Community Connections

Community Connection #6

Artist Name: Yeji Shin, Nick Chiolo, Alysha Roberts, Emily Berger

Location of exhibit: Wissahickon School District Art Show

Due Date: 4/29/12

Bullet points

  • variety of mediums
  • decorated panels
  • organized themes – fruits
  • color palettes
  • professional

Reaction

Many of the pieces in the art show this year were incredible, with a variety of mediums. In particular, Yeji Shin, Nick Chiolo, Alysha Roberts, and Emily Berger’s pieces stood out to me as extraordinary. I really liked Yeji’s panels with a flowered nature/fruit theme; the use of shading and perspective was really cool and definitely gave a realistic touch. I also liked how the pieces gave off a very bright and carefree tone. Nick Chiolo’s huge fruit pieces in the back of the art show were also very eye-catching. Having seen various pieces scattered in the art room throughout the school year, it was pretty neat to see them all arranged together as they were intended. The whole series looked like it could belong in a museum. Although in a completely different style, Alysha Roberts’s panels were also very well organized with an effective carnival theme. I really liked the set-up and creativity put forth behind her panels. Emily’s pottery also looked very professional — like plates you could buy in a real store.

Community Connection #5

Artist Name: Raphael

Location of exhibit: http://www.abcgallery.com/R/raphael/raphael.html

Due Date: 5/8/12

Bullet points

  • vivid colors
  • oil paintings
  • portraits
  • detailed
  • realistic
  • circular shapes
  • Renaissance time period

Reaction

Raphael used vivid colors and chiaroscuro to create incredibly realistic oil paintings that epitomized the European Renaissance of the sixteenth century. Many of his works focused on religious themes and portraits of various individuals. He also incorporated the classical Greco-Roman influences of the time period in several of his frescos, particularly The School of Athens. If you look carefully, you can spot several classical thinkers hidden in the painting — like Ptolemy (holding a model of the Earth) and Aristotle (center of the steps). He also tends to use rounder, circular shapes in his paintings, whether as borders or in subject matter, and frequently embellishes his frames with ornate patterns. The attention to detail, realism, and responsiveness to cultural trends in every fresco bring his paintings to the forefront of Renaissance art, and distinguishes Raphael as one of the most well-known and respected artists in history.

Community Connection #4

Artist Name: Marie Bourgeois

Location of exhibit: Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana (a few online photographs from the display: http://fiercecosmeticscampaign.com/)

Due Date: 4/17/12

Bullet points

  • definitely mixed media — made out of make-up!!
  • clear, bright colors
  • white backgrounds
  • eye-catching
  • excellent use of text and gradient
  • really creative
  • thoroughly researched

Reaction

I saw Marie Bourgeois’ display at the Snite Museum in Notre Dame over Spring Break, and honestly, this was one of the coolest displays I’ve ever seen — anywhere. Her display, titled “The Fierce Cosmetics Campaign”, was part of her graphic design MFA thesis project as a University of Notre Dame graduate student to utilize design and guerrilla tactics as an effort to raise awareness about the chemical and biological hazards of the cosmetics industry. She definitely used mixed media — everything from poster prints to campaign pamphlets to postcards were created using actual makeup products (mascara, foundation, lipstick, etc) instead of generic computer ink! She even had iPad screens attached to her display so that viewers could scroll through her website and read up on more information while they looked at her brochures and huge posters. Everything fit together perfectly and was done extremely well, with clear, bright colors and white backgrounds. Many of her pieces also included structures of toxic chemical compounds found in make-up. There was excellent use of gradients and text to get viewers’ attention, especially with eye-catching phrases. For instance, instead of “L’Oréal Skin Natural” or “Maybelline,” she Photoshop-ed cosmetic items to read “N’Oréal Skin Unnatural” or “Maybellethal” to get her message across. Her artist statement was very persuasive, and the phrases she chose to highlight in her pieces were really creative and often used puns.

Community Connection #3

Artist Name: Dolan Geiman

Location of exhibit: http://dolangeiman.com/

Due Date: 3/13/12

Bullet points

  • mixed media – acrylic, wood
  • prints
  • text
  • cut-outs
  • pop-out
  • animals

Reaction

Dolan Geiman’s pieces are quirky and unique in a creative way. He uses a variety of mixed media — from acrylic paints to silk screens to even old pieces of wood to construct interesting sculptures.  Many of his pieces incorporate text in the background, whether just numbers or scribbled phrases, and the overall effect of the piece is eye-catching. His color palette matches very well with his subject matters, which often features animals. He uses cut-outs, pop-outs, frames, and outlines extensively in every piece to give a 3-D effect.

Community Connection #2

Artist Name: Warner Friedman

Location of exhibit: http://www.clarkgallery.com/artists/warner-friedman

Due Date: 2/28/12

Bullet points

  • windows
  • frames
  • bright, sunny colors
  • scenery
  • rectangles, squares
  • 3-D shapes

Reaction

At first glance, I thought that Warner Friedman was a photographer — but then I saw the tiny caption beneath his incredibly life-like painting of a sandy shoreline that read: “58 x 76 inches Acrylic on canvas.” Having nowhere near that level of acrylic mastery, I was amazed to see how deft strokes within the painting could portray such realism. Warner Friedman’s pieces are really eye-catching, often depicting beautiful landscapes (almost like the photographs many people use for desktop wallpapers). Each scene is framed by a rectangular window, which is often tilted or turned on an angle. In every piece, a landscape is pictured within the frames, but outside of the seeming border is a completely blank, pure white canvas. The perspective is refreshing and unique, and unlike many other artists, Friedman chooses bright colors to paint beautiful scenery — open green fields, waves lapping the sand, clear blue skies. Viewers get the feel that each window opens to a bright, sunshining day. His color palette, skillful use of perspective, and choice of subject matter make his works stand out from others in a brilliant way. So far, his works are my favorite from all the community connections I’ve done so far.

Community Connection #1

Artist Name: Nicole Buffett

Location of exhibit: http://lowegallery.com/artists/index-scrollbar.php?artist=nicole-buffett

Due Date: 2/14/12

Bullet points

  • abstract
  • blobs of paint
  • similar colors
  • squiggly lines
  • balloon-like
  • 3-D embossing

Reaction

Nicole Buffett’s pieces are very abstract, with similar colors in each piece — light purples and grays, dull greens, and faded blues. In her artist statement, she commented on her color choices as “unexpected combinations to balance each piece’s composition.” I think she fulfilled this goal throughout her gallery pieces, especially with her style and various mediums. She often uses latex paint, pencil, and ink to illustrate large, globular blobs of paint layered over her canvases with squiggly lines swirling in the background. It is evident with each swab of paint that each work has many different layers. The roundish-balloon-like shapes that fill the forefront of each piece draws the eye’s attention to various corners. Most interestingly, her choice of materials (and the subsequent layering of paint) gives her art work a three-dimensional beveling and embossing.

FIRST SEMESTER

Community Connection #6

Artist Name: Zdzislaw Beksinski

Location of exhibit: http://www.beksinski.pl/

Due Date: 1/10/12

Bullet points

  • eerie, mysterious
  • floating dots
  • black-and-white photos
  • painting color schemes – blue, yellow
  • foggy, surreal

Reaction

Zdzislaw Beksinski’s website gives off an eerie, mysterious tone. There is some kind of sad-toned instrument playing a few strings in the background and an animated image of structure on the left side, with thin ethereal threads and floating dots that you have to click on to visit the artist’s original work gallery and his biography page. His drawings and photographs are black-and-white, usually featuring outlines and sharp contrast. The color schemes in his three painting galleries are beautiful — especially his abstract pieces with light blue and pale yellow. His color choices give his paintings a mysterious, almost foggy, surreal effect. He includes a lot of weird images and boulders in his pieces which are very unusual. I’m not sure what to think of it — the colors are nice but I don’t really like the subject matter.

Community Connection #5

Artist Name: Charlotte Posenenske

Location of exhibit: http://www.betweenbridges.net/Posenenske.html

Due Date: 12/13/11

Bullet points

  • rectangular, angular
  • modern
  • light colors – white, light brown, light gray
  • always pure white background
  • untitled
  • huge, squarish tunnels — playground slides?

Reaction

I was really surprised to read that most of Charlotte Posenenske’s works were from the 1960s. All her pieces are all very modern-looking with their rectangular forms, sharp angles, and squarish tunnels. The bright, pure white backgrounds make her sculptures, installations, and paintings stand out from a entirely blank canvas that seems to go on forever. Her series include only a set of light colors — usually white, light brown, and light gray (though at times hued with light blue in a few acrylic paintings). The squared tunnels are made out of cardboard and are attached by plastic screws and remind me of the playground slides that have wide tunnels. Her pieces are all very simple, and many of them are untitled. However, she named her huge tunnel series, Square Tubes.

Community Connection #4

Artist Name: Nancy Nicholson

Location of exhibit: http://www.nancy-nicholson.com/

Due Date: 11/15/11

Bullet points

  • uses silhouettes and dark lines
  • light colors for stained-glass background
  • abstract imagery at times
  • squared patterns, symmetry
  • borders
  • varying subject matters: trees, urban landscapes, nature scenes, animals, boats

Reaction

Nancy Nicholson’s pieces are very simple but harrowingly beautiful. Her tree series utilize dark silhouettes and solid lines to contrast with their light, stained glass backgrounds. This is especially evident when sunlight shines through the windows in several photographs. I also really liked her complementing color choices, especially in the Japanese Maple stained-glass window,with the oranges, reds, and browns. Some of the stained-glass pieces have more of an abstract style imagery focusing on patterns and shapes while others depict varying subject matters from the delineated trees to urban cityscapes to nature scenes to animals to sail boats. In many of the windows, Nicholson also adds a neat border around the center image to create an organized point of view.

Community Connection #3

Artist Name: Josh Keyes

Location of exhibit: http://www.joshkeyes.net/

Due Date: 10/25/11

Bullet points

  • realistic drawings but bizarre, unexpected scenes — ie. deer with horns covered in vines, sharks with fins trailing flames and smoke
  • animals included in every painting
  • man-made objects usually covered in graffiti
  • disasters in every scene – sidewalks crumbling, half the painting underwater
  • strangely similar to textbook cross-section illustrations (like something you would find in a science textbook about the environment)
  • show a 3-D panoramic sort of view

Reaction

Josh Keyes is a startlingly singular contemporary artist in that he utilizes his realistic drawing ability to portray bizarre, unexpected scenes. For instance, several of his works depict deer with horns covered in vines, sharks with fins trailing flames and billows of smoke, or else aquatic animals swimming past underwater P.O. boxes. After a quick overview of his gallery, it becomes apparent that there is a common motif throughout his pieces: almost every painting is of a disaster scene. Whether this is shown through the sidewalks crumbling at the bottom of the canvas, half the painting being submerged underwater, or hyenas running around city parks and littered McDonalds soda cans, this theme presents itself as a source of intrigue. Why has the artist chosen to portray such a scene? What is he trying to get at? In his artist statement, Keyes hints that he is alluding to “dystopian folktales that express a concern for our time and the Earth’s future.” Animals are included in every painting and any man-made objects placed in the settings, such as vehicles or statues of famous people, usually are covered in graffiti. The way the eco-surrealistic paintings are composed also provokes intrigue. The choice of mild colors and a 3-D panoramic view is strangely reminiscent of textbook cross-section illustrations. If it weren’t for such strange subject matter, Keye’s paintings might look like something you would find out of an old science textbook about nature or different ecological systems and biospheres.

Community Connection #2

Artist Name: Mark Cameron Boyd

Location of exhibit: http://markcameronboyd.com/index.html

Due Date: 10/4/11

Bullet points

  • simple, few colors used in each piece
  • use of letter-parts
  • quick handwriting, like on chalk
  • squarish letters, using parts of capital and lowercase forms
  • little spacing, more overlapping
  • palimpsestic – erases and re-writing

Reaction

Mark Cameron Boyd’s art pieces are unusual in that they are primarily based on text. Each piece in his gallery uses only a few, simple colors and shapes. It is interesting how he chooses to focus on the quick, handwritten script in the forefront; any solid color or shape he uses is just filler for the background. Moreover, instead of using complete, legible, or readable words, Boyd frequently uses both capital and lowercased letter parts or fragments in an abstract, modern style. His squarish marks on paper have strong, confident strokes and seem almost as if the writer was transcribing something quickly on a hard surface like a chalkboard. In any case, the artist effectively utilizes the palimpsestic technique we covered in class with our “History, Ideology, & Life” projects by erasing half of the letters and filling in gaps between lines with words, re-written or overlapping in different shades of colors. His artist statement is to “explore text as a language for painting, literally using…sentences as the subject.” Boyd certainly utilizes this in his works, which range from simple transcription to mark-making designs. With such a uniquely abstract style, Boyd’s work is unorthodox.

Community Connection #1

Artist Name: James Aponovich

Location of exhibit: http://www.aponovich52.blogspot.com/

Due Date: 9/13/11

Bullet points

  • a “painting marathon” working on 52 paintings; one a week for the whole year!
  • Still Life With Watermelon, simple but eye-catching with choice of subject and portrayal
  • uses a lot of tissues to set off the other objects like fruit or truffles
  • pays a lot of attention to planning the background/setting of the piece
  • main theme is in center of the picture but the backdrop has details
  • multiple types of mediums – oil, sketches
  • colorful with lots of shading and light spaces

Reaction

In search of a community connection topic, I browsed through the long list of artists in the Clark Gallery. As I looked over each artist’s name, the picture in the left corner of the gallery changed to one of their pieces of art. James Aponovich’s Still Life with Watermelon had the even-toned, light, eye-catching quality that instantly captured my attention. It was simple and pleasing to the eye, with the subject and portrayal of the watermelon. Most people probably would not have painted a round watermelon with a squarish hole cut in the center. Aponovich’s choice to do so was interesting and unique. Moreover, as I looked further and discovered his artist’s statement, I was even more impressed by his finesse and incredible mastery of oil painting and other mediums. The still life of the watermelon was only one of a series in his current project — which he calls his “52 Week Painting Marathon.” He set a goal for himself to paint one piece a week for the whole year. The subjects of these paintings similarly focus on common, everyday items, such as a chocolate truffle, a stack of books, or a partially-peeled orange. Something I noticed while looking through his pieces was that he uses a lot of textured backgrounds like tissues or airy, floating napkins to set off the centered objects. The main subject of the painting is almost always in center of the picture but the backdrop has enough details and color to be noticeable. The composition of each piece is clearly well thought-out and planned, with colorful subjects, lots of shading, a surrealism-like touch, and light spaces to set the pictures to an advantage.