Bad Art!

•Friday, April 11, 2008 • 6 Comments

Recently there has been much controvery about an artist by the name of Guillermo “Habacuc” Vargas Jimenez. August 16, 2007 artist Habacuc displayed a starving stray dog in the name of art. Although all my blog postings thus far have been in favor of a work, this is an exception. With the idea of bringing attention to the problem of starving dogs, and “sensitize people to their deaths” Habacuc brought a stray starving dog into a art exhibition and placed him on a short leash. Above and out of reach of  Natividad, the name given to the dog meaning birth were the words “Eres Lo Que Lees”, “You Are What You Read”. Nitividad died in the gallery during the show from starvation.

The artist Guillermo Vargas Jiménez, the “artist name” is Habacuc, was born 1975  in San José, Costa Rica. Some other works according to a website Remember Natividad include live pornography and prostitution via web-cam. In my opinion this man is very disturbed. I do not support killing a dog in the name of art. If he trying to make a point maybe he should instead help the starving dog instead of torturing it to DEATH!

Online you can find a petition trying to stop Habacuc from preforming this stunt again. Although many people have signed the petition the artist has already plans to show the piece again. Kill yet another innocent dog. This man should be punished. Although I as an artist understand why he did what he did, if the man had any heart or morals he would know better than to purposely let an animal die.  However…

“the act of killing a dog is not a crime in Nicaragua (where the fatal exhibition with the dead dog took place), since there are no animal protecting laws in this country. Thus, even if in Costa Rica (and in hundreds of other countries around the world) such act would be a crime requiring legal steps against the “artist”, the “jury” considers the happenings in Nicaragua “insignificant” and excluding Vargas from the Bienal 2008 a “censorship of art”.”

Sign the Petition



What is a Chair?

•Thursday, April 3, 2008 • 3 Comments


“The ‘value’ of particular artists after Duchamp can be weighed according to how much they questioned the nature of art.” This is a quote given by artist Joseph Kosuth, a American conceptual artist born in 1945. In his work Kosuth tries to bind the the concept and nature of his work with the nature of art itself. His most famous work, titled One and Three Chairs, 1965 consists of three elements including a chair, a life size picture of the same chair and a large copy of the dictionary definition of the word chair. The piece is unique because when sent to different places for exhibitions, each time it changes. Each time the galleries are instructed to choice a chair and place it up against a wall. Take a picture of the chair and blow it up to life size. Therefore every time his work is shown, the chair changes while the idea remains the same. The title that Kosuth chose for the piece is interesting because it makes the viewers questions, what is real, what is a chair, what makes a chair real. One and Three Chairs, although the picture the object and the definition are all of ‘chair’ they are still three separate things. Which one is ‘chair’. Is the definition of a chair more real then the object of the chair itself, what would a chair be without a definition to describe it. The chair in the photo is still a chair, so is it any less real than the actual chair itself? These are the questions when looking at his work you are forced to ask yourself. His work his conceptual because the idea behind the work that we look at is where the art really is.

Pepper and Artichoke

•Sunday, March 30, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Edward Weston was a American photographer that lived between 1886 and 1958. His work was very unique because in many of his pieces it is difficult to tell what the object in the photos are. Although he has many series of works, the series I am most drawn to his natural studies photos. Without altering the materials in any way Weston would photograph things such as peppers, artichokes, shells, toadstool, ect. He would photograph the objects in a way that made them look like something else, or made them unrecognizable or unrealistic in some way. One of his photographs titled Pepper 1929 is a good example of his work. the photograph is of a pepper, however without the title, it might not be known the the photo was of a pepper. To me it looks as an abstract image of two people hugging. Another good example of work that he does it is Artichoke 1930. The image is an up close photo of an artichoke yet without the title it might not be recognized as an artichoke. The most interesting part of his works is the fact that he doesn’t manipulate the object. He creates an abstract image from natural materials using only photography. The way he takes the picture changes how we see the object.

•Thursday, March 20, 2008 • 3 Comments

Damien Hirst, born in 1965 is and English artist that is famous for this themse of death in his work. His most famous works are the dead animals such as sheep, cow and shark. He believes that art is about responding to your surroundings, and that it is continuous. Ideas are neverending. Although his work is somewhat desturbing, and I personally don’t enjoy looking at it, I think it is important. Due to the sale for his preserved dead shark, titled “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.” he is now the second most famous living artist. The shark is inside a glass case that isn’t much larger than the 14 foot shark. When I fisrt saw this work a few years ago, I didn’t even realize the shark was dead (which goes to show how naive I can be sometimes). It doesn’t look dead, it apears as if still alive unable to move in the tiny glass case. Because Hirst is a conceptual artist, his piece is based mostly on the idea behind it, that everything can remain living as long as we want it to be. He has been criticied his preservation of dead animals is not art and anyone could make that kind of work. His response “But you didn’t, did you”.  The fact that he is being accused of making phony art work brings us back to the first blog post regarding Marcel Duchamps work, What is Art?

Liquid Paint

•Sunday, March 16, 2008 • 1 Comment

Artist Jackson Pollock is one of the most famous artists and his work is very recongnizable. His work is very original and he has a unique technique of the way he makes his art work. With using unconventional, non traditional materials Pollock would create paintings. Instead of stretching the canvas and painting on it upright, he would lay the canvas on the ground, unstretched. In the place of using paint brushes, Pollack would use things like sticks, cans with wholes in the bottom so the paint can pour out from the bottom. By using the non traditional materials, according to Pollock, it allowed him to create art that was more immediate. His art was dealing with the controlled versus the uncontrolled. By painting his pieces on the ground he was able to move all around the piece and controll where the paint was going. At the same time he gave up control of where the paint would land by using non tradintioal materials and dripping or throwing the paint on the canvas. In the late 40’s and early 50’s Pollock’s work was becoming extremely popular. His style was unique and he was at the peek of his career when suddenly his style of painting began to change. Pollock suffered from extreme alcholoism which eventually killed him in 1956 in a single car, accident.

In 2006, Jackson Pollock’s No. 5 1948 became the world’s most expensive painting, selling for $140,000,000. The painting was originally owned by former film and  music producer David Geffen.

•Sunday, February 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Sol LeWitt was one of the most influentioal conceptual artists beginning in the 1960s. Famous for his drawings, paintings and structures ( a term he prefered over sculptures). Graduating with a BFA from Syracuse University in 1949 he then went on traveling Europe to continue independently studying. LeWitt was one of the more important people in the Conceptualism and Minimalism movements. His art work is reduced down to simple shapes, line and color. Only the most important information is included in his work to make it as minimal as possible. His later work such as Untitled lithograph, 1992, and  Wall Drawing No. 681 C, 1993. His work is important because it breaks things down into the simplist form that it could be. Useing the cube mostly along with other common shapes and primary colors LeWitt is a minimal artist as well as a conceptual artist. “LeWitt was not interested in industrial materials. He was focused on systems and concepts — volume, transparency, sequences, variations, stasis, irregularity and so on — which he expressed in words that might or might not be translated into actual sculptures or photographs or drawings. To him, ideas were what counted”. LeWitt Wall Drawings are the best example of his idea of concptual art. He thought that because the idea behind his work was the important part each piece shouldn’t be thought of as precious and should be done somewhere where the images couldn’t be saved. He thought that each one should be done on the walls so when his exhibitions where over, his work would be painted over. He thought “the ideas need not be complex. Most ideas that are successful are ludicrously simple. Successful ideas generally have the appearance of simplicity because they seem inevitable”.

•Friday, February 15, 2008 • 3 Comments

An artist that influences my work is Sandy Gellis. Her work is extremely experimental and deals greatly with the process. The most important part of her work is how it was made rather than how the end product looks. Gellis is influenced by nature and now natural elements effect each other. She is interested in natural materials coexisting in an the art world. One of her works that has influenced me the most is Rainfall NYC installation. Although there isn’t a great deal of information on the internet about her work and how she makes everything, in this piece Gellis left a new brass plate outside each day for an entire year. Her work is more about the process and how it was made than anything else. In Rainfall NYC installation, she wanted to show the weather conditions in a certain area for an extensive amount of time. She was showing the effects nature and weather have on all elements on earth. Gellis’ work is all about documentation and making things that are usually over looked or never noticed evident. It is about making the non-perminate, permanate. Her work is about experimenting with non traditional ways of creating art. She combines the natural world and natural materials with common art making skills and techniques to produce a unique and interesting body of work.