The Little Mermaid

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Denmark is home to amazing works of art, old and modern architecture, museums, and castles. But one of the coolest old sculptures and one of the biggest tourist attractions is the little mermaid. It sits on a rock at Langelinie in the harbor of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The sculpture was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairly tale, the Little Mermaid,where she gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land. Andersen is a famous Danish author who’s fairy tales have gained a lot of popularity worldwide. The sculpture was commissioned by Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen who fell in love with the character after watching a ballet performance based on the fairy tale at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen in 1909. He was so captivated by both the fairy tale and the ballet that he decided to commission a sculptor to create a figure of the mermaid. When ballerina Ellen price, who played the lead role in the ballet performance in 1909 refused to model nude for sculptor Edvard Eriksen, his wife, Eline Eriksen, ended up getting the part to model for it. The sculpture is made out of Bronze and is 1.25 meters (4.1 ft) tall and weighs 175 Kg (385 lbs.). I think the sculpture is very beautiful and it ties many parts of Denmark together, the famous Danish author, the famous beer brewer, and of course the fairytale. I passed by the sculpture while i was on a river boat tour a few years back and was amazed at how small the figure looked in real life, especially because it is constantly bombarded by locals and tourist. The sculpture has been victim of vandalism many times before and she’s even has her head and arm stolen multiple times. There are several copies of the sculpture around the world including 6 in the United States and one in China, Romania, and Brazil.The original sculpture was Unveiled on August 23 1913 and was a gift from Jacobsen to the city of Copenhagen.

Nadia Zogbi

Questions:

Have you ever seen or come across any danish art or architecture?
Do you think you would stop by and see the sculpture if you were visiting Copenhagen?
Why do you think the sculpture gets vandalized as much as it does?
Links used:

http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copenhagen/the-little-mermaid-gdk586951
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid_(statue)

Hidden meanings

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Café terrace at night is an artwork done by Vincent Van Gogh with many hidden meanings in the piece. He picked the perfect colors to incorporate into his painting. Even though it was a night scene there is very few spots that are filled in with black. He finished this oil painting in 1888. His father was a minister and he was raised in a very religious household. Many people say that this night scene represents the Last Supper because of the influence he had in his family. The colors of the piece draw to the scene that is happening outside a café. Looking closer you start to see that there are twelve people surrounding the central figure in the middle. The person in the center has longer hair and many people say that this person represents Jesus Christ. You can interpret that Jesus is talking to his twelve disciples. It even looks like there is a person leaving the group and this would resemble Judas the disciple who betrayed Christ. There also some crosses that are hidden into the scene. The most obvious cross would be behind the Christ figure in the middle. He never made it clear but people can infer that this masterpiece had something to do with a religious scenario. Other people think that the Christ figure is just the waiter taking orders for the restaurant. Nobody is certain that this represents the last supper. Vincent van Gogh had a very unordinary life. He was born on March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. He Family was in financial troubles, with that being said he was forced to leave school and work with his uncle. His uncle worked at an art dealership named Goupil and Cie. By this time he was fluent in French, German, and English. Van Gogh fell in love with a women that denied his marriage proposal. He was in great grief and threw away all of his books except the Bible. It wasn’t until this incident that he devoted his life to religion. This ended quickly when he had to take a Latin exam. He hated the Latin language calling it a “dead language” and was denied entrance to become a minister. Van Gogh art helped him stay emotionally balanced. He worked by himself a lot because he didn’t get along with others very well. One incident when Van Gogh was working with Gauguin he got into an argument. This escalated and his anger in this situation rose enough for him to chop off his own ear. After this he was hospitalized and diagnosed with depression. He could never get passed this sickness and later shot himself on July 29, 1890. He was only Thirty-seven when he died. He struggled with mental illness and was poor throughout his life. His artwork became much more popular after his death.

Luke Aleisa

Questions

1. Would you interpret this piece as representing the Last supper?
2. Do you think Van Gogh wanted to draw people into the café scene?
3. Is there any other crosses hidden in the artwork
https://news.artnet.com/art-world/vincent-van-gogh-last-supper-cafe-terrace-at-night-275282

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/vincent-van-gogh-last-supper-cafe-terrace-at-night-275282

A window to the past

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The painting above are by artist Alison Moritsugu, who was born and raised in Hawaii where she finished high school before moving to St. Louis, Missouri to attend Washington University. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washington and her Masters from the School of Visual Arts in New York, where she currently lives. When I came across her paintings I was amazed because of the deep message behind them. I personally love paintings of landscapes because I love nature. Alison Moritsugu’s paintings provided me with wonderful landscape painting and scratched at the concerns surrounding our environment. The theme in her current work can be taken as a warning to current society about the importance of taking care of our environment, especially forests. We know that trees are essential to our survival not only because we use them to create shelter for ourselves but they are home to other species. They also provide oxygen for all living things. Moritsugu’s art sheds light on how we don’t take care of our environment, strip the land for its resources, and essentially control and shape the environment to suit our needs and wants.
In describing her art Moritsugu said “Today, photo shopped images of verdant forests and unspoiled beaches invite us to vacation and sight see, providing a false sense of assurance that the wilderness will always exist. By exploring idealized views of nature, my work acknowledges our more complex and precarious relationship with the environment.”
She shows a little history of the environment by showing a glimpse of the past while sending a message about everyday environmental concerns to examine our past and present relationship with our land. On a dead log she paints a landscape of the past. The logs act as a window to the past, to a time where the now dead log was part of a green lively landscape untouched by humans. I really love the effect of the cracks in the wood which give the notion of the windows to the past being broken and damaged. This adds to her message about the environment and the damage deforestation is causing. Some people may think that she might be cutting trees to get these logs to paint on but that is not the case, she will take them from naturally fallen trees. This would be a challenge for her because she has to make her paintings based on the size of the log she finds. One of my favorite ones is the trunk with many branches because there are branches of all sizes which she paints on. It looks like a collage which can be twisted and turned to reveal different painting. I would love to see one of her paintings in real life, or in a natural setting like a forest, by a lake or something like that. It would be mesmerizing.

Quaim Hussain
How do you think the cracks on the wood affect her painting? Dow they change/magnify the message she is trying to send?

Would you consider having one of her log painting in your house? If yes how would you display it?

What do you think about her message?

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/10/log-landscapes-alison-moritsugu/
http://alisonmoritsugu.com/about/bio/

Soundscape

Please click link to listen to song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqRZ2_w56U0
Hans Zimmer. A musician and composer with an awesome name, creates one of the most beautiful musical pieces I’ve ever heard. While someone who is listening to music can’t really see the sound waves that he/she hears it doesn’t mean it isn’t art. Music and art share the connection that they are both ways of expression using space and form, beauty and color. ( Emily Hillford). I think of music as invisible paintings that one has to see with their ears. The ears paint a picture inside your head when listening to music. At least, that is how I feel when listening to music, especially pieces by Hans Zimmer. A German recorder and producer, he has won several academy awards for his films. Some well-known being The Lion King, Gladiator, Interstellar, The Dark Knight trilogy and The Pirates of the Caribbean. His pieces are often very enchanting and the mood they create is a very tense and emotional one. To me, instrumentals such as these are everything. They give comfort, enjoying the spiritually enlightening sounds without any words are a gift in my mind. Something I’d rather not live without.
One of his pieces “Time” creates the atmosphere, like a painting would, of feeling of being lost amongst the confusion. This piece was in the movie Inception, which many people loved and hated, one of the most critically acclaimed films ever. What I remember most is this piece. This specific song, I have listened to almost more than any other song in my life. I chose this song over his other loved pieces because this one has become a part of my life. It’s a song that envelops me and becomes part of my surroundings. For me, that is art. A word people use to describe music in terms of Visual arts is soundscape. I think it really fits; music is basically creating this visual painting for the senses.
The musical piece “Time” is loved by many, and yes there are people that don’t like it. The song itself doesn’t consist of many notes. It’s actually really simple, but yet so deep. The song starts of really slow then gradually inclines toward a more intense style of the same notes then it calms down and ends with a silent bye. Main version is roughly four and a half minutes long. Though many people who listened to this piece often put it on repeat or listen to longer versions. It’s something one has to experience for themselves. Kind of like the exercises we did in the beginning of classes, describing a painting with only words. It’s hard to do, as words can never truly explain the painting as a whole. The person has to see it for themselves. I highly suggest you listen to it at least once without doing anything else. It’s an experience; I don’t regret and don’t want to forget.

Questions:
1. Do you consider music as a form of visual art? If so, is all music art or just good music? If not, why not?
2. Have you listened to this piece before? (If not I suggest you do) what do you think of it?
3. Is music important to art? How so or how not so?
4. What do you think of Hans Zimmer or Inception?

Ali Rathore –
Links/sites
http://decodedarts.com/music-as-a-part-of-visual-arts-art-sound-and-atmosphere/1369
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Zimmer
http://www.hans-zimmer.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqRZ2_w56U0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxabLA7UQ9k ( song)
http://www.intellimusica.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Inception-Top-Wallpaper-Sohan-Surag.jpg (picture)

 

Food and Women

Everyone at one point in their life has turned to food for comfort. Whether it was after a bad break, a bad day or to suppress your feelings, everyone has done it. Lee Price is an American Contemporary Figurative Realist painter. She takes this behavior and adds her own spin to it, making it more dramatic and serious. Her paintings usually follow two common themes-women and food, and women and compulsive behavior. Price grew up in a household of all women after her father left them while she was very young. She believes that this may be the reason why most of her subjects are female. I chose this work of art because of my fascination with artwork that appears to be a photograph but in actuality is a painting or drawing. The artists’ precision and attention to detail is mind-blowing. At first glance, you may think you are looking at a photograph but upon further inspection, you will notice this in fact is an oil painting. I came across quite a few artists that have mastered this technique however; Price’s work caught my attention because of the unique settings and perspective of the paintings. Unlike conventional artists, price paints her subjects from a bird eye view. In an interview, she clears up misconceptions of the meaning behind this choice. Many believe she is trying to portray God’s eye view or the world’s eye view but in reality, she is trying to portray the subject’s point of view as an out of body experience. She states “ It’s the subject looking down on herself—observing herself in the act of the compulsive behavior, being completely aware of what she is doing but unable to stop.” The settings are usually private and this is done on purpose to show the shame involved with the compulsive behavior. Another element that adds to the feeling of shame to the works is that the women’s face is often covered or not seen. The settings are show compulsiveness because they are usually places to eat food. The nudity also depicts the vulnerable state these women have come to. Price has been painting food and women to shed light on body image issues, along with addiction. I love everything about this painting and I understand that art is subjective and personal. However, I wished there was not such a gender bias because these issues also affect men.

Links to images:

http://theotherjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/LemonMeringue32x72.jpg

http://theotherjournal.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/lee-price-previous-works/snack52x40.jpg

Kesha Patel
Questions
1. Do you think there is still value in artists practicing realist painting when there are cameras that are readily available and can take pictures of essentially the same thing?
2. Does this painting accurately depict the issue of body image, compulsive behavior and addiction?
3. What are the emotions that arise in your mind at first glance of these paintings by Lee Price?

Tower to the City

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Nearly everyone at some point in their life has seen or heard of the Eiffel tower in Paris, France. Part is due to the unusual structure that it possess and also having it be home to one of the most well-known cities in all of Europe. This tower was constructed back in 1889 when Paris was hosting the world’s fair at that time. There were two men that were behind the construction of this project and they were metals expert Alexander- Gustave Eiffel and his engineer partner Maurice Koechlin. While these two were the minds behind the tower, more often than not people refer it back to Eiffel given his name, even while Koechlin had the fine idea of the masterpiece. Another statue that these two were known for was our very own Statue of Liberty which is one of our nation’s most prized possessions. The Eiffel tower took nearly two years to build requiring hundreds of workers and 18,000 metal pieces used throughout the structure. Just ten years after the tower stood, it was made to be torn down and scrapped as metal. But soon after city officials recognized what it could do for a radiotelegraph station given the huge size of the structure it could send and receive signals clearly. This led them to the decision to in fact keep the tower standing to serve its purpose. Yet another time that it faced destruction was during World War II, it was the Germans plan to destroy the monument but as you can tell it survived and still remains standing today. This structure is truly a piece of history in the world and continues to impress those that get the chance to see it.

Scott Borosak

Questions:
1. What do you like most about the Eiffel tower?
2. Does it surprise you that it is the most visited monument in the world?
3. Would Paris be the same without the Eiffel tower?

Sites used:
http://www.history.com/topics/eiffel-tower
http://www.eiffeltowerguide.com/Eiffel-Tower-History.html

Leonardo da Vinci and his Vitruvian Man

vitruvian-man

Leonardo da Vinci, one of the more prolific individuals of the Italian Renaissance, was a genius and way ahead of his time. He is considered a polymath, which in Greek translates to “having learned much,” and is defined as someone who is an expert in a broad range of different subjects. In Leonardo da Vinci’s case, he excelled in areas of arts and mathematics. A work of his that reflects his aptitude in both art and science would be his “Vitruvian Man.” The Vitruvian Man is drawn with pen on paper, and it mathematically defines the proportions of the human body, mostly relative to height. I’m sure you’ve heard that the length of your arms is supposed to be equal the length of your height. This is just one of the many “perfect” proportions that are defined in his work. Other proportions defined in his Vitruvian man include the length of your chin to your hairline is equal to one tenth of your height, and the length of your shoulders is one fourth of your height. While I was reading some of these, I couldn’t help but think of how much thought he must have put into this. All of these proportions are written in the writing above and below the picture. However it is written backwards, or in “mirror writing.” This was not uncommon for da Vinci as most of his notes were written this way. The motive behind this unique style of writing was to hide his ideas from the Roman Catholic Church, since da Vinci’s ideas often collided with them. Davinci was also left-handed and it was easier to write on the page from right left as writing the opposite caused his writing to smear.
I felt that this would be a good artwork to share since we’re learning about the Renaissance in class at the moment. I first stumbled upon this artwork indirectly, as a variation of it is presented in the artwork for the “Clayman” album by heavy metal band In Flames. After seeing it so many times, I finally did some research on what it actually was. I was instantly riveted by what I was reading and soon found myself comparing my proportions to Davinci’s ideal ones. I also found it rather impressive that this was created with ink and it appears to have no mistakes.

Vito Bellino

1. How do your proportions match up to Leonardo da Vinci’s defined ones?
2. How do you think his ideas may have influenced future artists?
3. Do you think his technique of mirror writing was a good strategy to hide his ideas?
Links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitruvian_Man
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci
http://leonardodavinci.stanford.edu/submissions/clabaugh/history/leonardo.html