Art outing #3

Have been so distracted by the holidays that I forgot to post this.

I went to this jazz club in Oakland called Cafe Van Kleef to just check out whomever was playing that night and to get some tasty drinks. An artist named Dave Rocha was playing that night. He’s a trumpet player who has been inspired by Mile Davis and John Coltrane. I’m not too much of a jazz music fan but my maternal grandfather was a jazz player. Tenor saxophone was his instrument. I enjoy places like Cafe Van Kleef because it takes me back to my childhood listening to my grandfather play. Rocha was a delight to listen to and thought his performance was superior. I’ll probably go out to Cafe some time soon as my husband enjoys the place immensely. Plus, the bar’s decor is so much fun to look at! It’s done up like New Orleans’ Bourbon street, which taxidermy creatures, beads, and other random weird things. Love it!

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Art Outing 2: Writing assignment

Back in October, I took a visit out to the Legion of Honor art museum. Normally, I’m not all that fond of the museum. It tends to not have interesting works or exhibitions that involve works that I enjoy. My husband however loves to go there, so we decided to take in the exhibition of the Le Nain brothers before it closed. I am not normally attracted to artworks that are considered Classical. This is mostly due to my unfamiliarity with subject manners that involve religious themes. However I do appreciate the painting techniques of the artists while the images themselves do not usually evoke any kind of emotional reaction within me. The special exhibition was not that particularly interesting to me for this reason, however the one painting that did intrigue me was the final image in the exhibit titled Allegory of Victory. This painting stands out starkly against the rest of the images on display mainly because of how its composition is strangely laid out. What is most strikingly peculiar about the painting for me is that of the second female figure in which the angel is standing on. First, I noticed was how her back is arched awkwardly; if someone was standing on one’s torso, they wouldn’t be arching their back upwards quite like that. Secondly, the bottom figure is oddly placed underneath the angel, with no indications of weight being distributed on the torso. It is as if she was added into the painting as an after-thought by the artist. The feet of the bottom figure also appear to be turning into a serpent’s tail, which is a bit visually jarring when trying to understand the story the image is telling. An intriguing aspect about the bottom figure is how her legs almost appear to be slowly vanishing. The landscape in the background is seeping through her legs, which adds to my theory that this figure was added on after the victorious angel was completed. An alternative to this thought is that the paint used is slowly fading away due to degradation. The background landscape also is visually odd in that towards the bottom there are very small figures meant to indicate a perception of depth, but instead creates an unusual visual contradiction in comparison to the two female figures in front. All of the paintings peculiarities is what draws me into it further. I became fascinated with the curvature of the angel’s form and the way the wings spread across the top of the painting so beautifully. I was disappointed I couldn’t purchase a copy of the image to hang in my home, as this is one of the few classical artworks that I could make a connection with.  Overall, this was the one painting that struck an emotional response, which is why I love art so very much. There was an exhibition on art books next door that was really cool to see. On the wall was a series of Pablo Picasso images where he took the same image and did it twenty distinctly different ways. The last image ended up resembling random abstract shapes and figures. Yet another reason Picasso was a great! Still, the Legion remains otherwise dull to me.

Art outing: Writing assignment

First one: A Trip to SFMOMA!

I enjoy this museum immensely because each time I visit I find new works to fall in love with. The one artist whose work intrigued me the most on this trip was Mark Grotjahn. His works features abstract geometric shapes that resemble optical illusions. The paintings I was drawn the most towards were from his Butterfly series. These are works that are based upon Renaissance perceptive principles involving the horizon line and a vanishing point. One large image is of a rainbow spectrum of colors forming parallel horizontal lines that slant inward towards the center of the painting, resulting in an abstracted butterfly wings illusion. If one stares at for a few minutes the lines pulsate, as if the wings are fluttering. The lines appear to stretch and shrink at the same time. Another smaller image on the other side of the colorful one has a similar horizontal line layout, but the colors are only black and creamy white and the two distinct vanishing points in the center are placed on different spots. One point is above the other vanishing point. I found that staring at it sideways made the image sort of swirl, like one of those old three dimensional images with a hidden picture in it. The hidden swirl I noticed was probably the result of the small dashes that are placed not quite in a circular fashion towards the center of the painting. I found myself just sitting in front of these two images with my head tilted, simply enjoying the feelings of staring into a colorful geometric abyss. This was why Grotjahn’s work is so fascinating to sit and stare at; the visual version of mental static white noise that is as soothing as waves crashing. Each of his images in the Campaign for Art exhibition were fun to just sit and stare at and watch the lines sway or swirl, defying their stationary positions on the canvas. I walked up to the exhibition that had mostly abstract paintings, which I believe were on the 5th floor. Huge, to almost ridiculous levels of height some of these were. I couldn’t even image what it was like to complete those. Overall it was another delightful visit to MOMA, and I fully expect to do it again soon.

Mapping project: Final layout

As I try to avoid having a panic attack as the election results roll in (seriously, I’ll be sickened if that orange goblin wins), I decided to share my final layout for the mapping project.

Concept process:
I didn’t have much time to get out to do the photo scavenger hunt map that I wanted to do, so I just decided to do a map of the two cities I’ve spent most of my life in with noted spots on the map that relate to me. I originally wanted to do the grid lines on top of each other, but a student in the class made a suggestion of incorporating my love of Doctor Who into it. That got me spinning into creative land and I found some images to use. Some time playing around in Photoshop, since I couldn’t really figure out Illustrator and my trial ran out, and I managed to put together something awesome in my opinion.

The shapes are of my two favorite doctors: 10 and 11. 11 is on the left with the map of the Bay Area in his silhouette, while 10 is on the right with LA in his silhouette.  The icons for the map are the Adipose for food (since its a creature made of fat), Bow tie for schools I’ve gone to (because bow ties are cool), a Weeping Angel for the church I was married in (don’t blink), K-9 for the shelter that we got Daisy, a Dalek for the Alameda flea market (its at a navy base), and of course the Tardis for the all of the places I’ve lived at.

Artist statement:
“Home, the Long Way Round”
“I have a new destination. My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone’s. It’s taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last I know where I’m going. Where I’ve always been going: home. The long way around.”- The Doctor (11)

Home means something different for everyone. Having lived in only two cities in my life, I’ve always fantasized about traveling continuously; never landing in one spot for too long as I’d only get itchy to see more things. I have a love of geek and pop culture that has no bounds, and is as endless as the universe itself. Which is probably why I adore the British TV series Doctor Who so very much. From the very first episode of “Rose”, I realized that I had found my personal savior. His is this enigmatic alien character known as a Time Lord that travels all of time and space in his infinitely bigger on the inside blue police box called the Tardis. The show focuses on his adventures with his human companions and his determination to never stop seeing what needs to be seen. He has a motto of “Never cruel nor cowardly” and no matter what situation he finds himself in, he always finds a way out of it, no matter the odds. The Doctor never goes where he wants to go, only to where he needs to go. Each time the Doctor dies he regenerates into a new face, making him just as infinite as the universe itself. I chose this because the show is very much a part of who I am. I turn to it during emotionally dark times as it helps me get through many of my depressive moments. Also, the show is kind of a family thing as all of my family members watch the show and it is one of the few things that we bond over. Hence, the show itself is home.

The map and icons are imagery from the series representing specific spots for the two cities I’ve come to call home. The two shapes are the silhouettes of each of my two favorite doctors. On the left is 11, played by Matt Smith, with the map of the Bay Area in his shape. On the right is 10, played by David Tennant, with the map of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles in his shape. I placed them within a nebula of space as the image is strikingly beautiful in how it demonstrates the fairy-tale quality that is the universe he travels in. The icons represent locations of favorite places to eat, schools I’ve attended, homes I’ve in, the animal shelter I got my dog from, the church I was married in, and the flea market held at a former navy base that I find most of art projects at.

The Doctor once said that, “the least important things lead to the greatest discoveries.” (1st Doctor)

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Mapping project: progress

I’m still working on this but I’m about a third of the way done. I took an image from Google Earth of the Bay Area and of the San Fernando Valley where my parents live. I altered the images to be black and white, inverted the colors, tweaked the brightness of the black so that the lines of the streets and highways would stand out more. Then I did the painstaking work of erasing the details, leaving behind only the grid lines of the satellite photos. So far this is what it looks like for the two images:

The Bay Area on the left with the San Fernando Valley on the right

The plan is to take the images to absolute grids and put them on top of each other with some varying colors to differentiate the locations. Hopefully I should have this done this weekend.

 

Mapping project: GPS tracking

Damn I hate dealing with these things!

I did a walk on Friday but for some reason I couldn’t get a proper map of the path I took to import properly the actual map. So I found a site I could draw the route I took called Plot A Route.com where I was able to get what I needed. I sort of want to punch Google people because, seriously jackholes, you NEED to put yourselves in the user’s seat to see if your shit works easily. Dammit, I hate engineers that don’t factor in the user’s experience EVER in their work! Anyway, here’s the map and the information from it:
walking_route
The path was 2.385 miles, took me a little over an hour to complete, and the GPS coordinates of my starting point was Latitude of 37 degrees N 54′ 10.468″ and Longitude of 122 degrees W 18′ 34.419″