Monday, April 18, 2011

04.18.11 : Artist Entry : Helen Green

Helen Green is an award winning portrait photographer based in Geelong, Victoria. The world is her studio and the possibilities are endless. She has been awarded 2008 Victorian Association of Photography Society’s Best Open Print with a dog portrait, as well as placings and acceptances in National and International photo competitions. Green's specialty is animals either on their own or with their owners. She is a huge dog lover and has been involved in dog obedience, showing and agility.

I looked at her work because she focuses on showing the dogs in their environments. With my invisible fence shot I am trying to figure out how much of the environment I should show and how focused the animal should be. I also have been playing with how far away the dog should be from the fence. I think that she does a good job of incorporating the do with the environments.

Helen Green

Award From VAPS

Sunday, April 10, 2011

04.11.11 : Artist Entry : Shuichi Nakano

Artist Shuichi Nakano was born in 1966 in Hokkaido, Japan, and stayed in Germany from 1991-1992. He now lives in Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture. His works make natural and city scenes meet and collide in imagination, seemingly accidental, tending to question the necessity of the whole planet to urbanization and modernization. The images are from his Searching for Paradise series.
All the paintings feature enormous animals interacting with the Japanese cityscape. Most are relegated to the background in a two-dimensional manner that draws attention to the juxtaposition of the scales; these are not Godzilla-style giant animals running amok, rather there is something wrong with their scaling. Or, perhaps, the wrong-ness lays with the city. The concept is sad because these beautiful creatures have no where to go because people are destroying their homes. The animals in the ads therefore take refuge in the city, lounging on top of buildings.

The Shuichi Nakano paintings are extremely detailed, right down to the itty-bitty windows in all the buildings. The animals all look so life-like as they graze in the city streets.

I really enjoy the scale of the animals in relation to the city scape. I think that the ones with multiple animals are more compelling than the ones without which is different from my series that general only have one animal in each shot.

Shuichi Nakano

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

04.06.11 : Guest Lecture Response : Trevor Paglen

Bio : Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer whose work deliberately blurs lines between social science, contemporary art, journalism, and other disciplines to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to see and interpret the world around us.
Favorite Quotes:
"Follow the money."
"Don't let your planes into the wrong hands."
"No One Kicks Ass Without Tanker Gas"
**"The limits of our ability to see."**

** I enjoyed the segment of his lecture on light and the face that it can collapse. He refered to our inability to see things when talking about satellites and the ability to photograph things from far away. I like the idea that we are incapable of seeing everything. I think that's what makes things like art and science so interesting and why they can work together.
3 Words : Geographic, Statical Artist
I thought that the false patches were really interesting and the interpretations were humorous on may of them. I thought that the whole idea of there being people who kidnap, torture, and kill people are members of our own community is a really intriguing notion. The concept that we don't know our neighbors or friends to the full extent is a common theme in our society. I think seeing the code names in different writing was also very interesting.
Did your interest in geography develop concurrent with your interest in art-making? Or, did one come before the other?
He has been an artist my whole life – much longer than he has been a geographer. He received his MFA at Chicago. It wasn't until later his his life that he moved to Berkeley and got his PhD in geography.

How does technology effect you art-making process?
It seemed to me that technology had a lot to do with his projects. The high tech cameras he used in his "The Open Night Sky" project are very complicated and use multiple camera and computers.
My favorite piece was the piece about light collapse and abstraction. He described using a 5000mm lens to photograph landscapes. Trevor Paglen’s photographs of secret CIA and US military installations, shot with an astrophotography lens from up to 65 miles away.

Reduced Visibility

What I enjoyed about this piece was the abstraction of light that was formed at a distance. I didn't know that heat and light would be able to collapse in this manner. I thought it was interesting too that he referenced these pieces back to many early abstract paintings and drawing. These similarities between them were remarkable.

Monday, April 4, 2011

04.04.11 : Guesst Lecture Questions : Trevor Paglen

Did your interest in geography develop concurrent with your interest in art-making? Or, did one come before the other?

How does technology effect you art-making process?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

04.04.11 : Artist Entry : Robin Schwartz

Bio : Robin Schwartz’s photographs are in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, The National Museum of Art, Washington, D.C., The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Chrysler Museum of Art, The Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and The Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany. In addition they have appeared in The New York Times, FADER Magazine, Interview, People, Entertainment Weekly, and The Photo District News. She has worked on assignment for Life and Sports Illustrated Magazines. Schwartz’s work has been included in the Aperture Foundation and The Chrysler Museum of Art publication; Photography Speaks: 150 Photographers on Their Art, 2004.

Robin Schwartz is an only child. She takes pictures of her only child, Amelia. Together, she claims they “play out our eccentricities in worlds where she and animals not only co-exist, but also interact.” Her photos, which often feature Amelia with an array of exotic animals, are strange and compelling.

Artist Statement : My photographs are drawn from real journeys undertaken with my daughter, Amelia. I am driven to depict relationships with animals but the photographs are not documents; they are evidence of the invented worlds that we explore and the fables we enact together. Photography gives us the opportunity to access our dreams, to discover the extraordinary.

Animals and interspecies relationships have always been an important part of my work. The animals in my photographs are not represented as beasts or nobility but as part of our everyday world. My first monograph, a series of primates at home with humans, guided me to the places of my own childhood fantasies.

I photograph myself with animals through Amelia. I am an only child who has an only child. Each of us has a strong fantasy world. Amelia and I play out our eccentricities in worlds where she and animals not only co-exist, but also interact. Animals are not props in my photographs and they are not photo-shopped in. The world that my daughter and I explore is one where the line between human and animal overlaps or is blurred.

Amelia and I both a strong connection to animals, but we are very different. I have always been obsessed with animals, having a necessity their company, driven to have animals in all aspects of my life and work. I work at my relationship to animals. Amelia is not driven or obsessed in my way, she is not self-conscious with animals as I am. Amelia has a remarkable comfort level with animals and they with her. Amelia is oblivious that this is a usual gift.

An artist photographing her child can invite ridicule, but getting personal with my projects has always been both my need and my edge. The Amelia’s World project has evolved with my daughter’s maturing personality and aptitude. Amelia is my priority, my muse, my co-conspirator, my tormentor and my bliss. Collaborating with Amelia, I am able to go to any place in time.

“Animals and interspecies relationships have always been an important part of my work…My first monograph, a series of primates at home with humans, guided me to the places of my own childhood fantasies.” - Robin Schwartz

"I have always been drawn to animals. Amelia and I share the same obsession with rubber-faced, vintage toy monkeys (J.Fred Mugs). One of my earliest memories is of seeing an illustration of a chimp in a plastic or vinyl book and being mesmerized by its face." - Robin Schwartz

Robin uses animals to draw on fables that include animals and their interaction with her daughter. The interaction between the two is shown through posed images of made-up worlds. Using these fable as a basis for interspecies interaction is really interesting to me. I think it is difficult to illustrate the interaction of two species in a conceptual way. Most animal and human photographs seem very documentary like with the cuteness appeal of the animals having a lot to do with its success. I think Robin does a good job of illuminating the cuteness factor and making it into something more.

Robin Schwatz

Thursday, March 31, 2011

03.31.11 : Idea Entry : Exotic Animals

Exotic : of foreign origin or character; not native; introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized or acclimatized

Across the United States, millions of exotic animals are kept captive in private homes and in roadside zoos and menageries. The trade in exotic animals is a multi-billion dollar industry, and exotic animals are bred, sold, and traded in large numbers.

But these animals — including, among other species, lions, tigers, cougars, wolves, bears, monkeys, alligators, and venomous snakes and other reptiles — pose grave dangers to human health and safety. By their very nature, exotic animals are unpredictable and are incapable of being domesticated or tamed.

In many states, people are allowed to keep exotic animals in their homes and backyards without restrictions or with only minimal oversight. The conditions in which privately-owned exotic animals are kept also raise serious animal welfare concerns. Most people cannot provide the special care, housing, diet, and maintenance that exotic animals require. Many animals who have become too difficult for their owners to care for, or who have outgrown their usefulness as "pets" or profit-makers, end up languishing in small pens in backyards, doomed to live in deplorable conditions, or are abandoned or killed.

It has been estimated that as many as 15,000 non-human primates are kept by private individuals as pets in the United States. Nine states ban the keeping of non-human primates, but no federal law regulates ownership. In 1975, the Center for Disease Control prohibited their import into the US for use as pets. The breeding industry uses descendants of animals imported before 1975. Non-human primates of various species, including those listed as endangered, such as cottontop tamarins, baboons, chimpanzees, Diana monkeys, slow lorises, lemurs and gibbons are still available for purchase in the US.

In 2003, the US Captive Wild Animal Safety Act became law and in September 2007 the US Fish and Wildlife Service enacted rules to enforce the CWASA. The law now bans the sale or transport of big cats, which includes lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cougars, snow leopards, clouded leopards, cheetahs and their hybrids across state lines for the pet trade. As of November 2010, most US states forbid the possession of exotic pets, but 9 states have no license or permit requirements.

Photos by Nick Brandt

NPR : Should Exotic Animals Be Kept As Pets?