guys, you know how everything we see of Roman or Greek culture is all about the awesome stuff guys did, and there is very little room for powerful women? Not every culture of the time was like that, and we have proof! And when art and archaeology meet, you know it time time to learn some cool stuff.
This is a sarcophagus of a marries couple, dated to the 6th century BC. This was found in a tomb along with several others in Cerveteri; the sarcophagus was designed to resemble the pose people would take during a symposium (or discussion after dinner), and they would be arranged in a tomb as though the people were having a conversation. It’s made out of terra cotta, it is relatively detailed, and it is currently housed in the Louvre.
But okay, here is the cool thing: see how the woman’s hands are positioned? That is what is called “talking with our hands” (or gesticulating if you want to be technical), as so many of us do. The reason that’s so unique is because it shows that the woman is not there simply as her husband’s property/slave/what-have-you, she is involved in the discussion too. This is NOT a common thing for this time, as both Greek and Roman discussions, sporting events, and governmental proceedings would have been almost exclusively male events.
During their time, the Etruscans were known for their metal work and murals, but the best examples of their culture that still remain are their funerary art - from small greek-style vases to these life-size terra cottas. The Etrsucans were absorbed by Roman cultures by about 100 BC.
You can’t talk about BioArt without talking about Stelarc. He is basically the go-to if you’re looking for an artist who uses his body in new and somewhat insane ways. He has been suspended by fishhooks and has performed with robots. His most famous piece is “Ear on Arm”, a surgically inserted ear that is, literally, on his arm. Not, like, stuck on, but really in there, under the skin.
^That’s not photoshop, that is HIS ARM.
In his original plan, Stelarc wanted the ear to be a third ear on his head, but that was much too ambitious. Given the problems he’s had growing it on his arm, I hope he’s glad he went with that plan instead.
In the dream plan, the ear would be grown of his own tissues, and function as a speaker, so that people could go online and type dialogue for it, and he would hear it out of the ear in his arm. I can’t imagine how his wife would have handled that at 3AM, but we may find out in the future - Stelarc hasn’t given up on that plan yet, it’s just not currently connected because of so many complications.
To get the ear to the stage it is currently in has taken 12 years. Stelarc had to use larger and larger “scaffolds” under his skin to stretch it out enough. If you’re not too squeamish, you can find videos of one of the surgical procedures, but I couldn’t make it through.
So, basically, this is what I think of now anytime someone talks about body modification, and it’s this combination of beautiful and disgusting that really draws me to BioArt as a whole.
BIOART! Be excited about it people, it is a newly developing part of the arts world. The above video was made by one of the people I admire most, Dr. Jennifer Willet. Watch it when you have 15 minutes, because it is really cool. Basically, she took a group of artists, students, and scientists to go create some amazing things in the wilderness.
Willet’s particular brand of BioArt is about connecting the sciences, art, and nature together, and to use all 3 in her projects. She also likes doing things in laboratories you’re not supposed to do (like climbing into a sterile hood) to open discussions about how scientists feel about their space, how to contaminate or undermine it, and how to get scientists to welcome this kind of artist invasion.
BioArt uses life to make art, including bacteria, yeast, plant life, animal tissue, humans, and everything else in between. The best thing about BioArt is that you have done it before, because ANYTHING that involves life can be counted as BioArt. So if you’ve cooked, you could argue that you’ve made BioArt.
Also, I am totally in love with this as a subject, so expect some BioArt entries in the future.
So, who has two thumbs and completely slacked on this blog? THIS GAL. But, I used those two thumbs to get As in my classes and finally earn my degree, so I think it was a good choice.
I’m going to do my best to type up some longer-style posts over the next little while, but for today, here’s info on the doodle Google did for Keith Haring, and you can see my thoughts on him in this post.
Hello, Jessica here and yes I realize 2 things: 1. It’s been a long time since anything has been posted, Erica and I apologize as school has kidnapped us and made us do horrible things. Horrible. Things.
2. And yes, it’s quite a jump to go to a contemporary artist. But in case you have not noticed a trend, I tend to cover more contemporary individuals (not all the time, don’t throw things at the computer) and Erica tends to cover more of the classics. So, I am writing this post, hence contemporary. Moving on.
Tara Donovan is an American artist who grew up in New York. She does site-specific sculpture/installations. Now what makes her amazing is the fact that she uses everyday objects and then transforms them into giant and beautiful installation pieces. Her work is extremely organic and resembles a living organisms. She’s quoted to saying that she doesn’t intend to create objects that are from nature, but she is more interested in how things grow and evolve like they do in nature. Along with these organism-like pieces she also often plays with lighting and uses objects that are translucent so light can pass through or she’ll go in the opposite direction by using dark and heavy materials. Let’s move on to the examples:
Tara Donovan, Untitled (Styrofoam Cups), 2008
This is a prime example of her work. First because she uses styrofoam cups, something that you often see around and use at picnics, but instead of sipping kool-aid she’s creating giant organism that could almost be moving and growing as I type this. Second reason why this is a great example, is her use of light. She uses light to enhance her works by adding it in certain areas, it adds contrast and depth perfectly without being too much or distracting.
Tara Donovan, Untitled (Mylar)
Here she used Mylar and created more dense object. She created a world within a world.
Tara Donovan, Untitled (Buttons), 2009.
She’s amazing. Please do not hesitate to look more into her art practices and pieces, it’ll be worth your while.
You have probably seen Serrano’s work if you either watch The Colbert Report (he was featured on an episode with Steve Martin about art), listen to Metallica (he did two of their covers), or follow criticism in the art world (we’ll get to that in a second). Basically, Serrano is most famous for his beautiful photographs that involve bodily fluids that most people find gross. For example:
1 - Piss Christ. This is a photograph of a crucifix immersed in the artist’s urine. That description is kinda gross, and REALLY offensive to many people, some of whom sent death threats to Serrano, and several who tried to destroy the print. But without the description and title, would you find it to be beautiful? This April, a print of this was destroyed by protestors, which I find a little funny for two reasons: it is just a print, it’s not as though he can not make another; he made this in 1987, it’s time to get over it.
2 - Klansman (Great Titan of the Invisible Empire IV). This is from a series of photographs of klansmen in their full uniforms. Serrano is Hispanic and from new York City, so you can imagine how he feels about the KKK, and how most of the world see these people. But these portraits are beautiful and striking, and they make me want to know who these men are and why they agreed to pose for these photographs. Serrano has also done portrait series of nomadic people, church officials, dead bodies, and average American citizens.
3 -Rabbit Shit. That’s really what this print is called, and it’s really what the subject is. This series is sometimes called “the Shit Show”, and it is a series of extreme closeups of all kinds of poop, from rabbits’ to chickens’ to Serrano’s mother’s. Some of them look like poop, others looks like barren landscapes. Serrano says that he liked to use photography to investigate things he doesn’t yet know a lot about. After making 67 huge prints of poop on this scale, I’d say he’s an expert.
If you’ve ever worked in a darkroom, or ever have the chance to, I hope you try your hand at photograms. A photogram is not quite like a photograph, but it does use photo paper. You place the paper under an enlarger like you normally would, but you don’t use a negative or anything like that - you just place the object(s) you want right on top of the paper. As the light from the enlarger shines down keep in mind that any solid area will be white, any empty space will be black, and translucent things will be different shades of gray.
Man Ray, Dali, and Picasso all used photograms that suited their styles. Man Ray called his “rayographs”, and they are astounding:
The great thing about photograms is how quick they are to make, because you don’t have to worry about film or focusing or timing as much as you do with a photograph from a negative. Check out this photogram made from a magazine collage:
This is the gallery in my area that we frequent. Many of my professors are featured in the show, and it is really diverse show (photography, printmaking, sculpture, video, mixed media, painting, you name it). It’s one of the largest Biennials the AGW has had, and the show looks beautiful. The curator, Ian Baxter&, gave a tour around and let each artist talk briefly about their work, which is always much better than just reading what you can on the info card. It also made them very approachable to ask questions about their concepts and techniques.
If you like metalwork, may I direct you to Zeke Moores? He makes incredibly detailed replicas of everyday items in a variety of metals, from bronze dumpsters to aluminum coolers (the cooler column was featured in this show).
If you prefer wood sculptures, block printing, or intricate drawings, Victor Romao is your guy. His sculpture of the Curator, Ian Baxter&, was featured in the show tonight. I had never seen Baxter& before, but I recognized him instantly after seeing this.
Anyway, the link has a full list of participants you should check out in your own time, especially if you’re in Ontario.
…updates will be sporadic and/or short for a few weeks. Going back to school is awesome because it means I get to learn about more artists and create some works of my own, but it also (sadly) means that I am busy writing papers for grades instead of tumblr entries for fun. So be prepared for more quick links to cool stuff instead of long entries. Like this link, for example.