Thursday, October 27, 2011

Compare and Contrast Artists

Close-up showing a bit of texture on Picasso's painting of the Kitchen. Picasso has always been known to utilize textures and let his emotions bleed through in his paintings. He makes great use of form and space, in conjunction with texture from the paints on the canvas, to get a rather unpolished white looks- similar to a kitchen.

Mondrian used oil and pencil on cardboard, and I think it worked rather well. The brown of the cardboard provides a fitting background, and I think Mondrian was able to capture the shape of the dunes in a relatively smooth manner, but left the edges rough to capture the sandy, gritty look.

iDesign Analysis

Intention (Purpose)

The intention of Picasso's The Kitchen is often debated among critics, citing one end that he was paying homage to Guillaume Apollinaire, a poet and friend of Picasso's, in which he had previously made a sculpture:

Or did Picasso simply intend for it to be a kitchen? Or was he trying to depict himself, Apollinaire, and someone else?

Mondrian offers an oblique view of the coastline in which he depicts dunes on the left, sea on the right, and sky above. There is a stark contrast between the orange and blue colors of lines, and he probably meant to convey the smooth, yet rough, thick slopes of dunes.

Definition (Elements)/ Exploration (Concepts/Relations)

Each of the elements in Picasso's work is an angular, minimalistic reduction in kitchen gadgets- plants, cups, walls, tables, etc. However, hidden in his work seems to a portrait of himself and two other individuals, perhaps Apollionaire and another friend.

Mondrian often spent summers at Domburg, Netherlands, where he had a constant view of the ocean.

Suggestion (Form)

By using juxtaposition to defy common conceptions, both paintings force the reader to question the painters’ motive. Johns takes a commonplace, bland concept and depicts it with bright colors and bold strokes. He combines a chaotic way of painting with a concept that would normally try to be as clear as possible. Chirico places household objects in the same ethereal, floating frame as a Greek sculpture’s head. Moreover, the setting does not explain the reason for it.


There is a question of Picasso's innovation in The Kitchen, as he seemed to have done similar works (i.e. sculpture picture attached), and is claimed that he was inspired by Pierre Reverdy's poem, The Song of the Dead.

Can you see the similarities?

Apparently Mondrian's View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers was radically different from Mondrian's other works in that the painting possesed thickly applied, vibrant colors through the use of lines. Mondrian was quoted later saying that he preferred to work "in gray, dark weather or in very strong sunlight, when the density of the atmosphere obscures the details and accentuates the large outlines of objects." There is definite definition to the texture of the dunes in the painting.

Goalgetting (Criteria)

On Picasso's side, I would say it was successful (not like I could really criticize Picasso anyway) in the creation of an abstraction of a kitchen, because I was able to understand it- the colors and shapes reminded me of used kitchens, of blackened grouts, amorphous tiles and glasses. There are three shapes in the middle of the painting on the bottom that look like wine glasses and brandy sifters on a table and the entire picture was constrained by walls on all sides.

Compared to Mondrian's other works, I think he was successful in his experimentation with colors and textures because his picture is evocative of movement and the appropriate texture associated with sand on the beach. Having been to the Netherlands before and walked the beaches there, I can see where the colors came from, as it is a custom for the Dutch to walk along the beach at a very specific time just to see the sunset, it's colors effectively captured by Mondrian.

Knowing (Implication)

"The Kitchen" seems to reflect everyday customs and utilization of the kitchen- it is grimy but "white" (he texturizes this by creating rough and unclean line borders). There seems to be a delicate emptiness in the kitchen that contradicts the warmth usually associated with a kitchen, and perhaps, even family. The Spanish usually view dinner as a more sombre or quick affair, and leave for bars or taverns that serve tapas much later during the night as well.

As one of Mondrian's earlier pieces, much less non-representational at that, implies the extent to which he would go to create abstractions out of realistic, tangible perspectives/forms. This experimental and developmental phase marked the beginning of his years developing his philosophical ideas, which would later go on to affect the rest of his repertoire with respect to abstraction, as he was constantly searching for spiritual enlightenment in himself and his paintings.

Reaction Response

I adore minimalism, white and grey colors so The Kitchen was really a beautiful piece for me. Many of the lines' and their intersection melded with a large circle, which helped visually and mentally flow in the picture. I could make out many of the abstracted shapes in the kitchen, and what came as a surprise was Picasso's portraits highlighted in the picture above (clever clever Picasso!).

From the artistic side, Mondrian's work impressed me less, as I understood the dunes and its textures, but overall it looked sloppily made in a week or so. However, I respect the painting for its intrinsic value to the painter, as something of a child of the "teen" aspect of his painting years, when Mondrian was trying to a way to express his maturing development of philosophies and artistic style into his paintings.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Album Art Cover

Our assignment was to create an album cover.

The title comes from the first randomized Wikipedia page, and the title of the album comes from the last quote in the quote website.

Well, I landed on Garneau, a town in Canada, and "...equally wise- and equally foolish."

The last flickr photo I landed on was:

Turning it black&white:

As you can see, I found the photo and tried to think of what I could do with it. I first turned it black and white to stay within the constraints of the requirements.

The last idea the one that really took off, in my mind. I wanted to challenge myself, to try a technique that always looked fascinating but never actually attempted. I wanted a vector graphics piece which is characterized by sharp vector lines, and smooth, mono-color gradient fills. I didn't remember much from my vector days in high school, so I asked Dr. Gaskins and she pointed me to Adobe Illustrator. Learned about the "live trace" tool (TAKE THAT WACOM, no one will want to buy the inkling after knowing this particular affordance of the program.)

The basics: after I told my classmates, a lot of them didn't know what a vexel was. Or even a vector. After describing, some shook their heads, but I don't know if that was just to agree or if they really understood. So here's the breakdown-

pen tool: used to create a path, which can be filled or "stroked" (meaning has outlining line)
raster: made up of pixels; you can edit and change as you will, but change the size and the shape can become pixelized.

a vector
-good for scaling and industrial use, made through shapes or can be created using customized shapes with the pen tool

a vexel
-a vector graphic done in pixels, came about as a term for a pixel graphic done in vector-style

I ended up minimally processing the photo by posterizing it at 20% so I could get some help getting started vectoring it.

This end result, after wrestling with vectoring some 200+ layers, most of which were comprised of hairs and were extremely time consuming:

and ended up processing the picture more with vectors, and ended up as this:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brooklyn Bridge Deconstruction and Carthasis

I ended up doing a 3D model of the bridge, deconstructed. In order to illustrate movement, I thought the wires would be a good idea to flow with "parts" of the bridge. I created the famous arcs in the bridge and cut them out into severl parts, which were whimsically held up by the wires. The lightbulbs were there too as support, as the bridge is famous for its evening lights.

Inside, there were small blue stones that served both weight and aesthetic purposes, and the cotton was used to denote the fog that sometimes appear at the base of the bridge.

I also added some Duralar clouds, birds, and fish to give a better sense of space, as the parts of the bridge were in the sky. I think what it did was to ultimately give the piece it's relaxed weather and whimsical feels; to really give the piece a sense of space, I had to finagle with the thicker wires to hold up the shapes. I originally wanted to do something like Drake's Sprite commercial but I had some wiring technical difficulties and went ahead with movement in space.

There was a lot of hot glue, cardboard cuts, and intense wire finagling, but this was an enjoyable project!!

Unfortunately I don't have a good camera at the moment (what you see now are pictures/videos from my camera...I had to lower the blinds or else the picture would have glared in light), but I will try to borrow someone else's for better pictures asap!

Immersion/Illusion, 3D Frontiers, and Hyperformalism


The snippet about Oliver Grau was really something of an introduction to the next two articles, in my opinion, because the paragraph introduces the idea of an illusion in order to create an immersive environment, or an immersive environment that is actually just an illusion.

In the second article concerning 3D art, I was actually struck by Bryn Oh’s concept of immersiva, or creating an environment where the viewer will temporarily lost sense of reality or their surroundings for some amount of time. But before that I was pleasantly surprised that my teacher was interviewing Bryn Oh, so I’m a little envious!

What I took away from DanCoyote was that he spear-headed hyperformalism , which describes “aesthetic self-expression without anthropomorphic, or representative context.” He describes his earliest work as the conflict between modernism and post-modernism, and I can definitely see that in his work, though I definitely don’t quite elucidate a clear message from his work. Thus, I’m actually not surprised that the third essay was from his blog on hyperformalism- it was well-written and a bit verbose, but did make a little clearer what he was going for. I’m not sure if I’m the biggest fan of hyperformalism because I like to be able to elucidate meanings from each piece, and if I can’t figure it out usually the artist can describe what’s going on I think the message wasn’t clear enough in the piece. A good example of art that I would have not understood is Cai Guo Qiang’s, but his explanation nearly brought tears to my eyes….his use of almost poetic Chinese does the English translation no justice. That was simply touching…and you know, you understand what he’s trying to convey.