Temple College Visual Arts Center Gallery Essay Example

I traveled to the Temple College Visual Arts Center Gallery on November 5th so that I could visit the exhibition by Jeffie Brewer, “Idiot Boy.” I’ve never been to an art exhibit before, honestly. I was excited to see this exhibit, as it was only the work of a single artist. To me, this makes viewing the work a more intimate experience, and you really get to know the artist by inspecting the multiple pieces from within their mind. Without other artist’s work present, you can have a purer experience. Jeff grew up as the son of the owners of a junk yard, which contributed to his ability to see the beauty within the mundane – something I think is very prevalent in his work. He has used his talents to create an impressive career for himself by starting two companies, working as an illustrator and designer for an advertising company, and has been teaching art professionally for almost twenty years. He even designed and built his own home, which is something that not a lot of people can say.

Jeff seems to have a lot of knowledge and experience to share, and I’m happy that some of that is shared both through his art, and his years of teaching. When you enter the gallery, you are greeted on the right by a statement from the artist. He explains within his statement that “Idiot Boy” is ‘a giant self-portrait,’ and is a deep look into himself; described as a ‘skin suit that is Jeffie,’ controlled by a team of squirrels. This humor gives some insight into the fun and abstract nature of his works. Glancing around the room at his work, you can see that this holds true, as you can tell he thoroughly enjoys the process of creating his work, even if the piece is meant to have a more serious tone. The time and effort he put into these pieces really comes through, allowing us to have the opportunity to learn more about the man that is Jeffie Brewer. As you look around the exhibit, the abstractness of his work stands out, and you can really see his preferred mediums are working with oil pastels, as well as different metals to create his sculptures. With the sculptures, it seems there are two distinct styles as far as the coloring goes – they’re either a single, flat color spread evenly over the sculpture, or he creates a rustic look by leaving or adding various scratches, patches of rust, or other cosmetic “imperfections.”

His works on paper seems to favor vibrant colors over others, but some of them have a darker tone to them, and utilize colors that match that. Many of the designs seem simple, but when you consider the effort required to come up with an idea, draft it, then execute it, it’s amazing. The artistic ability of humans fascinates me, and the fact that something that seems so simple can be incredibly complex at the same time baffles me. One particular piece that I was intrigued by was the work titled, “Meditations on looking and seeing.” This piece was created in 2018, and seems to be a part of a series of steel sculptures, based on other works titled the similarly on his website. The piece I viewed in the gallery was almond-shaped, like an eye, with an off-center hole cut out to resemble the pupil and iris. The dimensions were close to 2’ by 1’ by 6”, and the color was a flat, even, vibrant green. Looking at this, I felt a sense of comfort – the simple shape and color of the piece are very inviting. To me, this sculpture represented the ‘third eye,’ and reminds us that looking and seeing are separate, but related actions. Many of us spend our days looking at a variety of things, but to actually see something for what it really is, or for what it can be, is much different. There was a pastel on paper artwork that I found extremely interesting, and enjoyed looking at. The more you look at it, the more random it seems. It was quite a large piece, maybe 3.5’ by 4’, and looked quite fun. In fact, the work was actually tiled just that – “Fun.” It consisted of several seemingly unrelated parts, which is why I think I found it so interesting. The background of the piece is a large, crudely drawn grid pattern in a dark blue color, with a light blue color filling in the white space.

Along with the grid pattern, there are various white lines and shapes throughout the entire background. The focal point of the piece is an asymmetrical shape, that slightly resembles the shape of ginger root, the color being a combination of off-white, pink, blue, and yellow; giving it, in my opinion, a more organic color. In the upper right-hand corner are small circles, with one having a ring around it, leading me to believe these resemble planets. The planets are drawn in the same dark blue as the grid pattern for the background, as well as another small drawing just to the right of the focal point, representing a city scape. There were other small patterns and drawings through out the background, but the two that stood out the most to me were the black word, “NO” written in the middle on the far left, and the red word, “FUN,” writing in the bottom right corner. Once you take in everything that’s going on in the artwork, it seems that these two words are meant to be put together to form, “No fun.” To me, this statement and other elements of the piece come together to point out that art should be fun – you shouldn’t subscribe to other’s rules when creating your art, and need to just have fun with it. After all, isn’t art supposed to be an expression of an individual’s creativity? This was, above all, my favorite piece, and experiencing it in person brought joy to my heart – as if I were a kid again. The final composition I viewed before leaving the gallery was one titled, “Junkyard cloud.” This work was a single cloud, made form steel. It was about 1.5’ wide, 1’ tall, and 6” deep. The color was white, but the surface also contained various blemishes of rust.

The Museum Of Contemporary Art

As I entered the Museum of Contemporary Art, I was drawn to the piece called Special Problems (from the Library of Photography series), 2013. It was a huge mural, and I liked it because it reminded me of the chapter in our class that discussed photography and collage.

Matt Lipps’ photographic work is not traditional, curatorial, and photographic art. He combines collage, sculptural, theatrical, and photographic techniques. Lipps cut out and assembled hundreds of figures from the 1970-1972, Time-Life Library of Photography Books. Using a mixed media collage aesthetic, Libbs, references innovations and central figures in the history of photography by assembling the cardboard cutouts at various scales that are then arranged. When first looking at the elements in the photograph and how they are arranged, it looks chaotic, yet then after taking a good look there is balance and a flow when following the horizontal shelves that the picture cutouts are placed upon. The mood of the photograph is lively and stimulating. The form is 3-D realistic, has a natural sense of depth and space, and has linear. The pictures are depicted long and narrow. I observed the lighting in the photograph as bright and intense in certain parts. First thing my eyes are drawn to and noticed about this artwork is the vivid colors of red, turquoise on the bottom of the photograph. The colored backgrounds contrast dramatically with the flattened objective black and white figures and forms selected by Lipps. Attached and arranged on shelves in front of the rich color backgrounds, the layout of the figures become the subject of a story being told. The shelves guide your eyes to looking at the composition, which is horizontal, at each picture.

The content of the piece is presented in the form of cutouts of figures that become the characters of the story being told. Danziger states, “The colorful backgrounds of the series come from 35mm photographs taken by Lipps when he was a student, and their warmed emotional color and abstract feeling contrasts dramatically with the coolly objective black and white figures and forms selected by Lipps from the books. Combining authored and appropriated photographs Lipps sets up a tension between the subjective and objective uses of the medium offering both an intriguing and fresh perspective on the history of the medium and history itself.” (Danziger Gallery Exhibitions Art Projects Info)

Josh Lilly describes the process of Lipps work by stating, “Through a process of extracting images from diverse source materials, Lipps would cut out and re-organize visual icons from our social history – forging his own compositions within built up three-dimensional sculptural stage sets. While this new series of photographs sees this process continue with the cutting out of almost 500 figures, Lipps’ Library actually points to a far more personal take on the practice of appropriation, paying tribute to the analog medium while posing new questions about the future of digital photography and imaging.” (Josh Lilly)

I think in this work the artist wanted to tell a story of a certain time. “The artist presents a narrative in many ways, by using a series of images representing moments in history, and by selecting a central moment to stand for the whole story.”(Getty. edu)

My experience in critiquing this work is that it gave me a different perspective on how I view art. I first looked at the obvious. Next I analyzed the artwork. Then, decided on interpretation. My feelings about this photograph didn’t change once I analyzed it, yet, after going in depth and forming an interpretation, based on everything I’ve learned, I appreciated the piece more. I would like to have it for my own because it is a unique piece of art. It also can add appeal to room.

I believe that this work is not for everyone. Some people might not appreciate the aesthetic value of the piece. I do believe the work is good; the artists’ creativity is distinctive as well as original. The aesthetic theory I believe this piece portrays is formalism. There is the use of manipulation of materials involving mastery of particular media, crafted, and aren’t copies of other work. The lines, colors, textures, shapes, spaces, and the arrangement of these elements in stimulate an aesthetic experience.

The Emergence Of A Post-Feminist Ideology And Theory

A feminist trajectory identified after carefully reviewing this semester’s reading relates to the emergence of a post-feminist ideology and theory. Post feminism theorists pos it that Second Wave Feminism has achieved its goals while being critical of Third Wave Feminism goals. Initially, the term post-feminism describes feminist critics of the second-wave feminism movement. However, today this term applies to feminist discourses that challenge and oppose second-wave ideas. In this regard, post-feminists believe that feminism no longer has a place in contemporary life (Tobias 17). Presently, post-feminism is a hotly contested notion within the fields of cultural and female media studies due to the different interpretations that scholars accord the term. As a critique of second-wave feminism, post feminism opposes second-wave concepts such asessentialism and binary thinking, perceptions regarding sexuality and proposes a different approach towards relationships between men and women.

Post-feminism is interesting as it focuses its discourse on the issues of the equality of the sexes, sisterhood, and universalism. In postulating a unitary view of identity, for instance, the male/female or straight/gay, second-wave feminism creates a solid concept of women (Reilly 73). Regarding feminist history and practice, post-feminism provides a trajectory for conducting a candid analysis of binary classifications. As a result, post-feminism overturns and rescinds the prevailing definitions, while promoting hybrid identities. Additionally, a post-feminist outlook pos its that women should embrace and accept a personal mix of multipleidentities. In this way, it challenges the universal conception of a singular female identity that fits within the model of neo liberal individualistic societies, as it emphasizes flexibility (Reilly 71). Nowadays, post-feminist is evident in popular culture through the articulation of themes such as queerne.

The theme of embodiment recurs in women art because artists tend to objectify their thoughts and values regarding particular aspects of reality. In this way, artists equip their audiences a window into the kind of world they value. As such, an artist’s primary purpose is to create art that objectifies and concretizes abstractions of the female body in a form that help the audience perceive these abstractions in concrete reality. For instance, in Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs and tête-à-tête emphasizes several aspects of the female anatomy that illustrateshow art reduces women to passive recipients of the male gaze. As a result, the sexual objectification of women is particularly notable as it reveals the creative impulse as springing from sexuality. A vast collection of pre historic art over emphasizes the sexual characteristics of the female body. Typically, these art pieces depict women as having large vulvae, breasts, buttocks, and stomachs. In doing so, art that objectifies the female body creates conflict among feminists as the depiction of women as objects in film and art panders to the male need to evade sexual responsibility related to their sexual inadequacies. Besides that, the theme of an embodimentleads to hot debates about sexuality, pleasure, and gender identity as society conditions women to continuously survey themselves. Subsequently, women base their self-worth and identities on how they appear to others, which leads to unrealistic expectations and lifestyles. Given that, I think that the objectification of the female body performs a disservice to women, which feminism hopes to fix.

The two works of art reviewed in the documentaryWomen Art Revolution includes the artists Jeff Koons and Guerilla Girls. These pieces reflect the tendency that depicts women in art as sex objects which attenuates conflict between what people perceive as art and the authentic experiences of women. A significant factor responsible for the continued marginalization of women artists is the “political nature of imagery” and the definitions applied to what is acceptable female art (Lacy 68). For instance, the term “inside” applied to acceptable female art whereas “outside” art referred to ethnic, political, or feminist art (Lacy 67).Consequently, these artificial boundaries create a legacy, which overlooks, ignores, and discriminates against feminist art. Also, this legacy poses a serious question regarding the connection between art, society, the nature of power, and the relativity of the historical record regarding women artists.

The feminist agenda revolves around the achievement of social, political, cultural, and economic equality of both men and women. However, contemporary feminists differ due to the intersectionality of feminist ideas, the negative connotations associated with feminism, and different brands of feminism in use across the globe. Over the years, feminism has gained tremendous achievements in the globe as compared to 100 years ago. However, this does not mean that the struggle is over. Instead, I foresee a situation in which feminism becomes more akin to egalitarianism (Lacy 66). As society becomes equal, programs such as affirmative action will become redundant and unnecessary. In addition to that, the feminist agenda will focus on areas where discrimination still exists. Interestingly, conflict will occur within the feminist movement between those who prioritize the problems of women and those who tend to focus primarily on the problems facing men. Ideally, feminism should strive to address each problem based on its magnitude.

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