Saturday, September 29, 2007

Andy Goldsworthy (Michael's Pick)

When I think about the role of the artist in after the "death of art as image" world, I can't help but think of Andy Goldsworthy. If you went to an exhibit of his work, you would not be seeing his artwork. You would see photographs of his work. Andy Goldsworthy's art is in the constructed objects that are left in nature. Photography becomes a tool by which he shares his artwork. It is about documenting the sculptures he creates in the natural world. The picture above is of a collage of leaves made on site. When he is done with the work, he leaves them where they were made. Sometimes they float down a river, sometimes they blow away, and sometimes they melt. Art for him is not about something that you hang in a museum when you're done. It is an action and an intent. The record of his artwork is what we have.

To me, this connects most closely with Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Rachel's pick. Both are recording the patterns and imagery that are available in the natural world. They are finding design and art in what is already available. This is a stretch though, because the intent and end products are so wildly different (constructed v. found, 'sculpture' v. photography, record of art v. recognition of art in the natural world).

Friday, September 28, 2007

Shawn Barber (Mike's Pick)

Shawn Barber is a painter who I discovered in a book called I am 8-bit. The book was a collection of art inspired by the video games of the late 80s and early 90s, and featured a painting of his depicting a terrified up-close face with space-invaders aliens reflected in the eyes. His painting and those of others in the book were a large part of the reason I started painting 8-bit art which became a 2 year project and led me to the ideas I am working with now, about perception and art.

Though I unfortunately wasn’t able to find the original image that inspired me, I have been browsing his more recent work, which i find to also resonate with me. He has been doing a series of portraits based on tattoos, which have long been a fascination of mine, and another series of dolls.

Tattoo series

Doll series

I enjoy the painterly realism that Barber creates. He is able to give us all the information we need in his portraits to form a detailed image of the subject, yet his style remains loose and fluid. I value this balance of realism and loosenes in painting and strive to achieve it in my own work.

Barber’s work reminds me Antony Micallef’s paintings also (Peter’s pick). The doubletracking between loose brushwork and realism at a distance is admirable in both cases, and what drew me to painting enlargements of video game characters. How can something be at once as realistic as our experiences and yet completely abstract?

FINALLY, I really liked Michael’s post about Robert Parkeharrison. I totally love surrealism in photography.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jim Baker (Lauren's Pick)

After working in the corporate world for over 30 years, Jim baker retired and began to devote a great deal of time to his photography. He uses a method he calls photographic designs, where he uses the computer to take his original photographs and distort them to a point of being almost unrecognizable from their original form. He considers his pieces to be modern abstract, and uses the color, texture and shape of the original object to come to the final form.

I was interested in his use of form and color, and method of creating these pieces. I like "Candy Lady" and the "Boston lights series" because of the patterns and movement that they form. Especially in Candy Lady, I think that the diagonal stripes and the curves of the woman's body create a unique effect, and his precision gives his work a very clean look. I thought that he did a good job of putting his own style and creative spin on this technique, and it was interesting to see his interepretations of the objects that are represented.

Mandy Lamb (Whitney's Post)

For my artist of the week this week I chose Mandy Lamb. Mandy shoots self-portraits in nature with a Polaroid camera and expired film. The expired film lends a dreamlike quality to Mandy's work, which I find very appealing, but what I find most interesting about her work is that she really if ever exposes her whole face to the camera; in every image some part of her face is obscured by some part of the environment she is in. In describing this work she says that perhaps she takes this photos for vanity's sake ("nature makes her prettier") or as a way of "trouncing the pollen" that kept her indoors as a child, but I'm curious as to why she obscures some part of herself in her images, and this question brings me back to her photos again and again.

Mandy's work has some similarities to Antony Micallef's work - they both incorporated nature into their work and have an expressionistic feel to their images. Micallef's images of flowers also have a hazy look and surreal colors similar to Mandy's Polaroids.

Antony Micallef (Peter's Post)

Antony Micallef used to be a strict portrait painter but then moved towards incorporating contemporary expressionism. It was the expression in his art that attracted me as well as his subject matter. He deals mostly with pop imagery and consumerism. I like the unfinished quality of his work and the style of painting. The splatters, smudging, and loose brushwork really helps to create a lot of movement and emotion in the work; something I am attempting to portray in my own work.

I think Micallef's work can be compared with some of David Perry's work. They both have an expressionistic style of painting in their loose brushwork and unfinished qualities.

Laurie Simmons (Nicole's Post)

1. Laurie Simmons is a photographer who began photographing portraits but then moved to toys. She has worked in color but primarily works with black and white photographs. Simmons especially likes to photograph dolls in attempts to blur the line of what we the viewers perceive as being actual humans or just dolls. In her later works, she started using cowboys, ballerinas and other objects as well as ventriloquist dummies.

I am intrigued by her work due to the fact that my project is similar in idea to hers. I love the idea of dolls crossing the line between inanimate objects to life like creatures. I believe in her dolls floating in water series she was especially successful at making them appear to be real humans.

2. Laurie Simmons can somewhat relate to Erin Cone’s work. She is creating portraits yet “the figures remain tantalizing and unspecific”. I believe that we feel this same sensation with Simmons images. We are drawn to them because we are intrigued by the idea of dolls being human although they really are not. Also, both use lighting to create this intrigue and mood that we experience.

3. I really like Robert Parkeharrison (Michael’s Post). I find the process to be very interesting, paper negatives that are repeatedly exposed. The theme of the “everyman” is portrayed beautifully in the final pieces and let our minds wander as to how we interpret it.

Don Eddy (Rachel's pick)

1. While looking at other photo-realists online, I discovered Don Eddy. I am impressed with Eddy’s ability to accurately depict extremely complicated images. The images really do look like actual photographs. I am interested in his images because I want to focus on reflective surfaces this semester. After viewing his work I am interested in focusing glasswork later on in the semester. I was surprised to discover that, “Don Eddy's painting style and technique is unlike any other. A photo-realist, he works on paper with acrylic on canvas as well as in colored pencil. He first paints the entire canvas green, then brown, and then purple”. I am curious to try this technique sometime during the semester.

2. I think that Lauren E. Simonutti’s photographs are similar to Don Eddy’s paintings. Both artists rely on the highlights and shadows to assist the viewer in appreciating and seeing their art. However, clearly the artist's objectives are different.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lauren E. Simonutti (Jesaca's Post)

“Still”, by Lauren E. Simonutti unnerved me and understandably because her work is intensely introspective. Her narrative is about the devastation of insanity. “Madness strips things down to their core. It takes everything, and in exchange offers more madness, and the occasional ability to see things that are not there. I am aware enough to know the things I see and hear are not real, but that does not mean I do not still see them.” I don’t think her work relates to mine directly but I am fascinated by the different possible sources of inspiration. For her, there is no choice, if she does not photograph, she cannot tell what is reality and what is fabrication. She creates her own realities in her photographs that reflect internal madness. Because most of her photographs are highly manipulated in the darkroom, this seems fitting. Similarly, “Mourning Cloak” by Robert and Shana Parkeharrison and “Still” are tangible and terribly believable even if they are “created” images.

Robert Parkeharrison (Michael's Post)

I was introduced to the art of Robert Parkeharrison by Stephen Dirado last year, and have been transfixed ever since. Parkeharrison works with his wife, Shaina. The work is photographic, but the process by which the art is made builds images in more than a shoot and develop way. Rather, they build images using paper negatives and repeated exposing into a photographic collage.

The subject matter of much of their work is Robert Parkeharrison performing as the "everyman" in an environment scarred by overuse. In "Cloud Cleaner" (seen above) you're asked to look at him as the steward of his environment, however in his other work it is less clear about the role of the everyman. Are we steward, participant, aggressor?

I've chosen him because his work directly connects to my own in thematic choice. I discovered him when I was struggling with photography and the point-shoot-develop process. In terms of this blog, his work most closely relates to Martha Rosler in being a photocollage dealing with the world as it is/the progression of the world as it will be, but I'm more interested in drawing a connection with Tara Donovan. He is recognizing his media/ what it can do or cant do, and pushing the limit of it in different, innovative directions.

Sorry this is late!!! Oh well, you'll still love me tomorrow.

Monday, September 17, 2007

David Perry (Lauren's pick)

An artist whose work interests me is David Perry. Perry's works which i can appreciate most are his oil paintings. His goal is to elicit the expression and mood of his subjects using strong lines and bright colors. The abstract quality in many of his paintings are important in helping to show the expression of his work, allowing the viewer to make their own ideas of what exactly is being shown. Images of Perry's work can be seen at

Kip Fulbeck (Nicole's pick)

1. Kip Fulbeck has been working on what he calls “The Hapa Project”. Hapa is the Hawaiian word for half and was once used as a term that belittled people who were of Asian and Pacific Island culture mixed usually with Caucasian. Over the past few years the term has become less of an offensive slang term and those who are hapa have embraced it as their own. Through his project, Fulbeck explores the idea of growing up in a world in which globalization is happening a rapid pace. He finds people who are hapas and photographs them. He also asks them write down their answer to the question of “What are you?”. He then places their answers under their photographs. He has published the book Part Asian, 100% Hapa and is also currently exhibiting his work across the country.

Fulbeck's work appeals to me in that the project that I am working on is about self identity. Being a hapa myself, it is hard to always know where you fit in with today's society. His art work presents the idea that hapas are actually their own culture, mixing their own traditions to create new ones.

2. After looking through all of the artists posted I suppose that Fulbeck's work is kind of like Martha Rosler's work in that it deals with issues of today. We live in a world where many are obsessed with what others think. Fulbeck explores the race side while Rosler looks at the personal image side.

Erin Cone (Peter's pick)

Through a random search while I was doing research for my own work, I came across Erin Cone. She is an painter that predominantly deals with of portraits. She uses strong solid lines and a lot of rich color against solid backgrounds. One critic says, "Though she mostly paints self-portraits or portraits of people close to her-- the figures remain tantalizingly unspecific...her paintings are endless yet enigmatic mirrors of the human condition." I especially like her monochrome work, such as "smoker" made in 2001. I really like her use of dramatic lighting.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand (Rachel's pick)

1). Yann Arthus-Bertrand is a french photographer, whose work I saw in Chicago one summer. In his series Earth from Above, he traveled all over the world in a helicopter and air balloon taking aerial photographs. I like how this view causes us to re-evaluate our surroundings, and see the world in a different light. These photos show beautiful patterns and colors, illustrating the beauty of the world. The message conveyed through the photographs is that the earth is an amazing but delicate place, so it is up to us to keep the beauty alive. Also while looking at his website, I discovered his animals series. I like how he shows the relationship between animal and owner.

2). Like Masha's work, Yann Arthus- Bertrand uses bright colors and patterns to get the beauty of his work across. However, Masha uses negative space to make her work more successful while, Arthus-Bertrand uses the whole paper for his prints.

Blu (Mike S's pick)

1. Blu is a street artist/graffitist/muralist and colleague of another street artist who came to speak with my contemporary art history class last term.

Blu focuses on creating murals in public spaces. His work is characteristic of graffiti art in many ways, mainly in that it exploits public property in a transformative and cultural sense. But while mainstream graffiti culture is focused on territorialism, by way of tags for example, Blu chooses to focus on imagery and the transformation of space.

Blu and others in his vein would describe themselves as a “street artists” not “graffiti artists.” The implications of this distinction fascinate me. Under this term, they are artists in the same sense as a painter, photographer or sculptor is an artist. They have the same concerns as mainstream artists might, towards content, authorship, aesthetic beauty and so on, but instead of the canvass, gallery or museum, the vehicle is a public space and permission to alter it is necessarily left unattained. The street artist is concerned with transforming the meaning of a space and the way people see and use it. Any art, undeniably, transforms the context it is placed in whether on the street, in the home, or on the white gallery wall. Street art brings this process to the forefront in a new way for me. Uncommissioned works of art on a building create a confrontation. Who is responsible for contributing to the spaces we all share? We tend think of ownership in terms of physical property, yet we constantly contribute to spaces, even in physical ways by our presence or lack of presence and the actions we take. Blu works with paint and brush, rather than Spraycan. He has worked all over the world, as you will see on the above webpage

Here are a couple of my favorites:

2. Of the other artists posted here, I would compare Blu to Martha Rosler. Both her and Blu are dealing with construction of social meaning, though in very different ways and on different cognitive levels.

Mikael Kennedy (Whitney's pick)

1.Mikael Kennedy is a photographer who has inspired me in many ways. His images made with a Holga camera spurred me to try a Holga, and his newest work, Polaroids taken with a Polaroid SX-70 actually convinced me to try the SX-70 myself. My favorite part of Mikael's Polaroids is the sense of memory and nostalgia that are almost always present...His exposures aren't always perfect and the images aren't always 100% sharp, which contributes to a feeling a spontaneity, of recording specific moments. Check out and

2. Mikael's work has some similarities to Rinko Kawauchi's work - both artist's focus on the everyday and they both use color as a tool to evoke emotion or reaction.

Tara Donovan (Seah's pick)

Tara Donovan is an installation artist who works with really large quantities of common materials like styrofoam cups, straws, and tar paper. Her work has roots in minimalism but the end result is very different from what the minimalists were going for. I like her work because it manages to use the intrinsic qualities of the material to transcend the material itself. Her work suggests nebulous clouds and other organic forms. I also like the message about consumerism that comes from the intersection of things that are frequently discarded with the natural-looking shapes that she creates. I can't say that her work has much of a connection to my painting (or much of a relation to the other artists people talked about here), but I think that the way she uses material is important to think about. The message that I take away is that a lot of what makes artwork good is based on how well the artist understands the material and what it can or can't do.

Martha Rosler (Jen's pick)

I don't know if this is cheating- because she's coming to the WAM- but I've been looking at Martha Rosler. I think I was drawn to the poster advertising the show at the WAM because it gives some messages that I've been thinking all summer when working my retail job: customers are so consumed with getting their clothing, more things they don't need, and managers are going crazy about how everything is folded, is everything perfect, ect, and meanwhile there are many horrible, important things going on in the world that we SHOULD be worried about.
While I worked in the mall all summer, I thought about this constantly, and the photo montage made me think of this again.

Like Masha D'yans, there is a focus on design and color to get the message of the work across (although there is completely different subject matter).

Rinko Kawauchi (Cade's pick)

Rinko Kawauchi is a photographer from Japan who uses color film and a 6x6cm Rolleiflex camera. I am interested in Kawauchi because the simplicity of her photos somehow goes beyond my own idea of simplicity. Her views of the world make me think that she knows something about her subjects that maybe no one else will be able to pick up on right away, or at least at first look. Also, her series are constructed so that each photo must be considered in its relation to the photos it appears with – the connection between all of them must be carefully considered before the meaning of the individual photograph can even be approached. Her use of the square format is definitely something that I'm drawn to, having used a similar camera and format. While her photos are square, themes of roundness and circles are evident. Her approach defies the constraint of the frame while at the same time allowing her subjects to be subtly defined by the square. She makes you wonder whether she caught a serendipitous moment or a carefully examined scene. It seems possible that her work is a combination of both. Interviews are at and
Like Masha D'yans her work is often defined by its color, something that struck me right away about both artists. However, I think her colors are more subtle, whereas D'yans' colors are the life of the work.

Masha D'yans (Monica's post)

1. Masha D'yans. She is the sister of a friend of mine and I think that her work is beautiful. She creates both whimsical and smart pieces usisng watercolors (which I think is extremely difficult). Her link is Check it out.

2. There are no other postings, soooo I guess I'll leave this one blank.