The theme of these past readings has been pillage and patronage. We have looked at government supporting of the arts, what that means, and how artistic patronage has changed. For example, there was one article discussing the Medici family during the Italian Renaissance. This is when our idea of political patronage actually began. This family exerted huge monetary, political, and sometimes religious power over Florence and in doing so, supported the Renaissance and made art valuable in our minds today. Europe has been the world's chosen location for artistic prestige. The country has hosted and initiated so many important movements and the persistence of the Western classical art training refers back to European artists. Europe is also the location of much of the world's art, which also makes it vulnerable to pillage. This was seen especially during World War II when Hitler pillaged the Louvre and other locations with valuable art in France and censored and encouraged specific art. Even as the idea of "fine art" traversed the globe, Europe still remained and continues to remain relevant in the global arts community. However, we may see Europe's relevance decline as public funding for the arts declines. American supporters of funding and subsidizing the arts point to Europe, which has consistently subsidized and supported artists, but due to the global economic crisis and the changing ideologies worldwide, we are seeing a sharp decline in public funding for the arts all over the continent, but also in places where the standing of the arts seemed most favorable, like in the UK or the Netherlands.
These articles all discussed the support and the destruction of important pieces of art. However, none of them really defined art or what a culturally significant piece is defined as. There are so many products produced daily. Objects inherently have value if they are ancient, but everyday more and more art, more products, and more artistic products and exhibitions of design are being produced everyday. How can governments choose what pieces are most valuable and worthy of production and how do governments decide what is worthy of being subsidized in the modern day. None of the articles explicitly addressed the cultural significance of any piece specifically. These articles posed situations that can bring up one's core existential values like whether or not one's heritage or one's mark on the world is more important than their life at the moment. Some of these issues were discussed in seminars but if we do not know how something is defined, we cannot conclude anything about it or think beyond to the implications of these definitions.
These readings are presented to a class of liberal, young, creative students who are getting one of the most inclusive and sometimes the most cynical depictions of history that is offered in this state and probably in this country. Our discussions generally turn into rants on politics, regarding issues that we all agree on. For example, my group today was talking about where to cut and where to spend which led us on a tangent on the US's excessive military spending, which we all agreed was excessive. We for the most part all agree that censorship is bad, patronage is good, pillaging is bad, museums should be protected, and that Hitler did nothing for European artistic promotion. No one in an art class is going to argue against a positive community for artistic advancement and none of the articles made any controversial theses that would be cause for significant and thought-provoking discussion. Most of us need very little context, which is all that articles like the Medici blog post were about. Most of these articles are pretty interesting, but none really present any ideas or arguments that would promote argument among a group of liberal, relatively politically aware art students. We all share the basic core views regarding art, politics, and history so these articles are not particularly challenging or though provoking, they merely reaffirm what we already think. I believe tougher ideological questions need to be posed and what we are discussing must be very specific and detailed, but at the same time, inherently controversial if we are to actually be forced to think.
This piece I just kinda started because I need something to do but I am not excited about it. I do not know what about art excited me I really have to figure that out...
This week we critiqued our in class projects and while we did that I worked on my home project which is due soon! My home project is building on my in class project and increasing in scale. I'm really curious about how this will turn out because I drew the figure with charcoal and I am trying to turn it into the same image but with thread.
I think George had a lot of really interesting things to say. I really liked that she talked about performance art and I love that we were able to get a performance artist to come in and talk to us. I think performance art requires so much bravery and is so rare.
While I liked what she had to say, I do not think it synthesized very well and I did not really like all of her pieces. I had trouble identifying what differentiated her and her work other than the fact that it was made by her. I appreciated that she really wanted to connect to people and that she was very observant of social interactions and how we feel towards strangers. I think she has very unique ideas and I like them, but I did not see them connect to some overarching message or artistic goal. I think that maybe this class has maybe seen that lack of cohesion as a bad thing and I don't know if it is or not, but in the talk, I found her jumping from one idea to the next with little flow. Some people definitely work that way and I think her progression, or how she presented her different works showed a very different way of thinking than how I think and I think that her work is different because she was not limited by being in an art class. I don't know, I don't think that either is necessarily worse, but I found myself getting confused.
I really liked the subway pieces and the ideas behind it. I really appreciate that there was no great social commentary other than interacting, very briefly, with strangers and observing, but not necessarily over analyzing their responses. I think what she did required a lot of bravery which is really important to being artistic.
On the contrary, I really did not like the piece that she made about the photo she saw on Facebook, "Prosthetics of joy". She talked about it and I immediately rejected it and hated the idea, hated that she was so obsessed with it and that it consumed her work for that time. I have no idea why I responded so negatively. I really don't but when she started talking about, I completely rejected the idea which was really surprising to me. I liked how she talked about manipulating some things in the recreated piece, like the lace and the hair, but I just despised the picture she showed and that she felt so compelled to recreate it. My adverse reaction was a little alarming, but I just hated that piece and the idea behind it. I really liked the little drawings she made though, but to me, that was such a sharp contrast to the "prosthetics of joy" and that was just very confusing for me. I liked the drawings but I felt like I had seen similar things before so nothing she mentioned intrigued or excited me very much, though I really did appreciate her subway experiments.
Jiiakuann is a Perth-based fashion illustrator. I saw their pieces on a blog post about the growth of men's fashion illustration and I was instantly attracted. Upon further research, I realized that Jiiakuann had a very cool tumblr, but no actual website and I could not find out their gender, age, awards, studies, artists statements- nothing. I was really surprised by this but I definitely think the work stands on its own and does not need much more than to display the image.
Jiiakuann is a fashion illustrator but there is an enticing expressiveness to the pieces. The black and white ink drawings are very stylized and graphic and the watercolors are similarly striking and visually intriguing. I adore the line quality in both of these media. Jiiakuann is able to combine being realistic and being highly expressive and stylized. I have tried repeatedly to do this and I appreciate how difficult this is. Their use of watercolor and pen are two materials that I prefer to work with and their use in these pieces is really inspiring. I would like to work on bring that expressiveness back into my work, but with slightly different materials.
I am an art student at Maggie Walker and this is the place where I talk about what we're making and what we're learning... Through this I can pour out my heart about my artistic experience.