artists: week 9

April 8th, 2010

The Halcyon Hours

The Halcyon Hours is a flash site that lets the view take a glimpse into the different hours of the day. Its interesting in that its an interactive experience and shows a deep application of the animations that we’ve been working on in class. The user goes to the site and can pull a slider through a timeline of the hours of the day, then click on them to view a flash animation of a person or group of people during that time of day.

I liked the site but it seems a little shallow compared to what we’ve been exploring thus far. Its technically impressive but only one piece of art. the subject matter is also pretty boring. I enjoyed 7 am but all of the other times seemed arbitrary and a little boring. I was left wondering why the rest of the hours of the day were left out (the site only included 7:00, 9:00, 2:00, 4:00, 8:00, and 10:00).
•Matthew Mahon

Matthew Mahon is a photographer. That’s the tagline for his website, which is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen, but more on that later. His photography is kind of a self portrait, but it weirds me out to consider it that narrow. He has a lot of pictures and doodles that are all laid out on a massive “plane”. Some of them are related to one another, while others seem a bit random, but interspersed in the mass of them are little humorous snippets of his life, like fake id cards, or documents. They are quite humorous.
I enjoyed Mahon’s website a lot. I think it was the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and its really fun to navigate. I think that’s what a website should do, it should make the user WANT to explore it. It took a while to load but after it did I found myself jumping from picture to picture. It was really fun. As for his photography, I thought it also didn’t take itself too seriously, and for that reason it succeeded. It was really funny, but let the viewer take a look at his life. It matched the ease of the website and became of my bookmarks!

wow, this was a very interesting website. Im starting to think the theme of this weeks artists was “interactive” or “flash sites”? regardless, this site is a giant picture of a field with candles in it. There is piano playing in the background and as you mouse over the field, a firefly follows you. When you click on a candle a note plays.
I love this type of art, its very fun and interactive. Its also very serene and laid back. It doesn’t take itself too seriously like Mahon’s site (and unlike the halcyon hours). Its playing in my background right now. I might just keep it on loop for the rest of the day~

April 6th, 2010


April 5th, 2010

Artists week ate

April 5th, 2010

• Bill Viola

Bill viola primarily deals with video and sound installations. His subject matter varies but usually involves humans and water (humans submerged in water, walking through a veil of water, a water faucet, humans holding water etc…). There are also many nods to religion and death. His scenes are very dark at times and slow, sometimes peaceful. All of this complements the water nicely and gets the viewer thinking and drawing parallels between the two.
I enjoyed Bill viola, although his style got a little redundant after a while. That doesn’t sound good, and its not what I mean but I cant find the word at the moment. It is very powerful imagery though and, although I just viewed it on youtube and through streaming videos, I can only imagine what it would be like to be engulfed by it in a gallery.

Paul Pfeiffer

Paul pheiffer is a video artist that I had trouble getting information on to be quite honest, but when I finally found a video of his on youtube, I was astounded. He will take short video clips, and through photoshop edit them (frame by frame) to be extraordinary. For instance, there is one of a boxing match and he takes out the fighters completely, so all you see is the crowd cheering and the ropes bouncing around as if two invisible people are fighting.
I ended up enjoying his work. At first it seemed kind of rudimentary, like bland special effects, but when I saw an interview of him, he described the focus and the trance he slips into when working on such minute details, and it became something that I saw in his pieces and could relate to. I still don’t understand why he chooses sports scenes to edit commonly, but after viewing his works more and more you begin to see the process and think about the technical aspects A LOT.

Stephen Vitiello

Stephen Vitiello is also a sound/video artist. He mixes his own music/sounds and pair them with photos as well as incorporates them into installation, usually involving nature on a small or large scale. His work at the world trade centers before the September eleventh attacks generated some publicity and he now works at VCU.
Vitello wasn’t my favorite artist this week. While I enjoy his sounds playing in the background while im writing this, they feel a lot like a meditation tape you buy to play the sounds of waves crashing to help you fall asleep. This is another example of the internet’s limitations that are imposed upon us because I cant accurately judge his work if im not physically present infront of it in a gallery or an installation. Tldr; I enjoyed it, but not as much would I have if I experienced it firsthand.

artists week Seven

March 26th, 2010

• Jeff Baij

Jeff Baij is an artist that deals with photography and digital imagery as a means of expression. His website, at first seems really disjointed or amateur but it doesn’t take long for the viewer to realize this is the intention. It ties all of his pieces together. Whether it’s a group of 1, 10, or 1000 kb black lines or a generator that puts different jpegs together to for monstrous new life forms, his site is highly entertaining and full of surprises.

I really enjoyed his works because they don’t take themselves too seriously, although they could. For instance, one collection is just the words “I am typing on a computer different from the one you are on now” while another collection is a single gif file of a view of a board meeting. All in all, his pieces make you think and have depth to them but also function on the “messing around and getting distracted by funny images” level as well.

• Matthew Ritchie

Matthew Ritchie is an artist that combines different mediums in his art. While most of his pieces resemble installations, others I would consider are just really large pieces that span entire rooms, and others still are sculpture. Most all of his pieces feature vivid colors that inspire one another and scribbly, sometimes bubbly lines. Sometimes his installations feature videos and music.
I don’t usually like art this far on the abstract side of the spectrum, but Ritchie’s art began to grow on me with every piece I explored and stared longer at. While at first his lines seem very schizophrenic and maybe that nothing ties them together, they begin to fuse with the colors. Add the sometimes present music in his installations and the result is a serene scene that seems to envelope the viewer just like how it surrounds him/her on all sides of the room

• John Michael Boling

John Boling is a digital artist that deals mostly in videos or interactive pieces. A couple of his more interesting works were links to webpages that contained multiple YouTube videos meant to be played simultaneously. This adds some level of intersection for the viewer in that they can select the start play time of each component of the piece. He also has links to websites about or involving the internet, a common theme in his artwork.

This is another artist that kind of makes me wonder what direction the art world is heading now in days. A lot of his pieces look like they took 5 minutes to create, or seem to borrow from other websites/people entirely (like his 4 weddings and a funeral, or his link to the hot or not website). Then I wonder if her made all these videos/websites himself. Some of them are entirely simple and astound me because I don’t understand how you can make a living off this, others captivate me, like his rgb chord, which is playing on repeat in the background as I type this. Quite the conundrum.

self portrait

March 24th, 2010

Artists week 6

March 14th, 2010

Robin Rhodes

Robin Rhodes is a South African artist and photographer. His works are very abstract but all seem to fall under the urban blight/what is art? umbrella. He alters his photography and layers people and models over stone walls, rust and chalk lines (usually in monochrome colors, or black and white) to create his compositions. He also does video animations using similar techniques, and many of his still photography are frames from his films.
I actually enjoyed Rhodes, which surprised me a little. Modern abstract and interpretative art is kind of a turn off for me, but he kept his pieces interesting and got me thinking about what his message was. Also, he utilized repetition and rhythm really well in some of his pieces, which is a huge artistic turn on for me. I was genuinely befuddled (in a good way) by his message and subjects.
Duane Michals

Duane Michals is an American photographer. He is most known for his black and white photographs of people which he usually accentuated with text in the frame, describing his intention or what is happening, or just to help aid the viewer in deciphering what the piece is about. He also does other works, photographs of nature and still lifes (some times in color) as well as having been commissioned by various organizations.
I also liked Duane Michals’ style. To me, he captures the places or ideas in life which should be examined further. He also uses opacity wisely, something that I hardly see done right now in days. His photo sets show ambitions and our desires that we done wear on our sleeves (like “The young girls dream”) and can be humorous too (The vanity of animals”). This may be weird, but I have the urge to find him on facebook and go through his photo albums.

Alec Soth

This artist is a photographer that I didn’t really “get” but more on that later. His photo sets range from a typical day at a fashion show, to what looks like an artists house that is about to be vacated to photos from around the Niagara falls area. He also has a collections of portraits. He uses high contrast colors.
I didn’t really enjoy Alec Soth’s photography as much as the other artists this week. All in all, his collections feel like a really artsy vacation. I know a number of people who have cameras attached to their hips to capture those artsy moments we pass by every day, which is fine, do what you want, but, should they get published too? I felt his portraits collection was a bit forced, but all things considered, his pieces were technically impressive and their subjects were interesting, albeit a little eclectic to be grouped together.

Artists week 5

February 27th, 2010

• Anne Massoni

Anne Massoni is all about nostalgia in my opinion. Common themes in her work (mostly photography) include memory and fairytales. These memories can either be collective (such as stories or fairytales) or held by a single person. She also plays with the idea of fiction versus nonfiction. There is a sense of fantasy to all of her work even through it is clearly grounded in reality
I have mixed feeling about Massoni’s work. I like the ideas she throws around and the concepts she explores. She deals with nostalgia but not in the way im used to thinking of it. Instead of being purely fantasy, she makes the viewer question what is happening in her pieces (such as her fairytale princess skirt series). Her photos are about the hazy border between reality and fiction but also are uniquely grounded in reality, visually speaking. Even through there are clearly ordinary people in her photos, they all look as if they have become engulfed in their memories, or stories due to their actions or expressions. I particularly liked her princess skirt series. She presents child-like memories in an adult context.

• Jordan Tate

Jordan Tate is a contemporary photographer. His works range in style and message but all have that “new pop art” feel. Some of his collections don’t seem to have a theme to me (or at least I cant seem to find one), while others have a clear message (like his collection of photos “blur”). He also works with Photoshop and multimedia, gif and moving images in his pieces
I like some of his collection more than others. A couple of his sets I felt, conformed to the “200X” stereotype of interesting piece, dull subject matter. Following this trend, I couldn’t find clear messages in some of his collections as a whole, although I did enjoy pieces individually. He was successful, however in making me think about his images, especially in his set called “Blur” which explored how photographs are related to our own sense of vision. I also enjoyed Framework and On this Sit (which was quite comical)

• Belinda Haikes

Belinda Haikes is pretty eclectic when it comes to her art. She does a lot of stuff photography, multimedia, drawings and sketches, all that jazz. Her collection “the 20 friends I wish I had” combines relief painting and profiles with facebook, something I fund very interesting. Her sketches are kinda creepy at times, but always interesting. And I particularly liked her “misplaced landscapes” collection as well, which took old, not-amazing flikr photos and made them into art.
I enjoyed the variety of ms Haikes work. Her sketches were kinda creepy at times (like doll body parts, what?) but would 180 and turn colorful and upbeat. Her “misplaced landscapes” collection really caught my attention. The fact that the photos were blurry and not “check plus awesome” technically speaking, resonated with the fact that they had pieces missing, and negative space created from tress which may or may not have been there in the first place. I really enjoyed the themes she played with.

class trip to japan!

February 23rd, 2010

Artists week 4

February 15th, 2010

John Baldessari

John Baldessari does a lot of things but I’m mostly going to focus on his visual, 2 dimensional art in my analysis. For the most part his pieces consist of images where components have been removed (usually body parts) and replaces with washes of bright color. It reminds the viewer of the 1980s (as it should, he started working back then). It has a very pop art feel to it.

I enjoy Baldessari’s work for the most part. It’s simple but gets you thinking, “What belongs here?” My brain began to fill in the missing parts of the people and give them personalities based on the colors used to mask them. The bright contrast makes the images really grab your attention and he only ever leaves just enough information in his pieces for the viewer to figure out basic features, such as gender, and maybe ethnicity.

Vito Acconci

Vito Acconci is an architect and installation artist. His structural pieces can be dynamic and fresh, while his installations and artwork is very grotesque and borderline insane. His architecture is really art, in itself though, giving the viewer the sense that they have been transported into the future. It frequently utilizes curves and 3 dimensional geometric shapes as opposed to traditional, parallel and perpendicular lines to create space.

I’d have to say I’m a bigger fan of Acconci’s architecture than I am of his installation and imagery. Although it is interesting and thought provoking I found most of his overly dramatic and technically bland (although I did enjoy his piece “Crash”, 1985 as it depicted the moment before a car collision, which I thought was interesting, and kept fun by the slightly comical expressions of the figures and their juxtaposition next to each other). I’d say I enjoy his architecture a lot because of its “freshness” you don’t see much else like it and it sometimes looks more like a sculpture garden than any functional structure.

Nina Sobell and Emily Hartzell

Nina Sobell and Emily Hartzell are two very diverse artists; both have their fingers in a couple of different pies ranging from sculpture, to printmaking, to book illustration, to multimedia art. The later, however is the one that brings the two together. Together they have helped to create systems that allow the creation of art between people instantly and electronically. Their diverse artistic backgrounds and experience with video art are evident in their projects.

I have seen a number of projects like these (their program, Park Bench, to be specific, which allows users to collaborate electronically to create art between each other) and I have to say I’m happy that this is a result of our age of technology. What else better exemplifies “art in the age of digital reproduction”? I’m also always happy to see a practical and accessible application of art and media. Their incorporation of digital media into installations and tangible programs is just another way art is evolving in our generation.