Monday, December 10, 2012

My Favorite Pieces at MoMA...

Mouth 7
Tom Wesselmann

Man With Yellow Pants
by: Michelangelo Pistoletto

These were a part of the "Pop Art" Exhibit at MoMA ending in February. These are my top two favorites. Especially "Mouth 7". Wesselman has more of these painted canvas' shaped lie mouths, but this one was the one displayed. Out of all of them, this is honestly the best. 

The "Man With Yellow Pants" piece was just awesomely made and so downright... CREATIVE!! It took me a minuet to realize what it was and what it was on. When I did, I couldn't believe how cool it was. Pistoletto painted the back view of a man who appears to be leaning on o wall, on a mirror. 

My reactions to seeing these may have been a bit over exaggerated, seeing that I gasped loudly and basically shouted "OH MY GOD"!! to the entire museum, but it was only because I had never seem art this way since Warhol.

As much as I would love to have these and all of the other pieces all over my future apartment, they are far to expensive. Besides, as creative as I am (or try to be), I think I can make my own version of these. 

Well see...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Photo Final Preview...

New Photography Exhibit...

The exhibit I visited was the “New Photography” exhibit at MoMA in the Robert and Joyce Menschel Photography gallery. The artists were, Shirana Shahbazi, Zoe Crosher, Anne Collier, Birdhead (Ji Weiyu and Song Tao), and Michelle Abeles. Their work covered four walls. With two of the artists only had one of their works displayed, therefore they shared walls with one of the artists. For example, Crosher’s Mae Wested, was displayed on the same wall as a few of Abeles pieces such as Too___to_ and Progressive Substitution Drills.
All of the artists, as well as their pieces, differed greatly from each other in style and technique, but were similar in the sense that they were all born between the 70’s and 80’s and their work bears no resemblance to the work of your average photographer. There is almost a deviant method to them. All of the artists had their work in color with the exception of Birdhead and Collier. All of their works were vibrant in color and blacks (if they used black and white.)
The duo, Birdhead, took black and white photos of their home town of, Shanghai, China. You can say that they were the originators of life documentation phase that the younger generations are obsessed with today. The younger generations tend to document random things in life that define them and their social status. Most of their photos focus on themselves. Birdhead took pictures of things that defined their time, place and community. In the center of their works displayed there was one of them titled The Song of Early Spring (2012). They are standing in front of a wall with Chinese writing on it. The writing is of a verse form a classic Chinese poem by Han Dynasty. It reads, “And so, with joy in my heart, I hum this song.” The photographs were gelatin silver prints. They used a technique called “re-photography” Re-photography is the act of retaking a photograph from the same exact points of the original photo. “An image and it’s rephotograph can provide a compelling ‘then and now’.” 
The other artist that seemed to use black and white was Anne Collier. The piece looked black and white, but was actually shot in chromogenic color print. There was only one of her works displayed and that was, Cut (2012). This photograph is of another photograph going through a cutting board. This photograph has no depth and there is nothing more to it than what you see. This is one of those photographs that one would look at and try to find a deeper meaning and come up with nothing. Collier took pictures on her studio of flat, plain surfaces. Her photographs are describes as being “dryly humorous”. There isn’t a seen plan or pattern when looking at the photo. It’s one flat object on top of another, on top of another. It’s as if she made the set up herself and shot it.
When focusing one the “inspiration” and “why” aspects of these photos, you can say that Zoe Crosher had somewhat the same idea as Collier; on the surface. Collier also had one piece displayed. The piece, Mae Wested No.4 (Crumpled) (2012) was shot in the same print as Collier’s. Chromogenic is a photo developing process in which, “Part of the material that forms colored dyes upon development in included in the emulsion during manufacturing… the silver image is bleached out only leaving the dye image.”  The photograph is an image of a woman, Michelle DuBois, portraying actress, Mea West. The image looks like it might have been taken for a magazine and was crumpled and slashed. Crosher took the self-portraits of DuBois, rephotographed, scanned, enlarged, altered and re-edited them. With those in mind, you may think that, that process is what gave the photograph is tattered look.
Shirana Shahbazi, another chromogenic print user, had a more commercial piece displayed titled, Composition-40-2011 (2011). The name and the image itself suggest that Shahbazi had tested out a series of photographs prior to that one and had finally gotten it right. The photograph is a vibrant image of three balls; light blue, red and yellow. It is one of those pieces of art work that everyone feels they can do also. However, Shahbazi has a “distinctly analytical eye” that obviously sets her work apart from others.
The artists’ work that stood out the most was, Michele Abeles. Her work wasn’t strictly photographic, but a mixture of photography, wallpaper shreds among shreds of other things. The photograph particles were of random human body parts; there was even one of the male genitalia. The colors were bright and every piece caught your attention. Every part of each piece gets analyzed and examined thoroughly, because your eyes might miss something the first few times around seeing that you’re gazing in awe. Her Too___to__ (2012), is one where a human body part isn’t in plain sight. The image is a pigmented inkjet print. How these pieces were created should remain a secret of Abeles. They are all distinctly entertaining to look at. The color choice is reminiscent of Andy Warhol and his pop art, but the work itself is indeed, a form of “new photography”.
As far as my own work goes, there are parts of me that do and have thought about trying to imitate techniques used by these artists. My photographs are closer in comparison to those of Birdhaeds. They are of things and people I see in my life and around my community. It’s a way of the photographer inviting those looking into their lives, but for a deeper reason than being liked. Their images will one day be evidence of what once was. They are moments of life and existence forever frozen in time, and so are mine.
I liked Abeles very much. They were all so fascinating. I once thought about combining my images with magazine clippings and painted images for a different effect and to further separate my work form others. Looking at her work made me want to pursue the idea. The colors, the wallpaper and photographs together is like an arts and crafts project gone great. It’s a different and more creative way to look at photography. This is something not everyone can do. You can tell it takes time, patience and more importantly, an immense amount of creativity.
My experience visiting was definitely a learning one. I am now aware of how far away I am from developing my style as a photographer. I enjoy the more real and creative aspects of photography. It’ll be a long process, but I have to my niche in photography. That would require me to walk around with my camera way more than I do now, taking pictures of anything and everything I see until I find a focus.
The artists in this exhibit certainly showed a form of photography that is “new”. Photography is no longer just about the image, it’s about how you can manipulate an image to do and say what you want it to but keeping the purpose of the image in mind.