Today I just wanted to talk about a piece created that caused a bit of buzz around it or had people finding the imagery to be obscene or maybe offensive in a way. Today’s piece is called “All the People I’ve Slept With 1963-1995.” This piece is a tent that includes the name of people that the artist may not have had full sexual relations with, but had at least some type of sexual interaction. Many people found this piece of art to be a bit obscene due to the fact that the artist, Tracey Emin, is a female and females are supposed to not really talk about things like this. This piece of artwork was largely talked about and found a forever home with Charles Saatchi, a well known business CEO.
There are practically an unlimited number of art pieces or artists to look at, but there are a few in contemporary art that have stuck out to me due to their style or story.
The first artist I wanted to mention is Douglas Copeland. He is a contemporary artist that created a whole new idea that honestly probably everyone has seen before. His artwork is the perfect mix of dull and bright colors, and I absolutely love the geometric shapes. There is something about his art and his demeanor that has just stuck out to me.
The next artist I wanted to focus on is Louise Bourgeois. She was an over the top woman who created amazing metal pieces of art. Ranging from humanoid looking creations that were the same size as a person to a metal spider that stands 12 feet tall, she had a lot of wonderful ideas. I appreciate her style so much because I love how she made them seem almost creepy. I do not usually find myself enjoying metal art, but I can’t help but LOVE hers.
The last artist I want to talk about it actually a really well known artist. Her name is Yayoi Kusama. She is extremely famous actually for her varying dots along with her light rooms. She would take a black room and hung hundreds of thousands of little lights all over in different colors. Her story is so interesting to me though because due to her being a female in the industry during a time of extreme misogyny, her artwork was stolen by a lot of male artists. It actually got so bad that she tried to kill herself but was unsuccessful. She later went on to be one of the most famous and easily recognizable artists in the world.
Contemporary art is important. It is a art style that includes a lot more creative outlooks and more intense expression. The interesting part about contemporary art is it is meant to invoke a feeling or idea to the viewer just by looking at the piece they created. This can be done in many ways. We have seen artistic pieces that resent war or death, but we also see pieces that represent glee or excitement. These pieces have no set subject matter, and they have no set guidelines. It is completely up to the artist to create a piece of work that can be as different or creative as they feel while still being able to draw that emotion or thought from the viewer. I think contemporary art is a defining time within the art community and has a lot of importance in not just the art world but the rest of the world as well.
As much as I can appreciate and love art, there will always be exceptions to that. We’ve discussed how contemporary art ranges all over the place and can look very different. Now while I am capable of appreciating that, there are some times where even I cannot understand or see the true artistry presented in the work. Lets go over a few pieces that I don’t personally like.
“White on White” by Kazimir Malevich painted in 1918. This piece speaks for itself. No it is not just a blank canvas, the artist just took white paint and painted over an already white canvas. Truly I do not understand this piece and I think it is such a waste of space, not to be rude.
The next piece I want to focus on is called “My Bed” by Tracey Emin from 1998. This piece is supposed to have a deeper meaning for the artist, including underlying tones of depression and such. Personally though I just do not enjoy this piece. Looking at someones unkept and dirty bed whether it be an art piece or not really does nothing for me.
Lastly I wanted to talk about “Equivalent VIII” by Carl Andre in 1966. Another piece that I believe speaks for itself. I just think that whenever I look at this I just think of my basic woodshed class that was required in middle school. It just feels like a bored kid put these blocks together on the floor and took a photo. Personally I do not see what’s so artistic about this piece.
Today I wanted to look at some of the many materials that we see used in contemporary art. By now we know that there are many different types of art that we see defined as contemporary art so that means that honestly anything could be used to create art like this. Let me show you some examples.
Starting off with this piece we look at what is called “Georgia Granite Circle” by Richard Long in 1990. As you can see it is a literally a circle made up of a bunch of granite rocks. This art installation uses nothing but rocks yet still is considered a piece of art.
Next we look at “Hubcap Quilt” by Douglas Coupland in 2003. This piece of art is exactly what it looks like as well. it is a quilt that has hubcaps hanging off of it. This artist used common materials you’d find in your grandparents home to create this piece of work.
This piece is called “Selfless in the Bath of Lava” by Pipilotti Rist in 1994. Although it is not playing in my blog because this is just a snapshot of the actual piece of artwork, this is a video clip which falls under the digital media materials. It involves the use of green screen and other digital elements.
Lastly I wanted to talk about “Fathers Whisper” by Elmer Borlongan in 2006. This piece is a simple oil on canvas and I included this because it is what I believe MOST people think when they think of any type of artwork really. Yes contemporary art can be made up of crazy materials but it also can be made with some of the most simple and normal artistic materials we have.
I did not get to anywhere near the amount of materials that can be used in contemporary art. If I am being fully honest I believe anything can be used to create art. I just wanted to highlight how some of the weirdest or maybe even seemingly useless items can be used to create creative art.
The impact of contemporary art was huge. People really seem to enjoy viewing contemporary art because it can be so different and tends to also commentate on things without directly saying it. Sometimes it’s more discreet than other though. A lot of them can be ranging from commentating on war to commentating on society. The art tends to be intriguing and allowing of lots of different styles or ideas. Personally I enjoy contemporary art because of how different everything can be. Whether it be a huge pink solo cup or a shark that’s been forever kept in resin, the art is always crazy and always interesting. I just really appreciate the freedom of expression overall.
Today I wanted to just share some pieces of contemporary artwork that I find intriguing. I wanted to use these three pieces of artwork as my sort of introduction to the type of art we will be looking at. The first piece I wanted to talk about is called “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” which is the image with the shark. This art piece is a large tank that includes a real shark that has been preserved inside of it forever. It was created in 1991 and is honestly an aw to look at. Honestly based off of the name I have a lot of thoughts on what the overall meaning of the piece could be. Personally I think it is supposed to sort of mean that we do not view this shark as dead because it does not look dead.
Next I wanted to talk about a piece called Free and Leisure by Yue Minjun in 2003. I find the painting to overall be a bit creepy. I think that the name of the painting gives it maybe a less weird aspect but when I look at the oversized mouths I become uncomfortable. As described by the artist though it is said the painting represents how man and heaven can coexist.
Lastly I wanted to talk about “Field for the British Isles” by Antony Gormley. In this piece there are over 25,000 small figures that are places together to create this almost dead grass looking picture. This artist has created many “fields”in which he places hundreds of these small handmade figures to create different shapes or images. I personally loved this piece of artwork because the first time I ever looked at it I thought it was a painting of wheat. It feels almost other worldly and I really enjoy it. As lame as it might sound I really enjoy “cottage core” or “dream core” pictures or pieces of art so I found this to be reminiscent of that.
What is Contemporary Art? Honestly this question can be a little harder to answer than you think. Contemporary art is art that is created today. It can include painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video art, and performance. Unlike most artistic eras, the timeframe for contemporary art is considered a little blurred. People widely consider the contemporary art era to begin around the 1960s or the 1970s. Contemporary art can have many different images and ideas. Artwork has become bolder, more hyper realistic and more experimental. Pieces can range from a large pile of neon colored dirty laundry to 10 metal square boxes lined up against a white wall. I enjoy contemporary art because it really can be left up to the viewer to interpret it. Even though we all see the exact same item or artwork physically does not mean that we all mentally view it the same. This is why I appreciate contemporary art so much. There is so much to unpack in a piece of work that may seem confusing or senseless to some. I hope you can enjoy and help understand some pieces I plan to look over in this blog.