Hidden meanings


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


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



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?


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:



Kesha Patel
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?

Alive Without Breath

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The reason why I chose this artwork was because of the shock effect it gave me when I first saw it. I couldn’t believe that these weren’t real aquatic creatures in bowls, buckets and glass cups. I mean, that’s no place for them, but they just look so life-like. The reason why I like these so much is because it makes me question whether I can trust my eyes to look at something for only a second and understand what it is. It kind of gets me thinking about what is real and what isn’t real. Not often do we see art that is supposed to deceive us, and then when we find out what it really is, we are just in awe of it. Well for me I was in absolute disbelief until I saw the process of how they’re made. I can’t say there’s anything I don’t like about this art. But if we’re talking about the intent of the art, then I don’t like the idea of deceiving the viewer, no one likes to be deceived. I don’t think this kind of art reminds me of anything we’ve seen in class. It’s a painting technique that uses layers of resin and acrylic paint, which I don’t think we’ve seen in class yet. And also I don’t think we’ve seen any art that is meant to deceive us. If we’re going to try and put any label on what kind of art this is, I’d say this is realism because this is as realistic as it gets. I actually first found some of these pictures on Twitter. When I saw them and found out it was art I was like, “That right there is going to be my blog post presentation.” I initially didn’t believe it was art and I thought it was some kind of joke. The person who posted the pictures didn’t give the name of the artist and they had no idea who made them, so I had to do some digging. It took quite a long time to find out who actually made them. But alas, I found out these are made by Keng Lye who is from Singapore. He says his artwork is inspired by Riusuke Fukahori who pioneered using resin as the medium of his artwork. If you want to see the process of how Keng makes his art, there’s a video below that will show exactly that. This is a style I think is incredibly unique and eye opening. I hope you guys enjoyed this art as much as I did!

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKrTU_3p45g

1. When you first saw these, did you think they were real aquatic creatures?
2. Has anyone seen art that was made to deceive you in such a way that when you found out what it was, you were in disbelief that it was real art?
3. What do think about art that looks so life-like, that at first glance you couldn’t tell if it was really art?

Dean Garber



Mark Ryden

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If you ever enjoyed the Little Golden Books or read Mad Magazine or even watch cartoons as a child you will enjoy Mark Ryden work of art. Why I enjoy his work of art comes from creating mystery with old toys, stuffed animal and religious patrons. Mark Ryden was born in Medford, Oregon on January 20, 1963, but was raised in Southern California with his parents and two brothers and two sisters. His father Keith Ryden made a living from customizing cars and restoring them. As a child Mark would draw in school and his teachers would question why he would draw an animal with their guts hanging out. To mark it was a work of art and his family supported him, but to his teacher it was frighten and he enjoyed it very much. Mark believed that the more he stuffed his head with things like pictures of bugs, books of space, science, medical illustrations and many more things that he can mixed them all up and make his own art. To him certain things just fit right. In 1987 Mark Graduated from Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. During his early periods Mark Ryden made a living as a commercial artist until Robert Williams former member of Juxtapoz magazine ask him to work with him. Juxtapoz magazine only showcases lowbrow artist and it is the second bestselling art magazine in the U.S. Lowbrow is also often known by the name pop surrealism. Pop surrealism has been influenced from classic cartoons, comic books, soft porn and sci­fi.  Around 1988 to 1998 Mark design the book cover for Stephen King’s novel “Desperation” and “The Regulators. Mark also designed the Red Hot Chili Pepper “One hot minute”, Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator” and Michael Jackson “Dangerous” album cover. His painting also of young girls with big eyes and super large heads with very pretty innocent faces, but not knowing if they really innocent. I find some of his picture a bit creepy like the fetal that Abraham Lincoln is pulling out from a tree trunk and holding it while the young innocent girl is looking at it. I wonder if there is a meaning to this disturbing painting. The painting of some young kids having fun in a circus it looks like Mark was having fun in this painting by adding some toys, but I notice again their is a  fetus on the floor the young boy is staring at which I know some people would find it a bit disturbing. If you have a sense of humor you would enjoy Mark Ryden Pop surrealism art.
Maria Vega
What do you think of Mark Ryden work of art?


What makes his paintings so interested?


Do you find his paintings disturbing?


Alex Grey and the Exploration of the Metaphysical (Endarkenment)


Alex Grey displays his impressive technical skills with a deep introspection for life. All of his paintings have a very personal connection. He was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1953 to a gentle, middle classed family. With a background in graphic design and an ever-present interest in life, death, and transcendence. I chose this painting, Endarkenment , because it represents a very frequent and common theme in our lives. I interpret this painting as how it feels to be constantly burdened by life. The man is in the midst of turmoil, not even attempting to escape it. I can connect with it from working my job all the time. In the painting there is dark imagery surrounding him as well as going through him, controlling him. There is an acknowledgement of positivity on the fringes of it all, however the other figures are following in the same direction as the main one, which means that it is normal to be burdened and to feel trapped. His artwork inspires me to not only improve my abilities as an artist, but also as an intellectual. All of the themes in his artwork are concepts I’ve thought about a lot. Theosophy, existentialism. There is so much that life has to offer and teach us, and so much buried information and beauty that we as extensions of this wonderful universe have an obligation to express.

Are there any themes you can personally relate to or express interest in?

Do you think his surreal technical skills helps express his ideas?

What do you look for in art, aesthetic beauty with little meaning (landscapes, etc.) or introspection?

Liam Walleck


The Hands Resist Him

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He is of the seeing visions
His strokes reveal them
In a rush-of color, of madness
Of mystics
And his head is the highest center
It must confront its enemy,
The hands-resist him,
Like the secret of his birth
His presence is the sanctum heartbeat
Felt in darkness and in passion
Its sound the sole gift to that silence
– R. Ponseti, 1971
Inspired by his childhood photograph that was taken in a Chicago apartment and his ex-wife’s poem, Bill Stoneham created The Hands Resist him in 1972. He opened up an art show in 1974, while in a 2 year contract with Charles Feingarten Gallery and the painting got the most recognition out of all his work. He explained in his website that the little boy represents him, the doll is an imaginary guide and companion, the glass door is the thin veil between waking and dreaming and the hands are other lives.
But in 2000, it gained internet and overall popularity, after a California couple decided to auction it on eBay, when their four and a half daughter claimed to have seen ‘the children fighting each other’ and would ‘come out in the room during the night’. It caused a huge amount of spine-tingling reactions such as, people feeling ill and about to pass out, having strange visitors at night, children crying in horror when seeing the pictures, but some were just too afraid to look at the painting.
Apparently, before it was auctioned, three deaths occurred after its release. Feingarten died in 1981, a Los Angeles Times art critic, Henry Seldis, reviewed his art show and died in 1978. Actor John Marley(The Twilight Zone, The Godfather) purchased the painting at the show, then later sold it before his death in 1984.
I must say, Hands Resist Me is quiet mysterious in its own way.
The first time I saw the painting, my initial thought was, ‘There’s something going on inside this thing. And it’s a very interesting artwork.’ To me, it looks like the little boy had ran away, but he can’t quiet figure out where to go, mostly because trouble follows him everywhere. Then, he came across a toy store with a doll displayed outside, but there’s something unusual about putting a merchandise out in public. So I thought, the store is probably meant to lure children and trap them inside. Note how the doll has empty sockets and kind of squeezing a tube like object. And the hands seem like they are knocking and tapping at the door. Spooky much?
  • What was your initial reaction when you saw the painting?
  • Did it somehow made you feel creeped out?
  • Do you think your perspective or interpretation would change, if you have found the painting before it was popularized as haunted?Yunick Cataytay

Yunick Cataytay

The Hands Resist Him in Bill Stoneham’s website:
Article talking about Stoneham’s life and his painting:
Another article talking about the painting, but with close up photos:
Information about the Ebay auction: