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!


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


What is Cloud Gate?

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Most if not all of us have been to Chicago and seen Cloud Gate. During the construction of the sculpture the media and public had nicknamed it “The Bean” due to the shape of the sculpture. Anish Kapoor the one who designed the sculpture found the nickname to be “completely stupid” and officially named it Cloud Gate.
In 1999, Millennium Park officials and a group of art collectors, curators and architects reviewed the works of 30 different artists and asked for two proposals. The committee chose the design by Anish Kapoor a highly praised international artist who has a reputation for creating spectacles in urban settings. A British engineering firm “Atelier One” and freelance engineer Chris Hornzee-Jone provided the sculptures structural design and Performance Structures Inc. was chosen to fabricate it because they are known to produce near invisible welds. Performance Structures Inc. had created a miniature model which was then selected by Kapoor to be used as the design of the final structure. PSI had originally planned on building the structure in Oakland California and ship to Chicago through the Panama Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway. Park officials shot down that plan and the decision was to have all the individual panels delivered by truck and assembled onsite. The Bean is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together and its highly polished exterior has no visible seams. They were fabricated using three-dimensional modeling software. Inside The Bean are several steel structures that keep it standing. The Bean measures 33 by 66 by 42 feet and weights 110 short tons. To keep The Bean clean the lower 6 feet of it is wiped down twice a day by hand, while the entire sculpture is cleaned twice a year with 40 gallons of liquid detergent. Kapoor’s contract with Millennium Park officials states The Bean should be expected to last 1,000 years.
I have chosen to share this sculpture because I personally enjoy going to visit The Bean and walking under this enormous sculpture. I love how The Bean is interactive with you and allows you to be part of the art. The way it reflects the Chicago skyline and its surroundings is amazing. The Bean has become such an iconic work or art and is known all around the world. I think the elegant/sleek look design fits perfectly with Chicago and I personally cannot envision the sculpture being anywhere else in the world besides in the city of Chicago. If you have not visited “The Bean” it’s a must see.

Who has a picture of themselves with The Bean?
If you created the sculpture would you have kept the nickname “The Bean” or rename it like Kapoor did?
Should the British Engineering Firm and freelance engineer Chris Hornzee-Jones be credited for the sculpture too even though they only designed the structural portion?
Has anyone ever seen “The Bean” getting cleaned?
Do you think “The Bean” will last a 1,000 years?

Links to additional information about my blog:

Jake Ladick

Works Cited:
Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
“3 Facts about Chicago’s Cloud Gate (that Surprised and Impressed Me) – Final Transit.” Final Transit 3 Facts about Chicagos Cloud Gate That Surprised and Impressed Me Comments. 27 Aug. 2012. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.

Pumpkin Carving

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We have all taken a knife from a drawer and carved a pumpkin when we were growing up. A few triangles for eyes, some jagged cuts for teeth in the mouth, another triangle for the nose, drop in a candle, and it’s done. The artist Ray Villafane, and his crew have been doing something a tad above that basic style of carving. He was born in New York and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1991. He was an Art teacher from 1993 – 2006 in Michigan for children ranging from kindergarten up to seniors in high school. When fall would come around, he would try carving pumpkins, and a few students liked what he was able to make so they would bring in pumpkins for him to carve. The students and their parents liked his carvings so much, that he started getting a lot of requests. As he got better and better, he realized he was onto something. He started sculpting in 2004 and became so successful at it, that he was able to retire from teaching in 2006 to pursue a full-time career as a sculptor. He is a professional sculptor for a company that makes collectible toys like super heroes. I remember when I first saw him on the Food Network, on a show named Halloween Wars. I was absolutely astounded that he could visually see a pumpkin, and mentally have an idea to turn it into something so lifelike. Instead of carving out holes into the pumpkin, he shaves off layers to add depth and make his carving appear to be fight its way out of the pumpkin. The amount of small details he can put into something organic like a pumpkin is just incredible. One of the things I really like about his work is he tries to use the entire pumpkin, the outer skin, the seeds, the “guts”, and even the top. He creates a 3 dimensional in the round carving that is intended to be viewed from many different angles.

Just in case you think this is scary, he’s a fun YouTube video about his process and how he goes about it.

Do you like this style of sculpting and art work?

Is this something you would try?

Would this be as impressive if it were done from clay, instead of from pumpkins?

Ryan McDade


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?


Street Art

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I chose this piece because the strong message behind it as well as its unique location stood out to me. This piece is called No Future created by a Greek street artist named Ino. A lot of his work is of human bodies and faces that are representational with an abstract or cartoon like twist. I really enjoyed his work also since he puts his artwork all over the streets of the world, but mainly in his home country of Greece. I was drawn to his work since it is street art I think it’s something outside the box of traditional artwork and something anyone can go and see without spending the money to go to a museum or a gallery. I also really liked the specific piece even more after reading about the messages he was trying to portray in his piece. Also Ino uses the buildings or walls he’s creating his work on to his advantage because they give his artwork more meaning or character. He does this very well with the work No Future in which he painted the piece on a elementary school building in Athens, Greece. The piece features a monochromatic color scheme of black and white with two abstract children’s heads mashed together inside a balloon. The meaning behind this piece is to raise awareness about the impact of the depressed economic system of Greece. Ino brings light to the fact of these children working so hard in school only to be released into a jobless economy once they finish school. He emphasizes the sadness of the piece using a black and white color scheme as well as putting a very somber, hopeless look onto the children’s faces. Also the looks on the children’s faces seem to be very innocent as well, seeming to represent that they can’t make the economic changes and its up to the adults to step and up and fix the economic crisis for the future generation. He plays up the meaning behind this piece even more by placing it on a school building. This seems to create more impact and calls for a swift change of the economic crisis or else these children will suffer in the future by not being able to get jobs for themselves after working hard for their education. This piece reminds me of Picasso’s Guernica due to the black and white color scheme as well as the abstract style. These two pieces are also similar since they are both very large pieces as well as both being pieces that respond to serious issues of their time.

Would you like seeing street art like this in the streets of the United States?

Do you think street art is as important or beautiful as traditional artwork done on a canvas or something of the sort?

Do you think Ino seems to convey his message well through the piece No Future?

Kristi Ward

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

Henna Designs (body art)

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Henna is a small tree or shrub of lawsonia Enermis, when its leaves dries up, its grounded with stone and mixed with hot water and paste is made out of it, for cosmetic reasons. Henna has been used as a hair dye for over 6,000 years. It has a maroon to dark brown color after it dries up and fades away as time goes by and becomes yellow to pale color. Henna tattoos are put only on females. This is a body tattoo which is put on hair as a dye, and on fingernail as a nail polish and on hands and feet as a tattoo. It is researched by an archaeologist that, in Egypt henna was put on fingernails of the Pharaohs before the mummification. Now, it’s becoming a trend to put on other parts of the body as well like belly, arms and neck. This is considered to be very traditional in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Arab countries. People usually put this on when there is special occasions like weddings, Eid festival, eight month of pregnancy, the child naming ceremonies etc. This is considered to be very important in the marriage of the girl when she becomes married. This is considered to be part of art because the designs are made up of such fine lines. The designs of henna varies from culture, there are Arabic designs, Indian, African designs. The reason I chose this Art because, I think art is associated with us in our daily lives without even realizing it and it is not only bonded in piece of paper or wall but can be beautified on the body as well. It can be put on temporarily and without any pain like other tattoos.

Do you consider this as a piece of art?
Would you put henna designs on your body?
Would you recommend henna for men as well?

Hena Haque

Work cited