Week 2 reflection

This week we focused on our individual projects as well as the bird roosting/nesting sculptures under the guidance of Lynne Hull. We were able to put up a 22 foot poll for te raptors to post up on, and a Cestrol bird nest. The nest was put up on a burnt tree taken from the Oasis in Last Chance and was fortunately reinforced with another branch. The two sculptures make an interesting addition to the landscape with their overall compostion, but I question their instrumental significance as there are dozens of other already in place places for the birds to nest or rest.   For my project I was able to get ahold of Evelyn Everhart, the owner of the shack where I found those photos. I asked her about some of the photos that I found and she informed me that they were in laws, some cousins, and family friends. I am planning on documenting my experience of the shack. In addition some of the photos will be photocopied, so their glory can be shared. I have also almost completed my sculpture of found objects- mainly shotgun shells, bones, some parts from a broken camcorder, and wire. The material speaks to what is commonly found on the ground around these parts- this gives an insight into a way of life. 

experimental site

experimental site


The interest/inspiration I am currently pursuing from this rural environment has to do with the borders that are inherent here. From fences to roads, power lines, train tracks, highways and everything in between, to also imagined and personal feelings of boundaries and space. I am working on a collection of photos to comment on these persistent themes. I have only posted one photo because my materials worked out terribly and I have to change them and take better shots. But I am interested in the conversation they might have with one another, and also how they may comment on personal feelings of being lost or unsure in a new and different environment.


Dear class,

I am missing far more artist lecture papers than I think is possible.  If you did not tag your artist lecture under “Lecture Review 1” or “Lecture Review 2”, I did not grade it.

Also, make certain that all of your extra credit is tagged as “Extra Credit”.  This includes any extra artist lecture papers that you did.

PLEASE check all of your submitted work to ensure that it is tagged correctly. If you change anything, please email me immediately because grading is technically done.  This is your last chance. Kira and I will not accept any emails after Friday on this issue.

Thank you!


Missed Lecture 2–Lauren Anderson

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Missed Lecture 1–Lauren Anderson

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Middle Eastern Art- Kathryn Anderson ec

I really enjoyed the lecture on Middle Eastern Art and Diaspora.  Focusing on Middle Eastern woman in the middle east seems like it would be a contradiction given the fact that their right to communicate and express themselves is so limited.  Learning about these woman and the various ways they attempted to connect with their culture or distance themselves was very influential to me.  They could either let their status as an Iranian or a Pakestani woman be all that they were or it was just a portion of their identity and what their art meant.  Continue reading

Land Art Missed Lecture Madison Dye Extra Credit

Madison Dye Missed Lecture makeup: February 2, Land Art

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The Role Of Museums missed lecture Madison Dye

Madison Dye, Missed Lecture: The Role of Museums, March 6 makeup

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Public Art Missed Lecture Makeup Madison Dye Extra Credit

Madison Dye Missed lectures extra credit, Public Art, March 13 Continue reading

Kim Dickey Exhibition

I have always been intrigued by the category of fine art ceramics, as it seems to occupy a middle ground between utility, craft, and art. While Dickey’s pieces lean towards art, the methods by which her works are produced are indicative of the multi millennia-old craft of producing utilitarian earthenware by hand. To me, the most interesting aspect of ceramics lies not in the pieces themselves, but in the history and evolution of production in Clay. Although I did not find All is Leaf to contain the depth of meaning or intellectual power present in some of the other exhibitions I have visited this semester, I have come to appreciate Dickey’s art for its invocation of a historical craft deeply intertwined with Human history. What follows is a rather lengthy discussion of the evolution of ceramics, a slight divergence which is pertinent to this discussion due to the craft’s utilitarian origins, and man’s dependence on them for survival; a somewhat uncommon trait in the fine arts.

Once a staple of ancient civilization, mud was used for myriad purposes. From primitive mud-brick houses, to the clay pots and urns made by craftsmen for the fulfillment of functional rolls, such as the long-term storage and shipment of perishable items, Human civilization could be said to have been built on, and with mud and clay. Although fired clay trinkets, jewelry, toys, and pipes were also produced contemporaneously to their functional counterparts, historically it was storage that ultimately drove ceramic production. With the development of glazing techniques, some ceramic craftsmen began to move away from their purely utilitarian roots, and their products began to take on symbolic, as well as ceremonial functions. Ceramics fulfilled both functional and symbolic roles for quite some time before the advent of advanced metallurgy processes rendered earthenware containers somewhat obsolete, although ceramic storage vessels continued to be manufactured into the 20th century. As metal gradually replaced ceramics in many functional realms, the craft turned towards ornament as a way to differentiate from metal-ware and appeal to those wealthy enough to afford the intricate pieces. The paradox here is that even exquisitely decorated plates, bowls, cups and vases still served (or could serve) as functional pieces. In other words, they were not produced exclusively as art. I would posit that a key moment in the formation of the idea that ceramics need not fill any functional roll, and could instead exist solely as an “objet d’art”, occurred when someone decided to hang a plate on their wall, just to look at. This ongoing cultural dialogue between man and clay has culminated in fine-art ceramics, a trivial end to something we used to depend on for survival. (Although high-tech ceramic composites continue to fill functional rolls in niche industries, this is a discussion on the cultural and artistic roll of ceramics, rather than on technological implications, an interesting topic in its own right).

In the current age of industrial automation and mass production / marketing, in which functional ceramic objects are ubiquitous and manufactured en masse with only a tiny portion of the market still occupied by hand-produced goods, Kim Dickey stands amongst a comparatively small group of others as a link to Humanity’s ongoing, hands-on relationship with clay. The ornate and complex pieces of All is Leaf instantiate the repetitive, labor intensive processes by which ceramics have been produced throughout Human history: Thousands of individual, hand-made leaves, glazed green and overlain on orthogonal forms whose layout emulates that of a finely manicured garden, initiate a placid and romantic atmosphere, not unlike an actual garden, in which the long traditions of Human craftsmanship and environmental interaction are called to attention. Dickey accomplishes this meaning through a variety of techniques, most of which can be directly related to processes of producing ceramics by hand, and thus her work is highly dependant on process as a means of informing both the shape of the piece as well as the messages it conveys. I believe this form of production to not only be true to the material (Clay), but also to the craft traditions that have served to form it in the past. By letting both tradition and material inform her work, Dickey pays homage to the hundreds of generations of ceramic craftsmen whose work either directly or indirectly influenced the shape, form, size, texture, color, arrangement, and patterning of the pieces that make up All is Leaf. Dickey’s work at the rule Gallery, when taken in light of the previous passage, can be considered the culmination of thousands of years of ceramic craft, artistry, and production.Furthermore, it is highly representative of the tradition, craft and artistry involved in all handmade ceramics.

Extra Credit Essay #3, Jordan Dawson – Eleanor Heartney: “Introduction to Post-Modernism” February 14th

Postmodernism is in a constant struggle to define itself. It is as arbitrary as the idea of “modernism” itself. Time is constantly moving forward, so how can there ever be an overarching definition for the term “modernism” if it is constantly shifting? And even beyond that, how could we ever label that which is after the present? Post modernism neither knows who his Dad is or who he is himself. One must present their own subjective definition of modernism before they even attempt to describe what postmodernism is. Continue reading

Cindy Sherman, Feminist Artist?

We have been taught to look at Cindy Sherman in art history classes and textbooks as a Feminist Artist, but I was curious to look into this deeper. I spent a day last week researching articles and interviews with/about her and found intriguing information that has lead me to believe she is not a Feminist artist. I wanted to share this with the class, so that they could tell me their opinions and thoughts, and continue to think critically about her.

Let us look at the Untitled Film Stills that granted Sherman her initial fame and title as a ‘feminist artist.’ First off, all of the women are the objects of some unseen person’s gaze.  As viewers, we take part in looking at her in this same way. We do not identify with her, but take part in the act that men have done for hundreds of years, and we participate in this gaze. We have learned in introductory courses about the male gaze in art. According to Ways of Seeing, by John Berger:

One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object- and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.

In the Untitled Film Stills, we are judging the women, looking at them as sexual objects, or vulnerable to the presence of the man, and it is Cindy Sherman that invites us to do so.

Next, I think it is important to look at whether Cindy Sherman is inviting us to share in this gaze in a means to critique gender performance, postmodern subjectivity, and theories about the male gaze, or something else. Looking at interviews with her, there are an abundance of interviews and quotations to be found of Sherman denying that there was any feminist statement behind the Untitled Film Stills. When asked the question, “Critics like to discuss the male gaze and the objectification of women in relation to your work. Did you think about that stuff?“ Sherman responded, “I was totally unaware of that” (“How I Made it.” By Mark Stevens in NY Magazine on April 18 2008). On another occasion she said, “I wonder if maybe it’s all a lot of crap. Maybe the work doesn’t mean anything. When they’re writing about it, they’re just finding whatever to attach their theories to. I just happen to illustrate some theories” (“Cindy Sherman: From Dream Girl to Nightmare” by Glenn Hefland). Furthermore, “Sherman herself insists that, while her work is drawn upon her particular experience of womanhood, she is not a feminist and has no political agenda” (“A Woman of Parts: Interview with Cindy Sherman.” By Noriko Fuku in Art in America). If Sherman is not presenting her characters in a way in which we are supposed to critique the objectification of women in media and images, then she is contributing to the problem.

Since the feminist art movement of the 1970s, many artists have used their own bodies as a way to explore objectifications of women in art and mass media. However, we now know that Sherman is not doing this intentionally, so this should change our opinion of the way we understand her artwork. Does it not make more sense that her artwork is reinforcing the fantasy of the insecure vulnerable woman, and playing into the hands of the male-dominated art institution? What makes her art different than any image in a magazine or painting? Isn’t Cindy Sherman’s art doing exactly what feminists are so eagerly protesting, and contributing to the pile of objectified women imagery?

Another point made in The Standpoint of Art/Criticism is that “One wonders if Sherman is so often celebrated as a feminist artist because she is a woman who presumes to act and make art like a privileged man!” In some ways, the fact that Sherman is able to partake in activities that only men could do previously is a way to celebrate how far women have come. The fact that her work is selling for millions of dollars makes Sherman an example of the place that women artists are now able to get to. However, I believe that at the same time this adds to the problem.

If a woman is successful because she is acting like a man then this only shows that feminists are supporting artwork that looks just like the art made by men for centuries. Her art has made it to the top, because it is subjecting women to the same ways that men have done. Other women such as Barbara Kruger have made art that specifically is addressing the issues that feminist critics attribute to Sherman’s work, but it is not as successful. Does this show that art can only be successful if it subjects women to stereotypes? To be clearer, to be feminist because you make art like privileged men do then you are approving those qualities that make the men’s art the issue in the first place.


extra credit Visiting Artist:)

Matt Wedel Visiting Artist

As part of Colorado University’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Matt Wedel presented his work as a ceramicist. Continue reading

extra credit Visiting Artist

Elaine Tin Nyo Visiting Artist

Elaine Tin Nyo’s  presentation in the Visiting Artist Lecture series was a story of conceptual work that turned into performance and cultural art. Continue reading

Abstract Expressionism article reflection

I thought that the most interesting portion of this article was the section titled “Strategies of self-expression.” I wish that they would have gone into detail about a few other artist, but I do think that Jackson Pollock is an interesting case study. Throughout the article you learn a little bit about Jackson Pollock’s mental health. Having that bit of knowledge intensifies your understanding of his process. Abstract expressionism was about personal expression. His work is clearly chaotic, but also balances that chaos out with a sort of visual poetry. You can get lots in the work, so when you think about the ideals of the movement, you are really getting lost in Pollock’s mental creation. The works should essentially be an exact replica of his emotions because his action style of painting involves a reactionary process where he his constantly “dancing” with the painting. There is a passage at the end of the section that reads, “Pollock was less interested in manufacturing lasting aesthetic masterworks than in performing acts, or rituals, by which he aimed to express-and heal- himself.” I think that there is something very romantic about that statement. You learn that Pollock believed that primitive art provided direct links to the unconscious mind. So when you think about the way he went about creating his action paintings, by dripping globs in a  seemingly carelessly manner, across the page, one could make the connection to a monkey doing a painting or a caveman painter. Learning those things about Pollock gives you a greater understanding of his work, and the way his process is connected to the ideals of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

Extra Credit – Reading Reflection – Tony McKendry

I had just finished reading Anna Dezeuze’s article “The 1960’s” again and was pretty blown away by the artistic interpretation of a decade that I’ve studied in a more historical aspect during my education. Dezueze breaks down the 10 years between 1960 and 1970, not chronologically, but by the different facets of the art world during that time.

She begins by addressing the radical shift in art that began taking place during the 1960’s. Art was becoming less about the final product of art, and more about the process. Hybrid forms of art were taking over as combinations of text, photographs, manmade and natural materials as well as found and readymade objects were coming onto the scene. These new forms of art took names like “happenings” and “kinetic art”, which lent to their animated nature. These “happenings” typically were one-time performance pieces that would sometimes “happen” randomly in the street, or be performed on a stage in front of an audience.

Dezeuze breaks the article down into sections, the first section touches on three areas of art that became important: objects, production and bodies. Objects stemmed from the new sciences of the day; the space race was in full swing, and nuclear and quantum physics were being heavily researched all over the world. The quantum idea that all matter is composed of “living” molecules that were always moving interested artists and led to the creation of movement art. Movement art incorporated mechanical features in order create simulated movement in pieces, like lights and motors. Some movement artists took the ideas of space and time and included them in their works. Allan Kaprow, for example, created “environments” in gallery spaces, where he would set up the space to look like an ordinary room, down to details like the objects in the cabinets that could be taken out and inspected by visitors. Post-world war two america was flooded with a never-seen-before amount of consumer goods; some artists saw these goods as found and ready made objects that were exhibited as art to draw attention to the rampant consumerism that was dominating American society.

The production aspect took the ideas of the object artists one step further; where object artists saw consumer goods as art to draw attention to consumerism, productionist saw the object artists’ pieces as more consumer goods, elevated to a higher status as artistic artifacts. Piero Manzoni canned his own feces and labeled it like a consumer good to highlight the status that is given to artists and their creations. With manufacturing becoming so prominent in American society, artists like Andy Wharhol completely removed the artist’s touch from their pieces by mass producing them using machines and delegating tasks to assistants. Minimalism also stemmed from this school of thought and focused on bringing art back to its purest form through production; instead of creating the pieces, a group of artists called Fluxus wrote out “scores” to artistic performance pieces and mass produced them like sheet music to be mail ordered to whoever might want them.

Conceptual art took the productionist reduction of Objects and art even a step further. Instead of creating art that touched on different concepts, they created concepts of art, and proposals of pieces instead of creating the physical work. Lawrence Weiner created pieces that were merely directions that anyone could follow to create a piece of art, for example, one said “one quart exterior green enamel thrown on brick wall”. The idea that art was purely based on visual attractiveness, and was a unique piece was broken down by these Conceptual artists. This mimicked the roles that managerial positions play in the service industry; a boss type sits back and delegates all of the manual labor to other individuals.

The last type of art that Dezeuze focused on incorporated the human body as its canvas, brush or sculpture. The 1960’s was the time of the sexual revolution, birth control and pornography were invented and age old ideals about premarital sex and women’s rights were being torn down. Public art performances were associated with groups of artists trying to send a message and paved the way for protest activity. Political claims by the artists were not usually apparent, but were found in the connotations of the content.

This article was very eye opening to me, and showed me a side of the 60’s, a time when free speech and self-expression became mainstream, that I had never seen before. I had even heard of, or had to research some of the artists or pieces that Dezeuze talked about, but now I can see them with a whole new context. Many of these movements are highly famous, mainly for their absurd nature that most people who are not educated in art only know because they are associated with the weird, and sometimes “stupid” art that people know, and pop culture loves to make fun of. If only the general public could actually know the meaning behind some of these works, they might understand the enormous impact that they’ve had on nearly every facet of modern day life in America

Yang Yong

Longing for Paradise, Negotiating with the Real: Looking at the Chinese Art Scene Today by Hou Hanru.. Yang Yong was mentioned in this reading, and I thought I would do a little research about him. The reading taught us about a city called Shenzhen, which was literally created in the past two decades. The artist obsessively photographs the residents. The article teaches us that many cities are being re-planned due to economic and population booming. Taking this further, I found this information about him and Chinese culture:

I learned that Yang Yong is a photographer, but also a curator. Born in what was considered an ‘awkward generation,’ he has access to a ‘vast kaleidoscope of global information, yet remains subservient to traditional patterns of dominance.’ Apparently this awkward generation in China was born in the 70s, which lack the strict beliefs of their parents generation, the rebelliousness of older siblings, and carefree privilege of younger 80s generation. Yang Yong makes photography, paintings, and installations.

He recently did an exhibition called Lightscape, which included 200 hanging lamps, which are supposed to reflect today’s obsession with global media. Yang Yong painted each lamp with images of models, icons, scandals, current events, and natural disasters. By putting these images on simple practical objects, he is speaking to ‘just how mainstream media sensationalism has become.’ For his generation, they grew up with easy access to media information all over Internet, etc. So, he is speaking about how commonplace this information is.

Extra Credit Essay #2, Jordan Dawson: Sam Gathercole – “I’m Sort of Sliding Around in Place… Ummm… Art in the 1970’s February 7th

The 1970’s didn’t really know what they were doing. They saw how much fun the 60’s were having, but they weren’t really in the mood to party anymore. You know, with the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings and all, things were kind of a bummer. The 60’s were radical and progressive and energetic, but that spirit lost its electricity once the State and Market sought to reassert power over the population in the 70’s. Art was lost, not knowing how to progress itself without just unknowingly repeating itself. So much had already been done that even painting had become obsolete. With less of an identity than any previous generation, the 70’s were a dark time in American Art History. Political events shrouded artistic movement, with even the most allegedly conceptual art having faint flavors of VIETNAM. Charles Jenks, and “Architectural Commentator,” once said that July 15th, 1972 at 3:32 PM in St. Louis Missouri was the death of modern architecture. That day, a mass housing scheme was demolished because its own residents were vandalizing it. America was so ashamed of everything it did, that it was pissing all over itself. Continue reading

Clyfford Still Museum Paper

Alicia Baca


ARTH 3539-001

Kira Van Lil

Clyfford Still Museum Paper

My trip to the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver was a fairly interesting one. Other than what we studied and went over in class, I have never really looked at or seriously studied his works. I will be honest however. As important to the history of American art and to the history of abstract expressionism, I just was not terribly impressed with some of Clyfford Still’s works. Regardless of this I still went through the exhibition hoping that something from his later works would catch my fancy. In the end I still left rather unsatisfied regardless how long I sat in front of certain paintings and tried to contemplate them, I just could not get into them. However, this did not entirely take away from my experience because what I found to be most interesting was how Still evolved as an artist over the course of his lifetime.

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‘The beautiful women’ estimated to be sold for 30/40 milllion

Roy Lichtenstein is an iconic painter from the pop art movement. His comic book series of paintings are his most well known works. Arguably the most iconic painting of the series, is estimated to sell for up to 40 million dollars. Personally I am not a huge fan of work from the pop art movement. However, if I did have that kind of money to spend on a painting (a pop art painting) this one would be on my list. I really love the scale and composition of the work. The large scale lets you enter the painting, a lot like a Pollock painting, and get lost in the shapes from a close distance. At a farther distance you can appreciate the work for its imagery and application style. You can get lost in this painting every time you look at it, which is something that I look for when I buy art work. I can not imagine having that kind of money to spend on a single work, I actually can not even imagine having 40 million dollars to begin with. I look at 40 million dollars as the value of this work, rather than the price. 40 million dollars for a painting seems crazy! But when you account for its social, historical, and cultural value inside the art world, you can start to tally up the dollars. I also believe there is some sort of status or pride gained for owning a work like this, and people with that kind of money have no problem purchasing an object that could potentially elevate their social status. Contemporary art deals with art work as a commodity, they can do this for the most part because ideally the artist is still living and creating works, or is recently deceased and has already made an impact with their work. So when an artists starts selling their work for large amounts of money, they automatically become historically important because once one person has a bit of history, others want in on that as well. I do not know too much about the art market so maybe what I am saying is completely off. But in my opinion that is what happened to Jean Michel Basquiat. His work became a commodity, maybe more so when he was living and could keep producing work. It is just interesting to think about contemporary art and its connection to capitalism through the art market.

More American Photographs

On April 26th I went to the MCA Denver to see the show More American Photographs.  The show has over 100 photographs taken during the Depression Era, and works by twelve contemporary photographers.

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Luna’s Half Indian Half Mexican. Megan Keith

Although I did not particularly enjoy Luna’s “Take a picture with a real Indian”, I was really struck by how powerful his “Half  Indian Half Mexican”photo was. In the series of three photos, Luna shows two aspects of his heritage through visual representations of himself. In the “Indian” aspect, he has long hair falling past his shoulders. In the “mexican” aspect, he is shown with short hair and a mustache. In each photo, he looks like the stereotypical representation of that race.

It is incredible how he is so able to become “different” races, simply by changing his hair and adding facial hair. My favorite part of the photo series is the head-on shot of Luna, when the viewer can see the Indian and Mexican appearances side by side. He looks slightly askew, as one side of his face does not match the other. But it is very interesting to see how he incorporates both aspects of his heritage into one shot.

Star Wars and Minimalism

Artist John Powers has begun an ambitious undertaking; to show the world that the 1977 classic sci-fi film and cultural icon Star Wars is actually a masterwork of minimalism and modernism.  Powers makes visual connections like the one between Robert Morris’s War (1963) and the design of an imperial stormtropper’s armor as well as idealogical connections between the world of fine art and Star Wars. Continue reading

Jeff Koons Color Inspiration- Kathryn Anderson

This semester I have taken World Art 2, Foundations and Contemporary Art.  Throughout the semester these classes have overlapped and given me the tools to really examine what kind of art I really connect with and what artists really inspire me.  There are many artists that have skill and creativity that I would never execute.  Jeff Koons for example has the ideas to execute projects with such pop and awe. Continue reading

Extra Credit- Mona Hatoum

Recently in lecture we talked about the contemporary artist, Mona Hatoum, who hails from Lebanon.  I found it interesting that she actually grew up in the Christian faith.  Though after thinking of what we were learned about how Americans place so many stereotypes on foreigners who come to the United States, I stepped back from my surprised state of mind, and opened it to see this artist in a more broadened term; a human, just like each and every single person on this planet.  So many artists today create art on things that make them different from the majority.  I like how Mona creates art about her identity touching slightly on her culture but mostly portraying how she is similar to Americans.

Extra Credit- Insight on James Luna

In lecture we learned about the artistic performances of James Luna, a Native American contemporary artist.  In this well known image that I have posted, he is wearing black sunglasses and a western tuxedo jacket with the words “All Indian All The Time “emblazoned across it.  This statement is not just a motto or a signature of his artistic style.  It is how he has lived his life.  James Luna has always been aware of his cultural heritage and the meaning of his identity as an Indian in America today.  Through his artworks, he makes his viewers aware of the stereotypical image they have placed upon him and his Native brothers. In most of his performances he uses humor.  He does things that are not ordinary in our day to day lives, such as carrying a canoe through the city or wearing a loin cloth in public.  I love how he approaches the stereotypes of the viewers by simply playing into them as a way to show how ridiculous Americans are today in regards to their preconceived notions of what real Indians look like and the way they live.  In one such performance called “Urban (almost) Rituals”, Luna addresses the survival of Native Americans in urban settings.  He acts as his created character known as Shame Man, a series of rituals  as he forms the spiral, acting as circus ringmaster, court jester and occasional merchant of venom.  Though he is holding back on his thoughts towards the seriousness of the issue, Luna raises the issues that face us individually.   I totally agree that people today are too stereotypical of other cultures.  Through his artwork, Luna overall portrays that although he is a Native American according to his heritage, he is also an American just like everyone else.  It is an interesting concept to think about.  What if we kept a certain image engrained in our minds of every single culture?  I guess in a way we do, being such judgmental creatures, but it is extremely prominent among Native Americans.  I can honestly say that when someone tells me to picture an Indian, my mind immediately pictures the stereotypical “Pocahontas”, vegetable growing, hunting, loin cloth wearing, tipi inhabitants.  After seeing some of these performances by James Luna, I will think think twice before defining a Native America in a different image then Americans. 




Comedy and Contemporary Art

Comedy is increasingly a tool used by contemporary artists two of my favorite artists who use humor in their work are Cory Archangel and Eric Yahnker.  These young artist blend comedy and art together seamlessly, knocking down the barriers between the two and pioneering the way for a fusion of the two creative arts.  As a student of both comedy and art I find these artists hugely inspirational and love their work and I’m excited by the growing acceptance of comedy in fine art and the use of humor as another way to discuss ideas.

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Lawrence Argent Logan Lecture

Kevin O’Hara


Logan Lecture Review

Lawrence Argent is an artist who creates site-specific public works of art.  Argent’s large scale work is meant to reflect the location it is placed in and inspire viewers. Continue reading

When Faith Moves Mountains

While studying abroad in Peru, I had the opportunity to go to a very interesting site in Ventanilla, Lima where the Belgian artist, Francis Alÿs had organized a performance piece in 2002. Continue reading

Extra Credit: Isabella Gardner Museum

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Extra Credit- Ken Gregory



Ken Gregory is a unique contemporary artist.  He has been working with do-it-yourself interface design, hardware hacking, audio, video, and computer programming for over 20 years.  His creative performance and installation works have shown publicly across Canada, and at many international media and sound art festivals.  His works are presented in the form of gallery installations, live performances, live radio broadcasts, and audio compact discs.  From this description, I’m sure you can conclude that most of his works emphasize sound.

I found a lot of Ken Gregory’s works to be interesting.  The fact that they are interactive and involve motion and sound is different from what we have typically learned about in class.  In one work, he used fire alarm bells throughout a room.   He made them respond to peoples’ body heat, so when people would enter or move about the room it would cause different pitches of the bells to vibrate.  I love when natural sound can be successfully imitated by mankind; it intrigues me to see the process and the results.  A work that produced such a sound was “Wind Coil Sound Flow.”  “Wind coil sound flow” is an acoustic electromechanical system that transforms wind-generated vibrations on a kite’s towline into harmonic frequencies.  The first stage of this multi-part project involved a large, one-stringed guitar played by the wind outdoors.  The sounds generated through this system were recorded digitally and were used to activate the long strings in the sculptural installation that in turn, create new and complex sounds conveyed through kite-shaped audio speakers.

My favorite of his works was “Lick my LEDs” in which a display of flashing lollipops were interconnected and synchronized by a digital signal better known as the common pulse.  After three weeks they completely melted and new ones were brought in.  This artwork I feel is more attractive to younger audiences and that those who are older can look at it and be reminded of their childhood and the sweet, sugary, joy candy brought to them.

Extra Credit – Visiting Artist Review of Claire Zitzow by Elizabeth David

Claire Zitzow

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Extra Credit Madison Dye Missed Lecture

Missed Lecture Gerhard Richter February 21, 2012

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Extra Credit- Christian Marclay

This guy right here, is Christian Marclay.  He is a little different from the contemporary artists that we have learned about throughout the semester, but his artwork is still a part of the big picture.  He doesn’t work with paint or pencil, nor does he create large scale land works.  Christian Marclay is a visual artist and composer from New York.  His work includes sound recording, photography, video and film.  From 1977 – 1980 he actually studied sculpture.  He has been experimenting, composing and performing with phonograph records and turntables since 1979.  Interesting right?! I haven’t been out here too long, but I know turntables are pretty popular in Boulder in the music scene.  Christian is a very unique artist in his particular style.  Christian Marclay continually works with the idea of deconstructing the record, in sound and theory.  He is fascinated in the minor mess-ups that occur when listening to a record, that most people often ignore, and he makes music out of them instead.  Marclay even damages records to produce loops and skips.  He likes to use inexpensive pre-owned records from thrift stores.  I find the idea that “deconstruction can be seen as a form of creation” is a beautiful concept.

One particular example of  Christian Marclay’s work is called “The Clock.”  It is a 24-hour single-channel montage made up of thousands of historic clips from movies and television.  They are all put together to show the passing of time.  This piece runs non-stop for 24 hours.  Here we go again with taking readymade type works! So in a way, he is not as unique as I thought in all aspects of his work, but he does still change the context of the piece by emphasizing the passage of time.  Its interesting to think that individual works such as these clips from movies all have their own distinct purpose at the time they are created, but as years pass they can be used again in collaboration with other pieces and ideas to be put towards a whole new concept.  It makes me think about how we progress as individuals with the surrounding environments that we live and how we don’t realize while we are in the present, where everything seems so clear, straightforward, and permanent, that it all is changing before our eyes and adapting to have new meanings.  The main thing that I noticed pertaining to this idea is that we are all adapting to the changes while they are occurring, which is why sometimes we don’t realize it.  I like how in unexpected instances artists such as Marclay see the change that has taken place and then brings it to the forefront for everyone else to realize.  I also like how this artist  referenced his inspiration to this work being by that of Salvador Dali.  I can definitely see the resemblance between the melting clocks of “The Persistence of Memory” and “The Clock.”

Extra Credit- Looking at art by Annea Lockwood

Annea Lockwood is a contemporary artist that collaborated with sound-poets, choreographers and visual artists, and created a number of works in the 1960s, which she herself performed.  During the 1970s and ’80s she began doing performance works focused on environmental sounds, life-narratives and performance work.  We speak a lot about performance works in lecture, but the ones that really stick are the younger generation of performers.  I feel like Annea Lockwood is an inspirational artist in that she is a more mature/ an older woman and yet she can continue to be a successful artist.  Sometimes I wonder how long the creative portion of the brain can function to its fullest before it just dies out.  I hope that I can continually come up with fascinating and successful art pieces, even towards the last half of my lifetime, that new generations will appreciate and enjoy.  The above picture, where she had set a piano on fire, the artwork was named “Piano Burning” accordingly.

I love the idea and romanticism behind this piece.   It leads me to think about how the piano was originally made of wood from a tree.  Then it makes me relate a forest burning to the piano burning.  Earlier in the year, we learned of one artist who believed that art made from nature will eventually be reclaimed by the nature that it was created from.  I feel like Annea Lockwood’s artwork is a great representation of that that concept!

Extra Credit Essay #1, Jordan Dawson – Erika Doss: “Abstract Expressionism” Jan. 26th

Taken in the Cold War context of American Art, Abstract Expressionism was the other side of the Berlin Wall, opposite to Western consumerism and superficiality. In fact, better yet, Abstract Expressionism was the men and women chiseling through the Berlin Wall all those years to connect the two divided sides, using with great force and determination the humble tools at their disposal. Continue reading

Extra Credit- Piplioti Rist’s works that I actually like

I find some works by Piplioti Rist to be questionable when pertaining to an artistic context, such as “I’m not the girl who misses much.”  All artists have their bad works though regardless if they are contemporary or historical figures.  And everyone has there opinion on the different works, obviously; so even the bad works can sometimes be seen as enjoyable to look at or listen to.  In this post, I want to show that I am open to further viewing different works by this artist in particular even though, some of them stray me away from her.

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Cindy Sherman Thoughts

Cindy Sherman is an American photographer born in New Jersey who uses herself as the subject of her work, dressing up as various female characters in order to question their role in society. I really enjoy the concept of her work, especially because it deals with women. However, I personally feel that some of the characters she portrays are all a mock on that type of person in society in a negative way, they hardly ever look realistic and even frightening at times.

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Extra Credit: Inspiration from Contemporary Art

Throughout this semester, and even more so throughout my time in college, I have been trying to find new ways to explore my artistic style and process. By taking classes such as these, and visiting galleries I have been able to find new inspiration. There has been one artist who I have grown particularly fond of. In several of my classes I have become familiar with the work of Cindy Sherman. Cindy Sherman is a well-known American photographer who is most famous for her conceptual self-portraits, she takes on the style and personality of a variety of stereotypes and isn’t afraid to address gender or ethnicity. Continue reading

Yoko Ono- Thoughts on “Cut Piece”

Yoko Ono is a Japanese artist who makes avant-garde art and performance art, but also is a peace activist and is married to one of the members of the Beatles, John Lennon. One of her works we talked about in class was “Cut Piece,” which I found to be a pretty interesting performance piece. In the piece, the artist wears a black dress and invites the audience members to come on stage and cut a piece of her clothing off with the scissors that rest in front of her. Continue reading

Chris Burden- “Shoot”

Chris Burden “Shoot”

Chris Burden’s piece “Shoot” caught my attention when I first saw it because it

was such an out there piece that involved physical harm to the artist voluntarily. The characteristics of the piece are well planned except for the actual shot and where it hits the artist. The setting is within a gallery in an open space to transform the horrible thought of a person being shot into a new light, as art. Continue reading

Extra Credit- I bet Nikki S. Lee and Cindy Sherman are friends!

Nikki S. Lee is a contemporary artist very similar to Cindy Sherman.  She did a series of photography based artworks in which she altered her personality and appearance specifically in regards to different racial backgrounds.  Cindy Sherman experimented with races but only as a broad stereotypical example because she worked on a much larger scale in who she chose to act like.  Nikki S. Lee took her interest as an artist to one focused concept and did it in extensive detail.

In the “Projects” series of photographic images by Nikki S Lee, social as well as cultural identity are very much addressed.  Lee adapts to the surrounding cultures in each of her images.  She transforms herself completely to blend in with that culture by dressing like them and taking on their stereotypical, physical characteristics.  She even goes as far to change her skin color, hair, weight, and behavior.  Lee once stated,

Essentially life itself is a performance. When we change our clothes to alter our appearance, the real act is the transformation of our way of expression—the outward expression of our psyche.

These images are a true test of identity for Nikki.  They allow her to experience so many different cultures from her own perspective.  It also allows the viewer to question their own identity and ask themselves how their lives would change in regards to birthplace,  traditions, privileges, and individual place in society.

What I found to be most fascinating among these “Projects” was the fact that Nikki didn’t just simply dress up as these different people from all different backgrounds; she actually spent time with them and got to know them for the sake of her art project.  In this, I feel like she was actually able to take on some of their characteristics rather then just play a role in the photograph.  It makes the meaning a lot deeper then just a pose.  I feel like she actually was able to understand their different lifestyles and relate to them in specific ways.  I also enjoy the photography aspect of this image.  Because she is not looking directly at the camera, it looks much more natural, as if she were caught off guard while hanging out with this Hip Hop group of people.  Though I’m not necessarily sure I enjoy her facial expression.  The fact that her eyes appear to be rolled back in her head and the black man in back of her is holding her up; she comes across as being intoxicated.  This artist is another one among society today that has similar ideas to others around her as well as artists in history, but interprets them in her own way.  Which brings us back to the concept of reinterpretation through another’s experience as a form of art in a new context.

Analysis on “I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much” by Pipilotti Rist

Analysis on “I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much” by Pipilotti Rist

(Romney Smith)

“I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much,” is a contemporary piece in the form of a video by Pipilotti Rist, an artist from Switzerland who works with illustration, commercial art, and photography.

The video begins with a blurred image of a girl with shoulder length hair and red lips singing “I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much, doi doi do do do do, do do.” She repeats it again and again and each time it gets faster and higher pitched and then goes back to the first tone. She backs away from the camera and begins to dance back and forth as if crazed and taken over by her words. Her voice has been sped up, as have her movements to portray a dramatic and crazed person, which is further emphasized by her black dress that allows her breasts to hang out freely and bounce around as she dances mechanically. Continue reading

Extra Credit- Rebecca Belmore in regards to the work “Fringe”


I researched many artists for my ARTS 1020 class a while back in the semester in regards to those who portrayed identity in their work.  Rebecca Belmore in particular, caught my artsy fartsy analytical thought process. Continue reading

Final Exam Reminders


I know that Kira has mentioned this but I want to remind everyone that notes are allowed tomorrow (typed notes are fine) but no readings and no computers.

I’ll see you all tomorrow from 4:30 – 7:00.

Good luck!



Extra Credit- Douglas Gordon (related to reproduction in contemporary art)

This is Douglas Gordon and he is an active participant in our contemporary art world today!  One particular work that he created that I personally found intriguing and thought you all might as well is “24 Hour Psycho”.  This work was a video instillation of the movie “Psycho” by Alfred Hitchcock, played over the time frame of one whole day.  It shows that it was a movie that he must have watched a lot, or truly was obsessed with considering he wanted to pull out deeper meaning in it by creating his own work of art out of it.

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Kent Monkman- Camille Paley

Camille Paley
Extra Credit- Kent Monkman

On the last day of class we talked about Kent Monkman, a Canadian artist of Cree descent. Monkman is recognized for his paintings, films/videos, performances, and installations. Continue reading

Extra Credit- Thoughts on Cindy Sherman

Throughout the coarse of the semester, Cindy Sherman and her artworks have come up in conversation numerous numerous times between both this class and my ARTS 1020 class.  I must say I personally have become familiar with her as a contemporary artist.  She has become the inspiration for many other contemporary artists today in the concept of photographing the self in many different personalities, cultural backgrounds, and lifestyles.  Even race and gender did not hold this woman back in her efforts to try on the characteristics of people around her, throughout the world, and in history.   Continue reading

Extra Credit- Andy Warhol’s Impact on today’s Contemporary Art

Andy Warhol, in my opinion, has had such an impact on today’s Contemporary Art as well as in that of the generations leading up to it since the start of his artist lifestyle.  I feel that his art was one of the first major examples of controversial critique. Continue reading