Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It's the little things.

Blue Monochrome by Yves Klein 
1961, 195.1 x 140 cm., MOMA
 Dry pigment in synthetic polymer medium on cotton over plywood

Let's address the obvious frustration up front. You may be thinking something like "Huh?" which is what I thought when I first saw these works. The greatness lies in the weirdo that is Yves Klein. I've said it before and I'll say it again, most great artists are a bit weird but, Klein kicks it up a notch!

I haven't always been a fan of Yves Klein until I recently started studying him a bit more and realized what a quack he was. I loves quacks, especially in art. Double especially when people get annoyed by them! 

Klein was completely obsessed with the color ultramarine blue and actually patented a shade calling it I.K.B. (International Klein Blue). Now, it's hard to hear the name Yves Klein and not immediately think blue. Many artists have created strong artworks that stick in your brain, but never has a single artist had such a foothold on a single color. I love him for that. 

In 1957 he organized an exhibition displaying 11 paintings exactly like Blue Monochrome. They were all identical- all the same size, all the same material, and all unframed. The only difference was the price tag. This probably annoyed a lot of people (and still does) because it seems like he is mocking artistic tradition. I, on the other hand, think this is one of the main reasons Klein is such a lovable quack. In that single exhibition he basically declared that he thought the importance people placed on status and having a lot of stuff, was just plain silly.  He priced identical works different to prove it doesn't matter the price of things, it's all the same.... pointless and unnecessary.  

So, instead of getting annoyed with Klein, I actually have come to appreciate his absurdity. When I see a Blue Monochrome I am reminded that life isn't about who has what. 

It's the little things, like the color blue, that show the most truth. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's been awhile.

I still love and think about this blog all the time, but with my current school schedule I am not able to dedicate the time as of now.

I do, however, have plans to continue in a few months (who knows maybe sooner) and urge anyone who has stumbled upon this blog and likes it to drop me a line at 

It would be great to have some requests on what to write about or just some feedback for some added motivation. 

I thought it was a good idea to post this little message so people know I am still here and plan on returning just as soon as I have the time!

Until next time! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Alexa's art requires imagination.

 Transit by Alexa Meade
2009, C-Print, 18 x 24 in.

 When I first saw the picture above I was REALLY confused, I literally said "WHAT?!" out loud. Basically, instead of putting paint on a canvas and creating a portrait Alexa Meade puts paint directly onto a person and makes them seem as if they are a two dimensional painting rather than a three dimensional person! It's quite bizarre if you think about it.

Here's what I love most about Alexa.

One, she has created another form of art that not only is something no one has ever done, but an art that combines painting, photography, installation, and performance. I always wonder when an artist creates a new technique or does something that has never been done before do they get really excited like someone would when they invent something that works? Like when Alexa first figured out this technique and how awesome it looks, did she think "Wow, I am going to be really famous one day because of this?"

Two, she is super young (23) and seems really for lack of a better word, normal. You can try and deny it but, most great artists are really strange or have some type of psychological disorder/problem. Van Gogh, Warhol, Pollock all had special circumstances that made them a little weird and/or mentally unstable. Alexa Meade is one of the first really amazing artists that I have watched an interview of and thought, wow she seems really normal which I think adds to her amazing art because I know it's not her insanity that is driving the piece, it's just her.

Three, her work is just awesome. I love looking at Trompe-L'Oeil art, or art that tricks the eye because it's art that anyone could look at and be intrigued. You don't have to look way into the meaning or be an experienced art goer to love it, you love it because it confuses the heck out of you. In an interview I watched Alexa said that usually the people who understand that her art is a trick are kids and that they usually explain it to their parents. That says a lot. One of Picasso's more famous quotes is "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up." Alexa's art isn't childish, it is art that children understand because they have such vivid imaginations. Her art challenges you to be creative as this is the only way you will understand it.

Alexa's art requires imagination and that is a quality every work of art should require.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

M.C. Escher's a good thing.

Relativity by M.C. Escher 
1953, Lithograph, 10.9 in × 11.5 in

I started my obsession with art in 2nd grade when my elementary school teacher held up a Picasso and I was sold. Well shortly after I went to some museum and my Mom let me pick one postcard and I chose one with the M.C. Escher image above. Now all of this could very well be a dream as I am finding most of childhood "memories" are but, I am almost 95% sure I still have this postcard somewhere. The point is M.C. Escher captivated a 7 years old, so he must be good. 

Next to Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher seems to be an obvious favorite among marijuana users because his work is quite "trippy" but I am here to tell you that you don't have to smoke pot to love Escher, you can love him any old day! Escher has this ability to create these really insane images that you have to stare at for a minimum of ten minutes just to start and understand what the heck is going on. In my book, that's a pretty awesome artist because he doesn't make it hard to love art in fact, he makes it quite easy. 

A fun fact about Escher is that he was left-handed. I have always been extremely obsessed with left-handed people (and identical twins, but that's another story) so the fact that Escher was left-handed might not mean much to you, but to me it's fascinating. Left-handed artists are always awesome. Proof? Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Durer.... yep, all left-handed!

I feel like this post has no point so let me sum it up. M.C. Escher was brilliant because you don't have to love art to love his art. Google him when you are bored and I guarantee you will have to spend at least fifteen minutes looking at all his images because you won't be able to stop. His work makes you think, "Oh what the?!" and I think that's a good thing. 

M.C. Escher's a good thing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Social Mirror is a reminder to be passionate.

The Social Mirror by Mierle Laderman Ukeles
New York City garbage truck with hand-tempered glass mirror and strips of mirrored acrylic
New York, USA, 1983, Ronald Feldman Gallery

Okay so I noticed on my posts that I have had The Social Mirror post as a draft for months. Why? I have no clue, but I definitely have previously started this post a ton of times and just never thought it was good enough to publish. Another reason could be because Mierle Laderman Ukeles is really freaking hard to find any information on and I usually research any artist I am going to feature beforehand. All I can tell you is that she is an artist that often deals with feminist topics and anything that has to do with maintenance but, what the heck does that even mean?

So why do I love The Social Mirror if I don't know crap about the artist? Well, for starters the way she created the message of the piece is pretty darn brilliant. To state the obvious, the picture above shows a regular garbage truck however on one side of the truck there is a mirror and the mirror is reflecting dozens of people. Okay, so what? WELL the brilliant factor here is in the title The Social Mirror. Ukeles is simply showing how we the people of the world are creating a ton of crap and garbage and we should be blamed for the effects of this crap and garbage. You could even go as far as saying that she believes we are a wasteful, un-resourceful, and lazy people for not taking some responsibility.

I like The Social Mirror for other reasons too. I suppose the main reason isn't because it speaks to my inner love for our environment (which to be honest I could be greener) but, it speaks to my need for passion in my life. Mierle Laderman Ukeles is extremely passionate about sanitation, so much so that she created The Social Mirror and bases most of her artwork on the topic. She has found something in life that sparks her and ignites her to do something.

I am always desperate to find this in my life. Besides art, I can't think of one hobby or one cause that I have been obsessed with for over a year. The Social Mirror encourages me to find something that consistently excites me and motivates me to do something.

Thus, The Social Mirror is a reminder to be passionate.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Norman Rockwell cherishes the simple.

Saying Grace by Norman Rockwell
1951, oil on canvas 
Featured on The Saturday Evening Post Cover November 24, 1951

It takes me way too much time to decide what Norman Rockwell to put on my blog, there is just so many that all deserve to be talked about. After about an hour of looking I chose Saying Grace

I often daydream about how Norman Rockwell chose the small details for his artwork. For example, the guy in the bottom left hand corner of Saying Grace is my favorite. You can't really see his expression, but you know he is staring at those praying. He was reading the paper, or pretending to, while drinking coffee and he just finished eating something... I like to think it was chocolate cake. 

I suppose the real reason why I love Saying Grace so much is it's ability to evoke this feeling of a calm simple America. I always get wrapped up in the go go go attitude and will be the first to admit that too much technology surrounds my day to day life. I long for a simple life where my family and I would go a diner, grab a slice of pie, and bow our heads to say grace. The best we do now is speed to the nearest coffee shop, go through the drive thru, and ask for a Venti Latte. 

I probably sound like I am 90 years old, but really I am just a girl who desperately tries to make my life simple and forget all the useless things I can get preoccupied with. So that's why I love Norman Rockwell because he knows just what I am after. 

Norman Rockwell cherishes the simple.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wayne Thiebaud exaggerates his imagery in the most delicious way.

Potrero Hill by Wayne Thiebaud
1976, oil on canvas, 36 x 44 in.

While the above picture isn't one of Thiebaud's more popular images, it's just as electric as the others. Well-known for his paintings of delicious food and sweets, I would argue that he is much more well-known for his unique style of art, which is most obvious in Potrero Hill

Whenever an artist chooses to not only paint a specific place, but also label the painting with the specific place, they are inviting others to critique their art. No one looks at Potrero Hill and thinks "What a cool imaginary place!" instead they may think things such as "That is NOT what Potrero Hill looks like" or "I remember when I visited there in the 80's." Either way, people are going to talk because the subject of the piece is shoved into their face... and to me, that's brilliant. 

I once read that Thiebaud is not so much labeled as an expressionist but rather likes to emphasis the expression of realism. Yeah, I know if you aren't an art junkie that could sound like blah blah blah. Basically, Thiebaud focuses on portraying real things in a way that is filled with emotion and livelihood. I mean look at Potrero Hill and tell me you don't want to live atop that beautiful hill in the yellow or lime green house! 

To create such a image that jumps out to your eyes Thiebaud had a pretty awesome method. He would go outdoors and directly observe what he wanted to paint that he would go into his studio and paint from memory to give the image room to be playful. I had the pleasure of seeing this image in person and I can tell you that the one thing that you can't tell from a mere picture is the brushstroke of the Potrero Hill. The most beautiful thing about this piece was that the paint looked like icing on a cake, actually that IS typical Thiebaud, he has that weird ability to make his images cause the viewer to salivate... go ahead, go google him and see for yourself. 

So how can I sum up Thiebaud? Well he is actually kind of easy because if I had to chose one word to describe him it would be EXAGGERATION. 

Wayne Thiebaud exaggerates his imagery in the most delicious way.