Thursday, September 30, 2010

09.30.10 : Idea Entry : Antique

Definition : An antique (Latin: antiquus; old) is an old collectible item. It is collected or desirable because of its age (see definition), beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era or time period in human society. It is common practice to define "antique", as applying to objects at least 100 years old.
Joy Harmon Prouty uses antique object throughout her images to give her subject a more timeless feeling. She shoot with a vary narrow focus as well to play off the old time feel the antiques bring to the images. She has a "Modern Vintage look that has transformed the portrait industry."

Joy Harmon Prouty

In the United States, the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act defined an antique as "works of art (except rugs and carpets made after the year 1700), collections in illustration of the progress of the arts, works in bronze, marble, terra cotta, parian, pottery or porcelain, artistic antiquities and objects of ornamental character or educational value which shall have been produced prior to the year 1830."

Laffer, Arthur B., Stephen Moore, and Peter J. Tanous. The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy--if We Let It Happen. New York: Threshold Editions, 2008. Print.

Exploring how the idea of antiques evolved over time, Rosenstein chronicles the history of antique collecting in his book, Antiques: the History of an Idea.. He describes changing conceptions of the past in different era as evidenced by preservation, restorations, and renascences. He examines shifting attitudes toward foreign cultures as revealed in stylistic borrowings and the importation of artifacts. And he investigates varying understandings of and meanings assigned to their traits and functions as historical objects.
"The notion of retrieving a bit of the past-by owning a material piece of it-has always appealed to humans. Often our most prized possessions are those that have had a long history before they came into our hands. Part of the pleasure we gain from the encounter with antiques stems from the palpable age and the assumed (sometimes imaginary) cultural resonances of the particular object. "

Rosenstein, Leon. Antiques: the History of an Idea. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2009. Print.

Decorative Dog Bookend
Antique Mall

I decided to research antiques because I have been visiting more antique store to take images of animals than I have gone to pet store or rescue establishments to take pictures of real animals. I cannot tell if it is because antique store are just more convenient to get to or if its because I am more interested in photographing antiques than I am real animals. I looked at photographers who use antique objects in there work exploring the idea of doing that myself with animal antiques.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

09.28.10 : Guest Lecture Response : Miguel Palma

Bio : Portuguese artist, Miguel Palma, works out of Lisbon and NYC. He creates sculptures out of re-purposed industrial and used parts. Curator, Sarah Shalgosky, writes, “Miguel Palma’s work investigates technologies, particularly those of the automotive industry, and how they might represent and subvert the values of our world. His work also examines the social practices and impacts that develop from these technologies and he is particularly interested in ideas about reciprocity and value."
Favorite Quotes:
"I couldn't have a fish always taking naps."
"I have a large group of object that keep me company."
**"Its part of my obsession that I keep adding and buying stuff."**

**This quote was my top favorite because recently I have been visiting a lot of antique stores and shops. I see a large collection of ideas and objects placed in one area that, the majority of the time don't belong together. In a lot of Palma's work, he uses a collection of seemingly random object that he has collected over the years. I find the combination and collection of these objects interesting.
3 Words : Environmental Collections Sculpture
The most important thing I learned from this lecture was the technical, mechanical and biological efforts that can be put into ones artwork. Much of Palma's work is environmental. Palma spoke about how he works with many people who are experts in different subjects in order to make his work. He comes up with an idea and then finds the knowledge and experience of other people who are more versed in a particular subject to help him make his idea into a reality.
Original Questions :
Have your every been in serious legal/judicial trouble as a result of your work?
The only incident he described was getting in trouble with Animal Activist when he used fish in two separate tanks(one fresh water and one salt water) and filtered the water from one tank to the other.

Is your art a result of your interest in mechanical and technological objects and ideas? Otherwise, what sparked you into first creating artwork?
When he first started creating and building things, he did not consider his work art. It was later on in his sculpting career that he began viewing his work as art as it became more and more conceptual.
The project I enjoyed most was Value made in 2002. In this work, Palma kept worms or termites alive in the antique piece of furniture and allowed it to decompose. The concept was to take something of value, an antique, and watch it lose its value over time.

I enjoyed this project because I have been researching and photographing this type of antique furniture in my own work. To see something of this value slowly lose its importance and beauty, is striking. Having learned all about this type of furniture and the effort that it took to create it, I feel a great impact in watching it decompose when in my photographs I am highlighting its beauty.

Monday, September 27, 2010

09.27.10 : Guest Lecture Questions : Miguel Palma

Have your every been in serious legal/judicial trouble as a result of your work?

Is your art a result of your interest in mechanical and technological objects and ideas? Otherwise, what sparked you into first creating artwork?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

09.27.10 : Artist Entry : Aaron Feavor

Aaron Feaver is currently living in LA and is working as a web designer and photographer.
"I’m self taught. I’ve been taking pictures for years but only got serious about it in the last 6 months or so, when I started photographing people in a more formal way. It changed from being something I casually enjoyed to something I was obsessed with." - Aaron Feaver

Tiny Animals Series

The Tiny Animal series animals are a Re-Ment toy set from a Japanese grocery store. The images were taken with an old Konica SLR, using a reverse-mounted 57mm lens. The film was Fuji Superia 100.

Tiny Animals Series

"Some of his work is decidedly of the low-fi aesthetic and prominently features scratches, dust and chemical processing defects, as well as the discolouration that sometimes comes with expired film. He unashamedly does not try to address these issues, which collectively give his body of work an immediacy that declares it emphatically as photography, rather than mere pretty picture making. "

Jones, Nathan. "Notable: Aaron Feaver." The Photon Fantastic. 11 Mar. 2010. Web. 25 Sept. 2010. .

Tiny Animals Series

This series relates to my current work because it document man-made animal replicas, which is part of my animal cataloging. In addition, I have been using very selective focus in my shots, which I really enjoy in this series. By using a selective focus on inanimate objects, it gives them a sense of life and movement.

Feaverish Photography

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

09.23.10 : Idea Entry : Cage

Definition :
1. a boxlike enclosure having wires, bars, or the like, for confining and displaying birds or animals.
2. anything that confines or imprisons; prison.
3. something resembling a cage in structure, as for a cashier or bank teller.

A cage is an enclosure made of mesh, bars or wires, used to confine, contain or protect something or someone. A cage is traditionally use to confine animals as pets, as meat, or in zoos. The original intention of a cage is to create a boundary to enclose a target. However, a cage has a positive intent for protection. Cages consist if many forms and material qualities that can give them a more positive and/or negative appearance.

Over The Rainbow, 2009
Younseal Eum

"Even though cages are the most popular symbol for boundary, limitation and isolation the most curious aspect of cages is the action of enclosing with a positive intent and for protection. "

Eum, Younseal. "Duality of a Cage." VCU Digital Archives. 13 May 2010. Web. 23 Sept 2010.

Photographed by Li Feng in China

Over the past week I have been cataloging animals and when I went to the zoo I became frustrated with the cages. I began focusing on the cages instead of the animals inside of them. Over the next week or so I want to learn more about cages, the different types, sizes, shapes, and artist who use them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

09.20.10 : Artist Entry : Jon Naiman

Jon Naiman was born in Philadelphia. He lived in Brooklyn, NY from 1992-2004 and currently reside in Switzerland. He attended University of Colorado, Boulder, Studied Filmmaking and Liberal Arts for a year, followed by a year at Temple University, Studied Photography and Liberal Arts and finally Rhode Island School of Design, BFA Photography for three years.

Natural Section

"What distinguishes Naiman's [Natural Selection] photographs, though, is that his subjects totally ignore the stuffed animals. The animals are props that are not being treated as props by the subjects, but are being treated as props by the photographer. That discontinuity is appealing." - Greg Fallis

Family Territory

"In the series Familiar Territory, farm animals and the people who keep them are photographed inside the family home. The unspoken boundary between the human and the animal is explored and brought into question. Taboos associated with cleanliness, propriety, order, safety come forward. The mundane mixes with the absurd. The objects, furniture, decorations, and architecture of these living rooms frame a moment in flux when two separate worlds come together." - Jon Naiman

"In this [Familiar Territory] series the human subjects are treating the living animals in the same way they treat each other, with the sort of casual intimacy and affectionate disregard we reserve for close friends and family. That matter-of-fact quality to the photographs enhances the incongruity of the image." - Greg Fallis

I was interested in Naiman's work because he takes humans and animals and puts them face to face. The intriguing thing about his work is that the animals and humans seem to have no relation to one another. They are obviously in the same space have little to no interaction. It an interaction between man and beast that I had to considered.


Fallis, Greg. "Sunday Salon." Utata: Tribal Photography. Web. 16 Sept. 2010.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

09.16.10 : Guest Lecture Response : Wafaa Bilal

Bio : Iraqi born artist Wafaa Bilal has exhibited his art world wide, and traveled and lectured extensively to inform audiences of the situation of the Iraqi people, and the importance of peaceful conflict resolution. Bilal has exhibited worldwide including in Baghdad, the Netherlands, Thailand and Croatia; as well as at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Milwaukee Art Museum and various other US galleries. His residencies have included Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California; Catwalk in New York; and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Favorite Quotes :
"Where is PETA for Iraqis?"
**"Even by refusing to do political art, that is a political act."**
" If I believe in it why shouldn't I speak out... you lend a hand for other to speak out."
"The worst thing that could ever happen to an artist is to relieve no response."
"The modern man has become the Trojan Horse. No place is safe."

**This quote is my ultimate favorite because it made me think of my own work in a political sense. Though I never intended for my work to be political, as I look back on them and my thought process many of them have political elements I didn't expect.
3 Words : Iraq Political Awareness
The most important thing I learned from this lecture was the impact of the body on artwork. The thing that impressed me more than anything was his willingness to use his own body as a guinea pig in his artwork for his overall message. After hearing him speak about his work, I understood why using his pain and body to influence his audiences view of the work was such a significant part of his projects. As a member of the audience, I cringed during many of his performances and I realized that that was the reaction he was looking and hoping for.
Original Question :
Why do you choose to make your body the canvas for your work (referring to the ...and Counting project)?
Similar to what I wrote above. To get the audience to react to his pain and try to understand why he would cause himself physical pain for art. He is trying to get people to read past the surface level of his work and look for something deeper, something political.

Have you ever focused on one set of medium or media, since most of your work seems to be about documenting performances through video or photographing?
He explained that video was the majority of the time the most effective way of documenting his performances. Videos allow the audience to experience the actions with you instead of just viewing them from a distance.
The project that I enjoyed most was ...and Counting.
Learning about why he chose to use invisible ink to represent the Iraqi and American people who have died in Iraq(which confused me before his lecture), I appreciate the project and presentation more. The hidden death and the visible names of the major Iraq cities makes the impact of the death stronger when they are visible.
New Questions :
When and where will your next performance piece be held?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

09.16.10 : Idea Entry : Ball and Claw Foot

Ball and Claw on a Chippendale Mahogany Desk and Bookcase
Wilton House Museum

The ball-and-claw foot is thought to have originated in China as a dragon’s claw grasping a pearl.
Perhaps first adapted in Europe by the Dutch, it spread to England, before it was introduced to America about 1735. By the mid-18th century it had become firmly associated s the foot of American cabriole leg furniture in the Queen Anne and Chippendale, styles. The design lends itself to interpretation and there are variations associated with different parts of the 13 colonies. In America, a bird's claw was generally used, mostly the eagle's.

I become interested in this idea of incorporating animal feet into American furniture when I was cataloging animals at the Wilton House Museum. The idea that an animal claw would be places at the foot of a piece of furniture was a strange idea to me. I noticed it on decks, dressers, tables, chairs and stands. I wanted to learn the origin of it and why it was then translated to furniture.

Sources :

Heckscher, Morrison H., and Frances Gruber Safford. American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Random House [u.a., 2007. Print.

Kirk, John T. American Furniture: Understanding Styles, Construction, and Quality. New York: H.N. Abrams, 2000. Print.: H.N. Abrams, 2000. Print.

Landon, Eugene. "Carve a Ball-and-claw Foot." Fine Woodworking. Mar. 2010. Web. 15 Sept. 2010. .

09.15.10 : Guest Lecture Questions : Wafaa Bilal

Why do you choose to make your body the canvas for your work (referring to the ...and Counting project)?

Have you ever focused on one set of medium or media, since most of your work seems to be about documenting performances through video or photographing?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

09.13.10 : Artist Entry : Charles Le Brun

Physiognomy of Heads

Charles Le Brun was born in Paris in 1619. He was a French painter and art theorist, one of the dominant artists in 17th century France. At the age of eleven, he was placed in the studio of Simon Vouet. He was also a pupil of François Perrier. Le Brun and Colbert founded the Academy of Painting and Sculpture, and the Academy of France at Rome, and gave a new development to the industrial arts. Le Brun primarily worked for King Louis XIV, for whom he executed large altarpieces and battle pieces. He died in February 1690 from an illness.

Phys·i·og·no·my [fiz-ee-og-nuh-mee, -on-uh-mee] : the art of determining character or personal characteristics from the form or features of the body, esp. of the face.
Le Brun did multiple lectures on the topic of Physiognomy. According to him, physiognomy is judging characters according to the features of the face.

Le Brun created a series of drawing bases on the ideas of physiognomy and directed it toward the comparison and combination of animal and human faces. His drawing trended to humanize animals and dehumanize humans. He used geometric measurement to align the faces of the animals and humans to find the similarities between the two and utilize them in the drawings.
Le Brun states " all of the various manifestations that he had drawn, both animal and human heads, pointing out the features marking their natural inclination."

Gareau, Michel, Brun Charles Le, and Lydia Beauvais. Charles Le Brun: First Painter to King Louis XIV. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1992. Print.

"Le Brun attached great importance to the line of the eyes and eyebrows, and drew different conclusions depending on whether it was directed upward toward the soul, or downward toward the nose and mouth, considered to represent the more animal aspects of human nature. Le Brun inferred human personality and faculties and animal character from a geometric analysis of the structure of the head."

J. Baltrušaitis, Aberrations. Essai sur la légende des formes, Paris, 1983, p. 26.

I chose this artist because I am still intrigued with the idea of combining characteristics and personalities of animals and humans. The relationship between the two is really interesting to me. I enjoy seeing pets and their owners who share similar appearance and/or personality. I am just not sure how to portray something like that in a photography.

Charles Le Brun

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

09.09.10 : Idea Entry : Half-Man Half-Beast

Example of Half-Man Half-Animal hybrids in Greek Mythology include : Centaur (horse-man), Echidna (snake-woman), Harpy (bird-woman), Mandrake (plant-man), Mermaid (woman-fish), Minotaur (bull-man), Satyr (horse-tailed man; later, goat-man), Siren (bird-woman), Sphinx (woman-lion-bird), Tragelaphos (goat-stag).

The best known of these Half-Man Half-Animal hybrids is the Centaur. According to The Book of Imaginary Beings, Centaurs are a well-known beast with the torso of a man and the hindquarters of a horse. Most are portrayed as savage beasts, but others can be well learned in many arts. Many mythological hybrid bring the the best feature in a man and an animal to combine them into a new creature that has more skills. Many of these hybrids were created in stories told of heroes who conquer these outstanding and powerful creatures.

Borges, Jorge Luis, Margarita Guerrero, and Andrew Hurley. The Book of Imaginary Beings. New York: Viking, 2005. Print.

Barringer, Judith M. Art, Myth, and Ritual in Classical Greece. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008. Print.

Exhibition We Are Family
Sculpture by Patricia Piccinin

"Piccinini's works animate the promise and the perils of the runaway scientific developments that pervade our time. Her art embodies our dreams - dreams of perfect children, of perfect health, of life disease-free, and articulates the value of difference and uncertainty in human life."

Silversmith, Jane. "New Zealand Art Monthly - Articles." NZ Art Monthly - Home. Jan. 2003. Web. 08 Sept. 2010.

This idea of a Half-Man Half-Beast is very interesting to me since would like to continue to incorporate animals into my work, but an not sure how I would like to do it. Though creating these bizarre hybrids may be interesting, I don't know if this is were my work is heading.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

09.02.10 : Idea Entry : Sand

Sand is a small rock fragment commonly made up of quartz and comes from the weathering of rock fragments by wind and water. It is used to make plaster, bricks, mortar, paint, paper, plastics, glass, and vinyl. On beaches, severe storms cause waves to pull the sand out into the sea that doesn't return which causes land and property behind the beach vulnerable. Beach sand comes from streams and river that bring eroded materials to the shore. The color of the beach is biased on the types of sediment. The sand on the beach is also a home for many organisms.

"In La Jolla, the beaches have a large proportion of clear quartz, which indicates that the cliffs are a significant source of beach sand," Driscoll said. "There's just no other way around it... Central and Southern California rivers carry a huge amount of sandy sediment to the Pacific Ocean during seasonal downpours."
"Often, the sediment-laden river water is denser than seawater, so when this slurry reaches the coast, it sinks and follows the bottom, escaping the shallow water region near the shore where it could replenish sand to the beaches."

Graham, Rex. "Coastal Bluffs Provide More Sand to California Beaches than Previously Believed [Jacobs School of Engineering: News & Events]." UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. 15 Oct. 2005. Web. 01 Sept. 2010. .

'Among the grains of sand is a microscopic ecosystem populated by sand-lickers, sticky-toed worms and four-legged "water bears."'
'Scientists estimate a bucket of sand might hold thousands of these tiny creatures; in a few square yards of beach, there might be millions.'

Fahrenthold, David A. "Nation & World | Beneath the Towel, the Beach Is Alive | Seattle Times Newspaper." The Seattle Times | Seattle Times Newspaper. 13 July 2007. Web. 01 Sept. 2010. .

The Ocean's Sand, a Natural Resource. [Washington, D.C.]: Minerals Management Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 2002. Print.

Packham, John R., and A. J. Willis. Ecology of Dunes, Salt Marsh, and Shingle. London: Chapman & Hall, 1997. Print.