Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mad MS Paint Skillz

This past Monday we, as a class, visited the school's student art show. Unfortunatley, the pieces were already being taken home by their respective artists when we arrived. Cynthia, may I reccomend that next semester you take your class to see the show a bit sooner? Thanks. The art show was OK. I've walked through the small "gallery" quite a few times, so I'm familiar with the feeling of drowning in eight feet of art on all four sides. Its a small room, with a huge amount of...for lack of a better word, of art. As an art student, I appreciate the hard work that goes into every project, but while looking at all of these pieces, all I saw were...well, art projects. Not 'real' art. I know that the artists will be reading this, and this is directed at them: If saw you in person, I'd say this to your face: getting an "A" on your art project does not make it suitable for an art show. In stark contrast, the average museum has generally uncluttered rooms and art that is not made by students--so the art in museums and other galleries is usually of a much, much higher quality than seen here. Most of the "art" in this gallery falls into three categories: bad photoshop, bad painting/photography, and bowls. Three pieces in particular stood out to me, and while I'd give titles and artists if I could, I was not aware until after the gallery was closed and empty that we needed more than one piece. So I only have the title and artist of one piece--one of the few I thought was actually good. Also, Liz does not own a camera, so she instead drew pictures of the pieces from her memory using the wonderful medium of MS Paint. Liz will now stop writing in the first person.


This piece falls into the category of bad photoshop. I don't remember who made it, but I assume its When Punk Kids Have A Baby since those words were typed across the picture. One reason this falls into the bad photoshop category is that the techniques are too visible--the cigarette pasted onto the kid's lips has visible edges--but my main reasoning is that photoshop cannot 'fix' a poorly planned photograph. Perhaps I'm not hearing the entire story, maybe the class' assignment was to take a bad photo and make it better with photoshop, but gallery pieces are supposed to be self standing. You cannot expect that all of your audience knows the story behind the piece. This comment is for the artist, whomever they may be: keep practicing. There's a reason you're taking that class, and its to get better at computer arts and photoshop. I'm certian you're pieces will keep getting better, but this one is just not gallery quality. And I fail to see how a baby with blue hair, a tattoo, beer, and a cigarette is "punk". When I hear the word punk, I think of the Sex Pistols, not blue hair and dragon tattoos.


This is a bowl. There were many bowls in this gallery show. Sure, there were a few very cool sculptures, in particular one of some very odd looking fish, but there was an insane number of bowls, and that is what stuck in my mind. Bowls. I've worked with clay for a few years, and know that those bowls in the exhibit did not take a huge amount of skill. Spin some clay on a wheel, fire it, glaze it, fire it again, done. Looking at what are very obviously art projects presented as "art" in an exhibit makes me feel like the artists don't take their audience seriously. But the only people who go to art galleries are those who care about art. So how about caring for your art? I know that the artists could have tried harder, and if they don't want to, they can simply not enter their junk into art shows. If the artist doesn't take their work seriously, why should I?


This was possibly the coolest piece of art on display in the gallery this semester. A charcoal drawing of an ostrich, called Always Watching, drawn by Natalia Shishkina. This one stands out in the sea of gaudy photoshop and paint, the sea of bowls and so-so photographs as being a piece that someone actually put effort into. What really stood out to me when observing this drawing is how clean the details are. I know from experience that "clean" is not a word that is usually found in the same sentence as charcoal, but I'll say it: This charcoal drawing is incredibly clean. I applaud Shishkina for achieving this feat. I find this piece hilarious, too--that face is just priceless.

What this school needs is more artists like Natalia Shishkina, artists who, despite being students, understand what pieces belong in galleries, and which can be omitted. Of course, all artists have their really bad pieces, but they all make great pieces occasionally. And its only the great ones that I want to see in a gallery. I don't go to an art gallery to see some kid's photoshop experiment, or the very first bowl that some student made, I go to see real, evolved art.

Yeah, I know. I'm harsh. But that's life. I'm not going to lie and tell you you're stick figures are amazing, that's your Grandma's job. You're grown up now, and its the negative feedback that will really make you try harder to improve.


This is the final art blog that I'll be doing for this Art History class. It was a lot of fun, and I may start up a blog on my own. Its nice writing something that isn't in MLA or APA format. And instead of a works cited I just link to things, which is great. To all...five...of you who actually read this thing, thanks. Bye!

1 comment:

Jerbear said...

Yeah, a lot of the art in the gallery was just so-so. That punk picture bothered me a lot. I being into punk and all it just upsetted me a lot. I really believe that it wasn't planned out well enough it was just thrown together with not much thought.

The "Always Watching" one was amazing. One of my favorites in the gallery along with the picture that I wrote my blog on.

I absolutly love your little paint drawings. They are funny and surprisingly accurate.

Very harsh criticism though. But every artist deserves it, I think. With out it none of us will ever get any better.

Thanks for reading my blog.
I think I'm going to make another one or continue the one I have. We'll see.

I enjoyed reading your blog too!!