Distortions Gallery response

Distortions: Contemporary Media Art from Mexico was one of the most enjoyable and interesting galleries at TCNJ that I have been to thus far. All of the work was either extremely interesting to me or made me think about art in a much different way than I usually would. My favorite piece was Esparza's Urban Parasites instillation. I immediately imagined what the piece would look like if encountered on the street, all these little robots moving amongst a heap of old electronics. I didn't really understand de la Garza's Trilogy of Money instillation but I'm glad I got to hear his explination during the artist talk about the focus of the aesthetics of money rather than their monetary value because it was an interesting thought. Especially when considered that de la Garza did none of the actual work he was displaying. The buzzing little motors were also fascinating to walk into the gallery and see - I thought they worked well with the parasites on the ground with the technology.

The artist talk was interesting as well. I'm glad we were shown more of Esparza's work because I found it the most interested and I really enjoyed his other works, even if they were just pictures. It was fascinating having Ricardo Miranda Zuniga traslate everything the artists were saying about their work - I didn't expect that. The performance by Ivan Abreu was very fun to walk and very cool - I loved how you could just hear small bits of the song in the ice. The use of ice on top of the record was one of the first pieces to catch my attention in the gallery and I was glad I got to see a live performance of the piece. It was interesting to know that the ice doesn't last as long here in the United States as it does in Mexico. I think the piece which I enjoyed most that wasn't at the gallery but was shown on the slideshow was the work done entirely with confetti, although I'm unsure which artist it was by. I liked the spontaneity of the piece. Overall, I think Distortions was an enjoyable gallery as well as opening to attend.


Self Visualization Write-up

For my self-visualization, I plan to take multiple pictures of my hands/arms in different positions. The first will show my arm in a reaching up position. The second will show my hand in an imaginary gun position. The third will show my hand pointing out at the viewer. After taking pictures of my hands in all three positions, I will load them into Illustrators and draw them with the help of my drawing tablet. I plan to give my hands a sort of pen and ink over watercolors feel when I illustrate them, following a Ralph Steadman-esque technique to illustration. I plan to include writing in my illustration as well. I’m not sure about the sizes of the pictures yet, although I don’t think I want them all to be the same size.

The meaning behind my self-visualization is the way I can use my hands in conjunction to other objects and body parts to express myself. The hand reaching up shows my need for help. The hand in the imaginary gun position illustrates my sometimes-overwhelming stress. The hand pointing will show my constant influences from those around me - including the viewer - as well an accusatory gesture . I will try to make the words that I include especially prevalent in each panel.


Cui Xiuwen

I didn't feel like I really connected with the work of Cui Xiuwen. To be honest, all female artists who try to be "female" artists, who define themselves by their gender, don't really appeal to me. Although, while looking at her work, I did get a sense of abandonment and isolation, as well as maternity themes (which, let's be honest, is pretty obvious, as she hits you over the head with the theme in all of her "Angel" series). I think what bothers me the most about her work is the fact that the works look like they were created in Photoshop, and not masterfully. I actually like the first of the series - the woman stands in a body of water, cradling her pregnant belly. But as a body of work, I tend to shy away from work like Cui Xiuwen's.

Cindy Sherman

I have a give-and-take relationship with Cindy Sherman - it's the same sort of one I have with Cui Xiuwen. I like certain film stills of her, but as a whole, I feel it's a bit of overkill of subject matter. I want to see her do something other than take pictures of herself in poses like she's in a film. However, when she does photo manipulation, I'm not impressed. I think I just find it hard to relate to any feminist artist. And looking at Cindy Sherman's work over and over only makes me dislike her work more and more.

Frida Kahlo

When it comes to female artists though, I find I actually enjoy looking at Frida Kahlo's work. She paints herself, sure, but there aren't many feminist ideas that she constantly shoves in the viewer's face. She just paints how she feels - which is often in pain, as you can tell from the way she sometimes literally wears her heart on the outside or adorns a necklace of thorns. I think Kahlo does a great job expressing herself while also making me want to understand why she is feeling this way. She creates an interesting tension between realist and surrealist ideals - she paints herself in a realistic manner but then puts herself in settings that couldn't possibly be or with details that are not real to life. Which is the main reason I don't find Frida Kahlo's art difficult to view.

Illustrator Live Trace!