An exploration of extreme surfaces
Chapter 1: This chapter is an introduction to the extreme surface including the 2D-soft surface &3D-hard surface around our everyday life and in the art world.
When I first happened to see the ‘extremes’, ‘extreme surfaces’ comes to my mind unconsciously. I feel that various surfaces surrounding us, either natural or man-made, are very fascinating. Therefore, I decide to choose “extreme surfaces” as the theme of my A2 Art & Design personal study after thinking it over for three times.
Maybe you don’t notice them. However, in fact, surfaces dominate the physical world. Every object is confined in space by its surface. Surfaces are pervasive and play a predominant role in human perception of the environment. Overall speaking, the surfaces can be divided into two categories: one is soft surfaces and the other is hard surfaces. Soft surface art can have you covered summer with distinctive dresses, tees and skirts, as well colourful totes that are perfect for the beach or shopping. You can accessorise your look with scarves that double as belts and headbands. Or update your home for the new year with beautiful lampshades and cushions. So you can find that there are many man-made soft surfaces in our everyday life. We use them, at the same time we also have them every day, for example, spaghetti, meat. In natural world, the example is also innumerable, hair, feather, water and so on. When you are sunbathing on the beach, the sand under your feet is also soft surfaces. Therefore, our life may be affected largely without soft surfaces. Correspondingly, whether the useless diamonds, shells, ices, rocks, teeth that exist in the natural world or the man-made mechanical devices like cars, bicycles, tiles and stones are the hard surfaces’ examples.
The Essay on The Black Death and the World it Made
The Black Death or The Black Plague, as it is known in history, was the worst disaster in medical history to date considering it proportionately (more than 40 percent mortality rate). It was so devastating in its effect that within 3 years time (1347-1350) the whole Europe was made aware of its dark presence in spite of the disadvantages of that period in terms of media coverage. The Plague had ...
In the art world, Boyle family’s work called the surface of the earth is very well known to us. James Rosenquist’s works often combine various objects’ surfaces in one painting. Now, in the following two chapters, I will be looking at the artist called James Rosenquist, MICHIKO KON, Boyle family and Michael Brennand Wood. Their life experiences, artworks, creating process and materials and something others will be helpful to inspire my ideas.
Chapter 2: This chapter looks specifically at the work of James Rosenquist & Michiko Kon to get 2D Soft surface ideas from them
When I searched in the internet, I found James Rosenquist’s artworks impressing me. James Rosenquist is an American pop artist. He was born on November 29, 1933 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. In 1955 he received a scholarship from the Art Students League in New York. There he also worked as painter for the advertising industry, e.g. at Times Square. In 1960 he abandoned this job and moved to a new neighborhood. In the following year Rosenquist incorporated the techniques and motifs of advertisement painting into his paintings. After the famous exhibition ‘The New Realists’ at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1962, Rosenquist was able to show his paintings at the New York Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum as early as 1963. During that time he made his first prints. Since then, Rosenquist has continuously broadened his technical skills through independent experiments with various materials.
Terms like collage and mural have been applied to his work. Collage is a very contemporary medium. (拼贴画有什么想法么，你要学会用你在Art and Design 课上学习到的欣赏艺术作品的方式欣赏一下经典的拼贴话，有什么想法没有，然后呢，因为我对这个不是太有感觉，所以只能看网上别人的interpretation)To me, collage is still a very viable, contemporary idea and it goes that way in film, too. It doesn’t matter if they’re filming a love scene or something else, movie directors are concerned with making a dynamic picture. That’s something they know a lot about.（这里感觉可以谢谢response to James Rosenquist的一幅作品，当时你就对那副有car，face，spaghetti的画很感兴趣，这幅画你要看得更仔细些，最好像个半个小时，用课堂上学的欣赏艺术作品的方法，结合自己practical work，多想点观点和看法吧）
Araby By James Joyce
James Joyce's use of religious imagery and religious symbols in "Araby' is compelling. That the story is concerned somehow with religion is obvious, but the particulars are vague, and its message becomes all the more interesting when Joyce begins to mingle romantic attraction with divine love. "Araby' is a story about both wordly love and religious devotion, and its weird mix of symbols and images ...
The jump and the reconnection also seem essential to his work, and Rauschenberg’s “Combine” paintings had a big influence on Rosenquist’s work. His artworks often combine natural objects with unnatural or soft subjects with hard. I am very fond of one of his works that is combination of spaghetti, a man’s face and the front of a car. This work makes me have an idea of switch surface. Finally, a profile of my work floated in my mind: as we know that the cactus is planted in a flower pot. I can switch the hard flower pot to a soft one which is made of bacon and the soft cactus to a hard one which is made of metal or other hard thins. So, you can imagine that. Is it very interesting or innovative?
Let’s look at specifically at another artist called Michiko Kon. Her idiosyncratic and refreshingly original black-and-white photographs are known and respected in Japan. Born in Kamakura of the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan in 1955, Kon graduated from the Sokei Art School in 1978, where she studied woodblock printing, collage, and assemblage. She later attended the Tokyo Photographic College.
I’m fascinated by Michiko Kon’s work. At first glance her work seems reminiscent of Meret Oppenheim constructions, subverting the traditional perception of objects and adding a touch of the absurd. But Kon’s work speaks of a uncomfortable vulnerably, the soft transient flesh of the animals she uses to create her still life objects add a sense of violence to otherwise unremarkable objects. It’s surreal work in the fact that the photos are dreamlike and out of the usual frame of reference but for me it’s hard to avoid the emotional and sexual undercurrent present in her work that I find lacking in the fur tea cups and other permanent objects which seem political. Kon’s photographs freeze a single moment when these scenes existed and can now be examined by us at our leisure.
Kon’s talent is turning absurd material juxtapositions into visually and viscerally stunning images with the shock power of Meret Oppenheim’s famous furlined teacup. The staples of Kon’s subtle, surrealistic still lifes ace perishable – raw fish, fowl, flowers and vegetables. Since the late 1970s these sensual and sometimes allusive elements have been arranged over or around familiar, often feminine, objects such as a schoolgirl’s uniform, a garter belt or a pocketbook, triggering our senses of touch and taste through vision and imagination to create a synesthetic or multisensual experience. Sometimes funny, sometimes repulsive, the best works cleverly combine charged elements to culminate in a raw beauty. Chicks hatching from a basket of broken light bulbs or a two-headed duck covered with tiny glittering fish lying on a bier of flowers were among the most poetically stirring in this recent show. And the elegant, chilling crispness of Kon’s black-and-white prints, which capture the moist sheen of fish scales as well as the dryness of bird feathers, pumps up the power of it all.（Kon主要是black-and-white photographs 比较出名，当时你只是觉得它的画用肉，有一种软的感觉，这只是说了一下材料选择的提示，那你对它的画还有其他的感受和想法，最好把一些想法都记录下来，这些都可以写出来的吧）
The Essay on Work Father Dad Hard
My Childhood The year is 1920. I am thirteen years old. I live in Mystic Iowa, a coal mining community. I have just started work in the coalmines with my father to held support mom, dad and my eight brothers and sisters. Life is tough but we are all happy. I have a responsibility as the oldest boy and that is to help out with money. (Barb) Work in the mines is not steady. They shut down in April ...
Kon’s work creates a delicious tension between the animate and the inanimate. Diverse biological matter such as fish, plants, and insects are unexpectedly combined with clothing, shoes, furniture, and even body parts. Elegant meditations on the nature of time, Kon’s photographs explore the transitory nature of existence.
From the evidence of an exhibition it seems that Kon is growing looser and more spontaneous during the setup process, as shown by what looks like blood smeared on a clock face in one arrangement. There is old-fashioned printed matter among her organic material, a given for most collagists but new for Kon. However, her cut-out Christian imagery-meaningful to the artist for its iconography of death, a fascination since her Catholic-school days – seemed weak, almost gratuitous. What she does with the natural and quotidian already speaks volumes about life and death.
Describing in words the photographs to me is useless, each individual has their own reaction the images, the only way to know is to see for yourself. Fish plays a prominent role in her photographs. Through searching the internet, this sentence said by Kon impresses me:”The reason I often use fish, plants, insects…as subjects for my photography is because life contains a delicate beauty that attracts other objects, and a time limit,” “I have a desire to stimulate people’s five senses, and transfix them with a photograph.”At the same time, I think that fishes are an important element of traditional Japanese culture and diet. I notice that almost everyone eat the meat everyday in China. Therefore the word “meat” occurs in my mind naturally. And meat becomes a material to create my art work.
The Term Paper on How Can We Measure the Success of a Work of Art? What Norms Do We Use?
When evaluating the quality of a work of art, there are myriad criteria to be contemplated beforehand. This is because there are a broad range of arts that can be overwhelmingly multifarious to comprehend. Arts are relished and savoured by almost everyone in the world but there is also a fine line between success and failure. The first point to be measured is whether a work of art is written in ...
Through the appreciation of above several artists’ artworks and their biography, my 2D final piece’s idea mainly comes from the object-a plate of cacti and has a concept of switch surface. Nails that have hard surfaces are used to replace the cacti’s thorns which are soft. Similarly, the cacti’s soft flesh is switched into hard iron wires. As is known, KON usually like to use fish to compose a shoe’s or hat’s surface. From her artworks, I have an idea that I can use soft beans to compose the flower vase’s hard surface. Maybe it will look great. Through the PHOTOSHOP software, I turn my ideas into a reality. Overall, it has a feeling of extreme surface. Finally, I will paint the picture.
Chapter 3: This chapter looks specifically at the work of Boyle family and Michael Brennand Wood to get the 3D hard surface ideas from them
The Boyle Family is a family of collaborative artists based in London. Their best known work, however, continues to be their Journey to the Surface of the Earth. Begun in 1964, this work encompasses many different series. Each of these series has involved various random selection techniques to isolate a rectangle of the Earth’s surface. In the case of the World Series 1000 random selections were made from a giant map of the world by blindfolded visitors. Once the random selection has been made, they recreate the site in a fixed and permanent form as a painted fibreglass relief. They recognise that each work is in some respect necessarily flawed because the selections can never be truly random and that it is impossible to eliminate themselves and their own subjective influences. They attempt to present a slice of reality as they found it at the moment of selection, but no matter how good the re-creation, it is still a re-creation and only an approximation of reality. Boyle Family knows that it is impossible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but in their work they try to isolate and reduce randomly chosen elements to as truthful an approximation as is within their power.
The Essay on Art Analysis of the Piece “Night Watch”
Night Watch was one of the pictures that really caught my eye. This was very interesting to me because it told me a story right when I looked at it. It was very realistic to me. I felt apart of the picture. As if I could almost have grabbed the coat and put it on. This is amazing to me how a human can draw something so real looking. I am starting to look at art in a whole different perspective. I ...
This random selection serves several purposes: nothing is excluded as a potential subject; the particular is chosen to serve as a representative of the whole; the subjective role of the artists and creators is re-designated to that of ‘presenters’. Boyle Family seeks to present a version of reality as objectively and truthfully as possible, calling this process ‘motiveless appraisal’.
Boyle Family aims to make art that does not exclude anything as a potential subject. Over the years, subjects have included: earth, air, fire and water; animals, vegetables, minerals; insects, reptiles, water creatures; human beings and societies; physical elements and fluids from the human body. The media used have included performances and events; films and projections; sound recordings; photography; electron-microphotography; drawing; assemblage; painting; sculpture and installation.
Boyle Family is best known for the earth studies: three dimensional casts of the surface of the earth which record and document random sites with great accuracy. These works combine real material from the site (stones, dust, twigs etc) with paint and resins, preserving the form of the ground to make unique one-off pieces that suggest and offer new interpretations of the environment, combining a powerful conceptual framework with a strong and haunting physical and visual presence.
The artwork ‘World series’ which took material–earth, debris, and so on–from randomly selected spots in vacant lots and demolition sites and used resin to fix it, exactly as found, to rectangular boards which they then hung like paintings. Their range of topographies is vast–from deserts to demolition sites, potato fields to parking lots, and the materials mimicked include earth, snow, grass, cobblestones, concrete, and anything found on the surface of the earth. From their works, I think the hard surfaces’ objects that are concrete, glass, stones, metal,etc.
（Boyle Family 主要是给你一些hard surface object的提示，他创作这个world series作品的创作方法对你有什么启发么？他的作品有什么感性呢，你写把能想的都写下来，我倒是根据你的想法添加下，然后我把之前跟网上一样的一些东西删掉）
The Essay on An Art Criticism of the Painting “Flora”
In the oil painting, Flora (Carrie Mainsfield Weir), by Julian Weir, a well-dressed Victorian woman is depicted, portrait style, sitting next to a small black table. The woman, Carrie, is also holding an array of flowers in her hand and several more stems of flowers are strewn across her lap. A silvery-gray vase sits on the table next to a large bowl filled with flower buds. Behind Carrie is a ...
Michael Brennand Wood is a visual artist, curator, lecturer, arts consultant and is internationally regarded as one of the most innovative and inspiring artists working in textiles. He has occupied a central position in the research, origination and advocacy of Contemporary International Art Textiles. A defining characteristic of his work has been a sustained commitment to the conceptual synthesis of contemporary and historical sources, in particular the exploration of three-dimensional line, structure and pattern. He has persistently worked within contested areas of textile practice, embroidery, pattern, lace and recently floral imagery. Sites, which offer unbroken traditions, cross cultural interventions and a freedom to work outside the mainstream. He believes that the most innovative contemporary textiles emanate from an assured understanding of both textile technique and history. Michael has explored and developed his own techniques inventing many new and imaginative ways of integrating textiles with other media.
Brennand-Wood’s connection to fabric is the stuff of childhood: “‘When I went to Art school, I thought ‘I’m going to be a painter or a sculptor’ and I got interested in using cloth as well, but in an expressive way,’ explains Brennand-Wood. He finally hit what was, for him, the right track: “I didn’t want to make dresses or to make furnishings…I would hopefully make art out of cloth. “It was an old family story. ‘My grand-mother on my mother’s side was a weaver in a cotton mill…North of England used to be a big weaving-cotton area…when I was a little boy I used to play a lot with fabric.’”
Some of Brennard-Wood’s recent works are investigations into the floral patterns of textiles, but as a twist, Brennand-Wood creates patterns using live flowers and beads arranged on a fabric background. The final art piece is the photograph is the event. He has also created this same fascination with floral pattern using elaborate overlays of fabrics flowers, embroidery and stitch.
Recent work inspired by traditions of floral imagery have utilised computerised machine embroidery, acrylic paint, wood, glass and collage. Exploring the illusionary space between two and three dimensions, these works are colourful, dramatic, rhythmic and holographic in feel with intense detail that merges at a distance into strongly optical configurations.
（Michael Brennand Wood这个人对你practical work 的final piece有很大的启发，所以你肯定对他的作品有很多想法和感觉，你要想想写写。你当时怎么想到有学中国的那个剪纸，你说是受这个人的启发，你可以大致的多写写啊，然后你最后final piece的构思里面有很多考虑，你把那个整个布局，及材料的选择，想给别人一种怎样的感觉最好用art and design课上学的专业术语来说，而不是用那种通俗的话讲出来，感觉好像是没有学过art的人。）
From his artworks and art style, my 3D idea is that a big circle made of wood is stacked with layers of round made of cloth. As are Micheal brennand wood’s most works, this will make a layers meaning feel. Flowers made of metal are mounted in the round cloth and regular round and flowers are mounted in the round wood. Strips of metallic wires are erected in them regularly.
Chapter 4 One visit to an exhibition: ideas from Van Gogh’s oil paintings
I’ve once seen an exhibition called “The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters” which is organized by the Royal Academy of Arts. I have learned a lot from his life experiences and artworks. From this exhibition, I know that his life tracks spread from Netherlands, Belgium to France. Born in 1853, Van Gogh wrote approximately 847 written letters and prolifically painted throughout his life. What is relevant is the correlation in the simplest of observations of specific paintings to specific excerpts from his letter that give insight into the cycling state of his mental health. Those letters enable us to know more about Van Gogh’s life and mentality.
This exhibition has Van Gogh’s hundreds of works, including drawings, watercolors, prints, letters, and oil paintings. My favorite is his paintings. His paintings are impressionist, many of which are famous and very expensive, such as “Sunflowers” and “Starry Night”. While these two masterpieces were not in this exhibition, I saw other famous paintings called “Self-portrait as an artist”, “Tarascon Diligence” and “Sower and wheat Fields after the Rain”. On July 27, 1890, a red haired young man of 37 had walked out into a grassy field with his canvas, easel and oil paints. Within minutes, the crack of a revolver was heard though out the seemingly empty countryside. The birds flew up from the wheat fields and scattered, then settled back down to the stalks. Life went on just as before. I found he would like to use bright colors to express in his paintings.
Chapter 5: Conclusion
This chapter is the conclusion to the study as a whole; it examines the learning outcomes and is a general end to the personal study
Through the above study, James Rosenquist’s ‘combine’ concept, Michiko Kon’s creating material and Boyle family’s creating process and materials are very enlightening. My final piece comes out like fountain coming from the well. The Kiwifruit and orange are natural fruit. The green color of Kiwifruit makes us feel natural and environment-friendly and orange yellow color looks very comfortable, respectively. Kiwifruit is round and contains pieces of round granule. I feel that the color, shape, inclusions of Kiwifruit coincide with the Seashell which is also round and has some round granules. I found a piece of accessory in our campus that is round, green and has some round granules, too. These random three subjects are so alike. Therefore, I choose Kiwifruit as an object and I will have it cut into two pieces, and sketch the surface in pencil. The orange is also cut into two pieces, and I will paint the surface in oil. Thus the composition of this picture may be perfect.
I have learned a lot from this personal study, in this art I have been enthralled, disgusted, confused and excited, but most of it got me thinking, which, fundamentally is what art should do.
“The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters” organized by Royal academy of Arts
“An investigation into gender roles in contemporary art” by Yantra Scott