Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nice to Meet You Jimmie!

    Jimmie Durham was born in 1940. He is a Cherokee sculptor, writer and poet. Durham was quite active in theatre arts which were related to the civil rights movement. He was a member of the AIM (American Indian Movement) central council which clearly shows Durhams' heart for equality.When AIM came to an end in the 1970's, he then lived in New York focusing his attention back to art.At this time, it mainiy sculptures that Durham presented. He aggressively challenged the general conceptions of North American Indians to help the world greater understand their true culture. Durham describes himself as a "postmodernist primative" which regards to his Indian background and his refusal to conform to the Western modern art world. It generally implies his ethnic and socio-economic worldview as an Indian.

Self-portrait, 1986

    One of his works of art, La Malinche is a simple sculpture put together by recycled wooden pieces, which in itself seems as if little time and effort was contributed. However, at a closer look at the piece in whole, it becomes a mass range of stereotypes. Western onlookers may at first have been tricked into believing that this would be an artifact for a museum. Consequently, La Malinche was an Indian mistress of a white man in Mexico, and as this piece is titled so, it plays upon the perceived sexual oppression and colonial and imperial domination of Native Americans.
    I think that this is a great take upon art because to shatter peoples' perceptions takes courage and a unique ability to create intellicutal stimulation. In the photo below, the wow face is half human, half snakeskin, she has scrawny legs that are made of polyester batting which cannot support her figure. La Malinche’s torso has no heart, no lungs, yet wears a bra. In my opinion, there is little worth to her as a human being and her face looks melancholy which signifies unhappiness. Therefore, learing about a culture through art is equally as effective as learning it through conventional ways.

    Around 1987, Jimmie Durham relocated to Cuernavaca, Mexico where he began to exhibit internationally which includes Whitney Biennial, Exit Art, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. He also published a various essays in books and periodicals, including Art Forum, Art Journal. Following, in 1995, A Certain Lack of Coherence, a collection of his essays, was published by Kala Press.

    From my observations, Mr. Durham wants to promote his culture without having to feel ashamed and belittled. He wants the world to truely take away the negativity which this country brought on the American Indians and understand the culture as a whole. I can honestly think about all the misconseptions each aand every racial background has which is due it's only a lack of knowledge and history. Moreover, having learned about Durhams' art, it is clear to me that he isn't afraid to go against thee grain while still having an underlining message. Through art, many things can be understood and it's a good thind that he has made such and impact not only as an artist but as a writer, sculptor, and poet.

You may chuckle a bit when reading the text picture but Durham was quite precise and comical for this one!
Pocahontas' underwear, mixed media, 1985
We have made progress, mixed media, 1991

“One of the most terrible aspects of our situation today is that we do not feel we are authentic. We do not think that we are real Indians … For the most part, we just feel guilty, and try to measure up to the white man’s definition of ourselves.” –Jimmie Durham, Cherokee poet and artist

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Art!!!

     I feel that LOVE can be profecting in an art form! There are (as we know) many ways to tell someone you love them. Showing it is a whole other thing from saying or even implying it which makes the way someones demonstrates it creative and unique. Some may see love as an abtract noun or a way to describe a deep passionate never ending feeling. On the contrary, to me, is more of a verb! For instance, when a child is young there mother usually hugs and kisses them after they've been gone for a significant amount of time (summer camp, school day, etc). That is a prime example of love it's both given and received. Clearly an action that has to be backed my true feelings.
      Art itself is a broad range of creative maps all bond together by one big branch simular to a tree. Love in art can be expressed in poetry, song, dance, play, portrait or painting. This makes every part of art enjoyable because there is no one thing that is higher than another. Many times the general feeling of love is misunderstood and abused by our modern society but with art involved, love is expressed perfectly.
How could anyone forget Mariah Careys' song "Vision of Love" which was one of her first top hits in the 90's. It's a prime example of how music and love are so compatible making both unforgetable.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Norton Simon Flicss!

   In my opinion these two portraits are very different because the first one you see above is a portrait of ballerinas. In that time (1885) ballerinas may have been admired for their poise and gracefullness in dance. It makes sense because beauty was intialized by how lady like a woman seemed in the way she carried her self.
    These are both involving women and there "place in the world"/ society because the picture below shows as it seems to be a young girl gathering lillies in a field. Rivera was inspired by Mexican art as we can evaluate from this picture. Both are structured totally different but have simular aspects. Degas sculptures are made of bronze, quite small and not mind blowingly colorful. On the contrary, Rivera used light and fading colors to portait his view on the flower vendor. He wanted to create more of a social part in the world.
    Degas sculptures show confidence and willingness to thrive. When I looked at them initially, this is the feeling that I got from them. Although these portraits came from simular times they are both simular and different. Art can overlap in this way which I find fundamental in exlporing all the possible reason for this type of Art in society. This one of the reason that his portrait was my favorite because I can actually understand his ideal of that culture.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Venice: The Beautiful Menace!

 Well where do I start to even begin about this Venice trip?! First in foremost, I want to say that going to Venice was unexpectedly more complicated than my initial thought. Getting pulled over by the police was a moment that I think my group and I (that went) all sort of gasped for air. Wrong place, wrong time is a sceneario that fits but maybe getting pulled over made an indirect impact on our experience as a whole. We got through that so Venice was a breeze in the sun! 
Strangely enough, this was my first time ever going to Venice Beach. When my group and I first arrived at the beach, there was an atmosphere of "im free" that I couldn't ignore which is why I instantly fell in love inspite of all that had previously occured. Cruising along the walk, there were all sorts of artist. Along the walls were paint/grafitti artists. There were also some Henna artists and even music artist playing guitatrs and so forth. One in particular was a man that had pencil sketched a portrait of Dwayne Carter (Lil Wayne) / (Weezy F) which I thought was amazing seeing that he didn't trace it at all.
Eventually, we got to the walls! Since there are things, people, art and food everywhere, it's hard to have a one track mind at Venice. Walking up through the hills of sand, you can smell the fresh paint whisping through the air. When we got there, I immediately was taken aback by the unique and vibrant art work which was dispalyed.
My travel group was inspired by Pollock which made us want to do a simular styled piece with our own theme. We started off with a circular shape with geometrical depth inside and out of the lines. We chose to use the more vibrant colors since we had to cancel out the back ground image you see above. Plus, it made the piece pop so much more!

Of course I had to put a little of my own majic right next to our piece.
It's a heart with an A inside of course! I'm naturally gifted can't you tell? The experience of Venice Beach was definately unforgetable and a moment cherished in my life. It was like having potluck of art in the same place because there was various types. I feel that it's the perfect place to be inspired or even inspire others. Although we ran into some unexpected bumps along the way, it was all worth it in the end.