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

Spring 2012 CU BFA Critique

Logan Young’s space was by far the most cohesive and interesting aspect of the BFA installation. He presented several paintings exploring a common concept. By juxtaposing “…the cuteness of contemporary Japanese Kawaii soft culture and the lethality of the American industrial complex,” Logan challenged the nature of human desire. Ero Guro #1 and Hello Kitty Kill Zone (Ero Guro #2) is an installation involving two acrylic painted canvases and a series of model airplanes from the artist’ s childhood. The paintings depict humorous scenes of Godzilla destroying an ice cream civilization and a Hello Kitty-like figure destroying the city of Denver. Model airplanes are hung in front of the hello kitty painting as if flying away from the destructive scene. While in front of Ero Guro #1 the model airplanes are hung in a similar fashion but are directed towards the composition. I found the shadow work created from these various model planes very interesting. The other paintings he chose to display explore similar concepts of human desire. Melting Ice Cream and Pie, both painted with oils on canvas in 2011, realistically depict popular desserts; commenting on the irresistible human desire/necessity to consume sugar and sweets. His other painting The Impact, also painted in 2011, incorporates a single model airplane exposing a kamikaze act of destruction. The plane is hung in front of a stack of painted ice cream scoops with an adjacent ice cream cone exploding in the composition; foreshadowing the humorous destruction about to take place. Logan Young’s work explored a solid concept with humorous compositions and skillful execution and is my favorite aspect of the BFA exhibition.

Adam Siefkas, Generation Ship, was the worst piece within the exhibition. According to the media list on the placard this structure is composed of foam core, cardboard, and glassine. Just a pet peeve of mine but he failed to mention essential media involved with the installation and construction of this sculpture such as glue and string…that are plainly visible. His inspiration to create this object stems from architectural model making and rendering. He describes it as creating possibilities for the future with “heroic foolishness of utopian plans.” The structure was poorly assembled. Sloppy gluing, cheap materials, and a final product that wasn’t very visually appealing. When I consider an architectural model I think about precise rendering for an actual ability to possibly produce. Cad files and accurate measurements for architectural opportunity. This looked like a sloppy elementary school craft project. It was something but definitely did nothing for my artistic tastes.

Extra Credit: Familiar Faces at The Walker Arts Center (Jenna Speare)

I recently took a trip to Minneapolis to visit an old friend. Being that is was my first time in this city, I requested that my friend take me to two places: Mall of America and The Walker Arts Center. After fulfilling my childhood dreams of walking inside the American Girl Doll Store, I spent most of my day finding that I was familiar with many of the pieces exhibited at the Walker Arts Center, many of which we have learned about in this class.

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extra credit

extra credit


In march I went to visit my family up in Jackson Hole, WY for a ski weekend. While visiting my sister took me to a local bar to see a concert. At the concert there was a man painting on a lighten screen images that matched the music. I loved seeing the artistic addition to music. The painting mimicked the music, making the experience more intense.

The movement to have an artist accompany a musical performance has become more popular in our culture. The visual experience of music and art is now combining in ways that have never done before. Bring a more emotional experience to the viewer. I think the addition of using artist work in a musical performance has changed the expectations of music for the better.

I really enjoyed my time in Jackson Hole and I look forward to my next musical performance with an artist accompanying the music.

extra credit – paige lowe

Extra credit


During spring break I went to Puerto Rico. We stayed one night in San Juan to explore the old town of the city. The streets were lined in tall townhouse looking buildings that were mix use of business on the street level and housing above. Every building was painted a different color of pastel. From light blues, to yellows, to pale pinks.

We continued out trip to Rincon, about three hours away, to surf. The housing there are mainly concrete but are fenced in by ornate gates. The detail ions one on these house gates was beautiful. Giving each house a distinctive characteristic.

I really enjoyed the diversity in the art structures. It was amazing to experience architecture from another region. I loved seeing the difference in cultures from Puerto Rico and Colorado. And yet the similarities between the two.


Xenophilicism and International Art

Often when discussing art outside of the Western spectrum, we discuss how our reactions to the pieces are xenophobic. Often contemporary pieces from other regions of the world are presented along side ancient pieces of art, without discretion. It is often not presented on a private, lighted wall as Western art is. DAM is a good example of this, when looking at the African Art pieces on display at the museum, we see ancient, traditional as well as contemporary African art all shoved into one small space.

However, we rarely discuss the issue of xenophilicism. I use this term to refer to an over romanticism of international art. It is essentially the love of art from a region without really understanding the culture or history from that region. This also relates to a pornographic obsession with one ethnicity. This is the polar opposite of xenophobic. These polar opposites are explored by the artist Wangechi Mutu who cuts out pictures of black women and puts them together in the form of a collage, creating a pornographic images and yet “savage” images, juxtaposing these opposite themes. With globalism an obvious discussion in our contemporary world, we are confronted with our lack of understanding.

With the recent classes relating to contemporary Chinese art, I have been considering these opposing issues. Our presenter, Michael Micketti, a collector of contemporary Chinese art is able to tell us many tales about the artists’ personal lives. He has claimed himself that he has a “passion” for contemporary Chinese art; however, his discussions involving Chinese art are generally based on the price of the art and how many pieces he owns. After twelve years of living and visiting China, his love of Chinese art has not motivated him to learn the language or learn more about Chinese history.

As rude and critical as I am being (and I apologize), I only mean to have Michael Micketti as an example. It is clear that he has passion for Chinese art, but without an understanding of their context, can he truly understand the art he is looking at? Without understanding it, there is no distinction or criticism for the techniques used. The presentation that he gave us was a stream of pieces, with little information regarding context or cultural consistencies. Is the price and amount of foreign art that one owns enough to make them a specialist? Or are they simply bragging rights? Essentially, with the rise of globalism, we must acknowledge that xenophobicism and xenophilism are both relevant issues to the international art spectrum.

Art for the Sake of Museum

I found the discussions involving museums to be particularly interesting. Museums really did not begin until the mid 19th century, or at least not the term “museum” itself. Museums seem to define art, rather than art defining the museum. But what do we acknowledge as art in a museum? An artist can quite literally put a urinal in a museum and have it considered art (Fountain of Duchamp). In my opinion, the museum seems to be the inspiration for many different styles of contemporary art. Minimalism seems only to exist because of museums. Since minimalism is all about the viewer and their relationship to an object or series of objects, we could quite easily have a minimal experience outside of a museum while observing a wall or a box. What makes the minimalist movement interesting to us the fact that it does exist in a museum. Furthermore, we almost seem to be making art for the sake of art. This generation is stuck between modernism and postmodernism, but with the contemporary art movement we have seen a distinct movement for art that conceptually questions art. It seems we are going down a slippery slope of concept, creating a purebred art form. The alternative “hybrid” art from would be focused in multiple subjects for artistic inspiration such as science, religion and the like. After Abstract-Expressionism, it seems that Postmodernist artists made art specifically for the museum context to challenge viewers to ask, what is art? Is this art because it is within this context?

We put so much importance in modern art, often acknowledging art with utility as “artifact.” We put a heavy importance in conceptualism, rather than aesthetic. I think these things are because of the existence of the museum, but whether that is a good or bad thing is debatable. I have found that in our generation is embracing aesthetic as much as conceptualism. For example, Ofili’s Afrodizzia that we discussed in class today is equally based in aesthetic and concept, and not only that, but is also created to evoke a lighter feeling in the viewer, a humorous feeling even.We are going to find significantly less lava lamps and toilet seats in our museums over the next couple of decades.

Cindy Sherman Extra Credit – Dasha Silva

Wow! I’ve always loved Cindy Sherman’s older work, but I had no idea that she is still so relevant today. I’m really drawn to works that involve unique make up, different hair styles, and lots of colors, so I’m glad that I got to see these photos. I still can’t get over how different she looks in all her pieces. Thanks for posting this!

Minimal Art and Clyfford Still

I’m a studio arts major for photography, and in photo 2 this semester my professor, Albert Chong, has been referring to me as a “formalist.” I’m drawn to many photographs that he dislikes; photographs that have no apparent content or meaning, but are formally successful and aesthetically beautiful. I feel like minimal art is similar to this idea, and that is why I enjoy it. It’s simple. It doesn’t need to have some deeper meaning, you can just look at it and appreciate it for exactly what it is. I felt similarly about many of Clyfford Still’s completely abstracted color field murals. For me, the experience was about the visuals. The way the colors made me feel, which areas protruded and which receded, the weight and composition of the painting, the encompassing nature of the sheer size of the canvases. I’ve never viewed any minimal art in person, but I can imagine based on the class slides that my experience would be similar to the one I had with some of the Clyfford Still paintings. I thought this connection across two drastically different styles of art was very interesting.

Bay Area Figurative Movement (Nicole Avant)

I have lived in the Bay Area my entire life.  Due to this, my Art History class in high school focused on the Bay Area Figurative Movement, which happened in conjunction with Abstract Expressionism.  Continue reading

Abstract Expressionism – Anna Cook

This reading discusses art post World War II and the political and cultural effects that were related to it. Beginning this article, we see a trend in pro-nationalism as America becomes a part of WWII, which caused a rise in artists creating American propaganda. Continue reading