Wifredo Lam

•April 23, 2010 • 3 Comments

Lisa Mona, Wifredo Lam, 1950

Wifredo Lam was a Cuban artist and his goal of his art was to portay the Afro-Cuban spirit and culture. His father was a Chinese immigrant and his mother was congolese and cuban. They practiced Catholicism along with their African Traditions which was some of his biggest influences. He tried to show humanity as a whole in his artwork because he thought too many people focused on the individual which is way his characters are so generic. He studied at San Alejandro in Cuba before moving to Spain until the turmoil in Spain forced him to move to Paris. Picasso was a big supporter of Lam and he was a major influence on Lam.
I chose “Lisa Mona” because I loved it’s simplicity and how generic it was. Also it reminded me of the art in a French cartoon movie, “The Triplets of Belleville” which has the same kind of quirky characters. (to check it out go to http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1794441497/) I found it really neat that Picasso was a supporter of Lam but Lam didn’t know how much they were a like until later in his career. When he came in contact with Picasso’s work he said, “not only a revelation, but… a shock.” I also loved the name of the painting and found it humorous but I also think he was trying to make it more universal.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wifredo_Lam
http://www.cubanet.org/lee/lam2.html

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African Fine Art

•April 19, 2010 • 3 Comments

Evarist Chikawe, The Tired Woman, Date Unknown

I just loved this piece. The colors are so vibrant yet it doesn’t have that happy feel most colorful paintings have. One thing I found very interesting about this piece was the position the lady was in. At first glance it looks like her whole body is facing you but taking a closer look I noticed her feet and knees were off to the side. The more I looked the more I could feel how tired she was.
The artist Evarist Chikawe uses his art to speak about mother love and its importance for today’s world. He started his exhibitions at the age of 23 and believes his art is his way of protecting his cultural roots and traditions. His first exhibition was held in East African Art in Nairobi, Kenya. “My paintings identify Tanzania culture and traditional. I engage myself in figurative human being drawings because I believe my life is people.”-Evarist Chikawe Sadly, i wasn’t able to find much about the artist except lists of his exhibitions.

Sources:
http://www.afrum.com/index.php?hash=9d8943892b3bc08f0404d81dcf24d0b4&categ=fam&action=vypis&select=67
http://www.africancolours.com/african-colours-portfolios.php?id=101&pid=1
http://www.africanartnow.com/artist_product.php?id=121

Virtual Exhibit: Sand and Sea

•April 17, 2010 • 4 Comments

Artist: John Dahlsen
John Dahlsen is a contemporary artist from Australia. He studied art at the Victorian College of the Arts and at the Melbourne College of Advanced Education. He won the Wynne prize which is a very prestigious award and along with this has earned other awards for his art such as “The Signature of Sydney Prize”

John Dahlsen, The Pass #1 2007

This painting was done in his response to the environment, in hopes of lessening the amount of litter that washed up on shore. I enjoy this painting for a couple of reasons. I love its simplicity and that from further away it looks as if it is a photograph. Also it makes me feel as if I am on a clean beach with no litter. The worst thing about going to the beach is playing with sand the has cigarette butts or plastic bags mixed within.

John Dahlsen, Julian Rocks, 2007

This painting is another one Dahlsen did in efforts to help with litter. He stated that he did notice that it helped locally but has increased globally.

John Dhalsen, Many Thongs, 1999

“I see that by making this art, it is a way of sharing my messages for the need to care for our environment with a broad audience. I feel that even if just a fraction of the viewing audience were to experience a shift in their awareness and consciousness about the environment and art, through being exposed to this artwork then it would be worth it.”- John Dahlsen

Artist: Ahmad Nadalian
Ahmad Nadalian is an Iranian artist committed to representing Mother Earth. The streams where he grew up have been destroyed and he is highly connected to streams and tides. He has performed his carvings of fish and goddesses in such diverse countries as France, Germany, Italy, the US, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia.

Ahmad Nadalian, Desert Tree

Ahmad Nadalian, Sand Mouse

I chose these because I found it neat that they were imprinted into sand and are therefore temporary. However to the artist its like a tribute to the waters and streams.

Sources:
http://www.johndahlsen.com/
http://www.greenmuseum.org/content/artist_index/artist_id-123.html
http://www.morning-earth.org/ARTISTNATURALISTS/AN_Nadalian.html

Early Modern Post

•April 4, 2010 • 8 Comments


Louis Armstrong helped create a unique sound to jazz. He was known for his gravelly voice and his use of trumpet. He put his personality into his trumpet playing and performances. Louis Armstrong was a part of the Harlem Renaissance and played at many of the popular clubs. He helped influence jazz and with his solo trumpet performance he helped move jazz from a collective improvisation to having solo performers. He was also very talented at scat singing and it’s been said that he used his horn like a singer’s voice and used his voice like a musical instrument. The Great Depression was hard on jazz and many clubs had to shut down but Armstrong continued to play and even performed in a couple films. With the clubs shutting down Armstrong moved to Los Angeles where he played at the New cotton club and starred in his first movie, Ex-Flame.
I chose What a Wonderful World to share because it is one of my all time favorite songs. While it was later in his career I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity in posting it. I think after the hardships of Great Depression and all that African Americans had been through up until this point in time and history it is a beautiful song that portrays a world living in harmony. He talks about things all people share, no matter what race or economic status they have such as the sky, trees and rainbows. Louis Armstrong didn’t compose this song, rather it was composed by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss but Armstrong recorded it in 1968 and it was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/armstrong/

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

Impressionism

•March 26, 2010 • 11 Comments

I’ve found that I enjoy impressionism, especially those of landscapes. I really enjoyed Garden At Giverny, it’s vibrant colors and use of light makes it a beautiful piece to look at. Impressionists were interested in the laws of optics and I think that’s one reason I enjoy the art produced.

Garden At Giverny, 1900, Claude Monet


I’m not too fond of portraits or impressionist’s paintings of people. These types of paintings seems blurry and out of focus, I think when you have a person’s face involved you want to see it clearly. To me, these paintings don’t seem to play with light as much as landscapes do.

Girl with a hoop, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. 1885


However, people used in the background or as part of the scene seems to work well. I particularly like Le bateau atelier by claude Monet. The man in the painting is more like a shadow and the emphasis is not on his face which is why his vagueness works.

Le bateau atelier by Claude Monet

Classical Era: Piano Sonata No. 14

•March 6, 2010 • 5 Comments

Piano Sonata No. 14 was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven and is more commonly known as Moonlight Sonata. It is rumored that Beethoven wrote and dedicated this piece for Countess Giulietta Guicciardi with whom he had been in love with. He was not able to marry her because of her father’s disapproval which was most likely connected to his common lineage. Beethoven was a free lance composer and he was the first one to remain one. He wrote and performed for the public which helped broaden who was able to acquire his music. In that time there was a demand for more music accessible to the middle class that was not just just church hymns. However he did have patrons who he wrote and performed for to help his financial situation. Beethoven also taught music lessons to children of the Court.
I choose this piece because I remember learning to play it for my own piano teacher. Listening to the piece makes me feel like I am feeling exactly what Beethoven felt at the time of writing it. It has a beautiful melody but beneath it a dark tone that gives me the feeling he put a lot of emotion into composing this piece. It is a hard song to play without putting your own emotion into it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Sonata_No._14_%28Beethoven%29

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

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3

•March 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Brandenburg Concerto No.3 was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1721, when he was in service to the Court of Prince Leopold in Cothen. He was the courts Kapellmeister, which is a person in charge of music making. During this time he composed Brandenburg Concerto for the Duke of Brandenburg which became one of the most famous of his instrumental pieces. Brandenburg Concerto No.3 comes from a collection of six instrumental works and it is constructed for three violins, three violas, three cellos, and basso continuo. I personally enjoy this piece because you can hear each individual instrument but also can be heard as one. It is an up beat and always interesting piece of music.

http://www.recorderhomepage.net/brandenburgs.html
http://www.ipl.org/div/mushist/bar/bach.htm