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Art

Learning to Lie

EXAMPLE 1:

When I was living in Taiwan, I happened to find some money lying in the street. Exactly who had lost it or how long it had been lying there is unknown, but since it was two American five dollars bills, I assumed that the previous owner was a sailor, due to the fact that a large US naval station was just down the road and that sailors frequented this particular street because of the number of bars that lined each side of it. So, I bent down and picked up the money and to my surprise, there was a little message scribbled across the face of Benjamin Franklin that said, “If you find this money, call 223 112 2234 immediately for a big surprise.” Being a fool, I called the number and a woman answered. It turned out to be a house of prostitution and a woman on the other end of the line invited me over for–well, you know what. Unfortunately, I was only about ten years old at the time, so I simply hung up the phone and quickly headed for the nearest restaurant, where I bought some Chinese egg rolls and a big glass of Coca-Cola.

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Art

1st Assignment: Formal Analysis: Layers of Allegory in Botticelli

In analyzing the art of the Layers of Allegory, one factual element alone may be considered, and it is the “calumny” of the title.  Calumny, being defined as an insult is considered as the human element of the art itself. Just as other artists create works on love or treachery, calumny seems to be a human element very suited for the treatment of this particular painting. Knowing only this, the most striking aspect of the painting at first sight is its allegorical essence.  It is clearly all about symbolism and iconography, as the pictured individuals represent states of being, thinking, and feeling.  The component of myth, for example, is evident in the figure of King Midas at the far right, easily identified by his having the ears of an ass.  True to allegory, he is flanked in the right foreground by three cloaked figures, all whispering frantically to him.  Midas’s arm is stretched out and he seems to be accusing a youth in the painting’s center of some unspecified crime. In the center, the youth is accompanied by several figures, all who appear to be desperately arguing on his behalf.  The form of a hooded old woman stands to the left of this grouping, turning her head toward a nude figure to her right.  The form and blatant spirituality of this figure indicates a divine presence, or more likely a symbolic representation of a virtue; that calumny is the subject, then, suggests this figure as a symbolic form of truth.  Viewed in its entirety, then, the layered iconography of the painting powerfully sets before the viewer a “process” of gross injustice; base slander is fed and acted upon by a royal authority, and innocence suffers.  To the side, a witness of mysterious authority turns to “truth” for a higher judgment, even as truth can only indicate the answer as being beyond the mortal world, with her gaze and hand extended to the heavens.  As complex as the painting is, The Calumny of Apelles appears to be a simple declaration against the evil of slander.

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Art

Art Works: Their Meanings, their Messages and their Makeup

Initializing an Analysis on the Works of Edgar Degas and Hokusai

Introduction

            Art is often defined as both the expression and the presentation of the artist’s interpretation of particular matters that are seemingly important to the society during the time when they first introduced their works into the world of appreciating audiences. The inspiration of artists usually comes from within and even from the elements that surround them. Relatively, it could be analyzed that through the years, several artists have already flourished through time. New genres and new aspects of expression and representation have been given worth through the change of time.

In this particular discussion, two particular artists and their specific works shall be given attention to. Edgar Degas’ work on The Bathtub and Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa shall be specifically analyzed for cultural direction as well as for aesthetic values in relation to how each specific condition of artistic representation used by each artist actually provide a distinctive representation of their process of interpretation and of their behavioral understanding of the society around them. It is expected that through this analysis, the value of the art works and the value of the creators as artists of their own time shall be given specific attention to.

Introducing the Art Works and the Artists

            Edgar Degas, a French artist known for his abstract representation of his subjects that are mostly related to women and dance, has created an artwork that has raised the eyebrows of most of his critics. The Tub, is an oil-painted artwork on canvas that features a woman while she is washing herself. The odd position that she is presented with is considered to be an animalistic representation of womanhood as per identified by the critics of the said artist. The art, being released in 1886 was a considered to be a vague and bold representation of womanhood that was not fully appreciated by the society back then. Almost considered as a pornographic representation of women, most of Degas’ work on nude women posted his interest on art as rather extrinsic and irrespective of the being of the feminine members of the society. Dancers as they are assumed [since he usually worked with ballerinas in their dance], these women were defined to be presented by Degas in their private conditions thus stripping them off from any particular dignity they may deserve. Due to such interpretation of the situation, the work of Degas was often apprehended as somewhat having no concern for the feelings nor the developing reputation and respect for women in the society.

On the other end, Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa is considered to be more relatively connected to Japan’s attachment to nature rather than focusing on the social norms of his time. Being a wood-cut art, his particular work is a specific signature that notes Hokusai’s continuous utilization of the original Japanese tradition in representing art works and increasing art values as it is. This is the reason why this specific work of Hokusai is recognized in most parts of the world as a distinctive representation of original Japanese artistry.

What made it unique and likely a good and reputable and presentable instantiation of the Japanese art is not only that of the materials and the approach used to create it but also that of the elements used to represent the message of the artist in this specific creation. Three primary elements complete the overall picture. One is that of Mount Fuji, which is part of the back draft of the entire image. Another is the huge wave of the sea that almost seems to represent a tsunami. The third element that completes the picture are the three boats that were seemingly being tossed around by the waves surrounding them.

Japan’s geographical position is being represented in this artwork and how the Japanese society tends to deal with it. Tsunamis are expected to happen, and yet, with Mount Fuji continuously representing the Japanese society to the whole world, it is assumed that Japan and its people would remain strong and steady. Even amidst the many tests and challenges that it may face later on in especially in relation to its geographical position, which is expected to bring in several points of hardships to the said community. Relatively, this work of art for Hokusai intends to manifest his personal understanding of his people’s culture. Such interpretation motivated him to use some of the most common elements that represent the core of Japanese way of living. Mount Fuji was utilized to show the strong stand of the Japanese society against the challenges that they face which is a rooting element in their culture as a group of people believing in strong will and the idea of ‘moving on’. On the other end, the boats seem to show the same value of cultural representation in relation to the being and the behavior of the people as individuals and as a community. The waves of the sea intends to represent both the actual and the seemingly abstract challenges that the people have to face as the nation welcomes modernity and change as an aspect of their society’s advancement towards a more prosperous future.

Comparison of the Works and their Creators

Being that Hokusai’s work is based on the core traditions of Japanese living, it could be analyzed how safely it intended to show the Japanese culture as a whole. From the materials used by the creator in the establishment of the said art as a mark of Japanese artistry in relation to the artistic worth of other artists around the globe and the elements featured in the image presented, the work of Hokusai was most valued. In connection to the condition of representation in insists to the thinking of the society then and now, Hokusai was assumed a jewel crown of the Japanese artistry.

On the other end, the work of Degas was more focused on the thinking of the society and the current interpretation of the people in relation to morality, finesse and conservatism. Being bold in his representation of women, Degas’ critics judged him to be rather disrespectful of feminine value. Abusive or at some point derogatory, his works were more specified by experts as a restrictively defined to represent pornography at its earliest time of development.

Although both art forms represent the cultural condition of the people and the society that the artists were used to and were brought up into, it could be analyzed how critics received the said art works differently. This is because of the fact that the creators had different behaviors and topical features, which they concentrated on the works that have been discussed. For instance, Hokusai was more focused on the conservative aspect of his people’s culture while Degas was more bold and fearless in introducing a new option of art that he knows would not get the positive appeal from most of his audiences. Could Hokusai then be judged to be traditional while Degas as a contemporary artist who tries to venture on something newer and something fresh even though it might mean a negative reflection on his reputation as an artist? This particular assumption is specifically dependent on how the specific audience tends to appreciate the works mentioned and featured herein.

Conclusion

            An artwork’s value is often a reflection of its creator’s expertise, thinking and behavior as a whole. The intellectual being that is represented by each element featured in a specific art piece naturally creates a notion of interpretation on the part of the audience who are relatively the ones expected to comment on each artwork. While beauty is known to be based on the eyes of the beholder, the interpretation of an artwork’s message also depends on the one looking through the elements and materials used to create the said piece. Most often than not, there are instances when the appreciation of the public on such art pieces is based upon the norms and the cultures that they have been brought up into. In the case of Hokusai and Degas, such condition of interpretation depended on not only the kind of thinking that the people have during the time but also the kind of behavior that the artists represented as members of their own societies. At this point, it could then be accepted that the worth of an art depends on how the public interprets it and responds to the message that it provides to the society.

References:

Armstrong, Carol (1991). Odd Man Out: Readings of the Work and Reputation of Edgar Degas. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Nagata, Seiji; Bester, John (1999). Hokusai: Genius of the Japanese Ukiyo-e. Kodansha International.

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Art

The Village Bride, by Greuze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Art

Baroque versus Romantic Artwork

Artwork from different periods such as Baroque and Romantic illustrates a particular theme in the art.  These artists and period styles are represented in their associated pieces.

The Baroque is an early 17th century in Italy and continued on for almost a century.  The Romantic period was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution that took place at the end of the 18th century.  It originated in Europe and the highest peak was from 1800 to 1840.

The first artwork from the Baroque period is The Taking of the Christ.  This is a Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio piece.  The significance of this painting is the extreme lights and darks used as well as the realism that is shown with the facial features and gestures.  The second piece of artwork is Peter Paul Rubens’.  It is also from the Baroque period and is titled The Union of Earth and WaterThe significance of this artwork is the mythical attributes of this painting.  It is clearly not a painting that was commissioned by the church however it is representing that of wealth and beauty.  

            From the Romantic period, the first piece is Course of EmpireThe Consummation of Empire.  This is a Cole Thomas painting.  The significance associated with this work is the depiction of society as it reaches its peak.   It has building and ships, but signs that nature has ceased to exist.  The final painting form the Romantic period is The Destruction.  John Martin captured civilization as it began to crumble.  The significance of this work is how he shows the city being attacked and the tempest rages.  The man-made monument falls to pieces killing people as a result.   

The Baroque period paintings of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s The Taking of the Christ and Paul Rubens’ The Union of Earth and Water have significant stylistic characteristics associated with the.  Caravaggio’s works were so controversial in their own time (and for centuries after) for their utterly innovative, revolutionary style. The intense, dramatic contrasts of light and dark, resolute realism, meticulous attention to naturalistic detail and approachable, life-like models set Caravaggio’s paintings apart from all the masters that preceded him.” (Freedberg)  The dark era depicted in Carvaggio’s work is significant with his time. So is the incredible detail that is show as well.  Rubens stylistic characteristics were “commissions chiefly consisted of dynamic imagery designed to tempt people away from the sombre Protestantism of the Reformation. It was what the Catholic Church and European royalty required for their propaganda purposes. Drawing upon his Latin education, Rubens produced scores of elaborate altarpieces and allegorical ceilings. He was adept at painting supposedly Christian virtue but giving it a subversive sinuosity; the voluptuous figures of his nudes are deliberately exaggerated to emphasize fecundity and freedom from want.” (Peter Paul Ruben)  His work was used for religious purposes however his work was not always for church murals.

The Romantic period paintings of Cole Thomas Course of EmpireThe Consummation of Empire and John Martin’s The Destruction have significant stylistic characteristics as well.  Thomas has many different styles that are represented in his paintings.  In this particular one, Destruction is the hard-rocking movement, with constantly shifting meters, dynamic extremes, and an overall density of texture, recreating the almost cartoonish anxiety and chaos of the painting. I may have taken the most liberty with my interpretation of Desolation: in representing the emptiness after the fall of civilization, I attempted to produce a musical character that felt other worldly and foreign, yet glimmering with life – the beginning of a new reign of nature.” (Cohen)  Martin’s work is also significant religious significance.  “They generally garnered the types positive public sentiments Martin’s works had. Yet while these artists painted in a similar style and chose the same biblical story for their subjects, each of the three artists painted different moments from the story and emphasized different ideas in their works.” (The British Institute)

Key issues associated with these artistic are cultural factors as well as religious factors.  Both Ruben and Martin’s work is reflective of religious stories, issues or for inspiration.  Ruben and Thomas show a darker cultural analysis of society and the issues that go along with such society.  These artists are having cultural significance because they represent their era strongly.  This is the Romantic and Baroque periods. 

Art, regardless of era can address cultural, political, social, and religious issues.  These artists told a story to motivate people to see things in the same manner that they do.   The religious importance associated depicts how highly religion was seen during these periods, significantly different than other eras we may be more familiar with.  The cultural struggles of food and resources for the mass of population are also depicted in more extreme complete and total humanity extinction.  No matter how dramatic the artist chooses to show the events as they know them, they are showing the cultural problems as they see them through their paintings.  

 

References:

 

Freedberg, S. J. Circa “A Revolution in the Style of Italian Painting.” Cambridge, Mass. :            Harvard University Press, 1983.  Print.

“Peter Paul Rubens 1577-1640” Directart.com.  Web.

Cohen, Nell Shaw.  “The Course of Empire”.  1988.  Web.

“The British Institution,” London Magazine, September, 1825, 68, Print.

 

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Art

The Theories of Giorgio Vasari

Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, and architect who tackled the tremendous challenge of documenting the world of art history from ancient times until his own contemporary period.  One of his most important and memorable works was a book which chronicled the lives of notable artists, first published in 1550 and later expanded, a book called Vites, or Lives.  This paper will discuss Vasari’s phases of Renaissance art, the elements that he believed were crucial to excellence in art, and various other topics related to his work and philosophy.

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Art

Stylistic Analysis (Olmec head people and Olmec stone head)

The Olmec Head is immediately striking in its demonstration of the world-view of a people, how it approached its aesthetics, and furthermore, its own technological capabilities. Normally, technological capabilities could potentially be isolated from style, but it appears relevant to consider technology in regards to style in this case, in so far as the Olmec Head’s mammoth size clearly indicates a technological advancement that can perhaps let us understand what the Olmec’s valued in terms of style: grandiose representations of the forms they considered important in their culture. If the Olmecs did not consider the construction of the Olmec Head significant, it would hardly be worth the effort to construct this technically complex monument.

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Art

Analysis of Cultural Context: Teotihuacan

The massive Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Sun complex represents one of the most ambitious architectural projects in human history, and demonstrates the inherent cultural genius of a culture that from our contemporary perspective would be considered to be technologically limited. Emerging in 150 BCE, Teotihuacan is first and foremost a city, but to reduce to merely a dwelling place overlooks the radical architectural projects that make it so unique, such as the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. The style is uniquely South American in terms of its pyramid, although obvious examples such as Egypt, place some interesting parallels, thus opening questions regarding the centrality of the form of the pyramid to cultures that were so geographically separated.

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Art

The Future of the Art Market

Introduction

According to Howard (2009), the art market is a physical or figurative venue in which art works can be bought and sold; to exist, the art market requires the work of art, a seller, a buyer, and/or an agent. Historically, many artwork transactions took place outside the art market, involving an artist (or craftsman) and a patron (an individual or an institution, e.g. the Roman Catholic Church in the European Middle Ages). Nowadays, the art market is an institutionalized commercial sector with a clear structure dealing with the purchases and sales of works of art. The structure of the art market is predetermined by the assumption that every work of art has its own “source market”, and it may be traded locally, regionally, and internationally. Following the account of Robertson (2005), the present-day art market items are usually classified as junk (low unit with a negative investment value), cutting-edge (legacy of the 19th-century Parisian dealer revolution), and alternative (a derivative of the Academy system); this classification determines their value in the market.

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Art

On Venus Pudica: Making Paganism Presentable in Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus

Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus depicts a truly remarkable event in mythology: the arrival of the goddess Aphrodite, Venus to the Romans, at Cythera (Cyprus), in antiquity and ever afterwards esteemed much the fairest of the goddesses. Her loveliness fit to transfix the soul, the goddess stands demurely on the shell which has born her to shore, naked as the daystar to which her name was lent. Fittingly, this tempera on canvas masterpiece marks also the return to Western art of the female nude—or at least the unashamed female nude—after a thousand years of Christian censure (Hagen and Hagen 93). But in breaking traditional religious conventions with his subject matter, Botticelli still found a way to present his pagan subject matter with a certain amount of compromise: Venus Pudica, the modest Venus, a goddess no less demure and graceful for her lack of shame.

For all that he broke with approximately one thousand years of Christian tradition in art, Sandro Botticelli was himself a devout Christian, one who lived and worked within a cultural matrix that was still deeply Christian in many ways. True, the elite world of Medici-ruled Florence in the late 15th century, the court of Lorenzo ‘il Magnifico’ de Medici, was far and away one of the most libertine and worldly places in Europe (Capretti 54, Kleiner 438). Still, Botticelli’s was an especially bold artistic statement: as Hagen and Hagen explain, in Botticelli’s day the vast majority of commissioned works of art were religious in nature, and naturally Botticelli himself painted many devotional works (93). As these authors explain, “it has been calculated that only 13 percent of art works had secular themes, the majority of them portraits” (93).

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Art

A Painter Inspired in Slumberland

Swimming in this beautiful green ocean, I am far from the physical life I live when awake. Swimming with whales and racing off together, I feel unafraid or insecure. A different energy is down here under water-soft and ergotic The movement is diverse, everything locomoting slowly. Competition is crystal clear and parking order clear cut. Sea creatures have to adapt or conform to their ways if the need arises.  Danger lurks in an array of places, but with the beauty and wonders down here, the danger is erased.  Down here am a free spirit, physically and mentally, I roam freely. Creatures can sense weakness just like humans, but the atmosphere is comfortable and calming. A green octopus having long and soft arms camouflages with its environment! Having twelve eyes and eight brains, its super intelligent! Living for its children and having three hearts, it’s diligent!

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Art

An Art Comparison

Different arts usually have different elements which include; textures, shape value colour and line. The elements are the ones who determine the quality of the artwork. This paper analyzes two artworks and shows how they differ in elements and principles.

(Prisoners create artwork to help with mental health, 2018)

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Art

Thinking critically assignment #2

TYPE your answers in the spaces provided and upload to Canvas