Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The first painting I was interested in at the BMA was this one by Matta, called Rocks. First of all for such a complex paining I thought the name was extremely simple. When I looked at the painting, the first thing that caught my attention was the contrast between colors that are very blended together and sharp lines that almost look like pencil scribbles that had been erased and drawn over again. While the paint itself didn't provide much texture on the canvas, I thought this gave the illusion of texture within the work. As for the content, I found that you could find a number of distinct images, and the arrangement of color and lines allows viewers to interpret the shapes differently and see different things. I was also very drawn to the contrast between calming and serene colors and lines as are in the background and the harsh, jagged shapes that are in the foreground. Ultimately the impression that I got from this work was that it seemed almost like a stream of consciousness using oil paints on canvas instead of pencil on paper.

The second painting I was drawn to was Figures and Birds in a Landscape, by Joan MirĂ³. I have always liked MirĂ³'s work because he uses bright colors and surrealistic figures and images to convey tragic events in history. I am interested in how is able to turn sad realistic events into images that don't appear to be realistic at all. The use of dark colors in this work along with the expressions on his characters' faces helps make the viewer understand the horrific events that occurred during the Spanish Civil War. His goal of showing the oppressive forces of the time through his work is definitely achieved in this work.

The final piece I chose to focus on was this work by Matisse, called The Pierced Rock. Initially I was interested in this piece because it reminded me of the dot work we did in class and the Monet paintings we looked at first in the BMA, in that up close the brush strokes are very separate and noticeable but when you stand back and look at the painting it becomes much more clear. I was interested in a lot of paintings with the same effect but I think this was one of the most dramatic differences from a distance.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: Visibility

I have never thought about movies or plays in terms of how the directors, writers, or producers imagined and created them. This is a refreshing perspective because usually I am only concerned with what I see on screen, and while it's generally obvious that a lot of work goes into creating movies, plays etc., even then I think more about filming and editing of footage rather than the original creative process. The idea that there is a visual image at the center of most if not all, written stories seems obvious but again is something I had never actually stopped to consider. I remember writing stories in school a long time ago and being able to vividly imagine the scenes and characters of my story before even finding the right words to put on paper. I think this is something most people don't realize unless they take the time to think about. When the author frames his idea that forms of writing begin with a picture or scene from the writer's imagination, that words originate from pictures, the way he does, it seems almost backwards. Logically, it would seem as though words are supposed to create a mental image for a reader and even for the author, but again so many people must picture their story before they can write it. The greater observation that visual images are the root of works of literature is profound, and will hopefully spark conversations among readers about how this is true in different situations.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review: The Whole Ball of Wax

After reading Saltz's The Whole Ball of Wax, it is clear that he has an emotional connection to art that allows a limitless number of reactions while simultaneously understanding its limits in reality. I agree with Saltz's original statement that art can not, in fact, ignite and carry out change entirely on its own. However, I do also agree with arguments within the article that claim that art is much more than a drawing meant for visual pleasure, that art has the capability to incite emotions, start conversations, and be a source of calm and soothing. Saltz's claim that art "creates new thought structures" is particularly appealing to me because every single person who views a piece of artwork may see and interpret it differently, and among all those perspectives, there is bound to be one that is novel to or challenges the norm for the way art is generally perceived. Saltz's final claim that art is essentially a cat, is one that I don't necessarily agree with because in trying to communicate with a cat there will always be uncertainty about what you are trying to understand, what the cat is expressing. However in trying to understand art, the most important thing is what the art expresses to its viewers individually and what effect it has on each person.