Friday, July 24, 2009

#7 by Jasper de Beijer
I found this artist recently on the MCA Denver website and I was quite impressed. I am a fan of super-imposed and super-realistic art. The Horse in this piece is exploded by the bomb which is shown beautifully. It contradicts itself because we see death but also beauty. The horse almost has some grace of being a hero in its attempt of escaping the explosion. Nevertheless, the sophisticated technology of man has once again overcome nature. I also find the inspiration and background of Beijer relevant to this painting.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Neo Rauch

Die Fuge
Oil on canvas



Oil on canvas
I came across Neo Rauch and found him pertinent to my blog and also quite interesting. I see that in his work he sends a gamut of underlying and hidden messages regarding the cold war, communism, tensions between east and west germany and politics. I liked his Paranoia painting as it successfully captured that feeling. The tension of the people, the uncertainty in the poise and position. They appear to be planning but are vigilant of the outside which has disturbed them. I also find that the colors create this tense atmoshphere and shape the uneasiness that exists. The birhgt colors of yellow, green and light blue contrast with the dark color of the door which creates a balance among the two sides, even though the door is only a minimal part of the painting. Thus, it is called paranoia, the smallest things can sometimes create the greatest fear.

The second piece, titled Die Fuge, is a powerful piece. Translated (not sure about this) Die Fuge means music or a music composition principle. I am having some trouble concluding what this painting is exactly about but I presume that Neo Rauch reveals the conflict and distress of authorotative production. It seems that the men in red are causing a lot of the conflict in the scene and are physically ripping the earth apart. Perhaps Rauch wants the viewer to see how any authority figure can destroy a beautiful landscape.

Visiting the MCA, I found Damien Hirst to spark my interest. I was paticularly interested in the Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain, 2007. It made me question the artwork...what does it mean and why? Damien Hirst does presents death as a central theme but I could not express any emotion for this piece of art. It was simply too cold, too callous and too technical. Perhaps this was the intention of Damien show the emptiness of death and the abscence of emotion. I also included some other works to show examples of his work.

television the drug of the nation

Thanks to Chris for finding this clip! I was excited to find this because it is exactly what I wanted research. Television is the drug of the nation. What purpose does it serve? Entertainment, propaganda, marketing/advertising and as a news source? I agree with three of those. As paranoid as this sounds but the news is controlled and it is monitored. Sort of like 1984, Big Brother is always watching and evermore controlling what you watch. How does this relate to art? Well if television is perhaps the most popular news source and it is controlled, our definition or appeal to art may be skewed. Notice how Middle-eastern art is not mentioned too often in the American media while European art and artists are quite popular. Stay tuned...more to come.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

through song...

Another form of art is music...I recently found this song that I found interesting in relation to war, propaganda and ignorance.

Capital G:

I pushed a button and elected him to office and a
He pushed a button and it dropped a bomb
You pushed a button and could watch it on the television
Those motherfuckers didn't last too long ha ha
I'm sick of hearing 'bout the haves and the have nots
Have some personal accountability
The biggest problem with the way that we've been doing things is
The more we let you have the less that I'll be keeping for me

Well I used to stand for something
Now I'm on my hands and knees
Traded in my God for this one
He signs his name with a Capital G

Don't give a shit about the temperature in Guatemala
Don't really see what all the fuss is about
Ain't gonna worry bout no future generations and a
I'm sure somebody's gonna figure it out
Don't try to tell how some power can corrupt a person
You haven't had enough to know what it's like
You're only angry 'cause you wish you were in my position
Now nod your head because you know that I'm right�all right!

Well I used to stand for something
But forgot what that could be
There's a lot of me inside you
Maybe you're afraid to see

Well I used to stand for something
Now I'm on my hands and knees
Traded in my God for this one
He signs his name with a Capital G

I think this song successfully shows how power makes manipulation and control so easy to have. We look up to the authority figures but sometimes forget to criticize them since believing is also much easier to have than revolt.

On War and Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard presents several interesting points when defining what war is. In his essays, "The Gulf War Will not take Place", "The Gulf War is not Taking Place" and "The Gulf War Did Not Take Place", Baudrillard contends that the Gulf War was not a war that can be defined by traditional meanings of the word "war", but rather it was a situation of violence created by "a masquerade of information: branded faces delivered over to the prostitution of the image, the image of an unintelligible distress" (Baudrillard). He points out that the images of war were recycled repeatedly to portray war and no real hand-to-hand combat occurred. At first, it seems ridiculous to fake a war but if you really think about it, faking a war would be relatively easy.

Since most of us do not travel to places of conflict regularly, we do have rely on other sources of information, such as TV, internet and the newspaper. All of these sources inform us of current world issues and include photographs that legitimize their reporting. However, how do we know that the information is truly valid and if the photographs are not staged? Unless you travel to Iraq on a regular basis and see it for yourself, the sources of media could be easily manipulated. Thus, the so-called war could be just an illusion meant for other purposes. If photography could be manipulated to be used as forms of propaganda then can art serve purposes other than inspiring creative thinking and expressionism?...I think so. Art is a very powerful form of sending information, controlling this form means having control of the audience if that audience chooses to believe it.