Artists' Review


I enjoyed Crewdson's work a lot. His photos don't really feel like photos - they feel like scenes, like you just walked into a friend's house, and they're watching a movie, but you've missed the first half of it and have happened upon the climax and it seems awesome but you can't really tell because you have no idea what's going on. His outlandish photographs made me really stop and think about the scene, really look around at not just the focus, but the other minute details that he took just as much time setting up as everything else. In the NPR article, it reads, " He strives to convey an underlying edge of anxiety, of isolation, of fear." I really felt that while looking at his photos. It was never this overwhelming sense of anxiety, but felt like this little itch, tugging on my self-conscience. Out of all the photographers I viewed today, I was the most intrigued with Crewdson's work.


The thing I enjoy most about Teun Hocks' works is his combination of both photography and oils. I really love both media and his use of both is inspiring. His works remind me of Escher a bit - the scenes Hocks illustrates have elements of both the world we live in and a completely other world where our laws of physics and reality are bent out of shape, and yet they make sense in this world. Hocks sets up predicaments for his central character (I'm assuming the man in his photos is the artist himself) - unable to decide between the hats floating in the air, his businessman accessories seperated from him, all on seperate ice blocks, posed in his pajamas to catch the owl who holds the string on which he is perched. He seems hopeless in most of his endevours, yet I have faith for this man. Hocks makes me want to put an arm around the man's shoulder and let him know we'll get through this, together.


Last year, I discovered Jeff Wall and ended up doing a paper about him for a class because I liked his work so much. The thing that made me really appriciate his art was a quote I read in an article about Wall: "The historical irony is that at the very heart of what these guys [digital artists] are doing when they use advanced computer technology to assemble a photo pixel by pixel is this point-by-point labor that predates Renaissance brushwork and goes back to the earliest panel painters, where you put the paint on dot by dot." And that's exactly how I thought about Wall's work. He put just as much effort into his work as do artists who work solely with paint on a canvas. His images are interesting and appealing in the same way Crewdson's work is - his scenes are interesting and full of motion, but he takes it a step further and incorportates his art history knowledge. Now THAT I like. A lot of artists say in interviews that they are influenced by classic art history, but Wall's work is one of the first where I can really see it. That makes me appriciate his work even more.


Cindy Sherman's work, for me, was somewhat lackluster. There are certain photos (like the one I included above) that gave me a very vintage 20's feel. They play off a very classic movie feel - another feeling of walking into a theater during a movie and having no idea what's going on but still being intrigued. The way she uses herself in all of her photos is different than the way Teun Hocks uses himself - I feel as if Hocks embodies his character, whereas it's very obvious that Sherman is simply acting in a role. This does add to the "movie still" quality of her work. I don't find myself as interested in her work as I do in the other artist's work. Her want to appeal to the everyman with her work is admirable, although I'm unsure a man would relate to her work as much as a woman would, since she is the subject of much of her work.



My name is Diana Montano, and I'm a sophomore art education major. I've been working with Macs for pretty much all of my life, and I love them. I have some (okay, very minimal) experience with Photoshop and Illustrator, though I did take a class my senior year of high school called Graphic Communication, where I dabbled in both programs. I'm taking this class 1) because I have to and 2) I'm actually interested in these programs because I have a minor in Graphic Design and would like to familiarize myself with the programs as much as possible.

I do a lot of things everyday. Well, maybe "a lot" is an overstatement. I do a decent amount of things everyday. But without even really noticing it, I'm influenced by all the things happening around me: the music I hear, the sounds around me, the books I read, the people I talk to, the things I see. Then comes the part where I process those things, recognize them for what they are or what they can represent, and use those influences to shape my own art. Just a few of the biggest influences on my life and my art:


First and foremost, my father has had a huge influence on my art. I grew up knowing that the only computer that mattered was a Macintosh, and went to public school not understand how a Windows worked. He taught me about websites, graphics, Photoshop, and how to force quit applications when I ran too many of them at once. He brought me to museums; all kinds - art museums, history museums, museums filled with stuffed animals and dinosaur bones. Both he and my mother instilled in me a great want to learn. But it was my father that really made me understand how I could really take all this knowledge and turn it into an art all my own style.


When it comes to any kind of art - photography, drawing, painting, etc. - I'm a big fan when artists depict people just being people. During the Realism movement, some artists got sick of others showing the world as they thought it ought to look, so they moved on to illustrate people and scenes as you would actually see them, no flair added - tired women ironing, poor people squashed into a single train car, dirty men working in a field, a destroyed building or room. While in museums, these works really catch my attention.


When reading books, I take care to pay attention to the cover art and any sketches or pictures inside the book. One particular illustrator for children's books and comic books is Dave McKean, a man I hold in great esteem. His illustrations are freeform and yet have specific shapes. McKean works with many authors, although he is most well-known for his work done with Neil Gaiman, the author of many best-selling books like Coraline and The Graveyard Book. He is a wonderful artist who I aspire to be like someday.