The final photo of my home project, taken one week after it was created. I was surprised to see it still here at all.
My second artist I chose is related to the first (Sycra) because I am subscribed to them both on YouTube. Ross Barbera doesn't post anymore as far as I know but I watched his videos a lot in eighth grade.
He paints flowers and landscapes, usually in watercolor, and creates jewelry with water, beads, paper, and watercolor as his main materials. He also uses gold leaf sometimes. He has a very delicate hand and I really love watching him work. When I watched his videos, I was very into earring-making so I didn't really watch any of the painting ones, but here's an example. He also painted a landscape digitally, clearly showing he has experience there as well (here). Looking back through his channel again I'm finding so many of my favorite videos. This is definitely one of them. and here's another example of one I really like. He also makes bracelets and necklaces.
He grew up in the city but took summer vacations to his extended family in Peaksville, NY, and the landscape there has been his inspiration for his art and jewelry since. His art has been in several exhibitions and he has won several awards. He teaches classes for jewelry making and design as well as painting at a NYC university.
His jewelry tutorials were very inspirational and motivational for me when I was into it. Watching them now is making me want to try it out again and see if I can reproduce his works/follow his tutorials better. He showed many basics (such as how to make the earwire) that I needed to learn, as well as many new ideas I hadn't thought of before (such as using watercolor paper in an earring.)
Here is his website, here is his Facebook, and here is his YouTube channel.
An odd note: I'm not sure if he's still alive anymore. (Update: he posted on Facebook recently all is well he is alive!)
For this quarter's awareness posts, I decided to use artists I am personally familiar with. They are both artists I am subscribed to on YouTube.
The first is Sycra Yasin, known as just Sycra on YouTube. He does a variety of work, both digital and traditional (with markers and pens), drawing landscapes, realistic objects, caricatures, people in his own style, and concept art.
Though his YouTube videos tend to be between fifteen minutes and several hours long, I really enjoy watching them. Some are tutorials on how to draw specific things (like hands), or how to use techniques (like color theory), or general things like how to improve in art or how to get past art block. Some videos are speedpaints in which he talks about a concept and his thoughts on it, which are usually insightful and inspiring for me (example)(example2). Some are long talks with other artists. Some are personal videos about his own art journey, which are also really interesting to watch (example).
He also has a website full of resources for artists, and a critique forum to help artists build themselves and others. Every now and then he picks out a piece someone has posted in the forum and re-draws/fixes it on his channel to critique it personally.
Though I am not a fan of his style, I really appreciate his outlook on art and it's really fascinating to watch him draw.
Thomas Hart Benton’s work “America Today” has been a bit controversial. While sometimes praised for being a snapshot of a moment in history, it also portrays several harmful stereotypes. It takes a lot of influence from Benton’s other artsy interest, filmmaking. The piece appears almost theatrical, with its exaggerated poses and scenes. The work has been moved several times from its original location, and is now up in the Metropolitan Museum alongside many other paintings. When I looked up the other paintings that were featured, it was very odd to me. Pieces like Abraham Bloemaert’s “Moses Striking the Rock” and Jackson Pollock’s “Pasiphae” don’t look like they belong in the same exhibit to me. Another interesting note I saw was the comment about the abstract expressionist movement – though Benton mentored Jackson Pollock, a pioneer in the movement, Benton himself was often left out and deemed too “cosmopolitan.” I think this is an interesting example of how art movements develop, like how Benton is not an abstract expressionist but his student became a key figure for it.
After reading this article I went on a search for a classmate’s article that struck any resemblance at all. Izumi’s connection between the CIA article and the Cold War Propaganda article seemed to fit. In her reflection on the CIA article, she focused on how abstract expressionism (Benton à Pollock, a connection??) really only became popular because the CIA forced it. The article on Benton mentions his critics often, which made me think of how so much art only becomes popular and revolutionary because of the hordes of negative attention it receives. A theme in both is how art can become popular without necessarily being known for being good. Izumi also wrote “People's habits of following trends and accepting popularized ideas presented on media can even be seen today.” This is a tiny connection, but Benton’s work contains stereotypes, and this is truly how they work. Many people who see “America Today” do not notice or point out the stereotypic images, simply because they are so popular and common that they are kind of accepted.
Izumi’s comments on the propaganda article are an interesting contrast to Benton’s work. She wrote about how the article analyzed Russian Cold War art to find deeper insights into what the USSR was like. “Brother, Can You Spare a Wall?” mentions that “America Today” is a very clear image portraying direct examples of life in America in the early 1930s. I thought it was interesting how social realism portrays information about the time, but behind the actual image, which is an idealized society; meanwhile, “America Today” portrays directly what America was like across the country.
Thomas Hart Benton article | Izumi Miyazaki connection
Since I chose to do land art, I couldn't really post weekly process shots, as it is a one-time thing.
My theme is how nature somehow is all connected to support itself; how the world can somehow support so much life; how the environment somehow has resources to take care of so many different kinds of plants and creatures.
For this, I created a "nest" of leaves, which is the earth/environment/nature. Inside is an abundant well of life and color, with different kinds of flowers and berries inside. This is how nature is just a constant nurturing home for so much life.
I included a photo of the sculpture one day later, since a part of land art is how temporary it is. I was surprised to see most of the sculpture still there (just very dead.) I would have loved to take more pictures as time went on but I had to go out of town and was unable to.
Boy, was this project a mess for me.
I didn't really take many process photos because I didn't really make much process week to week. My original idea was to plaster-cast several arms and attach them to one central arm, then paint the fingertips gold. However, after finishing half of one plaster cast in several weeks and not being able to cast the other half after 4+ tries, I realized this was not plausible. Making a rubber cast was a possible solution, but unfortunately the materials we had were not all that I would need and the material is not skin-safe.
So, with two weeks until the due date, I began to tape cast the arms. My first two hands were failures and un-usable, so I had to move on with about a week until the due date, since that weekend I would be away at a robotics competition for three days straight. I made my first successful tape cast in study hall, then another in art, and eventually got all hands tape-cast (I believe I made nine suitable hands, though only used seven.) Since the hands were all roughly the same size (for my original idea I would need one large arm and several smaller ones) I had to change my composition, as well. I opted for a flower-like composition of the hands reducing in size and facing more outwards/upwards as the sculpture radiates outwards. I first painted the hands with gold paint, but ran out and when the store had only another color of gold (which was much grayer) I spray painted them instead.
Kristin Hines - Student artist at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School