Fame is a rather vague concept. Many things or people may be considered famous. Whether a person or thing is considered famous is contingent upon the consensus of the viewer or audience. Many objects or individuals can be made popular by a certain demographic of people and become instantly famous.
Objects such as a Mountain Can, can be made famous, and have in fact done so. The drink itself has become popular for its taste and energy giving qualities, however, its real claim to fame is the graphic design logo on the exterior of the can. The unique and appealing graphics catch consumers eyes and make them purchase the drink because its look “cool”. The cans graphic design is indeed a huge selling point and has made Mountain Dew Famous around the Globe. Anywhere on the planet if a person sees the colorful green graphics on a can of pop, they immediately know it is mountain dew.
This shows that anyone or anything can be made famous. If the public likes an object or a person a can quickly become famous with enough support. Images can be famous themselves or bring about fame for certain people, by be associated with something ‘cool’ or esteemed. People are absolutely obsessed with celebrities and fame. Humans tend to idolize celebrities and in some ways deify them, honoring them as the greatest individuals of society. We strive to be like them in every way. Ironically, celebrities are often quite the opposite and tend to be not very upstanding citizens. Many celebrities have a very short term claim to fame, however, some may live on for eternity, seemingly immortal. The esteem given to some celebrities by people can make them live on forever in the objects, photographs, and stories of that individual passed down through the ages. In this way they are immortal forever living on in memory to be cherished. Celebrities indeed create their own image, but the people determine what is going to be valued or famed and able to live on into eternity.
The objective of this project is to illustrate religion as a conceptual framework using photographs; each showing religion from a different perspective. The photographs must exhibit religion positively, critically, and from a neutral perspective.
The image of the United States Flag positioned next to Holy Cross College represents a controversy or critical view of politics and religion. In the government and politics religion is often excluded. In public schools they do not start the day with prayer and do not have religious symbols within the buildings. Religion is often kept separate to avoid conflict between religious views and the government. The image of the large cross positioned at the entrance of the college represents religion as a positive social convention. The mixture of Christian religion and schooling has positive impacts on students. They are morally sound and bound as a community of students due to the influence of religion. The image of the calm lake is a neutral portrayal of religion. It simply invokes a primal feeling. It is a scene that has been replayed millions of times throughout the course of history, and will continue to happen into the future. It gives a feeling of a higher power or being.
No one should immediately deem certain religious works of art as controversial. Often times the artist has a message beyond what is readily seen and must be interpreted. The viewer of the art should also have an open mind, and take into account the context within the art is presented and consider the views of different cultures or religion. Such Claims of controversy often stifle the viewer from forming their own opinions and thoughts about a piece. Viewers are likely to conform to what controversy says because it is the easy way out. Viewers should not conform to “public opion,” but should rather interpret and investigate for themselves. Some works that are controversial to some people may have a complete different meaning to others. People of different religious belief or different culture will often have different opinions about the same work of art. In this sense a single piece of art may be offensive, positive, or neutral all at once depending on the person viewing it. For an image to be religiously neutral it must mot invoke either a negative response or a positive response from the viewer, rather it must invoke a feeling of spirituality or a higher power.
Historically, race has been a severe schism between people for thousands of years. Different races have always proclaimed supremacy over others. This proclamation of dominance often ended in violence or war between the races. In some cases such conflict is sprung through differences in culture, religion, or lifestyle, but has predominantly been a matter of race or fundamentally skin color. The power struggle has been going on for thousands of years and even continues through today in current times. Although the power struggle and discrimination have become much less severe, it still persists today.
Kara Walker and Kehinde Wiley, both renown artists, exemplify race relations in the twenty and twenty-first centuries. Through silhouette cut outs, Walker tries to portray to the viewer that race is only a matter of skin color, everyone is a human being. She blinds the viewer to color by only using silhouettes. People must not look at a person and judge them based on their skin, they must only see them as a person. She shows how even though the color has been eliminated, racial biases still remain. The white man is usually seen as the antagonist and other races as victims. In one of her pieces opposing races are shown toting decapitated heads of the opposing race, while burning them over fires. This begs the question of who is actually at fault, both races seeing the other as the antagonist.
Wiley attempts to get across some of the same ideas as Walker. In his painting portraying ordinary people as extraordinary, he shows that everyone can be great. He makes the viewer look past one’s skin color and how they are dressed and look to the inner person. His characters in his paintings are predominantly African American individuals, dressed in “street clothing” imposed on backgrounds that suggest importance of that individual. Not only does this make the viewer accept equality among all people, it makes the viewer understand race in a historical context. Many of Wiley’s images were imposed upon very old pieces of art, with very important people in them, almost all being Caucasian. Wiley’s new images were of African American individuals, showing how race is being viewed differently in current times, everyone is an equal human being.
Both artists are attempting to portray how race dynamics are handled within society. Today is a supposed age of equality, however racial bias remains and will likely forever be a part of society. This can be easliy seen in Wiley’s paintings where the African Americans seem of no special significance. The artists are proponents to the idea that race discrimination has indeed declined, however it is still a part of our lives and will always be.
Marcel Duchamp introduced a new and unique form of art to the world, which he called, the “readymade”. These were works made of found or purchased objects that were altered subtly, and deemed a work of art. He was highly criticized because the vast majority of people insisted art must require some degree of skill or aptitude to produce. Duchamp’s idea of art however, was that art is what we make it. It is up to the artist to present whatever they want, to be viewed as art. He argued that even paintings were “readymades” as the paint was manufactured and purchased by the artist. Duchamp tried to make the point that art is not dependent on the amount of skill needed to produce it, or how people value it, rather what the artist wants to render as a work of art.
My readymade called, “Empty Pond,” follows Duchamp’s basic criteria for a readymade. The piece is an old fishing lure I found in my tackle box, which I altered slightly by taking the hooks off. I did not create anything new or alter the piece to drastically so it still fits the criteria. I simply altered it slightly, thus giving it a new meaning. Another qualification is the piece needs to be able to be reproduced, which is fairly easily done by anyone. Any person could go to the store, buy the same lure and take the hooks off. A hallmark of Duchamp’s readymades are their apparent meaninglessness. This is how most first time viewers portrays his work, however, they do have a hidden meaning. My work of art also seems quite meaningless, a mere fishing lure with no hooks, however it does have a subtle message behind it. This is what makes Duchamp’s readymade style so unique. The artist gives the piece meaning and value, not necessarily the viewer. Although there is no real skill or craftsmanship involved in readymades, they are masterpieces of the mind, not the hand.
My name is Dominick Perry Tirotta. I am a freshman at Holy Cross Catholic College, aspiring to eventually become am engineer or lawyer. I play ice hockey, and have done so since i was about eight years of age, and plan to play throughout college. However, my favorite sport is bass fishing. Fishing is what i spend most of my “free” time doing, and i consider it to be my primary sport, even if my critics bash it as merely a hobby, but they can think what they want. I also enjoy doing just about anything that involves the outdoors, fishing being my favorite.
I was unsure of what classes i should take when I initially made my schedule for my first semester. I made the trek to the counselor to schedule my classes, and asked him which would meet my requirements. Thus, I ended up in the Arts 100-01 Visual Literacy, with no idea what it was. I expected to just do a bunch of art in the class, with maybe some background or historical aspects of art. However, it turns out to be much more. Visual Literacy teaches students the skills necessary to understand and respond to visual imagery such as art, film, television, etc. It helps students view visual imagery within its context and take it at more than its face value.
I have very little experience in terms of visual literacy. I am very aware of the fact that art and other visual media often has a much deeper or hidden meaning than is overtly seen. I know that there is often much more to something than is seen just by looking at the image. The context, artist, and style, as well as many other things must be considered before fully understanding or interpreting a piece.
The fact that i am nervous about this class is not so much as a result of the content, rather than it is all based online! I am absolutely horrible with computers. The content in the Visual Literacy class does not bother me at all, I what worries me is whether im even blogging correctly right now! I simply am not good with computers, so blogging is something that is coming a lot more difficult for me than others. Im not even sure that i set up my account correctly, or even emailed my blog address to my professor correctly… im pathetic.
Overall i believe i will receive a fairly good grade in this course as long as i survive the technological aspect. The content seems to be manageable and it should turn out to be a good semester.
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