Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Molotov Man

On The Rights of Molotov Man
Joy Garnett is an artist who was making an exhibition called "The Riot Series." She looked online to find pictures of people in extreme emotional states and this Molotov Man was one of them. She didn't want the narrative of the story to be part of the exhibition so she just used the photos. For the Molotov man, she painted a large copy of the photograph. It became the face of the cards for the exhibition and so it became well known. One day she was contacted by the photographer's, Susan Meiselas, lawyer about the photo. They wanted Joy to give credit to Susan for the photo and to get permission from the photographer herself. Joy didn't want to get permission from Susan and so the lawyer said she owed $2,000.00. Joy decided to open her story to the public on a website that debates these sorts of situations. Soon she began to see that many people did appropriations of the Molotov Man, so it wasn't just herself.

The photographer of this image had a purpose much different than Joy for the photo. She took it in Nicaragua and it was a big moment in the history of Nicaragua. "The man is throwing a bomb at a Somoza national guard garrison, one of the last such garrisons remaining in Somoza's hands."(article) The picture was taken in 1979 and soon after the appropriations of the photo began.

The rest of the article just tells more history of the photo and the photographers experience with it.

I think the article is helpful because it shows what can happen with copyright infringement. It's also confusing where the line is drawn. I guess since Joy just painted a copy of the photo and didn't really appropriate it, it was an issue with copyright. Here is the original photograph and then the image that Joy found to paint off of:

Artist # 30 Thomas Kinkade

I know there is a lot of controversy with Thomas Kinkade and whether or not he's a real artist. I honestly don't care too much about it and since I just went to the gallery I thought I would end my artists with him.

I think that Thomas Kinkade started off as a real artist, just trying to make a living. I watched a video about him last year and learned a little bit more. I learned that he is trying to make wholesome family images. His paintings are to represent family values and morals. I think he went off the deep end when he started mass printing his paintings, and hiring people to make finishing touches on them. That makes it not real art to me. If it's a print and then not even the artist is adding just a few highlights here and there, to give it texture and what not, it's definitely not an original anymore.

He has paintings of all different scenes. The nice cozy winter scenes:


London at sunset:

There's many more too.
When I think of a Kinkade, I think of this:

The cozy little cottage in with the cobblestone pathway in the woods. His paintings are pleasing to look at, but they get overwhelming. After being in the Thomas Kinkade gallery, I had enough. It almost gets to be sickening. They're just too perfect. I don't want to really bash him or anything, because I really don't have that strong of an opinion, but I can only look at a few of his paintings at a time.

I don't like how he decided to start printing his pictures on other things like couches, mugs, pillows, lights, etc. He sells more than just his paintings and it's really become a business. I think that it takes away completely from being an artist. He's not really personally making anything anymore, it's just all mass produced.

Museum Analysis

Thomas Kinkade Gallery
I went to the Thomas Kinkade gallery located in the mall. I thought that it would give a good representation of displays. I noticed they had a room set up to look like a living room. There's a fake fireplace, and plants in the small room. There are Thomas Kinkade paintings hung all over the walls as well. In the same room there was a small television placed inside a frame. The T.V. was showing someone talking about the paintings. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to what was being said, I just heard a voice in the background. There's so many "paintings" in that little gallery. Large paintings were hung with other large ones and then the small ones were hung together. You could tell there was an order to how they presented the work in that way. There was a little space with other Thomas Kinkade memorabilia as well.

Cabela's has taxidermy animals displayed all throughout the store. Right when you walk in there's dear and other animals displayed. Above mounted on the wall there's a small variety of animals along with some larger ones, like a moose too. In some of the glass counters, there's displays of small animals as well. Under the animals, there's plaques telling you the donor, if there was one, along with the name of the animal. In the center of the store is the main animal display. There's a wide range of different animals placed in their natural habitats. It starts with some big game animals like elk, moose, dear, etc. Then it goes to polar bears, grizzly bears, prairie dogs, wolves and back around. There are a ton more animals, I can't list them all. If someone donated the animal, the plaque says, "Taken by_____," and the name of whoever killed the animal. There was also a plaque that said, "Lynn Stewart Taxidermy Dewey Wildlife Studio." So that is the studio where the animals were preserved like they are. With the animals, there were also plaques of information about the animal; mainly just facts and such.

Ann Frank Memorial
1.Describe what you see:
There are stone walls everywhere with quotes from all different people. There's quotes from Moses to Gandhi. There are benches made of stone, plaques, landscaping, podiums that have sound, sculpture, etc.

2.Describe the varying degrees of representation
I guess the answer to number one would answer this question too. There's stones in the ground with names, stones describing what the memorial is about, there's plexiglass podiums, etc.

3.What are visual elements/principles that dominate in the memorial?
Definitely the stone walls, that's the first thing I noticed.

4.Is this memorial "site-specific"?
No, this is just in an open space outside. No certain thing happened at this particular site so it could be placed anywhere.

5.Who created, designed and funded this memorial?
It was given to Boise. On a stone it read, "Idaho human rights education center gratitude to Boise City council and mayor Brent Coles. " There are the donors name and amounts listed on big stones, there's a ton of them ranging from 251,000-500,000.
I'm not sure who designed it.

6.What materials/media were used to create this material?
Again I think this question is pretty much answered from the above questions. There was some little plaques that you turn and they talk, so that is mixed in with the text.

7.How does the text/word elements function?
They function as the part of the memorial that informs you. They give quotes, explanations of what the memorial is about.

8.Reflecting on your answers to the previous questions, what do you think was the intended meaning/function?
I think that the memorial is about human rights. It's about freedom. There's plaques remembering war victims and quotes about freedom all over the memorial. Although it's called the Ann Frank Memorial, it's not just about Ann Frank, but more about what she represents.

9.In your opinion, how successful is this memorial?
I think that it's very successful. It's peaceful with the water and landscape and stone. It's pretty obvious what the meaning of the memorial is too.

Artist # 29 Josiah McElheny

I read that Josiah McElheny creates objects out of blown glass that he combines with photographs, text, and museological displays. His purpose is to evoke notions of meaning and memory. (Found here)

When I saw pictures of McElheny's work I knew that he worked with glass mainly because most of the pictures were glass objects.

I can't tell what this picture is of, but it looks pretty cool. I learned that he recreates glass objects found in renaissance paintings, or maybe objects of glass that were the only remnants left of households from years earlier. He also works with storytelling and a form of historical fiction. He wants the viewers to decide if the story is true or not, or if it's made up. This reminded me of our museum projects because we had the option to do the same kind of thing.

His case that his display is in becomes part of the display here as well. I don't know if the case is made of glass or mirrors, it's hard to tell. At first I thought it was glass, and that makes more sense because he works with glass, but after looking at it more I thought it could be mirrors too. If it's glass, I like the effect it gives of the room around it. It would be interesting if it was mirrors also, reflecting everything else around it.

This piece is titled, The End of Modernity. It's meant to be our universe. McElheny wanted to make a scientifically sound sculpture of how the universe formed and this was his take on it. It reminds me of Freidman's sculpture with the toothpicks. I think the title is Starburst.

I like the look of Josiah McElheny's work because it is very clean and well crafted. It is all put together and displayed very nicely. Glass always seems to give that clean feeling as well.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Artist # 28 Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd is an architect/designer, but he doesn't just build normal houses like you would expect. His houses are very unique. They're located in the Chicago area. When I saw one picture of one of his houses, I loved it.

I would definitely say that Wright is a sculpture also. He thinks about the surrounding area and how he can utilize that space with his structure. This house looked like it was just placed in the middle of nature and it sort of was. It's called Flowing Water and at first I was a little confused, until I saw this picture:

It's basically the same picture, the second one just shows much more water flowing through and it catches my attention better. I read that this house resembles a Japanese Shinto temple. There are different aspects that give it that resemblance. On the second floor there is open sleeping porches. I think the house is beautiful and I love the design. His houses are not to make the owners feel trapped inside a box, but to live comfortably and ideally.

This house makes me kind of nervous when I look at it. I don't like those houses that are built on hills and part of the house is on stilts and this reminds me of that. I wouldn't like standing out on the balcony, it would be kind of scary. Frank Wright's designs were really out there and he really went for it. It would be pretty nerve wrecking to build some of his designs because of the locations that they're in. The insides of some of the homes are just as crazy as the outside.

Here the house has this intruding rock coming into it. It was part of Wrights plans and sketches, crazy enough. I would never think to build a house around a rock. I wouldn't really want the rock in my kitchen like that either, but someone did, maybe does, live in this house. I like the rest of it though. I like the ziz-zag design of the skylights above. I'm sure the rest of the inside of the house looks really cool and innovative also.

Monday, May 3, 2010


The day to install our napkin display came. The other members of the group and I all brought our napkins. We had our labels made, our fabric and pins and were ready to go.

We started by laying out all the napkins alphabetically with the labels. We ended up having 53 different drinks, but got rid of three to make an even 50. That way we could do five rows of ten napkins. The fabric was a little long and frayed on the ends so we had to cut the length and the ends off to try and make it look more smooth. Once that was done it was ready to pin up in the display case. That part was pretty easy. Next we began to space out the napkins and pin them up on the fabric. We put the first row up and it looked good, so we did the second, third, fourth and finally fifth. The pins hurt pretty bad to stick into the board so it was a relief when they were all pinned. (We had to pin two corners of each napkin also). We used a ruler to try and line the rows up straight and even with each other to try and make it look as professional as we could. Next we added the labels below the napkins with double-sided tape. It worked pretty well. Once everything was up we had to make a few adjustments. Leah decided to pin all four corners of the napkins, which was a good idea because they kind of floated out from the fabric before. So that wasn't fun pinning more napkins down.

Once we thought we were completely done and ready to go, we were told that we should probably fix the rows. About half-way through they got kind of sloppy and drooped down. The labels were also uneven throughout the display. So we decided we should fix the problem, and fix the labels. Once we did that, we were DONE. We were satisfied with how it turned out and called it compete.

I really like how it ended up. I wasn't expecting us to have that many napkins, but i'm glad we did. I think the more variety we had, the better. The different rings and colors really showed up against the black background. So overall I think it turned out just as we thought and were very happy with it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Artist # 27 Pablo Picasso

In grade school Pablo Picasso is one of the artists that I remember learning about. We saw some of his paintings and then had to create our own "Picasso" piece. In middle school we had to recreate this drawing by Picasso as well:

So from a small age i've been introduced to Picasso's work, but never had really learned about him. I know now that his work went from analytic cubism to synthetic cubism. I've also heard of cubism, but didn't really know what it was. Analytic cubism is where the painting looks as if the objects or the subject matter is seen from many viewpoints. In this next painting it causes the viewer to go back and forth in the space.

In some places it looks like the room has depth, but then the body casts a shadow on the wall and that shows you that it's a very shallow room. On the right there's a curtain being pulled back to make you think that it's opening up into a deeper space, but then there's a wall right behind and so you're stuck in the same space as you're already in.

Picasso's work is breaking the figures down. The body in the above painting is treated as plains. That's why it looks so weird and unrealistic. I don't really like his paintings. Although it was a shift in art history, they're just too odd and aren't pleasing to my eye. Here are a few more paintings by Picasso: