Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Visit Katy Grannan's website at http://www.katygrannan.com
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I began to research Justine Reyes after I came across her name in the Humble Arts, 31 Women in Art photography exhibit online. The images in this exhibit were inspired by Dutch Vanitas paintings, and Reyes incorporated personal objects that belonged to her grandmother and possessions of her own to translate the concept of memory and the passage of time. I was interested in more in her concept than the subject matter in this particular series, therefore I looked up more of her past work and found a series that I was drawn to named “Mask Series”. In this series of large scale colored self portraits, Reyes created a number of handmade masks made of pantyhose. I found it interesting that the masks were made of material that a person generally wears buried underneath clothes and close to very private areas, are exposed on the artist’s face. The pantyhose material almost becomes unrecognizable in the way the masks were constructed. As a viewer you are pushed to unmasking the layers of this person’s identity. The material used to create the masks also adds sexual connotation to the image. She works with pantyhose because they are a sexual reference but also make reference to the masks of criminals. These close up head shots create tension with the viewer because you are not aware of what lies beneath the material, on a few, you get a glimpse of skin and piercing eyes. I am drawn to this body of work because it explores identity and creates tension. The artist has said that “The mystery that the veil or mask creates is one that is highly sexualized. There is a tension created by veiling. Some people are afraid of not knowing what lies beneath the veil. In this work, I use the mask to explore issues of identity, veiling and the gaze in relationship to power and sexuality.”
Sophie Calle is a French photographer whose work emerged in the late seventies and eighties. Her work often depicts human vulnerability and examines both identity and intimacy. She is a photographer and installation artist. She is known to follow strangers and examine their private lives. The more and more I look at her work, I realize that her photographs become social investigations. The “Blind” Series is a favorite of mine, it was made in 1986. For this series of photographs, Calle examines the life of blind people. She spent a year with people who were born blind, asked them what their image of beauty was, and then translated the descriptions into a visual form. Each work in the series has three components: a black and white portrait of the blind person, a quoted text panel of the person, and a colored photograph in which Calle tries to represent what beauty is through the blind person’s eyes.
I have posted a photo of “The Blind 19” that is a part of this series. In this particular part of the project, Calle took a black and white portrait of this blind woman who gives a direct stare to the viewer. To the right of the portrait, Calle has a framed quote of what this woman’s notion of beauty is. It reads, “The man I live with is the most beautiful thing I know. Even though he can be a few inches taller, I never came across absolute perfection. I prefer well built men. It’s a question of size and shape. Facial features don’t mean much to me. What pleases me aesthetically is a man’s body, slim and muscular.” Calle then interprets the woman’s idea of beauty by producing a color photograph of a man lying on a bed with his back towards the camera with contrasting elements of light and dark falling on his bare body. I find this series engaging because it allows the viewer to gain insight on what it’s like to be blind and also questions the notion of beauty.
Matthew Barney works in various mediums including sculpture, photography, drawing, and film. As I was browsing online and thinking of random artist his name came to mind and I needed to refresh myself on his work. Upon finding his website online and doing research I came across some interesting grotesque yet gorgeous photos. It may be cliche to call a photo beautiful or gorgeous but the controversy conveyed through the images of ugly vs beautiful is captivating. He worked on a series of films titled the "Cremaster Cycle" in which he explores ideas of transformation and metamorphic change from the human body into sea creatures/ mammals. The film was said to be one of the most brilliant avant-garde cinema. The still image of the two "guest" engaging in passionate and intimate conversation through actions of kissing and mutilation draws the viewer in from content to composition. The space created is so intimate in conjunction with the "guest" actions that it forces one to wonder where they are and why they have knifes in their hands. This is the relationship within photos that pulls me in. That mental stimulation created through controversy of content that causes the viewer to go beyond what they are given in the image to connect a story line. One in which can be of pure interpretation from what is given or literal analyzations from symbols to formal aspects of the image. This image for me does all of that in one. Barney chose a hues that sets a specific mood with slightly awkward juxtapositions of poses along with the perspective created by the formal lines of the architectural squares that get so abruptly cut off that it allows the image to be intimate and uncomfortable at the same time. Many of the other images from this work are stellar in content and formal composition and would be interesting in a polyptych.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Harry Callahan was a photographer that Libby directed me to for inspiration. His images are aesthetically stunning. The content of his work is a mix between exploiting nature, architecture combined with simplifying the formal shapes combined with the human figure. He plays with natural light sources using the window as a formal element in the photograph which radiates the sillouhetted figure in an almost abstract way yet still very representational. The tonal ranges in his images are captivating creating subtle gradations in contrast between the blacks and whites. Callahan's printing technique provides the images with a sense of inviting warmth into private spaces. Elenor, Callahan's wife is the woman in the photograph which enhances the content in terms of a private space being documented & photograph with the illusion that the person may not know the camera is there since her back is turned. These images lend to similar content that I found in Carrie Yury's photographs except her images are modern and contemporary versus Callahans straight forward black and white images which stand well on their own as a statement!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Kendrick has also use tintype to document Mexican Mummies the book is entitled Changelings. Kendrick drives from state to state and also to Mexico (where he lives) and to Canada for his subjects. He does not fly due to all the chemicals he carries with him for his tintypes on the road.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Check out more of Levinthal's work at http://www.davidlevinthal.com
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
This past Saturday I went to second Saturdays at Lonestar Studios for the first time. They had a section of photographs taken by young children from the ages of 6-15. I was very impressed by many of the images however this one stood out the most in concept. The image of a bus with the stop sign visible in the middle plane behind a fence in focus has amazing attention detail for a 9 year old boy named Jeremiah Gonzales. The perspective draws you into the photograph even though the fence has a flatness in the foreground the vanishing point created by the perspective of the bus allows your eye to move through the image from the front to the back and rest on the green bushes in the background. The clouds have exquisite detail and add a restful contrast to the yellow hue of the bus and perspective contrasting against the controversial flat fence. This relationship between the perspective of the bus and flatness of the fence should essentially create uneasiness for the viewer however the balance of the overall image allows the viewer to stay engaged. The reflections of the clouds in the windows of the bus also add a slight detail that when noticed is very appeasing to the eye. As for as content working from a concept, the idea of being caged and warnings of "stop" mixed with the history of being on a bus associating with travel is very strong. I automatically associate it with childhood and the struggle to find ones identity amongst the idea of being trapped in ones own self or an ideal society. The fence also alludes to a connection with life the way it interlocks with each other creating a vast space and relationship between the slight positive and negative space which in the background is filled with another type of space. Structurally the composition of this photo is strong and allows the viewer to be captivated and study the elements in their full entirety.
Monday, July 12, 2010
The above picture is Photographer Ralph Howell standing next to one of his pinhole cameras. This artist takes a simple process to the next level. Howell has made over 100 different pinhole cameras out of natural and found objects. Howell has been quoted as saying “I perceive the pinhole as a “seeing eye”, a single hole sieve that filters information.” Howell makes it obvious that light meters, shutter speeds, and view finders are perks of modern technology but are not necessary in making his images. I enjoy methods of capturing and producing images that are different from the everyday procedures.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Remember to identify yourself and the artist you are submitting in the title bar.
Also, sign your name to any comments you might make about other student's entries.
Check in regularly and post artist's you find as you find them as duplicate artists will not be accepted toward your final grade.
You need to have 10 entries by August 5.