Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Response to "Message to Our Folks"


Among the wide-range of Rashid Johnson's art, his series of shelf with tiled mirrors are the most successful pieces that visualize his attempt to question the cultural identity of African Americans. The Shuttle (2011), reflects viewers with diverse cultural backgrounds, that include foreign tourists in the museum, to invite its audiences as parts of the work. Mundane objects on shelves also reflects viewer's own shelves. The two reflections are universal for everybody from modern society thus rejecting the idea of "black culture" as an entity that only applies for a specific racial group. Although there are elements in the piece that personalizes the piece rather than universalizes. Selection of books and records, shea butters, family pictures and some signs of violence (cracks and black slashes) reminds audience of Johnson's own life and history. A viewer who once recognized the shelf as his/hers then realizes the tension between individuality and commonality. Johnson's shelves imply that personal lives of African-Americans shares the same value with other ethnic groups in modern culture and also each African-American individual has unique and distinctive life style that is as diverse as everybody else.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Van Gogh Shadow

Van Gogh's Shadow
I know that this is supposed to be contemporary art but it can be in away:
This is a work done by Luca Agnani- an Italian designer and animator. His creation of a short film named:"Van Gogh's Shadow" brought the famous paintings into life. Van Gogh was the first artist I have ever known in my life (outside of Persian's artists). His works always fascinated me and filled me with energy and pain. Seeing his artworks coming to life took my breath away. It seems that I could see what he could see when he was creating his masterpiece.
Follow this link:

The Animated Theories of Clement Greenberg

I found this Youtube video very amusing that explains art and Clement Greenberg's theories (American art Critic) in a very easy way:
The animated theories of Greenberg

Radcliffe Bailey : Memory As Medicine

In this 2011 exhibition Radcliffe Bailey explores African American history as a way of healing wounds of the past. His works include installations, paintings, sculptures, pictures on metal and on paper.
In creating these works Bailey sought to learn about his own family origins. His main overlapping themes throughout his exhibition is blood, blues and water. 

Rashid Johnson Exhibit

I personally enjoyed the Rashid Johnson exhibit. I was drawn to the photography because that is my medium. I was particularly interested in his Van Dyke brown prints. Johnson is using a process that dates back to the 1800s and the early beginnings of photography.  I was impressed that he chose to spend hours working on each individual print. Experimenting with this process changes the aesthetic quality of the prints we viewed.  His photography is documentary portraiture, intimate life, and deadpan. I think he is versatile in his work and that is a great quality to possess in any medium.