Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Decorative but Deadly: Armor and Weapons

The Metropolitan Museum of Art contains many interesting tools, weapons, and armor used by different cultures. Have you ever really looked at a weapon or a piece of armor closely enough to notice the engravings on it? This exhibit takes a closer look at some of the armor and weapons used from the 13th to the 19th centuries. The design and inscriptions engraved on these objects sometimes have significance for the owner or simply have decorative appeal. I chose this theme because, when the design of and/or decoration on the weapon seems to have a meaning to it, I attempt to find out what it is.
The three art works that I've chosen are found in the Islamic Art, Asian Art, and Arms and Armor galleries. The first object is a Helmet with Talismanic Inscriptions found in the Islamic Art gallery. The Helmet contains an inscription, as mentioned in the displayed plaque, it "calls upon him for protection against harm and danger". "Him" refers to Ali, the cousin of the prophet. The second object is a Dagger Handle found in the Asian Art gallery. The design of this handle is of the Hindu God Batara Bayu. The owner of this weapon uses this design to help "wards off evil", as mentioned in the displayed plate. The final tool for battle is the Armor of Henry II of France. The design is found in the Arms and Armor gallery, Decorated with human figures and creatures one particular design found on the chest displays a man receiving two swords from two different women. Also, there are angels and plants extending all over the armor. The plate beside the armor didn't give much information that indicated if the decorations had any significant meaning.

Not all designs found on these weapons and armor mean something special to the owner of the object but why not have a cool looking weapon when at war? 

Jean André Prosper Henri Le Page
“Cased Pair of Percussion Target Pistols, Made for Henri d’Artois, Duke of Bordeaux, Count of Chambord”
Dated 1829
Arms and Armor
Samuel Colt
"Colt Third Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver, Serial Number 12406"
ca. 1853
Arms and Armor

“Armor of Henry II of France”
ca. 1555
Arms and Armor

Eastern Javanese period, Singasari kingdom
“Halberd Head with Nagas and Blades”
ca. second half of the 13th century
Asian Art

Eastern Javanese period, Singasari kingdom
“Halberd Head with Hooked Blade”
ca. second half of the 13th century
Asian Art

“Shield with Hunting and Landscape Vignettes”
Second half 17th century
Islamic Art 
“Helmet with Talismanic Inscriptions”
18th Century
Islamic Art

“Dagger with Zoomorphic Hilt”
Second half 16th century
Islamic Art

“Dagger handle”
Late 18th or 19th century
Asian Art

Designs by Jacob Floris
“Pellet Crossbow Combined with Wheellock Pistol”
Arms and Armor

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Performance At The Whitney Museum

                 For our fifth class field trip we visited the Whitney Museum. The exhibit we viewed was called the "Rituals of rented island" which contained documents of performing arts in New York. The works of art were influenced by the forces which were found in time period that the artist lived through which were cultural, social, and political forces. Since the artists were from New York, the U.S. involvement in war had an effect on some of their work. Also, cultural and social differences between the people that lived through these times had an impact on their performances. There were three documented performances that caught my attention when looking through the exhibit.
         The first documented performance I viewed was by The Kipper Kids called "Performance at the kitchen" (1978). The video showed the performers being hostile too one another but clumsiness would make their stunts back fire and make their actions hysterical. The description of Kipper's performances seems to infer that it is a political reference. The realistic violence portrayed in a funny way. In a way, it mocks the issues having to do with religion and social rituals. Their bodies are used to express pain these issues cause.
          The second documented performance that caught my attention was By Michael Smith titled "Baby Ikki" (1978). The video was of a man dressed and acting like an infant in the street. He had a diaper, baby like clothes, and baby toy props. The man would walk back and forth actin as a baby would act in the environment of their house or anywhere else. He would sit down in the middle of the street and crawl around while a car would stop. A crowd would surround him while he would throw tantrums, even if he was being laughed at he would not lose character. I think this shows a social reference due to in society grown-ups would have childish moments or would act childish on purpose. Seeing this performance live would give me a better understanding in seeing the expressions of the audience.
          The last performance that interested me in a way is titled, Shake!DaddyShake!" by Julia Heyward. I really didn't understand it because I viewed it for a short amount of time but I saw Julia shaking her hands and then eventually saying Shake Daddy Shake. I would think it’s a social reference too because from the short clip I saw it seemed like sudden burst of random words. I would definitely get the performance if I were to see it live.  
          I learned to understand that the performances of these New York artist referred to political, cultural, and social forces. These few examples that I mentioned showed some references to these forces. After this experience I now have some sort of idea in identifying if a performance was inspired by the events of the time period. 

Kipper Kids
"Performance At The Kitchen"
Video B/W 56min

Michael Smith
"Baby Ikki"

Julia Heyward
"Shake! Daddy! Shake!"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

LES Galleries Reaction

              Last week's trip to LES galleries was an interesting experience to me. The LES galleries were different from that of Chelsea's but also had its similarities. Although the artist in LES are not really recognized as much as the artists from Chelsea the artworks are great. These younger artist can become well known in he near future from my opinion from looking at the galleries. There were three galleries that impressed me that were fond in orchard street. 
              The Bosi Contemporary gallery found in 48 orchard street presented works from Dean Dempsey. The space in this gallery was much larger then most of the other found in the LES. It Seemed more neat as in cleaner and the works looked better presented. Although it was one of the larger spaces its still small compared to those of Chelsea. The work by this artist was similar to Phil Collins work in the Chelsea gallery, where there were artworks that advised the audience that there is explicit content. 
               The next two galleries that caught my attention were the Lesley Heller work space and Mckenzie Fine Art located in 54 & 55 Orchard street. The works were definitely different from Chelsea's galleries and the space was a lot smaller. The work in the Lesley Heller's gallery presented installations and the work in Mckenzie Gallery displayed paintings that look like pictures from outer space, the design and color just grabbed my attention. Chelsea's galleries did not really interest me as much as he works found in the LES. 
               I believe the area had a lot to do with my reactions to the galleries. The neighborhood where the Chelsea Galleries were located seemed abandoned yet if one was to walk a couple of streets they would find a lot of clothing stores and restaurants. Looking at a area like this I expected more in the art works but as for the LES galleries, the area was run down, small businesses in between galleries, small streets, and people actually lived on the apartments on top of the galleries. Looking at this area I wasn't expecting much and was impressed more because the work was modern.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary"

             Rene Magritte's exhibit at the M.O.M.A. "The Mystery of the Ordinary" I chose was titled "Les Amants(The Lovers)". This work of art touches the realms of reality and fantasy by showing two lovers who are kissing with fabric over there heads where in reality if most people would not kiss with sheets wrapped around their faces. The reality part of this art work is that they both look like people and wear clothes that regular people would wear. The elements that touch our waking reality is the interaction between the man and woman in this painting which we see a lot of people do mostly everyday. The way reality is distorted in this painting is the fact that if you were to wear a clothed wrapped around your head you wouldn't choose to kiss someone because there wouldn't be a purpose in doing so the action would be pointless. In my opinion, this altered perception of reality symbolizes how many people kiss others but there wouldn't be anything significant about it.

Rene Magritte
"Les Amants"
Oil on Canvas

Design in Our Lives

     On our second trip back to the M.O.M.A. we took a closer look at the third floor “Applied Design”. Our goal was too look for four works of art, two that have high functionality and two that have low functionality. Ergonomics or functional design is how well objects can  improve productivity, give comfort, and/or provide safety. The difference between art and design is that artist start from scratch while designers improve, add, or rearrange an existing idea. The point where both meet are that art can be made up of designs while still sending a message to the viewer and since designs can be made from images or original ideas, which were just called art before being altered with, I think this is were the idea overlap each other while setting out their purpose. 
    The first two designs I thought have high functionality are Ido Bruno and Arthur Brutter’s "EPT: Earthquake Proof Table" and Massoud Hassani’s "Mine Kafon Wind Powered Deminer" Both objects fulfill what they are described to set out to do. The EPT is meant to protect student who go to school in earthquake zones. Most of them are told to go under their regular school tables but that just gets them crushed  by the collapsing roof. As shown by the images below, the earth quake table works. It is made from steel and birch plywood. Next, Hassani’s deminer also works for safety purposes. Made from recycled plastics and bamboo it is cheap and can be easily assembled on site. It rolls through areas where there maybe mines and trips them so the people who wish to pass would not suffer injury or death.
    The two works of art I chose that I thought had low functionality were Gae Aulenti’s "Table With Wheels(2652)" and Maarten Baas’s "Sweeper’s Clock". Aulenti’s table is made up of  glass, metal, and rubber. The only use I see for it would be just to make a living room look kind of nice and perhaps move light objects if they were placed on top of it. The glass would not be able to hold much weight, it would just make a persons life harder if they were trying to mover furniture which would be the opposite definition of ergonomics. To make this object function better I would change the material from glass to wood. Maarteen Baas’s Sweepers Clock is actually a video of actors sweeping garbage and that same garbage is used as hands for the clock. It is suppose to represent the passage of time through labor but other then showing that I do not see how it would give comfort, increase productivity, or provide safety.
    The M.O.M.A. had many different designs to choose from and discuss whether or not the art works have high or low functionality. Those four designs caught my attention and were. in my opinion, the definition of ergonomics and the opposite meaning of the term. Whether or not they made one’s life easier or harder, they are all great works of art.
Ido Bruno & Arthur Brutter
"EPT: Earthquake Proof Table"
Steel and Birch Plywood

Massoud Hassani
"Mine Akfon Win-powered deminer"
Bamboo and biodegradable plastics

 Maarten Baas
 "Sweeper's Clock"
Video 720:00min

Gae Aulenti
 "Table With Wheels(model 2652)"
Glass, metal, and rubber

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Illustrate A Story


What I found interesting about this story is that it sounds like if it were a scene from a movie. A soldier getting tapped on the shoulder and getting told to ride in the other vehicle which saved his life. What is shown in my drawing is a soldier mourning his friends deaths. I drew an image of Lance Corporal Williams sitting alone because it represents how he was the only survivor of his 12 man squad.The hand on his shoulder represents the same hand that told him to go to the other truck which resulted in saving his life.  http://storycorps.org/listen/travis-williams/

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Field Trip 5

    Chelsea Gallery Reactions
     Visiting the Chelsea galleries I got to see many works of art that inspired me to expand my collection. There were two works of art that captured my attention and they were found in the Anton Kern Gallery located in 532 W 20th St. An oil and acrylic on linen created by Jonas Wood called Doyle, 2013. I like this artwork because the subject of it looks to be of an older man gambling. The expression on the man's face just makes me wonder what can be going through his mind as he's making his play. The other work of art I would add to my collection is "Ovitz Library" by Jonas Woods as well. The size of it which was 100x132 inches, is what impressed me along with the illusion of it being 3 dimensional. It made me feel as if I could enter the room and go through all the different aisles of books. These works of art are a good investment because the subject of gambling has always had my attention and the illusion portrayed in “Ovitz library” is just really amazing to me. Since I have always tried to create artwork with the same illusion and seeing how this artist accomplished it just inspires me to keep trying to make something similar. For these reasons I would show off these works of art in my living room.
    For the works that did not really interest me were found in the Paula Cooper Gallery, located in 534 W 21st St. The first artwork titled, Complex form, 1991 made by Sol Lewitt was the first to not really impress me. In my opinion it was simple not much happening in the painting just colors such as red, black, yellow, blue, gold-ish color and they don’t seem to be outlined just a random splatter of paint on paper. The other work done by Sol Lewitt as well titled the same way but made 3 years earlier, “Complex form“. They look very similar but this one is a bit more organized yet still dull to me. There is more variety of colors but yet don’t make a good impression on me. It wouldn’t be something I would invest in or if I did purchase the art works I would keep them in storage.