Category Archives: Collection Project

Collection Project

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I finished all my notes on Judy Chicago. She is really interesting and inspirational as well. First of all she changed her last name to Chicago so that she would not have any sort of male superiority over her existence. She wanted to learn more about her womanhood through her art, though she struggled with being able to do this with her professors who were mostly male and critical on her exploration. She did many different shows on exploring the female experience. I was looking at her other pieces and felt very moved by even the most simplest of concepts.  I think that was one of the only times that I have really felt a strong emotion from artwork.

The message of her art is not very metaphorical or symbolic like most other artists. Though it is real and raw. The messages are there but still so beautifully put. Like her Birth Project was obviously about the woman experience of birth. But it was also a message that all creation comes from birth, women. Honoring our existence by honoring our creator is important. We tend to look over pregnancy and birth as being an experience not talked about in society. It is a taboo, which is my theme.

A lot of the women interviewed in this project were never asked about their experiences giving birth. Many confessions I read said that they were so drugged during the experience they missed the whole thing. This incredibly painful, emotional and happy experience is completely lost on the woman whose body is doing the process. They are the ones who go through this and they are the ones who take care of their children. Society as a whole look over their role as obsolete to the workings of the world. Which is a pretty stupid way of looking at it all.

Chicago got a lot of different needleworkers to help with the project. Her goal is to allow art forms that are normally portrayed as “only women’s crafts”, allow them to be seen as legitimate forms. She did a lot of the birthing project in beautiful needlework forms, which is also a comment on woman owning and being recognized for their work and others knowing how incredible it is.

Moral of it all, she is really cool.

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Collection Project

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During this process of reworking my theme and project completely, I have come up with something new. It stems from my previous ideas though has a bit of a different message. I have been thinking lately about taboos. My friend and I were in line waiting for food. Now she is not someone who has any sort of filter, or consciousness of how loud she is speaking. We started out talking about our periods and then went on to talk about us growing beards. It was very random and very silly. This couple in front of us was becoming extremely uncomfortable being there. The guy kept on turning around and giving me the stink eye. That is one of the joys in my life, making others exposed to uncomfortably. I like trying to define that there is no such thing as “the norm”.

So for my project I am thinking about things in which society does not confront, think about, want to know about or be affiliated with… But that still happen and are important in our world. These things as well become more important the more society pretends they are not there. It’s the way we live that perpetuates these taboos. We cannot speak of them because it is almost like they are just too real, raw and prevalent. How is it that things this obvious are hidden so well? Do we all choose to ignore them? Or are we programmed to ignore them?

I also found artwork and artists that I think show of the things that are uncomfortable. One artist I have in mind is Georgia O’Keeffe. I read some of her quotes and she talks about flowers of how nobody really takes time to look at them. And if that isn’t obvious enough, I think that she tries to make her audience see a woman’s body in a beautiful and experiential way. I think that she is an important person to bring up in the subject of taboos because of her metaphorical comments on women and their identities in society. I also read somewhere that she was one of Frida Kahlo’s lovers at one point. Awesome.

I am going to use Frida Kahlo as well, because I absolutely adore her. I think she brings up the question in her paintings about “what is feminism”? She had an extremely rough life, but I think in all her self portraits she is strong, confident and against what is normal femininity. Her unibrow and mustache are definitely who obvious physical traits, though there is so much more even in her expression and the way she presents herself.

Other artists I am thinking of using are Judy Chicago’s Birth Tear. In my opinion this picture shows the raw reality of the taboo of giving birth. It’s a part of life we just pass over as something easy and that every woman goes through with ease. We never are told the reality of it all. Another artist is Martha Rosler’s Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful. This piece shows how war is ignored in our normal lives in this country. It is still there, but is ignored because of how our society is set up. Though it runs how we live.  Also I want to show the video of Adrian Piper’s The Mythic Being. This is a comment on racism and what people are scared of or prejudice against even today. I am thinking also of Allegiance by Barbara Kruger. This piece
shows the pledge of allegiance and marriage vows we say in this country. It also shows what is really being vowed towards underneath it. Showing us that these traditions and norms we have are keeping us from thinking for ourselves. We are only repeating what we are told to repeat.

Two other artists that I am thinking of maybe putting into my project are Millie Wilson, who comments on homosexuality. As well as Jenny Holzer’s Truisms, that comments on what the individual has lost in this modern world. Not completely sure about which are my final 6, though I am liking this theme. It goes along with what I wanted before but fits better together. For a title I have Taboo right now, though that is probably too obvious and cheesy. I will probably change it.

Collection Project: Rebellion

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You know I have been looking at the theme of rebellion for actually a really long time now. I have never really been able to escape it. When I was as young as three my mother has stories of me just walking away and not looking back. I never had any problem with my own authority. I always felt to stick up for myself and my rights as my own person, I had to defy every boundary set up by my family and society.

I always danced under the thunderstorms while my grandmother panicked that I was outside in that weather and I would get struck by lightning. I argue with my mother on everything just for the sake of an argument and to let her know that I do not believe she knows everything. I would rather run around naked free in the woods than feel constricted within my room and clothes. Also traveling through Latin America I have found that rebellion is so very necessary to this world.

I just thought that our collection project wasn’t really about us. But I am understanding now that it is completely about us. Curators in general create spaces that represent not only the artists but how they feel as well. There is definitely emotion for them within what surrounds them. For me though my gallery space will be a reflection of myself and how I have always thought of life to be like.

Rebellion, it’s THE REVOLUTION.

Collection Project: Guayasamin

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Guayasamin is one of my favorite artists of all times!!! He is brilliant with the intensity of emotions he puts into all of his work. They are profound ways of thinking but so easy to understand and contemplate at the same time. He layers on thick paint and every stroke is made in complete confidence. This is a painter who challenged the politics of his time and displayed the sorrow of his country in a most prominent way.

When I was sixteen I studied abroad in South America with a program called The Traveling School. It took a group of girls to different third world countries to explore the politics, natural environments and culture of those places. We flew into Ecuador first where I sat there in amazement with my fellow world travelers at the differences between the United States. We stayed up high in the mountains for almost two weeks and the made our way down into the capital city of Quito. There we explored the hard-hitting history of the country and its incredible citizens. My favorite place we visited of course was the house of Guayasamin.

His walls were lined with his vibrant artworks. Red represented the torture and pain that had encased Ecuador’s history. The screaming, mourning and strained faces, were calling out for recognition of the past. He had portraits of past lovers that kept the balance between love and horror. His figures that held whirlwinds of emotions, were there to hit their audiences hard with guilt, anger and passion. His painting to the right depicts the howl of his pain for the world to hear and acknowledge. He shows this figure as only skin tightly swollen to bone. In his chest you can see the red of his heart and lungs working harder and harder to explain the destruction of his existence.

Some of my favorite paintings I saw there were his depictions of the 7 stages of grief. The stages are: shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, reflection, reconstruction, and acceptance. All of them were of mothers dressed in black and each one showed the effect of a child’s death on the soul. These were mother’s who had lost their sons due to torture that was started by the government. The hands of these women and their faces together perfectly and profoundly show the emotion that their souls feel. Hands have so much importance in how we communicate. Especially of how we express ourselves. In these pieces he has stated a very big politically statement through the relationship a mother has with her children.

When he went through an angry period in his life, he painted many things about the war, oppression and death. There is another series that is a close up of the hands with screaming heads in the background. They symbolize as well the grief of the mothers who lost their sons. He definitely does a lot with hands during this period, because they give so much meaning and emotion to a painting. But he does have more detailed paintings as well, such as this one over to my right. It surrounds the same themes of a mother grieving her son. The woman is trying to take her dying son back home with her away from the atrocities of war. It is about the strong women who will do anything for their children even in the face of danger. I think that it is also about women’s rights saying that women fought just as much in the war as the men did. If the men didn’t have them, it would have been different.

I really love his art, because it is so full of emotion. As well it is something I can understand more because it is so straight forward. I just think that splatter of paint on a canvas, although very interesting, do not hit me as hard as see the emotion that a human form can present. The mouth especially in Guayasamin’s paintings give so much truth to one of his pieces. The number of teeth shown and the openness of the mouth sink into our memory. It is so raw and realistic, yet clearly not. It shows what is inside these women and men’s minds. It is their deepest secrets exposed.

Although I did not see his more famous paintings at the art museum there, I thought that going to his house gave me a more personal look into his art. I was standing in the place of creation, looking a masterpieces that screamed the stories of their lives. I cannot even imagine painting this because I have not personally felt these things. I don’t necessarily want these horrible events to happen to me in my life, but I wish i could fully understand the intensity of these paintings. They are awesome, to me at least, but I really love this freaky kind of artwork. It takes more than just skill of the wrist. It takes your soul’s full exposure. 

He has other paintings as well that are not as intense. He went through many different stages in his life and make landscapes, sculptures, portraits and depicted love. I did see a lot of his diverse subjects though I happen to  get mostly on camera the freaky paintings that I love so much.

He made so many works of art during his life that are all, no matter what the theme, powerful in their own ways. He is my idle. I wish he were alive today to teach me more about his way creating. I am sure it is a brilliant and original process. I cannot even fathom who he was as a person. I just know him, through his art, intrigues me.

I will have to go back one day and actually have time to delve deeper into his work. I want t see everything, and learn everything about him. When I finally go back, I think I will cry because I haven’t experienced his beautiful powers in person in a long time.