December 3, 2008

Better Late Than Never; My Essay on Richard Prince

The work of Richard Prince is some of the most controversial in the art world. He was trained as a painter and grew up in the 1950’s in the United States controlled area of the Panama Canal and was said to be greatly influenced by Jackson Pollock at the time. You can definitely see Pollock’s abstract expressionalist influences on Prince’s work. After he traveled museums in Europe he attended college in Maine. In the late 70’s Prince moved to New York City to include himself in the art scene. Most consider his NYC years to be somewhat of a failure in his career. He put on an exhibition of “re-photography? which people saw as noting more than stealing of other people’s work. It’s interesting too that Warhol was able to become so popular from seemingly doing the exact same idea of redistribution of popular culture. Prince was trying to point out it’s dominance in our lives. This work and others by Prince really weren’t recognized till much later in his career when he was able to have a touring gallery of his images in 2005.

I can see his work really close to that of Chris Ofili. Not in the sense of style, but in message and process. They are both extremely influenced and criticized of ripping of other artists. Chris Ofili for copying the composition of historic paintings and Prince for directly copying advertisements of the 1970’s. Their intent however was not to copy and claim the work as their own, but to make people reconsider the art with their voice attached to it and give it different meaning.

I’d probably tell a friend about this artist. I would talk more about his painting then his photographic work. I’m not a big fan of his re-photography I see it as a lack of creative effort. He might as well have written a paper about criticizing the images rather than claiming them as his own art and taking so much grief for it. I do really enjoy his paintings and would tell that friend to check them out. I especially enjoy his nurses set on his webpage. For images please go to his webpage ( due to copyright I was unable to place them on this page.

December 2, 2008

William Kentridge

William Kentridge is a South African native whose work strongly reflects the influence of the social and political history and changes of his time. He resided in Johannesburg at the time of the South African apartheid, and continues to reside there now. He has used multiple media such as charcoal, collage, and theatre, and has even combined them in stop-animation or other means of exhibit such as film. Although he himself has claimed that he “never tried to make illustrations of apartheid,?(1) his art certainly communicates a question regarding bureaucratic authority and social/political dominance.
As Kentridge’s work draws so strongly from his nation’s history, it is easy to say that he is influenced in that way. However, he is also inspired by others’ works, such as Vladimir Mayakovsky: A Tragedy of 1913, Man With a Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov, and pieces of various media.(2) For example, his animation Preparing the Flute – which was the focus of his exhibit in Paris – was related to a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.(3) Some of his most famous works include stereoscopic images and anamorphic films.(2) He used stereoscopic or “3D? images in his work to give the viewer questions about seeing; instead of a flat image that is being perceived, a three-dimensional image is constructed by the eye.(2) An anamorphic image(fig.a) is projected onto a cylinder, which the viewers must face and walk around in order to see the images; the image can also be rotated so that the viewer may stay stationary. The main drive of his work seems not only to make his audience aware of South African history, but to also question the ways in which people see and visually interact with his art.(2) However, he does also care about the political weight of his work; he mentioned that he sees his work as “working politically: influencing or energising people who have seen them.?(2) He says that when a person recognizes something in an artwork that resonates with them, it moves them. In that moment, “the world [comes] towards us and [we project] onto it and, in that membrane, [construct] sense of the world.?(2) It is in this way that his art interacts with his audience to spark a political idea.
I believe that as unalike as William Kentridge and Liz Miller are, they both explore audience/artwork interaction, although in different ways. Kentridge uses visual implications such as spatiality in his art to make his viewers see in a different way, whereas Miller uses her media to physically direct the space in an area and question the dividing line between piece and audience. These artists both play with the idea of history in nearly opposite ways. Kentridge uses the history of his homeland to convey a political idea, but Miller uses the history of moments. Her work can usually be read in the typical Western fashion of left to right, but also right to left. This play on chronology allows the work to be interpreted in various ways; for example, something could be traveling forwards or backwards.(4) Thus, her manipulation of the chronology of her work allows the audience to project their own memories and experiences onto the piece.
I would certainly recommend an exhibit of Kentridge’s work to a friend. His approach to art is very interesting, especially because he presents it in a visually intriguing way. He not only effectively communicates his subject matter, but continues to question the way he presents those ideas. His work is intellectually complex, and I believe much can be learned from it.


2) William Kentridge: Ways of Seeing. Arts Review, O’Reilly, 2006, issue 21, pp. 74-77.
3) http:/ William Kentridge: Marian Goodman. Modern Painters, Romney, 2006.

November 26, 2008

Charlie Krafft

by: Desarae Walker

Charlie Krafft was born in1947 and resides Seattle, Washington. He was a writer and a poet until he was seduced by ceramics in 1992. He primarily deals with porcelain slipcasted weaponry painted in the tradition of Delftware. He is most notably known for his series of porcelain plates called Disasterware. The plates depict scenes of disasters like the bombing of Dresden in 1945. A painted teapot of Hitler is his most controversial piece. Krafft is known as “The oldest promising young artist in Seattle?. He is also the inventor of Spone, human bone china. The human bone china is usually made into a piece commemorating the deceased. He was first asked to make a piece from a wife’s deceased husband in order to commemorate him. Charlie Krafft uses controversial materials and processes in order to get others thinking about the uncertainties of life.

While Charlie Krafft is a controversial artist, he is not going for shock value. He got his start doing Disasterware while watching the news of a flood in his town and doodling. Too often commemorative plates are bought and sold to remember exciting moments and heroes in history. Krafft counters the commodity culture by making disasters and disastrous objects beautiful. He once said that he makes "life-size ceramic weaponry so gorgeous and patently functionless that it will bedazzle and confound everyone who sees it.?

Both Charlie Krafft and Hubert Duprat use mediums that aren’t conventional. Charlie Krafft china paints on slipcasted forms of weaponry and Hubert Duprat changes the environment for fly larvae so they will create little patterned sculptures. Both artists make new from old by recycling old traditions. Krafft’s traditional delftware is modernized by depicting tragedy. Duprat exploits a bug’s daily habits with new materials to create more beautiful works than they normally would. The pieces would take on different message had either of them handmade the objects. If Krafft had handbuilt a replica of an AK-47, it would not have been exact. Duprat could have mimicked the patterns of the bug larvae in order to replicate their structures, but he didn’t. The choices the two made have substantial impact on their artwork. By making their objects exactly the way they would be had they not been decorated, they become more authentic. That is what draws me to Charlie Krafft’s work.

Since I first stumbled across Charlie Krafft a few weeks ago, he has become one of my favorite artists. His pieces are political with a side of humor. The paradox between the delicacy of China painting on porcelain and the density of the subject matter is what I find most interesting. I also admire his ability to not be like other controversial artists. He says that too many of them refrain from taking credit for the stirred up controversy and instead leave everything up to “interpretation?. He on the other hand is willing to embrace what is controversial about his art like when he was rejected from learning the art of Delftware from a factory in Holland because of his Hitler teapot.

Robyn Rodrigue--Research on Chris Burden

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Wangechi Mutu - Marisa Wojcik

Wangechi Mutu is a female artist born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1972. In 2000 she got her Master's in Fine Arts at Yale University, School of Art and today she lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Mutu predominantly works in collage, cutting images from fashion magazines, National Geographic, and books on African Art. She likes to use conventional and unconventional images to compose the figures in her artwork, which are mostly of the female form. The female forms incorporate female icons from "magazine culture" and address the western world's obsession with body augmentation. She often includes other media to her collages such as watercolor and also does some sculpture. Most of her work, however focuses on the female form. She uses it as a base point for a lot of her work and expands upon it.

Inspiration for her work comes a lot from her cultural background. Mutu is interested in "questioning and understanding the definition of beauty." She draws and expands upon ideas of cultural identity, how we are caste in a system based on how our physical features represent where we are from. Other issues such as colonial history, fashion, and current African politics also permeate through her work. I think her work speaks truths about females in Africa that we as people from North America are simply ignorant about and just don't know. She is interested in incorporating Africa's past into her work, as to not push it aside as if it did not happen. The past is apart of the future and Mutu uses that in her work.

I thought it was interesting to compare the work of Wangechi Mutu with William Kentridge. Both were born and grew up in Africa, however Mutu is black and a woman and Kentridge is white and a man. Kentridge's work focused on the confusion, frustration, and guilt he had growing up during Apartheid in Africa. His process attempts to make sense of this confusion without trying to explain anything away. Mutu has the ability to challenge the current status and preconceptions in our society and culture from a very different angle, while still incorperating similar events as Kentridge. Personally, I view Kentridge's work as more tragic but honest while Mutu's is more blunt but yet optimistic for the future.

I would definitely suggest Wangechi Mutu to any female. But to anyone interested in woman's issues (western or African) or in African issues (historical or contemporary) to look into the works of Mutu. Her use of images of models that we've all seen in magazines and the media makes that aspect of her work identifiable to everyone, opening the door to delve further into the ideas she presents.

Wangechi Mutu Images:

Works Cited:
Wangechi, Mutu. A Shady Promise. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008. 9-148.
"Wangechi Mutu." Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Sikkema Jenkins & Co. 24 Nov. 2008 .
"Wangechi Mutu." The Saatchi Gallery. 2003-2008. The Saatchi Gallery : London Contemporary Art Gallery. 23, 24 Nov. 2008 .

Matthew Barney Research Project

Matthew Barney is a multimedia artist primarily known for his Cremaster film series. His arbitrary and ambiguous images provoke a densely surreal landscape of bizarre characters throughout a multitude of seemingly unrelated locations, such as the Isle of Man, the Chrysler Building, and Bronco stadium in Boise, Idaho. He was raised in Boise, and as a young boy spent his days playing football and other sports. Barney attempts to recreate the visual stimulus of highly saturated broadcast sports – the bright, thick colors and variety of swooping camera angles. In his films, he focuses on characters that are at times recognizable, but otherwise are essentially incomprehensible. Barney has the assistance of hundreds of actors and extras in his films, including that of his wife, Icelandic pop singer Bjork.

Cremaster 3 video still

Barney’s work is devoid of any easily-interpreted meaning, and are primarily an assortment of highly complex visual stimulus. His films are created, however, in a very comprehensible process. Barney describes, “This body of work began by selecting five locations that would eventually come together as one body. Once those locations were established, I went to those places and started writing stories that would grow out of those particular places.? The images and characters in his films are embodiments of the “mythology? of those places he describes. He relates his images and stories to those we see every day, citing his own inability to follow any one thread of storyline for very long – the sorts of stories we might glimpse into when passing someone on the street, or changing channels on the TV.

Of any artist we’ve studied in class, Matthew Barney relates most to alternative multimedia artist Chris Larson. Both of these artists are well known for their intriguing art-house films. Both rely heavily on bizarre visual stimuli, at times very grotesque, and other times very simple and mysterious. Both include unexplainable characters and some forms of sculpture. But in the convoluted sources behind these films is where they differ just slightly. Whereas Larson primarily documents the interaction of people with machines, Barney focuses more on the interaction of people with their locations. Larson presents a scant story-line if any, and Barney supplies us with a brief glimpse into many different stories. Beyond the visual portion of their works, Larson includes a deeper audio dimension to his pieces in a cacophony of rhythms and drums. Barney’s Cremaster series include a soundtrack, but are merely supplementary in a strange wishy-washy echo to his visuals.

I would probably not suggest a visit to see Barney’s work. At least not to my friends, who enjoy more culturally-infused political/social referenced works. They enjoy digging deep to find strong meaning. Barney’s work is intentionally incomprehensible, because his films are all about the visual stimuli. But even in an aesthetic respect, I don’t find his works very moving. The images force me to ask “Why?? When I keep having to ask “why,? I expect an answer now and then. But I don’t get an answer with Barney’s work. You’re not supposed to know why the characters are doing whatever it is they’re doing, why they’re dressed that way, or why they’re there. Every frame gives me more questions than answers, and I personally don’t dig it.

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Claire Paczkowski. A Raw and Corrupt View of Life: The Artwork of Marlene Dumas

"My best works are erotic displays of mental confusions (with intrusions of irrelevant information)." Marlene Dumas


She was born in Cape Town, South Africa but has lived the majority of her life in Amsterdam. Marlene’s work is a cross between painting and drawing and she uses Polaroid photographs as well. The Polaroids are generally more intimate and private and she refers a lot to pornography and magazines for her shots. Her paintings are often times of children or erotic scenes. Her friends and lovers are her inspiration and she uses them in her work the majority of the time. Common themes she addresses are those of identity, sexuality, domestic settings, feminism, racism and minority situations, and religion.


Through her art, Marlene is definitely trying to tell her audience something. She takes common everyday life images or situations and displays them with brutal honesty to try and distort the audience’s view of her work and the issues she addresses. In her work one of her main points or goals is to conjure intense and unnerving feelings, breaking bubbles and comfort zones. Marlene targets those who have been a part of injustice or the minority in her work and doesn’t wish to make the audience feel better about those injustices. She aims more at teaching and bringing the issues to the audience’s attention and messing internally with their morals. Even though she focuses a lot on social problems, I wouldn’t say that Marlene is a political artist like many other artists we have looked at.

Nan Golden and Marlene Dumas try to convey similar ideas and emotions through their work, incorporating both of their life experiences and trials into their artwork. Both of their work is very raw and up front. There is no emotion they won’t show their audience and the majority of the art they create looks as though they had just poured all of their pain, sorrows, irritations, opinions, feelings, memories, and joys into them. Their methods and mediums are a little different but they both try to convey a similar message through their images. Marlene focuses on a lot more broad topics that are bone-chilling to many where as Nan uses her personal life as the center of her work.

I would certainly recommend Marlene’s artwork, and even though there isn’t a whole lot of visual complexity, her images are strong enough to slap you in the face and really make you think about what she is depicting in her work. I like her work a lot because it is controversial and acts in similar ways as political art without really being political. It provokes you to contemplate what you really know in life and more importantly what you don’t know.


About Marlene Dumas and Her Art
The Saatchi Gallery: London Contemporary Art Gallery

Marlene Dumas : One Hundred Models and Endless Rejects by Marlene Dumas
Publisher: Institute of Contemporary Art ; In collaboration with Hatje Cantz

Joan Jonas

Joan Jonas was born in New York City in 1936. She has a background in sculpture but is primarily a performance artist and works with video as well. Her earliest period of art was in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1994 and then 2000 did she have a show in a museum. In her work, Jonas likes to focus on the body and it’s relationship with media and space. One work that demonstrates this is Vertical Roll, in which she exposes different parts of her body- arm, feet, torso- to the camera. The video also exposes the material of film, as each individual shot rolls across the screen, separated by a horizontal black bar. Most of her installations are multimedia and include visual images and video, sound, spoken word, objects, actions and props.
One of Jonas’ main sources of inspiration is experimental cinema, “which she [draws] on intensely, exploiting the advantages of video over film in terms of recording, editing and presentation? (Timelines, p. 8). Jonas traveled to Japan in the 70’s and there was inspired by traditional Japanese theater, something she references to in her works. Another inspiration was traditional Native American dress. In one of her films, Organic honey’s Visual Telepathy, Jonas dawns a wooden mask and a feathered headdress, not only turning into her alter- ego- Organic Honey- but also makes references to these cultural traditions.
I compared Joan to one of our visiting artists, Chris Larson. One thing that I noticed about Larson and Jonas was that they both have a background in sculpture but also expand into other media, including film. Both have an interest in drawing upon stories and myths in their work. An example of this is in Larson’s Crush Collision, and Jonas’ Upside Down and Backwards. In Crush Collision, Larson creates this storybook setting of a house floating on the lake, and examines the people who inhabit the house. Jonas’ Upside Down draws upon and intertwines the Frog Prince and The Boy Who Went Out to Learn Fear to create a new tale. One major difference between the two artist’s work is that While Larson spends time creating elaborate sets and machines to make his films work, Jonas relies on bodies, actions, and props.
Personally, I find Joan Jonas’ work interesting, but I did not necessarily like it. I found it hard to understand and divine meaning from her works, which was frustrating. Performance art and installation is a medium that I am not familiar with and don’t understand, which could contribute to why I was so turned off by her work. I would not recommend Jonas’ work to a friend.

Jonas, Joan. (2007). Timelines: Transparencies in a Dark Room. Barcelona: museu d'Art Contemporani.$artistdetail?JONASJ

Youtube link to Vertical Roll:

A Closer Look at Chuck Close

Bunbob Chhun
ARTS 1001
Artist Research
A Closer Look at Chuck Close

Chuck Close was born in Washington State in 1940 . Close is known for his giant portraits. His medium: ink, graphite, paint, paper and canvass. His technique: breaking a photograph into a grid and recreating that grid to enormous magnitude, sometimes containing up to 4,000 squares (some pieces 9’x 9’). At first glance Close’s paintings may seem like blow-ups of photographs but this is not so. Close meticulously works on one square at a time, which influences the next square. There is much “room for subjectivity? when this amount of choice is present. The subject matter of portraits is not to inspire, any other image would certainly suffice in capturing what Close attempts to accomplish. What is meant to inspire is the interpretation of the subject. Because an artist creates the image Close explains that “the way you choose to make something influences the way it looks and therefore what it means.? Again, with the amount of choices and how one square can influence the future of another square determines not a blown up replica but an artist’s perspective on the subject. In other words “every decision is influenced by all that precedes it, and modifies the whole.? It can be assumed that any other artist using the same method “would produce a substantially different result.? At first glance his works may seem like traditional portraits however with close examination they represent something more profound. Close himself intends his work to “challenge the spectator’s vision of reality.? Using the example of his 1969 work Phil Close enlarges a photograph of a friend. A photograph is a quick snapshot or reality. Close’s version of Phil becomes more than that. It is Close’s own interpretation of his friend Phil. He captures blemishes caught by the camera and adds nuances not captured by the photograph. Also, it is the intense manner in which Close operates to construct the piece that challenges the context of the photograph. His works prior to 1988 are more straightforward in respect to photorealism.
In 1988, Close became paralyzed from the neck down . Many agreed that his career was over. Not so, he inevitably regained control of one of his hands. In fact Close reinvented his photorealistic technique of breaking up an image into a grid and recreating it on a larger scale. An up close view of the squares he painted look like miniature abstract paintings. However, from a far these images combine together to form a larger complete portrait similar to his previous works in scale but different in style. Similar to how a mosaic brings many different pictures together for one singular unified composition.
The inspiration of Chuck Close has a lot to do with the closing of Pop Art. Remember, Pop Art was not so much concerned with recreating images but “examined the visual grammar? of how the subject is presented. In other words context matters most in what they represented in society. In Close’s attempt to recreate images his technique brought a new context of how decisions influence a result, and the more decisions the more variety that can be produced.
In regards to using photographs and specifically portraiture, Nan Goldin is similar. However, how they interpret the image is completely different. Nan Goldin will take numerous pictures capturing the moment. She does not reinterpret the image, the viewer is left to decipher what there is to decipher. In her mode she captures reality for all its worth, the ‘nitty gritty’ whereas Close acts as a middle-man interpreting one photograph through his systematic technique which consequently influences the viewer to see something the way he sees it. It is convoluted.
Andrea Carlson’s works are similar to Close’s not just in obvious size but also how she puts a new spin on an old image by changing the context in which it would be originally considered. For example her work on Truthiness she centers an American decorative plate that contains Fort Snelling and an eagle representing America in all its glory. However the context that surrounds the plate is anything but glorious. There are jackals and men fighting in the background. What is key to understand is the fighting is not fighting it is murder. How can murder be glorious? In short context matters. Carlson’s work may differ from Close in what medium she uses and Close’s work may not challenge morality to the extent of Carlson but they share a reinterpretation and technique that changes the context of the original image.
Chuck Close is to photorealism what an auteur is to film. At the beginning of his career his style and product was innovative but more importantly unique. You know it’s a Chuck Close when you see it. If any person needed an example of how art did not die with Picasso, a portrait by Close would more than suffice. Walking into a gallery and seeing a huge image of a woman, Kiki part of the permanent Walker Art Center collection for example, takes your breath away. The size is intriguing. Moving closer you notice how it is broken up in a grid of little cubes. They act like pixels from a television on the canvass. A person wonders who this person is and why she is on a gigantic canvas let alone why she is painted in this manner.
Questions that have come up during this paper, one of them is whether Chuck Close born in a different time would produce work in the same fashion? Would he have been a revolutionary in the Realist Period? Regardless, his works will transcend time because of their unique manner prior and post paralysis. Close and Goldin both use photographs in their art but their purpose and construction are different. Carlson’s work is more similar because of her abstraction of context. Close’s art is intelligent because of the manner in which it is produced. There is much thought that goes into each square he paints from his grid composition. Each square influences the other, like dominos tumbling on each other. This reason alone is worth recommendation and thought.

***Footnote symbols did not appear so i will also submit a hard copy as well upload a copy.***

Christopher Finch, Chuck Close Dot Drawings 1973 to 1975. Inner cover.
Finch, Chuck Close 8.
Finch, Chuck Close 8.
Edward Lucie-Smith, Visual Arts in the 20th Century (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1996). 266.
Finch, Chuck Close 10
Finch, Chuck Close 10
Lucie-Smith, Visual Arts. 266
Deborah Solomon, “The Persistence of the Portraitist,? New York Times,, accessed 25 November 2008.
Lucie-Smith, Visual Arts. 260

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Richard Hawkins

Richard Hawkins is an artist who currently lives and works out of Los Angeles, California. He works with many mediums, and has a wide variety of work that is not readily classifiable. Paintings, collages, and digital images are some of the varied forms his work takes. Hawkins was co-curator of an exhibition of gay male artists called “Against Nature?, which occurred in 1989. This is the earliest reference to his artwork available. Following the exhibition in the early nineties, Hawkins began working a lot with collage.
His collages often contain male models, or porn stars, sometimes put into new context. Sometimes the collages would consist of only two pages, of a model, and a different background. Throughout these works themes of desire, and being desired, objectivity, and youth and masculinity were addressed. The surfaces for his collages, and some of his paintings were often found images, such as old desks, or other random things. As his work progressed through the nineties, his themes and the work itself evolved.


Toward the end of the nineties Hawkins work became more decadent. Work characteristic of this time include images of severed zombie heads floating in front of an amorphous background of bright colors. These symbolic images were said to exemplify the relationship between cutting, collage, and sadism that was evident through all his work of the nineties. His work eventually lost its symbolism, and took on a painterly theme. Though he painted throughout his career, in the early 2000’s he moved through abstraction, and later got into narrative paintings associated with his native Creek heritage.


Hawkins early works are seen as autobiographical, and having a lot to do with shedding identity and exploring relationships. His abstract painting had more to do with the validity of abstraction, and, as with all of his works, many paintings he did looked like they were all done by different artists. His later paintings became narrative and exploratory. He is part Native, and wanted to explore his relationship to that identity, as well as the suffering by Creek people.


In relating Hawkins to Andrea Carlson, who also has a mixed ancestral cultural identity, there are both similarities and differences. Hawkins has explored many more materials for conveying his art than Carlson, however his work relating to his ancestry is in the form of narrative painting. Both Hawkins and Carlson explore their relationship to identity in an ambiguous, yet narrative way. In Carlson’s work it is easy to see cultural influences, whereas Hawkins stays away from clear connections. Both portray their feelings about the assimilation of identity and struggle associated with that.
I would recommend a friend see an exhibition of Hawkins’ work. I would like to see one myself. I would tell someone that his mediums are always changing, and the identities and concepts of art he works with are both rational and expressive.

Frieze Magazine
Issue 97, March 2006

Library Referencs:
Art in America v.83 May, 1995, p. 116, exhibition review

Tyler Olsen

Artist Research Project

Andy Goldsworthy by Wiwat Wiphusit
1). Andy was born in 1956. He is a British sculptor and photographer and also an environmentalist. He is currently living in Scotland. He likes to collaborate with nature to make his art works come to life. He photographs his art right after he makes it. He works with whatever comes to hand, twigs, leaves, stones, snow and ice, reeds and thorns. His primary themes are collaboration with nature. His themes usually come with found objects, like if it’s snowing he will work with snow, if it is a fall season he will work with falling leaves and if a tree fell he will works with branches and twigs from falling tree.
2).Andy is inspired by the movement, light, growth, and decay of nature and very essence of life. He is inspired of its transient state “each work grows, stays, decays.? He doesn’t really have any preconceived ideas about what he will create. He explores and experiments with nature’s materials so the seasons and weather determine the materials and subject matter of his projects. His works is like the opposite of our hectic daily live. He shows us how things could be simpler, less not more. He can makes things out of nothings while we want more things and materials in our life. I guess if we each take his approach into arts we could count how many pairs of shoes we have, closet full of clothing for example and for me I have a car, motorcycle, and bicycle. Putting all of these materials together he can create a lot of thing but he chose rather to make things from transient things that will change with time. I don’t believe he is trying to entertain us but he definitely make us see think in a new way. We could never imagine nature like the way he shows us. He is very talented at that. He connected us with nature.
3). I would compare Andy Goldsworthy with Hubert Duprat. They both are sculptors and work with nature. Duprat choice of materials is precious stones, precious metals such as gold, sapphires, pearls, rubies, and diamonds. Compare to Andy’s materials of twigs, branches, leaves, snow and ice, thorn. Eventhogh Andy’s choice of materials isn’t worth anything but his photographs are properly worth as much as Duprat’s precious metals. Which art works of these two artists would you take home? Andy works is painstakingly hard to do. It might take Andy all day or weeks or months to accomplish his work but Duprat seems to have the insect do all the work, well he manipulates them a little bit. Audience of Duprat is more of a jeweler than fine artist of Andy’s audiences. I don’t think both of the artist are dealing with history to any extend.
4). I would tell my friend that Andy Goldsworthy is a really talented artist. He will inspire you to connect with nature. His work really inspired me to do thing will less. I used to not be able to make art because I don’t have the materials, I don’t have this and I don’t have that or I don’t have the right tools. After I saw his works I don’t really have excuse no more. I would recommend my friends to check out an exhibition of his work because I want them to be inspired like I did.
2). Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature (Hardcover)
by Andy Goldsworthy (Author)

November 23, 2008

Christa's research on Michael Borremans

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November 22, 2008

Carter Schmidt researches Tom Knechtel

The Walled City - 2006.jpg
(1) Tom Knechtel is a drawer and a painter out of Los Angeles. He was born in Palo Alto, CA. He attended Cal Arts in the seventies, and teaches in two of the leading art schools in Los Angeles. His works use the components and elements of literature and language such as metaphor and narrative. According to Tom, his work is about finding one’s identity and sexuality. His works generally consist of oil on panel. Some works include watercolor, silverpoint, or pastel on paper. I noticed that his drawings tend to depict natural subjects such as animals, whereas his paintings generally display more abstract theatre-like events and bizarre scenes.
Bella - 1999.jpg
(2) Mr. Knechtel gains much of his inspiration by living in Los Angeles, so that he can be around artists and other art that he enjoys. Tom tells of one certain fantasy of his, which seems to explain his inspiration for his work quite clearly to me. The bedroom of his second-floor apartment is his studio, which has a window overlooking the entrance to the apartment. When Tom is gone, his cat sits in the window and watches the sidewalk, waiting for him to return. His fantasy is that he expects to look up someday and see beside his cat, masses of faces looking down upon him, waiting for him to get back into the studio with him. The figures include huge wrestlers, elephants, water buffalo, Indian gods and dancer, commedia figures, monkeys, trained bears and geese. He expects them to be stampeding from the window to the door in anticipation of his entrance.
Water Buffalo - 1999.jpg
Tom loves theatre, which often acts as another source of inspiration. He thinks of his painting as a kind of imaginary theatre company. His theatre inspirations include: Ariane Mnouchkine and the Theatre du Soleil, Giorgio Strehler and the Picoolo Teatro, Charles Ludlam and the Theatre of the Ridiculous, drag, puppet theatres, Cabuki and bunraku from Japan, Kathakail from India, circuses, and commedia dell’arte. On top of all this theatrical inspiration, he still remembers his love for narrative. The painter enjoys the stories which “spiral and meander.? Particularly: fairy tales, The 1001 Nights, Tristam Shandy, nineteenth-century novels and pornographic fantasies.
The purpose of Toms work is to investigate one identity and sexuality, in a comfortable environment. He wants the viewer to be at ease looking at a world without morals. I would say that his work compares, in a way, to that of Nan Goldin and even Chris Ofili, in the fact that they like to tell a story – Nan’s work is purely narrative, as well as much of Chris’ work. They all depict things that they are excited about, and subjects that they see as beautiful, even if many viewers might not agree. It is really about personal pleasure regardless of popular demand.
The Servan of Two Masters DETAIL.jpg
(3) The artist that comes to mind when comparing to Tom Knechtel is Chris Ofili. Both artists pretty much consistently use painting to create somewhat bizarre works. The paintings are somewhat abstract and use some collage techniques. The paintings are filled with vibrant colors and invite the on looking eye wander throughout the whole piece. Both artists also have a good sense of humor, which can sometimes only be seen through a personal explanation from the artist themselves. One difference can be seen in Tom Knechtel’s interest in drawings and the individual content of the works. Chris tends to depict history concerning Africa including his Nigerian heritage which can be seen in his use of elephant dung. Tom on the other hand, focuses on natural beings and human identity. It is more of a personal history and can relate to any viewer. Another difference I have noticed is that Chris focuses on a general theme or image which dominates the painting, whereas most of Tom’s paintings contain vast stories with many scenes and intricate details.
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(4) I would definitely recommend one aspect of Tom Knechtel’s work to my friends. Although I found his paintings somewhat odd yet interesting to look at, his drawings were what really caught my attention. I really enjoyed the figures from nature, such as the water buffalo, flounder, and crows. I enjoyed these simple works and I would certainly recommend them to my friends!


Duncan, M. Nature According to Knechtel. Art in America v. 91 no. 9 (September 2003) p. 106-11, 135

Zellen, Jody. Tom Knechtel. February 14 - March 16, 2002 at Grant Selwyn Fine Art, Beverly Hills