Monday, May 11, 2015

Project 3!

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Art Events: SMP Presentations

Earlier this week I was able to go to two SMP presentations for my art events for this semester. The first was a presentation by Amber Fryza on the sexual objectification of women. During her research she examined images that sexually objectify women. In these images, women are often in submissive poses and are looking directly at the viewer. This inviting eye contact draws in the viewer and almost gives the viewer permission to look at her.
            Amber made a series of three images that is currently hanging in the gallery. In these pieces she blocked out parts of the images with pieces of metal so that when looking at the images the viewer cannot see her entire body all at once. This draws the viewer eye all over the piece. She decided to have the metal pieces sticking out of the image so that the viewer can still look behind it. This is interesting because even though the viewer can still see those parts of the image when they stand closely, there is no way for the viewer to see her entire body all at the same time. By doing this Amber is in control of what the viewer is able to see. This is in direct contrast with the more pornographic images that she showed during her presentation. In those images, women were laying out for anyone to see. In her pieces, she holds the power because she is in control of what the viewer sees.
            Eye contact plays a major role in the work Amber created for her project. She views the direct eye contact seen in the pornographic images as a way for the viewer to see into the soul of them women who are photographed. In all of her pieces she looks away from the camera, as to not let the viewer have access to her. Although I agree that eye contact is an important part of reading someone or figuring out more about them, I believe that she could have created some successful non-objectifying images while looking into the camera. I think that sexual objectification is not dependent on eye contact and is more reliant on the overall body language of the person in the image. Sometimes by not looking at the camera, it seemed as though she was giving anyone permission to look at the image of her because she was looking away and would not be able to see those around her who might be looking.
            Overall, I think Amber was successful in her project and had some interesting ideas. She had an in depth understanding of range of artists and how women are objectified in images. I liked how she used a range of mediums and that she was courageous enough to take images of herself for her pieces.

            I was also able to attend Olivia Garahan’s SMP presentation, “everything is exactly the same.” Her work commented on the beauty of the world by using photographs as well an installation. I think her work appealed to me because, like her, I appreciated the “little beauty in the details of life,” as I think most artists do. A lot of her work focused on small details of nature. In one of her pieces, she took photos outside and then added to them with thread. Not only does this add a third dimension to a flat photograph, but it allowed her to make more fantastical images. For instance, on a photograph of a tree, she added extra braches using colored thread. In a way, it was like photo editing without a computer. She was able to add parts to the image that did not exist and changed how the viewer looks at nature.
            A large theme in her work was nature vs. artificial. She believes that all things (including things like technology) are natural because God created humans and and we created the objects in the world around us. Although I do not exactly agree with this idea, it is interesting to think about what we consider natural and what we consider artificial.
            In her installation, she created a scene of stars using projectors. The installation included motion sensors so the stars would move depending on the movements of the viewer. Making her installation interactive suggests that the viewer is a part of nature and is able to influence the nature around them. I wish that I were able to see the installation in person.

            Overall, in her work she chose to focus on small parts of the world around her: such as a series of stars, a small patch of grass or a piece of granite. In her work, she chose small pieces of the world and manipulated those images in her own way, portraying them in a way that cannot be found in the natural world. I think her projects make the viewer see the environment in a new way and makes people pay attention to the small details in the world around them.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Artist Post: Raphael Rosendaal

I first became interested in Raphael Rosendaal’s work when I came upon his piece jello time several weeks ago. I think jello time struck me because it was unlike anything I had seen before. He took jello, a simple and fairly commonplace object, and made it so we can interact with it in a new way. Jello time is visually appealing, featuring bold colors and smooth lines. The viewer is able to interact with the jello and make it move with his/her mouse. There is also sound that accompanies the movement. If you were to giggle a plate of jello in real life there would be little to no sound, but Rosendaal created his own sound to represent the movement of jello. Being able to interact with the piece made jello time especially interesting for me. I think it is the ability to interact with the jello that keeps me coming back to his this site. This site also has a comical element to it, or a sort of randomness. It makes me wonder how and why he chose jello. Somehow it just works.

A major theme of Rosendaal’s work is timelessness. For example, in his piece paper toilet, the roll can be continuously unraveled and is also simultaneously refilled. In big long now, doors can be forever opened and closed.

The websites created by Rosendaal represent a new phase in art that has become possible by technology and the internet. His art expands beyond standing in a museum and looking at a painting on a wall. The viewer can experience his work through his/her own computer screen, phone, iPad, etc. These screens are his canvas and he does a lot of unique things with this space.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Blog Commentary

Krystal South’s blog Identify Yourself was an interesting read. She covers a wide range of topics concerning the Internet, but the part I found most interesting was her description of the creation of our “internet selves.” She describes how the Internet is not only a part of our human identities, but also allows us to make new identities that live in the space online.

When I read her description of internet selves, I began to think about how our current generation spends an enormous amount of time creating virtual selves via social media. “We feel phantom vibrations in our pockets or as we drift off to sleep at night. We hear an alert and we all check our devices to see who got the message. The sounds are ubiquitous and we allow them to interrupt our most private moments. We are always connected, always listening, always watching for the next piece of feedback that brings us back into the loop of our virtual selves.” This quote perfectly describes how our generation is constantly tuned in to social media. But by being attached to our phones and computers we are linking ourselves with our internet selves. We depend on this constant connection with the internet to control how our internet selves interact with everyone else. Our human and internet selves are very distinct but also linked. It is almost as if our internet and real selves are in competition: our internet selves invade our real selves with constant notifications and updates, but our real life commitments keep us from our internet selves.

In a way, our internet selves have a life of their own.  South writes, “we project our Internet presence outward, with no specific relationship to the activity we are physically engaged in.” As we go about our days, our internet selves continue to interact with the rest of the internet and are available for anyone else online to see. In a sense, there is no longer a separation between our real lives and life online, they are both alive and constantly interacting with each other. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Vector Artist: Alexey Ogolushevich

Alexey Oglushevich is a vector artist from Magnitogorsk, Russia. He initially studied to be a metal worker, but as the technological age grew he became interested in computer graphics. Like many digital media artists, he is self-taught. He views vector graphics as a hobby and he works to develop his own unique style, not drawing influence from any other artist in particular.

To complete his works he begins by sketching out his ideas and also taking photos. He then starts creating vectors in Adobe Illustrator, Xara and CorelDraw. He usually works between 60-90 hours for each piece.

Below are some of Oglushevich's pieces. He primarily creates still life images as well as portraits of women. Unlike some vector artists who use vectors to create fantastical works, he creates only realistic images. He often plays with light and reflections in his images. I think it is his mastery of the depiction of light and reflection that makes his images look realistic.

One of my favorite pieces of his is the second image below, entitled Glass. My eye begins at the upside-down glass and then continues around the image counterclockwise. After looking at each of the glasses my eyes look at the reflection of the glasses on the glass table. Then the reflections carry my eyes back up to the glasses. I like this piece because although it is very simple, it is intriguing to look at because each glass has its own unique shape. There is no bright color that distracts the viewer. Hence, the overall grey tone allows the viewer to focus on the light in the image and how it interacts with each glass. Ogolushevich uses ordinary images, like glasses, but portrays them in an new way, displaying the beauty in the object. I think by creating this image with vectors instead of only taking photographs allows Ogolushevich to "create glossy" finish look to his art. Vector art also allows him to emphasize certain features, like light, that he would not necessarily be able to photograph in this way.

A major theme in his work is beauty, which is especially apparent in his portraits of women. This can be seen in the image below, Portrait with a Rose, which won the Grand Prize at the CorelDraw International Design Contest in 2009. I think Ogolushevich aims to portray the beauty in the world around him. Roses represent love and beauty and in this photo the rose seems to also represent femininity and sexuality. The woman and the flower complement each other and your eye switches back and forth from the woman's face and the flower. Ogolushevich also uses light very well in this piece by very realistically depicting the light hitting her face and the sheet.  

Below are some additional images of Ogolushevich's work. He commonly portrays flowers as well as animals. The last piece, Water, is also interesting to be because for my vector project I plan to use an image that has the ocean in the background. I hope to be able to blend a variety of colors together to make a realistic ocean as he did in his piece.