Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Anatomy of an Angel by Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst, who is an internationally recognised British artist who majority works in works in sculptures and interrelation piece.  We constantly see the repetition of death though his work and is famous for his ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ 1991 (A shark concealed in a Formaldehyde Solution). This was displayed at the Tate Modern last year with serial other pieces of his work.
In September last year while working in London I was able to go and see his expedition there, one piece got my attention, ‘The Anatomy of an Angel’.  This Sculpture shows an angel sat on a rock with sections of her flesh removed revealing its anatomy. Hirst based this piece on Alfred Boucher’s sculpture ‘L'Hirondelle’ which also is of an angel sat on a rock. Hirst made his version of Boucher’s ‘L’Hirondelle’ to show that the imagery of an angel maybe not be as powerful and as holy as religion states, showing that on the inside they are the same as humanity.  
The concept with religion is presented through the angelic statue that shows how society values religion in the different periods. Religion in the 1920’s when the ‘L’Hirondelle’ was created was facing a battle with education and feminism in society. This in comparison to modern society, religion and education are now found on a level playing flied. Even though 84% of the world’s population (to the Washington times) are still religious, we find its not dominating our culture as it did. Hirst altered the ‘L’Hirondelle’ to show that we as humans are the same on the inside of the creatures called angels in the bible. Whether he does this in his own religious beliefs is unknown, however though my research and discovering that he was once religious, I’d say it represents his loss of faith by comparing us with the imagery of an angle.
As stated above the continue battle between evolution and religion is continued in Hirst’s piece of work. When looking into the religious aspect to the piece I’ve found myself asking ‘If there is biology to religion and how religion explains it?’ From the information found on the creation of the angels as a race, we can not specify when or how they came to be. Only that like humanity they were made in god’s image. It’s also clear that they weren’t created in the same 6 days in which the Earth and humanity were. Therefore this could lead to the evidence that angels were in fact created in humanities image however with improved abilities and Devine intervention.  This supports Hirst with his sculpture and his ideas on how angels and humanity are alike.
The sculpture fits well with the types of images the younger generations are facing through different aspects of their lives. Today’s cultures we find are centred on mythology meeting reality, which in themselves are opposites. We see this through the types of literature being written and the television and film that are being shown. The sculpture is a perfect example of this with the way Hirst is showing us how we have the anatomy the same as the angel. Bring down the walls between humanity and the mythical, just as today’s generation is being shown through the media.
We can also look into how modern society considers beauty, personality and stereotypes. The angel itself is figured in how artist have imaged them in most drawings and paintings, not following the exact description of them from the bible, ‘living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings.’ This could have been done so that the audience of these painting would follow and aim to look and act like what they were viewing. This is exactly the case In Boucher’s work; he was trying to show how people should behave with all aspects of their lives, instead of rebelling from the religious ways. We can see again that Hirst argues against this by showing we are all alike under the flesh. However he still uses a stereotypical beautify and angelic image of a women to do this.
On Hirst continual theme of death we can see that the angel has been dissected like most of his work. Allowing the audience to see the mechanics of the creatures and how they work. Now anyone with a basic level of biology will know the general layout to the human body. Making it clear the anatomy is the same as ours. Not only this we our shown the angels bones and a section of its skull, this in particular is something that collected my attention. This is because within death and decay it’s the bones which are left for many years after, allowing us in the future to look back and make the past reality with the findings. The sculpture makes it clear that when the flesh and the organs are gone and we are left with bones, there is no difference between anybody. Which is why Hirst’s continue comparison comes down to the face in death we are all the same.
Overall with Hirst’s sculpture, the beauty and elegance of the piece is remarkable. The biggest questions are found when studying it closer and looking into the history, however this is hidden under the simply design and posture of the angel. This was all possibly done to show the simple message of we are all alike, from showing the history of ‘L’Hirondelle’ being used to make people follow a normality by being religious, then with Hirst peeling away the layers to show them that with everything happening was just natural progress within society. The piece still holds an elegance in which I haven’t seen before and appeals to me because of the culture I’ve been surrounded by (mythology meeting reality). However from the research I’ve found myself conflicted by its religious meaning, holding no actuate description of an angel or fitting into an opinion of any of the sides mentioned. 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Best Days Fly By by Loui Jover

Loui Jover is an Austrian artist who was born and lived his early life in Europe.  Being a suppressed artist from a young age Jover was found drawing in books his ideas, cartoons and other illustrations. This secrecy is what he says ‘Allowed my style and ability develop with natural progress’ giving him the opportunity to freely use a number of styles and approaches. After leaving college trained in commercial and graphic art he found his way back to his drawing. 
Jover’s style and preferred material to use is vintage book pages for a background with ink/pen as his drawing material. An example of this is the drawing ‘Best Days Fly By’, the image depicts the shadow of what I assume to be a young boy on a swing. However knowing how the artist draws from his childhood memory to inspire him with his art, it could lead the viewer to consider that the child sat on the swing is older than we lead to believe. The said child may be seeking escapism from reality by reliving a simpler time of his childhood. What lead me to this evaluation are the 2 images of mathematical equations displayed in the background. These equations themselves from my research would be tort to an older child, which supports that the images of a younger Jover looking back. 
The title of the drawing also bring dimension to the piece in more ways than one. ‘Best Days Fly By’ could be seen as a metaphor for what the image depicts. While on a swing the feeling of lightness and the ability to fly become apparent. The idea of being able to fly has always had the idea of freedom and escapism, not being grounded almost to one place or person. The saying is generally used ‘to fly away’ and in this case means exactly that, the artist wants to hold on to the memories however time in this case just escapes from him not allowing him to enjoy that moment longer. 
It could easily be said that the meaning of freedom is equally expressed though the way the artist uses the technique of the ink. This allows it to move freely course though the pages allowing different tones throughout the drawing. The best example of this in this piece is what we assume to be the sky/clouds. However you can see on many of his drawing the drip marks from when the ink has run free from its own image. This is supported by the way Jover never uses a formal outlines to his drawings, only using light and shadow to create the image.
The way in which the artists primarily sticks to using black in his drawings brings an interest on how his remembers these moments themselves. Somewhere I remember hearing that we remember things in black and white, explaining the use of these colours being used throughout history to show flash back on television and film.  Researching into this I found that this was normally the case for people who grew up with a black and white television, only allowing their brains to register these colours. Looking at the dates of Jover’s birth and when coloured television was introduced we can see this may be the case for him. It was introduced into Australia the same year as his birth; however we know that he spent the first few years of his life in Europe. Assuming he didn’t immigrate to Australia until the age of 4-6 this would be relevant to him. This also allows the book pages to fit in with the whole concept of the colour of the text and aged look to his aged drawing. 
The concept of using book pages in his work gives another dimension to his work. As we know his drawing represent a moment from his childhood and the book pages almost represent ‘his story’ while growing up. It’s not known if he uses relevant book pages or in a few of his pieces music sheets, however if they were then it bring a personal touch to each drawing. Also by using specific book pages could bring a whole new meaning to each piece allowing emotions and senses to be used in the drawing.
In conclusion the artist Jover has used a textural background using the book pages which with being a current artist is high on trend being used across the board from fashion to advertisement. This will also follow straight into the next trend of typography we’ll be seeing very soon used a lot. This makes it a highly appealable to the current generations viewing his work. As for myself I’m drawn to his work due to the meaning behind each piece and the way he allows the ink to express meanings and levels to the drawing that may not be primarily seen. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Broken Figure by Mary Van Cline

Cline is normally well known for her work within her black and white photography depicting women. However we have started to see Cline explore from 2D to 3D in her latest way of showing the feminine form for the beauty that it is. She create her sculptures from casts which are lined with a thin layer of glass which creates the reflective/ shiny surface of leafs and skirt. This creates a contrast of the body and leafs attracting the viewer to the curvy and natural form of the female body.
There is an essence of sexuality within the sculptures, through the naked aspect of the work. This is supported the look of fabric surrounding the bottom half of the sculpture. In comparison to Clines' earlier work we lose the concept of identity within her sculptures by the way the head and faces aren't including within the work. This gives the piece a sense of sadness and damage to the feminine form, which made be seen as disgrace and shame within this terminology. What I find poetic is how the leaves are almost surrounding the body to protect it and its remaining beauty and innocence.
Concluding this it’s evident that the technique only supports the beauty or the work by enhancing the strong elements. However through the concept of sexuality of the feminine form it brings a higher level of thinking to the posture of the sculpture. 

Please feel free to contact me on the information given with any questions and suggestions you may have. Thank you for you time.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Still Born by Kate MacDowell

MacDowell’s work surrounds the reoccurring themes of decay and beauty with a strong connection with meaning. The meaning changed from piece to piece however for this sculpture the name of the piece says it all; Still Born. It is clear from the visual of the piece that it is about pregnancy and birth and initially the viewer isn't lead to the concept that the chick within the egg is dead.  However this is communicated in two ways within this piece, the first being the symbolism of the egg. The everyday idea of a like is a hard, cold and pretty lifeless thing most of the time, this is exactly what MacDowell is symbolising here. The next indication to the idea of death comes from the position and posture of the mother bird. The posture of the bird is very much flat and lifeless giving a sense of a complete circle through the life span being over and ending because of the chick has also died. 

This leads me onto the next point with the posture. The way in which it is laid, wings stretched resemble a religious and holy pose with the egg clear for the world to see.  The symbolism of a bird surrounds Mother Mary within Christianity and as we know she is all about purity and life. Surrounding this concept of purity is how MacDowell uses porcine and leaves it in its natural form.  This all can be dissolved together within a religious context expressing the conception in a new way or in comparison expressing her views on the religious balance in saying something pure is so closely related to decay and death.  

Overall ‘Still Born’ has a strong connect with decay within the body; however with the concepts stated there a strong connection with a religious symbol is expressing her views on the story.  MacDowell achieves this in a non offensive away making the concept of a still bird into something visually beautiful. 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Sunflower Seeds by Ai Weiwei

The Sunflower Seeds by Weiwei has a poet balance to the nature of the piece.  Originally produced to go into the Tate Modern Turbine Hall, these small porcine sunflower seed would just lay in amongst themselves with the viewer being about to go walk and sit on the seeds.  The poetic balance in the piece comes when looking at the scale in which Weiwei works. Replicating a natural form of a seed repeatedly to feel the space has a harmony about it and has more of a dramatic effect than one stand alone seed. Weiwei did this because of his connection to china and how “Seeds are a household object”, looking into Chinese culture especially in modern times, society is consider over crowed. This is supported by the law of only having one child per couple before paying tax on addition children.

The artist always hoped for his work to be interactive and have people in the middle of it, which due to the delicate symbolism of porcine and the fact that each individual seed was hand painted, I’d imagine this to be a protected and secure piece.  However this hardship and effort put into the work is something Weiwei wanted to show; therefore allowing the viewer to enjoy it interacting with the work almost makes it worth it. This is something that beholds a lot of families at the moment no matter where you are from; the lack of appreciation that hard work can pay off. 

The symbolism of the seed itself extends many horizons as well. Firstly the idea of birth and something started is the pure purpose of a seed in itself, however with so many collectively together, frozen with its fragile core can be perceived in opposed to this. What comes to mind with this is when something isn't right or in my eyes a dream isn't growing it gets left in a pile with the rest.

Considering this, the scale of the art work and the hardship involved; Weiwei personal connect and moral hardship is visible. Though some may see the work as simple and not understand the piece, they should appreciate it purely down to the beauty and accuracy of the individual seeds.

Please feel free to contact me on the information given with any questions and suggestions you may have. Thank you for you time.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Update from Author & Review of Sayaka Ganz

Morning everybody, hope you are all keeping well. As most of you know I am no longer a Stampin' Up Demonstrator due to being a student again and time not permitting it. However I didn't want to take away the blog with all my card work etc, therefore I have decided to adjust this blogs purpose into a Art Review and discussion. I am to post artist that have stood out to me giving a basic over view of the artists work, description of the piece and my views on the work. I will happily take suggestions on people you wish for me to look at. I really do hope that you will stay around and take inspiration from the work I present, whether it be in the colour, patterns or even shapes. On a personal note, my studies are going well and I'm completely healthy.

Now onto today's artist. For my first artist I choose Sayaka Ganz, who has strong Japanese style to her work. She was born in Yokohama however travelled to many different countries during her early life; this gave her a wider understands of style. Ganz studied at Indiana University Bloomington where she explored a large range of media; from Sculpture to Printmaking. This helped her determine that her passion lies within Sculpture and Welding.
Ganz is known for her work using plastic object that have been discarded to create her sculptural pieces. This use of material mixed with her fascination with animals and the movement they create jell well together to perform an elegant form surrounding nature. With using the discarded objects and the symbolism of the animals, the idea of protection and awareness come to light in her work. With this in mind, the artist is seen to be expressing her views on manmade issues with animal protect and their welfare. This is an issue we see/ hear about when we are younger or it was in my case on the importance of cutting beer string; due to it strangling animals. The way in which Ganz does this is so remarkable giving the concept a beautiful visual.

The animals featured within her work have strong movement characteristics. Ganz choose the most recognisable stances for her pieces, this allows the viewer to visualise the piece as the creature itself. The positioning of the work is also supports the message being given by the artist. This is by the way the work is frozen in the moment/ movement as if the animals are experience a moment of euphoria. The way she uses the shape to create this almost skeleton and maniacal appearance also creates a futuristic resemblance. This is supported by the way some of her work has be photographed and staged. 

Overall Sayaka Ganz style and technical ability that helps her create the elegant and conception pieces. The style and placement in which Granz support the meaning of her work and visually communicates it effective. I know I look forward to see her work expand and develop with her sculptural forms.

I hope you have enjoyed this review and will share with your friends within your own creative network. Please feel free to contact me on the information given with any questions and suggestions you may have. Thank you for you time.