Category Archives: Art
I was looking through my reader and came across this post on Phil Ebersole’s Blog: http://philebersole.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/paper-sculpture-by-hari-and-deepti/
It’s amazing how these two artists manage to create such amazing and original work with paper, scissors, and LED lights.
Thanks to Phil Ebersole for bring this to my attention!
Here’s two links for more of this awesome work:
The English Honors Society publishes an annual collection of student writings, and I submitted my poems The Wild Hunt and Ballad of William Walker to them. This back in like February, but I recently received notification that they would be published in this year’s anthology and on Wednesday everyone who made it will be presenting their work. This coupled with getting hired by the school paper are significant steps towards realizing my dream of being a professional writer. While these will greatly increase my audience it is you, my faithful Friends, who were my audience first.
Here are the poems:
There aren’t too many songs that I connect with certain memories that I can think of. However every time I hear a good mashup or remix it brings back to when I was taking my History of Rock n’ Roll back at my old community college. We discussed the art of taking different songs and combining them to make something new. Many people think this appropriation is stealing and not real art, which just proves that it is. Anyone familiar with postmodernism should know this. What I like about it is that it takes songs that are often from different times and seamlessly makes a new song, and that in turn fuses different memories I have from when those songs got a lot of airtime. Here’s really good mashup I found:
Yes, it has Rick Astley. No, I’m not trying to Rickroll you, seriously it goes good with Avicii.
Well last night I was at home to get a haircut for my job interview and my mom was kind enough to DVR the opening ceremony for me. I must say, it was probably the most impressive one I can remember (certainly of the Winter ones) and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Russia has such a long, storied, complex, and frankly awkward national history and I think that the Sochi committee did a brilliant job at covering all that in such a concise manner. Being a Nonwestern History Major and having took a Russian Lit class last semester really made it possible for me to appreciate what I was seeing; as having context always does. During the Cyrillic acrostic segment I was familiar with every item listed, though I would like to know poor Tolstoy was forced to share T with television (every other letter only got one item). The Thousand Years of History in Three Minutes short was also very good, starting with the Varangians and ending with right now (but the writers of this short didn’t seem to think anything notable happened in the last century). My personal favorite scene in the whole ceremony was when Czar Peter the Great sailed to what would later become St. Petersburg. I could recognize everything that was being shown, so I really didn’t like the fact the announcers had to explain every damn thing that was shown. I know The Bronze Horseman when I see it. I did a face palm during the ball dance, because it brought me back to the dreary experience of braving through Anna Karenina, so I laughed heartily when the train appeared later. Over all I would say that the opening ceremony was everything it should be, save for some egregious omissions. It was certainly better than the London 2012 one, which was very, well, British. The only thing missing from the Sochi ceremony was Putin wrestling an almasty.
The title says it all. No doubt about it, LEGOs were my favorite toy growing up. I never owned a G.I., I did have some Hot Wheels and action figures (mainly superhero related), but I owned hundreds of LEGOs. On pretty every birthday and Christmas I would get a couple of sets, so my collection was constantly growing from the time I was eight to about twelve. The main reason I wanted new sets was for the pieces that I would build my own creations with. I was always coming up with some elaborate project that I was going to do, which I would inevitably scrap when I realized I didn’t have enough of the right pieces (or in the correct color).
The most ambitious thing I completed were the pyramids of Giza (deceptively simple to build) complete with a Sphinx. It was amazing, but it only lasted for like to days before my brother demolished the Sphinx (he was maybe four) for shits and giggles and I was unable to rebuild it. Amuzingly he is far more creative than I ever was with LEGOs, he builds several quality items a month; largely because he doesn’t worry about the things I did. Around the time I was thirteen or so I slowly stopped playing with LEGOs, I just sort of moved on and they are a very expensive hobby. I used to want to become a professional Master Builder for Lego Land, but I don’t think that will happen. I still want to go to Lego Land someday.
For many people two art forms define medieval art, illuminated manuscripts and stained glass windows. The former was a product of the Dark Ages, while the latter appeared in the Romanesque period. Around the 13th century the European art scene began to shift from Romanesque to Gothic. Like it’s predecessor, this new style built upon previous art forms to create works unique to this time. By this time bookmaking was as prosperous as ever, and books were increasingly diverse. History began to flourish again as bookmakers were not merely copying primary sources, they were writing secondary sources. Like with the Bibles and Psalters, these history books were decorated with full color illustration that could tell the story to those who couldn’t read (or know Latin). Non-fiction in general became commonplace, providing invaluable information on how people saw the world. Bestiaries provide information about all manner of animals, most of which are none existent while others real but with misinformation. Though prose fiction as we know it today hadn’t really developed yet, poetry was widespread and many manuscripts are filled with new poems. So much secular literature hadn’t been common since Roman times and they show that while the Middle Ages were very religious, it was also an earthy time when people had a raw sense of humor.
Though stained glass begun during the Romanesque era, the art matured in the Gothic era and that is when we start to see some very notable work. Unlike illuminated manuscripts, stained glass was still confined largely to the cathedrals so the content remained primarily religious. All (or almost all ) of the Gothic cathedrals utilize stained glass, so it is easy to see how the windows swiftly became so sophisticated. The primary goal of the windows was to tell Biblical stories to the illiterate; the “Poor Man’s Bible” I discussed last week. Abstraction also became common, sometimes embellishing scenes and other times dominating an entire window. These abstract designs make stained glass an interesting parallel with illuminated manuscripts. Perhaps one reason we find stained glass so captivating is because we use windows to see outside and let light in, not to decorate the interior of a room.
It is often said the art is a reflection of the time and place it was created in. I think for the Middle Ages that is especially true. While books were produced it is important to note that they are one of the few available media forms. The number of books made is miniscule by later standards. Many later books and resources have been written about the time, but they are often filled with errors. This leaves art as vital voice for Medieval beliefs. Yes books were filled with art, but not everyone knows Latin. However, anyone can look at art; and scholars and art historians have made understanding it fairly easy.
To me, William Blake was one of the greatest geniuses who ever lived. Though his skills were confined to the arts, he proved to be one of the greatest artists who ever lived. In his volumes of poetry and all manner of visual art (except sculpture) he created an elaborate mythology that would not even be attempted again until Tolkein. In terms of art movements his work is generally viewed as an immediate precursor to Romanticism, however, many view it as also being early manifistations of Expressionism and Surrealism. Blake was, of course, rather eccentric and many have a hard time believing his accounts of where he got his inspiration. Did he honestly believe that he actually saw the ghost of a flea? Things like that are why I would want to observe him. There have been many brilliant people, but not many so enigmatic about there proccess. I could see him at work, and find out how he really got his inspiration.
When the millennium turned Europe was beginning to leave the Dark Age and enter what many consider to be Medieval times (though some lump the two together). A cornerstone of Medieval progress was the development of Romanesque period art and architecture. Romanesque work originated as imitation of Imperial Roman architecture and was an attempt to restore Europe to it’s pre-Fall glory. Defining characteristics were rounded arches and vaults. The movement actually took influences from a wide variety of sources, leading to much regional diversity. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Romanesque buildings are how they ambitiously combine several different art forms, making Romanesque churches into a form of master art. Every visible part of the building was a potential art space, meaning even practical architectural elements could double as sculpture. Columns are a perfect example of Romanesque art because they are an obvious influence from Greco-Roman architecture and Medieval builders built upon past usage of columns and used and integrated sculpture into the practical design. Portals (the area around the main door) are another important element that were turned into sculpture:
Romanesque art is also responsible for many innovations that were unheard of in Roman times. Stained glass windows are one of the most important examples as for many they are synonymous with Medieval art. The colorful, two dimensional, windows provide a nice counter to the often colorless (granted some were painted but it has faded away) and three dimensional sculptures. The art remained important well into the Renascence and there was revival of stained glass in Victorian times which continues to some extent today. Most of the examples I could find were Gothic or later, but here are some Romanesque stained glass windows:
During the Romanesque period almost anything could be made into art. The diversity is stunning with each building different than the next. Depending on the location influences (aside from namesake Roman) could include Celtic, Saxon, Islamic, Norse, Mozarabic, Visigothic, Ostrogothic, or Byzantine just to name a few. Visual style aside, all Romanesque art is unified with common elements. The chief of these is a Biblical worldview, or more accurately the Biblical worldview endorsed by the Catholic Church. Close examination of most pieces will reveal the most common theme are Biblical stories, depictions of extra-Biblical Saints are also popular. The reason for this was to make the content of the Bible accessible for the illiterate. Scholars have dubbed this the “Poor Man‘s Bible” and it can be seen in sculptures, stained glass, and murals (which I have chosen not to write about as they are not uniquely Romanesque). Local flavor can be seen in depictions of that areas rulers and history. We can also see much about how Medieval people saw the world in their depictions of grotesque beasts meant to protect the building from evil. Taken as a whole, Romanesque cathedrals and churches can be viewed as elaborate art museums, because they showcase the contemporary art in a region represented by almost every form of art.