Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Profanity in the Classroom?

Follow this link to an article about a recent controversy at St. Charles West HS:

...after reading the article and public reaction, what do you think? Who do you side with? Does profanity have a place in education? Explain.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Illuminated Pleasures

"Illuminated Pleasures"
This painting is "Illuminated Pleasures" by Salvador Dali, published in 1929. This painting is displayed in The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, New York. Salvador Dali is known for his Surrealism paintings his most famous "The Melting Clock". Some can argue that Salvador Dali was the father of the Surrealism Movement going on at the time.
Almost all of Salvador Dali's painting are done using Surrealism. Surrealism is distorting figures almost to trick the mind. Often times trying to connect with the subconcious mind. Salvador Dali made a quote regarding to this painting. Someone asked why do all your paintings potray violence or sex. Salvador simply said "Well quite frankly that is my life". When Dali was starting out his styles of painting were looked down upon by critics but later was praised by those same critics an were considered some of the greatest art of the modern era.
Are all these things put together to represent a bigger picture or just thrown together just because? Why are majority of his paintings all have very similiar backrounds: sun fading, few clouds, dirt ground?
John Coplans Self Portrait

John Coplans is known for his black and white, nude self portraits. This photo may turn heads at first and just been seen as a naked man. It caught my eye because of the age of the man in the photo. Clearly, the man is older but I still find the picture beautiful. Coplans doesn't show his face which helps the viewer not focus on a specific identity or person. The camera lingers over every imperfection, such as the wrinkles, skin spots, sagging skin, and splotches of hair.
This picture also shows Coplans use of humor and wit but also his intelligence and passion.
He makes himself more brilliant and beautiful than modern pictures that show men and women with their "perfect" bodies.

Friday, September 18, 2009

In Josef Sudek's work most of his photos show some type of landscape and the tree is the main object that stands out why do you think he does that? The land that the trees are on dosent look well taken care of and the trees look like that as well. Could this be a city that has a lot of pollution considering the river looks to be dirty or is it fog? If you take a close look at the photo you can see the buildings look to be an older model? where do you think this photo was taken? Why do you think the photo has no color? In my own opinon I like photos like this because no own really looks at them from different perspectives and sees the meaning of them.
I am a Camera by Van Renselar

I really like this picture because of how abstract and colorful it is. It brings up a lot of questions for the observer to answer.Things like, Who or what is taking the picture? Why did he use those colors? Why is the girl closing her eyes?

Study for Sculpture (Coke and Marilyn)

Study for Sculpture is a screen print by Clive Barker. Barker used one of the most iconic images of Marilyn Monroe from the film Seven Year Itch. This print brings together two of the most iconic symbols of that time, a Coca-Cola bottle and Marilyn Monroe. It is "emphasizing similarity between marketing and pop culture." That's saying that people were starting to use iconic figures, such as Marilyn Monroe, to help sell their products. I think because she is inside the coke bottle, it tells the viewer she was also a product just like Coca-Cola. She became an American icon just as much as Coke did. Once all of her 'use' of an icon was used, or she was passed in the pop culture era, she died. This print caught my eye because the background is very dull and it makes Marilyn and the coke bottle stand out.

The Colossus By Francisco de Goya

The Colossus by Francisco de Goya*
The painting the Colossus was painted between 1808 to 1810. It depicts a scene of terror as a massive giant rises from behind a hill as a large caravan passes by. This painting was created to represent the giant as the defending guardian of the nation of Spain against the Napoleonic threat. One can tell by the scene that the travelers are instantaneously terrified by the beast's presence. Although, the beast doesn't care about the people and does not view them as a threat, thus turning his back on them.
Viewing this painting, many questions arose that seemed to be unanswered. Where is this painting taking place? Why has the beast been summoned? Where has this giant come from? Is this giant a god? Is he good or evil? Why does the beast have his fist clenched? Where were the people traveling to? Why has the giant turned his back on the people? These unanswered questions add to this enigma of painting and add to what is unknown.
*Recently, a great debate has arose on whether Francisco de Goya truely painted this painting. The final answer was decided that he was not the creater of it. The true painter of this masterpiece was in fact Goya's main assistant, Asensio Julia. This sudden change was brought upon by the discovery of the intials "AJ", etched in the top left corner of the painting. This was found during restoration of the painting and brought forward more investigation. The painting was the x-rayed and studied deeply. After further study, art historians discovered that many other facts could contribute to this painting not being made by Goya. Other clues found along with the intials were improper brushstrokes and miscoloring. Art historians say that the brushstrokes in the painting were unlike Goya and his perfect painting style. Along with that they agreed that Goya would not use the coloring elements used in the painting. This proved that Goya was not the true creator of the famous Colossus painting. After the decision was made, art historians changed the painting to show the new true artist's name.
With the orginal painter being discovered, more questions arise. Why would Goya "steal" his assistant's work? Will the painting still be famous even though the artist is unheard of? How will art critics view Goya now after this ordeal?
This painting has changed the viewpoint of many regarding it's true origins, and it will most likely remain mysterious just as it was meant to.

Gardenia 2

Sandi Fellman is the photographer who took this picture. She used this picture for the cover of one of her books. She takes pictures of a lot of different things, but this picture is the one that caught my eye the most. I don't know why that this was my favorite out of all of her picures. Margaret Loke from New York Times talked about Sandi Fellman and said "photographs that transform the humble into amazing objects of desire." I agree with this because this Gardenia is something that is just not as important as other things, but she makes it to where it could be someones desire.There are different ways that people could say that this could be like someones desire. I really don't know why, but i have ideas. I think that it might be because it is so close up to the middle of the gardenia and you can't see the whole thing. Or could it be because it is not in color, and its more of a sepia color? I think that could be it too, because it makes it more mysterious because you don't know the exact color of it. Is it like a desire because of the shadows? I think that it could be because of the shadows because it is also somewhat mysterious. This picture is mainly just mysterious because you don't know anything about it, just that it is a Gardnia. I want to know where this picture was taken. Is this the only flower, or ir there more surronding it? Also, when was this picture taken?

"Marilyn Monroe" by Andy Warhol

This painting by Andy Warhol titled "Marilyn Monroe" is considered one of his best. It is a screenprint of Marilyn Monroe with bright and exuberant colors made in 1967. There is also a painting consisting of four of the exact same picture of Marilyn Monroe but in different colors.

Warhol has painted other famous people and politicians the same way such as John Wayne, Jackie Kennedy-Onassis, Queen Elizabeth II, Ronald Regan, Annie Oakly, Judy Garland, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Carter and others. Andy Warhol also created the famou painting of the Cambell's Soup can.

This painting really caught my eye mainly because of the bright colors in it. I guess I'm sort of like a small child, only responding to bright colors. But it caught my eye. And I knew who Andy Warhol was and I like a lot of his art. I really liked this because of how he took a regular picture and just made it weird in a very simple way. I am also a Marilyn Monroe fan. This is something I would hang in my house. I really like all of Andy Warhol's paintings because they are pretty much your basic run of the mill pictures just with extreme color in places where extreme color doesn't need to be.

Because this is a screenprint, many people might not consider this an actual 'painting' because It's pretty much a giant picture that Andy Warhol just colored in. I don't know if anyone else thinks it's art. I know that a lot of people think Andy Warhol is overrated.

Blythburgh, The Estuary

Roger Fry was inspired to paint this picture the summer him and his friend visited Blythburgh in 1892. Blythburgh is a small village on the River Blyth. Fry loved to paint scenery. I'm not to sure what really pulled me into this picture. But it really caught my eye when i first looked at it. I like how he used the dark colors in the foreground with the trees and the river but then he lightened them up in the background with the clouds and the sky. It just seems so relaxed and calm to me. The painting almost makes me want to go and visit Blythburg. But the trees look almost unreal to me. They are super tall and skinny with all the leaves bunched up at the top. The whole thing looks kind of unreal. I wonder if this is how he saw it in his eyes? Because the River Blyth looks really run down. And not as beautiful as in his picture. Why do you think he made it look so good in his painting when it really doesn't look all that great in real life?

Judith Slaying Holofernes

This picture was done by Artemisia Gentileschi in 1612-1613. This picture is one of Artemisia's most recognized and contervercial paintings. She did many paintings displaying Judith and her maid. All having to do with the killing of Holofernes. Holofernes was an Assyrian general. And the two women that are attacking him are Judith (in blue) and her maid (in red). It is said that part of what influenced her to make this painting was that she was raped by a guy named Tassi, and through this painting it shows her femanist views and hatred toward men. Tassi saverly hurt Artemisia's artistic career. The trial against Tassi for raping her was publicly humiliating for Artemisia.
This Picture also displays the scene from the end of the Book Of Judith in the Old Testament. This is only one of her paintings that Judith killed Holofernes in. There are two other paintings in which he died. Judith Beheading Holofernes and Judith And Maidservant With The head of Holofernes.

I believe that this painting not only shows her femanist beliefs but also her religious views. This picture is of a story in the Book Of Judith in the bible. I believe it shows the strength of women. Because it is a woman killing a strong army general who has had training to kill people and has used it many times. So I believe it shows that women are just as strong as men.
In this photo by Ansel Adams you see the beauty of nature. I'm intrigued by many of his photographs just for the fact that it is something that you don't really see everyday. My interpretation of this picture is that it is very symbollic of life. That it may have its twists and turns but sooner or later you'll be on top when it is all over. Also the clouds overhead may mean something too. Such as how in the picture they look real dark and may insist that there may be rainy days or bad days but then in the distance you can see how it is clearing up which tells how rainy days come and go such as bad days come and go.

The balance in this picture is really good too. The way it has the mountains in the center and then the smaller hills on either side is very cool looking. It's almost surreal looking. Unless you live in Alaska or Colorado, you would never be able to see something so awesome. This type of photography really appeals to me because this could possibly be some place that I would want to visit or see during my lifetime.

"helmet, kindling, and deer feed" by: Collier Schoor

This piece was created in post wall germany, a time when artists were pressing the limits after so much restriction in government, the times were booming moving past the tesnsion after such a repression of personal identity.
I have several thoughts on this piece
*that the pinecones are the masquline force{they are spiny and more, well obviously woodsy.}
*the apples are feminine{they are more vunerable and "life givers".}
*i find it interesting that the "men"{pinecones} are seperate from the "women"{apples} and that the men are in the helmet, possibly symbolizing that the men are going to war and the wemon will have to wait for them.
*it could also symbolize the pinecones as the force of the enemy that they are seperating themselfs and crying for order, as is typical with germans of the time. the apples in this case would be the berliners, totally vunerable to the force of the army sybolized by the helmet
*it is also interesting that the background is so crystal clear in focus when the forground is not, does this mean that the militant strategys are known, crystal clear ,if you will, but where the line crosses to the humanity of it, it becomes blurred?
*another question is am i looking too far in to this, is the picture only supposed to be pleasing to ones asthestics, with the fall colors and asymetry, it is pretty, striking even but, is it more?

The Holy Family

The Holy Family

Artist: Allan D'Arcangelo

Media: serigraph

D'Arcangelo is a pop artist best known for his art work focusing on the highway, this print called The Holy Family is just one of the many. The image that this peice depicts represents the values of a steryotypical religious family. I noticed that the highway the car is driving on has three lanes, there is a yeild sign in the middle of the road, and there are pure white baby boots hanging from the mirror. The car that I asume is driving down this road, seems to be driving down the central lane, which represents the belief that a christian family is orderly, balanced, and sticks to a safe path. The yeild sign that appears to be in the middle of the road is a symbol of the idea that a religious family is focused on being concerned for others and that they are very cautionate of their surroundings. Lastly the baby boots that are hanging on the mirror represent a few things. They represent the idea that many religious familys have that the right path to take in life is getting married and having children. The color of the shoes, white, represents purity. The images representing a holy family in this peice of art can be seen in a positive or negative light. It could be pointing out the positive atmosphere of a religious family, because the picture is pleasant to look at, or it could be mocking the ideals of a christian family because the three lanes and the yeild sign in the middle of the road are somewhat absurd.

La Nona Ora

By: Maurizio Cattelan

This picture is of Pope John Paul II being struck down by a meteorite. In the forground we see glass strewn across the ground and in the background we see the Pope laying on the ground with a meteor on him. This artwork was all clay figures except for the glass.

From what I intake from this piece of art, I clearly notice the Pope being crushed by the meteor. This makes me think that the artist was going against the church or thought that the church was perhaps corrupt.

I also notice that the entire floor is red. To me this is a symbol of blood. Maybe stating that the Pope should be removed or killed.

A couple questions I have is why the artist
would choose to do a piece of art like this, and
if he was going against the church, why was he going
against it?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters by Goya is a very dark piece of art. I see it as in your dreams the things you try to hide find their way out of the dark corners of your mind and surface in your dreams. The animals mean different things like according to the Art Book Goya the bats are symbols of " filth and lust becoming ever more menacing as they circle the dreamers head." and the cats have always been a symbol of witchcraft. That is only one interpretation though. I think the bats are a symbol of everything evil the person has ever thought about consciously or unconsciously. The cats if you look there are two of them and they might be a symbol of white and black magic but I see them as the two sides of a person the white one being good and the black one being evil. I didn't see the black cat at first because he is hiding and the white cat is more apparent I think this symbolizes the fact that everyone has two sides good and evil and one is always more visible than the other in this person it's his good half that is more prominent. Still the dark side of him is there lurking in the shadows trying to make them do dark things. I also noticed that everything on the person is white except for his head this shows how all the dark thoughts come from his mind everything that he has dreamt up all the animals come from his restless mind. I was attracted to this artwork because it was so dark it reminded me of when my mom would read me poems out of this massive Edgar Allen Poe book he was her favorite poet and since then Edgar Allen Poe is still nostalgic for me it reminds me of my very early childhood. Not only because of the art itself but the title really caught my eye The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters as the Art Book Goya explains " The imagination abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters..." I think that most of us as we grow older lose our imagination and replace it with logic and reason. Your no longer imaginative your creative. You don't play with your imaginary friends anymore, you don't pretend your a princess or a solider anymore, and you don't play with dolls or action figures anymore. We lose that innocence as we grow older we know the world isn't filled with rainbows and butterflies and around every corner there aren't sugary sweets waiting for you. We know the reality is that it's a cruel world out there and you have to make of it what you can. So maybe that's the meaning of the dark head you've now lost your innocence and your head is desolate because your imagination has left you. You know that there isn't a one eyed one horned flying purple people eater. The grass can't be pink and cows aren't purple. That's illogical, so now that you have that reasoning the real monsters come out. The ones that make you realize that the world isn't like a big fluffy cloud.
Diane Arbus

"Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J., 1967"

This picture really interests me. Their creepiness imagine just makes you want to dig deep into the roots of the picture. Whenever I first glanced at this picture, they're two identical twins but they're not the same. They're around seven or eight years old. They're wearing matching outfits: white tights, corduroy dresses, and thick white headbands in their dark hair. The girls stand shoulder-to-shoulder, their light eyes looking straight into the camera, straight at us. And the more you look back at them -the more you stare -the more you realize how different they are from each other.

Photographer Neil Selkirk, who has been printing Arbus' photographs since her death said, was fastinated by this picture and said, "Just look at the set of their mouths," he says. "They're different people looking at different worlds and yet they might be the same person." Makes me think, what's behind their eyes that they're looking at "2 different worlds"?..what are they seeing?

Diane captures photographs of people who live on the edge of societal acceptance, as well as those photographs depicting supposedly "normal" people. Her subjects appear to be perfectly willing, if not eager, to reveal themselves and their flaws to her lens. Arbus biographer Patricia Bosworth says Arbus was involved in the question of identity. Who am i and who are you? The twin image expresses the point of that vision: normality in freakishness and the freakishness in normality. That's what this represents. This is just a picture yet the more you look the more in depth the picture goes and it's like an optical illusion. This is America and this picture represents just people, you may not get what you see when you first look at someone, especially "freaks" at first glance. You look at the world differently...

Tennis Serve (Gussie Moran)

Tennis Serve (Gussie Moran) (1949)
This picture is of a tennis star named Gussie Moran serving the tennis ball. It was created with high speed multiple flashes. It is almost mesmorizing just because of all the different rackets, how the girl appears to be a ghostly figure because of all the white, and how there are a lot of tennis balls in the picture due to how fast his camera was taking the pictures. It depicts 33 tennis reackets and there is also 33 tennis balls! This picture is definitly one of my favorite pictures I've ever seen due to the detail of the tennis shot and all the different motions in her serve. Edgerton was known for helping athletes out with their technique all because he could take pictures like these that could basically analyze every detail of the athletes technique. This picture really brought me in with how it doesn't even look like a tennis shot because of all the different things going on. How did Edgerton create this masterful picture? Where did he develop the technology for his camera to take this?

crazed little boy

Diane Arbus

Child with toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962

My first response to this picture was giggles. I then proceeded to assume this picture was a response to the rapid changes entering Amerca during this time period; that the young generation of America was straying away from the conservative ways of the 50's and would eventually end up in social revolution.

What drew me to this picture was the little boy's face and his scronny body. Looking closer I noticed his hands: clenching a toy grnade in his right and his left, firm in an almost open grasp. Also noticing that his jumper is hanging off his left shoulder, I wonder if his jumper was just too big for him or he was doing some stranious activity, or if it's something more than that and it represents another underlying factor? The contrast in the picture, the shadows, and aperture all leading to the little boy, make the people in the background blurred, thus removing their identities. I wonder if Arbus did this on purpose or not.

To me the little boy represents the past and near future America was about to be thrown into. The past being the 1950's which was associated with the "American Dream," and the future being the drawn out Vietnam war and the beginning of counter-culture lifestyles.


Where are the little boy's parents?

Why are all the people in the background blurred?

What was making the little boy make that face?

Do the the two trees behind the boy represent anything?

my daguerreotype

This isn't the photo that i origionally chose. Yet like the one i chose its a daguerrotype (an early photograph produced on a silver-covered copper plate). Now that i have a new photo, i haft to think of new things to say.......

To me this picture represents freedom to do, and dress however you want, no matter if your a clown, or a business man. Just to be yourself and have fun no matter what.



1. in this painting it looks like in the jungle and the guy is playing some kind of insturment and is riding a tiger and the tiger is eating the flowers which all of them have alot of colors the guy looks calm not like in real life if we road a tiger we would be pretty frighten for the most part
2. i like this painting because it has alot of colors that stand out it is very random that a guy is on a tiger in the middle of the jungle playing music i think this art was made when music was very popular because the guy is still playing music even though he is on a tiger an that would freak most people out. in the reading about this painting it says that the painter love to paint wild cats that alot of is paintings where about aniamals and the out doors. i think the tiger is friendly because it is just eating does not care if the guy is on his back or not the guy is very brave to be on a tiger. some other things about this painting is there is a lion in the bushes in the right of the painting between two paintings it is a very good painting in my opionion.

In Their Own Words

This Photograph is named In Their Own Words, and it is by Jay Maisel. He is recognized as one of the top natrual- light color photogropher in the world. He most emphasizes on light and form. Over the years, Maisel has inspired countless photographer. Jay started his career of being a photgrapher in 1954 Jay Maisel is now 78 years old and is still currently living in New York. During his career of photography he won sevrel awards, for example, Life Time Achievement Award, PPA, 2003 Life Time Achievement Award, ASMP 1996 The Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame, The Art Director’s Club 1995 Infinity Award for Applied Photography, ICP 1987 Gold Medal Award for Photography, Art Director’s Club of NY 1986 and 1987 Photographer of the Year ASMP 1986 The Newhouse Citation, Syracuse School of Public Communications 1979 Outstanding Achievement in Photography, ASMP 1978 Saint Gauden’s Medal, Cooper Union, 1977.
This picture makes me really happy. Only because i love horses and have grown up with them all my life. In the picture, I think it represents society because of the horses in the background faded out and then you have one horse that sticks out. This relates to society because people think everything is all about them but you have to realize there are other people in the world and society too. Jay Maisel has a special quote for this picture and it is,
"If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you're not out there, you'll only hear about it." - Jay Maisel


What i think is interesting about this painting is that it was painted in 1964, the year after J.F.K. was assassinated So, for me, that puts a whole new perspective on the painting. And after doing some research on the artist, I learned that he deeply respected Kennedy and this was just one of six paintings that the artist painted of him. First, i think that the black smudge is very symbolic of his death. It represents that something dark is looming over him. But the in the center of the smudge there is a white spot. So to me this means that within his death we can find hope. Also, Kennedy's pointed finger is also very symbolic. I think the artist is challenging the country. Challenging the country to pick up the pieces and move on and celebrate the great things that he did during his presidency. On the bottom right there is a red section that looks like an explosion. I think that symbolizes how quick and shocking his death was to our nation. And then in the top left there is an astronaut and that represents hope and dreams of the future that Kennedy had. And that we, as a nation, can carry out his legacy. Below the astronaut there is a yellow section that looks like balloons. I interpreted this as that we should celebrate the life that he did live.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hip Hop

You've read the lyrics to Queen Latifah's "U.N.I.T.Y."... this song was popular when it was released in 1993. Would a song like this be equally appealing and commercially viable now? Why or why not?

Many view this song as a direct response to the violent, misogynist lyrics in Dr. Dre's influential album The Chronic... do song lyrics even matter, though? If people sing along with a hook, what are they saying? Do you think people think about what the lyrics mean when singing along with them?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau

1897. Oil on canvas, 51" x 6' 7" (129.5 x 200.7 cm). Gift of Mrs. Simon Guggenheim

Here is a link to the Museum of Modern Art's short biography of Rousseau and explication of his painting:

I have loved this painting ever since my best friend from high school and I visited New York as college freshmen and saw the actual painting at MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art). I even wrote a cheesy sonnet about it when I was a sophomore in college--I'll spare you that lovely work of art.

This painting, for me, illustrates an ideal life of freedom, whimsical wonderlust, music and open spaces. At first, I believed the lion to be the gypsy's pet--standing guard over her while she sleeps, but now I'm not so sure. Perhaps he's a dangerous animal who has stopped to inspect the gypsy--and her carefree attitude somehow protects her from what might be dangerous during the daytime.

The primitive colors and the flat shapes underscore the simplicity of the painting and the gypsy's life. She has all she needs: walking stick, pillow, jug of water (or wine?) and the moonlight. In her painting, human meets animal; sky meets sand and mountain; sleep meets waking.

What do you think of the painting? (FYI: it was also featured in a Simpson's episode where Bart wakes up in the painting with the lion licking him.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Consuming Kids: By Any Means Necessary"

Explore a virtual world that's popular with kids or a website where kids gather: Nicktropolis,, or Discovery Kids are examples.

Spend some time looking around the site, then respond to the following in a blog post:
  • describe any examples of advertising or product placement you see
  • analyze how you think this kind of marketing might affect a child who visits this site