African Art

Africa has never been an area of the world that has brought image of art to mind for me. While researching African art I discovered Kobina Nyarko. Born in Ghana in 1972, Nyarko aggressively pursued his love of art. In 2003 he graduated from college with a BA in Industrial Art.

"Tunnel" (Ghana, 2006) Nyarko

Nyarko’s art facinates me. It appears to be fish swimming in artistic formations. His painting “Tunnel” makes me think of hope or “the light at the end of the tunnel”. I liked it so much that I orders a print of this piece.

"Sinking Sand" (Ghana, 2005) Nyarko

I also found his work “Sinking Sand” intriguing. It makes me feel like I am looking at a pinwheel. Nyarko is an extraordinary artist that captured my imagination with his hypnotically unique style.

Work Cited:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobina_Nyarko

http://www.african-encounters.com

http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/Kobina%20Nyarko

 

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Non-Western

I have always had a fascination with the steel drums. It is amazing that these awesome sounding instruments originally came from trash. The steel drum was created on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad in the early part of the 20th Century.

The credit of the discovery of the steel drum goes to a man named Winston “Spree” Simon. He stumble upon the different tones the dents in the drum made and began experimenting with it creating what today is the steel drum.

I love the sound of these instruments and enjoy any opportunity to hear a steel band. Whenever I hear this music I want to be on a beach with a blended Caribbean cocktail. I would love to learn how to play the steel drums.

Work Cited:

http://www.youtube.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steelpan

http://www.toucans.net/main_home.html

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Postmodern and Extraordinary

As a child, my mother always told me that if I did not work hard and go to school I would “find myself out on the streets”. Though this advise motivated me in my youth, after discovering these artist I envy what they have achieved on the streets.

 

"Ghetto", Wenner

"Office Stress", Wenner

 

 

The first artist is Kurt Wenner who attended Rhode Island School of Design and Art Center College of Design. After that he went to work for NASA as an advanced scientific space illustrator. Wenner left NASA and moved to Italy to pursue his love of classical art. Not only is he an extraordinary artist he is also an accomplished architect (which I will not be reviewing at this time). Wenner’s work is so incredible that his work was the subject of a National Geographic documentary.

 

“Dies Irae”, Wenner

 

The other artist is Julian Beever has been creating similar works of art since the mid 1990’s. Beever is an English artist that has shared his talents with countries all over the world. He and Wenner both use a technique called anamorphosis that creats the 3D illusions.

 

Untitled, Beever

Untitled, Beever

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following two photos give a perspective of these anamorphic paintings from different angles. The ability to visualize the final product while creating these works is nothing short of unreal.

 

Untitled, Beever (viewed from the correct angle)

Untitled, Beever (viewed from the wrong angle)

Both of these artist have an uncanny ability to take a flat surface and create an entire three dimensional world. Since their works are made with chalks they are washed away with nothing but photos to tell the story. Having the opportunity to see one of these unbelievable works in person would be a rare and extraordinary experience. I chose these artists and their works because of the amount of talent and detail used in these works.

I worked very hard to insure proper citation of these works however, I was unable to find the titles, dates and locations of each of them. I was going to use another subject matter due to this, but instead decided to share these awesome works anyways.

Works Cited:

http://www.kurtwenner.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Beever

http://users.skynet.be/J.Beever/pave.htm

 

 

 

 

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Early Modern

In the late 1920’s until just prior to the start of WWII, the world was hit with a devastatingly severe economic depression known as the Great Depression. As a result of the Great Depression, there was an effort to get out of work artist employed. Under Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Federal Arts Project was established.

One product of the Federal Arts Project, was Ray Strong’s Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, 1934). This piece of art is a great example of the Early Modern Era. Strong used bright, incredible colors to depict the the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.

"Golden Gate Bridge", San Francisco 1934, Ray Strong

The colors are just one of the things that drew me to this piece. The details are simply extraordinary. From the hills in the background, to the waves crashing on the beach, the details are crisp and realistic. The way Strong accurately added shadows made the painting photo perfect.

Another painting from this era that I have always loved is American Gothic (Iowa, 1930) by Grant Wood. Even though this painting was not a result of the Federal Arts project, it was strongly influence by the Great Depression. I have always enjoyed the simplicity of this painting.

"American Gothic", Iowa, 1930 Grant Wood

The common thought is that this is a husband and wife, however this painting is intended to depict a father and daughter. I think that this painting is an awesome representation of the emotions of Americans at the time. The man has a stern look of determination, (that reminds me of my grandfather) and daughter has a look of concern maybe even fear.

At any rate, this painting has become an American icon. I think that this has to be one of the most impersonated paintings in history. I can not verify that, but a year hardly goes by before I see a parody of this painting in a movie. This piece will very likely remain timeless.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression

http://eyelevel.si.edu/2009/03/ray-strong-paints-the-golden-gate-bridge.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Gothic

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My Impression

I do not particularly like the Impressionism style. Though I do like some works from this style. Claude Monet’s Impression Sunrise (Paris, 1873) is simple and fascinating to me. However, what I do not like is its lack of detail.

"Impression Sunrise" Paris, 1872, Claude Monet

I prefer art with more detail and crisp lines. The Impression style is almost sloppy and chaotic to me.

Art like that from the Baroque Era is more to my liking. The amount of detail and appearance of paintings such as Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba (Rome, 1648) by Claude Lorrain are the type of paintings I prefer.

 

Seapor with the Embarkation of the Queen af Sheba (Rome, 1648), Claude Lorrain

 

 

Some of the Impression style art seems cartoonish and some of it appears to have been done by a child. That may seem a bit too critical, but I have a hard time finding real enjoyment in the art from the Impression Style.

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Lorrain

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Monet

 

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Classical Music

Ludwig van Beethoven is easily one of the most recognizable composers in history. Beethoven’s work is far more impressive when you realize that he started losing his hearing around 1796 and was almost completely deaf at the time of his death. His work is inspiring and emotionally invoking.

The Beethoven piece I selected was his Symphony No. 3; Eroica (Vienna, 1804). I really enjoy all of Beethoven especially his 5th Symphony but I was intrigued by the story behind Eroica. It was originally named after Napoleon Bonaparte until he was outraged when Bonaparte proclaimed himself The Emperor of the French.

Beethoven very angrily changed the name of the symphony to Sinfonia eroica, composta per festeggiare il sovvenire d’un grand’uomo (“heroic symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man”) and now it is simply Eroica. The piece is extraordinary at any rate and very moving.

I included Eroica performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini. This particular performance is incredibly well performed and conducted.

Souces:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_Maria_Giulini

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_van_Beethoven

http://www.youtube.com/

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Baroque Era!

"The Ceiling of the Jesuit Church in Vienna, Austria" Andrea Pozzo (1703)

Andrea Pozzo was an architect and painter from the Baroque period. His church ceiling works are simply remarkable. Pozzo commonly used an illusionist  technique called “quadratura” in which architectural and fancy elements are combined. He use these techniques to create many illusionistic ceiling paintings.

One of the most notable works of Pozzos’ is the fresco and trompe l’oeil  dome painting on the ceiling of the Jesuit Church in Vienna, Austria. Pozzo created this awe inspiring work in 1703 shortly after moving to Vienna at the request of Emperor Leopold I. He worked for several royal figures as well as various religious leaders while in Vienna.

The creation of this piece of work was clearly influenced by royalty and religious factions since they employed him. I chose this work of art because I was amazed by the realism of the dome that really is not there. The depth and three dimensional appearance peaked my curiosity. I researched several of his other ceiling works and was impressed with the painstaking efforts put into the illusions of dimension.

Work Cited:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Pozzo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesuitenkirche,_Vienna

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