Wednesday, December 14, 2011
For my final project for this class I decided to make two kinds of food. My original idea was to play off of two jokes we had during class, 1: Art is a Cat and 2: time is white. So I was going to bake a sheet cake and use white icing to cover the cake then top it with the figure of a black cat. Then the more I though about it, that idea just seemed too simple and too normal. I then came up with the idea of mixing my passion for photography of course in to my art and created a cake in the shape of a camera. Then while I was exploring a craft store back home I was a box to make pretzel mix and decided to go along with my cat idea and make a cat out of pretzels.
I chose to bake a cake because I was home and could use my kitchens and all its supplies better then at school, and my mom also had all the ingredients. I chose chocolate cake because it is dark, like a camera, and its my favorite flavor. I used a bread pan to make the overall body shape, the mix allowed for two of these pans. I chose the best overall shaped one and then cut the camera hand rest out of the other cake and shaped it and stuck it to the main body.I also put some cake on the top to represent the flash section of the camera. I experimented with using white icing and then black color food spray, but that turned out really gross so I just stuck with chocolate icing. So I just put chocolate icing all over the shape then stuck a photo on the back where the main screen would be on a real camera. Used dove chocolate pieces to represent the shutter button and another dial. I put white icing in shapes to represent other buttons and marks on a real camera. I finally created the lens out of doughnuts. I put one doughnut on the cake first then placed a photo in the hole and placed another doughnut on top of that one to give a medium lens size effect. Visually it is not perfect of course and there is not black icing but I think the photos within the lens and on the back are a nice visual additive. I am happy with how it turned out and excited to eat it.
My pretzel, although probably stale not, was more of a random experimental project. I have never made pretzels before but I knew I could shape them however I wanted to so that is what I did. I made the shapes of the face, eyes, nose and ears from pretzels, picked the best shapes and then pieced them together to create a cat face. I decided to use the cinnamon coating for this cat because I though it would make the pretzel look hairy or fuzzy like a real cat and create that visual effect. I used green jelly beans as eyes to make them stand out. Then I used tooth pics to create the mouth and wiskers because I though it would be un-reliable to make small enough and thin enough pretzels to look right. As I was placing the pretzel into its container it started to fall apart and I have had to use more tooth picks to hold things together. It took a long time to complete both and I just hope in the end that neither fall apart.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I have been hearing KoKo talk about her SMP all semester while in class with her and it was interesting to see it up close finally. I heard her talking about making a quilt and to myself all semester I was thinking how is this really art? Not just is it art, but I just expected more out of KoKo because she is a very compelling artist and usually brings in a background story. Then as the semester went on I heard more about it an that the quilt was about home and connected to her passion for habitat for humanity and then I was amazed once again by Ko Ko.
Her SMP is titled Sew It Seams, this play on words fits her work nicely. She talked about how there are homeless people in St. Mary's County and that it is an ongoing issue. There are a lot of foreclosures within the county and many homeless people are squatting in abandoned homes around the county. This issue is very hidden to us college students. It seems like we as a general population are sort of hidden from the outside world of this county we are a part of. The idea of this really seems close to KoKo's heart and she wants to show the SMCM student body what issues lie outside SMCM's boundaries.
The quilt she made is a strong way of raising this issue through her art work. Yeah, she could have just made some posters and tried to get her point across, but in the end they just become wallpaper and disappear. The quilt is a fun new way of showing people the truth. To create the quilt she sat outside the great room, and askeed people to think about what home means to them. Then to translate this onto a quilt square, through art. So no only is her piece her artwork but it also hold other peoples views on home. These squares were then literally and figuratively stitched together to create this big quilt, holding the many views of home. People drew what they loved about home, whether it was a scenery or maybe a pet or family member. The quilt as a whole was very well put together and designed. Also, her presentation of the quilt was very effective.
She hung the quilt on the wall and also places a rug, pillows and other home like items around her corner space to make the set up feel more comfortable. People were then invited to sit on the rug and use markers, hot glue and so much more to create even more quilt squares.
KoKo is a very effective artist in everything she does, she always finds a deeper meaning and tries to show it, and I believe she did this very well with her SMP. I dont know if she will make more quilts or expand the current one or go off on a whole new idea all together. I am very interested to see where she goes with it for next semester and how her final project will turn out.
Although I did not make it to the SMP talk I did go into the gallery multiple times while it was open. The Art I was most drawn to was that of Jenny Metz. She created three pieces of wall art fro multiple photos. From a distance, walking into the gallery I saw the images and from this distance they just seemed normal. They seemed like places she had just photographed, cut up and layered back into their original landscape. It was not until I got closer that I realized that the large scale landscapes were not actually just repeat images of the true landscape, just broken up. But they are actually very zoomed in single photos of a space then put back together again like a puzzle. At this point I was like this is so awesome why didn't i ever think of this. Then I kicked myself in the butt because Chris Saah showed me an artist that does something very similar to this. I cannot remember the artists name, but he takes photos of a space then puzzles them back together layering them as he goes. But the catch is that with this freedom of multiple images, he recreates that space and alters it so that it is not an exact representation of the actual space. While remembering this artist and looking back up at Jenny's art i realized, she did the same thing.
Two of the images are very familiar places to St. Mary's students, route five and up by Kent hall. When I first looked at them they seem unaltered, but after remembering the artist Chris showed me, I relaized she did the same thing. These very familiar images I was standing in front of instantly became unfamiliar, they had been deconstructed and reconstructed in a different way. The route five image made it look more like a fish eye effect. in the foreground you see the gaurd rail and grass so close up that you would have to kneel down in real life to see them this detailed. But then you see the guard rail shoot back in the direction behind you and in front of you, In real life this could never happen but in this image it has. You are seeing far more then you would ever see in real life just in one image.
The image near kent hall is far more deconstructed and then reconstructed in an altered way again. The two main trees appear to be almost touching in the sky. It gives me that feeling like you get when you lay down on a grassy patch and just look up. The trees seem to fall inward toward you at an angle that is unrealistic.
As an artist I have learned to look at the image first then read the description so that is what I did this time. In her description she talks about how she deconstructed the subjects and "calling attention to two types of vision: the way the camera lens sees and the way the human eye sees" these two things are often compared a lot in the photography world. The camera lense sees the world as we see it. Just capturing the light reflected off subjects and seen by our eyes and the camera's film. Jenny talks about how the public has become accustomed to seeing the world in photographs and that photos are proof, proof of the world. This idea is brought up a lot in my art classes recently. The issue that an event is not true and did not happen unless it was photographed. I think this is because of how much we are bombarded with news, ads and social networking these days.
The aesthetic that Jenny's pieces create is amazing and they make the viewer see different things as the get closer and pan the art work. She did an amazing job and has sparked many ideas in my head for future projects.
Monday, December 5, 2011
The in class critique was interesting and helpful. I learned things about how people interprete my work more then I would even see with my own eyes. It was brought up that people did not see the red and black color association with MD terps colors especially since it was a poster about the real terps. I though that was obvious, but probably because I am the artist. I learned that even the animals like the blue heron are not recognizable to some people. I mean clearly they have all seen one even i they have never taken notice to him, but one lives in the pond on campus that people walk past everyday.
As for the book the main response I got was just that people liked how it was constructed and it was easy on the eyes. They liked the photos.
I feel that the posters were effective in the simple fact that it made some people ask, so what are those animals it means they were showing interest and I achieved the goal of making people look.
The artist I chose to research was Kevin Fleming, he is a nature photographer focusing on Delmarva's wild life. I chose to research him because I look up to him as an artist and I want to be a wild life photographer as successful as him one day. I decided to create a photo book as my studio response along with three activist posters. I know of Kevin Fleming's images primarily because of his print and books. My intention with creating my book was to show my view of the Delmarva shore thus far, and my photographs of it. I also created three posters which consisted of three animals I hold dear to my heart and accompanying them with activist statements. By creating these posters saying "Appreciate Nature" I wanted to show people the beauty of what is in their own back yard and make them want to save these animals.
I made the photo book as soon as I heard about the project so that ever really change din intention or ideas. Yet originally I was planning on just using the book as my studio response but then as the actual studio response time approached I decided to create posters to get my point across. It is sometimes not just enough to show the public pictures of the wild and expect them to care. A lot of the time it takes more, it takes statements to make them realize. So for this reason I printed posters with bold text over the images. All of them said "Appreciate Nature", then on the individual ones they had more specific statements. It bugs me how the University of Maryland portrays the terp to not even look like the true species, s0 for one of the posters I used my photo of a Diamondback terrapin on the beach and printed on it "The Real Maryland Terp" and "Save the Terp". To show people how beautiful the real Diamondback Terrapin species is. The statement on this poster was taking the realistic direct approach to make people act. Another poster I made took the sympathy path by printing "Save those who cannot save themselves" on my photo of a blue heron. Lastly I used on of my favorite pictures ever of horse shoe crabs. Animals often forgotten about and not even noticed.
When creating the Poster I did not have the original idea of keeping "Appreciate Nature" as the key phrase on each, that idea just progressed after making the first one. I also imagined them larger at first and only a pair but then was advised to create three. The end result was rewarding though especially since I have never created posters like these before.
Stepping back from my art work I would be probably a little puzzled at first glance at the posters. I would first of course notice the pictures and like them but them start reading the words and try and figure out their point. I think the "Appreciate Nature" would make me realize it was an activist poster rather then just a photo of an animal. When looking at the horse show crab poster I would wonder what it meant by "supporting out health system" and would look it up on my handy dandy i phone. I would notice the visual boldness of the font and colors and how the colors match nicely with the background enough to stand out but also fit in. I would immediately pick up on the color association in the terp image as being the MD terps colors. I do agree though that the blue heron image is a little too busy compared to the others in how there is more going on in the background and it is distracting from the fords especially "graceful' wrapped around the birds chest. I think to make a better statement they should be bigger and possibly have outlines around the text to make it stand out more.
Stepping back from my photo book I would notice the neatness of how it is formatted and presented. I would immediately want it to be larger to seem more professional. The contrast of the black book ad the bright colored images would catch my attention better and help see the images in a more professional manner. I may not notice at first how the book is set up as far as progression through the year and places across the shore but it may click with me the second or third time I viewed it.
If I had the opportunity to change anything I would make both projects larger. I would edit the typing on the posters to stand out more. I would edit the blue heron photo slightly to make the background not so distracting and I would take the word graceful out of the poster. I love the book, so I would not change probably anything about it.