Last post! (for class)

Well I suppose having done all I could this is the last post for my art 108 class. I have really enjoyed it, a lot more than I thought I would. The installation project was especially fun, and getting to know all these artists and contemporary art ideas opened my eyes and mind a lot to what is going on in the art world today. To Erin, thanks for making each class fun and worth coming to and giving us a fresh perspective on all we learned about! Wish you success, no stress and lots of happiness!

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A bit late… just a bit…

The scans for the paper assignment at the beginning of the semester. They’re a bit shadowy now, having rubbed off on each other some, but here they are!

Artist Profile #30: Vladimir Kush

Vladimir Kush is a Russian artist who creates fantastical works reminiscent (to me anyway) of René Magritte’s surrealist style. From his biography on his website, he currently lives on Maui, apparently in view of the Keck Observatory, which he calls the “umbilical cord” connecting the oceans and the cosmos. He entered the Moscow Art Institute at 17, continuing his art career painting murals and large canvases for the army during his mandatory military service. He went on to paint a series of portraits for members of the American Embassy, but had to end that job when he came under suspicion from the KGB. His first successful show was in Germany in 1990.

It’s clear that Kush has a very vivid creative sense, and seems to follow the surrealist tradition. His paintings are dreamlike and imaginitive, and draw the viewer into a strange and beautiful world.

Representative works:

"Doctor of the Forest"

"The Two"

Artist Profile #29: Stephen Wiltshire

This is an artist I encountered a while ago and just came up in my mind again. He is truly inspiring and his art is unbelievable. Not because he’s the greatest drawer in the world or anything, but because of how he does it. Stephen Wiltshire is a 36 year old artist who has autism. It was discovered when he was a child that drawing was one of the only activities he enjoyed doing. At age eight, Wiltshire started drawing (from imagination) cityscapes that had been damaged by earthquakes after being shown pictures of earthquake-stricken buildings in school. He is now famous for his encyclopedic and photographic memory, which includes knowing most if not all models of classic American cars and being able to draw lifelike and accurate cityscapes from memory, in many cases after only a single viewing, and always with incredible detail.

I find Wiltshire’s abilities inspiring on a more personal level myself, having a younger brother who has autism. He has a similarly good memory, being able to recite by heart the addresses of everyone he knows, as well as their birthdays and family members. He also has a good eye for art and is continually improving in his drawing and taking oil pastel lessons from our grandma. When we were younger and he struggled with his disability, I thought he probably would never amount to anything because of his limitations. But Wiltshire shows that even those who struggle mentally can do huge things, and this gives me hope that my brother will be able to lead a fulfilling life and make his mark in the world.

Representative works:

"Leicester Square Tube Station, London"

"London City Skyline"

"New York City Skyline"

Artist Profile #28: Jan von Holleben

Jan von Holleben is a wonderful German photographer whose imagination is clearly captured in his subjects. He has won multiple awards for his photography, including a Lucie Award and the Audi Next Level Photographic Award. Von Holleben is probably best known for his series called “Dreams of Flying,” which depicts children in a number of whimsical scenes that are arranged and posed on the ground. His work has been compared stylistically to that of film director Michael Gondry (of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”). Von Holleben was born in Köln in 1977, raised in an alternative commune, and picked up photography at age 13. He pursued studies in teaching disabled children in Freiburg, then moved to London to earn his degree in Theory and History of Photography at Surrey Institute of Art and Design and became part of the London photographic scene. His work focuses on the subject of learning through play.

I greatly enjoy his work; I feel it really brings out a sense of childhood playfulness and joy. It’d be something I would like to have in my kids’ rooms when that time comes.

Representative works:

"Tarzan and Jan" (from "Dreams of Flying")

#17 (From "Mystery of Monsters")

"Homo Molluscan Gastropoda Hekekidel Benbol" (from "Mutatis Mutandis")

Jan von Holleben’s Website (yes the front page is very bright… just click it and it’ll go to the main part of the site)

Artist Profile #27: Autumn Whitehurst

Autumn Whitehurst is a Brooklyn-based illustrator who grew up in the deep swampy south, way down in New Orleans. She grew up wanting to work in fashion, then developed a love for painting while attending art school in Baltimore, Maryland. Eventually the two interests melded and she became a fashion illustrator. Her illustrations are smooth and soft, but combined with clean linear and graphical qualities. She has worked with numerous high-profile clients, including Nike, Neiman Marcus, Wired Magazine, Vogue Italia, and others.

I enjoy her work a lot, and her career as a fashion illustrator really pulls me. I think it may be a field I’d be interested in pursuing. Will keep an eye on this one for certain!

Representative works:

"Fall"

"Thom York - Blender Magazine"

"Flora and Fauna"

Artist Profile #26: Jim Denevan

Hooray! A land artist! Jim Denevan reminds me very much of Andy Goldsworthy with his art, in that his works are in no way meant to be permanent, but are eventually erased or carried away by the indifferent forces of time and nature. The best way to describe his works are as drawings or etchings in sand, earth and ice, which are usually quite large in scale and often of a geometric quality.

Another interesting endeavor which Denevan has originated and continues to organize is a “movable feast” entitled Outstanding In The Field. This idea came from a series of farmer dinners, where the main producers of a restaurant’s food would be featured at the restaurant itself, to bring greater appreciation to those who produce the food we need. Eventually with Outstanding In The Field, these dinners moved from being hosted in the restaurant to being hosted on the farm itself, with guests bringing their own plates and contributing to the unique composition of each table. The farmer would give a tour of his fields, then a five course meal would be prepared with ingredients right from the land they were feasting upon. It sounds like a great event of food culture and much-deserved appreciation of farmers and their farms.

Some representative works:


Jim Denevan Art Website

Outstanding In The Field Website