Tag Archives: Art

Stamps

One of the few hobbies of mine I don’t recall ever mentioning on here is my stamp collection. When I was eight my dad took me to a stamp collecting event while my mom was having my brother’s baby shower. I was familiar with the concept of stamp collecting but had never given it much thought. Part of the event included being able to collect a page worth of stamps for free.

I decided this was something I wanted to get into so my dad got me a subscription to the Mystic Stamp catalog. Part of the subscription included being sent several packets of stamps every month, you could buy the ones you wanted and send the others back. While many people collect stamps for their value or significance, I didn’t care about any of that. What intrigued me about stamps was the fact they are like visual art in miniature form. I also enjoyed the fact that I could own mini paintings from all over the world. I acquired stamps from Hungary, Vietnam, Cuba, Iraq, the Marshall Islands, you name it. Even better, some were from places that no longer exist like the USSR or Upper Volta.

Honestly I don’t remember how long I collected stamps, but after a few years I called it quits. Paying for the subscription and stamps was too costly, mounting them in albums was time consuming. Of the hundreds of stamps I own, maybe ten percent are mounted in a quarter full album. The mounts were even more expensive. I still have that album and the rest of the stamps are in a shoebox, both kept at the bottom of a dresser which I have lots of random crap in.

I’d post some samples from my collection, but they’re back in Washington six hours away. Maybe some day I’ll get back into it. Here is a good stamp collecting blog: https://stampaday.wordpress.com

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/panoply/

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The First Art Museum

When I was in France I had the fortune to visit a few of their famous caves. Like any other tourist in Dordogne, I visited Lascaux II. While Lascaux II faithfully reproduces most of the great art of the original, it is painfully obvious you’re in a tourist attraction the whole time. I also was able to visit Font-de-Gaume, a lesser known cave which has original paintings and reliefs. Mammoths, bison, horses and reindeer are all found throughout, though most of them require you to look hard to notice them. We had a tour guide who pointed each one out and gave us background about each work. Voices echoed whenever spoken.

Reaching Font-de-Gaum requires a laborious hike up steep stairs to the top of the hill. It was well worth it and I was conditioned for it, I had been in the Parisian Catacombs and climbed to the roof of Notre Dame just a few days earlier.

The pictures are not my own, they don’t allow tourists to take photos:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/echo/

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They’re coming for you!

As I mentioned on an earlier post, I took a film making class during my last undergrad semester. One of the assignments was doing a shot for shot reproduction of a scene from a theatrical film. For mine I did the opening graveyard scene from Night of the Living Dead. It was fun to shoot but there were a couple of important cuts that acted were out with the camera off unbeknownst to me, an unpleasant discovery made when I was editing the footage in Adobe Premiere. This was frustrating because we didn’t have time to reshoot those missing scenes, so we had to make do with what was shot.

And here is the original scene for for reference:

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Wisdom Chiseled in Stone

I few months I ago my Senior History and Poli Sci Research Methods class visited the University of Washing in order to find resources at their library. I was in awe of the stone buildings on the campus.

Campus two

Campus three

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-power-of-touch/

 

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The Odd Twins

Twins

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-outsiders/

 

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November 18, 2015 · 1:26 pm

Gargoyles

I’ve been interested in them ever since I first saw the Disney show of the same name. I hardly remember any specifics about the cartoon, but I did think it was amazing. The main reason I chose gargoyles to search was because I originally intended for this to be an art blog, though within its first month or so chance ended up with me unwittingly taking a very different route with it. That’s for the better I think, because all the art history posts I did were cut and pasted from homework essays of an art history class I took and I found myself with very little time or energy to produce anything new. I still have quite a few that I never posted on here, and I don’t care to get around to it. I like what my blog ended up being.

Anyway, here is the eleventh result for “gargoyle:”

I like gargoyles because they are a vividly diverse lot. The first ten results were fairly conventional with wings and or horns, but this one is rather unusual. He appears to be just a man, granted one who is either very horrified at something or in a lot of pain. Proper gargoyles act as waterspouts to divert rain off the buildings to protect from erosion, it doesn’t look like this one has this function and it certainly doesn’t look like it would do the secondary job of scaring off evil spirits very well. The picture comes from a good Huffington Post article with several other unusual testimonies to gargoyle diversity: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/17/spooky-church-gargoyles_n_5315933.html

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/daily-prompt-5/

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Paper Wizardary

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.

paper art

paper art two

Thanks to Phil Ebersole for bring this to my attention!

Here’s two links for more of this awesome work:

http://www.boredpanda.com/illuminated-paper-sculptures-shadow-art-hari-deepti/

http://www.beautifullife.info/art-works/wonderful-paper-sculptures-by-hari-deepti/

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As is ugliness

And every other concept that is a judgment of worth. Every read Umberto Eco, everyone’s favorite semiotics professor turned novelist? He wrote a book titled on beauty. Okay read, nothing special. Then he wrote On Ugliness, in which he argues that art is actually dominated by ugliness and that beauty is defined as being the opposite of ugly.

http://www.amazon.com/On-Ugliness-Umberto-Eco/dp/0847837238

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/absolute-beauty/

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Disney Racism is Still Racism

As I have noted in earlier posts, whilst in Tanzania we spent a good amount of time with the orphans and schoolchildren that lived at the convent. The school library had a suprizingly decent selection of movies and we would often screen movies with the kids. Our group would decide which movie to watch, and one time we watched the Disney Princess and the Frog which everyone else said they loved. I had never seen it before, but did want to see it since I had heard so much about how it was incredibly racist (like Disney tends to be with animated films not set in generic Europe.) It was worse than I thought. For one thing it had every single thing stereotypically associated with New Orleans and Louisiana I can think of short of bared breasts, Katrina, and oil spills. Gumbo, frogs, jazz playing alligators, Mardi Gras, Voodoo, the bayou, and even more was just crammed together in the most contrived way imaginable. That’s not even getting into the “racist” part of it.

Much like Aladin and Mulan, the racism lies in its depiction of the primary antagonist. This film taking place in Louisiana Disney predicatably chose to make the villian, Dr. Facilier a top hatted “Voodoo Man.” Like any other depiction of voodoo in mass media, Dr. Facilier is shown as black magician in leage with evil spirits and scamming innocent people. What is so troubling about that? Well Voodoo (also spelt as vodou or vodun) is a living religion that along with the related faiths of Santeria and Cadomble claim several million adherents on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet the only time it is ever seen in the media is a dark, sinister cult practiced by dirty con artists. These misrepresnations have their origins from the fear many Westerners felt after the Haitian Revolution, and became cemented in popular imagination when Hollywood started attempts to depict voodoo following the Marine Corps intervention in Haiti during the 1920s.

What specifically was wrong? Let me explain. For one thing Dr. Facilier wears a feathered tophat and torn tail coat, with a shirt that is too small and a claw necklace. In reality tophats are strictly associated with spirits of the dead, and are worn with full formal dress because the death spirits are supposed to be wealthy; yet most pop cultures portrayals show all “witch doctors” wearing them along with generally primitive looking attire. No specific deities were named, probably because Disney didn’t actually do any research and couldn’t even contrive to use a very basic spirit like  Samedi, Damballah, Legba, Erzulie, or Shango (it would be like omitting Zeus et al from Hercules). No Catholic iconography appeared either: this is a huge error since slaves who brought their religions from Africa were forced to disguise their spirits as Catholic saints, usually ones that are remotely similiar. Instead just generic “friends from the other side” were used, and they looked more like poorly made Hawaiian Tikis than African entities. Most importantly they clearly had voodoo confused with Palo/Nganga, a seperate religion which is notorious for having unregulated priests who will do anything to make money.

<img src="charms” alt=”charms” /> shango erzulie

After the movie was done and the kids left someone on our team remarked that she was worried that maybe the movie might have scared children, since “voodoo is still practiced in some tribes in Tanzania.” Except that it totally isn’t. It’s about as prevelant in Tanzania as Shinto is in India. Complete absent if you were wondering. I corrected her and said that voodoo doesn’t exist in Tanzania or anywhere in East Africa, and that it only exists in West Africa. Actually that’s not even true, it really only exists in Haiti, Louisiana, and a few other Francophone areas, what they have in West Africa is Vodun has differences. I went on to say that its clear Disney didn’t do any research, and when another asked what made me think that I gave them an answer that was sufficiently watered down from what I have been posting. That individual informed that “there’s different kinds of Voodoo, and what they had in the movie is how it is in Louisiana.” Um no it isn’t, and besides in Louisiana it has been completely sold out by the tourist industry and weird white people who like stealing nonwestern religions. I didn’t say that, tactful Tom that I am. After I was done explaining what was wrong, yet another said that “most people wouldn’t know the difference.” I even attempt to explain that the movie was racist, since some people don’t even see racism in Peter “What makes the Red Man Red” Pan.

For further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Voodoo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haitian_Vodou
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_African_Vodun

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/matters-of-taste/

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You Read it Here First

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:

https://djgarcia94.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/the-wild-hunt-a-poem/

https://djgarcia94.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/the-ballad-of-william-walker/

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