Monday, August 26, 2013

M. C. Escher- Negative Positive Space-It's all an Illusion.

M. C. Escher
1. "Order is the repetition of units.  Chaos is multiplicity without rhythmn.
Question 1: What does Escher mean how repetition can create order?  Why would there not be rhythmn in chaos? 
"There has to be a certain enigma in it, which does not immediately catch your eye."

Question 2: An enigma can mean : a hidden meaning, something puzzling, inexplicable situation or person who is hard to figure out.   What kind of mystery and hidden meanings do you think are occurring in this images.  How is there a transition between negative and positive shapes? (the white shapes in the background could be considered negative space?

Question 3: Escher was compelled (forced) by what he called "a hopeless mania" to create pictures of objects that were both perfect and impossible but also scenes that were fantastic and believable.  What images seem "believable" in this picture and what images seem "fantastic"?
(hint: architecture, gravity, anti-gravity)
Question 4: Escher uses the theme of "metamorphosis" (a complete change of form-biology-a change in form from one stage to the next in the life of an organism-caterpillar -pupa-butterfly)
in many of his artworks.  Describe your impression of how the creatures change from the illusion of three dimensional forms to flat drawings? How many transformations are occurring in this drawing? What does the mirror form in the center create reflections and metamorphosis?

Question 5 : How does this drawing challenge our senses and our intellect?
(senses: sight, hearing, seeing, tasting, ...)
M.C. Escher  ( June 17, 1898-March 27, 1972) A Dutch graphic artists.  He is known for his detailed drawings, prints, and paintings.  His artwork focuses on impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture and tessellations (symetrical designs and jig-saw puzzle works). Eschers artistic expression was created from images  in his mind rather that directly from observations and travels.
Escher was a sickly child who did poorly in school but always excelled in drawing.  He briefly attended the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts.  His persistent skin infection caused him to fail classes so he decided to switch exclusively to decorative arts to focus on drawing and making woodcuts.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hair As An Art Form (Meret Oppenheim & Jane Castillo) Surrealism

Fur Lined Tea Cup l936 Meret Oppenheim
Hair Portrait- Meret Oppenheim
Meret Oppenheim Portrait
1913-1985 German born Swiss, Surrealist artist photographer.  Part of the Surrealist movement of the l920's founded by Andre Breton along with Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray. 
*Surrealism- deals with interpretation of dreams and dealing with symbolism of the subconscious.  The art created exists without intention of logical comprehensibility.
*The movement began primarily in Europe and centered in Paris.  It was influenced by psychoanalytical work of Freud and Jung.  There is also influence of the Symbolist movement of the late l9th century.
* Dadaism an art  movement occuring similtaneously dealt with similar ideas.  It focused on the conceptual approach to art.  The idea is more important than the visual art produced.  They were also responding to the changes of the early 20th century.

*Many of Oppenheims pieces consisted of everyday objects arranged to
to allude to female sexuality and feminine expolitation by the opposite sex.
Man Ray
Man Ray- Indestructible Object (l923) (l933)

Man Ray
Duchamp- Readymade Bicycle Wheel
Jane Castillo

Jane Castillo Hair Ball
Jane Castillo
Los Angeles based artist born to Columbian immigrants.  Her art is influenced by her culture and family history.  Castillo enjoys the exploration of materials and their identity.  Also the materials are presented in a new way.  One of the associations with Castillo's use of hair is influenced by her memories of her grandmother.  Clumps of hair can be associated with memories of loved ones.  Hair is also a symbolism of a feminist declaration.

Salvador Dail- Surrealist artist
Man Ray (Kitty)
Regarding Surrealism's basic characteristics of:
1. Interpretation of dreams
2. Focus of the subconscious and symbolism
3. intentional incomprehensibility and lack of logic
A. How can you describe Man Ray's photo as an example of Surrealism by using the three traits ?
B. How is hair and "feminism" and important element in this photo?
1896-1966 poet France
C. "The truth can only be seen when you close your eyes to reason and surrender yourself to dreams. " What does Breton mean by surrendering to dreams to find your personal truth? What kind of truths are ignored during someone's waking life?
Drawing with cross-hatching
close up 1
close up 2
close up 3
D.  What was your first impression of this cross hatching drawing? What kind of movement and sense of reality exist in the drawing for you? 

Friday, August 16, 2013

finger flutings by women cave artists
For thousands of years, these artworks have been credited as the genius of cave men.  Scientists believed these artistic visions were dreamed up and executed by male hands.  But after more than 25,000 years, the results of recent study have indicated prehistoric female artists also helped to created the famous "Spotted Horses" cave mural and various others.
"Most scientists" have long given up the idea that only male adults were active inside the caves.
"Finger flutings" drawn with fingers into soft clay in Gargas Cave in the French Pyrenees at Rouffignac in the Dordogne are examples of cave drawings created by women and children.  The application of the lines in terms of their distance and depth are indicators of women and children.
Line flutings are not as dramatic as paintings to our eyes.  But they are well worth studying in great detail because in some caves the same people made both painted images and the line flutings.  So when we know everything we can about flutings, we will also have learnt something about the cave artists.  And perhaps about the content of their "art" too--because the flutings, drawings and paintings may have arisen from the same social context and impulses.
The upper Paleolithic people love to stencil, paint and press their hands into the soft clay of the cave walls--as if to leave unique, indelible signs of their presence.  Some cave walls are literally covered with  hand prints, but hands also appear around more complicated painted images, such as those surrounding the spotted horses from the Pech Merle cave in south-western France.
How do we compare female and male hand prints? It has long been known that men's fingers (fourth digit) are usually longer and their index fingers (second digit), Women's second and fourth fingers are generlly equal in length.  However, while scientists have been assessing handprints of Europeans who descent from Upper Paleolithic, the size of the digits may not be a universal constant.  There is now evidence that the digit ratio varies among ethnic groups: Caucasians tend to have high second digit-fourth digit, while Black and East Asian people tend to have low second digit-fourth digit.  Also, the second-fourth digit difference may have genetic roots rather than being caused by testosterone in utero, as previously thought, so if it's going to work at all getting to the right ethnic group is of prime importance.
It is also important that the cave artists did not live in the caves.  They used the caves for drawing and storytelling.
-Are the drawings art for art sake, an attempt by Paleolithic people to reproduce the world they experienced?
-We can't reconstruct the past but with your prior knowledge or experience in drawing, what do you think would inspire these people to create drawings? What kind of agenda would women have different from their male counterparts?