I find Acconci's concepts interesting, but I'm not sure if I totally agree with everything he proposes about public spaces. His ideas strike me as a bit cynical, perhaps too exaggerated. While our views of public spaces have certainly changed, I don't think they've changed as drastically as Acconci proposes, nor do I think the change is good or bad. It simply is.
Acconci's discussion of what our public spaces say about ourselves and our specific interactions with one another (Subsection 10) was especially interesting to me. This idea of "payment" is rather vague and again, cynical, but I relate to it on some level. The third-to-last sentence, on the expected roles we play in different public spaces, particularly made sense to me. We go to some public spaces specifically to make human contact, while in others, isolation is the norm.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I really enjoyed McCammon's talk; she had a lot of good advice and experience to share, and I related strongly to her methods and subject matter as a painter.
McCammon began by discussing a series of large scale portraits she created during her sophomore year at MICA, which led to her spending two months in the studio of respected Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum. She discussed how this experience changed her world outlook, as well as her painting style, and encouraged her to pursue more painting opportunities abroad.
McCammon has primarily worked abroad since then in Italy, initially moving from figurative to landscape work, and eventually combining these two subject matters. She is currently working as an art instructor in West Virginia, and will go on two more international artist residencies later this year, one in Venice and another in Ireland.
What I most enjoyed about McCammon's talk was her discussion of her initial struggles as a painter at MICA, particularly with paint application, as well as her shifts in compositional styles and subject matter. McCammon's art explores themes of personal narrative, the imperfect nature of memories, and the capturing of the essence of a place, person, etc, through the depiction of small detail (in her landscape paintings, McCammon was fascinated by drawing hanging laundry as depictions of Venice, Rome, etc). I also loved her explanation of how she was influence predominately by the old masters in her work, and how the experience of stumbling upon one or two small paintings or drawings by such masters had at times greatly influenced her perception of her field and subject matter.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Chris Leavens is a Los Angeles based vector illustrator specializing in surrealist images. His works often comprise bizarre monsters and imagined characters interacting in mythical landscapes. His pieces incorporate the humorous and bizarre with a playful tone. Leavens' works have appeared in galleries, computer games, TV shows, and films. He currently works as an animator and designer for Disney Publishing.
Interestingly, Leavens' educational background is in cinematography. He received a BA in film and video from Penn State University, and spent several years working in the film industry as a film editor and motion graphics designer. After several years in the film industry, Leavens decided to "take a break" from video work to explore illustration. Since then, he has worked primarily as an illustrator, graphic designer and web designer, with much commercial success.
I love the quirky nature of Leavens' pieces; it's hard to examine his work without smiling. While the unique figures and settings in these images play a large role in the development of this mood, I think Leavens' use of color also plays a larger role in creating this unique atmosphere. Leavens' use of color creates a nice balance; his palettes are saturated and bright without being overpowering, working to highlight the strengths of Leavens' drawings. The pieces have a Dr. Seuss-esque feel that is quite lovely. Leavens' mastery of illustrator is also obvious in his works;