Monthly Archives: March 2010
No photography allowed inside, sad face. As a work of art itself, the house is beautiful. The floors are amazing, as are the doors, walls, stairs etc.. Not to mention the collected artifacts, antique furniture, curtains, and blinds. The garden is gorgeous, and the interior windows and balconies are so intricate. Isabella Steward Gardener was a truly amazing woman with a whole lot of money, but at least she knew what to do with it.
I was expecting more Sargent paintings, but a lot of them were in storage for some reason. I did get to see two of my favorite pieces of his work:
The Fumée d’Ambre Gris was not the oil painting however, it was a watercolor sketch called Incensing the Veil. You can see the actual pencil lines, but I was really hoping to see the oil painting. The watercolor was beautiful though, I really liked the way he treated her hands, they almost had no fingertips but blended into the atmosphere.
The portrait of Mrs. Gardener was the original however, and it was lovely. It is much more delicate in person than it appears in slides, the colors are much softer and she looks much more complacent. There were a lot of other works in the museum by many reputable artists, such as Rembrandt, Titian, etc.
Entitled “Cultural Crossings,” this chapter addresses what art is across several cultures. Beginning with whether art can break barriers among cultures, John Dewey (American psychologist) “encourage(s) people to have a genuine emotional encounter with art from another era or culture.” But from an outsider’s standpoint, it is hard to understand what is valued as art by another culture because we miss out on many key elements (i.e. language, foreign religion) and the original context.
A new term I learned in this chapter is “diasporic hybrids,” which I’m pretty sure is a community in a period of loss of their homeland, held together by cultural traditions, whose descendants emerge with a new hybridized identity. The only example the book gave of this that I could relate to was “The Crying Game” because I have seen that film. This film deals with Irish-Black-English people in Britan, and the political-ethnic-sexual power dynamics in this society. The book was trying to explain how people like African-Americans and Jewish-Americans and other ‘diasporic hybrids’ hold on to certain things from their cultures such as religious ceremonies and artifacts and how these things slowly become a part of a new ‘global culture’ which is what some anthropologists believe is happening due to these sort of displaced ethnic groups.
I have been addicted to Flickr and other photo sites lately, and have come upon some really great aspiring artists. One of the more accomplished I have found has been Andre Easter, he has appeared on both Flickr and JPGMag, and he has some pretty great images.
In doing our artist resumes, I visited Easter’s site to both look at his work and to see a little about his biography. One thing I liked and didn’t like was that in his bio he said on this “about me” section:
“But my vital statistics are totally irrelevant. Please judge me as a man and artist by looking at my world through the eye of my lens.”
I don’t know if this is because he doesn’t have much to brag about, or if he really is being modest. Either way I think his work is great. I also appreciate the range of his work, from landscapes to portraits. He seems accomplished in all areas.
What did Horace Walpole list as the “Three Sisters of Graces”?
Gardening, poetry, painting
What did Kant mean when he said “purposiveness without a purpose”?
Kant was talking about aesthetic purpose, and how art is not particularly useful but that is serves purely a visual purpose.
In Danto’s opinion, what was baptized as a piece of “art”?
Danto had a very broad opinion of what could be considered art, so much so that he basically stated anything could be considered art. I think specifically he referred to Warhol’s Brillo Boxes.
“Nothing is an artwork without an interpretation that constitutes it as such.”-Danto
Bodily fluids and art, and a whole chapter on it. There is definitly a shock value associated with blood. I think the most famous example of this being Ozzy Ozboure and his little run in with a bat.
That was gross, but it attracted a lot of attention (mostly negative). Artists using bodily fluids in their work fall into a similar category. The “Piss Christ” by Andres Serrano was not going to go unnoticed. And it wasn’t going to impress everyone. However there is something to say about just how much religious art is created using blood, urine, and feces. Chris Ofili made a huge mural of the virgin Mary and incorporated elephant dung. Ofili is of African descent and cites the dung as being both cultural and holy.
Chris Ofili, Holy Virgin Mary 1996
These artists say they are not being disrespectful or grotesque, but that these elements are natural and are a product of their creator, and that it makes their work more sacred. I think it’s definitely an interesting subject, and I can see both sides of the spectrum.
Religion always finds its way into art. Chapter 2 addresses what art is or should be: an imitation of nature/human life or should it aspire to God? Many artists are part of the ‘art for art’s sake’ movement and feel that art is decorative. Artists like Ofili and Serrano make art to become closer to God. There are even buildings dedicated to the greatness of God-Chartres for example, a gothic cathedral in France.
Now, on the far end, at the end of chapter 2, the discussion comes around again to dead animals, bodily fluids and plastic surgery. General statements like the one by Danto leaves the definition of art open for interpretation. Stated in the book by the author, “In our time, at least since some of Duchamp’s work and Warhol’s Brillo Boxes, almost anything goes.”