Honors History of Photography

Post your comments, reviews and critiques below. As stated in the course syllabus, reviews should be at least one paragraph in length (approx 250 words) and follow the general guidelines presented in course handouts, including: Talking and Writing about Art.

Again, this format is informal and the comments should be brief and concise. This is not a space for lengthy discourse or academic writing. I expect you to write as you would speak in class and elaborate beyond “I like…” or “, (the work) is awesome”. Be descriptive and specific in response to both the formal and conceptual elements of the work(s).



81 Responses to Honors History of Photography

  1. Alicia Gradziel says:

    Another picture that I found in the Photographer’s Forum spring 2013, also by Abelardo Morell was the Images of Times Square. Morell used a pinhole concept in a plain hotel room’s window, and took a picture of the full image of Times Square in New York City projected onto the hotel’s wall and furniture. This picture made me stop to look for a minute because the idea that light can travel through a small hole, in a dark room, and show the outside world in such incredible detail is absolutely amazing to me. I never knew that that was how oldtime cameras worked. In his picture, you can clearly see all of the advertisements, the cars, the people, all the lights. It really is fantastic, especially with all of the hotel furniture around the room reflecting it. Its an image that proves that New York is the “City that never sleeps”.

  2. Alicia Gradziel says:

    Looking through the Photographer’s Forum for Spring 2013, I came across a picture by Abelardo Morell entitled “Down the Rabbit Hole” in reference to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This photograph caught my eye mainly because I love the story of Alice in Wonderland. The photograph is of an older looking book, laid on a floral print fabric, surrounded by leaves. The most striking feature is the hole drilled straight through the center of the book, and of course the cartoon drawing of a rabbit in a suit looking down at it. It was interesting how the artist used many different types of objects to complete this picture, and didn’t stick with all natural items. The overall effect is quite fantastical, and it makes you think that this could be real, that you could find this book somewhere even though its quite impossible, especially since it has real elements such as leaves, and produced elements such as the fabric and the rabbit drawing. The picture makes me wish I could be a kid again and be able to use my imagination to make it even more real.

  3. Joey Lakits says:

    Since learning about him in this history of photography class, Man Ray has been my favorite photographer. I feel as though his style really defines surrealism. One of my favorite photos by him is entitled Anatomies. This is a portrait of a girl with her head tilted back past 90 degrees. The image is cropped from her collar bones to her up-turned chin. I find this piece to be extremely beautiful and interesting. At first glance, the photo is not easily perceived as a human at all and seems to be something more alien-like due its glossy skin and bones that look as though they could be mutations. Compositionally, there is nothing in the photo that immediately sticks out as being professional. For example, there is no intense contrast in darks and lights, giving the entire image a very dark grey feel. After looking at the image for a couple seconds and registering that it is a human, it takes on a great beauty. The image highlights the model’s strong jaw line and collar bones but also the softness of her neck. Over time, the image seems to transform into something much less human than you even viewed at first. I believe that this is due to the fact that the image is so barely related to what is seen on humans on a regular basis that it is easy to lose grasp of it.

  4. Alicia Gradziel says:

    One of the pieces of art that caught my eye during the trip to MOMA was the giant yellow square. It was displayed in a way that you could look down on it from pretty much any floor, and I didn’t really understand way it was so important and why there were so many people just staring at it. It was just a giant yellow square. I really didn’t understand what the appeal was. Sure, it was a wonderful shade of yellow, very vibrant and eye-catching, but there was nothing interesting about it, no designs in it or anything. I actually thought it was sand, until I went down and looked at it, and read the description. The artist, Wolfgang Laib, created the yellow square entitled “Pollen from Hazelnut” appropriately enough with pollen. All that he had collected himself, near his home in Germany, and had shipped here and carefully laid out on the platform. After reading the description, I had a new respect for the piece, and for Wolfgang Laib, who must have spent an immense amount of time carefully collecting the pollen and the spreading it out with extreme caution on the ground in order for it to have such a perfect shape and even bright shade. This goes to show that even though somethings simple and maybe even boring, there is more to it then you think.

  5. William Fordham says:

    3-D Chalk Art
    One of the most interesting forms of art I have seen was the use of side walk chalk to create images that when viewed from the correct angle appear to be three dimensional. This type of art is really interesting to me considering how talented a person must be to able to create this type of art. It also seems really cool that a person is creating art with something as simple and childish as chalk, and that it can be made anywhere there is concrete. Also that it becomes a part of a select part of art that has a three dimensional feel to it. This form of art seems even more impressive considering the dimensions which these artists must envision, create, and toy with to get the perfect amount of depth. On top of all this, the artists must basically wing their design, as it cannot be viewed unless from a proper angle, further adding to the power of these works.
    Doing a little research on the topic I found a great article which displays a few artists with some of their major work. Ill post the link at the bottom of the article for everyone to see. My favorite of the artists presented in this article was Edgar Mueller, because the crazy amount of detail and sheer power and amount found in his works. Julian Beever is another artist presented. His works are often times more simple designs, but I particularly like the energy and playful element associated with his works. I think it’s really cool that he often incorporates himself into his works when they are being photographed, making the work have a more fun feel to it. The third artist I really enjoyed was Kurt Wenner. I really liked the return to classical art forms with his works that depict a Greek looking scene.
    The final reason I really liked this art form was its interaction with photography. Without photography, it would be impossible for mass media to relay the power of these works. Also, photography can guarantee that it will be seen in its correct form. Finally, that without photography these works would not able to be seen for possibly more than a few days. It seems kind of funny and fitting that the beauty of one art form falls solely in the grasps of another. Without photography, three dimensional chalk street art could not grow into the art form it is today.

    The article I found was: http://www.boredpanda.com/5-most-talented-3d-sidewalk-chalk-artists/

  6. William Fordham says:

    Landscape Photography
    Ever since I can remember my parents have been dragging my around the country, and showing me some of the most beautiful places in America. When I was little I never thought much of it, however, as I grew up I really began to gain an appreciation for the places I had seen. By my early teens I had already developed a serious interest in landscape photography, and being able to start my own little collection of photographs from around the nation. I still have the goal today of seeing all the national parks in the country. In either case, my goal has really exposed me landscape photography, particularly since I based some of my trips on the views found in magazines.
    Considering all the images which we have seen through this class, Ansel Adams continues to by my favorite photographer. His images of Grand Teton National Park and the Snake River are so visually striking in the contrast of the landscape, and beautiful in its composition, that I feel that nothing else really can compare to it. Even considering how strong of a role color plays in the power of landscape photography, I would still have to say his black and white images are unparalleled. As Dr. Adams explained Ansel Adam’s and other purists processes it really gave me a new appreciation for the art associated with photography.
    I never really thought much of the composition which went into a landscape photography, to me it was more of a point and shoot on an image that I found exciting. Now I see the complexity of these images, and have even more respect for the contemporary images of these photographers considering the equipment which they used during their time. The care that was taken into every shot to perfect it has influenced me, and I hope that someday people will be able to view my images as something as beautiful as those presented during this class.

  7. William Fordham says:

    Yellow Square Exhibit
    I have to say out of all the exhibits at the MoMA, the exhibit which was a yellow square taking up almost the entire floor in one room was the most striking. When I walked upstairs and saw this piece I wasn’t sure whether it was meant to be taken seriously or not, or if it was just simply something made in preparation of a future work. In either case, I found this piece striking, but not in a good way. It made me feel as if art has strayed too far from its fundamentals in recent years, and it wasn’t until the photography and paintings exhibit later on that my faith was restored. Looking at the yellow square, which I originally thought was chalk, I really felt that modern art was not art at all, it had become something too different to me to be considered art. As I passed by it a few times I saw many people standing admiring it, and I felt as if I was missing a key element to this piece. I decided to further investigate and found that the piece was actually made of pollen. It didn’t seem like much to me at the time, but I later realized the effort which this artist went through to create this piece, and though I did not particularly like his work, I admired his work. The more I thought about it, and yes I thought about it a lot even if I was making fun of it, I realized the power of the work was in the material used. I thought the use of pollen to create the work was actually a great idea. Pollen essentially symbolizes life and growth, and was therefore fitting as a symbol of representing life. Though I didn’t visually enjoy this work, the thought behind it was important. Additionally, it taught me to be more accepting of works, allowing me to broaden my horizons, and my view on art.

  8. William Fordham says:

    MoMA Trip
    Visiting the MOMA was an enlightening experience for me, as I had never really been interested in art prior to this class. Walking through the museum I found many of the modern art exhibits to be extremely weird. Many of the exhibits seemed, to me at least, to not truly be art. In the household exhibit in particular I was shocked how the arrangements of plates and silverware was considered to be art. Likewise, the table which was supposed to be earthquake proof, as it could withstand a large load and still retain its form really made me question the concept of modern art. However, looking at some other exhibits, I could really appreciate the power of art. I found the shapes and designs displayed in the small architectural exhibits to be really interesting and creative. Additionally, I really liked the creative works found in the photography section, particularly those of Man Ray. His surrealist images were shockingly powerful and breathtaking in terms of concept, and image. One thing I found really striking about his work were the really defined and sharp shapes which he uses to form his images.
    My favorite part of the trip by far was the top floor which contained the most of the famous paintings. I was really amazed at the collection which the museum had to offer. It was inspiring walking through the rooms and seeing countless paintings which I had read and saw years ago in art classes. The massive paintings by Monet were incredible considering every square inch of the huge paintings contained a huge amount of color and detail. It seemed unreal that a person could create several paintings that size with that quality without taking decades. The works of Van Gough, Picasso, and Munch’s “The Scream” were all amazing, and I would thoroughly going back to see these paintings again another time.

  9. Joey Lakits says:

    During my visit to the Museum of Modern Art this semester, I became minorly obsessed with the section of the museum that dealt with minimalistic art. I have always had a soft spot for this type of art, but being surrounded by it was just wonderful. One piece that really stuck out to me was the piece entitled White Forms by Franz Kline. It is a very simple painting, as minimal art usually is, that consists of 6 large skewed painted black lines on a painted white canvas. From far away, this piece is beautiful, but as you get closer, it seems to grow into a much deeper piece. The intricate brush strokes of the lines seem to take over your vision as you approach the piece. The amount of detail is most-likely a product of the scale of the piece since it is six feet tall. If Kline made the piece smaller and still wanted to keep it minimalistic, he would have had to opt out of such wonderful details like the brush strokes. It’s this attention to detail that usually draws me towards minimalistic work. I love how something extremely simple at first glance can actually be made up of smaller parts that are insanely detailed. I think that I may love this so much because it is how I go about creating my own artwork.

  10. Deborah Dunn says:

    Visiting the MOMA was an interesting experience for someone who doesn’t know too much about art. I recognized some of the famous art pieces, but a majority of it was new to me. One of the floors I really enjoyed was the Painting and Sculpture I floor. Some of the paintings and drawings I didn’t really like, because it seemed simple to do and I couldn’t understand the meaning behind it. One of the pieces I was drawn to was Monet’s Agapanthus. It was a part of his Water Lilies series. It was a very large painting and after doing some research I found that the medium was oil on canvas. It’s amazing to think that this piece of art is almost 100 years old and is in great condition still. I liked how you could definitely tell what the painting was, but at the same time it wasn’t an exact replication of flowers you would see in real life. It was a beautiful blend of blues, greens, and purple for the flower part. I read that his paintings are based on directly observing things in nature, which in this case are flowers he planted. Monet is the most well known Impressionist painter, emphasizing small thin brush strokes and by painting outside, really looking at movement, lighting, and shadows. Although this isn’t exactly a traditional painting in the sense of painting something exactly how it is seen, I like this style of painting because of the swirly brush strokes, and use of so many shades of the same color. It seems like a very elegant painting and probably because of its size I noticed it right away, but this piece was one of the ones I appreciated the most at the MOMA. This can be seen at http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?criteria=O%3ADE%3AI%3A5|G%3AHI%3AE%3A1&page_number=298&template_id=1&sort_order=1.

  11. Becky Grochowicz says:

    One of the first pieces that I encountered at the MoMA was a big yellow square on the ground. I immediately thought that this was ridiculous. Who can admire a yellow square and call it art? I could paint my floor yellow and people would think I was crazy. This was a piece that I remembered for the rest of the day and kept thinking about how strange it was that something like that was considered art. Every time I came across a piece with similar simplicities I immediately thought back to the yellow square. This was one piece that I could not stop thinking about, maybe the fact that it is so memorable is what makes it art. When I got home from the MoMA I was talking to one of my friends about my experience and told her about the ridiculous yellow square. She, an art major, then began to tell me how much more complicated that piece was than just a yellow square. What I didn’t realize while at the MoMa is that this was way more than a painted yellow square, in fact it wasn’t painted. This square was colored with pollen that a single man took the time to collect. After talking to her about it I looked the piece up on the MoMA’s website to learn more. There I read that Wolfgang Laib, the artist, chose pollen for its purity and symbolic associations. He believes that pollen is the beginning of the life of a plant. It is something beautiful and simple, yet holds so much meaning. After reading this description I began to have an appreciation for the work that he created from pure pollen. That is definitely not as simple as painting a yellow square. After this experience I learned that it is important to read the descriptions of items that may not seem like art, because most likely the item is not as simple as it looks and may have underlying meaning.

  12. Becky Grochowicz says:

    For some reason I have never really found art all that interesting, so visiting the MoMa was an interesting experience for me. There were pieces there that I would not have considered art, such as basic white canvases with a black line running down the center. Something like that doesn’t call my attention because it appears as something that virtually anyone could do. However, on this trip, I was able to find a few things that did capture my attention. My favorite of those was the Honeycomb Vase “Made by Bees”. This is something that took careful thought and planning. It amazed me that a creature with such a “dangerous” connotation could create something so beautiful. The description of the piece was also interesting. The process to create this piece seems like it was intensive. The artist created vase-shaped beehive scaffolds and then let nature take its course. A piece like this is always going to turn out so different every time because the ultimate creation of the piece is not in the hands of the artist, the bees are in control. I was surprised to learn that this process only takes from two to ten days, however, the number of bees that work on it is massive; this particular vase had approximately forty thousand bees working to complete it. The most interesting part of this whole process is full circle that this vase creates. Starting with flowers, which nourish the bees and allow them to create the vase, and ending with an item that is meant to hold flowers.
    A picture of the vase can be found here: http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=110254

  13. Becky Grochowicz says:

    A few weeks ago one of my facebook friends posted a link to a collection of pictures. Normally this is something that I would scroll by in my newfeed, however, the theme of this photo collection caught my eye. The title of the collection is Photos of Children from Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions, by Gabriele Galimberti. The first picture in his collection is of a child from Malawi who appears to be living a life in severe poverty. However, this child does have three prized possessions, toys. The following picture is of a little girl from Italy. She has displayed all of her most prized possessions as well, although hers are more than just toys. On her bed she lined up four stuffed animals, above them hangs two costume-like dresses. On the floor, very neatly lined, are her barbies; a collection of eight and a motorcycle. Over the closet door hangs another dress, one that appears to be fancy enough for a pageant. Her stance on the bed and the way she is presenting herself makes it seem like she is proud of what she has. After looking at these first two pictures I began to read the description written by the photographer. He described his experiences with these children during an 18-month shoot. He said that it was the richer kids that were more possessive with their toys and it took time before they allowed him to play with them. In poorer countries he found it much easier to interact with the children and they were more willing to share their toys. The toys of each child were clearly representative of the world the child was born into-economic status and daily life affecting the child were reflective of the types of toys that they had. To read more about this collection of photographs and to see the rest of the photos go to: http://www.featureshoot.com/2013/03/photos-of-children-from-around-the-world-with-their-most-prized-possessions/

  14. Deborah Dunn says:

    While visiting the MOMA in March, I experienced many different art-related mediums. A few pieces stood out to me while exploring the museum. One of the very memorable pieces was on the architecture and design gallery floor; it was the Basic House prototype by Martín Ruiz de Azúa. This was a very large and interesting piece of art. It visually looked like a large gold foil cube-shaped balloon. I was trying to figure out exactly what it was supposed to be and read the caption. This was intended to be used as a house for people to live in. It was an intriguing concept, but to me, it didn’t really seem like art, at least my definition of art. Doing more research on the MOMA website, I learned that homeless people are always moving around, so an ideal homeless shelter could be installed easily and could be transported around just as easily. I saw a picture of the structure folded like a handkerchief and stuffed into the user’s pocket. This seemed like a cool concept, and this structure definitely fit the goal of being easy to transport. According to details on the structure, the house is made of polyester and is a perfect square with dimensions of 200x200x200 cm. Since this is made of an extra-light material it is hard to see how this would be much different from just living out on the streets. They also mention it can use hot air from grilles in city sidewalks to keep it heated and inflated. This seems impractical, because this thin material can probably overheat and also this would take up too much space on a sidewalk. It was definitely a piece that stuck out to me and it is an interesting idea, but actually applying it to real life seems difficult.

  15. Ryan Liberty says:

    After seeing such a large number of images this semester, with such a wide range of topics, I still find myself leaning back towards landscape photography. In the beginning of the class you asked what our favorite thing about photography was. I figured that over the course of this semester I would see photography in a different way and that I would find a new favorite thing about photography. Because of this class I now see landscape photography in a new light. It is no longer just images of exotic, beautiful places. The images are not simple snapshots or something that come straight from the camera. After learning things from the class I now see all of the technical aspects of these photographs which are what make them so incredible. It is how the different colors play off of one another. It is how there is a contrast between the dark black shadows and the bright, white highlights. These images have perfect composition and you can see how long it must have taken to get the perfect lighting. Images from Ansel Adams and other straight photographers showed me how these images are composed and how work in the dark room is used to enhance these pictures. Now that I know what goes into these images and the background of these photographers, I have new respect for these images. They are the same landscapes as before but now I understand why the image was taken in that position and how the shutter speed affects the lighting. These images have become even more beautiful than before.

  16. Deborah Dunn says:

    A few years ago, I received one of those chain emails from a friend of a friend. I typically don’t really read through those types of emails in their entirety, but this one in particular caught my eye. The email had pictures from photographer Clark Little. I immediately loved the photos and did some research into this photographer. Clark grew up on North Shore in Hawaii and in the 1980’s and 90’s became known as a fearless surfer in Waimea Bay. Clark started photographing just a short time ago in 2007 when his wife wanted a picture of the ocean as a decoration to hang on their wall. He uses a waterproof camera setup to take his photos. His perspective definitely adds a lot to his photographs. He jumps right in the ocean and gets a view from inside of the waves. This technique is dangerous at times, but his surfing background helps in that aspect. The final products are incredible and in just a short time his work has been featured in programs and exhibitions like Discovery Channel, ABC World News, the Smithsonian Museum, National Geographic, and Surfer’s Journal. His clientele including Toyota, Nikon, Nike, and Apple is also impressive. Each picture he takes is completely unique, even though almost all of them feature waves. All of them have very bright, eye-popping, and gorgeous colors and exemplify the beauty and power of the ocean. Most of the photos come from inside the barrel of a wave; some during the daytime and some during sunrise or sunset. In some photos the waves are transparent and so crystal clear; in others the waves are foamy and churning up tons of sand from the bottom of the ocean. Some of the pictures show the sun right in between the bottom of the wave and the part of the wave that is coming crashing down. There are also photographs that show turtles or palm trees, exhibiting more Hawaiian features. The ocean and the waves are so strong, but in the instant he captures the photograph, you can really appreciate that calmness and pure natural beauty right before the wave comes crashing down. For being inside of a moving wave, the quality is very clear and I give him credit for just jumping right in the ocean to capture these moments and showing that no two waves break the same way. Growing up right next to the beach really enhanced my enjoyment of these photos, because I love the ocean, and these photos definitely make me want to go to Hawaii and experience this for myself. His work can be found on http://www.clarklittlephotography.com/

  17. Ben Webster says:

    The works of Sally Mann are typically related to her most famous works, involving her children and landscapes of the American South. One of Mann’s most overlooked works is a series she shot in the early 2000’s called “body farm.” In this series, Mann was granted access to a forensics research facility that examines the decay of bodies when placed in the wilderness. Many of the photographs Mann took at this facility are remnant of her unique style using homemade large format plates; however, Mann utilizes color as an additional element in this series, marking it as one of her most unique and experimental series due to her exploration of both a more varied subject matter and alternative technique. What Mann does maintain in her photographs is her exploration of the natural form and the shape of the human body. Though the corpses she photographed for this series were partially if not fully decayed, Mann manages to embrace the shape and form that the bodies adhere to. Alternatively, Mann’s use of color utilizes a composition more remnant of juxtaposition than her typical straight-photography. The corpses are juxtaposed against warm colors and gentle, scenic backgrounds. Though body farm is certainly not Mann’s best or most famous body of work, it undoubtedly deviates from her traditional style more than any of her other works which is what establishes body farm as a real artistic treasure among Mann’s vast body of iconic images.

  18. Ben Webster says:

    Ralph Eugene Meatyard was an American photographer who, like many other artists, wasn’t famous or even heard of until after his death. His main subject matter was portraits of his children and close relatives. What makes Meatyard’s work unique is what is on the subjects in his photographs—masks. All of the subjects in all of the photographs Meatyard took are wearing these grotesque, macabre, morbid masks. His images maintain a certain je ne sais quoi that make the viewer some mix of uncomfortable and scared. In addition to the masks and costumes Meatyard uses in his work, he uses long exposures to add an element of motion to the bodies in his photographs. Often the subjects will only move a certain part of their body adding a blur to the image, further obscuring the individuals and adding to the importance of both their body language and position in the image. Finally, Meatyard’s use of other compositional elements adds the final touch of macabre to his work. He utilizes such as broken mirrors, odd perspectives, and derelict settings to further heighten the sense of surrealism and mystery he tries to perpetuate in his images.

  19. Ben Webster says:

    Arguably, Larry Clark’s most famous series of photographic works belong to a series called Tulsa. Tulsa is stylistically a photojournalistic-type compilation of images. Clark uses Tulsa to document addiction in the American mid-west throughout the 1970’s; a problem that manifested itself as a part of youth culture and has remained problematic to this day. Tulsa adheres to a very distinctly Larry Clark style: black and white, grainy, and never properly exposed. Clark’s subject matter is also very distinctly Clark: young, depressing, and addicted to narcotics. A lot of what makes Clark’s works so unique and powerful is how raw with emotion they are. His work truly exhibits youth culture in its most unadulterated form. His images are incredibly clear in this sense, as some of the images in Tulsa vary from a pregnant woman shooting up, to another image of a man with a gunshot wound and a woman huddled over him trying to stop the blood flow. In addition to the sheer power of the images, Clark heightens the emotional draw to some of them by adding subtle text, characters, or captions to some of the works. For instance, the cover image is a nice portrait of a shirtless young man, sitting on a bed with a revolver in his hand; inside the publication Clark adds the text “dead 1970” just below the image. These few simple characters add an incredible amount of depth to an image that was already powerful by itself. Overall, Clark’s work is incredibly powerful and only reiterates Clark’s mastery of both cinema and of photography.

  20. Sam Winterburn says:

    Everyone knows the opening credits to NBC’s “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” The intense voice sets the mood for the upcoming plot in each episode. However, over my years of watching this show, I have noticed that the way it is filmed is very different from other shows I have seen. The colors in the show are overall muted and it seems to be filmed always in a dark, dreary setting. It is placed in New York City which in any other circumstance is bright and lively, and always has commotion. In the show, though, in order to convey the morbid and sad themes that the plots unravel, the producers keep bright, happy colors to a minimum. I noticed this when I changed the channel from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit to a popular sitcom which is filmed in a totally different manner. Sitcoms are meant to be happy and uplifting, and their film style reflects that. They feature colors that make the viewer feel happy and safe. Law and Order’s film style is eerie and dreary, making the viewer feel uncomfortable and on edge, while still keeping their interest because of the show’s content. It is amazing to me how something as simple as a color palette can make a person feel one way or another. Law and Order’s dark and monotoned colors give the viewer a better understanding of the show’s content. The crimes committed in the show are scary, and the way that it is filmed reflects it perfectly.

  21. Katie Zink says:

    In the aftermath of the tragic events that occurred at the Boston Marathon, I noticed a huge display of the ubiquity of photography in today’s world. One article, published online here (http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/headlines/20130416-feds-ask-for-photos-video-that-might-hold-clues-in-boston-marathon-bombing.ece) says that “Police and federal agents appealed to the public Tuesday for amateur video and photos that might yield clues to the Boston Marathon bombing.” No one knew who they were looking for or even how many people were behind the bombings. The authorities relied on photos and videos not only from surveillance cameras and newscast cameras, but also from the thousands of cell phones and cameras of the people in the crowd that day. They asked anyone with any footage or images that might have anything helpful in it to send them in to be analyzed, and eventually it worked. The authorities identified their suspects and were able to pursue them. This is a perfect example of how useful even amateur photography can be in the world we live in today. Without those amateur photographers, those suspects may never have been identified and found.

  22. Katie Zink says:

    I’ve recently been watching a now-cancelled TV show called Fringe. The show revolves around the ideas of alternate universes and time travel and other theoretical scientific concepts. There is a ton of symbolism and artistic elements in the show so I thought it would be a good subject for one of my critiques. But there was one episode that really emphasized the artistic elements of the show. In the episode, the main characters are on LSD, so to show that the experiences they were having were different than what really happened, the people who made the show decided to turn the actors into cartoons. And instead of simply doing that for the audience, they let the characters recognize it as well, which I thought was interesting.
    They style of the cartoon was very clean and crisp. They made them look almost like they were three-dimensional, using shadows dramatically to create depth, but kept them looking like cartoons with strong contour lines. Their colors were bright and interesting, not dull like old comic books. But the characters still moved in very lifelike ways, suggesting to me that they filmed the actors and edited the film to make it look like a cartoon, but I’m not positive. They also started using thought and speech bubbles. I thought it was different than cartoons I’d seen in the past because it had elements of film as well as elements from old comics, and I think they were blended really well.

    Heres a clip of the part of the show where they turn into cartoons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scSWQpGDcl8

  23. Katie Zink says:

    At the upstairs gallery in Westby, I saw a graphic design piece by Ashley Alicea that I really liked. It was a yearly calendar, but it was completely different than any calendar I’ve ever seen. She arranged the names of the months in a list with the dates and days of the week following them in lines with each week in opposite colors to tell them apart. Under the list of days and months, there was a list of holidays, like you would often see on a regular calendar, but it was set up more like a key, rather than integrated into the calendar itself. Everything was slanted, and she left a lot of empty space at the top of the piece which I thought was interesting. She kept to a cool color palette, using mostly grey, white, and green. I think it is really clever how she came up with a whole new way to arrange an organizational tool like the calendar that is so rarely reinvented. I thought it was most interesting because it was still a useful calendar. There was still order to it and it could work as a good way, maybe even a better way, to arrange calendars. Maybe she was commenting on how we stick to what we know even when we know there is a better way?

  24. Katie Zink says:

    I’ve seen pictures of 3-D street art all over the internet for years and I think it is one of the coolest kinds of art there is. These artists, like Julian Beever and Edgar Mueller, use chalk to create what look like three-dimensional works of art on the streets and walls in cities all around the world. I added a link in this comment to two articles with examples of their work. I think they are amazing because in order to get them to look three-dimensional, the artists have to stretch their concepts of the things they are drawing so that from the right angle, it looks 3-D. But as they are doing the work, they aren’t looking at it from that angle, so they have to imagine it and figure out how to work around the canvas they have. I think that takes a massive amount of talent.
    I also like these works because I can see how photography plays into it. First of all, without photography, these works would never last. They are made with chalk, not paint, and they only stay where they are until it rains or people walk all over them. Secondly, since these works only look 3-D from one specific angle, not all of the few people who do get to see the art can see it from the right angle to get the full effect. Photography is perfect for capturing that perfect angle. Some artists actually use photographs of the space they are drawing on to help them figure out where the specific parts of what they are drawing should land. I think it is a great example of how photography is integrated so well into people’s lives, including other artists.

    Here’s the link to the article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/3d-street-art-optical-illusions-chalk-artists_n_1757390.html#slide=1350854
    Here’s a link to more photos of this kind of art: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/absolutely-stunning-3d-street-art-paintings/

  25. Katie Zink says:

    At the upstairs gallery in Westby, I saw a graphic design piece by Ashley Alicea that I really liked. It was a yearly calendar, but it was completely different than any calendar I’ve ever seen. She arranged the names of the months in a list with the dates and days of the week following them in lines with each week in opposite colors to tell them apart. Under the list of days and months, there was a list of holidays, like you would often see on a regular calendar, but it was set up more like a key, rather than integrated into the calendar itself. Everything was slanted, and she left a lot of empty space at the top of the piece which I thought was interesting. She kept to a cool color palette, using mostly grey, white, and green. I think it is really clever how she came up with a whole new way to arrange an organizational tool like the calendar that is so rarely reinvented. I thought it was most interesting because it was still a useful calendar. There was still order to it and it could work as a good way, maybe even a better way, to arrange calendars. Maybe she was commenting on how we stick to what we know even when we know there is a better way? Or maybe she was trying to see whether people would recognize it as a calendar or not? Either way I think it was a very creative piece and was very interesting to look at.

  26. Nathan Haden says:

    The Assassin’s Creed game series is incredibly fascinating and fun. It is a perfect combination of history and fiction. Three of the plotlines take place during the Crusades, the Italian Renaissance, and the Revolutionary War. The graphics and gameplay are top notch. The creators of the Assassin’s Creed series are very passionate about their work, and the team assembled to make the game put in years of hard work and dedication. What I found really fascinating is the scenery in each game. There had to be an extensive amount of time spent on the scenery. The set designers put in thousands of hours into getting each detail correct.

    Photography plays a key role in the set design of the Assassin’s Creed series. Photographers were sent out to places like Jerusalem, Venice, and Boston to take photos of the scenery. They tried to take photographs of older buildings and general landscapes to help the set designers visualize what each scene looked like back then. The designers had to base their sets off these photos and try to complete entire cities. The amount of effort and work that went into making the realistic scenery in the Assassin’s Creed series is why it is my favorite game series. The sets look beautiful and could pass for real which adds another dimension to the game. Many photographers met the Assassin Creed series’ creators challenge, and they produced wonderful works of art that added to the overall brilliance of the games. This just goes to show that photography can be used in many different ways.

  27. Sami Musumeci says:

    Another piece from one of the exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art that I was intrigued by was Josef Albers, “Gitterbild” Glass assemblage, 1921. This piece was located in one of the galleries that contained mostly paintings and more “traditional art” which made this piece stand out. While it is not very large it was still interesting, especially considering the techniques and welding needed to create it was done in 1921. This was one of Josef Albers earlier pieces as he did glasswork before transitioning into different media later on. It was created using small squares of different colored glass that looked like they had come from a variety sources. All of the squares were welded together in 11 squares by 10 squares using a dark metal. Across all of the small glass squares there are thin lines of metal creating patterns across the glass. This piece was mounted coming out from the wall and backlight by a light that shown though the glass and made the piece stand out even more against the grey gallery wall. It gave the illusion of a stained glass window coming out of an interior gallery wall that did not have an access to outside light. I liked that this piece could be not only considered art and mounted in a gallery but also appears that it could be a functional stain glass window. Overall this piece was intriguing due to the materials used, the placement of it in the gallery , techniques used and time period in which it was created.

  28. Sami Musumeci says:

    During the class trip to the Museum of Modern Art one the exhibits that I thought was interesting was the Applied Design section. What made it so interesting was all the different types of pieces in the exhibit and how to consisted of everything video games to furniture, yet it was all considered art. My favorite piece in the exhibit was Markus Kayser’s Solar-sintered bowl. There were several aspects that I really liked about this piece. One of them being that while it was still art it was not a painting, which is what typically comes to mind when I think of work in an art museum. I loved that this bowl was made from sand from the Saharan Desert, but the best part of it was the process that he used. Not only was the bowl made from all natural material (sand) but it was created utilizing the sun, so there is nothing unnatural about this man-made piece. Being able to watch the video of the bowl being created really added to the piece and made it more unique than just a bowl. The process that the artist used is called sintering and is a technique used to create objects from powder. The idea is that by heating the powder it causes the atoms of the particles of powder to diffuse across the spaces between the particles to adhere them together. The bowl was the perfect example of how art is applicable to and can be created from a variety of disciplines.

  29. Ryan Liberty says:

    Another piece of art at the MOMA that I found to be particularly interesting was the large pollen square on the second floor. The piece is from Wolfgang Laib and is called “Pollen from Hazelnut”. The first time I saw it was on the walkway on the third floor. I saw a large square on top of a larger concrete block. At first, I was very confused how this could be categorized as art something so simple and plain as a square on another square. After reading about it on the sign and how it was made, I found new respect for the piece. Though it was incredibly simple in its looks and design, it could be interpreted in a few different ways. The entire square was made from pollen taken from the hazel nut flower. It was incredible how something so light and simple as pollen could be combined to form such a solid shape. Also the amount of pollen that must have been used to form that bright, deep yellow color would have been astonishing. Also the process of slowly adding the light pollen to form the shape must have been such a strenuous task and you can really tell how careful he was to have produced such a solid piece. Even collecting the pollen its self from the flowers must have took years. Along with the process of making the actual piece, the opposing ideas regarding the solid shape, the soft, masslessness of the pollen and the massiveness of the block, the piece really deserves to be in the MOMA. Even against my previous ideas.

  30. Nathan Haden says:

    Again while looking through another issue of Photographer’s FORUM, I saw some photos by the photographer William E. Workman. Naturally after seeing a few of his pictures, I decided to look up more information about him and view some of his photographs. He was mainly interested in nature. A majority of his photographs are of nature. He had a special inclination for waterfalls as can be seen in his series titled “Tumbling Waters”. He was always fascinated by waterfalls, even after photographing hundreds of them. The “Tumbling Waters” series is his most famous series of photographs. The series is still very popular today. What drew my attention to Workman was his style.

    From all the photographs I looked at, Workman took photos in black and white. Also as I stated previously, his main focus was nature. Usually when I think of nature, I think of the variety of colors in nature, so seeing his photographs of nature in black and white really caught my attention. I thought that these black and white photos of nature were incredible. Each picture had a calm yet suspenseful mood. I mean that each photo was very calm with what was happening, yet because of the black white the photos looked like something could happen at any time. To help with the suspenseful mood was his perfect timing of the light from the sun. Using the sun as his light source, Workman emphasized the beauty of nature. He took nature photography to the next level by creating peaceful, serene images of nature. I personally enjoyed the “Tumbling Waters” series he did. I am really glad I was able to discover Mr. Workman. His nature photographs are some of the best I have ever seen.

  31. Ryan Liberty says:

    At the MOMA there was a wall with two images that stood out from the rest. These were from a collection of three images from John Maeda. I found these two images very interesting. They were both printed on high gloss white paper and were about two feet wide and over three feet tall. Both images were only black and white and there was a very strong contrast between the white background and the black text. The first image was called “Morisawa 10 Poster”, it was a line of bold text which was large at the top and slowly decreased in size as the lines move down the paper. The text was centered in the page and formed a hyperbolic shape. The image was very simple but the simple curvy design that came from these straight lines of text was exciting to think about. The other image was called “2000 Year Calendar”. This image was incredibly simple. The image is exactly as they say it is in the title. It is hundreds of lines of text filling the entire screen. From far away it seems to be a large grey square but then as you get closer you can see actual text and it is not until you are right next to the image that you can actually see there are some numbers and words. I loved how again there could be lines of words that can from such a powerful shape. The composition of both of these images are very similar. The first had much more empty space which helped to exaggerate the flowing curves while the calendar had almost no space and was solely text in a large rectangle. I’m not sure if architectural is the word but these images had very good graphic designs with very accurate curves and lines within them. There is clearly a design perspective in these images.

  32. Sami Musumeci says:

    Immediately upon entering the Westby Art Gallery I was drawn to the Un Grey the City pieces by Aleksandra Ignasiak & Andrzej Sieczkowski. I did not know what the images where of but the vivid color of them juxtaposed against the dark grey and black caught my attention. One of the aspects that I really enjoyed about their art was how they took something that I would typically over look or even be disgusted by and turned it not only into a piece of art but something that I was immediately drawn too. Typically, I would intentionally avoid a puddle or comment how it was gross that there was oil all over the place. Ignasiak and Sieczkowski turned these puddles in alleys and oil stains on asphalt into something that was visually appealing. Which works with their idea of “un graying” the city, and their use of the color pink is visually shocking against such grey backgrounds. The use of only natural pigments is also nice as they are combining things like oil spills and asphalt with natural pigments and not further hurting the environment. Something else that I was really liked was that they almost appear as a lake elsewhere rather than just a puddle in the middle of a parking lot. The photograph of the parking lot with the piles of salt in the background that almost look like mountains was my favorite piece. These images reminded me of the pink lake in Australia, which is incredible looking, yet in these images, they have created their own pink lakes throughout the city.

    The pink lake: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=IPmwDJXGrSCpEM&tbnid=4zSZuVFwuQuT9M:&ved=0CAgQjRwwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftwistedsifter.com%2F2012%2F12%2Flake-hillier-the-pink-lake-in-australia%2F&ei=bOaBUZzrMcn-0gH6nIGACA&psig=AFQjCNEfkX6AgVGdHDtK9XTwbT7lmIIERw&ust=1367554028880139

  33. Sami Musumeci says:

    I recently visited the Rowan Art Gallery in Westby to look at their latest exhibit. The Veil of Watered Silk by Andrea Marquis was a piece that I enjoyed. While this piece did not immediately catch my attention, despite its size, I really liked it after spending some time looking at it. One of the aspects of the piece that was interesting is the use of unusual material. The fact that the whole piece is made up of something as mundane as window screen is different. The amount of details and cutouts that have been done to give it its appearance are very impressive and they are all unique yet work together to create an interesting dynamic. While that patterns that the artist created using the window screen were impressive it is her choice of material that really affected me. Typically, I am trying to look through a window screen to look at something, but never focus on the actual screen. If I try to take pictures of something through a window screen, I am typically annoyed by the appearance of the screen in my photograph, as I would consider the photograph and the object of interest art over the screen that is “in the way”. However with this piece I spent a good few minutes looking directly at a window screen and not trying to look though it but rather at the screen itself which was the focal point. The screen also had an iridescence and fluidity to is so that when you look at it from different angles it it had movement even though it itself is not moving. I thought her piece was aptly named, as due to the fluidity it appears to almost be a liquid, the sheen gives the piece the appearance of silk and the sheerness is that of a veil.

  34. Sam Winterburn says:

    The marketing plot of the United Colors of Benetton is nothing short of genius. Using photographs that bring out emotion in their customers not only pulls at the heart strings, but at the purse strings as well. The people are more likely to buy a product if they also agree with the moral standards of the company. Similar to TOMS, that gives a pair of shoes to the needy for every pair of shoes purchased, The United Colors of Benetton employs people’s feelings in their marketing scheme. The photos they use are also very stark and straightforward, which I think speaks well of the photographers of these photos also. They display one theme in the images, and don’t have busy and distracting images that may confuse the consumer. The consumer is comforted in the fact that the company that they are buying from stands for something greater and is truly dedicated to helping the for the greater good. This ad campaign is an excellent idea because it shows that Benetton is concerned with more than just their sales reports and stores, and that they as a company stand for what is right and moral in today’s most volatile political arguments. Customers feel good when they buy Benetton because they feel as though they are doing more than just buying things for themselves, they are also standing up for what is right and aiding a greater cause by making their purchases at Benetton.

  35. Bill McNally says:

    Snowboarding Art:

    The interesting thing about many snowboard manufacturers is that they design their graphics based on what type of board they are trying to design, whether it is an all mountain board or a park board.
    All mountain boards typically have mellow graphics. One of the trends seems to have the board be a couple colors and create a gradient type of graphic to have them blend together. All mountain riding is generally more of a relaxed style, where the rider carves the mountain rather than trying to aggressively race down the mountain or perform and aerial stunt. One of the most recognized all mountain boards is Arbor; whose board graphics are typically just a stained colored wood on the top of the board and on the bottom of the board is “Arbor” and the logo of the brand. This epitomizes a mellow and dull type of graphic, which mirrors the riding style that the board is meant for.
    Contrasting mountain boards are park boards, which are meant to be aggressive and attack jumps and rails. The graphics once again reflect this style of snowboarding. The colors are vibrant and appear to jump out at the rider. The graphics on the board also usually resemble cartoons that make the board crowded and busy; the lines of the graphics are also very sharp and distinct and blending of colors usually does not occur. Park boards and park riders are typically aggressive and very vibrant, the boards draw the attention of the riders just like the tricks of the riders draw the attention of the spectators.

  36. Bill McNally says:

    Museum of Modern Art:

    The trip to MoMA was interesting because it showed me more modern art than I had previously been exposed to; my previous exposure was only at MoMA PS1. My favorite exhibit at the MoMA was the design exhibit. The design exhibit was able to take ordinary creations, or structures, and be able to twist their purpose or structure to make it seem surreal. One of the pieces that I remember the most was the stairway that leads to nowhere. This stuck out in my mind because most people would never look at a staircase as being significant, let alone a way to turn it into art. The staircase was very ordinary, made of what appeared to be concrete, but as soon as it was taken out of the element it became surreal. It left the viewer asking questions, which is essentially what most of the MoMA seemed to do; it required the viewers to think more and allowed them to formulate in their mind what they thought the artist was trying to do.
    Another piece of art that I thought was extremely different was the blank wall that dealt with a gunshot. The title of the art piece indicated that there was gun powder or some sort of spray on the wall from a gunshot, but when I viewed the description I realized that the wall was actually just a blank wall, but the art behind it was the title. The title served the purpose of showing someone how just a few simple words can make you view anything, even something as simple as a blank wall, differently. Overall, I thought the MoMA was interesting, mainly because it made art seem much more intellectual than what I had previously thought.

  37. Bill McNally says:

    Taking a Picture a Day:

    One day I came across a video that discussed an idea that one man had of taking one picture each day, and then at some point later in life viewing all the pictures to look back on your life. I thought this concept was extremely unique because almost everyone now has a phone that can take pictures and even store thousands of pictures. This shows how far photography has come that at one instance, that someone believes describes their day, is able to take a picture and remember that forever. Taking one picture each day and then viewing them at a later date is interesting because then you can remember each day or bring back memories that you thought were significant that you had forgotten.
    Taking a picture each day also allows you to view how your life has changed over the years. Often times you notice the changes that happen every 5 years or every decade, but you may miss the little changes that happen week to week or month to month. Taking a picture a day allows you to see how much has really changed. Even if you view a slideshow of the pictures you took each day at the end of each year it would take 6 minutes to recap everything that has happened to you throughout the course of the year. I thought this was an interesting concept because it shows how powerful photography can be, and it is almost a unique type of documentary photography.

  38. Bill McNally says:

    Alan Saret: The Hole at P.S.1, Fifth Solar Chthonic Wall Temple:

    I started working at MOMA PS1 two summers ago and one of the first pieces of art that struck me was this massive hole in the wall of the third floor hallway. As a civil engineer my initial reaction was that something was wrong with the brick and that rather than art it was actually just a structural failure. However, I asked one of the curators about it and he told me it was a piece of art in the museum.
    I tried to look at it as art and tried to understand what the artist was trying to depict. My initial thought was that it may have been something with modern day culture and the artist wanted to portray a message that we are always too busy with work to enjoy the sun and the beauty that is around us. This made sense to me, since during the morning and early afternoon, when most people work, the light was shining down the hallway with all the offices of MOMA PS1. I ended up asking one of my friends who worked at the museum if she knew anything about “the hole in the wall” and as a response I got a lengthy story about Saret, and the history of the museum.
    The response that I got in return amazed me: Alan Saret believes that anything can become art, and anything can be a medium, not just paint or a canvas. Saret chose to create the whole so that the sunlight would be the medium and that nature essentially created the piece of art; nature decided what art would be depicted at what hours of the day. The was my first taste of deeper thinking behind modern art and it made me start to look at art differently and try to understand the mediums and colors and shadows with more sophistication.

  39. Joey Lakits says:

    Music videos have become a very integrated part of today’s culture. Because of this, they have started to of influence our youth in strange ways. Videos all over the highly-accessible internet have had fatherhood behind activities such as partying, drinking, doing drugs, dancing, harlem-shaking, and gangnam-styling; However, there are not just videos that encourage these behaviors. There are music videos in the world that are created purely to enhance the experience of the song and basically create a new dimension to it.
    My favorite example of this beautification and dimension-building is the music video for the song “Bluish” by Animal Collective. The video takes the strange beauty of the song and almost makes you understand it on a different level. The video includes scenes of women being projected onto falling smoke, galactic skies that have eyes and dance, gypsies that perform ribbon dances in reverse, and bubbles being blown everywhere. Almost all of the video is shot with a black background and a black light, making all of the white and blues (which are the only colors in the video) glow in a magnificent way. I feel as though this video beautifies the original song because it aids the listener in creating visuals, but in a way that is really specific to the song type. The original track is very ethereal-sounding, and to help amplify that, the music video creates scenes that are completely surreal and whimsical, as described above. The raw beauty of the song is also amplified with the help of the video’s use of varying film speeds and reverse playbacks in combination with the choice of space-like colors. All-in-all, the video is a great success in being highly-compatible with its original track, which is exactly what a music video is meant to do.

  40. Shelby Brevogel says:

    Back in March I attended a field trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Upon walking through the museum I came across one section featuring three-dimensional work and one piece really stuck out to me. It was called “Out of the Box: Italy” and it featured a unique design of a living space with all sorts of compact drawers for organization all in a portrayed living space in the color purple. Having been to Europe, and Italy being one of the places I visited, I have experienced the differences in size in comparison to America. The fact that I have been to this country also drew me to this piece. Once I saw the word Italy I instantly wanted to take more time to view this work. It was interesting to look at something that was three-dimensional as well. Everything is much more compact and the buildings are much smaller in Italy, so the idea of making everything compact was dead on. Even roads and cars are more condensed than what we are used to in the United States. When I saw the “Out of the Box: Italy” featured in the museum the concept made perfect sense to me because it reminded me of how different the idea of “space” is in Italy and the other places I visited in Europe including Spain, France, Greece, and Turkey. It was great how I could relate to the work from my own experience. I also personally liked to be very organized and appreciated the idea of efficiency and use of space that could be seen in this work. It was clear the creator had an eye for organization and thought carefully about each element in the work. Overall, I thought it was extremely relevant with a unique concept, and I definitely enjoyed looking at all the design aspects in this particular piece.

  41. Shelby Brevogel says:

    After recently being shown some of the work of Annie Leibovitz, I found that I really like her high fashion, editorial style. Even more specifically, I like her pictures depicting celebrities as various characters from the well-known Disney movies and tales. Her work is very exquisite in its composition and she merges all of the design elements to give the feel of the Disney character in the environment they belong. For example, her image depicting the Disney character Ursula, modeled by famous Queen Latifah, from The Little Mermaid, one of my favorite movies, Leibovitz combines dark lighting and various shades of black, grey, and purple in order to capture the sense of how Ursula was more evil and villain like in the movie. Queen Latifah also appears to be in some huge, black textured suit in order to mimic the tentacles of Ursula. The over-exaggerated costumes, make-up and fantastical feel of the elements in the photograph reflect the editorial style of Leibovitz and further develop the concept behind depicting celebrities as different fictional Disney characters. Leibovitz certainly has an interesting style and unique look to her photographs. I also admired other Disney photographs of hers depicting Snow White, the evil queen from Snow White, and her depiction of Rapunzel using Taylor Swift as a model. It is amazing to see how much Annie Leibovitz can do with editing to really make the elements of her pictures enhanced and over-the-top in order to achieve the images she wants. You can tell she puts a lot of effort into her photographs. I look forward to viewing more of her pictures and I would definitely recommend checking out her work.

  42. Nathan Haden says:

    Last Friday I attended a concert in Pfleeger Concert Hall. Rowan’s men’s choir and women’s choir each held a short concert. This was my first choir concert I had gone to in a while. I must admit that at first I thought it was going to be boring, but by the end of the concert I wanted more. Both choirs put on a fantastic show. I could tell that a lot of hard work had gone into learning the songs. I was amazed by what each choir did. Everyone in each choir looked so confident and happy that it was obvious each person loved singing and being part of the choir. I also found it striking that so many women in the women’s choir were not music majors. I thought that it was really impressive to be able to squeeze in choir while still having to do work in their major. Just goes to show that they are doing what they enjoy. The men’s choir brought a more humorous tone to the concert. The men finished their concert with a harmonized song making fun of each other. Even Dr. Thomas, the conductor, joined in to sing a few songs.

    Anytime someone mentions choir, I think of a church choir. Choirs like the men’s and women’s choirs are not very broadcast in today’s world. If you turn to a radio station you won’t normally hear a choir singing. With today’s music all about autotuning and fake artists, it is almost impossible to hear songs from different choir groups on the radio. To think that choir groups are so talented and yet so underappreciated. Hearing a choir sing is so much better than listening to any singer who has their song enhanced. I think that choirs need to be more broadcasted and become better known to the public. Choirs could be quite successful if they were able to gain more recognition from the public. I enjoyed listening to both of Rowan’s choirs, and I think that others who have never heard a choir before would be amazed by their talent. After the choir concert I attended, I gained a better appreciation for all that choirs do. I know that they work very hard and deserve a lot more credit and recognition than they receive.

  43. Matthew Milner says:

    I have always been interested in Buddhist teachings and lessons. The other day, however, I stumbled upon something that I did not know about. A large part of what a Buddhist monk’s job consists of, is the creation of a beautiful piece of art. Known as the Sand Mandala, this intricate and beautiful circle is made entirely out of colored sand. An example can be seen below.

    The piece takes an full team of monks to create, and must be done with the utmost care. It takes a great deal of time, patience, precision, and determination. What amazed me most, however, is that after it is completed, the entire piece is brushed away immediately, in a grand symbol that nothing lasts forever.
    This made me think about photography. Mostly because the art was so beautiful, I thought to myself that it would be best to take a picture first so that its beauty is not wasted. Though we take a picture of something that we believe to be beautiful, and the photo may last forever, the subject itself cannot technically last forever. Though we may capture the memory of such a subject, what the picture actually captured will be gone. This minor philosophical moment still has me baffled about whether or not it is worth taking a picture of such a thing, when it is known that its true physical form, not the copy on film, is gone. This question is still something I wrestle over now.

  44. Matthew Milner says:

    After learning about Elliot Erwitt in class, I had to go look at more photos. I really like his style, as it incorporates humor through a sort of strange surrealism. When looking at more of his photographs, I came across this one:

    This photograph is strange, creepy, but at the same time its hard to say that it is depression. The surrealism of the shot comes from the child holding a gun to his head and smiling. Although it is assumed that the gun is a toy, there is no real way of knowing, which creates a scary possibility that the child could be moments away from taking his own life. On the other hand, his happy smile makes it seem as though there is no possible way that the gun is real. The kid is just too happy for him to kill himself.

    This struggle between what we see and what we want to see really draws me towards Erwitt’s work. The shot is so simple in nature, yet if it lacked any one part of the piece it would not be the same. The shot without a gun would be boring. The shot without the smile would be sad and depressing. Both together creates an interesting dichotomy that makes the viewer think about the situation.

  45. Matthew Milner says:

    A little while ago I spent some time watching documentaries daily. One documentary that really caught my eye was Exit Through the Gift Shop. This award winning film talked about street art and its rise to fine art by following the life of a man who happened upon the movement and took it like a duck to water.

    During the film, I began to think about how similar street art and photography are in their histories. Both began as something of a hobby, and struggled to gain traction as a true version of fine art. Just like photography, it was not until artists like Banksy, known for his political stance and messages, became so admired by the public that street art could become a respected medium. Today, we see this once rebellious counterculture among the ranks of great artists of our time.

    Street art, however, is now struggling to get back to its roots. This is something that photography no longer struggles with. Any person can take a picture on their cell phone today. With social media so reliant on photography, it not only is seen as a fine art medium, but also as a hobby and a form of personal expression. Such is not so for street art. At this point in time, street art is only really seen as a fine art. The majority of artists do not go out and express themselves through art on the side of a building, and revert to things like canvases. While I am not advocating vandalism, I do think it is sad that the rebellious counterculture style of street art is somewhat lost when created on paper or canvas. Maybe soon we will see a larger revival of true street artists. While they surely exits, the magnitude of their work is being overshadowed by its movement into fine art.

  46. Shannon Mahoney says:

    Matt Stuart is a street photographer that I stumbled upon one day while browsing the photography tag on tumblr, and I remember the photo distinctly so I decided to go and find more of his photos during the semester and when I found out I would be taking this class. Going through his photos on his website reminded me why I loved the original photo of his that I had found – the way he photographs the lives of everyday people. From his website [http://www.mattstuart.com/], I was able to find out more about how he works and why he does what he does. And at first glance, I was able to tell what he was trying to portray in his pictures and what his message what. He patiently waits for the right opportunity to capture a photograph with only a small camera and no ther technology that will make a mark on the person who later views it and shows them the truth behind some of the moments that we miss if we don’t look hard enough, or fast enough. Some of my favorites come from the black and white collection. The use of the black and white photography for specific images really just enhances the experience of the viewer. If these photos were kept in their original colors, it just wouldn’t have been the same. It almost gives off the feeling that these are normal everyday things, it’s just that you haven’t realized it until someone has captured it and put it in front of you. The black and white editing done to it just adds to the feeling of it being older, and in some cases in my opinion, more relatable. Overall, all of his work left with me with a smile on my face. It is incredible what you can miss every single day when you’re walking down the street, yet Stuart managed to capture so many of those moments that we are able to live them even though we weren’t really there.

  47. Shannon Mahoney says:

    For the spring semester, every week there are senior thesis exhibitions available in gallery 207 in Westby Hall. I have been in to see a few of them, usually on my way in or out of class. And the week of April 15th to 21st, there was an exhibition by Jeremy Tamburello called ‘Kit and Kadoodle’. I have made sure to take a look at each exhibit before they are taken down and replaced by the next ones, however this one had me in the room for at least ten minutes. The entirety of the walls of the room was covered in doodles. Ranging from animals to characters to shapes and little scenes, to even a twitter account inside of the site’s bird logo. It made it feel like I was back in high school and going through one of my old notebooks. I am still not sure what exactly was used for all of the drawings, but from what it looked like to me it came off as sharpie – or something that gives a similar effect of a silver one. While most doodles are usually all over the place and ranging from actual people to just patterns and designs, these seemed well constructed and put together. Yet it still gave off the feeling that you could relate to almost everything that was on the walls because at some point in everyone’s school career they have doodled on something. And throughout the week, whenever I passed the room that held the exhibit, there was always at least one person in there observing the drawings on the walls. An exhibit such as this one just shows that anything is art if executed properly. And it was clear that the artist responsible was trying to give a free, fun vibe from their work. Between the playful cards that advertised for the exhibit and the small paper left by the door for when you left that said ‘thank you for coming’ on it. Out of all the exhibits that I have seen throughout the semester, this one was definitely, by far my favorite. It is because of the fact that I could easily relate to it, and it left me with a smile on my face and a fun-loving mood when I left the room. Overall, I would say it was a success, and that for those who had not gotten the chance to see it really missed out on something spectacular.

  48. Shannon Mahoney says:

    The television series, ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ is featured on the CW channel and is currently on its fourth season. The supernatural craze has been going on for quite a few years now, and the producers of the series took advantage of the popularity and developed a show that included vampire, werewolves and witches. And in a show like this, it is pretty clear that some sort of digital alterations and CGI would be needed for most of the vampire features – specifically the eyes. However, there is a pivotal scene during the second season involving one of the main characters and his first transformation into a werewolf, also marking the first ever werewolf transformation shown on the show from start to end. You would think that there would be a lot of CGI involved in such a process, especially when the actual transformation involves breaking bones and a human turning into a wolf you would find in the wild. Most television shows would take advantage of the technology and used CGI for the entire transformation. However, when the scene premiered with episode about two years ago, everyone was surprised to see that the CGI used was extremely minimal. Actually, the CGI was used exactly what it was needed. Tyler Lockwood, the character turning into the wolf, has one of his arms bent backwards and at an awkward angle, and the bones of his spine protrude and crack in such a manner that would be difficult to display without such an aid. Michael Trevino, the actor who plays Tyler Lockwood in the series, was put to the challenge when he was told that they weren’t going to be using as much CGI as he had original expected. And to this day, that scene is considered to be one of his bests out of the four seasons that has been on the air. Coupled with the camera angles, along with fabulous acting done by Trevino, the scene made its impact as an emotional, traumatizing experience that will change the future of the character for the rest of the show. The video link provided below is one of the five parts of the scene, the one that I feel shows the most CGI of the transformation. It might not be the main focus of the scene, but it is a vital part of the end product to something that left the fans with mixed emotions and the message that the producers were trying to get to the viewers. And in my personal opinion, the scene is one of the most unforgettable ones I’ve seen out of the entire series and it stills baffles me how that put that together. It seems like with the help of photography, film and technology anything could be possible.

  49. Maria Torculas says:

    Even though there is sufficient technology to make incredibly realistic CGI animation, there are several games and movies that choose to use non-photorealistic rendering. The style of the recent Disney movie, “Tangled,” is meant to look like a painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, a French artist. In choosing to keep the soft look of a painting while still maintaining a certain level of realism, “Tangled” is a visually stunning animated film that keeps the nostalgia of older animation. While the art style is extremely different from previous Disney princess films, it still manages to capture the same emotions, partially due to the animation style. Other factors of course include catchy songs and a heartwarming plot.

    This definitely surprised many people the first time they saw it, as many were skeptical about the switch into 3D, CGI medium. Many people disagreed with the switch into 3D, saying that it ruined the integrity of the classical 2D Disney style. Others were opposed to the switch because some animated films have an almost rubbery quality to them, but “Tangled” features none of that; everything is natural, and Rapunzel’s hair looks flawless. Also, the more painterly style avoids the uncanny valley, the point in realism that looks unnatural and almost repulsive to human observers. The non-photorealistic rendering keeps the visuals almost childlike and whimsical, maintaining the fun from older movies and avoiding darker images like those in the “Harry Potter” films or, say, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Using similar art techniques to those in “Tangled,” Disney can continue making Disney films with the same warm-heartedness as older films while still remaining relevant to the growing 3D and CGI fields.

  50. Maria Torculas says:

    Thanks to the rise of CGI, something interesting and new in modern films and TV shows is the use of text as both a visual aide and something with aesthetic value. There are many things to consider in typography, and it is sometimes difficult to determine how to integrate textual elements seamlessly into a moving scene. Two examples of movies/TV shows that work well with text are “Zombieland” and the BBC show “Sherlock.”

    “Zombieland” uses text art at two main times: During the opening credits and when displaying the main character’s rules of living in the zombie-infested world. In the opening credits, the text is a fiery red that matches the chaos at what is essentially of the end of humanity. The letters also interact with the contents of the video as if they were blocks, which have the very cool effect of making them look like an actual part of the scene. An example of this is that if, for instance, a person ran into the text, the letters would fly out and some would appear to fall. Throughout the movie – though a simple, visible white as opposed to the red – the rules for the text act similarly, blending into the scenes. For instance, one rule appears after the protagonists run around destroying a store; the resulting text goes directly over a chandelier, swinging back and forth, and a section of it breaks off and falls.

    “Sherlock” uses text at times to show the contents of Sherlock’s phone and to help list Sherlock’s deductions. This allows the viewer to see parts of the character’s thought processes without having the actor explicitly say anything. This is particularly emphasized in the episode ‘A Scandal in Belgravia,’ where phones are incredibly important to the plot. As Sherlock looks at Irene Adler, the customary text with his deductions reads three question marks, while a glance at Watson shows how he can figure out the man’s entire weekend and potential date plans.

    Both times, the text functions to show extra vital points that the audience might need to help visualize what the movie/show is trying to convey. In both cases, the text is integrated seamlessly into the scenes and augments the reality in the video. At the same time, as explained before, it’s visually pleasing and an art form in itself.

  51. Ryan Liberty says:

    During our trip to the MOMA I found a collection of images from Martha Rosler. The collection is from “Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful” and “Bringing the War Home in Vietnam”. I found this series of images to be very interesting. I remember us talking about people splicing together separate images and taking a picture to make one complete image. In this collection, Rosler combines images of war and home. She presents theses images on matt finished paper with a white border of about an inch on two sides for most images. All images are framed using a simple, thin, black frame. The composition of the images vary between each one, some have a person off to one side and have the background taking the majority of the image while others contain the object in the center. The images all show the contrasting feelings between life at home and life at war. I found a few images to be very political and emotional. My favorite image is “Cleaning the Drapes”. In this image, Rosler combines an image of a woman vacuuming the drapes and an image of men in a bunker. This image is powerful because the woman is oblivious to the men right outside the window. It shows how people at home know nothing about the fighting and horrors of war. Another striking image is “Playboy on View”. This image is a compilation of multiple images. There are two soldiers and multiple Vietnamese citizens. What makes this image so powerful is the addition of a nude playboy model in the middle of these people. To me it seems to show the difference of what people see in magazines how some people look at Playboy models while the war has hundreds of striking images and people. It also shows the difference from the dirty, crudeness of war and the clean beauty at home. After reading the text about the collection I saw the images in a different view. She says the images show how through news and tv war has become something you see at home. Where the line between home and war is gone and the war is seen through daily life. Its incredible how she could show this idea through so many different types of images. I also loved how I had my own ideas about what the collection was trying to say and how I could also understand, after reading the caption, where she was coming from. The collection was very powerful and I enjoyed seeing how she combined these images so easily.

  52. Ben Webster says:

    A number of years ago I came into possession of a book called Beauty in Decay. The book is a compilation of photographs from dozens of photographers all over the world whose primary subject matter is architectural decay. The centripetal idea presented in the book is this: If decay is the opposite of archetypal beauty, why is it so beautiful to so many people? This raises a very interesting question; decay is entropy, rot, failure- the exact opposite of what beauty supposedly exemplifies. The book explores this question in a number of various ways by examining a multitude of facets on both sides of the camera. Starting with the focus of the book, the images are presented in a way that is somewhere between glamorous and mystifying. The sheer awe of nature re-consuming architecture can draw a sense of wonder from anyone. Secondly, it examines the photographer as an element of the image. It portrays the photographer as not only an artist that captures the essence of a place, but as a guerilla preservationist of sorts. The photographers store the image of a place at an enigmatic time: not in pristine condition and not destroyed. Finally, the book puts the viewer into the perspective of the image. How does the viewer see the image? What about the image does the viewer find beautiful? The book leaves these and many of the questions it presents open ended, which leaves room for the infinite and entirely subjective discussion of what defines beauty.

  53. Shannon Mahoney says:

    At the beginning of March, I took a trip with my fellow honors students to the Museum of Modern Art as part of a school program. There were exhibits recommended to view, as well as free reign to go see the other exhibits offered. But the one piece of art that stuck with me from the moment I saw it all the way to the bus ride home was the hazelnut pollen art done by Wolfgang Laib. At first I assumed it was just a square block with a yellow square painted on top of it. With a closer look, however, it was clear that it wasn’t paint but something else. To my surprise, it was hazelnut pollen. It peaked my curiosity so I watched the video that was provided along with it. The piece itself was 18 by 21 feet, his largest pollen piece he had ever done. It had taken him weeks to collect the 18 jars of pollen necessary for use, as well as the hours upon hours contributed to making the piece in the museum. It just shows that anything in today’s world could be used as art, and personally, pollen was not one of the first alternatives I thought of when thinking about it. But it was incredible that something so small could make such a large piece of art. Not only that, but one that is the focal point of the entire museum. When moving from one exhibit to the next, it is impossible to not have your eyes drawn towards the intense yellow radiating from the second floor atrium. At first glance it looks like a simple piece of art but when looking into the hours put into it, as well as how long it took to prep the actual execution, it leaves you wondering what else is possible in the world of art. The world of art, along with the field of photography, is constantly changing and this was just an example. Between the piece itself and the backstory, it is will be one of those things that I will never forget because of how much it intrigued me and perked my interests.

  54. Joey Lakits says:

    Alison Lusardi is a graduating art student from Rowan University. While visiting her BFA exhibit entitled UMBRA (Latin for ‘shadow’), I found myself infatuated with her pieces, particularly a glass piece on the wall. It is a semi-permanent piece composed of glass and window pieces with metal edges that form clusters, which are then put together to form a piece that spans multiple feet of the wall. This piece stands out to me because of its power to take over your vision without being outlandish, gaudy, or even colorful. The piece itself is very simple, but what makes it so fantastic and eye-drawing is its use of shadows. The light hits the piece in a way that causes the shadows of the triangular glass pieces to be on the wall, creating a really interesting trick-of-the-eye where it looks like there is a lot more glass in the piece than there really is. I love that Lusardi makes shadows such an important part of her entire exhibit that she painted the walls grey to make sure that the shadows do not appear to be just shadows as they would on a white wall. The grey paint particularly makes the glass piece have a much more grand scale than it physically is, taking the piece and giving it the ability to spread out for as long as the viewer pleases.

  55. Maria Torculas says:

    As digital art becomes more and more popular, things like webcomics become more prevalent. I think Romantically Apocalyptic is one of the most unique, aesthetically-pleasing webcomics I’ve ever seen. What I want to call into attention is the construction of each page. At first glance, the comic looks very painterly, as if each page was drawn in some sort of digital painting program (e.g. Photoshop or Sai). However, the “behind-the-scenes” comic that the artist created (http://fav.me/d4ouunv) shows that each comic is actually comprised of a combination of meticulously staged photos, digitally painted elements, and general stock photos. This method of creating composites has been used for hundreds of years (e.g. by Henry Peach Robinson).

    The style of this comic, as with a lot of other modern digital photo manipulation, seems in part inspired by the photomontage movement (leaning more towards the work of Uelsmann than Rodchenko) and the tableau movement. However, the amount of effort put into this project is immense; the main artist both took tens of thousands of stock photos and repainted hundreds of backgrounds. The resulting images are vaguely surreal with a distinctly cinematic look; each panel looks like a screenshot from a post-apocalyptic movie. The different images flow together seamlessly, and even the elements that are supposed to stand out (e.g. the speech bubbles) never seem too out of place. This just proves the manipulation skills of the artist.

    I love all kinds of art. I first found Romantically Apocalyptic through the artist, a digital artist I admired for his skill at creating incredibly detailed digitally painted backgrounds. However, it takes a different kind of skill to composite stock photos into something coherent and visually stunning while still telling the story that the artist wants to tell.

    The link to read Romantically Apocalyptic is here: http://romanticallyapocalyptic.com/

  56. Robert Waldron says:

    One interesting artist/photographer I came across is Josh Azzarella. Going through his portfolio, I couldn’t help but notice that his images looked very familiar but something was missing. It was only until I came across the iconic photo of “Tank Man”, the lone protester in Tienanmen Square in 1989, but with the tanks digitally removed from the photograph did it hit me. Azzarella takes some of the most disturbing yet iconic photos of history and removes the disturbing part, effectively creating a very unique piece of art. It was odd seeing the aftermath of the Mai Lai Massacre without the bodies, or the balcony photo after Martin Luther King’s assassination with his corpse edited out and the mens’ pointing arms instead resting at their sides. Even the photograph of the Challenger Explosion was missing the explosion. It’s odd because to us, the disturbing part is burned into our memories. We know what makes those images important, or shocking, or emotional, but when you edit the image so that crucial part is missing, it is a very strange feeling indeed. It is not that the photo becomes any less unnerving, but rather just as disturbing, as when I look at his work I can still see the missing parts. Perhaps Azzurella hopes to show that in an age where digital photo editing tools are freely available and easy enough to use, photographs, which have acted as historical records for over a century and a half, and therefore history itself can be tweaked to show an event how the modifier wants it to look. In any case, his work is very interesting, and anyone who knows their history will find Azzarella’s images both fascinating and utterly eerie.

    Link to portfolio: http://joshazzarella.com/stillworks2004/stillworks2004.html

  57. Nathan Haden says:

    While looking through an issue of Photographer’s FORUM, I came across a photographer by the name of Nicolas F. Bruno. The photographs of his that I saw in the magazine peaked my interest, and after looking up more information on Bruno I thought that his work was very fascinating. His style is very surrealist. Many of his pictures have a mysterious feel to them. Bruno’s photographs have a dark mood to them. In many of his photographs the background is either dark or foggy which leads to a mysterious feel. Also many of the people in Bruno’s photographs aren’t clearly defined. Many people are silhouettes, and you can’t see any person’s face in all of Bruno’s photographs. A lot of Bruno’s photographs look like they are from a horror movie. There is something eerie about each one of his photographs.

    What really drew my attention to Bruno’s work was the very mysterious and dark feel that I got from his photographs. I thought that his style was very unique because he focused on making his images dark and creepy. They seemed almost supernatural. I liked how he took the focus off the model and focused more on what was happening around them. Also I liked how Bruno printed many photographs in black and white except for when there was fire in his photographs. After doing some research on Bruno, I found out that he did some concept art for the popular game series Assasssin’s Creed. Assassin’s Creed is one of my favorite series, so learning that Bruno was a part of creating the game helped me gain a better appreciation for him.

  58. Robert Waldron says:

    The horrors of war are many. There are bullets whizzing past, the sound of distant artillery and the explosion from the shell soon after. There are the men who fight in war on the frontline risking life and limb for some strategic goal, and then there are other men with them taking the same risk, camera in hand instead of a rifle, shooting pictures instead of bullets. Robert Capa was one of these war photographers, and his images from the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War are some of the most famous in the world. War is chaos, with an important event happening in a split-second and Capa’s photographs reflect this. His most famous and controversial image, The Falling Soldier seemingly depicts a Spanish revolutionary being struck down by a bullet at the exact moment of impact. Regardless of its true origin, the image immortalizes a single moment. His other famous works include those shot on D-Day June 6, 1944. While a processing lab accident would destroy many of the pictures he took that day, eleven would remain, blurred but intact. One image shows American soldiers just as they jump off a landing craft into the shallow waters of the beach, while another captures a stone faced soldier in a prone position lying on the beach. Capa would be taking these images as a battle raged around him, so these photos and others act as a record of a historical moment, unedited and real. Capa’s photography certainly stresses the importance of a single frame, and he would die in 1954 photographing the war in Vietnam.

  59. Robert Waldron says:

    One of my favorite television shows at the moment is AMC’s “The Walking Dead”. While I have not read the graphic novels the popular show is based off of, I easily fell in love with the characters and dark setting. Without getting too much into the plot as to not spoil anything for potential viewers, the show follows Rick Grimes, a sheriff’s deputy who wakes up from a coma only to find the world has been overrun by flesh-eating zombies, called “walkers”. Rick, his family, and the allies they meet along their battle for survival are constantly faced with challenges. While the show is set in a zombie apocalypse in the southern United States, the biggest threat to them isn’t always the terrible walkers, but rather other human beings, with tension breaking out over important decisions and the dynamic relationships between the survivors. Also, while the show is famed for its drama, the visual aesthetic must not be overlooked. The Walking Dead gives a very bleak view of the world, with everything seeming to be bathed in shades of gray and brown. The sky is often covered in clouds the color of steel, and even the normally green plains of Georgia look faded and dull in this world. The show makes it clear that this is the “post-apocalypse” where few happy moments are to be had in a world full of bandits and reanimated corpses. Despite the solemn tone of the show, it is a great watch. People familiar with the zombie genre will love it for its thrilling action sequences, and drama lovers will enjoy the tense moments between characters. Already finished with its third season, The Walking Dead will hopefully continue to stay on top.

  60. Shelby Brevogel says:

    Dorothea Lange’s infamous image known as “Migrant Mother” is certainly one that most have seen before and is not to go unnoticed. This photograph represents the ultimate struggle of those who suffered through the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Lange portrays an exhausted mother and her children in their tattered clothes and a seemingly limp infant. Excessive wrinkles on the mother’s face certainly reflect the toll the times were taking on her body and her family. The black and white composition of the photograph is highly responsible for the emotional feeling invoked in the viewer by the image, or in other words, creating a sense of the overall anguish of those that lived through the poor times of the Great Depression. I could easily see how Lange was conveying the hard times of the 1930’s, and the vacant, strained expression in the mother’s face says it all. Desperation, anguish, lack of hope, and only being able to provide a shoulder to lean on for her children are all visible in the expression on the mother’s face in this photograph. This picture proves Lange’s ability as a photojournalist to make a narrative out of a single image and provide the documentation that shows the world what was happening during this period in the history of America. I remember seeing this picture for the first time in my U.S. History class my junior year in high school, and I had the same feelings then that I have viewing the photograph again now. It is definitely timeless in its story.

  61. Sam Winterburn says:

    Frida Kahlo, although not one of my favorite artists, certainly has an interesting repertoire of paintings. One of her most famous paintings is “The Two Fridas,” in which she depicts two self portraits, one of a heartless and bleeding Frida, and the other which possesses her heart and is dressed in traditional Mexican clothing. The Frida on the left is empty and full of sadness. The blood on her dress may signify her previous surgeries and miscarriages. On the right, the Frida is full of life and holds the heart of the empty Frida in her chest. I am not a fan of Kahlo’s works because I feel they are very bizarre and I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to painting. However, she is very skilled in symbolism and therefore by examining this picture, I can clearly tell what it is trying to convey. This was painted at the time of her and her husband’s divorce. Knowing this, I can see that the left Frida is depicting the sorrow and longing for her husband, an almost soulless figure. The Frida on the right is showing everything that her husband used to love. She is wearing traditional Mexican garb which was her husband’s favorite thing to see her in, as he was very passionate about his culture. She is also holding a figurine of Diego. Her paintings are sometimes grotesque and not very pleasant to look at, but they are excellent in the area of being symbolic and representative of Kahlo’s life.

  62. Niki Patel says:

    Martha Rosler: From the Series Bringing the War Home; House Beautiful; Bringing the War Home: In Vietnam (1967-72)

    I came across this collage series in the Photography section of the MoMA. I was immediately drawn to it because of the conflicting images used to illustrate Rosler’s point. The artist uses magazine photos of the all-American suburban home and inserts horrific images of war in them. One piece has a Vietnamese crying father holding his dead child on the staircase, while another shows rows of dead soldiers outside the window. Her message is without a doubt political, but it also forces us to see how the noble ideology the war is founded on does not save the common man from its effects. It paints a picture of war from the civilian’s perspective. The piece forced me to see that all wars have to be fought in someone’s backyard. That someone is just like me and has a family and belongings that will be destroyed. Living in America, I am lucky. Any war we are part of will be fought overseas. The crying father in the photograph wasn’t so lucky. His country lacked the resources to invade us, so it was his child who had to die; something completely out of his control. I liked this piece because she used simple methods to illustrate a strong message. At the time, images of the suburban home and the war were probably seen by everyone. The way she combined the two really hit home for me and I believe for many others as well.

  63. Niki Patel says:

    Pavel Tchelitchew: “Hide-and-Seek”( June 1940-June 1942)

    I came across this work on my way down the escalator at the MoMA. It was so eye-catching I was forced to get off the escalator to take a closer look. From a distance, the work looks like an oil painting of a brightly colored tree. Up close, one can see the bony hands that make up the trunk and children’s heads that make up the leaves and negative space. It is a horrifically beautiful painting that emerges a new detail every second one looks at it. I spent at least 20 minutes staring at it. The title “Hide and Seek” implies a fun children’s game, but the work is very morbid and painful. It was painted during World War II so perhaps the artist was illustrating the lost childhoods (both figuratively and literally) resulting from the war. The children in the painting all seem to be struggling to hold on to the tree that unites them all. Perhaps this “tree” is the pre-war Era where poverty and fear were not rampant. The artist was born into aristocracy, so this may have been his way of connecting with those less fortunate then himself. It could also have been his way of showing the world what a World War truly does to its youth.

  64. Niki Patel says:

    El Anatsui: Bleeding Takari II (2007)

    Bleeding Takari II is a giant (13ft x 19ft) sculpture in the MoMA that is impossible to miss. The entire sculpture shimmers in the light since it is made entirely from metal liquor bottle caps and seals. The metal pieces are flattened and woven together using aluminum and copper wire. The description of the work states, “El Anatsui creates sculptures that allude to contemporary consumer habits and to the history of colonialism in his home nation, Nigeria…the bottle caps represent ‘the material that was there at the beginning of the contact between two continents.’ In the complex networks of exchange established between Africa and Europe as early as the fifteenth century, Europeans used alcohol to barter for African goods.” The description does not account for the “bleeding,” but I think he was alluding to the slave trade. “African goods” included people at the time, and alcohol was probably used to trade humans as well. It is clear in this work that the artist feels trade has robbed his nation of its freedom over the centuries. This work was made in 2007 which makes me think he still feels Nigeria is being exploited by the west. Perhaps, there is a liquor factory that underpays its workers, or imported alcohol is the source of violence in the country. It is a very clear political message that is hard to ignore. His other works are just as large and politically charged as well.

  65. Niki Patel says:

    Film: Argo. Director: Ben Affleck (2012)

    Argo is a historical drama about the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. The six Americans worked in the U.S Embassy but managed to escape before the rebels took over and held their colleagues hostage. One man, CIA Agent Tony Mendez, is assigned to get them out of the country using a fake sci-fi movie as a cover. If found out, they will all be publicly executed. The movie is extremely entertaining and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The film immerses you in their fear and helplessness in a country that hates America. What I found most interesting was the lack of action in the film. The beginning shows the invasion of the Embassy by violent means, but that is it. The movie did not need a slew of car chases or weapon fire to illicit the same feelings that an action thriller would. I liked that Argo made the viewer feel the fear the escaped Americans felt. You got a sense that one wrong move or slip up in their cover story meant certain death. What’s added to it was Agent Mendez’ feeling of helplessness. He assures the Americans that his exit strategy is safe, but in his scenes alone the viewer can see he is just as scared and unsure of the outcome. The viewer is introduced to Mendez’ family as well, so it is clear what he will lose if he fails. Overall, I loved this film. It gave an accurate, entertaining portrayal of what happened at the time with no dramatic action scenes most thrillers seem to need these days.

  66. Brooke Logan says:

    The Honeycomb Vase “Made by Bees”
    Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny (Slovak, born 1979)
    This piece of art really stood out to me. This is a piece of art that was literally created by bees. After Libertiny put in a scaffold he let the bees do the rest making a hive. It is about 9” by 5” which is huge considering that bees made it in about 7 days. It was simply under a clear box yet next to it they included the video showing the bees working on it. It is not a perfect vase, being a little crooked yet it is beautiful non the less and more impressive than any vase I have ever seen. In this work of art Libertiny appears to attack todays fast pace world that we live in. He makes you want to sit back and appreciate what nature can do all by itself with just a little help. Some vases can be sold for hundreds of dollars. These vases are made of some sort of china or porcelain and painted beautifully yet what about this? A vase is used to put flowers in. There is irony that a vase made by bees and a flowers pollen will now hold flowers which I think is a lot of the intent that Libertiny had behind this.

  67. Brooke Logan says:

    At first when I walked by this I didn’t even realize what it was but when I got closer I began to realize that it was photos of people in a restaurant that follow the Fibonacci sequence. As a math major I found this very interesting because I was not really expecting to find anything that was close to my heart yet I found this beautiful. Numbers are just as beautiful as art in my opinion. The symmetry alone, of numbers, is just thought provoking. In nature the Fibonacci sequence exists and here an artist is appreciating that and created art about it. He used 11 black and white photos side by side almost framed by a chord used to light the neon tubbing that showed the numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 36, 47. I found it interesting how he made the pictures black and white and connected them with black chords while the only thing of color were the numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. On the MoMA page he was quoted talking about how he didnt want work to be a certain length. Instead he wanted it to go on infinity which is essentially what he is doing with this work.

  68. Sam Winterburn says:

    NBC’s “The Office” is on it’s ninth and final season this spring. The show was originally famous for its star, Steve Carrell, but as the program moved forward through its run, many more of the characters became staples in each episode. I watched all of the seasons that Netflix had to offer this past summer, and completely fell in love with it. The characters were all so charming and lovable, all in their own way, of course, especially Jim Halpert and Pam Beesley. Their romance gives the viewers a sense that true love is really possible, and that it may be found in the most mundane of places. The way the show is filmed is also a huge factor in what makes it stand out from other comedy shows that are on TV nowadays. They have a camera crew that follows around the workers in the office all day, so the show is supposed to be portrayed as a documentary. However, the way the cameras capture the random things around the office really showcase the true personalities and quirks of all the people. They show the silly moments between coworkers, often awkward confrontations, and even intimate and loving moments between Jim and Pam. I do not think that show would have the same tone if it were filmed in a different fashion. The raw nature of the people is shown through the style of recording. It evokes feelings for the characters in the viewers because it puts them in a place where they feel as though they know these people because we as viewers see every aspect of their life in a very true and real way. Although the show is all fiction, it can be related to every day life because everyone knows an oddball like Dwight or someone as silly and gullible as Kevin. I am very sad to see the show end, but during its time on the air, I believe it has been a great source of entertainment to all that are loyal viewers.

  69. Robert Waldron says:

    I took a visit to the Museum of Modern Art early March, and while I was fascinated by the various pieces such as those found in the Applied Design exhibit, and even a large square painted from pollen, what really drew me in was the exhibit on video games. Ever since I first played Super Mario Bros. as a child on my SNES, I’ve been a big consumer of video games. So it came as a surprise that the MOMA would be featuring games as not just entertainment but an actual art form. The exhibit features many games, some of which the viewer can play, from the classic and colorful Pac-Man to the contemporary Portal, whose constantly changing perspectives are reminiscent of an M.C. Escher painting. The exhibit really makes you question who the artist is with video games. Is it the developer, whose beautifully crafted worlds and story are shown to the player as they progress through the game? Or is it the player themselves, where in massive multiplayer online (MMO) games such as EVE Online, players can create their own saga in a science-fiction space setting as a lowly miner, a thieving privateer, or even a space-faring investment banker. The exhibit examines both viewpoints. I was able to get my hands on a controller to play flOw, with its minimalist, but colorful shapes, and then walk over to a screen of a play-through of The Sims where someone was building a beautiful house with the elements the game provides. Whether or not you are an avid gamer, the art and fun within the exhibit has something for everyone.

    • Well done Robert, You bring up a number of good points that reinforce why the games are in this exhibit – the design, the concepts, the interactivity. You also reference the fine arts with M.C. Escher, and how his work might influence the designer(s). You did a really good job of placing video games into the world of the design arts.


  70. Matthew Milner says:

    Longboarding has been one of my favorite things to do since I first stepped on one during middle school. One of my best friends was a very avid skater, and introduced me to sport. Something about the wind in your face, the rattle of the wheels on the road, and the feeling that nothing but a piece of wood with some wheels on it is between you and a very bad day is enough to get anyone’s heart pounding. At the same time, however, riding is one of the most relaxing activities that I can think of. The sport is, however, a fair weather sport and as a result, I spend rainy days looking on the internet and skating vicariously though others. Longboard photography is something that interests me greatly. To me, part of the beauty of this particular topic is the accessibility. Many sites like Silverfishlongboarding.com (the biggest community for the sport) have sections for amateur photographers to post their work. Because of this, I feel as though the sport is always connected with new up and coming artist who have a chance to create great work. In addition, many small board companies often post photos of their riders for advertising.


    This photo is an example of this. Meta longboards is a small company based out of Colorado, who I had never heard of until I found this photo. They posted the picture on Silverfishlongboarding.com in order to spread the word about their new company. The goal of longboard photography is represented well by this photo. The company wishes to make the audience want to go out and ride, all the while encouraging them that the best ride will be on one of their boards. We, as riders, are always on the hunt for a great stretch of road. The hairpin bend through the woods with an incredible view in the photo is enough to make me want to go grab my board and put this review off until later… Coupled with that, riders will almost always be shown performing a “slide”. In this case, the first rider is performing what is known as a “check slide” to slow himself down before entering the turn, while the second rider is performing a “pre-drift” so that he can round the bend with the back wheels sliding and his hand down. The nature of sliding is very relaxing, and as such, contributes to the overall mood of serenity that the shot evokes. The photographer is also positioned in such a way that the riders are both framed by the two trees. Though the sport is fast paced, the nature of its photography is very calculated, and premeditated, with no shot being left purely to chance.

  71. Shelby Brevogel says:

    This past weekend I went to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia with my family to see “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” located in the museum. The exhibit was absolutely fantastic and successfully made you feel like you were back in the early 1900s ready to board the “unsinkable ship.” It worked like a narrative as you made your way through the exhibit and even started with being handed a boarding pass with a name and some other general information of someone who had actually been a passenger on the ship. At the end of the exhibit, a list of names was featured divided by class and you could find the name on your boarding pass in order to see if your person survived the tragedy or was one among the many who died with the ship. The exhibit was visually appealing with dim lighting overall and brighter lights to shine on the photos and featured artifacts. There were several original photographs featured in the exhibit from the time of the ship building to the intricate interior design of the first class cabins and dining halls. The pictures were all in black and white but really captured a sense of how significant class division was during the early 1900s. For example, the design differences between the first class cabins and third class rooms was easily displayed in the photography with so much more detail and luxury in the first class suites and bland bunks squeezed together in small rooms for the third class. These original photographs were enlarged and spanned across the walls in the different rooms as you continued through the displays and took you back to the time period instantaneously with each view. Quotes from people on the ship were also painted on the walls in different parts of the narrative display to accompany the photographs, such as when the ship was sinking, and some of them, combined with the general atmosphere of the exhibit, brought tears to my eyes. Also, for anyone who has seen the movie Titanic, the similarities between the photographs and the imaging featured in the film are incredible; the costume design and scenery in the movie mimics the original photography so closely. Though the exhibit is only going to be featured at the museum until the end of April, I would certainly recommend making the trip. If you loved the movie and the infamous story of the Titanic, this exhibit is guaranteed satisfaction.

  72. Maria Torculas says:

    One of my favorite photographers is Elena Kalis (whose portfolio can be found here: http://www.elenakalisphoto.com/portfolio/ ), and she specializes in underwater photography. Until we can live in elaborate domes deep in the ocean, underwater photography will always have a surreal quality simply because the environment is one that we, as land creatures, aren’t used to. Elena Kalis is one of several photographers (a more well-known one being Zena Holloway) who use the water to their advantage in composition.

    The dreamlike quality of the photos is accentuated by the slightly diffused lighting in the water. It is soft light, and, especially in the dark water shots, very eerie. Plus, the apparent lack of gravity is something we are most certainly unused to in daily life. The fact that the background is so unfocused and blank is also disorienting: In her Alice in Wonderland-themed shots, this really conveys the feeling of “falling down the rabbit hole.” Everything about a gravity-less limbo floating through space – with lighting that humans are not used to – make the photos all the more surreal, which I think was her intention.

    • I can see why you are drawn to her work Maria and I want to know more about your thoughts on specific images. Are there any that really stand out to you or is it her overall style and subject matter that are fascinating? How did you find these 2 artists? Do you find the “commercial” quality to be of significance?


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