Monday, March 31, 2014

Film Review: Ian

It is mind blowing on how much art Burnes had in his private collection. I couldn't imagine owning all of those masterpieces and having them casually hang on my walls. I admire everything about Dr. Burnes. The fact that he acquired all this painting by himself with money that he made in the medical drug business. His collection was made to educate students at his foundation. I think that that is awesome! He would deny people to come visit his collection just because his collection was on display for people to look at and learn from and become a better painter themselves, not to be looked at while eating a hot dog, take a picture of it and move on to the next painting hung on the wall. I like the fact that Burns always stuck to his plan, the art is for learning not a museum. It is a huge bummer that once the collection got passed onto Lincoln University it all went to shit. It turned into how can we use this collection to raise as much money as possible and bring tourism to Pennsylvania and have the city benefit from this collection. At the same time the people who were in charge if the collections fate were also looking to get a piece of fame in politics. I feel that will pieces of art that are set at high prices causes way more problems than the painter intended. Barnes had the right idea, he was displaying the paintings the best way he saw fit. I agree 100% on his educational view of displaying the art. A student is going to learn a hell of a lot more by seeing the masterpiece where the student works. Rather than having the art piece on display in a museum where the student might not get to see the piece when they want to or have to wait their turn behind a line of people who might not even appreciate the piece. Either way I feel that it is sad that Burnes Will was ignored and that his collection is not fulfilling the purpose that Barnes wanted

How a working-Class Couple Amassed a Priceless Art Collection

As a follow-up to today's class, check out this article!

And, if anybody is interested in the hearing about the creation of the Federal Reserve (thanks to JP Morgan) check out the story below (there is even a section where they specifically discuss the Morgan Library!)

Artist With a Social Role

Artist Social Role..

What is an artists social role, if any and what are they responsible for?  This is a very difficult decision to pick one artist to focus on, but who comes to mind first is photographer Jeff Brockmeyer.  Jeff fits primarily in the category of entrepreneur.  He is a young professional who has put so much time and energy into to creating a business not only based on his photographic skills, but teaching people who are wanting to be in the action sport industry what you need to know about sports photography.  He started the Woodward Film and Photo camp, a camp based at a sports training camp and facility.  Brockmeyer he is still the Director of the camps and is incredibly dedicated to passing on his deep knowledge of photography.  Not only in the sports world of photography is Jeff successful, he uses his medium to constantly bring in income and makes a great living as an artist.  He is what I would consider a great entrepreneur in the photography world.  

Artists with Social Roles

The contemporary artist Banksy is a social artist who avoids the traditional art system. He is especially known for his satirical street art and social commentary which serves the purpose of exposing corrupted aspects of society that have been covered up by ideology and have therefor remained largely undetected. In a world were truly revolutionary people are hard to come by, I believe Banksy is one of the few. He is able to pronounce political and social commentary through his use of appropriation and skillful use of humor to shine a light on dark concepts. By freeing the public from these ideas drilled into our brains by society, he is fulfilling his duty as a social artist.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Artists with Social Roles- Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz is an artist that I have respected since I learned of his work in 2011. Vik was born to a poor neighborhood in Brazil, but built himself an artist life in New York. The work that inspires me is his trash series with the catadores of Brazil. Vik  Muniz created portraits of the catadores with the trash that they had collected and a warehouse floor as the canvases.  Not only did he manage to show the importance of the seemingly small people through the scale, but massive donations were made to the people who helped in the process and their fellow catadores; not in an effort to save them from their lives, but to help show that their lives are important.  

Kyle and Kelly: Artists Role in Society

Kyle and Kelly are twin brothers who received their B.F.A.s from Ball State University in 1996. They earned their M.F.A. degrees in Ceramics and Sculpture from The University of Kentucky in 2000s. Kyle and Kelly are social critics and skilled workers. First quick talk about the content in their work. They are making collaborative pieces that are inspired by the Blue-Collard workers of America. I think that this is a really cool topic right now. today it seems like Blue and White Collard jobs are shaping the way people live their lives today. the lifestyles are getting further and further apart as the years go on. White Collard jobs require extremely expensive degrees. That degree is your ticket into that lifestyle. on the other hand if your degree is not as creditable or you just don't have one, you get a Blue-Collard job. Kyle and Kelly's work show the faces, cloths, tools, job title, and lifestyles of those Blue-Collard Americans. The craftsmanship on these collaborated pieces are unreal. They both have an amazing eye for detail in the human body and all it's shapes. I also really like the fact that they work on pieces together, and at the same time. I got to watch them work at NCECCA, and it is shocking to see twin brothers who are dressed the exact same way working on the same piece and have identical technique. that's why I think that Kyle and Kelly are social critic and skilled worker ceramic artists. 

This link has their gallery of a lot of their Blue-Collar pieces, and it has more in-depth information if you're interested. Give it a look.

Die Antwoord: An Artist's Role Outside of Society

For this assignment I took a slightly different route by choosing the South African hip-hop artist: Die Antwoord (Afrikaans for The Answer).  The group, consisting of the married couple: Yolandi Visser and Ninja make music that goes against just about every social norm.  By doing so they are bring to light topics that have sent record labels running in the opposite direction.  As a result, the group began releasing free music videos on YouTube.  With their flagship video 'I Fink U Freeky' currently at more than 44 million views, they were able to sign a record deal that allowed them to make whatever music they wanted.  Their roll in society is to bring an uncensored, untamed version of their life and culture to the world.  The world that they come from is not normal, so why should their music be normal?  

Below I have included 2 videos.  The first video is the Die Antwoord music video: 'I FINK U FREEKY'  The second video is a short film about some of the living conditions in post apartheid South Africa.  Both videos could be considered explicit, viewer discretion advised. 

'Roger Ballen's Asylum of the Birds':

Alexa's Film Review

Alexa Wirth
Art 480
Film Review: The Art of the Steal
Albert C. Barnes was a man with motivation. He worked hard to make money and then spend it on his extensive private art collection featuring many great impressionist artists. When he opened the Barn’s Foundation his main goal was to reserve it for students or people who were actually serious about appreciating the art. His is wishes were that the collection would never be sold, shared with other museums, or moved. These guidelines in combination with the billions worth of art that lied within the Barn’s Foundation is what made it so sought after, and eventually caused a lot of controversy. I think it is important to note that if the Barnes had had any children, there is a chance that it could have been saved. It makes me so sad that it was able to survive until money took over the situation. When it fell fully into the hands of Lincoln University was when it started to take more of a political turn which led to a whole chain of intense controversial events.
There were many conflicts in the film, but I would have to begin with one that bothered me the most. Dr. Barnes worked extremely hard in order to obtain his collection. He wanted it to be used for education and appreciation. Once politics took over, I feel like the education and appreciation was placed on the back burner and now the most important thing was exploiting the Barnes Foundation basically the financial benefits of politicians and their city. Although I agree with the overall position of the video I do think it was very bias. There was literally a bulletin board with the faces of the “enemies”. The side the video showed was very interesting. I think that I was assigned to watch this film because it shows many themes that have occurred at one point or another in art history; competition, greed, and circulation. These terms raised a question in my mind,  who actually controls the art? Art, being the commodity that it is, is a controversial topic itself, but this film really got me thinking about who controls it because it is apparent that I do not know.   I really enjoyed the whole film. Although I am not pleased with the final decision regarding the  Barnes Foundation, watching how hard people were fighting for art was inspiring! I was without a doubt, engaged the whole time.
As far as preventing similar problems like this in the future, I’m not sure there actually is a solution. Dr. Barnes did all that he could in his will to make ensure that his collection would live on by his terms. Unfortunately, money sometimes trumps all. I do think it was very important for artists and local artists to stand up for what they believed in and defend Dr. Barnes’ wishes since he was gone. When there is competition between power and the people, the people have a very slim chance of winning. I don’t see anything wrong with trying though if it could benefit the greater good and the art world.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sally Hammel's film review on "The Art of the Steal"

I can only say that it's a good thing that Albert Barnes is no longer around to see what is becoming of his fantastic collection! I certainly envy him his ability to choose and collect some of the finest pieces of art BEFORE the art museums recognized their value, and I believe his vision was correct in keeping the gallery small in Marion County, for educational purposes… What I would give in order to have studied under him! I can perfectly understand the attempts of his students and teachers to protect his will and desires to keep the art as it is, on the walls of the Lincloln University. I believe that the Philidelphia foundations; PEW Charitable Trusts, Annenberg Foundation, and Lenfest Foundation are a bunch of bullies and dishonest money grubbers to even try to take his collection to Philidelphia, let alone get away with it!
That being said, I'm a little greedy myself, in that I'm pretty sure that I would never have the opportunity to view this collection for myself if it stayed where Barnes wanted it to, and I will now make every effort to get to Philidelphia to see it because I am now able to. He doesn't have any heirs to contest the treatment of his collection (Oh, how I wish I could claim that somehow!) and the City of Philidelphia will certainly profit from this move but I don't actually see any of these awful people benefitting individually from it. As I see it, the art goes to the Philidelphia Museum of Art and becomes public domain. Did I miss something? If not, I actually believe that this move will benefit our society as a whole, letting more people have the opportunity to view it.
The people in Barnes' Foundation protected his will as well as they could and the director of this movie, Don Argott and the producer, Sheena M. Joyce are certainly on their side, but it might just be time to let the public (even those that Barnes hated) see it.

Sally Hammel's "Artist's Role In Society"

I chose Flor Widmar as my artist that exemplifies her social role, because I admire her work and the way she also gives her time to the community. Her beautiful porcelain pottery is functional and I love the way she uses it for good… as in her "Empty Bowls" project. I realize that this is not exactly "Her" project but she is doing a lot to help and sincerely feels hurt when others do not do their part! Even her JAPR exhibit is about using her pottery to help the community. I actually think that her work encompasses every social role. Skilled worker (well, just look at her cups!), Intellectual (It's smart work and I know that not everyone can work this well on the wheel!), Entrepenuer (easily sellable!), Social Critic (Well, she does say that there isn't enough of this), and Social Healer (obviously helping the community). She also works into the wee hours of the morning, keeping our studio clean. I didn't ask her permission to use her as my artist but I do admire her and think she is the perfect example for this article. Some day she will be the rich and famous artist that I hope to be, and I can be proud to call her "friend".

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Artist's Role In Society - Thaer Maarouf

Out of a group of five Syrian artist to be showing at an art opening in London, Thaer Maarouf stood out the most to me. He is not as young as some of the other artists, but his work speaks for their generation as well as his own. What makes Thaer’s notable is his ability to define human rights in the form of art in a country stricken with so much civil unrest like Syria. With that being said, I believe his role in society is to convey hope and raise awareness of injustice through his art.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Artist's Role in Society - Due Sunday, March 30

This week, please choose 1 artist whose work exemplifies his/her social role.

Explain his/her role in society, why you find it meaningful, and how that role is demonstrated in his/her work. Your text should be around 100-150 words and you must include a photo.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekly Article Review by Katherine Pacheco

Whitney Biennial: What is American art?

March 11, 2014, Author Jason Farago writes about the Whitney Museum of American Art's 77th Biennial in Greenwich, England. The museum, known for exhibiting living American artists, was founded to showcase primarily the New York art scene in 1932. The previous biennials have included Jackson Pollock in 1946, challenging works from the vanguard of minimalism and conceptualism in the 60's, and the 1993 biennial showed politically themed art referencing the US's problems with race, class, gender, sexuality, the AIDS crisis, imperialism and poverty occurring during the rise of the Clinton Administration. This year, they are showcasing three artists from the US: Sheila HicksSusan Howe, and Bjarne Melgaard. During the show's multiple opening receptions, critics reviewed it as  “deeply dissatisfying,” “generic, noncommittal, straitlaced,” “damningly mum about politics,” and “overly neat and likeable, scarcely messy or funny or challenging.” 
With this being said, Jason Farago asks the question: What is contemporary art in the United States now?
While reading this article, I thought back to the exercise we did in class in which we had to think of American landmarks, cultures, and heritage for UNESCO to preserve, and how each group had different ideas of what is American. It is really hard to point out what america's culture is, as we are a massive conglomerate of immigrant cultures, and this could be a reason why there isn't an advancement  or development stylistically toward American contemporary art. 
For more information on the Whitney Museum of American Art's 77th biennial, click here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sally Hammel's Field Paper

Photo of Owen's Valley (taken from the silos where Lauren Bon took her photos)

Sally Hammel
Field Paper
due by: 5/5/2014

      On Saturday, March 8, 2014, our Art History class visited the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada. We saw several exhibits there, but I was especially interested in the Lauren Bon and the Optics Division's exhibit, "AGH20 ~ Transforming Inert Landscape into Agency" located on the second floor of the museum. The main room of the exhibit cantained three large photos along one wall, several small photos on the opposite wall and an example of the Owen's Valley (Lake) bed in the middle of the floor. There was a small theater next to this exhibit where there was a film being shown about the making of the exhibit. The film was almost one hour long and I sat and watched it for about 20 minutes. I learned from the film, as well as from talking to the docent about the exhibit that the large pictures along the first wall that caught my eye were developed with elements found on the valley floor (sodium diosulfate for the developer and sodium panosulfate for the fixer). This was the fascinating part of this exhibit. The photos were not readily recognizable because the elements made the finish of the photos the first thing that one would notice when viewing them. The finish was gold in color with darker and lighter parts that became a photographic image when one stood back to veiw them as a whole. The picture that I took, the following week, from the same spot shows, essentially, the image that Lauren Bon photographed from the silos located near the Owen's Valley Lake bed.
      This exhibit caught my eye because I travel Highway 395 almost once every other month to visit my mother. I have never stopped at the silos or anywhere near Owens Valley but I was happy to stop there on my way home this time, to look more closely at the spot where this exhibit was formed. I actually thought that the movie, accompanying the exhibit was too long and technical for the average viewer but I loved the fact the Vietnam-era portable U.S. Army darkroom that was used for the film development was actually outside the museum and that we could walk in and see where the work was done.
      I believe that there was too much information included in this exhibit for the average viewer but I was actually fascinated by the use of elements found on the valley floor to develop pictures and I do have a personal interest in the Owens Valley as I drive through it so often. I think the level of participation succeeded in making me want to follow through with my own photograph of the same spot. I couldn't get right down to the silos as the road was blocked, but I got as close as I could and enjoyed the view. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Weekly Post: Erik Burns

This article, written by CNN deals with the most recent, as well as with the past tragedies that have occurred to artist: Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck.  The authors took care to discuss both the possibility that a ‘jealous’ hawk sabotaged the instillation, or that it was simply the hot sun.  The 18-meter high rubber duck seems to be highly received by the citizens of each town that the duck has traveled to thus far.  The fun nature of the instillation even inspired a group in Belgium to stake out and guard the duck after it had been repaired from its violent stabbings (42 knife wounds were reported.) 
            The authors described the reaction of locals in Taiwan after the deflation of the massive rubber creature.  The incident “le[ft] locals shocked and disappointed.”  As the duck travels around the world from port to port, it is exposed to a multitude of natural, and manmade elements.  The result of the duck’s delicate medium, and the potential for hazard has evoked citizens take it upon themselves to ‘monitor the duck’s vital signs’. 

            I am fond of this article because it demonstrated the connection that people grow with public art in their cities.  I am very interested to hear more about the duck as it moves around the world, and adopts new communities of followers, (maybe the duck will even make its way across the ocean to the west coast.) 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weekly Article Review by Carly

A Renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding

   How do we stop looting, and illegal import/export of culturally significant items? In an effort to curb smuggling problems in China, the US has renewed the Memorandum of Understanding for another five years. This is a continuation of the agreement that had originally been signed in 2009. The hope of the agreement is to make it more difficult for smugglers to find a market for the items, and stop the further destruction of archeological sites within China. The items included in the list are any objects from the Paleolithic era through the Tang dynasty (ca. 75,000 BCE through 907 AD) and any wall art or sculptures older than 250 years. The agreement also includes steps to educate both the US and China’s general public on what a heritage item is, and the importance of its preservation.
   This article brought to my attention how truly difficult it must be to control what types of items are coming and going across the borders of any country, especially ones as large as the United States and China. The MOU seems like a step in the right direction, providing the educational knowledge and awareness of the problem at hand, but the bulk of the problem has nothing to do with the United States. James Lily (a New York based Asian art dealer) commented that “US buying only accounts for 5%” of the market, with the majority of the market being controlled by Chinese buyers. Chinese government officials had agreed to increase their own regulations and protection of the antiquities in the hopes that the illegal trading within China could begin to be controlled. The debate continues on whether these steps have been taken and if they are effective or not.
   As a side note, I feel the purpose of the US participation in this agreement is to keep a stable relationship with the Chinese people. Through the MOU the US benefits by having more access to Chinese antiquities for display within our own museums and scholarly collaborations.     

For further information…. See the link below to an article that was published by the Archeological Institute of America after the original signing of the MOU in 2009.