June 10, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on MATTHEW RITCHIE 

Matthew Ritchie is different then the other artists we have studied thus far because he is a digital artist, and also a painter and sculptor.  A lot of his art reflects an exploration of religion, science, and philosophy.  When is work is on display, it takes over the room.  His pieces often cover the ground to the ceiling, and even come out onto the floor.  The colors are often very bright and vibrant, and flow into long curving lines, or sometimes knots.  Sculptures are also frequently present, and they sometimes come from the ceiling and the floor.

I like what Ritchie is doing, and the way that he’s doing it.  His work kind of reminds me of Salvador Dali.  I think mixing two genres of art, drawing/painting and digital art, is a really great idea.  For me I feel like doing digital art, drawing on the computer is kind of difficult and I just really prefer when I can manipulate things directly with my hands, and he’s kind of getting the best of both worlds: he can get an idea of what he wants on paper by hand, and then scan it onto the computer where he can edit it, undo mistakes, and change it in thousands of ways.


June 8, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on BILL VIOLA 

The first thing I thought of when I saw Bill Viola’s portraits was “Cool, Talking Heads?”  due to the way his head was floating on a black background, and with his black shirt camouflaging in, it just looked really “cool.”  Here is what I’m talking about:

Cool, baby?

Anyways, Bill Viola is a video artist.  He does “videotapes, architectural video installations, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast” (this list came from his website).  He’s very spiritualistic, and even studied religion in college.   I think this effects the simplicity and subject matter of his pieces.  The elements are often incorporated in his pieces, especially water and fire.  I read that he had a near death experience when he was six years old, where he nearly drowned in a lake.  This experience was less a fearful one, but very much a calm and peaceful one.  He said that he had forgotten about the experience until he was having a conversation with a friend in his 30s, and that it had been tucked away in his subconscious.

I think that Viola’s work is very interesting.  Something about water pulls you in, and this element is present in so many of his pieces.  I really think that Reflecting Pool was successful in many ways, mostly because of how the time has been interrupted and planned out.  It has a relaxing quality, in the sense that it is water that is fairly still, but just with a small ripple, but at the same time I felt kind of on edge because there is a figure hanging it space, and I’m waiting for it to fall, and then it suddenly disappears.  I feel like he kind of mastered the psychology behind the viewers train of thought when looking at his piece, and how interested they are during each point in time.  It seemed very thoughtful.


June 7, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on JEFF BAIJ 

When you google Jeff Baij, his website is the first thing listed.  When you enter his site, you might be a little confused.. atleast I was.  Since the first time I have looked at his site, which was last week, more art has been added.  Have you been reading what UMW blogs has been saying Jeff Baij?  Because he has before, which is cool, and shows how accessible artists are, and it’s even cooler that his video biography, created by Jeff Baij, addresses a student’s blog about his art.  Anyways, about Jeff Baij:  He is a graphic designer.  His stuff is kind of different, and at first, I didn’t really know how I felt about it.  But there is something about the fact that it is different, and simple, and it’s not something that looks like it’s trying too hard.  From his video blog, and one of his pieces, which I cannot find at the moment, where he tells the viewer that he is a graphic designer and asks ” what the F are you ” (something along those lines), he has an attitude, he is sarcastic, and he is pretty blunt.  But it’s funny.  Sometimes his art moves, and it kind of looks like it would be in an old video or computer game.  This style  makes him distinct.  I don’t really see any other artists doing stuff like this today.  It’s simple, and it’s stuff that I don’t have any idea how to do. I feel like a computer science major might, or someone good with computers.   

Back to what I said earlier about not really liking it at first.  Well I didn’t.  I had to look around his site for a while before I started to appreciate it.  There is something to be said about doing what YOU want to do, and I definitely think Baij does this.   He knows how to use computers, he knows how to use computer programs, he is a graphic designer, and this is what he wants to do.  He isn’t going out and making what is IN RIGHT NOW.  He is doing his own thing, which is simple, and kind of techy, and different than what is out there today.  And so much of what is out there looks the same.  You go into a gallery and there are a million paintings, and collages and portraits and landscapes.  This is also so accessible.  It is here.  He is making his art accessible by making himself so accessible and making different kind of art.   I like it.  

Here is a pice that he did.  It’s a simple version of a  Morandi painting:


June 2, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on ROBIN RHODE 

Robin Rhode captures movement and creates performances through drawing, painting, and photography.  His art is made not only in a studio, but also outside on the sidewalk, or streets.  His work is often very minimal in the use of materials and subject matter.  He often uses things like chalk, charcoal, or paint.  Much of his work is centered around the issues of poverty and social inequality.  His performances include himself dressing up as a character and drawing on the walls and floor of the gallery, and acting out the scene that he plans to portray.  He also has some video work, that is fairly simple technologically.  The frames are far apart, reflecting the simplicity of the drawing style.

I really like Robin Rhode’s work.  I like the fact that his drawings and performances are minimalistic and not over the top, reflecting his subject matter.  I think it’s creative that he has paralleled his style and his subject matter; it wouldn’t make sense to have a HD video portray poverty, in my opinion.  It’s much more personal to have a performance acted out the way he did, with few things going on, few people involved, and going in a frame by frame way.

Pipilotti Rist

May 27, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pipilotti Rist 

Elisabeth Charlotte Rist, aka Pipilotti Rist has been making art since the 1980s.  She is a video artist, commercial artist, illustrator and photographer.    She is most well known for her video art, which is large, often taking up entire walls, and contains bright, often florescent like, colors. She often incorporates music into her video art, and water seems to be a reoccurring element in her pieces.  Much of her work is not only displayed in galleries and museum installations, but also publicly in bigger cities, like London and New York, on LCD screens.   Her art seems to have feministic characteristic, and sexuality and the human body.  Although many of the images appear to be beautiful, especially because of the colors, they contain disturbing and grotesque objects and ideas.

I find that her art makes me feel many different emotions at once, and although at times it makes me feel uncomfortable, i think this makes her successful.  In her video piece I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much I couldn’t tell if I was scared, if I wanted to laugh, or if I wanted to vomit.  The combination of the high pitch sining, and the way that it was filmed, one on one, her with the camera, and a little bit fuzzy made it seem so unreal and so strange.  It also seemed very genuine, and this honesty that is present is also why it was almost frightening.  Her art is very bold, passionate, and colorful.  It’s like an explosion of emotion.


May 26, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on CORY ARCANGEL 

Cory Arcangel is a New York computer programmer and digital artist.  A lot of his work might remind you of that video game Super Mario Bros., probably because it is!  He hacks into different video games and alters them or changes them in some way.  He combines old and new technology, and various pop culture icons.  For example, his piece I Shot Andy Warhol, Andy Wahol, Pope John Paul II, and Flavor Flav are present, and the object of the game is to shoot them.

I would not necessarily want to put Cory Arcangel’s work on display in my living room, but I do appreciate what he has done, and his mixture of culture and technology.. I think it’s a pretty cool twist.  And it’s also very playful and colorful, and brings together culture of today, and combines it with the idea of childhood or youth.  It’s fun, and it’s new, and it’s a combination of old and new technology, and I think that there will be more art like this in the near future.


May 25, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on JENNY HOLZER 

Like Jeffrey Wolin, Jenny Holzer combines words and images in her art.  She is a photographer, and her art can be viewed in the form of a photograph, or for a limited time one can see what she has photographed live, on site.  She uses bold statements and projects them on the sides of buildings, making it very visible to everyone who is in the surrounding area.  The location of these “events” is global.  Some of the messages are very emotional and others are political, but each has a dramatic feel.  Each photograph is in black and white, and it appears that these pictures were taken during the evening.

I think that it is very successful that Holzer’s art is more than just a photograph, but also a live situation (I almost want to call it a performance).  The fact that each projection is so large, and so many people can view it, and it just engulfs the building that it is hitting is very monumental and grand.  The settings make each image kind of romantic, despite what some of the statements are.


May 20, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on SCANOGRAM 


May 19, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on JEFFREY WOLIN 

Jeffrey Wolin combines words and images, often in the form of a portrait, to illustrate people’s dramatic life experiences and struggles including immigration and the Holocaust.    Each pieces is very personal, and is very much like a narrative.    His collections include Inconvenient Stories: Vietnam War Veterans; Vietnamese Veterans: Portraits of the Other Sides; New Faces: The World in Central Indiana; Written in Memory: Stories from the Holocaust; Life at the Millennium: Family Photographs; and Ancient Provence.

I like that his photographs are of real people, in their natural settings.  The people look natural, and comfortable, and real.  I like that so many of the portraits of those who have served are wearing uniforms something that can be associated with the military.  I like that they are so personal.  I feel likes are everyday people, and so many times we take for granted the people around us.  Wolin is recording history.  He is recording these people’s lives and experiences, that may have otherwise been forgotten, and shows how extraordinary their lives really were.  I really enjoyed all of his collections.


May 19, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on ARTHUR LIOU 

Arthur Liou is recognized by his video art piece called “Blood Work.”  It is a combination of audio, video, and photography which tells the story of his baby daughter Vivian’s battle with leukemia.  The images are blown up microscopic pictures of the inside of the human body.  He calls the red tissuey substance “organic stuff,”  but does not specify exactly what it is.  This project was more than just an expression of how he felt during this time, or his reaction to his daughter’s illness, but also a way for him to escape the terrible reality that no parent ever wishes to face.  In an interview with Ryan Whirty from Indiana University, Liou says:

“At one point it was an escape for me, but it was a weird escape, because you get closer to reality than you think. Sometimes it is relieving when you focus on art ideas and the difficult things you have to work with. You make progress. . . .”

This exhibit shows the ups and downs of his daughter’s fight, specifically in “Hairline” which is about Vivian’s year long process of losing her hair, and then it slowly growing back.  This is symbolic of her struggles and serves as a silver lining, with the hope that she will become healthy again.

I know that is is cliche to say this, but I found Liou’s “Blood Work” to be very moving and easy to become attached to.  The story behind the project and the intensity in color and size of the piece are very strong.  The images are beautiful and captivating, and mysterious.  The viewer doesn’t know exactly what part of the body they are looking at, or if what is going on is good or bad.  The still shots are great, but I would really like to see the the video to get the full experience.  I like that he not only had the large, medical images, but also his daughter crawling around in it, surrounded by it.  She is in the “organic matter,” and the organic matter is inside of her as well.  

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