Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Canonical Comic

          You have no control of the world of art that you have inherited but you do have a say about how you interpret works of art and relate to them.  There is a list of works of art recognized as art.  Although inclusion upon this list depends on the agenda of whom you ask why not develop your own criteria for what is art. The list is called the Canon of Art. 

          The Canon can be thought of as a barometer or measuring device. Think about what kind of criteria you would include and why certain pieces of art should or should not be considered "art". What makes a work of art good? How does it affect you? Does it move your friends in the same or in a different manner? 

          For your final project of the semester you are going to be appropriating from the Canonical underpinnings of our text combined with the works of art you brought into class presentations and the slides shown in class. Lift pieces of art out of the original context and create a comic or sequencial narrative about three scenes in your life. They can be from the past, present or your Nostradamus future. Include a few paragraphs explaining the meaning behind your composition. 

          How does giving a slice of art a new context alter the meaning? Bonus points if you can use the art in unexpected ways...  See if you can decipher the recontextualized and altered images from above. For example, did you notice Van Gogh's Sunflower is reshapened to create the Friends coffee shop floorboards? Definitely cool. Also Hokusai's Wave is turned upside down and made into a windy sky while Botticelli's Seashell, from Birth of Venus, was refashioned into weights for athletic training. Thats some impressively furtive appropriation.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Birth of Quinnipiac

The outstanding work of 15 students and my mother, who just happened to be passing through town. Guess which one is Paddy's rectangle? Really, AR101, ya'll did a fantastic job. Your individual interpretations blend exciting... Botticelli would be thrilled.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Principles of Art & the Barococo...

Here is a diagram you can download and use as a worksheet to practice integrating the Principles of Art with the Baroque and Rococo period. Remember to think through how Baroque and Rococo artists each used the Principles of Art differently to reflect the culture of their time as well as often the agenda of those commissioning the art.

On the right are some questions to further deepen your mastery of the material before the exam. At this point you want to be asking yourself....

 "How are the Principles organizing what I am looking at?" 

You could be observing a building, a candy wrapper, perhaps a tree or the flight path of a bird. The Principles are in effect be it by human hand or nature. There is also some key terms parceled out from the Baroque and Rococo lecture to help identify some of the impetus behind many works of art of the time period. Enjoy...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Medici & How To Draw The Renaissance

Here are several fine student examples of drawings completed to help focus the review for the Renaissance exam. Notice how the images are not titled but further cultural and connotative references are pointed out with notations. Combining these two disciplines: first drawing your own version of the compositions and secondly labeling their connection to their time helps adhere the image and their meanings to your memory. Check 'em out...

We moved quickly towards the end of class last week but we should not short change the economical aspect of the Renaissance. Especially the archetypal family who helped set the patronage tone. The Medici were the main financiers of the Renaissance. The impact they held emanated from their establishment as the most powerful banking and political family in Italy, a position they rooted for generations. Ambitious, cunning intellectuals, they were also obsessed with their public image and used their patronage of art and architecture to convey a complex, idealized, yet careful image of themselves and by extension their home city. Think Kennedy, the closest American equivalent of self image wrapped up into national image. The Medici tradition helped plant this model.

One of the major themes the Medici looked to convey was a blend of ancient Greek and Roman ideas within a Catholic narrative. Despite advancements in science and engineering, the mix of Humanism, spirituality and earthly power was seen by some as lofty and by others as controversial and decadent and eventually proved unstable. However the story of Renaissance ideas can be interpreted in the artists the Medici financed such as Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Donatello and Botticelli.

Peep the movie below for a full disclosure...

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Visual Elements

To comprehend the Visual Elements of Art, get hungry... think: Sandwich of Composition.

We use the Visual Elements to build an appetizing composition. The Visual Elements are the same for drawing, painting, sculpture and architecture.

Here is a summary I distilled from the Seven Visual Elements lecture in class. Sometimes a playful mnemonic device helps to encode lists into memory.

Try "ShaC TeLLS Time"

Bon Appetite!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Renaissance: a Fresh Take

          Hello Art Historians... To follow up on our journey into the Renaissance, here are three videos which complement our discussions in class. With each video I am giving you questions to highlight the area where we are deepening our investigation. Feel free to post your own questions or any "ah-ha moments" in the comments section so I can help clarify or contribute to your interests as they root.

First off, take a look at the video on Botticelli's Birth of Venus and think about how Botticelli was weaving ancient Greek themes with the Christian narrative. Keep in mind how we have focused on the way cultures represent Gender Roles, as well as how particular figures seem to reemerge throughout history. Recall the Prehistoric Venus of Willendorf, the Ancient Assyrian representation of Ishtar, or the Egyptian evolution seen in the contrasting sculptures of Hatshepsut and Nefertiti.

In particular here: Think about how Botticelli's Venus suggests some aspects of the Greek goddess Athena as well as a Christian interpretation of Mary Magdalene...

  Botticelli's Birth of Venus: Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, 1483-85, tempera on panel, 68 x 109 5/8" (172.5 x 278.5 cm), Uffizi, Florence Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris & Dr. Steven Zucker

          As you peek the next video, write down each Element of Art you hear described. Ask yourself: How did Masaccio use each of the Elements of Art we studied to convey the narrative? For instance, Masaccio uses light in a realistic manner to emphasize the human qualities of Christ and the apostles rather than their symbolic roles. How are the other elements -- Shape, Color, Space, Line, Time and Weight -- employed?

Brunelleschi & Ghiberti, The Sacrifice of Isaac: Brunelleschi & Ghiberti, Sacrifice of Isaac, competition panels for the second set of bronze doors for the Florence Baptistery, 1401-2 Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris
_       Competition for patronage could be cut-throat during the 1500's. Winning a commission could make or break your studio. As you watch the video about the competition between Filippo Brunelleschi & Lorenzo Ghilberti in 1401 to win the Baptistery doors payroll, think back to our discussion in class.

          Several of you pointed out that in the depiction of the Sacrifice of Isaac one artist takes a darker point of view while the other composition appears more optimistic. This was a wonderful observation that is seldom spoken about. If you were one of the judges, how might the point of view have swayed your vote? Think about why you feel the way you do towards each piece. Why do you gravitate toward one composition over the other? Articulate the reasons you feel the way you do by pointing out the particular attributes of each piece that contribute to your reaction.

          Brunelleschi & Ghiberti, The Sacrifice of Isaac: competition panels for the doors for the Florence Baptistery, 1401-2 

The final video is about Brunelleschi's design of Florentine Dome atop Santa Maria del Fiore. The two historians give a solid portrayal of how Brunelleschi constructed the Dome but I want you to think about how the engineering feats echoed Brunelleschi's study of the ancients. In particular our man Vitruvius.

          Remember the Renaissance is a rebirth or resurgence of ancient sources. The artists, scholars and political leaders were not just looking to the past for surface visual inspiration but also as a complimentary source for attaching to larger meaning. Keeping this in mind, how does Brunnelleschi incorporate the Vitruvian ideas of firmitas, utilitas, venustas into his design? 

          Recall the name of the Florentine Cathedral in English: Saint Mary of the Flower. How does this dome, at the center of Florence, visually convey a floral motif?  Why was Vitruvius's ideas of humanity's relationship to nature such an important theme for Brunelleschi and other Renaissance Humanists including Leonardo da Vinci? Brunelleschi's Dome: Brunelleschi, Dome of the Cathedral of Florence, 1420-36 Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thunderdust Logo Preview

It's blowing snow, ice and freezing rain today like it has been all January.  Icicles be getting gnarly.

Class is canceled and though I have got plenty of writing needing completion, all I can think about is how the snowfall is interfering with my soccer mojo. Probably drawing soccer is in hopes of making soccer happen: the following clip is of a logo still in process for our indoor team.

Check the back beat on the attached track which sorta sound like hooves galloping. I'm aiming to give the logo a few more clarifying shifts toward quicker Thunderdust legibility but for now you get the picture.

Sorta frustrating: blogger seems to be vaguely exclipsing the window along the right side of the video. To avoid this moon phase shift phenomena click on the clip and watch it via you tube. If anyone knows how to rectify the problem, do type!