Art:21 Seasons 2 & 4

Post your responses to three artists from Art:21 Seasons 2 & 4 here.

Season 2
Walton Ford
Tim Hawkinson
Paul Pfeiffer
Kara Walker

Season 4
Allora & Calzadilla
Mark Bradford
Mark Dion
Jenny Holzer

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9 thoughts on “Art:21 Seasons 2 & 4

  1. I find Mark Bradford’s artwork to engage the viewer into his world. His large scale collages and de-collages speak to the viewer clearly. He actually considers the collages to be more like paintings. He thinks of himself as a maker of things and he tries to bring the issues of abstraction in his work. His piece with the antebellum skirt made from the Lakers uniform brought up several issues of obstacles getting in your way and having to keep pushing forward until you make it. I loved his confidence. He knew he would make the hoop eventually, it just may have taken him a little longer.

    Mark Dion has a totally unique way of looking at art. He says that he is a shopper. He collects objects that emphasis the process of nature. He like to replicate nature which I find very intriguing. The piece he did for a new art environment was this removal of a fallen tree from its original habitat to a new space and then replicate nature.

    I really like Tim Hawkinson’s Uber Organ, but I was more intrigued by Paul Pfiffers concepts about his work. He likes to build a relationship with his material and that to him is more of a craft. He does these domestic interior diorama’s based off of horror films and he likes setting up a relationship between the objects, places, and the people. I like that he feels like he’s the translator or the mediator between the materials and the viewer.

  2. I really liked Tim Hawkinson’s pieces. I found that his work was so complex and technologically advanced. I particularly enjoyed his piece with the moving face and how it makes different facial expressions. I thought it was neat how it was hooked up to a tv and the piece would move with the light and dark sensitivities on the tv. He said that the face really starts moving when there is a sporting event on. Haha

    Mark Dion’s work was different. His piece with the rats I found a little disturbing. He had put tar all over them and said that served as a punishment. I just thought it was a weird piece of artwork. I did like his examination of nature and how he thinks science is our function of world view. The huge tree piece was interesting. I liked how he said the tree gave life through its death. He put the tree in an environment that replicated what nature could do.

    I enjoyed Paul Pfieffer’s diorama of the Amityville Horror. I thought it was neat how there was a large screen shot on the wall looking down from the central staircase. And then when you get close and look through the hole, you got to see a different angle, looking up the central staircase. I guess I liked this because I’ve seen the movie and it gave me a eerie feeling.

  3. Mark Bradford seemed to reuse old advertising signs to form huge collages. This reminded me of some of the discussions dealing more closely to Eric’s sign projects from class. It seemed pretty inspirational. And I loved the installation with the mirror that reflects the ad signage on the opposing wall. In that installation I think the most powerful part were the installation was the video of the opposing cultures (a parade of blacks and a Muslim family)….showing a political tension for the parade and not so much with the family. This part definitely depicts the political tension shown when a large body of blacks get together. My prime example of this is the number of police officials that are imported to patrol Tallahassee the weekend that FAMU has its homecoming game. However both videos in the installations were in the spirit of celebration, just different precautions taken. I also love the video he made of him trying to play basketball in a hooped skirt, because of what the actual meaning translated to- that no matter how ridiculous or difficult the obstacle….we as a nation must overcome them.

    Mark Dion’s part of the video opens up with him covering rats in tar, which I thought to myself, “What better way to instill the shock value in your viewer then by using dead corpses of animals in ones work.” I love the fact that he brings current environment situations to the forefront in his work. I would love to see his tree installation in person to get a better feel of its amazement. I also think since so many other artists are using mostly the same tools and are getting the same product for their installations, It gives me a new appreciation for the tools he chooses to use to convey his point of view. This alone sets him apart from most artists who use more contemporary materials. One of my favorite lines in the video was when he says (referring to the fallen tree), “Through its death it gives life, supporting many life systems within it.” I think that phrase alone sums up the theme of the installation.

    Jenny Holzner’s projections were pretty amazing on a large scale. She primarily used large building, supporting waters, and LCD screens to project large text of poems and words to get her point across. I think the fact that she wanted her viewers to concentrate more on the content of the work rather than who the artist was, is a modest thing to do. Because the content is the most important part of the piece, the artist becomes the work and vice versa, especially from the unmistakable style that she inserts into all of her art. Just as Mark Dion and Mark Bradford share common ground, Jenny also shares a similar interest in bringing pressing issues to the forefront in an artistic way of expressing their views on these topics at hand, while hoping to make an impact on the general public.

  4. Walton Ford:
    The Audubon-esque prints that Ford was making blew my mind. The craftsmanship was incredible and I instantly had a great appreciation for it. I liked that his work wasn’t contrived. It wasn’t forced. It wasn’t trying to comment on something or be “edgy.” Although his work was ironic, it was only because Ford included elements that he found amusing. It was truly an artist making art for himself. It was refreshing to see a naturalist who at the same time was a surrealist. More than just his aesthetic and skill, I enjoyed his demeanor and attitude about art. Out of all of the artists featured, he seemed to be the most interesting to me.

    Jenny Holzer:
    I thought this work was so typical. I understand that there was skill involved, and ideas, but I feel like it was one bad high school rebellion project after another. I don’t think that just because something is presented in an extremely confrontational, obvious way, that it is magically transformed into art. The way she projected her work seemed more like masturbation than anything else. What’s better to feed your ego with than a giant piece of work that encompasses and entire building or river. Also, I saw typos. Really?

    Mark Dion:
    I think that he seemed like a totally honest guy. There was nothing to really “get” because he laid it all out for us. Unlike Jenny Holzer, his project with the tree was just as huge, but seemed so much more real, honest, tangible, and sincere. As a person who loves to organize, I really enjoyed the armoires and cabinets that were shown in the beginning of his profile. There was this nobility in his work, like he was actually doing us all a favor by documenting these tiny, random items or by relocating a fallen hemlock. When describing the tree installation, he did not want people to necessarily remember him for doing it, but to truly experience it: bring their kids, and their kids bring their kids, and so on. It was sort of inspiring.

  5. Jenny Holzer:
    I like her work, or at least her approach to the work, because she articulates what interests me about working with text. She makes no apologies about using the words of others. Coming up with the words is exposition, but working with the words of others is a dialogue. It’s the response, the dialogue, that interests me. I don’t much care for her 7 World Trade show; it’s busy and frustrating, rather than flowing and floating, as she envisioned. I do like her installation “Truisms”, in part because the space was long, narrow and clean.

    Kara Walker:
    Her work is absorbing. I’m amazed that she can pack so much emotion, social commentary, violence and grit into the silhouette. Her body of work hangs together so well, I get the impression that she is doing exactly what she was born to do.

    Mark Dion:
    His middle name must be Willard. His tarred rats are just gross. I appreciate the role of science in art, and particularly enjoy reading books written by dilettante scientists. Some of my favorite artists take a very scientific approach to their subjects as well as their materials. But the rats thing is such a kick to the gut I can’t get anything more than the kick. Ugh.

  6. Mark Bradford:
    This artist I found fascinating. I could tell a lot of thought went into his artwork and he has such elaborate explanation behind his works. The artwork which I found the most successful was his artwork about the imaginary soccer league.

    Tim Hawksinson:
    This man artwork is amazing. I loved the first artwork of the face with the changing emotions. I’ve never seen anything like that before. This man is very inventive in the way he incorporates technology with art. That piece I would have loved to seen it with multiple faces of multiple people. It might even be more interesting if he gave it a more Mr. Potato head feel to it by collaging multiple peoples facial features in one artwork.

    Jenny Holtzer:
    I didn’t care for her work. I realized that she wanted us to focus on the writing. However, I just don’t get the point.

  7. Kara Walker: I have always enjoyed Walker’s work. The black-silhouetted figures and the projected illuminations are beautiful. She makes the figures come to life by portraying so much detail. The silhouettes remind me of the images were you look at it once and you see something, but if you look even closer you see something else. By projecting these images onto the exhibit walls, she allows the viewer to become part of the piece as well.

    Walton Ford: He had some very fun pieces. I was really intrigued by his use of animals and nature to portray deeper messages. I didn’t really understand many of the abstract messages the images were trying to portray until I read the descriptions. My favorite piece was “Falling Bough.” I think the colors and the birds wrapped around the branch are very nice.

    Mark Bradford: I like how he uses materials that he finds in the street to create his mixed media installations. Although a lot of the designs are very abstract, the color and designs seem to be well thought out. You can tell that his work has been influenced by his upbringing.

  8. I was really impressed by Tim Hawkinson’s work. I remember him saying somethings like his art emotes and is motorized. Thats pretty cool. It really cool to see how he has to learn how to motorize everything an how involved technology is throughout the whole process. But you can tell he uses and controls it, and not the other way around. I loved the concept of the uberorgan and would like to hear it just fill the building with the pre programmed music.

    With Mark Dion’s stuff, i jsut loved that he used things. First collecting from everywhere then piecing things together., it just seems like fun. With the vivarium, it was neat just how big the project was, how many different fields were involved in its making, and just how long it will be there changing and existing.

    Walton Ford’s watercolors in the style of Audubon were awesome. First, I like how he’s referencing the past, but more how he has a sense of humor about it and completely makes it his own.

  9. Mark Bradford: This guys seemed to be meant for Eric. I think his work has a nice dialogue with Mr. Bradford’s. I liked the importance of the readings by Foucault (big fan!), etc. It seemed that big ideas pushed his work and processes even further to develop even more so. I really liked his idea of maps as almost the beginning of abstract expressionism.

    Mark Dion: I liked that he said that humor, metaphor, and irony are the weapons of the artist. I liked that he thoroughly thought out the materials he used (the tar) and worked to support his work to make it more multi-faceted and increased its dimension. I like to think of Art as a critical foil for culture. At first, I really liked the Vivarium project but then I thought of how expensive it was to move the tree, set it up with a state of the art facility, etc. and it cost more than planting trees that would have been there… I think i would have liked to have seen trees and vines and moss take over a building instead of delicately inhabit it.

    Jenny HOlzer:
    It seems that a lot of artists work very large to say things in a big way. The work seemed to want to say more than they may be able to otherwise. It would be a stretch to say I liked it. She didn’t even write the text; I appreciated how she really thought about the spaces the pieces would be in… but I don’t know how affective it is.

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