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Lisa Lapinski: Extra Credit Response

It was a confusing yet fascinating experience to listen to Lisa Lapinski speak about her work.

During her lecture she displayed some of her art and talked briefly about it. However, it was challenging to connect her verbal explanations to her art. Much of what she said didn’t quite seem to fit with the art, especially when she said some of her artwork completely lacked meaning. With the use of such powerful and well-known iconography and symbols (the jewelry-holding hands, swastikas, stars of David, etc.), I was tempted not to believe her. There is meaning behind choosing such symbols whether it is to speak about a specific event such as the Holocaust or simply to hold a viewer’s attention. I admired that she read a document of criticism about work that seems to have no meaning and disagreed with it respectfully. I understood that section of the lecture well but continued to wonder why she said some of her works have no meaning.
Although the lecture itself was hard-to-follow, her actual work fascinated me. I found “Nightstand? to be particularly interesting. She said she drew the idea from Shaker furniture which was something I had never considered or thought compelling until seeing “Nightstand?. Also, the use of many mediums- clay, drawings, cement, figures, photography, wood, paint, jewelry hands- pointed to Lapinski’s eye for formal elements. I thought this quality in her work, (that is, variety within unity) proved complimentary to her ideas/inspirations. All in all, despite some of the confusion, her art generally drew from historical, psychological and philosophical ideas, and to me, commented on inspiration; the process of being inspired and the relationships between history, religions, emotions, literature, etc. and their effect upon art.