Train wreck

Art, what is it and who defines it?

To me, art is any hobby or form you are able to express yourself through. Whether it’s painting, creating music, making sculptures, writing poetry, or in my case; figure skating. I consider myself lucky enough that the general population sees my sport as MORE of an art form RATHER than a sport (So I guess that misconception is often in my favor when I don’t have to explain to people why figure skating is an art form. In fact, I often have to explain why figure skating IS a sport.) However, I realize that some people are not lucky as I am when it comes to their hobby and passion which they are able to express themselves through. Not ALL hobbies are considered an art form, and that’s brings us to film.

I’ll be honest that when I first read this assignment I thought to myself, “Film- an art form? Nahhhh. No way.” However, using a deeper insights I have been able to form the conclusion that film IS an art. In fact, it very well might be one of the most over looked art forms of all time.

As a used to be film critic and art form skeptic, I’ll admit that on the surface film does not appear to be an art form. You have comedies, action movies, dramas, horror, documentaries, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes it seems as if films are created for one sole purpose; for a profit. How can something created for a profit POSSIBLY be interpreted as art? Well, that’s easy. All of our other “traditional” art forms were also created for and intended to make a profit. Whether the artist sells their painting, the musician creates an album, or the writer writes a poetry book.

I think it’s important to remember that whether films are comedy, dramas, or even action, the people creating these films are absolutely in love with what they do. Every person involved in the creation of these films are absolutely passionate about creating them. Whether they are an actor, producer, etc. THAT in itself should be able to explain why film should be considered an art form. However, I’ve decided to take it a little further. Let’s talk about comedies. Again, on the surface you’d think they were only created for a profit and to make people laugh. Although I am a firm believer that in every film (comedy or not) there is a lesson or insight you can take away from it which demonstrates why film should be considered art. Just like paintings or sculptures, films have insights that we can learn from them.

Now, the film I’ve picked for this assignment is a film that on the surface seems absolutely ridiculous and absurd to be called an art form. We’ve come to the conclusion that film CAN be considered an art, but I think most people would never come to the conclusion that THIS particular film is an art form. Which is why I think it is so appropriate that I chose this film to begin with. If I am going to sway anyone’s opinion on why film should be considered an art, I figured I would choose a film that was absolutely absurd.

As you can see from the title of this blog post, I chose the new release Train Wreck starring the very popular actress, comedian, and feminist Amy Schumer. Train Wreck was released this year, and was directed by Judd Apatow (“Trainwreck.”) I’d like to begin dissecting the film with talking about Amy. In hindsight, Amy was the absolute perfect actress for this film (in a sense of why it should be considered art.) She is a comedian, unladylike, and completely unapologetic for her behavior. So in other terms, you could call her a train wreck. (“The Official Web Site of Comedian/Actor Amy Schumer.”)

You might be thinking, why would a train wreck be considered art? Well, it’s all in your perception. To me, art is any way you can express yourself, anything you are passionate about, or anything that is beautiful. You want to know what I find beautiful? Anything that defies the status quo, anything that pushes the boundaries on what society thinks is “acceptable”, and especially anything that challenges the cultural norms (and that is what this movie did for me, which is why I thought it was the most appropriate choice.) To me, anything unordinary is beautiful. Why do only things that society accepts have to be considered beautiful?

Now, let’s get more into societies expectations in relation to us as people. In order for me to be accepted by my culture, I must have bleached hair, makeup, bleached teeth, a fake tan, big boobs, a flat stomach, and the list goes on. Now, how many of us can honestly say that we live up to societies standards? I myself can say that I am nowhere near perfect as defined by our culture, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. This is why I think it’s so important that we have realistic forms of art (such as this movie) that normal people can identify with. In this film, Amy plays a lost woman who is nowhere near perfect by any stretch of the mind. She drinks too much, she’s rude, she’s unlady like, she doesn’t have manners, she’s not a size zero, etc. I’m not sure about you, but I am personally SICK and tired of seeing PERFECT women in films. You know what I’m talking about. The ones who wake up with perfect makeup and curled hair after a night on the town, the ones who are a size zero and are perfect 100% of the time. To me, that’s exhausting and it puts so much pressure on woman in general.

Not only that, but this film does have great insights and life lessons to be taken from it. This is why I believe films are such a genius form of art. On the surface they seem to only be created for a laugh or profit, but they are much deeper than that. The lessons that you can learn from this movie are that you do not need to be perfect to find your perfect significant other, if you are lost you can find yourself, if you are afraid of love you can break through that and learn to trust people again, not all men are the same, love is worth it, etc. I think movies that seem to be created only for slapstick humor but actually have great life lessons are absolutely an art form.

This film was absolutely successful and I think think that’s due to a few reasons. 1) The actors were realistic and normal ordinary people were able to identify with it, 2) There’s no denying that this movie was also created for the humor aspect and was intended to make people laugh using slapstick humor, and 2) The insights I described above about love and life in general.

The screenplay was also written by Amy (which I thought was pretty interesting, and is a huge reason why it’s such a comedic and enjoyable film to watch) and is another reason why NORMAL ordinary people are able to identify with it. Obviously, the film had a great story line and in the end had some life lessons to be taken from it, but I have to be honest and admit that I also really enjoyed the humor. I think this film definitely went places that other films are too scared to go (pushing the boundaries) and used humor that could be seen as offensive, but was absolutely hilarious.

An example of a scene in the film that was intended to take you to a different place in time (like the future or the past) was the first scene in the movie. The film begins in an older neighborhood, older clothes that are no longer in style (which demonstrates that the scene takes place in the past), with two little girls sitting on a car parked in front of their house. Their father is talking to them and teaching them that “monogamy isn’t realistic.” It also seems as if they used some type of filter for this scene to make it appear older (not perfect quality, looks noisy, dull colors, etc.) We are mostly able to differentiate between films that were created recently and films that were created in the past due to the quality of the film, which is why they chose to lessen the quality of the scene because it adds to the “believably” factor that the scene is from the past. The lighting and costumes (older clothes from a different generation) are the special effects that I noticed from this film. Since it’s not an action movie there wasn’t any slow motion, explosions, car crashes, etc.

Directly after this scene from the past you see Amy all grown up hooking up with a guy (which appears not to be her first rodeo due to her language, how comfortable she is, etc.) which shows her expressing her “monogamy isn’t realistic” views that her dad taught her. Her crazy sex hair and running mascara also add to the “train wreck” factor when she drinks. One of the settings of the film which seems to be a reoccurring setting was the apartments of men she hooked up with. An example would be when she woke up in some guys apartment in Staten Island, when she hooks up with the guy at the beginning of the movie and pretends to be asleep to avoid him, or when she hooks up with a gay guy, etc. They are technically all different places, but at the same time are the same type of setting. My reaction to the setting is that they all perfectly demonstrate how she views monogamy, how she feels lost, she drinks too much, and that she’s scared of love.

The soundtrack was not original. However, there were many popular songs and one song used in particular that was used a bunch of different times. In the film, Amy is a writer for a magazine and is writing an article about a sports medicine doctor who treats and preforms surgeries on very famous athletes. Amy was surprised to discover that the doctor (her love interest) always preforms surgery listening to “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel. She makes fun of him for it throughout the movie but eventually uses the song to apologize to him in the end for being so scared to make a commitment to him.

An example of a sound that was used to enhance the believably of a scene would be when Amy punches one of her coworkers. Obviously, she didn’t really punch him. The sound effects were added to create a believably factor. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but I heard that the way they create those type of sounds is by taking a piece of celery and knocking it against a paper being held in the air.

An actor that is not one of the main characters is the hobo that lives outside of Amy’s apartment complex. People who play small and insignificant characters such as hobos demonstrate that they don’t act to be rich or famous, but because they truly love what they are doing and because they are passionate about film. The hobo was able to lighten a few scenes and add some humor into the film.

Works Cited

“The Official Web Site of Comedian/Actor Amy Schumer.” The Official Web Site of Comedian/Actor Amy Schumer. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2015. <amyschumer.com>.

“Trainwreck.” IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2015. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3152624/>.

“‘Trainwreck’ Film Review – CNN.com.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2015. <http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/17/entertainment/trainwreck-review-thr-feat/index.html>

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Post Modern Blog (pieces created 1975 to present)

Since we are allowed to pick pieces for our art exhibit created back from the year 1975 to present, I thought the theme I choose was the most reasonable and natural choice. I thought to myself, what does this era and all of these recent generations have in common? That’s right, you guessed it! Technology.

Since the technology in recent years has increased significantly, I thought it would be interesting to pick a theme where the art was created with technology, on a computer, with photo shop, etc. So my theme for my art exhibit is going to be art that was created with technology. I think this type of art is controversial because it is art created in a way that it has never been created before. When I think of art, the first thing that comes to mind is an artist painting on an easel. The last thing you probably think of is an artist behind a computer screen manipulating color, lines, light, and shapes.

However, I am going to try to prove that art created with technology is still art nonetheless. It’s beautiful, and still takes an enormous amount of skill. Art created with technology can also allow you to create pieces that wouldn’t have been possible on paper. Often times, art created with Photoshop looks weirdly realistic which can add a factor of shock. Also, looking through Photoshop art online made me realize that the art isn’t always created to depict a story like regular art is, and that most of the time it’s created just to create pretty images, strange environments, weird situations, and living creatures in an unnatural form or state.

Unfortunately, it is really hard finding artists, titles of art, and where the art was created when the art was created with technology. Anyone with access to internet can create Photoshop art and share it with the world anonymously. However, I have tried my best to find all the information I could on the artists and their art below. Martin de Pasquale is an artist and photographer based in Argentina (“Work.”) You can tell that his images are his own photography, and enhanced with Photoshop to create unrealistic situations or living beings in an unnatural form. His work perfectly represents that this type of art can truly only be created with Photoshop. Even though Photoshop art may be nontraditional, it is the only way to take realistic images of reality and mesh them with your imagination and unlikely situations. 1471982_10151965333728346_409167398_n (1)This piece was created by Martin de Pasquale. Although I did not find what this piece was titled or when it was created, I found that he has a Facebook page where he uploads all of his work. This piece was uploaded on November 16th, 2003 so I am going to guess that is around the time it was created. It also has the caption of Estrés, so I am also going to make an educated guess that that is what the piece is titled. You can obviously tell that this piece was altered with Photoshop since nobody naturally has a head that size. This piece was manipulated with technology, and that’s how it fits into the theme of my art exhibit. This piece also perfectly represents how Photoshop art isn’t always necessarily created to convey a story. Most of the time it is just created to create cool and unrealistic images. 1560453_10152083139958346_1132092913_nThis piece was also created by artist and photographer Martin de Parquale. Again, this piece perfectly represents how Photoshop allows you to mesh your imagination with reality. This piece had the caption of Verano on his Facebook page, so I am going to guess that is what it is titled. It was also posted on January 5th, 2014 so I am going to guess that is when it was created. This piece shows Martin drinking a glass of water, and it looks as if his head, neck, and hand have all turned to water. Again, this is a perfect representation of how you can only achieve realistic looking images with impossible situations with technology. 534358_10152033773913346_1159037836_n Last but not least, this piece was also created by artist and photographer Martin de Parquale. This was the piece I found through google and it is my favorite piece of his. This piece was posted on December 15th, 2013 on his Facebook page. However, this particular photo does not have a caption so I am going to guess that it is untitled. The piece shows a miniature version of himself lawn mowing his beard off which I thought was very comical. Again, I think this piece perfectly conveys that not all art (especially Photoshop art) is created with a backstory and most times it is created for the shock factor of it looking so realistic, but the situation being very unlikely or impossible. Here are a few other pieces of Martin de Parquale that I all thought were pretty interesting! 823619_10151422766053346_543664827_o 1394295_10151950220868346_322578324_n

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Thomas Barbey is an artist and photographer from Switzerland. His MO is to take pictures and mesh them together to create unrealistic situations. Today, Thomas resides in Las Vegas and travels several times a year to take photographs that he uses to create his art with. tb_003 This particular piece was created by Thomas Barbey and is titled Inner Beauty. This piece perfectly represents how art manipulated with technology creates art with a shock factor since the images look very realistic yet convey situations that are very impossible. I found this piece from Barbey’s website but was unfortunately not able to find the date it was created, which is a huge downfall with art manipulated and created with technology. However, he was born November 18, 1957 and is still alive. So obviously, this piece was created sometime between 1957-2015. Since he now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada I am going to make an educated guess that is where it was created. Unlike the pieces listed above, this particular piece was created to convey a story of beauty. According to his website, it was inspired by the concept of beauty (“Inner Beauty.”) Obviously, this particular piece conveys an unrealistic situation which means it was altered and manipulated with technology. tb_002

This piece was also created by famous artist and photographer Thomas Barbey. This piece is titled Absolute Faith, and I was unfortunately not able to find the date it was created. However, he was born November 18, 1957 and is still alive. So obviously, this piece was created sometime between 1957-2015. Since he now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada I am going to make an educated guess that is where it was created. I really like this particular piece because the name Absolute Faith makes you think that the woman diving into the clouds has absolute faith in what she is doing. Perhaps she has absolute faith that she is diving into Heaven, or what have you. I read on his website that this piece was inspired by taking chances and believing in yourself (“Absolute Faith.”) This situation isn’t exactly plausible, which perfectly demonstrates how it was manipulated with technology to create an unrealistic situation.

3ba257c651a45c91707aecd7fc94a99eLast but not least, this piece was also created by Thomas Barbey. Comically, it is titled Oh Sheet. Again, since he now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada I am going to guess that is where it was created. Unfortunately, I was not able to find when this piece was created. However, he was born November 18, 1957 and is still alive. So obviously, this piece was created sometime between 1957-2015. There is no official description for this piece on his website, so I am going to guess that this piece was not created to convey a story and there is no major inspiration behind it. Obviously, we all know it is unrealistic to ski on a sheet instead of snow, which goes to show that this piece was altered with technology.

Works Cited 

“Absolute Faith.” Thomas Barbèy. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://thomasbarbey.com/thomas-barbey-product.cfm?pid=59&type=1&gt;. “Inner Beauty.” Thomas Barbèy. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://thomasbarbey.com/thomas-barbey-product.cfm?pid=74&type=1&gt;.

“Work.” MartinDePasquale. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.martindepasquale.com/filter/work/&gt;.

Early Modern Blog Art Exhibit

For my art exhibit I have chosen to pick three pieces of art that perfectly depict the influence that World War 1 had on the art world. At the time, World War 1 was the greatest devastation and destruction that Europe had ever known. Both sides endured enormous and extensive loss. Along with the death of many unnecessary soldiers and bystanders, was the death of impressionism. In a way, the artists rebelled in their artistic style after World War 1. World War 1 completely changed the art scene, and it inspired artists in a way it hadn’t ever before. In rebel of World War 1, artists started rejecting tradition completely in all forms of visual art.

This could have been due to the Dada movement, which revolved around the belief of vetoing tradition. There were many different interpretations of what Dada meant. Many believed that it could have been childlike, meaning “Da da” as a baby would say. However, some believed that Dada translated to “yes yes” in German which could have meant “yes to life.” If you were an artist after World War 1, you can see how the phrase “yes to life” could inspire you to create art. “Yes to life” gave them hope, and it very much gave them the artistic outlet that they so desperately needed after the great losses Europe endured during World War 1. I think hope was a very important thing and it was exactly what Europe needed, and rejecting tradition gave them that in a way especially with the Dada movement.

“Hope. It’s the only thing stronger than fear.” –President Snow from The Hunger Games

Previously, we had never seen anything similar to Dada art. It’s not normal portraits and landscapes that we were used to seeing before World War 1. Dada art uses weird shapes, lines, humor, and even puns. I read that Dada art was not even considered art, that it was actually considered “anti-art”. I thought this was pretty interesting since people were drawing their inspiration from the Dada movement into different types of visual art. I also read that Dada was “intended to offend” traditional art, which again I thought was pretty interesting. (“Dada”). Dada art is very unusual, and can sometimes be very hard to understand.

f6e114c209a923e8f333f088aabee1bf

This particular piece is untitled but is often known as “Squares arranged according to the laws of chance” and was painted by Hans Arp in 1917, which was about a year before World War 1 ended.  Unfortunately, I was not able to find where this piece of art was created and even found that it is not on display today. However, Hans Arp is a French artist so I am going to guess it was created in France. I’ve picked this particular art piece to demonstrate how different Dada art or “anti-art” was compared to Impressionist art which was very popular previous to World War 1, and even Baroque art. Like I stated earlier, Dada art is not the normal landscape or portrait art that we have been accustomed to seeing. The piece is essentially a bunch of different sizes of imperfect squares, unevenly placed, with strange colors. Obviously this piece of art was intended to reject tradition and even Impressionist art. However, I’m not exactly sure what would inspire one to draw random squares. Even if the art was meant to reject tradition, I think the intent and inspiration behind it should be a little clearer (in my opinion.) Although I do have to admit that this piece of art clearly and perfectly depicts the rejection of tradition. For once, I am enticed to say that I actually find a style of art we are studying in class to be aesthetically pleasing. Personally, I am all in favor for rejecting tradition and challenging the status quo. I think its an important thing that must be done in order for a culture to continue to grow. Even though I don’t understand the random uneven squares in this piece, I do have to admit that I find it refreshing that it’s very unusual, which I appreciate.

Celebes 1921 Max Ernst 1891-1976 Purchased 1975 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T01988

This piece of art is titled The Elephant Cubes and was created by Max Ernst in Cologne in 1921 (a few years after World War 1 officially ended.) Now, I picked this particular piece because the subject matter is very strange and bizarre which again, was the very foundation of Dada or “anti-art”. I stated previously that Dada art can be very hard to understand, and I think this painting perfectly represents that. The big grey thing in the painting seems to be an elephant (hence the name of the painting), but it’s hard to tell since it does not look like a traditional elephant. The fact that the elephant does not perfectly represent the ideals of an elephant is an offense to tradition. You can also see a naked headless woman at the bottom of the painting which is rather unusual. The mere fact that she is headless and does not have a normal arm or even a hand also rejects traditional art. As you can tell, this painting very much rejects tradition and especially the ideals of Impressionist and Baroque art. (“The Elephant Celebes, 1921 – by Max Ernst.”). Personally, I don’t understand this piece at all. I understand that it was intended to reject traditional values and art ideals, and I can at least appreciate that aspect of it. However, this piece of art is not something I find beautiful. However, I would like to say that I find most pieces of Dada art to be different, original, and enticing. Which is why it’s my most favorite style of art that we’ve covered to date.

Picabia_Hera_2

This piece was created by Francis Picabia and is titled Hera, C and was created in 1929 (“Francis Picabia”). Francis Picabia was an amazing Dada artist and created many marvelous Dada pieces if anyone is interested in looking into his work further. Although this particular painting was created almost 10 years after World War 1 ended, I still think the events of World War 1 very much inspired this piece. I think of it this way, even 10 years after 9/11 we are all still very much effected by tragic events that took place. In the same way we are still effected by 9/11, they were still effected by the events of World War 1, even 10 years later. Unfortunately, I did not find very much information on this piece at all. I could not find where it was created, but Francis Picabia was French so I will guess that this painting could have been created in France. This piece perfectly represents the rejection of tradition which was inspired by the events of World War 1. I picked this piece because I thought the overlapping faces was very unusual and I had never seen anything like it.  The mere fact that the faces are overlapping each other makes it look very unrealistic and takes away from any traditional factors. In addition to that, their faces are green, which is very nontraditional. The thing I love most about this piece is the mesh between the faces and flowers. I also like the contrast of the colors. I’ll admit that colors play a huge role in which pieces I find aesthetically pleasing, and this one happens to make the cut. I personally love how the green, yellow, and purple mesh together.  You can tell that the artists from this time piece had quite the imagination!

Works Cited

“Dada.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 July 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dada>.

“Francis Picabia.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 July 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Picabia>.

“The Elephant Celebes, 1921 – by Max Ernst.” The Elephant Celebes, 1921 – by Max Ernst. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 July 2015. <http://www.max-ernst.com/the-elephant-celebes.jsp>.

Early Modern Blog Art Exhibit

For my art exhibit I have chosen to pick three pieces of art that perfectly depict the influence that World War 1 had on the art world. At the time, World War 1 was the greatest devastation and destruction that Europe had ever known. Both sides endured enormous and extensive loss. Along with the death of many unnecessary soldiers and bystanders, was the death of impressionism. In a way, the artists rebelled in their artistic style after World War 1. World War 1 completely changed the art scene, and it inspired artists in a way it hadn’t ever before. In rebel of World War 1, artists started rejecting tradition completely in all forms of visual art.

This could have been due to the Dada movement, which revolved around the belief of vetoing tradition. There were many different interpretations of what Dada meant. Many believed that it could have been childlike, meaning “Da da” as a baby would say. However, some believed that Dada translated to “yes yes” in German which could have meant “yes to life.” If you were an artist after World War 1, you can see how the phrase “yes to life” could inspire you to create art. “Yes to life” gave them hope, and it very much gave them the artistic outlet that they so desperately needed after the great losses Europe endured during World War 1. I think hope was a very important thing and it was exactly what Europe needed, and rejecting tradition gave them that in a way especially with the Dada movement.

“Hope. It’s the only thing stronger than fear.” –President Snow from The Hunger Games

Previously, we had never seen anything similar to Dada art. It’s not normal portraits and landscapes that we were used to seeing before World War 1. Dada art uses weird shapes, lines, humor, and even puns. I read that Dada art was not even considered art, that it was actually considered “anti-art”. I thought this was pretty interesting since people were drawing their inspiration from the Dada movement into different types of visual art. I also read that Dada was “intended to offend” traditional art, which again I thought was pretty interesting. (“Dada”). Dada art is very unusual, and can sometimes be very hard to understand.

f6e114c209a923e8f333f088aabee1bf

This particular piece is untitled but is often known as “Squares arranged according to the laws of chance” and was painted by Hans Arp in 1917, which was about a year before World War 1 ended.  Unfortunately, I was not able to find where this piece of art was created and even found that it is not on display today. However, Hans Arp is a French artist so I am going to guess it was created in France. I’ve picked this particular art piece to demonstrate how different Dada art or “anti-art” was compared to Impressionist art which was very popular previous to World War 1, and even Baroque art. Like I stated earlier, Dada art is not the normal landscape or portrait art that we have been accustomed to seeing. The piece is essentially a bunch of different sizes of imperfect squares, unevenly placed, with strange colors. Obviously this piece of art was intended to reject tradition and even Impressionist art. However, I’m not exactly sure what would inspire one to draw random squares. Even if the art was meant to reject tradition, I think the intent and inspiration behind it should be a little clearer (in my opinion.) Although I do have to admit that this piece of art clearly and perfectly depicts the rejection of tradition. For once, I am enticed to say that I actually find a style of art we are studying in class to be aesthetically pleasing. Personally, I am all in favor for rejecting tradition and challenging the status quo. I think its an important thing that must be done in order for a culture to continue to grow. Even though I don’t understand the random uneven squares in this piece, I do have to admit that I find it refreshing that it’s very unusual, which I appreciate.

Celebes 1921 Max Ernst 1891-1976 Purchased 1975 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T01988

This piece of art is titled The Elephant Cubes and was created by Max Ernst in Cologne in 1921 (a few years after World War 1 officially ended.) Now, I picked this particular piece because the subject matter is very strange and bizarre which again, was the very foundation of Dada or “anti-art”. I stated previously that Dada art can be very hard to understand, and I think this painting perfectly represents that. The big grey thing in the painting seems to be an elephant (hence the name of the painting), but it’s hard to tell since it does not look like a traditional elephant. The fact that the elephant does not perfectly represent the ideals of an elephant is an offense to tradition. You can also see a naked headless woman at the bottom of the painting which is rather unusual. The mere fact that she is headless and does not have a normal arm or even a hand also rejects traditional art. As you can tell, this painting very much rejects tradition and especially the ideals of Impressionist and Baroque art. (“The Elephant Celebes, 1921 – by Max Ernst.”). Personally, I don’t understand this piece at all. I understand that it was intended to reject traditional values and art ideals, and I can at least appreciate that aspect of it. However, this piece of art is not something I find beautiful. However, I would like to say that I find most pieces of Dada art to be different, original, and enticing. Which is why it’s my most favorite style of art that we’ve covered to date.

Picabia_Hera_2

This piece was created by Francis Picabia and is titled Hera, C and was created in 1929 (“Francis Picabia”). Francis Picabia was an amazing Dada artist and created many marvelous Dada pieces if anyone is interested in looking into his work further. Although this particular painting was created almost 10 years after World War 1 ended, I still think the events of World War 1 very much inspired this piece. I think of it this way, even 10 years after 9/11 we are all still very much effected by tragic events that took place. In the same way we are still effected by 9/11, they were still effected by the events of World War 1, even 10 years later. Unfortunately, I did not find very much information on this piece at all. I could not find where it was created, but Francis Picabia was French so I will guess that this painting could have been created in France. This piece perfectly represents the rejection of tradition which was inspired by the events of World War 1. I picked this piece because I thought the overlapping faces was very unusual and I had never seen anything like it.  The mere fact that the faces are overlapping each other makes it look very unrealistic and takes away from any traditional factors. In addition to that, their faces are green, which is very nontraditional. The thing I love most about this piece is the mesh between the faces and flowers. I also like the contrast of the colors. I’ll admit that colors play a huge role in which pieces I find aesthetically pleasing, and this one happens to make the cut. I personally love how the green, yellow, and purple mesh together.  You can tell that the artists from this time piece had quite the imagination!

Works Cited

“Dada.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 July 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dada>.

“Francis Picabia.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 July 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Picabia>.

“The Elephant Celebes, 1921 – by Max Ernst.” The Elephant Celebes, 1921 – by Max Ernst. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 July 2015. <http://www.max-ernst.com/the-elephant-celebes.jsp>.

Impressionism, love it or hate it?

I have to admit that I do like the idea of impressionism. In words it sounds intriguing and different. I like how impressionism is literally the impression of a particular scene or event, almost like a distinct moment in time. However, when impressionism is adapted through visual art it is not that appealing to me. I appreciate what it stands for, but I personally do not find this type of art aesthetically pleasing.

However, it’s important to remember that if I actually lived and grew up in that time period I would most likely have a different opinion. I feel as if our appreciation for the arts can be blurred due to the generation we grew up in which can create a huge bias. We also have to take into consideration that the culture was exceptionally divergent than our own culture, including the cultural norms which play a huge role in what we consider to be beautiful or aesthetically pleasing.

In terms of how it looks, impressionism is totally a completely different style than we’ve seen throughout the semester. Something that I truly appreciate about impressionism art is that the colors seem to be more dynamic and vibrant. The one thing holding me back from fully enjoying the visual art that we’ve been studying in class are the colors used in the paintings. With the exception of a few paintings, I’ve found that most paintings use dull and boring colors. Personally, I love bright and vibrant colors because I feel like it brings more life into paintings. In a way, it’s more energetic and I feel as if it gives more emotion to the audience.

One thing I don’t particularly like about impressionist paintings are that they all seem to be blurry. Although the short and thin brush strokes gives texture and dimension to the paintings, it also makes them look unclear and fuzzy. This style of art almost looks comparable to water colors since they both have blurred lines and colors. However, I do acknowledge that the artist’s delicate brush strokes are more time consuming. In a way, it makes this style of art easier to appreciate. I also enjoy how the light in impressionist art seems to be depicted realistically.

Last but not least, I also like that the subject matter seems to be “normal” compared to pieces of art that I’ve dissected earlier in the semester. The fact that impressionist art uses pleasant moments and ordinary subject matter is revitalizing. It’s almost refreshing that there is no weird backstory in relation to biblical beings, etc. Since impressionist paintings seem to be blurry, I wonder if they almost had to create paintings of ordinary subject matter so it would be easier to dissect and differentiate. If they created complicated pieces of work of weird subject matter with the thin brush strokes, it would be hard to tell what the subject was. (“Impressionism Movement, Artists and Major Works.”)

Impressionism differs from Baroque art are complete opposites, mainly due to subject matter. Impressionist art revolves around ordinary subject matter, and the artist’s impression of a particular pleasant event. However, baroque art is more dramatic. Baroque art emphasized heightened color, power, and it gave the artists uncontrolled creativity. I think in a way impressionism was exactly what the artists needed after the baroque era. When you have uncontrolled creativity, I think there is a certain type of ‘pressure’ on these artists to create strange and bold art even though it gave them artistic freedom. In a way, impressionist art is calm and serene while baroque art is more daring and fearless. (“ART/MUS/THR F200.”)

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This piece of work is called Haystacks Sunset and was painted by Claude Monet. This piece of work is an oil canvas and was created in 1890-1891. I could not find where this piece of art was created. However, I did find that the painting was inspired by the “Normandy region” of France. This piece of work is also now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which makes it hard to make an educated guess as to where it was created. However, he was born and France. I also read that he had haystacks outside of his home, which might be what this piece of art was inspired by. I am going to guess that this painting was created in Paris, France where he was born (“Haystacks, (Sunset) – Monet, Oscar-Claude – Gallery – Web Gallery of Art.”)

As you can tell, the artist used thin brush strokes which created the blurriness. In this painting, the colors seem to be blended so that there are no harsh lines. The light behind the haystack is the sunset, which was also another distinct feature of impressionist art. Again, the ordinary subject matter is very refreshing. One thing I appreciate about this painting is the contrast of colors. The yellow used in the sunset makes a very beautiful contrast right next to the dark brown used in the haystack. I also enjoy the light purple and green colors used in the grass. The purple almost reminds me of the Alaskan purple wildflowers.

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This painting is called The Triumph of the Immaculate, which was created by Paolo de Matteis in 1662-1728. This painting was created in Genoa, Italy. Right off the bat, you can distinguish that there is a huge difference between subject matter in these paintings. This piece of art is perfectly depicts the baroque era because it’s very dramatic and creative. There are many biblical subjects in this piece. The mere fact that everyone is sitting on a cloud is biblical, since most people believe God and heaven are in the sky. Not only that, there are tons of angels in the painting as well. At the very top of the painting looks to be God, and everyone below him seems to be either looking up to him or worshiping him.

Works Cited

“ART/MUS/THR F200.” ARTMUSTHR F200. N.p., 4 Apr. 2009. Web. 07 July 2015. <https://art-mus-thr200.community.uaf.edu/2009/04/24/03-visual-arts-3/>

“Haystacks, (Sunset) – Monet, Oscar-Claude – Gallery – Web Gallery of Art.”Haystacks, (Sunset) – Monet, Oscar-Claude – Gallery – Web Gallery of Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 July 2015. <http://allart.biz/photos/image/oscar_claude_monet_0242_allart_biz_grainstack_at_sunset_1891.html>

“Impressionism Movement, Artists and Major Works.” The Art Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 July 2015. <http://www.theartstory.org/movement-impressionism.htm>

My art exhibit

Art and Scientific Discovery 

During the Age of Enlightenment, I noticed that we tend to see more landscape art than we did in previous years. The expansion of scientific discoveries, knowledge and advancements highly influenced and inspired artists to create art of the world, rather than people or biblical beings. I think this is largely due to the fact that during the Age of Enlightenment people gained a better understanding of the world. It definitely inspired them and completely changed the subject matter in their artwork.

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Endeavour at sea by Sydney Parkinson

This piece of artwork was created in 1768-1771. It was actually made in pencil, created during Captain Cook’s first voyage to Tahiti. (“Captain Cook Timeline – First Voyage 1768 – 1771.”) It is a very simple piece of work, yet it brilliantly demonstrates the influences that scientific discovery had on art in this period of time. The painting depicts the journey of Captain James Cook’s voyage on observing the transit of Venus. The scientific discovery that influenced not only the voyage of Cook, but the artwork of Parkinson as well is the discovery of the atmosphere of Venus in 1761 by Mikhail Lomonosov. (“Mikhail Lomonosov and the Discovery of the Atmosphere of Venus during the 1761 T.”)

The artwork that I have normally included in my blog posts usually don’t appeal to me. However, I actually like this piece of work. I think the fact that it’s in pencil and not a painting appeals to me. It’s very simple, and yet it so effortlessly demonstrates the correlation between scientific knowledge and the inspiration to create the piece. I like that there are no colors, and that the sketch of the boat was done very lightly.

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The Portrait of Isaac Newton by Godfrey Kneller

This piece of artwork was created in 1698 in London when Newton was 46 years old ( “Isaac Newton Gallery.”) This piece of work may seem to contradict everything I just said about how scientific discovery inspired artists to paint landscapes instead of people, but it’s actually the contrary. Yes, this piece of artwork is a portrait, but it’s the subject matter in this piece of work that is relevant. The artist was inspired to paint this portrait of Isaac Newton because he was one of the greatest scientists in the 1700’s. Unbeknownst to them, he would actually become one of the greatest and influential scientists of all time. In the late 1600’s, he discovered that white light is a spectrum of a mixture of distinct colored rays, and his three physical laws of motion. Although he is mostly known for his theory on gravity.(Williams, Matt. “What Did Isaac Newton Discover?”)

This piece of work doesn’t really appeal to me. I think the way his facial features were drawn aren’t realistic in a sense. He also looks really angry to me which makes the portrait a little creepy in a way. I’ve found that most portraits from this time period (or even just normal paintings that include faces) mostly look angry. The colors are also very plain and neutral. That may be because the artist didn’t want to take anything away from the subject matter (Isaac Newton.)

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The Embarkation for Cythera by Jean-Antoine Watteau

This piece of work was created in 1717. Although I could not find where the actual piece was created, it is currently in Paris, France. The actual painting shows the people of France, so I am going to take a guess and say that is where it was created. It automatically appealed to me while I was searching for art that was inspired by scientific knowledge. I think this piece could be interpreted several different ways, but the first thing I noticed was that everyone in the painting seems to be looking up at the sky. This aspect of the painting made me think that perhaps it was inspired by scientific knowledge because of all the discoveries that were made in the 1700’s or around the 1700’s pertaining to astronomy, such as the discovery of the atmosphere of Venus, the publishers catalog of astronomical objects, and the discovery of Uranus. (“Timeline of Scientific Discoveries.”)

After reading the story behind the painting, I now know that these are people of France celebrating the death of Louis XIV. In the painting there are several cupids flying around along with the statue of Venus. In an earlier blog assignment I wrote about the Birth of Venus, and how it related to the enlightenment which is essentially the period of scientific discovery because she was the one of the first female non-biblical paintings during the renaissance. (“Embarkation for Cythera.”)

I actually really enjoy the colors in this photo. They seem brighter and perkier than the colors that are normally used in this time period. However, I do not like that you cannot really see what is going on in the painting. The people are small and blurry, and you cannot tell what is happening. Without the description that comes along with the painting, no one would be able to depict the story.

Works Cited


“Captain Cook Timeline – First Voyage 1768 – 1771.” Captain Cook Timeline – First Voyage 1768 – 1771. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.captcook-ne.co.uk/ccne/timeline/voyage1.htm>.

“Embarkation for Cythera.” Artble. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.artble.com/artists/antoine_watteau/paintings/embarkation_for_cythera>.

“Isaac Newton Gallery.” Newton:. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.isaacnewton.org.uk/gallery/>.

“Mikhail Lomonosov and the Discovery of the Atmosphere of Venus during the 1761 T.” Mikhail Lomonosov and the Discovery of the Atmosphere of Venus during the 1761 T. NASA, n.d. Web. 29 June 2015.<http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005tvnv.conf..209M>.

“Timeline of Scientific Discoveries.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 June 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_scientific_discoveries>

Williams, Matt. “What Did Isaac Newton Discover?” Universe Today. N.p., 10 Nov. 2014. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.universetoday.com/38643/what-did-isaac-newton-discover/>.

The Baroque era and the Age of Enlightenment

The Baroque era was a time during the 16-17th century that was a type of artistic style that influenced music, architecture, and visual art. To get a better understanding for the era, baroque literally means “irregular.”  The Baroque era emphasized uncontrolled artistic creativity. It gave artists the opportunity to create passion filled art and express themselves freely. It encouraged the accentuation of drama, heightened color, power, etc. Artists during the Renaissance did not have the artistic freedom as the artists in the Baroque era. The Baroque era flourished in a way that the Renaissance could not because it didn’t have the restraints of mannerism (“Baroque art”.)

Some influences that contributed to the development of the Baroque era include scientific discoveries that were mostly due to the enlightenment period and the thirst for knowledge, scientific advances, and improving quality of life. A new awareness of surroundings such as people, exploration of the world, etc. The Roman Catholic Church also inspired the Baroque era due to their aspirations of wanting to increase and develop the protestant movement. Politics and change in social structure also helped inspire the start of the Baroque era, which could have been due to the enlightenment period where they aspired to improve quality of life, which they knew needed to be done by improving their technology and science, government, economics, judicial systems, and education (Franklin C. Van Spluteren Catalani “The transition between Baroque and Classical”.)

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The piece of art that I have chosen to dissect and relate to the expansion of scientific knowledge was created by a Baroque artist by the name of Meindert Hobbema. I chose to pick one of his more famous paintings, The Avenue at Middelharnis which he created in 1689 which now resides in the National Gallery in London (“Meindert Hobbema”) I could not find where exactly this painting was created, but since the painting itself is a village and church in South Holland, I am going to guess that is where it was created. This particular painting is a landscape painting. This style and type of painting became more popular in the Baroque era because the expansion of scientific knowledge. It gave society a better awareness of their surroundings because of the scientific advances that made exploration of the world possible.

An example of a scientific discovery that was made during this period which helped give people a better understanding of the world around them was Newton’s law of universal gravitation. A few others are Francis Bacon’s scientific method and Robert Boyle’s property of gases. All of these discoveries gave people a better understanding of the world around them. It allowed them to view the world in a way that they hadn’t previously, which inspired a bigger production of landscape paintings.

To be honest, this piece of art work does not appeal to me in the slightest. However, I might have a different opinion if I actually grew up in the same era as the artist. I think the generation I grew up in definitely helped create a bias for me towards older artwork since I much prefer newer art and find it more captivating and beautiful. Before reading about the painting, I just thought it was a landscape painting of some trees. However, if you take a closer look you will actually notice that it is a painting of a village. On the left side of the painting you can also see a church. This piece of art uses muted colors which I don’t prefer in a painting because I feel they represent sadness in a way.  Personally, I enjoy more vibrant and perky colors because I feel they represent a happier feeling. I only picked this piece of art because I thought it had a great connection and showed inspiration from the expansion of knowledge.

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Renaissance art was inspired by humanism, which put more of a focus on placing power on human needs rather than biblical ones. To relate Renaissance art to Baroque art, I am going to use the piece of artwork that I dissected last week in our blog assignment. The Birth of Venus by Alessandro Di Mariano Di Vanni Filipepi, otherwise known as “Botticelli”, was essentially inspired by humanism. For those who don’t know, the woman in the painting is the “goddess of love” which was the first non-biblical female nude during the Renaissance. The Birth of Venus was also inspired by realism and idealism, which is why she is so beautiful and realistic.

The Avenue at Middelharnis and The Birth of Venus are related because of their inspiration. One was inspired by the age of enlightenment and the other inspired by humanism. The biggest connection between the Baroque era and the Renaissance would be the relation between humanism and the enlightenment period. As we learned previously, the goal of humanism is to stop placing so much power on biblical and supernatural beings, and to put more emphasis on the value and greatness of humans. Humanism helped place more of a focal point on humanity in general. Before humanism, there was no scientific explanation for anything because they used God to explain mysteries they could not understand.

The Renaissance period and humanism relates to the Baroque era and the enlightenment because during this time and change in artistic freedom, there was also a certain type of hunger for knowledge. During the age of enlightenment, people began to act with rationalism with the intent to improve human condition. Rationalism suggests that people will formulate opinions based on knowledge or actual evidence, rather than just believing something because the bible tells you to. Throughout the age of enlightenment, people were concerned with improving overall quality of life. This relates to humanism and the Renaissance because they both emphasize taking the focus away from biblical beings, and to solve human problems, thus improving quality of life.

Works Cited

“Baroque art.” Research Begings Here New World Encylopedia. Web. <www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Baroque_art>.

“Meindert Hobbema” | The Avenue at Middelharnis | NG830 | The National Gallery, London.” The National Gallery, London.Web. <http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/meindert-hobbema-the-avenue-at-middelharnis>.
Splunteren Catalani, Franklin C. van . “The transition between Baroque and Classical .” Research Begings Here New World Encylopedia. 2009. Web. <http://blackfacesound.com/intersilo/Baroque-Classical.htm>

Humanism and the Birth of Venus

thAs the name suggests, humanism revolves around the value and greatness of humans rather than biblical or supernatural beings. It focuses on the needs of humans and seeks to resolve human problems. Before humanism, people had no scientific explanations. Everything was a mystery that only God himself could comprehend. Humanism put value on humanity. It made it so that the biggest priority was appreciating and enjoying life in a world that revolves around man. Now, with that being said, the most powerful development revolving humanism centralized around art and literature. Since humanism revolves around human interests, people sought self-fulfillment and joy through philosophy and art.

The art that I have chosen to connect to humanism is the work of Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi (try saying that ten times fast!) This artist was otherwise known as “Botticelli.” The piece of art that I have chosen to analyze is Birth of Venus. A little fun fact of this piece of art was that the Medici family authorized the manufacture of the painting. Although no one knows the exact date of the creation of the painting, it has thought to have been painted around 1480. There were also no documents that were specifically associated with the painting. The first identification of the painting was with the Medici Family in 1550. The painting is currently on display in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. The specific location of the creation of the painting is also unknown.

The Birth of Venus was essentially inspired by humanism. Venus was the goddess of love, who was one of the very first non-biblical female nudes during the Italian Renaissance. Greek art motivated and influenced the Italian Renaissance, which launched classical art. Classical art centralized around idealism and realism, thus contributing to visual art being as realistic and beautiful as possible. I believe that the greatest connection that the Birth of Venus has to humanism, is the pure fact that it was one of the first non-biblical female paintings. That in itself represents how humanism inspired Botticelli to create this piece of artwork.

Although I read several different descriptions of the painting, I interpret that the goddess Venus surfaces from the water on a giant sea shell. I read that the sea shell is a myth which explains her birth. However, I don’t believe it to be a myth since the title of the painting is the Birth of Venus. In the painting, the wind blew Venus and her shell to shore, which is what we see in the painting. As she steps onto the shore, a “Nymph” reaches over to cover her with a cloak.

Resources:
http://www.artble.com/artists/sandro_botticelli/paintings/birth_of_venus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_Venus
http://www.italianrenaissance.org/botticelli-birth-of-venus/
http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/102996.html
  

Introduction

Hello everybody!

My name is Bethany and I’m currently a Junior at UAF. My goal is to graduate Fall 2016 with a BA in Justice and a minor in Law & Society. I just moved here from Antelope, California (a suburb of Sacramento) to be with my husband who is stationed at Ft. Wainwright. His military contract is up in 2 1/2 years, and we will be moving back to California where I hope to apply for law school and to one day be an attorney specializing in civil rights. I am taking this course to satisfy my degree requirement. I currently have 2 student jobs, working as a figure skating coach at the Patty Ice Arena and a receptionist at ASF. I am a huge dog lover and have a Papillon Chihuahua by the name of Tucker. I enjoy reading, yummy foods such as pizza and sushi, am addicted to coffee, and am obsessed with The Walking Dead and Law & Order SVU.

I would say the only relation I have to art would be my love for figure skating. I was a figure skater growing up and I’ve been a coach since 2011. There is absolutely nothing I love more than 1) traveling to watch my favorite figure skaters participate in ice shows skating to various different types of music, 2) participating in ice skating competitions and expressing myself through choreography, costume, makeup, and music, and 3) choreographing programs for my students. Figure skating is a very expressive sport and is most times considered an art more than it is a sport.

Here are two different links to two different ice skating performances. The first one is Gracie Gold skating to a Taylor Swift song which is obviously meant to be fun and upbeat. The second one is Ashley Wagner skating to a more dramatic song, as you can see with her facial expressions and arm movements this program is supposed to be more on the fierce side.

And here is a picture of my husband and I on our wedding day 🙂
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