Sunday, November 20, 2005


The FINAL paper is divided into three sections: Where do I come from? Where am I? Where am I going? Three sections linked by an interrupted narrative; give about one third to each section. The idea comes from Gaugin’s masterpiece (D'où venons nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous?).

1- Where do I come from? Go back in time and collect those distinctive experiences that have contributed to, and taken you to this point of your life as an artist. Be honest.

2- Where am I? Explore the present. Where are you right now? How do you see your style, what interests you? Are you going in a good direction? Find problems or shortcomings. What do you think you need to change? Be thorough.

3- Where am I going? Look at the future. Based on your personal history what can you expect of yourself? What are your dreams? Try to put yourself in an imagined world of achievements part fulfilled and still part to be realized. Be prudent.

Criterion: The paper should be word processed, handed with no binding. Use Arial font #11, double space. 15 pages for writing credit, 10 pages for regular credit. Deadline: I will collect the paper the last day of classes. No exceptions.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Mirna Massengale

So, what do you think of Mina's presentation? (My paper post and lecture coming up)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Artist Mirna Massengale is coming to class tomorrow. She makes these interesting photos where she stages young people in odd places exhuding a sexy attitude that mixes ghetto, high fashion, and makeup as art.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The power of images

For centuries, there have been tensions between art and morals and politics. It all boils down to how visual we are, how much importance we give to images (think how Semitic religions absolutely forbid idolatry, which is why Islam has no iconography). Artworks belong in the aesthetic realm, that is to say, they deal with matters of taste, rather than matters of fundamental importance in human interactions, like morality. People know that a movie is a movie, but the depiction of certain narratives can stir profound emotions to the point of violent reaction and censorship. Is it Ok to censor (or condemn) images just because they touch "difficult" subjects? Can one conflate artworks with the real thing? On the other hand, is there a limit that an artist should not trespass for fear of hurting individuals or a group? In what follows, I’ll show some images that have stirred a great deal of controversy. I commented most of these artworks in class, except Oldenburg’s "Free Stamp" and Ofili's "Virgin Mary," which was made with elephant dung. Ofili's painting was part of the 1999 Sensation exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and was publicly attacked by Mayor Giuliani, who threatened to withhold $7 million per year from the Brooklyn Museum of Art if it didn't cancel the exhibition. Oldenburg's sculpture is one of the most controversial works of art displayed in the City of Cleveland. Free Stamp is a massive aluminum and steel sculpture with its large red handle sprawling across the lawn and metal base sinking into the ground displaying the word "FREE" in backwards letters to passersby on Lakeside Avenue. Many see it as an eyesore that is inappropriate for a location at the heart of the City’s Civic Center.

"Virgin Mary" -- Chris Ofili

"Free Stamp" -- Oldenburg

"Madame X" -- John Singer Sargent

"The Absinthe Drinker" -- Degas

"Olympia" -- Manet

"Raft of the Medusa" -- Gericault

Friday, November 11, 2005

Gavin Perry

Gavin got lost, but I'm glad he made it in time for his presentation. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, November 9, 2005


Tomorrow, Gavin Perry, a well-known Miami artist will talk to our class. I’m still missing some homework handouts and comments on these posts.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Cooper's presentation (2)

It's time to discuss Cooper's presentation. Any comments?