About

This web log (or journal) is a vehicle for Rowan University students to exercise their growing mastery of the lexicon of art and photography, through reviews, critiques, and responses to class discussions. Artists, and students of art need to be able to talk and write about work, process, and theory in an informed and articulate manner, in order to give voice and depth of opinion in the medium they are discussing.

This platform is designed to facilitate that process.

Keith

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9 Responses to About

  1. Catherine Brown says:

    Melissa Thompson’s exhibit “Feast” featured realistic paintings of food. The painting “680” is painted with acrylic paint on Masonite, and it is 32×40 inches. “680” is not framed. It features two tacos and corn on the cob wrapped in tin foil. This piece is aesthetically please, because its bright colors catch the eye. The bright corn has different shades of yellow on the cob. The bright yellow contrast with the softer light yellow on the top of the painting. The tin foil looks life like looking crinkled as though someone had just opened the tin foil with the cooked corn on the cob inside. The corn, cut in half, is angled, one half looking slightly larger than the other depending on the angle that you are looking at it. The tin foil looks somewhat ripped, which is typically how people hastily open their food when covered by tin foil, especially if they are very hungry. Thompson used Lowell Tolstedt for inspiration when creating this tin foil. The tacos look lifelike, because they are partly opened, as if someone just prepared them. Their soft tortillas shell is a neutral light brown color with small spots on it, making it look more realistic. The bright red grape tomatoes catch the eye; they’re scattered in the taco along with a white liquid, sour cream. The sour cream is smeared throughout the taco shell. To the audience it seems almost as though someone quickly plopped and smeared the flavoring on. However, due to the placement of the cilantro, to the audience is seems that an everyday typical person would not be making tacos. The pieces of cilantro are still attached to the stem and carefully placed on the top of the taco. This makes the audience wonder if a professional cook made these tacos or if they are made by an everyday person. It is also interesting the painting paired corn on the cob with tacos. While many cooks sometimes put corn on their tacos, usually corn is not kept on the cob as an addition to the meal. The food is placed on a light blue plate, which seems not big enough for all the food. The food, especially the bottom taco seems to spill slightly off the plate. The plate is placed on a black background which could be interpreted as a table or a table cloth. “680” is the amount of calories that the meal in the painting is when eaten.
    The artist was inspired by John Singleton Copley’s realistic fruit painting. Thompson liked that his fruit took on meticulous textures. She wanted her subjects matters to be more difficult than simple fruit. She wanted to show that making food is art too due to their bold, bright colors. She also picked food, because just from looking at delicious food it can elicit a viewers’ involuntary response, such as their mouthwatering or stomach grumbling. Since food is such a part of everyday life, she wanted to include photorealistic qualities in her approach. The lighting in the room makes the food’s bright colors pop. Because it takes this photorealistic feeling, the paintings feel life like. To me, the piece almost seemed like a picture that someone would put of food on their social media accounts, which was interesting because it made the paintings seem relatable and approachable.

  2. Catherine Brown says:

    The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts recently offered the Emil Lukas’ Morris Gallery from January 14-April 10, 2016. The room has north facing skylights which Lukas uses to explore the conversion of perceptual familiarity into drawings and paintings. His inspiration is his lifelong captivation with everyday materials and using them to give his subjects lifelike qualities. His presentation includes thread paintings, plaster casts of sheets of bubble-wrap and a sculpture created from cardboard tubes that are meticulously and specifically placed. Lukas’ work was created in an environment with skylights, so that he wanted the lighting to be constantly changing from sunlight in the gallery’s skylights as well.
    His interest in sunlight is evident through his thread paintings. These paintings offer several layers of thread that crisscross over a wood tray. The thread is placed over painted wood frame is 64x52x31.5 inches. The thread painting features of series of well-matched and contrastable combinations creating an illusion of motion. The circular whiteness in the center creates a natural but somewhat eerie light to it. These threaded paintings are hung on the side walls.
    When entering the exhibit, the first piece that viewers see is Large Lens sculpture. It is made of cardboard, glue, and wood. It is huge. When first looking at it, it reminded me of a giant honey bee hive due to the shape of the tubes. However, upon getting closer to the sculpture, the hive like texture reveals its circular tubes. When standing on a certain spot of the inside of the curve of the sculpture through the adjustment of the body, the sculpture seems to disappear, which Lukas wanted to relate to pulling back a curtain to reveal another universe on the other side.
    Lukas also has two plaster pieces, Cloud 1480 and Cloud 1481. These pieces seem to jump off the canvas. They are made of a plaster case of bubble wrap. Again, this goes back to Lukas’ use of everyday objects to make art. The bubble wrap circles are painted with different warm pastel colors. The colors seem to change when looking at them from different angles due to the sun shining on them. These pieces are 12x9x2 inches. When first looking at the piece, the audience could say that the small circles could again look like a hive or fish scales depending upon what angle you look at it. The shapes look more circular at a closer look, but seem to have a different illusion when looking at them from a distance. It can have many different interpretations depending on where you are standing in the room.
    None of Lukas’ pieces are framed. They can cause different illusions depending on where the audience is standing. Lukas makes the viewer look at his pieces from several angles in order to get the full brain twisting experience. These works are definitely not traditional or typical. The works draw your eye, because they seem mystical and strange, but they are made up of household items. It is also approachable due to the sun’s natural lighting in the room. Although the pieces are made from household items, their large size also makes them feel larger than life.

  3. Katherine Purachev says:

    Food Exhibit

    The food exhibit, shown in the Westby art gallery, is a collection of paintings of food. They utilize extremely detailed lighting and realistic lines, colors, and shapes to show images of food that appear to be photographs. These elements create the visual effect that these images are photographs, until the viewer moves closer and realizes that they are actually paintings, which is especially shown in the painting of the teapot. This creates the principle of food as an idea of art, and that photorealism can exhibit a snapshot from everyday life. Typically food is seen as average and just a regular part of life, and even the artist states that it is a neutral subject matter. However, people have been painting and photographing still life of food like fruit for centuries, and it still has the potential to elicit an involuntary response from each viewer, no matter how common. This artist truly embodies the statement that any subject can be a work of art. For example, one of her pieces is of tacos and corn and is titled X, and another is of cheese fries and bacon titled X.

    Another important feature of the artist’s work is their addition of certain surfaces and textures into the artwork that other artists might shy away from due to their difficulty. The tin foil in the tacos and corn piece and the reflective glass is an indication of the artists realistic and formal style which is conveyed by the photographic-like quality of the pieces, as well as the artist’s ability to paint challenging surfaces. Overall, the artist picked a subject matter that everyone can relate to, which is food, and elevated that subject matter through the use of detail.

  4. Cody Fauver says:

    The second art gallery I am critiquing is “Meaningful Interactions with the Wild” and it is a student gallery from Westby Hall by Daisy Joseph Greenwell. The majority of the work was screenprinted animals on canvas, with a lot of metal work in displays around the room. It depicted a very powerful bond with nature. The metal work was all laid onto grass patches, which we were to find out later were all grown by Daisy. One of her pieces that really stood out to me was the painting of the two women with the field of rabbits. There is something really peaceful about the painting, and it really shows humans being one with nature. The humans in the painting seem very peaceful with the rabbits, and the colors are a very cold-color scheme. It has a white backdrop with barren trees, but what seems to be pink flowers on the ground. It instills a feeling of the transition from winter into spring.

  5. Catherine Brown says:

    The MOMA featured an exhibit titled Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015. When first walking into the exhibit, there is a large video on a square projection playing a video of person with long beautiful brown hair flowing in the wind. The image is glossy, smooth, and warm. She is wearing a white dress with a sexual slit in between the breasts. She is wearing mascara and top eye liner. She is wearing gold hoop earrings. She also has a beard. The scene is sometimes split into two videos of the woman smiling. In the background of the video there is a bright blue background with the word “MOMA,” which pops against the white wall of the museum. The props in the video somewhat changes throughout the recording as the woman does several poses touching her lips laughing and putting her hand on her heart. The video is playing a pop but subtle music in the background, which is very catchy. Because the model in the piece is wearing provocative clothing and gorgeous makeup, she looks very beautiful. She is the center of attention in the video since there is very little background props. It can also catch the eye, because the model is wearing typically feminine clothes when the person also has a beard. She is not obeying society’s expectations of what a female would look like. It leaves the audience wondering if the model is transgender, a woman, or a male defying gender standards. It’s background colors and lighting away from the scene is aesthetically pleasing and is hard to look away from. The piece is titled “Positive Ambiguity (beard, lectern, teleprompter, wind machine, confidence)” and is created by the art collective DIS. The description explains that DIS pushes the boundaries of the water mark, mocking the idea of image ownership, and shows the watermark of a MoMA logo, although none of the images in the piece are owned by the MOMA. The model throughout the video is Conchita Wurst, an international celebrity after winning the Eurovision Song Contest. DIS uses her as the model because she is a symbol of queer positivity and political tensions among conservatives and liberals. The piece’s background music can be heard throughout most of the exhibit, and often draws the audience back to the piece.

  6. Catherine Brown says:

    The Gagosian Gallery offered a series of realistic photographs taken by Gregory Crewsdon titled Cathedral of the Pines. The series consisted of thirty-one digital pigmented prints taken in the rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. Each measured 45 x 58 inches framed. The lighting was featured so the paintings dark background popped against the white walls styled to resemble nineteenth century American and European paintings. Many of the photographs included women fully naked or shirtless, showing a kind of intimacy or vulnerability. The people in the photographs looked full of regret, sadness, or pain. Many of the scenes seemed gloomy or mysterious, as if something just happened. Small details such as the people’s veins, wrinkles, or bags under the eyes are amplified on the people in the photographs. Crewdson made the production in a rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. Many of the pieces include the models in the woods or looking out the window at a rural scene. When staring at the pieces, it leaves the audience wondering what had happened. For example, when looking at a photograph of a man that is looking despairingly at a pile of flowers with two police cars in the background, the audience may wonder: What happened? Did the man bury someone under the flowers? Is he a police officer or are the police here to investigate something? It leaves the audience questioning what happened at the scene of this photograph. Each piece in the gallery seems to have a dramatic, suspenseful movie-esque feeling to it. Each piece in this gallery led me to create a story for each photograph. It allowed me to make connection to my knowledge of a situation and make inferences on what had happened. These pieces were intriguing and thoughtprovoking, because it allows the audience to wonder the unknown of a snapshot of time.

  7. Catherine Brown says:

    The Gagosian Gallery offered a series of realistic photographs taken by Gregory Crewsdon titled Cathedral of the Pines. The series consisted of thirty-one digital pigmented prints taken in the rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. Each measured 45 x 58 inches framed. The lighting was featured so the paintings dark background popped against the white walls styled to resemble nineteenth century American and European paintings. Many of the photographs included women fully naked or shirtless, showing a kind of intimacy or vulnerability. The people in the photographs looked full of regret, sadness, or pain. Many of the scenes seemed gloomy or mysterious, as if something just happened. Small details such as the people’s veins, wrinkles, or bags under the eyes are amplified on the people in the photographs. Crewdson made the production in a rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. Many of the pieces include the models in the woods or looking out the window at a rural scene. When staring at the pieces, it leaves the audience wondering what had happened. For example, when looking at a photograph of a man that is looking despairingly at a pile of flowers with two police cars in the background, the audience may wonder: What happened? Did the man bury someone under the flowers? Is he a police officer or are the police here to investigate something? It leaves the audience questioning what happened at the scene of this photograph. Each piece in the gallery seems to have a dramatic, suspenseful movie-esque feeling to it. Each piece in this gallery led me to create a story for each photograph. It allowed me to make connection to my knowledge of a situation and make inferences on what had happened. These pieces were intriguing and thought provoking, because it allows the audience to wonder the unknown of a snapshot of time.

  8. Steven Husar says:

    I enjoyed the art works from the MOMA exhibition from their ability to convey attention grabbing formal elements along with powerful conceptual elements that describe the modern era. Katharina Gaenssler’s “Bauhaus Staircase”, for example, uses positive and negative along with 3 dimensional spacing to show ascending staircases with frames, sitting on staircase steps, of disinterested people climbing stairs. This interestingly gives the impression of a frame with 3D space within a 3D wallpaper. These elements also help convey the unexciting, emotion devoid life of today. Also, David Horvitz’s “Mood Disorder” shows a left to right expansion of webpages using the initial photograph of a depressed looking man. The variety of bright colors for all the webpages brings excitement to the viewer’s eye and the triangular arrangement of the webpages provides a familiar, graspable shape to the viewer. These contribute to conceptual elements describing today’s era where a single photograph can expand quickly across the web and eventually die off. I lastly enjoyed Edson Chagas’s “Found Not Taken, Luanda” from its use of immense area to hold large stacks of bright, yet dull lithographs on pallets. The use of horizontal lines for lithographs like the one with a lone rock by the edge of a building and the one with a girl standing at the counter of a grocery store convey a down to earth sense to the viewer. The color and line elements of these art works contribute to the conceptual element of the multitude of amateur, unclaimed artwork of today. Overall, the elements of line, color, and spacing allow viewers to easily discover conceptual elements about art in the exhibition.

    • Catherine Brown says:

      The Gagosian Gallery offered a series of realistic photographs taken by Gregory Crewsdon titled Cathedral of the Pines. The series consisted of thirty-one digital pigmented prints taken in the rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. Each measured 45 x 58 inches framed. The lighting was featured so the paintings dark background popped against the white walls styled to resemble nineteenth century American and European paintings. Many of the photographs included women fully naked or shirtless, showing a kind of intimacy or vulnerability. The people in the photographs looked full of regret, sadness, or pain. Many of the scenes seemed gloomy or mysterious, as if something just happened. Small details such as the people’s veins, wrinkles, or bags under the eyes are amplified on the people in the photographs. Crewdson made the production in a rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. Many of the pieces include the models in the woods or looking out the window at a rural scene. When staring at the pieces, it leaves the audience wondering what had happened. For example, when looking at a photograph of a man that is looking despairingly at a pile of flowers with two police cars in the background, the audience may wonder: What happened? Did the man bury someone under the flowers? Is he a police officer or are the police here to investigate something? It leaves the audience questioning what happened at the scene of this photograph. Each piece in the gallery seems to have a dramatic, suspenseful movie-esque feeling to it. Each piece in this gallery led me to create a story for each photograph. It allowed me to make connection to my knowledge of a situation and make inferences on what had happened. These pieces were intriguing and thought provoking, because it allows the audience to wonder the unknown of a snapshot of time.

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