I put this photo of a donut in a grid in photoshop, distorted it, and wvalah! through the camera lens it looks 3D.
I came across the art of James Turell and Vik Muniz a while back, and have since been intrigued and inspired by their work. I aspire to make work that is not just something beautiful look at but something beautiful to experience. Perhaps one day I will be able to combine my interests in psychology, culture, and nature to make work that can have a social/environmental impact in the same way their work does.
James Turell’s degree in perceptual psychology coupled with his Quaker heritage and values led him to develop work which challenges perception and promotes curiosity and education about the natural world. He is most well-known for his creation of observatories called “Skyspaces” which allow viewers to experience a changing relationship between the landscape and the sky as the outside seems to become the inside and vice versa.
Perhaps one of the most well-know land artist/social practice artists today is Vik Muniz. Muniz's series that best showcases his desire to make social change was not made from the land at all but instead from trash. This said, in Jardim Gramacho, the largest landfill of the world, the landscape is practically made up of garbage and waste. Muniz, along with the help of the trash sorters, created very massive and almost regal portraits of a handful of the workers. Not only did he personally engage these already prideful workers in an extremely exciting creative event, he auctioned off the prints and gave the money back to the community. In this way, he was able to create work that was not only beautiful in its aesthetic but also in its ability to have an impact. In the end, I hope to see social/environmental practice art continue on into the future, for it reveals the extremely significant impact of man’s environment on his communal and internal well-being. Additionally, it speaks to how deeply affected humans are by their surroundings and how critical it is that man uses his innate desire to create and innovate-- not to destroy-- but to question and explore that which makes us who we are from both without and within.
JARDIM GRAMACHO series
We went on a field trip to the VMFA in Art History to visit the 21st century gallery. The art in the 21st century gallery is similar to the art we've looked at thus far in Art and Art History because most of it is a direct reaction to current events, politics, and an exploration of the human condition. However, where the art of the past tended to function as propaganda or reflect commissioners' ideals, this work seems to carry many more personal themes and narratives. We've discussed a lot of work that alludes to ancient art. Much of the work in this gallery uses allusions to past work to strengthen the universality and timeless nature of their messages. This 21st century art also boasts a wider variety of media and multimedia, largely a result of the rapid emergence of and experimentation with new technologies.
I found one work in the gallery, Glass Lantern Slide Pavilion by Theastre Gates particularly compelling. I really loved this work because it invited the viewer into a space. The juxtaposition of the reclaimed wood structure with the LED lit art historical slides on the ceilings makes for a visually engaging space. The piece is full of symbolism: the hoses embedded in the wall represent those used against protesters of discriminatory housing practices during the Civil Rights movement; the tea cups serve as a metaphor for political, social, physical transformation; the slides on the ceiling were intended evoke questions of "high art" and "low art."
Down the road I would like to experiment with making art on this scale. In the near future I see myself using more reclaimed materials to make my sand play boxes and tables. Overall, this was a really fascinating and inspiring work, and I was stoked I had the opportunity to experience in person at the museum.
GLASS LANTERN SLIDE PAVILION, 2011
Reclaimed wood, linoleum twine, carpet, fire-hose, wine, metal, four ceramic teacups,
254 slides lantern slides, LED light