05/02/17: This semester has flown by so quickly, and what a semester it has been for me, I think I really found a more complete artistic voice than I had previously. I know the faculty might balk at that statement and say otherwise, but it wasn't until the latter part of this semester both in Seminar and this class that I realized where I want to go, and at the same time where I was coming from. So I am going to post some images of my last works first and then talk about them in more detail below.
I started out with almost a sense of rage in me, I was angry with the country and the world, I was incensed that we as a nation could be so divided over politics, race, religion, and so many other things. And that was evident in my first set of works that I did exploring what our nation was becoming. I had started work on the abstract look at the electoral college and I realized that what I really wanted to do was speak about hope, I understood for the first time that I could talk about both the personal despair I felt about the country as well as the hope that I have for it and the world. So my work evolved into that, each of the pieces represents hope in different forms for me, the electoral college, that no matter how we vote we are still linked as one. The faded flags remind that the states are still one, the abstracted sunburst in the center the light that we can see at the end of a dark tunnel. The presidents represent the faded memories of our country and what each has stood for, but at the same time that we have all been united with our leaders, even if we don't always agree with them. Finally the flags on the bottom are international, representing the countries that have come together over the Syrian refugee crisis, while we can see the American flag is barely there, I do believe in the hope that so many countries have come together and helped in a dark time. I realized that my voice could be political and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. I do wish I had come to this realization much sooner so I could have done a much larger body of work, but I intend to keep going with it this summer and see where it takes me for the future. I learned so much about myself, and I couldn't have done it without this class and Matt constantly pushing me to try new things, and never allowing me to rest on what I had done in the past.
02/06/17: So onto todays intro crit session. I felt it actually went pretty good, sorry if I was a bit out of it, its all the medication that I am on currently. I really appreciated all the feedback that I got today, I agree that there is a disconnect on the gate piece, I think its because its so overt, but about the past, I need the overtness to shine more in the present tense and then we can go from there. I am starting on pulling some more resources tonight and will work on getting them published either later tonight or tomorrow.
02/06/17: Ok, so I am going to first post a series of images of what I was prototyping through in these first couple of weeks in class, they are all pretty different but I was trying to find some direction in my plan.
I really want to focus on social and political art this semester, works that will hopefully get us talking, especially in what is already proving to be a pretty frightening time.
Ok, lets start this off with inspirations. First off is the graphic novelist/biographer Art Spiegelman, known as an underground comic artist, he rocketed to fame with his Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel Maus which was a biographical telling of the Holocaust through interviews with his elderly father who was a survivor. It is told in a post modernist style with use of heavy line and often minimalist expressions on his characters, Jews portrayed as mice and Germans as cats. It is a story that tells not only of a survivors struggles, but also that of a son who sees some less than comfortable similarities between his father and the Germans that at one time tried to eliminate him. Spiegelman's work has always been an inspiration for its in your face graphic style, pulling no punches, yet at the same time evoking wonderful senses of emotions.
John Hartfield was a German artist associated with the late Dada movement, his seminal works were collages that ended up not only being prophetic but protest in nature. His central theme was about the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and how they were being left unchecked by the rest of the world. He would spend the better part of 10 years on the run from the Nazi regime while at the same time continuing to create subversive art that he hoped would lead to the saving of his beloved homeland. I find Hartfield inspiring because of his extremely dark sense of humor that coupled with his collage work on one level seems to entertain, yet on a deeper one horrifies. I feel that collage can be a form of drawing, instead of making line and structure with a pen one is doing it with image instead. Is that not a form of drawing?