Special Problems in Photography: Honors Studio

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).

Keith

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52 Responses to Special Problems in Photography: Honors Studio

  1. Jessica Healey says:

    Senior Exhibit: Interconnections

    My final critique is on the Interconnections exhibit by Lisa Skala that we went to this semester. I actually loved this exhibit because the photographs were all very different, but there was the same theme of interconnections and relationships that ran through all of them. This theme was displayed by showing a multitude of different relationships. There were photos of relationships between loved ones, between humans and other living things, and the relationship that one has with himself/herself.

    Skala had a series of photos that were of different people in her life holding up mirrors with pictures around them. These photos displayed relationships between loved ones. These pictures give the sense of a lot of history and love between the photographer, who was in the shot because of the mirror, and the other person. It was clear that each of the people in the mirror shots had meant a lot to her. I really appreciated the detail and the work that was put into each of the shots. One of my favorite shots at this exhibit was the shot of the person and the horse. It was very different because it was only of the human feet and the horse hooves. I think that this shot shows how all living things are connected on some level. The way the person is standing makes the shape of the feet even more similar to the hooves of the horse. Finally, the photo of the man reaching out and touching the mirror of his own reflection shows the relationship between one and himself. The exposure made this shot interesting because it was very dark around the man. The darkness makes the whole shot more intimate and personal. Additionally, the man does not have a shirt on, which makes him and the shot itself even more exposed and raw. This shot really makes the viewer wonder what the man is thinking about. Overall, this was a very fascinating exhibit.

  2. Jessica Healey says:

    The Walking Dead
    My next critique is on an episode of the television show, The Walking Dead. The episode that I used for this critique is entitled, Pretty Much Dead Already. This is an action packed thriller about a post apoplectic world, in which zombies pose a threat to humans. The show is very fast paced and violent. As I watched this episode, I noticed how much detail went into each shot, such as the exposure and the angle of the camera. These details add so much to the feelings of fear and helplessness about what characters are going through. For example, in the beginning of the episode everyone finds out that the barn right next to their camp is full of zombies. When the shot goes to the barn, it first shows it far off in the distance. The barn looks very old and dark. The shot then goes right near the barn. However, the composition is interesting because the camera is on the ground looking up at the barn. This makes it feel even more immense and dangerous. The next shot is a shot that shows one of the main characters looking inside the barn through the cracks between two pieces of wood (the walls of the barn). Most of the screen is black; all you can see is the eyes and face of the character. Then a large dark zombie jumps at him, scaring both the character and the viewer. The way that this series of shots were set up puts the viewer on edge.

    The show takes place in the Deep South. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, which is so interesting considering the violence that occurs in every episode. Many of the shots show miles and miles of farmland and woods. The fact that everything is spread out contributes to a feeling of loneliness. As a viewer, you feel that these characters are all alone- that they are never going to find other people who are alive. Each episode is quite baffling. You never know what to expect, which keeps you coming back for more.

  3. Jessica Healey says:

    Frank’s Pictures
    My second critique is on a couple of Frank’s photos. I chose to critique two of his pictures together because I think they are similar, but different at the same time. The two photos are the coin photo and the photo of the grass. These photos are similar because he shot objects that are very small in everyday life, magnified and zoomed in to a dramatic extent. Both photos made me look at the subject matter in a completely different way. The photographs made me appreciate the beauty of ordinary and mundane things that I see and take for granted everyday. I would never have thought that I would love a picture of some coins or a few strands of grass, but I was wrong.

    I really loved the technicality of both photographs. The lines of the coins all lead to the center of the shot. The lines and shapes are also fascinating in the grass photo. There are a lot of straight lines from the bottom of the frame to the top of the frame. Those straight lines are contrasted by some of the curly strands of grass wrapped around the straight strands of grass. The difference in shapes is enhanced by the contrasting colors. The straight strands are a vibrant green, while the curly strands are dull brown and white. The fact that the coin picture is so zoomed in gives the feeling that the coins are immense in size and weight. I also love that Frank shot the coins so that they continued out of the frame. This aspect contributes to the immensity, as if the pile of quarters could go on and on. Overall, this photo gives me a feeling of pressure and weight when I look at it. The grass photo is similarly zoomed in, but the feelings of weight and pressure are not evoked when I look at it. Instead, this photo makes me feel like I have the perspective of an ant or bug, which is different and interesting. It is not often that you see grass as being large and, to a certain extent, overwhelming. In fact, those would be the last words that I would normally use when describing grass. The fact that this photograph makes grass look so large and overwhelming is what makes this photo so fascinating.

  4. Jessica Healey says:

    My first critique is on Crystal’s shower photograph. Coming into this course was very interesting for me because I had no experience or knowledge about photography or art in general. As the semester progressed, I always loved the abstract style of photography the most. This was very true when I saw Crystal’s photograph for the first time in class. I loved the photograph because I could not tell what it was. The composition was very fascinating. There were many abstract photographs we looked at this semester, but this was the one that I had the toughest time wrapping my mind around. I was able to identify the toothbrush and toothpaste, but I had no idea what was going on in the rest of the photo. It was only when Crystal told us it was her shower turned that I was able to grasp what was occurring in the picture. I really love the contrasting colors of the bright blue sponge, the red toothbrush, and the off white shower. I also find the blurriness in the bottom of the picture intriguing. I believe that the blurriness makes the picture even more abstract than if it had just been more water drops. The photograph even has a somewhat surreal quality. It feels like this could be something that you dream about- all of the different shapes, textures, and colors. The drops of water have a quality in which they just look like they are objects floating in midair. I feel that they have this effect because it is difficult to tell that dark area at the top of the photograph is a showerhead. Overall, this was one of the photographs that stood out a lot to me this semester. I love not knowing what is going on, and feeling the need to solve a puzzle.

  5. Crystal Chiu says:

    Sometime in the beginning of the year, I stopped shortly to see a glassworking exhibit. Although I cannot find the pictures I took from the exhibit, I remember comparing many of the pieces to those I saw on a field trip I had in high school to Wheaton Village. As a part of the field trip, we saw men actually shaping the pieces of glass in a huge furnace. The works in this exhibit were somewhat different. While most pieces at Wheaton Village were designed with the goal of being aesthetically pleasing or with some purpose such as a container in mind, some of the works in the exhibit displayed pieces that accomplished the aesthetically pleasing aspect while also achieving a deeper goal of telling a story. The only thing I can really think to compare these works to would be stained glass windows and most that I have seen portray stories from the bible. I do not recall that any of the pieces in the exhibit had any religious depictions but I believe that the artists’ points were clearly presented in each piece. While I do not remember the exact works in the exhibit, that is what I can recall thinking at the time I was looking at it.

  6. Crystal Chiu says:

    I really enjoyed one of the last assignments we did in class on portraits. I thought the pieces displayed by pretty much everyone in class really portrayed the person along with an emotion or state of mind that everyone knows comes with the hectic Thanksgiving holiday season. Jessica’s pictures, for example, really got across the annoyance she felt at having to do the dishes when everyone else was able to sit and relax after dinner. The expression on her face was a clear indication that she did not want to be there. Furthermore, the colors in the picture were very muted. Bright colors usually depict happy or excited feelings which is definitely not what Jess was feeling at the time the picture was being taken. Frank’s piece also similar feelings. The books he was resting his chin on indicated to us that he was studying for finals. His face had an expression that represented boredom or that he would rather be doing something else.

  7. Crystal Chiu says:

    In the Interconnections exhibit, Lisa Skala also depicts the notion of identity in her work. In the piece where the man has both hands on a mirror, inner turmoil can be interpreted from the way he is pushing against himself. It is as if he is fighting himself on an issue and the answer can only be found by looking within himself. Several different conclusions can be made about what this work is about and that adds to the interest factor in it. In addition, this piece, unlike several others in the exhibit, is displayed in color. The color really makes you focus on what is important in the picture since everything else but the person is black. Another image of hers shows two human feet facing two horse hooves. This expresses how she finds her identity amongst horses. From this image, we can infer how she feels a connection with the animal and how its influence in her life has become a part of herself and her own identity. The darkness in the picture might be a portrayal of how this is not a side of her that many people know about.

  8. Crystal Chiu says:

    As a class, we went to see the exhibit, Interconnections, by Lisa Skala. After analyzing the works displayed in the exhibit, it is evident that she uses photography to portray aspects of herself and her relationships of others. Many of her pieces incorporate the use of a mirror. The photographer is not usually captured in the image; however, the mirror gives her a place in the image which makes the relationship between the person portrayed and herself more tangible. Furthermore, there are previously taken photographs that line the mirror being held. These pictures are an indication of what her relationship is to them. For example, in the picture with the man standing in front of a brick wall, the images displayed on the mirror portray that he is her significant other. In these pictures, there are also warm and pleasant expressions on the people’s faces which further expresses the relationship she has with them all. A major aspect of these pictures was that they were in black and white. In my opinion, this was a good idea since the photographs themselves already had so much going on. The color would have added an overwhelming feeling to the work.

  9. Rachel Mamola says:

    Interconnections Exhibit

    Portraits

    Lisa Skala’s series of portraits was also very strong. It was interesting how she included herself in each portrait, but again, that also ties in with her theme of interconnections. Including herself in each photo, however minutely, also gave a glimpse of her relationships with the people.

    In the portrait of the boy, Lisa has herself more in the middle of the composition. The mirror the boy is holding has snapshots of him and Lisa (so I can use context clues and say he’s her boyfriend or someone remotely like a boyfriend). The decisions she made are subtle, but directly affect the essence of the piece. He’s smiling at her and it looks like she is smiling back in the reflection. He has the light source shining directly onto his face and it makes him seem very much like the happy boyfriend in the Polaroid’s taped around the frame.

    The portrait of the father or uncle has a very different mood. Lisa is off to the left hand side in the mirror. She is blurred out and shares equal space with the sports car behind her. The snapshots in the man’s frame are sparse and scattered. This photograph is also in black and white but it feels less colorful because it’s darker. The light source isn’t on the man it’s on the car in the background. Because the mood is much more somber and the photo more gray than white, I get the vibe that maybe this man wasn’t always in Lisa’s life or she has some sort of conflict with him. Maybe they don’t always get along or he isn’t a supportive presence in her life.

    I really like that the photographs tell stories. Maybe I’m completely off the mark, but regardless, her photographs force my brain to make connections and think.

  10. Rachel Mamola says:

    Interconnections Exhibit

    When we walked into Lisa Skala’s senior exhibition I was immediately drawn to the photograph of the horse hooves and human feet. I thought the parallel there was beautiful and it showed her personality. It made me feel like she definitely has a connection with horses and nature and it was an interesting and individual way to display that rather than simply hugging the horse or riding, which has been done many times before.

    The photo feels very balanced because each foot is equally distributed in the composition; even the feet in the background. The light source creates a silhouette that looks like the girl’s foot fits in the hoof’s indentations. I think if the light source was in front of the subjects the piece wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful. The back lighting also gives the composition a very light, almost angelic quality. The photograph was done in color, but it was very washed out which I think is a strength. I feel as though if it had been done in color it wouldn’t have the same peaceful mood. The shapes and balance of the photograph feel very equal and symmetrical and absolutely tie in with Lisa’s theme of interconnection.

  11. Connor McFadden says:

    I was debating whether or not to critique a television show, as while tv is a visual medium it is generally not as held in as high regard as professional photography or motion pictures in terms of being visually striking. This has probably been due to the fact that tv screens in the past have been very small, and thus programming is very constrained in terms of visual flexibility. However, things seem to be changing in the era of high definition television, and so I decided to examine the show Breaking Bad, which I believe is one of the most visually engaging and captivating shows on television.

    An image from the show that I found breathtaking when I first saw it is from the fifth season premiere, of a long shot in the desert of two cars racing towards each other on a narrow road. Not only does this scene look really cool, but the placement of the camera is crucial. It looks like it’s a quarter mile away, so we can’t tell which side of the road each car is on and if they are about to hit each other head on. The show is filled with moments like this, where the camera is placed in positions and angles that don’t appear in formulaic television shows. I find that in the moments they are distracting that this is appropriate, as it is usually drawing attention to the fact that something is not quite as it seems or should be. The show alternates between stationery and handheld camerawork. It’s predominantly handheld, although this doesn’t bother me as it almost always meshes with the intensity and raised stakes of the plot (which usually revolves around evading the law). The show also frequently employs time-lapse photography, usually to jump forward in time and to quickly depict a long and laborious process (such as cooking crystal meth). A final observation is that the outdoor scenes have a yellow tint to them. Much of the show is set in the desert, but what is interesting to me is that I have compared the behind-the-scenes footage of filming the show to the final product, and it is obvious that the filmmakers have exaggerated this tint, either with filters or in post-production. I suspect that the purpose may be to make the audience feel like the sun is setting, regardless of the actual time of day it is in the story. This could be a mirror of the protagonist, who is diagnosed with inoperable cancer at the outset of the series and proceeds as if these are among the final moments of his life.

  12. Emma Zulker says:

    A nightly prayer

    This photo is called A nightly prayer and is a dramatic night shot by LalliSig on flickr. There are quite a few interesting elements to this shot. My eye is drawn to the bright spot on the horizon by the clouds that seem to race there with great speed. It may simply be a side effect of using a long exposure but it adds a great deal of depth to the photo. The light on the ground in front of the church also leads your eye back. The crisp white accents on the tiny church draw away from the rush of the clouds but in this case I don’t think that is a bad thing. It allows the church and the white cross pointing to the sky to stand strong as the subjects. All of the corners of the photo are dark which I think helps keep distraction to a minimum and lead your eye to where the artist wants you to look. The colors are very muted and mostly earth tones which I think compliment each other very well and add to the mood of the shot.
    I think there are some potentially strong messages to be pulled out of this image. The photo is very dark and everything about it seems to be pulling you towards the distant horizon, except for the church which stands firm. While the horizon is the main source of light in the shot, it is not exactly a warm, comforting light. The rest of the photo’s darkness makes it seem unnatural and out of place, almost fiery, and indeed the lighting on the church itself is rather unnatural. I see two different meanings from these lighting plays, the first being the power faith has to resist the evils of the world that try to sweep you along in their terrible torrent. The second plays off the harsh lighting on the church. It could represent an exposure, like of a scandal or a lie hidden within the church or within the belief system itself. I also see symbolism at work in this photo. The cross and door to the church are white, a color that represents purity. This could easily represent the purity of God, Jesus, or Christianity itself. The red roof could represent several things as well. Red could be the red of the apple which Eve ate in the garden, representing sin, or it could be the blood Christ spilled when he was crucified. There are multiple meanings to this photo that could be pulled out through color alone. When you combine all the elements there is a lot of think about and several different conclusions at which viewers can arrive.

  13. Emma Zulker says:

    http://browse.deviantart.com/photography/architecture/#/d5ofqkz

    This piece is called myZeil by Zouberi on DeviantArt. It is a photo of an architectural structure in Germany. I chose to discuss this photo because I think it was an attempt to be a strong formal shot and actually failed to achieve that objective. The subject matter and framing is good. I think there was a lot of potential in this shot based on the subject matter alone. The repetitive design of the glass frames creates an interesting pattern that draws your eye to the bright hole in the structure. The hole was placed off-center in the frame which was a good choice for a formal photo. Shot in black and white, the emphasis in this image is placed on the use of light and shadow. However, I think the light could have been used better in this photo. I think it would have been more effective to have the hole be the brightest source of light; instead, the ring of light around the frame distracts and opposes the movement of the lines. If the outer ring was darker your eyes would have been drawn straight to the bright spot in the center, moving with the frame lines and creating an overall more appealing and more formal image.
    There is not as much to discuss conceptually in this photo. To me this photo was purely an exercise in formal elements and is not intended to convey any meanings or emotions.

  14. Emma Zulker says:

    http://browse.deviantart.com/photography/nature/#/d5oieex

    This photo is called Anxiety by zardo on DeviantArt. I chose this photo for its formal elements. This photo almost looks as if it was shot in black and white but it simply is devoid of natural color. To me it looks as if the photo has been altered to enhance the dark and light areas. The corners (except for the ones in the sky) are all dark, drawing you in to the very light area of ocean foam. Mirroring the light band of foam is a dark band of clouds and, while the landscape gets darker the farther out it goes, the sky lightens above those areas, creating a visual conflict and a pattern of alternating light and dark. The mirroring light and dark lines of foam and cloud create a strong, central line which draws the eye to follow it. This line is almost in the middle of the frame but since it curves away for most of it it works well. However, the horizon line is directly in the middle of frame; to enhance the formal qualities of this image it could have been moved up or down.
    There is a lot going on in this photo conceptually. It reminds me of something like Ansel Adams would have shot; a dramatic landscape with moving lines and altered lights and darks to enhance the effect. The title Anxiety certainly fits the piece. It is a bleak landscape that is dark and foreboding and makes you feel uneasy. I feel like there are a lot of dramatic lines present in this photo. The only real ones I can identify are the ones from the foam and clouds I discussed earlier. However it feels like there are thousands of small lines rushing through the grass, rocks, ocean, trees, and surrounding clouds. All of those small lines are drawing you to the back along the path of the main light and dark lines. I feel as if I am being pulled by some swift, inexorable force out of my control and that does instill a feeling of anxiety. The formal elements were used very effectively to create this feeling of anxiety.

  15. Emma Zulker says:

    http://jyoujo.deviantart.com/art/sakura-s-night-of-dreams-print-203930441

    This photo, titled sakura’s night of dreams by DeviantArt user jyoujo, caught my eye because of my recent summer in Japan. I want to talk about the formal elements first. I think the photographer’s use of color in this photo is very effective. The main focus of the photo is the paper lantern which stands out due to its warm tones. It is not very bright but it doesn’t have to be; the muted, cool colors of the background make it stand out without harsh light required. The glow of the lantern gently illuminates the nearby blossoms just enough that we understand the lantern is hanging in a sakura (cherry blossom) tree but not so much that they distract. The relatively short depth of field was a good choice as it lets the main subjects (the lantern and flowers) to be the focus without distractions from the background. The photographer also was good about framing the shot; they did not center the lantern in the frame, which is an amateur mistake.
    Conceptually, the main feeling I get from this photo is warmth. I discussed how the main colors are warm and soft; this works to the photo’s advantage. Lanterns are hung at summer festivals and this photo helps capture those warm, fuzzy feelings associated with good times and great memories. Having most of the focus be in softer focus also adds to that feeling. A light can be seen farther in the distance which alludes to the presence of more lanterns so I get the sense of standing in a grove of sakura trees with lanterns strung throughout them. It is an interesting photo to view this time of year because, even with the flowers and the knowledge this is likely a summer festival, there is definitely a holiday feel to it. It reminds me of lights in a Christmas tree and those soft colors reinforce the ideas of Christmas decorations and the warm and fuzzy holiday feelings.

  16. Connor McFadden says:

    When I chose to view the movie Lincoln I had this critique in mind, so throughout the film I paid particular attention to its visual aspects. It was directed by Steven Spielberg with cinematography by Michael Kahn, and it focuses on the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment toward the end of Abraham Lincoln’s life (Lincoln is portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis).

    One detail that I believe is worth mentioning is that the movie was shot on 35mm film, as opposed to digitally. This is no doubt Spielberg’s choice, as he is vocal about shooting all of his films this way regardless of the genre he is working in. However, I found it particularly suitable for this period piece, as the film grain gave the movie an aged feel that didn’t strike me as extremely over-the-top or distracting. This compliments the worn look of many of the interior settings depicted in the movie, as well as Lincoln’s weariness. He is tired of the Civil War and of continually having to stand for equality. Appropriately, the camera moves calmly and deliberately through these scenes, spending time on each character’s face, allowing us to witness their contemplation. I didn’t notice any handheld camera work, and this I was also grateful for, as I feel that a hyperactive feel would not be fitting for these dialogue-heavy scenes, despite the fact that some are very heated. A final detail that stood out to me was the heavy use of shadows. This is partly because the rooms are lit by candlelight. I feel that it is also representative of the crisis at hand, with the fact that slavery is still existant in the nation. After the amendment is passed we are exposed to sunlight. This warm feeling is short-lived, as we return to the shadows upon Lincoln’s untimely death.

  17. Steven Hofberg says:

    My final critique will be on the Rowan University’s Student Art Gallery located on the second floor of Westby. When I was walking around the showroom, there was one piece in particular that caught my interest. It was the work titled, Untitled, by Veronica Diaz, which consisted of discarded materials. The piece had many elements to in it’s body. It took up a corner of the wall and consisted of three parts. The first part was a picture that was hanging on the wall at the top of the artwork. The hanging frame contained three dimensional object coming out at you. It had photos, scrolls of music and notes, butterflies, flowers, wires, all shooting out of the frame. The second component of this piece was two clothe lines hanging on the wall below the picture frame. On the hanging lines were sheets of music, but on top of the notes were paintings or photographs. Finally, the last component of the piece was located on the floor below the other two elements. On the floor was an array of scattered photographs in one giant pile on the floor. The photos were of people, animals, nature, buildings, and random objects. Next to the array of photographs was a ball of string.

    When I first looked at the art piece, I was thinking to myself, “Boy… this artist is a hot mess.” I thought this because it looked like just a complete mess of photographs. However, after reading Veronica’s artistic statement, her artwork made complete sense to me. Veronica discusses in her statement about how she views the world different, in her own, unique perspective. Everyone has a different outlook of the world, which is why we should embrace diversity. Veronica used her artwork as a way to see inside her mind and view the world in her own eyes. Veronica uses photography to initiate new perspectives in common object’s one see’s all the time. When I looked at Veronica’s artwork after reading the statement, the first component of the picture frame, represented her mind and we diving into her psyche. The clothes lines could represent that when someone see’s something, a song could automatically start playing in one’s head, which has happened to me numerous times. The last component could represent her memory. Our memories are like photographs. We have a variety of memories in head, and we can think upon them anytime. That could be the same with the array of photographs on the floor. Each unique, and pertaining a different perspective.

  18. Joy says:

    The Flatiron
    Edward Steichen

    This photograph is composed of the famous flatiron building that is located within New York City. It appears that the photograph is taken from a point inside a park as there are trees that cut across the building, disrupting the lines. Additionally a sense of how large the building can be felt within the photograph as the man standing prominently in the foreground is a great deal away from the building but still looks small in comparison. The focus of the picture is clearly on the flatiron as around the edges of the photograph the picture begins to blur.

    Overall I feel like this picture is executed very well. The manner in which it is photographed, especially with the dark tone and blurry edges reminds me of a painting. When first looking at the picture since the ground was wet it looked as if the man was standing in a boat gliding down a river, lined with trees. The building itself is at such an angle in which one can understand the reason that it is called the flat iron building. When looking at the picture it makes me think of London as it seems to have that kind of London fog evening look.

    My father has a different photograph of the flatiron building. This one was taken straight on so that one can see the triangular nature of the building, in a sepia tone. The contrast between the two photographs is great as the one photographed by Steichen evokes much more of an emotion. The other picture is more of a photograph capturing the great architecture of the building. When looking at both I do prefer Steichen’s photograph.

  19. Kaitlyn Klinke says:

    Kissing the War Goodbye

    For my final critique I’ve decided to do something a little different than my past two critiques which have pertained to artsy movies. This time I’m going to be critiquing one of my favorite “historical” photographs: “Kissing the War Goodbye,” aka “V-J Day in Times Square.” I’m not entirely sure why I have always been drawn to this photograph, but ever since I can first remember seeing it in one of my high school history classes, I’ve felt a sort of connection to it – I even have a poster of it hanging up in my dorm room, here at school. The history of the photo is that it was taken in Times Square, NYC, on August 14th, 1945 by Alfred Eisenstaedt. Since its initial publication there has been a controversy surrounding whether or not this photo was staged or a lucky, spur of the moment shot. Regardless of the controversy, as I stare across my dorm room at this photograph I’m beginning to see some of the photographic elements we’ve been talking about all semester… To begin with, it’s full of action; sailors and young women are walking through the streets, each with a smile on their face, while some seem to have stopped to smile at the infamous kiss being had by a sailor and young woman. The blatant emphasis is on the couple kissing; this is due, in part, to the young woman’s stark white dress contrasting with the gray background of the building and street as well as the sailor’s dark suit. There’s also a sort of accidental repetition found in this photo; I think it stems from the black and white nature of the photograph. All of the people pictured look to be wearing white, black, or gray which seems repetitive (at least to me), but it also adds some variety to the photograph to hold the audience’s attention and guide the eyes of the audience.

  20. Kaitlyn Klinke says:

    Pride and Prejudice Movie (2005)

    Today, when I came into class there was a book sitting on the table concerning pictures and movies, with a picture of Kiera Knightley from Pride and Prejudice on the cover. This got me thinking about the movie, in particular a scene entitled “Bewitched” which I’ve always been a sap for. Since I don’t have a ton of time to procrastinate, rather than watching the entire movie for what would probably be the billionth time ever, I’ve just finished looking up a few of my favorite scenes on YouTube. What did I realize that was worth blogging about? Well, while I was watching I couldn’t help but notice some of the photography elements we’ve discussed in class over the semester. For example, “Bewitched” depicts Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy meeting in a field and honestly it’s one of the most beautiful scenes in the entire movie. How so? The scenery is very simple; this scene takes place outdoors, in a natural and earthy environment. While some outdoor scenes can become overwhelmed by distractions, this particular scene is not one of them. The earthy elements of this scene are very subdued and almost muted to a degree. In terms of action, the scene begins with the audience seeing Darcy from a distance – as he is walking he gets progressively closer and closer to the camera and, in turn, to Elizabeth. And, finally, as I mentioned before the lighting was, in my opinion, spectacular. This scene begins dark, just as sunrise is beginning and ends with the sun cutting between the figures of Darcy and Elizabeth, very much emphasizing their close proximity to one another. It’s a creative utilization of sunlight that I think makes the scene as breathtaking as it is.
    Here’s a link to the scene I’ve discussed in case you want to check it out yourself:

  21. Kaitlyn Klinke says:

    Marie Antoinette Movie – Directed by Sofia Coppola

    Let me preface this post by saying that, as a history major, I am very into movie adaptations of both historical figures and historical events. So, in order to take a break from preparing for finals, I slipped in my copy of Marie Antoinette, starring Kirsten Dunst. The movie was released in 2006, and I have always been a fan of how it was filmed. Sofia Coppola (the director) and both the art and hair and makeup departments were incredibly creative in their adaptation of 17th century French aristocratic style. In spite of the gloomy nature of the time period (hello, French Revolution!) there was a great utilization of happy, girly pastel colors throughout the film with a specific emphasis on pinks and blues. Furthermore, Kirsten Dunst’s makeup was always done in very contrasting shades; her skin would be white as snow but her cheeks would be as pink as a bottle of Pepto Bismol. In every scene that comes to mind there was some sort of eye-catching contrast in colors and, from what I recall, it often had to do with either her makeup or her clothing in contrast to her surroundings. That being said, the film was very consistent throughout its entirety in its utilization of contrasting colors. Balance was something else that I noticed. The sets always appeared to be balanced; one scene in particular comes to mind where Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI are eating dinner at a long table, and the table appears to be symmetrically balanced in terms of the food placed on either side of the individuals sitting there. Honestly that’s just one of many examples –but the balance of sets was a reoccurring theme throughout the movie.

  22. Kaitlyn Klinke says:

    Lisa Skala’s Interconnection Exhibit

    As I was going through my pictures on my phone today I came across a bunch I had taken at Lisa Skala’s exhibit a few weeks back. Subsequently, I realized I hadn’t written about it as I’d planned to, so… Here it is:
    I was beyond impressed with Lisa Skala’s work – especially after I read her description that she’d posted on the wall that explained her themes of relationships and interconnectedness. While I thought her photos detailing mystery and isolation (especially the one of the pool of table) were cool, I was drawn to the pictures of her family and friends. I thought her decision to keep those photos in black and white was great; the contrast between the elements, the people, and the image being reflected in the mirror was eye-catching. Even though there were more colorful photos in the exhibit, I was drawn to the contrast of the black and white photos. I especially liked how she balanced the images in the mirror in each photograph; looking back at the photo’s they always seem balanced in spite of the fact that they are usually asymmetrical in nature. Regardless, they’re all very pleasing to look at – especially the one of her boyfriend (or at least the guy I assumed to be her boyfriend) standing in front of what I think is a brick chimney. I found the way that picture moved from siding to brick very visually stimulating and totally creative! My one pet peeve was that sometimes she cropped part of her participants feet out. Seriously. Go look! I’ve got no idea how I noticed that, but now that I have it bothers me to no end.

  23. Joy says:

    Groundhog Day

    The movie Groundhog Day is a unique tale about one man who continually lives over one day until he finally gets it right. A main part of the movie is the repetition that continues to occur throughout the whole film. Watching the movie you can see one scene a multitude of times, though some minor part may change or be modified. While making a film such as this I would imagine that there would be the constant challenge of being able to show enough repetition to show the turmoil that the main character went through while ensuring that the audience remains engaged. Taken as a whole I felt that this had a great balance where the story was able to move forward with the repetition in a way that played to the plot of the film.

    In addition to the actual editing and compilation of the film I thought the film concept was extremely unique. Having the main character continually relive one day was the only unnatural element within the film which helped the film stay grounded. Furthermore one of the things that I enjoyed about the movie was how they had the main character go through a range of emotions regarding his entrapment. In some ways it almost reminded me of the stages of grief. At first he is in denial regarding the whole process, but upon realizing the severity of the situation he simply got angry. For one brief stage you can even see him trying to bargain in an effort to escape. The character then moves into a depression when there is a sequence of his continual suicides. However in the end of the film he comes to acceptance of his fate and comes to embrace it. In general the film with the creative concept and effective filming created a great overall movie.

  24. Chris Ferrante says:

    Metals & Jewelry Students Exhibition

    Viewing the current exhibition on display in the Student Gallery in Westby of metals & jewelry students’ work was an intruiging experience. The majority of the work exhibited was very good in my opinion, both in terms of craft and technical aspects as well as aesthetically beautiful, and I was impressed by the quality and even moreso by thinking that I doubt I’d be able to create such intricately detailed and small gems of art myself. I did, however, find myself confronted with a question as I explored the works being showcased: are many of these pieces of jewelry actually practical and wearable? Considering some of the finger rings, for example, with rather large, bulky, and seemingly heavy small sculptures (as I’ll call them) adorning the top of each ring, it led me to question the purpose of having these miniature sculptures on something wearable, and not just to be displayed for their own appreciation without the ring component. Certainly your average person would not go around wearing these rings for fear they might injure someone! Haha. I suppose the real issue I was grappling with was the idea that in my mind jewelry should be without a doubt aesthetically appealing and beautiful in form, but not to go to the extreme of taking something like a ring meant to be worn on someone’s finger and totally dramatizing and enlarging it. I felt as though its functionality as a piece of jewlery is lost and what you’re left with instead is just a pretty three-dimensional object to view and appreciate in a gallery exhibit. And perhaps that’s exactly what the artist was intending, and if so, then I’m all for it. 🙂 But to me, good design is not only aesthetically appealing, but functional, and I questioned whether some of these works were aiming to achieve both of these things.

  25. Steven Hofberg says:

    My third critique will be on the Rowan University Studio Faculty Exhibition entitled, Constructs. There was one painting in particular that stood out to me. The painting entitled Pickets by Brian Butler caught me interest. There are many stimuli going on in the painting. The people in the painting are wearing trench coats and hats, and some are holding signs. Some of the signs are in different languages, while others are posting about different types of human rights. The main figure of the painting is a police office. He is wearing a traditional police uniform that is navy blue and yellow, including a badge. The painting overall consists of bright colors, but also shadows.

    The painting caught my intention in the first place is because of the badge the police officer is wearing. To me it seemed like a Jewish Star that Jews had to wear during the Nazi regime in Germany. I was not sure if this was a true depiction or not, but when I looked at the signs of the picketers, I saw words such as, “war,” “down,” and “stop.” It was also interesting that some signs were in other languages. To me at first, the painting or illustration seemed random and made not sense. But the Jewish Star made me realize that this piece of work could represent protest about crimes against humanity. There is so much hatred in the world and throughout history. This painting could present the notion of protesting and picketing against hate that has happened in our history.

  26. Cat Fish: television show review
    I was watching TV last night with my friends and this show I had never seen comes on MTV. It’s called Catfish. The name was cool so we started watching it. It’s a reality TV show that is a based on a documentary about a guy who thought he was in love with a girl he met on Facebook but realized that she was not who he believed she was and instead someone posing as his lover. In the beginning of the show the guy, Jarrod Musselwhite, explains his situation with falling in love with someone he met online and how he discovered that there was a different person behind the fake Facebook profile. Then the show continues with people contacting Musselwhite who are in sketchy online relationships and who want to meet up with their online boyfriend or girlfriend. In almost all of the situations the person who they think they are in love with was posing as someone else. I thought this related to photography because it shows how easily someone can take someone else’s pictures and present them as their own. Also, it shows how uneducated people are about how common it is to encounter inaccurate photos online. This show also shows that some people do not think of photography as an art and do not respect the photos that someone posts online and how they will impact others. Although this show raises a lot of other questions about how manipulative and insensitive some people in our society are, it also raises the issue of using photographer as false advertising with the intention of deceiving someone.
    Jacqueline Klecak

  27. Cat Fish: television show review
    I was watching TV last night with my friends and this show I had never seen comes on MTV. It’s called Catfish. The name was cool so we started watching it. It’s a reality TV show that is a based on a documentary about a guy who thought he was in love with a girl he met on Facebook but realized that she was not who he believed she was and instead someone posing as his lover. In the beginning of the show the guy, Jarrod Musselwhite, explains his situation with falling in love with someone he met online and how he discovered that there was a different person behind the fake Facebook profile. Then the show continues with people contacting Musselwhite who are in sketchy online relationships and who want to meet up with their online boyfriend or girlfriend. In almost all of the situations the person who they think they are in love with was posing as someone else. I thought this related to photography because it shows how easily someone can take someone else’s pictures and present them as their own. Also, it shows how uneducated people are about how common it is to encounter inaccurate photos online. This show also shows that some people do not think of photography as an art and do not respect the photos that someone posts online and how they will impact others. Although this show raises a lot of other questions about how manipulative and insensitive some people in our society are, it also raises the issue of using photographer as false advertising with the intention of deceiving someone.

  28. Chris Ferrante says:

    Constructs: Rowan Studio Faculty Exhibit

    Aside from the fact that as an art major I know on a personal level many of the faculty members who exhibited work in the University Gallery for its most recent show, it was especially eye-opening to view their work in person for the first time. What was particularly interesting (and amusing) to me was the fact that each work showcased said something of the character of its respective creator. On a strictly objective level, I found myself struggling to find a consistent theme among the works exhibited, but realized that with so many distinctly different styles, mediums, and personalities that this was, of course, inevitable, and each work’s unqiueness spoke to the variety and diversity of the cast that makes up Rowan’s art department faculty. Critiquing the work on a subjective level, as anticipated, there were, of course, some works which made more of an impression on me than others, as well as works which were confusing, surprising, and even those which I deemed, well… to put it diplomatically… lacking in any sort of aesthetically-pleasing quality. 😉 Some works were impressive on a technical level, while others were conceptually strong, and I found myself standing in front of each work, not to scrutinize it, but to try to find some element that resonated both with who I am as an artist and also with the knowledge about art that I have learned from each faculty member over the span of my undergraduate career. In a way, it was a nice retrospective journey as I explored the gallery space. Above all, what I took away from this faculty show was the importance as an artist of finding inspiration in others’ work in order to make your own work better.

    • Yes, very diplomatic Chris. 🙂 HOwever, I think you hit upon some strong points. Certainly the inspiration, and retrospect were significant. I am intrigued as to what work drew you in and what did not. With what you know about each artist, did that make a difference?

      Thanks!
      Keith

  29. Interconnections Exhibit
    Today during class when we went to the Interconnections exhibit by Lisa Skala I really enjoyed it. I thought all of her work was really creative, unique and meaningful. I also really liked that she was in her photographs but not a prominent part. All the black and white photographs were taken from an interesting perspective because of the use of mirrors and they all had the same structure and set up. I didn’t realize what the content of the black and white photographs was until I got in closer which shows that she put time, effort and thought into her detailed pieces. Also, the black and white photographs were very warm, welcoming and relatable because she had people, from old to young, who all touched her life in some way and everyone can identify with that concept. The photo of the human foot and the animal foot was also very powerful because it was so simple but I think it commented on the natural connection that all living things have with one another. My favorite photograph was the one of the girl turned around and you could only see her hair and back. It was a simple picture but I could relate to it because it reminded me of isolation but in a positive manner when you are just contemplative by yourself. Also, I really liked the formal aspects of the picture such as the overall bright tone of the picture and the vividness of her hair color. Overall I really enjoyed this exhibit and appreciated all of her pieces and I would definitely put any of those pieces on display in my home because they are so unique yet relatable at the same time.
    Jacqueline Klecak

  30. Joy says:

    Interconnections
    Senior Thesis Exhibit
    Lisa’s exhibit contained both color and black and white photography. The pictures that were taken in color tended to be simpler and focused on one specific thing. Due to this color added to the photograph. For example the photographs of the people facing themselves in the mirror were in color and with the muted lighting it created a particular feeling of almost intimacy within the picture. The pictures that were in black and white were often much busier than the color ones. With the person holding the mirror, the pictures that were attached to the mirror and the various backgrounds making the picture black and white probably helped limit the distractions and allowed the viewer to focus more on the actual composition and idea within the photograph.
    Overall I really enjoyed the exhibit, especially the black and white photographs that portrayed her various relationships with the important people in her life. The title of the exhibit being “Interconnections” was clearly seen within these photographs. By placing old pictures of Lisa and the other person within the picture on the mirror allowed the viewer to see and understand the dynamics and connection between the two and to understand some of their history together. Furthermore I thought it was very clever to use the mirror so that Lisa could also capture herself together with the main person of the photograph again showing the interconnections.

  31. Steven Hofberg says:

    I have decided to do my second critique on Lisa Skala’s Final Gallery Located in the Student Art Exhibit. In regards to the objective aspects of the pieces of photography, there is quite a mixture of elements. Half of the photography is in black and white, while the other is in color. A majority of the photos contain usage of a mirror. Almost all of them feature human subjects as well. With the black and whites, the artist decided to have people close to her hold a mirror containing photos. With the subjects holding the mirror, you can see the photography. The photos do have a high exposure to compliment the sharpness and details the pieces are presenting. In the color photos, there is only one subject, but the mirror gives the illusion of two. Further, these photos present low exposure and a reddish contrast.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the pieces. Her artistic statement really helped me understand the notions of relationships, interconnectedness, identity, mystery, and isolation. The black and white pieces made me feel happy and curious. I wanted to know how these individuals had an impact on this artists life. It was striking because it made it seem like the viewer was looking into the person who is holding the photos. The mirror acted as a window into this person’s mind. I felt that way because first it was the person, then it was the mirror that contains the photos of connectedness, then the artist. The color photos has a sense of eeriness to them. I could feel the sense of isolation and mystery. They made me relate to the universal feeling of loneliness, and how I feel when I am alone. These pieces reminded me of the Dr. Seuss book, Oh the Places You Will Go. In one part of the story, the author reveals that at times, you will be alone, a lot. However, then you won’t. The authors gallery presented that message. The black and whites representing relationships, while the color represent aloneness.

  32. Joy says:

    Harsh Realities
    The Art of Stop Motion
    I recognize that this critique is delayed as this past exhibit has now been gone for quite some time, but I still found it very interesting and would like to make a couple of comments. Overall I found the exhibit to be varied with different styles and emotions. On one hand you have “The Bellows March” which is fairly light hearted in the use of the zoetrope effect. The presentation of the stop motion movie along with the marching music in the back ground allows the viewer to really get the feel of people marching. Also as the movie goes on the shapes modify and change so that it feels as if you can see the creative process that it took to get to the march. While watching there was a light hearted feel to it and I enjoyed watching the easy flow that the shapes continually took.
    The stop motion film that I enjoyed the most, however, was very different. “The Eagleman Stag” reminded me of a more traditional short film using stop motion. The presentation struck my interest as everything was completed in a gray and white manner which I felt gave the short a more pensive feel. The actual story itself caught my attention as it seemed to be about an older man who was reflecting back on his life and the dilemma of whether he wanted to remember it all or simply forget it. With the pairing of the white material and the story line in addition the deep voice of the main character it caused me to pause for a moment and reflect myself. The emotion that I got from this movie was much more somber than how I felt after viewing the “The Bellows March.”

    • No worries Joy, most of the time reviews are read after the show is down or gone. The idea is for the critic to offer insight into the exhibition and work within, which you have done well. I appreciate your descriptions and how you balance and compare 2 works. It gives us a better understanding of the show overall and the variety.

      Thanks!
      K

  33. Chris Ferrante says:

    Stan Sperlak’s Solo Exhibit: “Rising” at SOMA New Art Gallery in Cape May, NJ

    While not a photography show, viewing South Jersey pastel artist Stan Sperlak’s exhibit “Rising” at SOMA New Art Gallery in Cape May was a beautiful aesthetic experience for me. Stan is one of my favorite local artists who builds the imagery for his rich soft pastel paintings from the simple but gorgeous landscapes of South Jersey, from blue skies with puffy clouds over fields, to sunsets along the beach, to nighttime moonlit scenes of the marsh. I was fortunate enough to take a pastel painting workshop with Stan a few years ago, and as a result I better understand his approach to seeing the world and capturing the simple beauty of the scenes he paints. While Stan typically paints plein-air, he also will take photographs of the landscapes he paints so he can continue the fine detailing of his works in the studio. While he does not rely on a camera for composing his paintings, it can be a useful tool for using as a reference while in the studio, especially for the nighttime scenes he paints of which he can’t capture plein-air since it is too dark outside at night for him to see what he’s painting! The new works included in his 2012 exhibit “Rising” do not immediately suggest this use of a camera, but as someone “in the know” it’s always interesting to me to view Stan’s new works and speculate as to how he would have captured a particular landscape. This show in particular went beyond the usual subject matter of South Jersey landscapes to include views of Stan’s travels in France, Italy, and throughout Europe. In a way, one could argue that these works (as well as any of the works Stan creates) could be on par with a photographic rendering of a scene since instead through the use of pastel, he captures his artistic vision of a subject (in his case, the landscape) and presents it for a viewer to appreciate and feel as though he or she is viewing the landscape in the real. While his style is certainly not photo-realistic, in many respects it could easily fool the eye. Stan presents the world with his unique palette of color and form that dramatizes the beauty of the natural world; not necessarily ehancing it or making it utopian, but forcing the viewer to have a breathtaking experience.

  34. Chris Ferrante says:

    Lisa Skala’s Senior Show Critique

    Lisa’s senior exhibit offered an intruiging selection of photographic works that both visually and conceptually followed a consistent theme, creating a coherent body of work. I will admit that even as an artist and photographer myself, I often find myself faced with the challenge of realizing the degree of time and effort put in to taking a “good” photo when viewing a photographic work in a gallery or museum. By its nature, photography can seem at face value a superficial art form in some respects (or as many have historically argued, not a form of art at all) and I was very pleased to notice right away upon viewing Lisa’s work that these pieces included in her exhibit were anything but superficial. While I was visually drawn more to the larger, color, high-contrast, chiaroscuro photos in regard to their aesthetic appeal, I felt in some ways the most conceptually interesting works in the show were the black and white series of portraits of Lisa’s family and friends. Addressing strictly formal objective observations, I was unsure as to whether I “enjoyed” these works due to their blurry printing quality as the result from scanning black and white film negatives and enlarging them via digital print. While honestly at first glance I was unimpressed by the presentation of these works due to their lack of clarity, I took a figurative and literal step back from the work and tried to view them with the idea that perhaps they can be blurry or grainy for a reason. Adopting that mindset, I began to appreciate the photos conceptually and questioned “well maybe her intent was to convey the blurriness of a memory or time spent in the past with these people that have played such an important role in Lisa’s life. When I studied the works further I was also intruiged by the concept Lisa was employing that these works are not only portraits of close people in the artist’s life, but also given the use of the mirror as a framing element and “window” into the artist’s relationship with these people, Lisa’s inclusion of herself in the works made them function as self-portraits as well (a double portrait). I found these works to be very complex on many levels, and works which present what could seemingly be at first glance and out of the gallery context “snapshot” or casual images, were in fact highly conceptual and spoke to the common interest that all people who view the work can appreciate: human relationships.

  35. Today during class when we went to the Interconnections exhibit by Lisa Skala I really enjoyed it. I thought all of her work was really creative, unique and meaningful. I also really liked that she was in her photographs but not a prominent part. All the black and white photographs were taken from an interesting perspective because of the use of mirrors and they all had the same structure and set up. I didn’t realize what the content of the black and white photographs was until I got in closer which shows that she put time, effort and thought into her detailed pieces. Also, the black and white photographs were very warm, welcoming and relatable because she had people, from old to young, who all touched her life in some way and everyone can identify with that concept. The photo of the human foot and the animal foot was also very powerful because it was so simple but I think it commented on the natural connection that all living things have with one another. My favorite photograph was the one of the girl turned around and you could only see her hair and back. It was a simple picture but I could relate to it because it reminded me of isolation but in a positive manner when you are just contemplative by yourself. Also, I really liked the formal aspects of the picture such as the overall bright tone of the picture and the vividness of her hair color. Overall I really enjoyed this exhibit and appreciated all of her pieces and I would definitely put any of those pieces on display in my home because they are so unique yet relatable at the same time.
    Jacqueline Klecak

  36. Today during class when we went to the Interconnections exhibit by Lisa Skala I really enjoyed it. I thought all of her work was really creative, unique and meaningful. I also really liked that she was in her photographs but not a prominent part. All the black and white photographs were taken from an interesting perspective because of the use of mirrors and they all had the same structure and set up. I didn’t realize what the content of the black and white photographs was until I got in closer which shows that she put time, effort and thought into her detailed pieces. Also, the black and white photographs were very warm, welcoming and relatable because she had people, from old to young, who all touched her life in some way and everyone can identify with that concept. The photo of the human foot and the animal foot was also very powerful because it was so simple but I think it commented on the natural connection that all living things have with one another. My favorite photograph was the one of the girl turned around and you could only see her hair and back. It was a simple picture but I could relate to it because it reminded me of isolation but in a positive manner when you are just contemplative by yourself. Also, I really liked the formal aspects of the picture such as the overall bright tone of the picture and the vividness of her hair color. Overall I really enjoyed this exhibit and appreciated all of her pieces and I would definitely put any of those pieces on display in my home because they are so unique yet relatable at the same time.

  37. Frank Feraco says:

    My fourth critique will on the piece at Lisa Skala’s show that was my favorite.This is the picture of the hand on the pool table. Again like we have seen in a few of Lisa’s other pictures she uses the surrounding darkness to focus the viewers attention towards the center of the picture. The brightest area of the picture being the lit hand on the black pool table. The pool table had a black covering over it. This, for me, accomplished a number of things. First, and probably most obvious, it allows the hand to stand out even more by giving the eye one less thing to focus on. The only sources of color (light) are the hand and the lights above the table. Second, I feel that the covering over the table creates a mystery of why the hand is there. To elaborate, by including the lights in the picture the artist wants the viewer to know that this picture is of a hand on a pool table. The first thing that pops into my mind is that this was set at a pool hall or maybe a bar. By having the surrounding so dark and the cover on the pool table it gives the feeling that the establishment is closed. So why is this hand, which is assumed to be attached to a person, there? Did the owner fall down while cleaning up, did a mob hit just take place and this is the dead person’s hand, or is it some hand monster that hides under the pool table during the day and only comes out after closing time…perhaps I went a little too far. The fact is that by giving the human mind nothing to see but a human hand and a covered pool table the mind will try to reason how and why this image occurred and sometimes there can be some wild ideas. I feel this picture oozes mystery and forces the viewer to ask how and why there is a hand on this pool table. The darkness that surrounds just adds to the isolation and mystery of this lone hand, allowing ones mind to wonder.

  38. Frank Feraco says:

    My third critique will be on the show we as a class just went to see yesterday by Lisa Skala. One of the pictures that captured my attention was the one of the girl staring at her reflection in the mirror. There were a number of aspects that captured my interest of this picture. First, what I believe initially caught my eyes attention, was the vivid colors of the girl and her reflection in contrast to the darkness around her. It made the girl and her reflection the only place for the eye to notice and focus on. Also the crisp and clear image of her reflection was astounding. When was the last time you looked at your reflection in a mirror and saw an image of yourself so clear and crisp. The darkness also does not allow the viewer to see the edges of the mirror making this work also quite surreal. All these aspects, however, are only half the reason why this piece caught my attention. Upon viewing it I almost immediately felt the isolation of this girl from the outside world. It was herself and her reflection, nothing else. The girl seemed troubled and having only half of her face visible also added to the feeling of incompleteness and mystery.

  39. Frank Feraco says:

    A second piece that I took interest in at the art gallery a few weeks ago was titled Consuming Spirits, by Christopher Sullivan. It is a full length stop motion film (130 minutes) shot on 16mm film. Before I get into the film itself I would feel like I did a dishonor to the artist if I did not first describe all the work that went into its creation. First off, the film in its entirety took 15 years to create! The characters were hand drawn onto layers of glass that were then moved with needles and pins. The film combines cut out animation, pencil drawing,collage, and stop motion animation to create a haunting atmosphere. Indeed this does create a haunting atmosphere. I have never liked two dimensional stop motion ever since I was a child because it scares the you know what out of me, as I am sure many other people would also agree. I believe this is because the movements and images are so unlike what we see in real life that it frightens us. For example, real life is three dimensional and movement is fluid and swift. However, two dimensional stop motion is obviously not three dimensional and no matter how smooth the artist makes the characters movements they still always seem mechanical and staggered, at least to me. Dozens of horror movies today take use of this staggering movement in their films. Whether it is a cgi creature moving in a bizarre way of a flashing light to make movement seem interrupted and mechanical. Take a look at horror movie trailers from the past 5 years if you want to see what I am talking about. (The grudge and The Ring are examples I am familiar with) Any way back to Consuming Spirits, I was able to watch a few minutes of the film and it was about how the main character hits a nun while he is driving and leaves her to die. His guilt is almost unbearable and he is constantly haunted by ghosts and visions. These hauntings are accompanied with excessive drinking as well. Unfortunately I was unable to watch the film in its entirety but I do believe this is where the film got its name. The animation was creepy and dark which is good seeing that this is exactly what the artist was going for. To be honest even if I had the chance to watch the whole movie I probably wouldn’t because it would give me nightmares for weeks.

  40. Frank Feraco says:

    I took particular interest in one of the pieces at the art gallery a few weeks ago. It was titled Myth Labs by Martha Colburn. This piece had a short seven minute film accompanying it, unfortunately, it was not playing. However, the piece did have an audio track playing. It was the sound of fire burning. This accompanied the piece well because the art piece was about the consumption of religion and drugs of the body and soul. The artist was able to accomplish this by having a Native American figure working in a small meth lab in the woods. The Native Americans have used drugs for religious purposes for hundreds of years, however, the artist creates a twist by introducing unnatural drugs to intertwine old religious practices with new drug practices. The artist used cut up paper and water colors to create this piece. I believe she did that to emphasize a sort of chaos in these situations. I also found very interesting that there were two pictures that made up this piece. The first one was to show the Native American operating in the meth lab and the chaos that ensues. There are signs of an explosion about to occur. The second picture is a follow up and shows the Native American running through the woods burning. As he falls to the ground burning the artist shows the different systems of the character (skeletal, tissues, nerves). I believe this is done to show that drugs and religion can both consume an individual even down to his or her core.

  41. Movility: Movis Moves Meaning Exhibit
    I also visited the Rowan Art Gallery to see the newest exhibit. I was interested in Frank Magalhaes’ piece named, “Boat House/ House Boat,” because it put a spin on conventional techniques used in photography. A technique called diptych was used, which is where two images are placed back to back instead of side by side, according to the description of the piece in the gallery. I had to take a closer look at this piece because at first it just looked like a home surrounded by water but then I realized it was a home in the shape of a boat. It totally blew my mind and when I looked at the photograph on the other side of the display and instead of being a house in the shape of a boat it was a boat in the shape of a house. I thought this was a really interesting and creative technique. Eve Ingalls’ piece which depicted pelicans struggling in oil in the Gulf of Mexico also caught my attention. The material she used intrigued me because there was a screen and birds made out of paper behind it. At first the piece had a calming and mysterious vibe about it but once I looked at it longer and read the description I realized it had a negative feeling and was a comment on the destruction humans are causing nature. Overall, I enjoyed this exhibit because the pieces were interesting and all unique. Also, some of the pieces challenged orthodox art forms and others pointed out faults of society and held greater meaning.

    Jacqueline Klecak

    • Good work Jacqueline, your critique of the current Gallery exhibit is insightful and well written. You obviously took time to look at the work and found a number of ideas and themes within. It is a powerful show, with quite a few images that challenge the orthodoxy of conventional media and presents strong social political messages.

  42. jacqueline klecak says:

    Student art gallery- Glassworking
    Today I visited the student art gallery to take a look at the Glassworking class’s exhibit. It was really interesting because I have never thought about glassworking as an art. Typically I associate glass with practical uses such as vases, bottles, bowls and windows. However, stained glass windows in a church, for example, bridge the gap between glass as a useful product and glass as an art. During this exhibit I was surprised to find that all the pieces were very different from one another and they went beyond my expectations of just being something nice to look at, they had meaning behind them as well. For example, Jaime Battaglia’s “Butterfly,” which consisted of blue striped panels in the background ranging from light to dark with the three main stages of a butterfly’s lifecycle on top followed by real tree branches, was a very simple, educational diagram. I really liked it because of its simplicity and how it portrayed the progression of the life of a butterfly, which is something that occurs all the time in nature, which people don’t usually think about and appreciate. Also, Matthew Mansolino’s “All Nightmare Long,” also used a layering technique which included a back layer of dark blue and gray colors, a second layer of glass with dark trees and a man painted on it and a third layer of glass with three animals chasing the man. It was a very dark and eerie piece but it intrigued me because it looked like a painting which could be used as a decoration in a home. Overall, I really enjoyed this exhibit because it helped me to appreciate a unique form of art that I was not too familiar with.

    • Well stated Jacqueline, that particular exhibit was challenging to describe and interpret due to the media involved and the complex narratives presented. As you mentioned, glass is not a common art form in galleries. Even in most art schools, it is not a common program. In addition, the use of narrative and conceptual ideas in glass may be easier to read, but more likely in stained glass windows than in multi-layered 3 dimensional pieces. I appreciate the manner in which you articulated your impressions and look forward to your next post.

  43. Steven Hofberg says:

    I have decided to do my first critique on the first episode of American Horror Story: Asylum. In regards to the objective aspects of the piece, as in any horror movie, there was low exposure (lighting) and dark colors (the setting, clothes, etc.). Throughout the show, it felt very quick paced. Jumping back and forth between scenes and showing snapshots of images that are startling because you only have a second to take it in. The sound also played a role associated to the scene. The setting was interesting because on the outside the asylum looks majestic and beautiful. Even the grounds it sits on had aesthetic elements. However, on the inside, it was dark, gloomy, and seemed like a labyrinth.

    In all, I enjoyed the first episode because of how it caused a reaction in me. At times, I was startled, and others curious. How the director decided to have two scenes going on at the same time, going back and forth, caused me to be at the edge of my seat. By also showing only quick snapshot of scenes, it left me wondering what was going on, or what was that thing? Which now that I think about it, was sort of off putting as well. Like the idea of aliens. Are they really adding them to the show? The lighting, the sounds, and the dark colors, made it seem I was watching a suspenseful horror movie. The asylum was interesting because you could not see all of it, which makes me want to learn more about what is behind those walls.

    • Thanks Steven, you articulated your impressions well and really illustrated the effects of good horror filmmaking. All the techniques you observed fit well into the genre and are generally used to get the result you experienced. NIcely written.

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