). Later, when Caravaggio moved to Naples (then under Spanish rule), his main disciple was a Spaniard named Jusepe Ribera (1591-1652). Ribera absorbed Caravaggio’s style and produced paintings of saints, prophets, and ancient beggar-philosophers that appealed strongly to the otherworldliness of Spanish Catholicism. Most of Ribera’s figures are middle aged men who possess the unique blend of inner strength and intensity.

In “St. Jerome and the Angel of Judgment” (1626) the dramatic composition, inspired by Caravaggio, and the raking light give the figure a powerful presence by heightening the realism and emphasizing the vigorous surface textures. Another great Baroque artist was Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) whose art contained classical and Renaissance elements and the correctness of its forms. The style of his ceiling Fresno in the gallery of the Farnese Palace (1597-1601) is reminiscent of Michelangelo’s “Sistine ceiling” and Raphael’s “Galatea”.

But the illusionistic scheme reflects Annibale’s knowledge of Coreggio and the great Venetians. The greatest representative of the Late Baroque was the Neapolitan painter Luca Giordano (1634-1705). He began his career as an imitator of Ribera but soon became the leading decorative painter in Italy. He absorbed a host of influences and was able to imitate other artists’ styles with ease. His work also varied in subject matter, although he was primarily a religious and mythological painter.

His “The Abduction of Europa” (1686) shares the graceful style of Cortona and the rich tonalism inherited from Lanfranco. Two of the greatest Baroque architects were Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) and Francesco Borromini (1599-1667). Buildings of the period are composed of great curving forms with undulating facades, ground plans of unprecedented size and complexity, and domes of various shapes. At St. Peter’s, Rome, Bernini molded the open space of the faade into a magnificent oval piazza. In addition, the huge scale of the building can only be compared with the ancient Roman sanctuary at Palestrina.

Borromini started out as an assistant to Maderno and the to Bernini himself, but he later began work as an independent architect with his reconstruction of the monastery and church of “St. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane” (1665-1667). Borromini used concave and convex surfaces to make the entire structure seem elastic. He merged architecture and sculpture in a way that had not been attempted since Gothic art. Gianlorenzo Bernini was also one of the great Baroque sculptors. While his “David” (1623) is reminiscent of “The Laocoon Group,” what makes it Baroque is the implied presence of Goliath.

Bernini’s is the most dramatic, the most realistic portrayal of “David. ” The only serious rival to Bernini in sculpture was Alessandro Algardi (1596-1654) His greatest contribution was “The Meeting of Pope Leo I and Attila” (1646) at St. Peter’s, The Vatican, Rome. By varying the depth of the carving, he nearly convinces us that the scene takes place in the same space as ours. The foreground figures are in such high relief that they seem detached from the background and the stage on which they are standing projects several feet beyond its surrounding niche.

This illusionism is characteristic of Baroque. During the sixteenth century, Spain had produced great saints and writers, but no artists of the first rank. The Spanish court and most of the aristocracy preferred to employ foreign painters and held native artists in low esteem. Because of this, the main influences came from Italy and the Netherlands. The impact of Caravaggism was especially felt in Seville, the home of the most important Spanish Baroque painters before 1640. Diego Velzquez (1599-1660) was one of Spain’s greatest baroque painters.

The Maids of Honor” (1656) displays Velazquez’ mature style at its fullest. While his use of side lighting and strong contrasts of light and dark are reminiscent of Caravaggio, Velazquez’ technique is far more subtle. Velazquez explored the optical qualities of light more fully than any other painter of his time. Francisco de Zurbarn (1598-1664) stands out among the painters of Seville for his quiet intensity. Zurbarn worked almost exclusively for monastic orders and his most impressive baroque compositions are deeply moving for their direct and realistic approach to religious subject matter.

The work of Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682) is the most cosmopolitan, as well as accessible, of any Spanish Baroque artist. His “Virgin and Child” (1675-1680) unites the influence of the Northern artists and Italians in an image that nevertheless retains an unmistakably Spanish character. Religion, politics, and philosophy all played a part in Baroque art. This interplay of passion, intellect, and spirituality make it one of the most compelling periods of Western art.

Greek and Roman Art

Art has changed a great deal since it began many centuries ago. Centuries, however, are not necessary to notice the small changes that are evident even between cultures of similar times. Such is the case with the Greeks and Romans. Both cultures had exquisite pieces of art, but they were very different from each other. The amazing thing about art is that no matter how many differences exist, it is still beautiful in its own sense. There are also a number of similarities that are evident with these two cultures as well, but the point that will be focused on is the differences that are found between Greek and Roman art.

The pieces that will be focused on from the Greeks are Black-Figured Psykter and Red-Figured Kylix Depicting a Young Athelete, and from the Romans are Mummy Portrait of a Man and Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman. The Roman Portraits are located at The Menil Collection in Houston. The Mummy Portrait of a Man is from the Fayum region in Egypt. It was painted about 150-200 B. C. It is painted in encaustic on wood, and is a Fayum portrait. The Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman is also from the Fayum region and painted in encaustic on wood. This portrait was painted about 150-200 B. C.

The term Fayum portrait is actually derived from a Coptic word meaning The land of the lake, which refers to the artificial Lake Qarun. This lake was a project of the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, and it was this lake that made a desert area of about 100 kilometers into one of the most fertile areas in Egypt. It was such an amazing feat that the lake still to this day provides this region water keeping it fertile. The purpose of the Mummy Portrait of a Man as well as the Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman was to identify the mummy.

These portraits were paintings of the person that they identified. The edges of the paintings have paint missing, due to the fact that these portraits were placed over the face of the mummies. The fact that both the artists of these portraits are unknown is due to gravediggers and collectors. When a mummy was found, the main objective was to find out more about the mummy itself, and many times the paintings were disregarded and considered to be of no value. The technique used with Fayum paintings is called encaustic.

This style of painting involves combining the paint with hot wax in order to obtain more resilient colors and also to be able to contrast light and dark better. The only problem with this style of painting is that the wax would get cold and dry up in a short period of time. The artists had to work quickly in order to keep the pigment wax mix wet and able to spread across the canvas or wood. In order to work faster, the painters used wide brush strokes not paying a great deal of attention to the fine lines and details.

One major advantage of using the hot wax with the pigment is that the artist was able to capture a dark or thick appearance as well as a light appearance to the wood while keeping the paint smooth and silky looking. Because of the rushed way in which the portraits were painted allows for similarities between the two. The Portrait of a Man is at a slight angle as compared to the Portrait of a Young Woman, but looking beyond this fact and looking at close detail, it is easy to see the similarities between the ears of the man and woman in each painting.

The eyes on both of the paintings are very similar as well. Both the man and the woman have their eyes deep set in their head, and appear to be staring out into space. Yet another similarity between the two is the eyebrows. Both the man and the woman are depicted as having thick eyebrows as well as a small mouth. Both portraits have long and thin noses. The portrait of the man, as said earlier, is set at an angle as compared to the portrait of the woman, but this seems to be the case for all Fayum portraits.

The hair of the beard on the man looks almost identical to the hair on the woman, as well as the use of light that was used to highlight the neck and ears. Even containing all of these similarities, each of the Fayum portraits have their own meaning and are seen to be as different as the people they represented. The Greek Psykter is a wine cooler that was done using the technique known as black-figured. This means that the figures that are on the Psykter are done in black, while the background is red.

The red background comes from the type of clay that was used to make the wine cooler. The objects that are depicted on the psykter are done in profile as to show as much of the body as possible. Black-figure painting is unable to use light and dark sources because all of the figures are black, making it very different from the Portrait of a Man and the Portrait of a Young Woman. The artist also used purple and white to help to bring out detail and to give a sort of vibrancy to the piece. The artist Nikosthenes did the Black-Figured Psykter between 530 and 520 B. C.

The way that the wine cooler was made is sturdy and is able to stand the test of time as well as have a beauty that will last just as long. Compared to the Portrait of a Man and the Portrait of a Woman, the Black-Figured Psykter as well as the Red-Figured Kylix Depicting a Young Athlete does not show individuality. The Greeks used a combination of ideal parts in their art, making it elegant, but at the same time not showing any actual people. This can also be supported by the fact that even the faces that are on the Greek pieces of art are considered to be perfect unlike all humans.

The Red-Figured Kylix Depicting a Young Athlete was made about 480 B. C. by the painter Antiphon. The technique used here is a red-figured style that was used by the Greeks after the use of the black-figured pieces. This was a monumental discovery for the Greek artists because it made the work of painting the figures in black and using needles to do all the fine details not necessary. Now the painters were able to create the figures that they wanted on the clay and then heat or cook it and the figures would still show up as red, while the background would come out black.

This allowed for more attention to detail as well as the ability to use foreshortening and shadowing. The use of shadowing is more than obvious on the Kylix with the figure of a youth sitting on a stone surrounded by large apatropaic eyes. The ability to foreshadow is shown in many other red-figured works that were done during and around that time. The differences that are found between these four pieces of art can be traced back to the differences that existed between the two cultures. Even though there are similarities, the differences outweigh them by far.

The purpose of the Roman Mummy Portrait of a Man and the Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman differ completely from that of the Greek Black-Figured Psykter and the Red-Figured Kylix Depicting a Young Athelete. The styles of the paintings are also very different as well. The amazing thing that is to noticed is that regardless of the differences that exist, both the Greek and the Roman pieces are considered to be masterpieces of art. The differences that are found add to the uniqueness that each one entails.

Velazquez and Bronzino comparison

When studying Art history we come across many beautiful styles. Mannerism and the Baroque style are two that are filled with incredibly strong use of light. The careful handling of brush stroke to create the sense of light and reflection is one task that is not simple. Among the painters of these two eras that have utilized and honed this skill, there are two which stand out as the leaders in their home countries. Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572) was a brilliant Italian painter of the High mannerist style. Agnolo was court painter to Medici and created a large numbers of portraits and religious works.

Studying under Jacopo Pontormo, Agnolo developed a keen eye for light and a fluid hand for color. Almost a century after Agnolo Bronzino’s birth Spain was welcoming the arrival of Diego Velazquez (1599-1660). Velazquez was a student of Francisco Pacheco, who in a matter of time came to be his father-in-law. After Velazquez’s marriage at the age of 19, he moved to Madrid. There he obtained a position as court painter and worked on religious pieces, landscapes and portraits of the royal family of Phillip IV. Diego was a master realist that seemed to breath life into his subjects with few strokes of his brush.

One of Velazquez’s works that show his subtle yet beautiful use of light and darks is the informal painting of his assistant Juan de Parreja. This work is noted as a “truthful” painting and one that has such a masterful touch that the sitter Juan de Parreja seems to breathe. On examination of this work I question: Why would Velazquez do such a beautiful painting of his assistant? Needless to say Juan de Parreja, the sitter, appears to be of African American descent. Search as you may but portraits of this caliber with African American sitters are few.

And the fact that this was an informal painting means Velazquez probably didn’t charge Parreja, but if he did as an assistant it would be hard to believe that Parreja would be able to pay for such a work. Nonetheless the painting is here and examination of it reveals that Velazquez probably had a deep respect for his assistant. Juan de Parreja is shown seated and painted from his breast up. His right hand seems to be just below his chest, this pose of the hand may hold true to the assumption of Diego Velazquez’ respect.

The hand on the chest symbolizes an attitude of one blessed with high wisdom and calm judgment. And the strong black that is shown throughout the whole painting may also represent a hidden wisdom found in this sitter that Velazquez may have been fond of. Besides the hidden qualities of this painting the obvious hold a much more important significance. The subtle use of white on Parreja’s face to create light and the even flow of rose in his cheeks is dramatically beautiful. Velazquez used such a sensational palette for Parrejas skin.

You can tell Velazquez subtly echoed the green of Parrejas jacket in various spots along his face. Another beautifully rendered section of the painting is the white lace that is around Juan’s neck and shoulders. Velazques found a brilliant way to depict the texture of the material with very few strokes. Here he also echoes the greens and flesh tones within the inside collar and along the outer edge of the garment. Specifically the edge of the material is wonderfully painted. As I move my eyes down the painting I notice how the sleeve is worked.

Although it is dark it seems like a few well place strokes give this portion of his portrait a wonderful “soft as down” feeling. Although I believe this painting to be a great piece of art there are a couple of things I would have liked to have seen different. The hand that I referred to before has an almost swollen look to it. I believe Velazquez could have reworked it so as to show a little more defined bone structured areas. Along wth the hand I also believe that the background, although beautiful in its simplicity, is missing something.

Perhaps something that would make the connection between Diego Velazquez and the sitter Juan de Parreja. But above that the minimum palette that was used successfully completed a work of art that will forever be adored. Agnolo Bronzino on the other hand used a wider palette for his rendition of “Portrait of a young man”. The subject whom is unknown is understood by the Metropolitan Museum to be someone perhaps in the literary circle Bronzino was associated with. Bronzino was known to be a poet and probably did this portrait for a close friend.

The young man is shown holding a book, which is probably a collection of literary works. The book, shown slightly open may represent a truth that wants to be uncovered, maybe a secret that can be read while adoring this masterpiece. Held over a mysteriously plum painted table the book is wonderfully held in balance. The subject hands are beautifully done. The smallest detail in the knuckle shows the tension of grip and is easily understood. As noted in a dictionary of symbols the doors in the background may represent a feminine attribute.

Perhaps this is the secret that is being unraveled in the layout of the portrait. To further assess this as we look at the young mans lips we notice that he may be wearing some sort of lipstick or lip-gloss. Maybe this represents the young mans choice of lifestyle or perhaps it is a reference to the young mans great speech skills and poetic expression. The fact that the young man is wearing a hat and is in dark clothing may also represent a hiding of some sort.

But to get away from the young mans sexual preference or his choice of life, we can focus our attention on the skill Bronzino employed. To examine the garment of the poser is to view exquisite art. The variation of hues used on the jacket especially around the ruffled sleeve are absolutely gorgeous. The shadows that run from the top of the young mans head to his thumbs, although a little harsh on the face, are of beautiful color and intensity. The beads of decoration on the posers hat are so well done they appear to be almost touchable at a distance.

The Arts play a large role in my life

The Arts play a large role in the expression of inner thoughts and beauty in my life. From dance and music to abstract art our concept of life is shown through the various ways in which we interpret it. We use the Arts as a means of touching that part of us that we cannot reach with Physical Science, Social Science, or any of the Humanities. The arts allow us to be as specific or as abstract as we please. It helps us become closer to ourselves and to others around us.

Though there has been a lot of confusion as to what the true definition of “good art” is, how we show others what is going on in our minds and inner souls cannot be judged, graded, criticized or revised by anyone other than ourselves. The arts play a valued role in creating cultures and developing and documenting civilizations. The arts teach us how to communicate through creative expression. Show us how to understand human experiences, past and present. Prepare us to adapt to and respect the ways others think, work, and express themselves.

Music, singing, dancing, poetry, and sketching are just a few of the different forms of art that I use to express myself in a way that I enjoy. Because each art discipline appeals to different senses and expresses itself through different media, each adds a special richness to the learning environment. Arts help people Learn to identify, appreciate, and participate in the traditional and non-traditional art forms of their own communities and the communities of others. Art teaches us how to be imaginative, creative, and reflective. Different art forms help us develop the verbal and nonverbal abilities necessary for lifelong learning.

The intellectual demands of the arts help us develop problem-solving abilities and such powerful thinking skills as analyzing and evaluating. Numerous studies point toward a consistent and positive comparison between concrete education in the arts and student achievement in other subjects. A program in arts education would engage students in a process that helps them develop the self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation necessary for success in life. Most important, the arts should be experienced and studied for their own true value. If art was not present in my life, I know that I would be missing so much.

I would not be able to do the things that I love to do each day. The only way to express yourself is through art, and the presence of art in the lives of today’s society plays a big role. People listen to music every day, they dance, and sing. For many people’s art is a way of life, and without it they would be lost. Art is the only way to express one’s true feelings. Without art the world would be a dull and sad place. People would not be able to communicate in the same sense that art allows them to. Art shows people’s individualism. Without art wouldn’t we all be the same?

Byatt’s Elementals Essay

Byatt’s message is that art, curiosity and stories save us. This is at least one of her messages, possibly the overriding one in this work; also, I would also agree with the philosophical premise that they do, in fact, give the existences of ourselves and others meaning. Since the question is unclear, and the two facets of it arguably linked, I shall be pursuing both threads in my essay. There is ample evidence in this volume that aesthetic expression and desire play an important role in the makeup of characters’ lives.

Think of Patricia Nimmo in Crocodile Tears, and her distraction of shopping; “a classical column of falling white silk jersey pleats … a pretty pair of golden slippers, and a honeycomb cotton robe, in aquamarine. These things gave her pleasure. ” (p18) Equally, the long, descriptive passages Byatt is given to using are a decadent revelling in capturing the essence of a thing; they are works of art in their own right.

“Here were beauty and danger flat on a wall … She stared … How do you decide when to stop looking at something? It is not like a book, page after page, page after page, end. How do you decide? ” (p52) It seems clear that when Byatt writes a phrase such as ‘It is not like a book, page after page, page after page, end’, she is seeking to make an exception of her own work. Byatt’s writing invites continual re-inspection, it can be viewed on many levels of meaning, and some of the images which she describes hold the same qualities as a particularly striking painting.

When she writes of ‘beauty and danger flat’, therefore, she is also discussing the metaphor of life and its potential to be captured within a work of art. For Bernard, interpretive art is what gives existence meaning. The scintillating butterfly at the end of A Lamia in the Cevennes shows his great curiosity and enthusiasm for life’s detail, and it is written “He was happy, in one of the ways human beings have found in which to be happy. ” This phrase is used twice in the narrative, on pages 98 and 111 and its repetition emphasises the importance of Bernard’s discovery of a personal meaning.

His fixation on capturing the vibrant reality of life on canvas is obsessional: “Why bother. Why does this matter so much … Why bother to render the transparency in solid paint or air on a bit of board? I could just stop. He could not. ” (p87) His abstraction has become an alternate reality in itself. Patricia Nimmo and Nils Isaksen are both detached from reality; the only pleasure each derives in existence in played out within a self-contained fantasy, a world of fiction.

Ultimately it is their entwined destinies, their continuing interest in each other’s ongoing life stories, which gives them the will to carry on living. This is further emphasised later in a different story in the volume: “And if Fiammarosa was sometime lonely in her glass palace, and sometimes wished … this was not unusual, for no one has everything they can desire” (p181) The subtext here is that it would be extremely unwise for anyone to ever reach that position; curiosity is an important part of a healthy appetite for life.

The subtitle of Elementals, “stories of fire and ice” is a particularly apposite extended metaphor: many of the volume’s characters are frozen in some aspect of their lives; and are thawed and made human again by art, story and fantasy – Fiammarosa is literally an ice-woman, Patricia Nimmo metaphorically so, and Bernard is almost wholly detached, stimulated by art and art alone. Art is of a singular importance, and artistic feeling is elevated to the status of being a characteristic of empirical leadership.

Of Prince Sasan, in Cold, Byatt says “the line of artists runs true in the line of kings. ” (p163) Byatt seems to venerate established culture, and in her character Jess there is a real fear that her generation “shall be judged without being imagined” (p207), that those who come after will not understand, will not choose to understand, how “All the excitement of life was in books” (lb) They will be judged, as Byatt may be judged, by a generation of people like Lara, who live “in a world of interactive computer-generated gladiators … mikaze scantily clad dolls … and laser-duellists my reactions aren’t quick enough for” (p213). Jess is a character who represents an optimum fusing of the old with the new; able to flex her memory without becoming chained slavishly to it. She remains creative: “What a delicious metaphor, sheets of red juice, explosions of extreme sensuality, sheets of red blood.

Attached to nothing, it’s just the way my mind works. ” (p205) One can believe that this spontaneity is true of Byatt as much as her character; and this combination of the spontaneous and the control of archetype forms is an explosive mixture; each “detached image” (p206) or short story a carefully considered part of a structured whole: she reworks material always to a purpose.

Alone, a slightly preachy short prose such as Christ in the house of Martha and Mary, making the culminatory point that it is “those who are interested in the world” who have grasped the fundamental truth, might lack impact; as the final piece in a tapestry of marred lives, it offers so much more than this. It has the history and support of other stories. Byatt seems to see it as her role to identify the archetypes she uses in her writing, to acknowledge a debt to those authors who have gone before; to highlight tales which might otherwise have been marginalised or forgotten – possibly, also, more accessible.

This is evident in that two of the stories in Elementals make explicit their biblical references, making an effort to provide the reader with enough information that they need not know the original tale of Jael or the parable of Christ in the house of Martha and Mary to draw the parallels with Byatt’s own, related, stories. There is clear suggestion in what she is crafting that the stories thus captured operate with no regard for historical placing; they are timeless, and simultaneously neatly self-encapsulated and derivative to the point where knowledge of how they were derived becomes an added level of pleasure in their reading.

This is overwhelmingly so in A Lamia in the Cevennes, in this case truly to the extent that having no knowledge of the original Keats mythos is detrimental to one’s understanding of the plot; Raymond is in danger of his mortal soul, but this is not made especially clear, nor is it developed into an importantly-featured part of the plot.

Another possible reason for Byatt’s fictions being primarily derivative is perhaps to challenge what she describes in Jael as the concept of “dead cultural baggage” (p205), namely that a classical education is, in today’s world of Raymonds, very much a thing which ‘creative minds’ such as Lara would choose to ignore as redundant and without value. Byatt would have us recognise that this is an incorrect and shallow assessment – an archetypical tale may be retold perfectly successfully and remain true to its origins without becoming a carbon copy of the original or supplanting it.

Throughout all of her moralising (a word which I use divorced from its modern negative associations) Byatt writes extremely expressively, bridging the gap between flat text on a page and vivid mental imagery; her short stories are compelling in a way that makes the reader curious, engaging our interest in what is to come. This is the essence of the storyteller’s art.

Even were it not to be her message, one could not come away from this collection of Byatt’s work without the feeling that here, within these words, stories and constructs of art that there was an internal logic which offered a positive alternative to the negativity which seems to be a feature of this dispossessed age; a sense of purpose and innate meaning that channels and releases us, “as though the [emotion] was still and eternal in the painting and the [soul] was released into time. ” (p230) And be touched by it.

Arts and African-Americans

When I look at the early identification of African-Americans involved in the Visual Arts, I see a small cadre of artists closely aligned to the production of works in the strict tradition of European or English classicism. The rules were clearly defined for the artists, and cultural expression was not the acceptable standard for visual creations produced by early African-American artists. Those few African-Americans had to sublimate their expression and stick closely to what was defined as art.

Therefore, it was not a surprise to see the first African-American artists defined as slave artisans with skills as iron workers, cabinet makers, quiltmakers, even silversmiths and stoneware vessel makers. The majority of these artists were using their Afrocentric talents for creating useful items needed by their masters or for their own households when allowed. The African-Americans’ talents as visual artists were later identified as painters of white families’ portraits and, in rare cases, portrait painters of well to do “free persons of color. ” (Chambers 70).

These early American African-American artists enjoyed a degree of status, and many bought their freedom using their artistic talents as acceptable barter. Having a marketable and acceptable skill pleased the white clientele and provided a living for the early African-American visual artists. Scipio Moorhead of Boston, G. W. HOBBS of Baltimore, Joshua Johnston of Baltimore, Julien Hudson of New Orleans, Robert M. Douglass JR. of Philadelphia, Patrick Henry Reason of Philadelphia, and William Simpson of Boston were among the early identifiable portraitists of prominent black and white subjects from 1773 until 1887.

Being a visual artist required talent, but, for the African-American artists, talent was not enough. This was nineteenth century America and race determined who could be trained in the arts. There were no special schools or places where African-Americans could freely exhibit their talents for art. These talented artists were excluded from the academies, associations, and teaching institutions available to white artists. In rare cases, beneficent white families broke the rules and provided knowledge, direction, and resources to budding African-American talents in the visual arts.

Many of these white patrons were among the abolitionists of this period in American history. After the Civil War, a host of African-American visual artists started to be recognized. From 1865 to the start of the 1920’s, most of these artists produced works, which could be acceptable to museums, patrons, or local salons or studios. They therefore created paintings, drawings, and sculptures in the classical and romantic traditions of scenes depicting nature, history, familiar places, distinguished personalities, and prominent families of wealth.

The art world of this period was narrow, and African-American artists had to compete for recognition and earnings from pieces of art requested by their commissioners or patrons. Therefore, African-American artists such as Edward Mitchell Bannister, Grafton Tyler Brown, Nelson A. Primus, Edmonia Lewis, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller had to produce pieces of art appealing to the judges of that art. For the most part, these African-Americans were seeking recognition and a place in the international world of art.

Certain American cities began to produce recognizable talents. Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Providence, New York, Hartford, and New Orleans were among the growing places where African-Americans could receive training — but within the limits of what was acceptable as worthy of distinction in a market dominated by European influences. Most African-American artists could not afford to release their creative energy in the direction of purely social protest art or expressive impressionistic moods in art.

African-American artists seeking this freedom of expression later discovered that Rome, Munich, and especially Paris were places where they could find new vistas of respect as just artists, who happen to be African-Americans. This paper will be concerned with how images in the visual arts reflected the issues associated with the Old Negro/New Negro controversy during the time of the Harlem Renaissance. The concept of the “New Negro” was related to growing demands for equality and civil rights among African Americans.

At the same time, the concept was based on a rejection of earlier stereotypical views of African Americans (i. e. , the “Old Negro” stereotype). Many of the artists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance movement identified themselves with the cause of the New Negro. According to the historian Jervis Anderson, the work of these writers and artists “could be said to represent in art what the race militants had represented in politics – not an appeal to compassion and social redress but a bold assertion of self” (Chambers 86).

The non-fiction writer Alain Locke defined the “Old Negro” and the “New Negro”; a professor at Howard University, in his essay entitled “The New Negro. ” Locke claimed that the Old Negro was “more of a myth than a man” – a “stock figure perpetuated as an historical fiction partly in innocent sentimentalism, partly in deliberate reactionism” (Locke 47). Furthermore, Locke argued that “the Negro himself has contributed his share to this through a sort of protective social mimicry forced upon him by the adverse circumstances of dependence” (47). As a result of this way of thinking, African Americans were being kept in a state of oppression.

However, as Locke also noted, there was a New Negro emerging in American society; this new type of African American sought greater self-reliance and opportunities for creative self-expression. Thus, as Locke wrote, the African American “now becomes a conscious contributor and lays aside the status of a beneficiary and ward for that of a collaborator and participant in American civilization” (50). The Harlem Renaissance writers and artists who associated themselves with the New Negro were especially concerned with showing the “truth” of the African American experience, as opposed to the stereotypical views that had existed in the past.

In her book The Harlem Renaissance, Veronica Chambers says that the artists and intellectuals of the New Negro movement were “dedicated to expressing the spirit, the hard work, the joys, and the sorrows of thousands of black Americans living in a society that largely rejected their contributions” (107). The novelist Jessie Redmon Fauset was among those who argued for the importance of African Americans expressing the truth about their own lives. As Fauset claimed: “Let us who are better qualified to present that truth than any white writer, try to do so” (Chambers 75).

The poet Langston Hughes made a similar argument in his claim that “we younger Negro artists who create now intended to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame” (Hughes 95). As Hughes also noted, his own poems were “racial in theme and treatment, derived from the life I know” (94). Specifically, Hughes referred to the “meanings and rhythms of jazz” as having an important influence on his poetry (94). Albert C. Barnes, an art collector of the time, added to this that it was important for African American artists to incorporate elements of their original African culture into their work.

In Barnes’ view, the special value of African American art could be found in how it “comes from a primitive nature upon which a white man’s education has never been harnessed,” and at the same time “embodies the Negroes’ individual traits and reflects their suffering, aspirations and joys” (129). However, not all African American thinkers agreed on how the idea of the “New Negro” should be interpreted. For example, W. E. B. Du Bois agreed that the stereotypes of the “Old Negro” were detrimental and that African American artists had a “bounden duty” to present their own vision of beauty and truth (Du Bois 102).

Yet, Du Bois did not approve of the way some Harlem Renaissance writers and artists were expressing their view of the “truth. ” The fiction writer Claude McKay, for example, showed what he thought was a realistic portrayal of poor, struggling African Americans in the inner cities. Du Bois thought McKay’s writing was “exaggerated” and claimed that it would not overcome stereotypes but, rather, “would substantiate the false notions that whites held about black life” (Chambers 34). Du Bois argued, instead, that the art and writing of the New Negro should be a form of “propaganda,” designed to uplift the African American race.

Other proponents of the New Negro, such as James Weldon Johnson, similarly “balked at publishing anything that seemed too rich, worried about reinforcing white stereotypes – and about frightening away white financial support” (Chambers 99). However, most of the New Negro writers and artists wanted to depict “true” African American life, in both its good and bad aspects. As stated by Chambers, most of the followers of the New Negro movement “believed that a deliberately sunny view of black life was artistically dishonest” (Chambers 35).

These views in the debate over the New Negro/ Old Negro controversy were reflected in various ways by the visual artists associated with the Harlem Renaissance. For example, the painter Archibald Motley sought to depict African Americans in an honest, yet dignified manner. Motley rejected the Old Negro stereotype, which he said depicted the African American as an “ignorant, southern darky. ‘” In contrast to this degrading image, Motley claimed that the Negro “deserves to be represented in his true perspective, with dignity, honesty, integrity, intelligence, and understanding” (Chambers 105).

Although Motley sought to be “frankly honest” in his portrayals of African Americans, he also, similarly to Du Bois, sought to depict the New Negro only in a positive way. Another painter of the Harlem Renaissance, Aaron Douglas, created images of the New Negro that showed the influence of traditional African culture. For example, his painting Aspects of Negro Life: An Idyll of the Deep South shows wildly dancing figures in silhouette. Regarding such works, Chambers says that Douglas applied “the qualities of primitive African sculpture to paintings, using stylized figures, rhythmic lines, and narrative themes” (72).

Chambers also notes that Douglas often used Egyptian design elements to “symbolize black Americans’ mysterious African past,” as well as the image of concentric rings in order to “represent the importance of education in forging an African-American future” (Chambers 104). Similarly to Aaron Douglas, the painter William H. Johnson “focused exclusively on African-American subjects and developed a deliberately primitive style” (Chambers 67). In works such as Jitterbugs and Street Life, Harlem, Johnson depicted urban African American couples engaged in everyday activities.

Although done in an intentionally crude, “primitive” style, these paintings also contain an element of realism because they seek to show the life of Harlem residents in a “truthful” way. However, contrary to what Du Bois would wish for, Johnson’s paintings do not necessarily depict African Americans in a flattering or uplifting way. Another painter of the Harlem Renaissance, Palmer Hayden, likewise made use of a “primitive” style in his work. Hayden’s painting Midsummer Night in Harlem shows a crowded street scene; African Americans of all types have gathered on the streets and steps and in the windows in order to escape the summer heat.

The people socialize in various ways; some of the figures are well-dressed and are coming from church, while others are shown wearing their casual, everyday clothes. Overall, the painting truthfully shows an aspect of everyday life in Harlem, although it is done in the “primitive” style. However, an element of stereotype can be seen in how the background figures have notably large white eyes and smiling teeth in contrast to their dark skin. Another painting by Hayden, The Janitor Who Paints, shows an African American working man in his modest living room, painting a woman holding a child.

There is a garbage can sitting next to the man, and there are pipes exposed on the ceiling. These images show that Hayden was more interested in creating a “truthful” work than an “uplifting” one. However, the painting also evokes a feeling of family unity (which is reinforced by the sleeping cat on the floor). Therefore, the painting shows both the positive and negative aspects of African American life at the same time. Other visual artists also sought, in their own ways, to show the “truth” of the African American way of life.

For example, the sculptor Augusta Savage “was one of the first artists to deal consistently with black physiognomy, or physical features” (Chambers 80). The photographer James Van Der Zee was another visual artist who was concerned with depicting the “New Negro” honestly. Many of his photos are concerned with images of everyday people in everyday situations. As noted by Chambers, Van Der Zee’s work relates to the concerns of the New Negro/Old Negro controversy because photography is an effective way of representing people “exactly as they [are]” and of thus “raising the portrayal of blacks above stereotypes” (105).

Therefore, as discussed in this paper, the writers and artists of the Harlem Renaissance wanted to overcome the stereotypes of the “Old Negro,” but some of them disagreed over how the “New Negro” should be depicted. The majority of the African American artists felt it was important to show the “truth” of their experience, and they also sought to incorporate elements of the African culture (or “primitivism”) into their works. Some thinkers rejected this approach and argued for the creation of more “positive” images of African Americans.

Nonetheless, most of the African American visual artists continued to emphasize “honesty” in their work, rather than seeking to create idealized images. Yes the old Negro had become the New Negro and the New Negro has become the prominent African American, the blue collar worker, the unemployed, the uneducated, poverty stricken, drug addicted, hungry, incarcerated, still reaching, striving and hoping to erase the scars of slavery. All individuals of their own fate, journeys and stories to be told.

A metamorphous has taken place and again we as artists try to reflect what is important to us in our lives, what drives our emotions to tell our stories. As an African American artist “I dream a dream and then I paint my dream. ” (Vincent Van Gogh) My work is ever changing and is usually centered around, the path or journey my spirit, my soul has chosen may it be teacher or student my trials, tribulations, celebrations and learning experiences are reflected in my work, and are there to embrace all whose eyes are open wide enough to see the truth.

Art – Music, singing, dancing, poetry, and sketching

The Arts play a large role in the expression of inner thoughts and beauty in my life. From dance and music to abstract art our concept of life is shown through the various ways in which we interpret it. We use the Arts as a means of touching that part of us that we cannot reach with Physical Science, Social Science, or any of the Humanities. The arts allow us to be as specific or as abstract as we please. It helps us become closer to ourselves and to others around us.

Though there has been a lot of confusion as to what the true definition of good art is, how we show others what is going on in our minds and inner souls cannot be judged, graded, criticized or revised by anyone other than ourselves. The arts play a valued role in creating cultures and developing and documenting civilizations. The arts teach us how to communicate through creative expression. Show us how to understand human experiences, past and present. Prepare us to adapt to and respect the ways others think, work, and express themselves.

Music, singing, dancing, poetry, and sketching are just a few of the different forms of art that I use to express myself in a way that I enjoy. Because each art discipline appeals to different senses and expresses itself through different media, each adds a special richness to the learning environment. Arts help people Learn to identify, appreciate, and participate in the traditional and non-traditional art forms of their own communities and the communities of others. Art teaches us how to be imaginative, creative, and reflective. Different art forms help us develop the verbal and nonverbal abilities necessary for lifelong learning.

The intellectual demands of the arts help us develop problem-solving abilities and such powerful thinking skills as analyzing and evaluating. Numerous studies point toward a consistent and positive comparison between concrete education in the arts and student achievement in other subjects. A program in arts education would engage students in a process that helps them develop the self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation necessary for success in life. Most important, the arts should be experienced and studied for their own true value. If art was not present in my life, I know that I would be missing so much.

I would not be able to do the things that I love to do each day. The only way to express yourself is through art, and the presence of art in the lives of todays society plays a big role. People listen to music every day, they dance, and sing. For many peoples art is a way of life, and without it they would be lost. Art is the only way to express ones true feelings. Without art the world would be a dull and sad place. People would not be able to communicate in the same sense that art allows them to. Art shows peoples individualism. Without art wouldn’tilde;t we all be the same?

A Period Of Time Greek Art

Over a period of time Greek art of the past has changed and evolved into what we value in todayis society as true art and services as a blue print of our tomorrow. As we take a closer look at the Geometric Period and stroll up through the Hellenistic Period allow me to demonstrate the changes and point out how these transitions have servide the elements of time.

During the geometric period the Greeks style of vase painting was know as Proto-geometric because it was preceded and anticipated the Geometric style – was characterized by linear motifs, such as spirals, diamonds, and crosshatching, rather than the stylized plants, birds, and sea creatures characteristic of minoan vase painting. Artist of the geometric time period created decative funerary art to be placed at the tombs of there dead. These pieces were made of ceramic and created in the form of geometric shapes, hence the time period.

One such piece is a vase from the Dipylon Cemetery, (750 BCE) its over-all shape is like that of a hemisphere supported by a cylinder. We also notice that the vase is divided into registers and here the humans are depicted as part of a narrative. The body of the deceased is placed on its side and set on what would appear to be a pedestal in the center of the top register. The form used to represent the human figures are somewhat abstract. For example triangles are used for the torsos, the head is a triangle in profile, round dots would stand in for the eyes and long thin rectangles would serve as arms.

The figures have tiny waists, and long legs with bulging thigh and calf muscles. The abstract designs were painted with a clay slip and to still a page form the Egyptians, all the humans were shown as full-frontal or full-profile views that emphasize flat patterns and outline shapes. However unlike the Egyptian funerary art the Greeks focused on the survivors, not the fate of the dead. During this period it was customary to create vases that did not contain supernatural beings, nor made reference to the afterlife that might have provided solace for the bereaved.

Another early piece that surfaced back in the late tenth century was the Centaur, half-human, half-horse. The Centaur was also created using geometric shapes. The human head was a round modeled out shape with no strong features or definition. The arms and torsos are rectangular shaped with no muscle tones or anything that would tell its viewer that this was a creature of strength. The legs and back animal half are cylinder shaped with small bulges that would seem to represent perhaps muscles. The Centaur also displayed on the body painted on geometric shapes. (cubes, pyramids, diamonds, etc.

As time progressed so did the Greek art, the time is 470 BCE and we find ourselves in the Classical Era. Here were able to notice a considerable difference in the Greek art. As artist the Greeks have moved away from geometric shapes and found themselves using such words as balance, harmony proportion and cemetery. Artist of the Classical Period took the geometric shapes and reworked them to there own liking Pan Painter created the vase Artemis Slaying Actaeon, and in this piece he shows us that there still using ceramics as artist did in the geometric period only now the figures are red.

The vase of Dipylon used decorative registers with repeating motifs to narrate; here the registers are still used with a beautiful maze motif but there made smaller in efforts to place more attrition on the image being displayed. The human images on the Dipylon were flat geometric shaped people that had very little features. Painters vase offered movement, realism, and detail in the cloth the people wore. Taking a closer look we can now define some of the techniques used here that were not used early on. Not only are the figures much larger but now we have balance in our composition.

Artemis has all her weight disturbed on her right leg and Actaeon although on the ground uses his left arm to support himself. ) Harmony ( Artemis has her right arm bent as well as her right leg. The left leg is stiff to go along with the stiff left arm. ) Painter shows us cemetery in his composition ( By dividing the two images in half we see the composition has the same weight on the left thatis on the right. ) And proportion ( both figures evenly scaled. ) Unlike artist of the geometric period Painters art was inspired by the myths of the gods as opposed to early artist who created funerary art and focused on the survivors.

A good artist can take an image from the past and transform it into a beloved piece of the future. Notice the triangle shape in Paintings piece that ties both images together. The Classical period made a big impact on the sculptures of that era. When we look back at the Centaur of the Geometric Period and compare its human features to something like the bronze sculpture of Zeus it just doesnit seem fair. No more full-frontal or full-profile views of images, we now have freestanding sculptures. No more geometric shapes to represent body parts, we now have muscle tone and definition.

The bronze statue of Zeus was the Classical era at its best. It displays balance, harmony, cemetery, and proposition as well as it gives us a sense of realism and naturalism. The artist brings out smooth facial features and defines the body as having strength and power. Heis anatomically correct. The use of bronze also allowed artist to twist and turn their models to create a pose that seemed to capture a nature feeling. Just when it seemed that things couldn’t get any better artist found themselves making a change from the Classical Period to the Hellenistic Period.

It was at this time that artist could standup and say that they had truly arrived. The Hellenistic period produced a Varity styles, techniques, and material. The period was marked by two broad and conflicting trends. One call anti-classical and the other classical where the artist would choose a piece and rework it into a new style. Such styles were like that of the Gallic Chieftain Killing his Wife and Himself. This piece offers everything that a classical piece would offer only now the artist is looking for a specific emotional response from the viewer, this know as expressionism.

Hellenistic artist sought the individual and the specific, they turned away from heroic to the everyday, from gods to mortals. In the Classical Period we watch Zeus come alive right before our very eyes, this freestanding statue tough us words like balance, harmony, and proportion, we learned realism, and naturalism as well as smooth skin and the Canon of proportion. But the Hellenistic era. has taken all those things and reworked them for the viewer. The artist takes pieces like the Gallic Chieftain and shows his wife limit body being supported by her husband as he plunges the sword into his own breast.

As a viewer you fill an emotional bound with the statue and offer your pity and I think thatis the response that the artist was looking for. In conclusion we have seen art pieces from the Geometric Period and its simples form reworked into master pieces of the Classical Period. And in the Hellenistic Period we found out what its like to take a master piece and make it better by touching the harts of the viewers. But most importantly we’ve learned that we live in a forever-changing world and to truly know great art is to know good art.

The movement of Impressionism

The movement of Impressionism (1867-1886) changed conventional academic artistic practices and transitioned the world into an era of Modern Art. Born from the vision of founders Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frederic Bazille, Impressionism was created from the inspiration that traditional life had an untraditional facet as seen through the artists eye. Preceding and during the Impressionism era, the Academie des Beaux Arts set rigid standards for French Art. This control was thoroughly established and transcended into the Salons of Paris, which could establish the success or failure of an artist who exhibited there.

Historical compositions dominated the Salons at the time and were widely accepted by the public. At the arrival of the Impressionism movement, France had endured a degrading defeat in 1871 at the close of the Franco-Prussian War. The population of France found comfort in the traditional art of their past (Hermus Fine Arts: Art Movements). Impressionists held a degree of contempt for religious or historical subjects. They found more reality in scenes of contemporary life. Societal response to some of the first exhibits penned the phrase for the movement.

The term Impressionism was first used in 1874 by Louis Leroy, a journalist for the magazine Le Charivari, and was meant to be a cutting remark (The Masters). Critics everywhere repeatedly wrote negative responses to the showings of the art. It was believed to be unfinished and child-like with the short rapid strokes and lack of defining lines. Critics believed the uncompromising nature of the motifs and how they were painted should be considered brutal and nauseating. The critics further scrutinized these artists by the selection of their themes.

The subjects that they chose were considered unworthy and unsuitable for fine art, since they focused on more ephemeral and seemingly trivial aspects of the modern world, rather than creating scenes of natural beauty or moral significance (British Broadcasting Company: Arts). Although the Impressionism movement saw little societal support, the artists of this movement were sustained by the Industrial Revolution. The invention of tub paints, oil based paints in tubes, allowed artists to create their visions as they choose to experience them en plein-air.

An additional modern development, photography, gave Impressionists a goal to capture an image that the camera could not. In its early life, photography was primarily done in a studio. Cameras were large and cumbersome and required long exposures to capture the image. This technological advancement did little to change the effects of art. Subjects were required to sit for long periods of time and again kept to traditional aspects by artists before the Impressionism movement. Impressionism did not see support for its foresight of innovation until the development of portable cameras.

With the development of portable cameras, photographers were able to explore the unexpected angle or an ingenuous subject. Like Impressionism, photography was proving that in actual life we focus on one spot within the entire composition (Gombrich 523-524). Impressionists abandoned the concept of creating or finishing their works within the studio. They believed that to capture a motif as it is experienced, an artist should paint before the subject. It was this perception that lead to the discovery of the basis of the style.

It was believed that color was not the property of an object itself, but the moment of perception of the light coming from the object. Thus, the color was constantly changing throughout the day. The position of the sun and the density of the atmosphere were what controlled the qualities of color. Impressionist artists also discovered that in contrast to traditional style, shadows held a certain grade of color. They realized that black was a total absence of color. Though shadows were darker than surrounding colors, shadows still consisted of some degree of color.

As a consequence of this black was removed from the artists palette (Hermus Fine Arts: Art Movements). In addition to the consciousness of color and light within the Impressionist movement, artists accepted that to capture the first impression of an image they needed to focus on the instantaneity of the scene. It was this urgency in capturing a characteristic aspect that fashioned the canvas into a flurry of rapid strokes of color. Lack of complete detail was a deliberate intention of the artist, thus permitted the focus of the whole work to be finished in the mind of the observer.

The aim of the artists was not to render the scene as it was observed but to produce a sensation the scene delivered (Gombrich 522). Believed to be the father (although he never exhibited with Impressionists) of the Impressionist movement, Edouard Manet (1832-1883) outwardly opposed the Salons preferred style of art. He was favored among the young artists of the Impressionist movement due to the reality in his works. Influenced by Velazquez, Manet created works that relied on imagination to supplement what the artist had left out (Gombrich 411).

One of the younger artists and attributed to being the founder of the Impressionist movement was Claude Monet (1840-1926). In his early childhood, Monet struggled against discipline and formal education. In his autobiography (Claude Monet by Himself, 1900), he expressed that much to the disappointment of his father he continued a very irregular but healthy way of life. He would frequently ornament his text books with irreverent impressions of his schoolmasters. These caricatures became popular in Le Havre (Monets childhood home) and he was commissioned twenty francs for each creation.

Monets caricatures were on display in the window of a framers shop. It was then that he had the opportunity to see his work exhibited. It was his aversion of another artists work (Eugene Boudin 1824-1897 ) often displayed with his caricatures that mentored Monet into the style he is accredited with (Claude Monet by Himself). During the 1860s, Monet began using ideas that would later become his trademark. He deserted the studio and painted more outdoors with fellow artist Auguste Renoir. Collaboration between Monet and Renoir built the principles of the style over time.

However, it would not be for almost a decade later that these founding artists would exhibit their work for the first time in 1874. It was partially due to Monets work, Impression: Sunrise (1872) that led to the groups naming. Impression: Sunrise was one of the first works to illustrate the deliberate brush strokes in creating an overall effect that the painting was created on the spot. The creation of themes through dispassionate objectivity was the essence behind all the Impressionists artists.

From Monet, who painted dramatic effects of light and weather along the coasts of France; Pissaro focused his attention on rural scenes and peasant subjects; Renoir painted scenes of bathing women in timeless and natural settings; and Degas focused more on pictures of subjects in obscure angles. Although each Impressionist artist chose different focal points for their style, they aimed their paintings to convey the immediate visual effect of the world around them. The concentration of their technique was the use of contrasting colors to express the elements of light and shadow.

It was not until the 1880s that Impressionists reputation spread in a positive fashion and these early founders were now influencing the younger artists. Although short lived, the era of Impressionism became a legend as well as the foundation to Modern Art. The ongoing struggle of the Impressionists during their movement is synonymous with acknowledgment and appreciation of a changing world. The unyielding belief and patient commitment to the spirit of their work demonstrated how art can be reflective of the ever changing world around them.

Nearly a century later, the value of Impressionism is not only evident in the high prices the early founders works fetch but also in the lesson that they left the world of fine art. Consistent with the plight of any new idea, Impressionist artists struggled against negativity from an uncertain public and dedicated their artistic styles to our history. Unbeknownst to those artists, their efforts created a much larger movement and enriched the lives of many that would follow.

The Pre-Raphaelites

In 1849, Dante Gabriel Rossetti showed his very first oil painting during the first exhibition season after the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, alongside Millais’ Isabella and William Holman Hunt’s Rienzi Vowing to Obtain Justice for the Death of His Young Brother. While the group was short lived and never formed an official mission statement, “the combination of inexperience, collaborativeness, and sheer impact that distinguished the first years of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is worth remarking, then, as an exceptional event in the history of art. Prettejohn 17)

The men succeeded in endeavors of poetry and writing as well as painting, and formed a collaborativeness in not solely the development of the group, but also they arts in which they participated. There are different accounts of Pre-Raphaelite beginnings, many of which exaggerated by William Holman Hunt, however, there is truth in Rossetti’s introduction of Hunt to Ford Maddox Brown, and his instigation to expand the group. Their work initially was deemed primitive’, being a swerve away from historical progress and cultural development of the modernized world.

Prettejohn explains this as being a willfully naive way of seeing with sharp perceptions and lack of order and refinement. (33) As far as the focus of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is concerned, Hunt stressed the importance of peer-group emulsion, with members coaching and influencing each other’s work as well as modeling in paintings. The modeling concept was important to the P. R. B. because of the urgency to remain true to nature. All first works exhibited “contained at least one significant figure modeled on a friend or relation. 42)

The men felt by painting actual, live human beings that the images in the painting would more realistically reflect true nature as it is. In Millais’s Isabella, F. G. Stephens sat for the brother holding the glass on the left, Walter Deverell was the figure behind him, and Rossetti modeled for the man who was drinking. They rejected the academy concept of drawing from greek and roman ideals, instead looking to how the human figure actually contorts. The awkward angles of Rossetti’s Ecce Ancilla Domini! reflect the stark difference from the traditional academic style painting.

Truth in nature can also be aptly seen in Millais’ Ophelia, through the accuracy of the reeds and water grasses. While the painting could have included all perfectly growing reeds and still depicted them as people would understand what they were, Millais went one step further showing the reeds as if it were “a literal encounter between the artist who made the representation and this clump of reeds. ” (166) Prettejohn also points out that in the world of the Pre-Raphaelites, individual things are allowed to have maximum character.

It was the influence of Ruskin on the Pre-Raphaelites which set off the true to nature spark. His readings emphasized the importance of being faithful to detail as a way of seeing. Therefore, the P. R. B. worked on sharper focus, with a close-up view forcing overwhelming concentration and edging away from traditional academic styles which emphasized hierarchal composition. Other changes from the academic included more dramatic force in the imagery and theme as well as extreme simplification of facial features.

Millais’ Christ in the House of His Parents represents the more formal reminiscence of early Italian art: there are measured intervals between the figures. However, the details are relentless down to the wood shavings and dirty fingernails, which characteristically resembles a typical van Eyck, who also found interest in depicting the most minute details. While this is evident, “Hunt, in particular later repudiated the notion that the movement aimed at any kind of revival’ of early Renaissance styles. 19)

The Pre-Raphaelites were experimenting in 1848 with drawing style, with great changes from the accomplished shading and chiaroscuro techniques to a more angled and jerky line formation. The lines became more fine and brushes smaller. The paint was kept thin and liquid which allowed the white ground to shine through the translucent paint layers. There was an attempt to return to the methods of old oil painters, but using more widely available and recent materials.

Other key factors in the importance of Pre-Raphaelite painting was the emphasis on painting literary themes, involving romance, and developing psychological and social tension. Millais’ Isabella casts off the influence of William Etty, as well as the traditional composition, lighting, and detail of Victorian standards. The original story of Isabella becomes much more tense, with the scene laid out off balance and the grim expressions of the characters. The organization has changed from light and shadow to blocks of light and color.

Previously, Millais’ work had been quite different, for example his piece, Cymon and Iphigenia, which was more curvilinear and graceful. Now Millais took more extreme care with details demanding attention, and a setting which hails from that period in Italy. The subject matter had become ambitious, and while very literary, it bordered on the highest level of academy rankings, history painting. They were not painting domestic genre scenes, but much more complex subjects which became what was considered an attack from above against the Victorian artistic establishment.

The Pre-Raphaelites were concerned with issues of modern life. Hunt’s An Awakening Conscience signifies a girl realizing she does not want to be in that situation, hence taking on the theme of the fallen woman, and prostitution. To sum up the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, from an assigned reading by Alison Smith, “In elevating color as a sensual element in painting these painters risked affronting those who associated color with what was disparaged as passionate, fleshy, and feminine in art – a lack of control and emotional excess in contrast to the disciplined rigor of sound draughtsmanship. 35)

The group focused on more significant subjects such as medieval tales, poetry, and religion, while emphasizing color and psychological stresses. The group individualized as they aged, with Rossetti concentrating more on mystical themes and individuality, and Hunt working towards realism, but with moralistic and modern themes. Ruskin had explained that symbolism is in the details and not randomly placed, the composition guides the eye to these details, therefore the spiritual principals are explained. The Pre-Raphaelites, influenced greatly by Ruskin, very much encompassed these themes in their work.

The End of Art

In the second chapter of Donald Kuspit’s latest publication, ‘The End of Art’, Professor Kuspit claims (Marcel) Duchamp and (Barnett) Newman “in their different ways, signal the end of fine art. Duchamp clearly wants to deny the finality of aesthetic judgement- but in doing so he denies that there is any such thing as an aesthetic experience… ” [1] And “for Newman the aesthetic is tragic and defiant at once” [1].

Duchamp and Newman gave aesthetic representation to what was a greater sweeping brood whom bore the witness, and testimony, of the time when in hich the ivory tower completely collapsed. The tower did not succumb to insurgent siege rather it went outmoded And then condemned. A proxy mimetic cybernetic complex protracted it’s self- out as the new mission control. Here the world in which the esthetic exists manifests itself antagonistically, not just around us, but as Merleau-Ponty might have said, at us!

Infiltrating our full sensory organism through twisting language and images. Duchamp found this version of his modern man to be a delirious one embodying an impossible persona: absurd and irrational, particularly when ositive. In regards to his sexual feelings, in “understanding their rationale,” Duchamp must have found his sexual identity to be a blurred subject. Duchamp tirelessly explored the peripherals of his existence. Under a self-critical lens the object of seduction becomes holographic with even just the consistency of a mirage, Selave’ Mi Amore.

The readymade, for example, serves as an icon for the iconoclast standing at the cusp of peripheral expansion, polemic sensibility, and the genius found in simple human observation. The readymade does outsmart the pectator, and the voyeur, every time indeed. This is not a sport, nor a peepshow, of course! The engaged artist, thinker, esthete, will, however, know the temporal configuration present before them as the other to those brute and nickel value shows, and not simply by posture but by the resonant eminence of such object sensibility.

It does in fact exist to stir posterity rather than “ridicule”, like polemics: (Nietzsche before dogma, Camus before the universe, and even now Slavoj Zizek to Hegel and Deleuze, Jean Baudrillard to all of reality, STELLARC to the human body) to dispute positive reasons of value by excising the frivolous resources of wordplay and the serial sensation of contingent ambiguity supplemental to delusions of archetypical grandeur.

In the sense that the creative act interested Duchamp more than the work of art resulting from it he seemed to find there, in the process, a resolve that could not exist in the form itself. It is insufficient in representing such depths of the human being, it all becomes fable there, as the tale of Adam and Eve, “The other according to his own constituted sense, points to e myself” [3] however the reflected is not quite as suspected, “the other is a mirroring of my own self and not a mirroring proper, an analogue of my own self and yet again not an analogue in the usual sense” [3].

Works such as these words, of Edmund Husserl, proliferate in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Subjects that would perhaps be best described by the title of Deleuze and Guattari’s work: ‘A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia [2]” So the way in which Picasso forbore decontructivism with analytic cubism, I would propose Duchamp aesthetisized late capitalism’s absolute presence cross the surface of all forms and the human delirium reflected upon their surface.

For Newman, I would like to read him through Camus, or vice versa- “… Anger and awe at his tragic state, at his own self-awareness and at his own helplessness before the void [1]. ” Like Albert Camus’ ‘Rebel’ or his ‘Myth of Sisyphus’, the universe remains silent to all questions and the autonomous explorer wonders is this life worth living then? Then why, what is there then? It’s like a tragic love, “All that I want is you, and yet, I cannot have you so I am left with nothing; and worse, I am further ondemned to see you everywhere through everything. ” Newman as an artist can peer out into that space, can create a perceivable absence with his work.

What is truly tragic and defiant about the aesthetic though is that it only allows so much, which amounts to so little, when what you crave is the definitive. But of course, as Duchamp, Newman knew this to be absurd: to actually perceive what is an invisible presence. The aesthetic experience disarms and distills, will leave the person alone detached and suspended all yet more fully sensibly engaged. But the esthetic moment will not be able to subsist through what has become unbearable, absurd, and banal (this is the dichotomous conundrum).

So Newman is left in a dinghy upon the sea of platitude (this is how I imagine him, sitting and staring at the zips in the works of his own shows, between the tension of the world and his work, silent). If only Newman could transcend the physical parameter and actual catch flight through the narrow corridor of that zip. Newman personifies the universe mocking the existentialist: resolved in its own and inevitably silent. Art will serve the mental health of whomever turns to it in pursuit of aesthetic experience and beauty” [1]. I cannot easily swallow this claim.

While art will serve to meet certain ends art is not a compassionate listener, a surrogate mother, nor is it a counseling analyst; not of the arms of Mary nor of Freud’s couch (who too investigated the dream to muckraking it to better further neuroticize it). Beauty serves the presence. As does opening one self to the aesthetic experience that would elevate one from the marginal constraints of the just and useful because, etter still, for the human experience it is an engagement with the enigmatic and sublime: these that are with out laws for conduct and reason.

The etiological determinate of the ‘Aesthetic Maligned’ seems to miss something for the sake of Calvary: Duchamp and Newman instigate the end of art (proper). There seems to be something maligned about the human condition itself which goes around the scope of these claims: beings vacillating while disappearing through residual trails with those on the peripheral looking back for the signs which evince our disappearance was inevitable.

Coolidge vs new hapmshire

(1913-1980), American painter. Guston had three distinct phases or styles during his artistic career, all of them remarkably successful. After first working as a muralist in a relatively realistic style, he became prominent in the late 1940s and early 1950s as part of the abstract expressionism movement. Beginning in the late 1960s, his late period of clunky, expressive paintings of the human form marked the start of a revolt against the abstract style that had dominated American painting since the early 1950s.

Born Philip Goldstein in Montreal, Canada, Guston moved with his Russian-Jewish emigr parents to Los Angeles, California in 1919. His father committed suicide in 1920. In 1927 Guston attended Manual Arts High School, together with American artist Jackson Pollock; both were expelled in 1928. Guston never returned, and his only other formal schooling was three months at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1930. In 1935 he moved to New York City, and in 1937 married poet Musa McKim and changed his name.

During World War II (1939-1945) Guston taught art at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. During his early artistic phase, which lasted from his youth in California until the late 1940s, he painted the human form in a style influenced by the abstract geometry of European modernism and the patriotic themes of Mexican mural painting. Guston painted murals for the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project between 1935 and 1940, executing, among other projects, a major commission for the 1939 New York World’s Fair: Maintaining America’s Skills (now destroyed).

None of his murals have survived, but canvases that he also worked on during this period, such as Bombardment (1937-1938, Estate of Philip Guston) and The Gladiators (1938, The Edward R. Broida Trust, Los Angeles), are allegories (symbolic stories) with a strong strain of social protest. By the late 1940s Guston was turning increasingly to abstraction, and by the early 1950s he was a prominent figure-along with Pollock-in the so-called New York school of abstract expressionist painters.

Abstractions such as Painting (1954) and The Clock (1956-1957), both in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, though quite different from each other, are typical of Guston’s middle period. Both are marked by a concentration of short strokes of high-pitched colors, jumbled at the center of a field of lighter color. By the late 1960s, Guston had abandoned abstraction, instead drawing cartoonish heads, clocks, lightbulbs, and hooded figures recalling the Ku Klux Klan figure in his early painting The Conspirators (1932, location unknown). In 1970 he exhibited these radically different paintings for the first time, in a major show in New York City.

Reviews were harshly negative, and former friends shunned him. Guston withdrew from the New York City art scene, spending most of his time in Woodstock, New York, and forming close friendships with American poets Bill Berkson, Clark Coolidge, William Corbett, and Stanley Kunitz, all of whom, in addition to Musa McKim, he collaborated with on a series of projects that he called his Poem Pictures. Guston painted at a steady pace throughout the 1970s, producing works in which lone, sometimes hooded figures or disembodied heads, eyeballs, or feet typically lurk in apocalyptic junkyards scattered with clocks, bricks and other debris.

Painting, Smoking, Eating (1973, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), is a self-portrait showing Guston in his studio, which is piled with shoes and lit by a naked lightbulb. The dark subject matter in these works belies their cheerfully naive painting style. Of Guston’s three phases, the last proved most influential on a subsequent generation of artists, the figurative neoexpressionists of the 1980s, including American painter Julian Schnabel and German painter Georg Baselitz, in whose work the impact of Guston’s expressive and unique imagery is evident.

Whose Art Is It?

Whose Art Is It? , an essay by Jane Kramer, talked about John Ahearn, an artist living in the South Bronx. Kramer describes John as a white male living in a predominantly African American and Hispanic community. His artworks sparked a great controversy not only in the town but the entire city of New York. His intentions were not to offend anyone but he created such a public outcry against his works that will be look backed upon forever. John Ahearn was an active part of the community.

South Bronx is known as a place of suffering, poverty, crime, drugs, unemployment, and Aids” (Stimpson 18), but this did not stop Ahearn for making his artworks. His earlier works were plaster portraits of the people that lived there. Some even displayed them in their homes. So he gained acceptance in South Bronx, nobody really minded he was white. The place became home to him. “On April 1, 1986, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs began to choose an artist to create a piece in front of a new police station in the 44th Precinct” (Stimpson 19).

With his gained popularity in the town, Ahearn was commissioned to make the sculpture. He believed that his sculptures should be looked upon as guardian angels or saints. He believed that the people in his work should be the everyday, real people. To commemorate a few of the people having trouble surviving in the street, even if they were trouble themselves. He wanted the police to acknowledge them, and he wanted the neighbors, seeing them cast in bronze and up on pedestals, to stop and think about who they were and about what he calls their “South Bronx attitude” (Kramer 38).

So he turned to his immediate neighbors and casted to make his pieces. In 1992, Ahearn created three bronze figures: Raymond, a Hispanic, with his pit bull Toby; Corey, an African American with a boom box and a basketball; and Daleesha a second African American youngster on a pair of roller skates. They were not outstanding citizens, but were a part of the everyday struggle that Ahearn wanted to portray. Kramer explains that the people were insulted and wanted a more positive image of the town.

They wanted the artwork to show them not to be struggling. “Some of the neighbors wanted statues of Martin Luther King or Malcom X, or statues of children in their graduation gowns, or of mothers carrying home the groceries, or of men in suits on their way to important jobs downtown” (Kramer 42). Some even evoked statements about stereotypical intent and Ahearn being a racist. Neighbors complained that Ahearn was a white man and made derogatory images about the African American and Hispanics. Some called his works to be scary and too dark.

He tried to make changes with casts, making them brighter and more pleasant to look at, but the majority of the public still disapproves. After five days of being displayed Ahearn would take them all down after he had just installed them with great effort. But not the entire community disagreed with the meaning of the sculptures they know that Ahearns intent was not to offend. Kramer talks about the multicultural controversy that was upon the community. She says that even though Ahearn was white and making sculptures of a different race, his purpose was of a positive notion.

Since he has lived there, he has done nothing but positive things for South Bronx. Trying to pinch in his share for the better of the society. His affinity to these people was very special to him and Ahearn tried to show this through his artworks. On the flip side of all these facts, there was a question of racism. The people believed that, his pieces had stereotypical connotations. While living in the South Bronx, Ahearn learned to be like everybody else, from the peoples values, cultures, and traditions, and in return his neighbors learned his.

He looked beyond racial boundaries. He accepted the challenge of being different and the town welcomed him. He believed that he spoke his mind through his artworks. Kramer argued that the public was complaining so much that they oversaw the true meaning of the three sculptures. Ahearn once said that “Art is who we are- its exactly who we are Corey and Raymond are life, whether you like it or not, and if we cant look at life, at whats real life, how can we get beyond it? What are our alternatives? ” (Kramer 119).