Special thanks goes out to Mike Gilbert for inviting me out to do this photo-shoot with him.
Entire set of photos can be viewed here:
- Question #1: What stereotypifies and artist?
- Question #2: what stereotypifies a non-artist?
I find this question a difficult one to answer. We live in a time and generation where anyone could create anything, and call it art, and because they did so, it’s art. I suppose people who choose not to live the “artist lifestyle” are those kids you see leave high school and go off to Med School, or some swanky place like that. All I can ever really think about kids like that is that they live in a controlling household, where the parents choose for them, and they are too afraid to step and say to them “No.” We chose this route in our lives because we feel it is worth the risk, despite the views of the outside community.
- Question #3: What does it take to be an artist in your opinion?
Like I previously stated; we live in a time and generation where anyone could create anything, and call it art, and because they did so, it’s art. Creative thinking is key, along with the willingness to experiment with your work. Playing it safe will get you nowhere, and you’ll probably just end up mimicking something that another artist has created.
- Quesiton #4: How might the process and work of Ray Johnson influence your work?
I really don’t think Ray Johnson’s process would influence the type of work I do, but in all honesty, I feel sorry for the guy. It seems like Warhol walked in, ripped off what he was doing, and took the fame and glory. Perhaps it was best though, plus I don’t think Ray Johnson would have ever wanted to live that kind of lifestyle. Still, I feel he deserves more recognition.
Second set of mail art received from Lauren Armstrong.
First set of mail art received from Lauren Armstrong.
Things need to change.
Its officially spring break, and I couldn’t be more glad. Not even with the being out of school part of it, but it gives me time to regroup. There’s under two months left to go in my first year here at Cornish. That stat continually boggles my mind. Currently, I am not happy with where I am sitting in my classes. It’s not terrible, but its not good enough. I let myself get sidetracked at the beginning of this semester, and didn’t focus on what was really pointless. This spring break won’t exactly be a break. but more of a time to get my shit together and get back on track. Merit Scholarships are coming up, and I need to have some big.
Lets get started.
My process of chance involved rolling dice, in order to map out certain aspects of my day.
1. Meant Laundry
2. Meant Clean my Bathroom
3. Meant Go to Top Pot Doughnuts
4. Meant avoid doing Laundry or Cleaning my Bathroom until the next day
5. Meant work on Homework
6. Meant complete work for Ryan Hamachek
Whatever number I rolled was the order in which I would do things that day.
I rolled a 3 first, which I was excited about, because I was hungry.
After I came back to my room, I rolled again.
I rolled a 2, so I cleaned my bathroom.
Then a 1, for doing laundry.
Then 5, for working on some homework.
Then a 6, for completing work for Ryan.
The last number I rolled was a 4, which worked out nice in the end, since I didn’t end up having to put anything off.
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members.
Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact. Leader André Bretonwas explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement.
Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities of World War I and the most important center of the movement was Paris. From the 1920s on, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature, film, and music of many countries and languages, as well as political thought and practice, philosophy and social theory.
Breton wrote the manifesto of 1924 (another was issued in 1929) that defines the purposes of the group and includes citations of the influences on Surrealism, examples of Surrealist works and discussion of Surrealist automatism. He defined Surrealism as:
Dictionary: Surrealism, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.
Encyclopedia: Surrealism. Philosophy. Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. It tends to ruin once and for all other psychic mechanisms and to substitute itself for them in solving all the principal problems of life.
The movement in the mid-1920s was characterized by meetings in cafes where the Surrealists played collaborative drawing games, discussed the theories of Surrealism, and developed a variety of techniques such as automatic drawing. Breton initially doubted that visual arts could even be useful in the Surrealist movement since they appeared to be less malleable and open to chance and automatism. This caution was overcome by the discovery of such techniques as frottage and decalcomania.
Soon more visual artists joined Surrealism including Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalí, Enrico Donati, Alberto Giacometti, Valentine Hugo, Méret Oppenheim, Toyen, Grégoire Michonze, and Luis Buñuel. Though Breton admired Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp and courted them to join the movement, they remained peripheral. More writers also joined, including former Dadaist Tristan Tzara, René Char, Georges Sadoul, André Thirion, and Maurice Heine.
Throughout the 1930s, Surrealism continued to become more visible to the public at large. A Surrealist group developed in Britain and, according to Breton, their 1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition was a high water mark of the period and became the model for international exhibitions.
Dalí and Magritte created the most widely recognized images of the movement. Dalí joined the group in 1929, and participated in the rapid establishment of the visual style between 1930 and 1935.
Surrealism as a visual movement had found a method: to expose psychological truth by stripping ordinary objects of their normal significance, in order to create a compelling image that was beyond ordinary formal organization, in order to evoke empathy from the viewer.
Name: Joan Miro
Year of Birth & Death: (1893 - 1983)
Biography:He joined a commercial firm as a clerk in his hometown of Barcelona in 1910. In 1912, he began to paint, and formed a friendship with Artigas, who later founded the Agrupacio Courbet. In 1918, he held his first exhibition at Dalmau’s Gallery in Barcelona, and in 1921, he held another at the Galerie La Licorne in Paris. Head of Catalan (1924) and Ploughed Land (1924) signified a change in his artistic style. He became a successful promoter of surrealist painting, but was looked down upon by the surrealist group when, in 1926, he collaborated with Max Ernst on designs for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes’ Romeo and Juliet. From 1940 to 1941, he painted Constellations, a series of identical-sized paintings which he finished in Catalonia. The years between 1954 and 1959 were spent mostly on ceramics and lithographs, and Miro lived most of this time at Palma de Mallorca in a house that Jose Luis Sert built.
Name: Salvador Dali
Year of Birth & Death: (1904 - 1989)Biography:
Dali was born in Catalonia and entered the School of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1929. He was eccentric, but also a methodical worker; he would visit the Prado every day to copy painting of different schools. He exhibited at the Dalmau Gallery in Barcelona in 1925. Dali’s first surrealist work was the scenario for the film Un Chien andalou (1928), by Luis Bunuel. Miro introduced him into the surrealist group and in 1929, he exhibited in the Galerie Gocmans in Paris. He portrayed his skillfulness in the use of the double image technique in the Metamorphosis of Narcissus (1937). In 1939, Dali came to the United States, and lived at Del Monte, near Hollywood. In the year between 1949 and 1950, he began his “mystical period,” but still like to maintain that he was indeed still surrealist. This period ended with the “nuclear period,” which included Exploded Raphaelesque Head (1951). He then returned to Catalonia, where he remained primarily a recluse, except for a few attempts at artistic display, which were said to mask his true talents as a painter.
Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zürich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. Its purpose was to ridicule what its participants considered to be the meaninglessness of the modern world. In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and anarchistic in nature.
Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a variety of media. The movement influenced later styles like the avant-garde and downtown musicmovements, and groups including surrealism, Nouveau réalisme, pop art, Fluxus and punk rock.
Dada is the groundwork to abstract art and sound poetry, a starting point for performance art, a prelude to postmodernism, an influence on pop art, a celebration of antiart to be later embraced for anarcho-political uses in the 1960s and the movement that lay the foundation for Surrealism.
“We had lost confidence in our culture. Everything had to be demolished. We would begin again after the “tabula rasa”. At the Cabaret Voltaire we began by shocking common sense, public opinion, education, institutions, museums, good taste, in short, the whole prevailing order.”
- Dada Manifesto (Marcel Janco)
Art Techniques Developed:
Collage The dadaists imitated the techniques developed during the cubist movement through the pasting of cut pieces of paper items, but extended their art to encompass items such as transportation tickets, maps, plastic wrappers, etc. to portray aspects of life, rather than representing objects viewed as still life.Photomontage
The Berlin Dadaists - the “monteurs” (mechanics) - would use scissors and glue rather than paintbrushes and paints to express their views of modern life through images presented by the media. A variation on the collage technique, photomontage utilized actual or reproductions of real photographs printed in the press.