Monday, November 20, 2017

Anna Brown reviews Stan Douglas

Stan Douglas is an African Canadian artist born in Vancouver (1960), whose body of work has incorporated photography, creating films and installation artwork since the late 80s. His oeuvre demonstrates an acute understanding of and engagement with history. These narrative-heavy works reexamine specific locations where events of the past have occurred. His photography embodies a cinematic quality that often appropriates or borrows from various movie genres and classic literary works including the likes of Samuel Beckett and Franz Kafka. His narratives shine through each photograph with the quality and integrity of an entire film. The potency of each moment within its contextual framework and the action of each character leaves the viewer in a state of wonder, with time to reflect upon the activity at play. Many of his photographs break from their historic conception and lend themselves to broader issues, especially in relation to current events. Douglas is not a straightforward storyteller; he leaves his work open to interpretation, which is something I strive to accomplish in my own work.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Burk Frey reviews Anthony Goicolea

     Anthony Goicolea is a Cuban-American artist, born 1971, known for his intermingled and manipulated human and natural environments. His Cuban background has served as an inspiration for portraits and landscapes in a wide variety of styles and media. His works exhibit a persistent purity of form and color, with many of his paintings, photographs, and installations featuring a geometric aesthetic and the same unnervingly muted color palette.

Low Tide (2006)
Monument (2011)

     To me, his digitally manipulated landscapes exist both in a timeless state and on the verge of collapse, simultaneously. It is as if scenes like Low Tide and Monument (above) have been there forever, yet can’t hold together much longer. Goicolea’s biography describes them as reflect[ing] an anonymous and increasingly tenuous human presence. In these works, primitive lean-tos and crudely constructed shanties coexist in an uneasy union with the technological vestiges of an industrialized society.” Goicolea uses these scenes to evoke isolation and displacement - I would suggest autobiographically.

Scroll (2014)

Artificial Support System I, II, & III (n.d.)

     His strong aesthetic carries over to his installation work (examples above). As before, I find these pieces to have an almost architectural sense of geometry and linearity. His works are often imposing, cold, and exactingly rendered, and yet his themes - identity, culture, alienation - deal with topics at a definitively human level. That over the years he has been able to potently and consistently merge the two seems, in hindsight, the prerequisite to his international success.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Margarita Espinoza Reviews Nobuyoshi Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki (b. 1940) is a Japanese photographer famous for his fetishized and erotic imagery. Araki takes inspiration from Helmut Newton by using Japanese bondage and provocative female nudes. On the topic of his subject matter Araki said, “Women? Well, they are gods. They will always fascinate me. As for rope, I always have it with me. Even when I forget my film, the rope is always in my bag . [] Since I can't tie their hearts up, I tie their bodies up instead.” He studied photography before working as a commercial artist but it was not until he became a freelance photographer that he began to publish his contemporary work with photography books

I think Araki's work is interesting because of how closely his work falls on the line of contemporary photography and pornography. I think that his contemporary work is considered artistic because Araki uses formal elements such as line, balance, and space and uses them to create a complete aesthetic composition. The photos I have chosen below are successful because of the high contrast in values and the achromatic color palette. These photos are of nude women wearing lingerie in provocative poses which catches the viewers attention long enough to appreciate the artist qualities of the work. 

Hannah Rosales Reviews Helena Chapellín Wilson

Wilson was born in Caracas, Venezuela and received her BA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 1976. She has a number of collections including The Art Institute of Chicago; the Illinois State Museum, Springfield; and The International Center of Photography in New York.

Her work encompasses images with figure, object and spatial relationships that take on moments of rhythm. While using the nineteenth century gum bichromate printing process, Wilson creates compositions based dreams, nature and the passage of time.

One photograph in the series depicts two hands clinging on to a tree trunk. Personally what I take away from this photograph is childhood. Often times as a child, I would climb trees. I also see this photograph as a human connection to nature and trees specifically.

In another photograph, I notice a theme of passage of time. The foggy effect seems to indicate a blur and fogginess of time and how fast time seems to pass by. A lot of times memories "fly by" and sometimes they can even be a blur.

Both photographs are very dreamlike and capture the essence of surreal-ness through the gum bichromate printing process.

Hector Vasquez reviews Annie Leibovitz

    Annie Leibovitz (1949-  ) Born Anna-Lou Leibovitz on October 2, 1949,  is a famous photographer who is known for photographing celebrities, is known as one of the best portrait photographers in the country. She is known for her use of bold colors in her photographs. Before becoming a photographer, she worked at Rolling Stone. She then went on to work at Vanity Fair, where she did the magazine cover shoots. In this photo she took of Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher, Leibovitz uses bold, yet soothing and warm colors to give off the feeling of love and warmth that the two are displaying(in the Star Wars Series, the two play long-lost brother and sister, Luke and Leia Skywalker.) The way she photographed the pair really read as emotional. Her lighting in the photo also greatly contributes to the depth and emotion aspect.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hector Vasquez Reviews Man-Ray

 Man- Ray, who was born Emmanuel Radnitzki in 1890 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was a highly renowned Surrealist and Avant-Gard Photographer. Also known as a pioneer of Surrealist photography, he was also a painter and a filmmaker, who is known for contributing to the movement that photography should be considered an art form.


"Markiza Casati" 1922 By Man Ray

The photograph from Man-Ray utilizes double-exposure technique photography. Man-Ray uses this in this, but aside from that he uses makeup and lighting to further create the impact and mood of the photo, which is more creepy and dark.

Jacqueline Martinez Reviews Richard Wentworth

Richard Wentworth; a British artist, transforms found objects within his works. Richard Wentworth removes the object from its original function and gives them comic characteristics. Wentworth allows for the viewer to understand that these found objects can hold an alternative meanings. His photography plays along a sculptural aspect, some can say that Richard Wentworth incorporates ready made. 

Kings Cross, London, 1999

In Richard Wentworth's Kings Cross, he has placed car doors in front of an entrance way to a building. It's interesting because the purpose of a door; in this case a car door, is to provide an entryway into a room or area. The placement of the doors is an "effective way of preventing access to the property". This allows for multiple narratives such as car-parking problems or reasons for barricading a door. 
What I found interesting with Richard Wentworth's works is that he allows for his found objects to hold an alternative meaning. His objects tend to not have a connection with the new space that their introduced to.