Graffiti art has been a large debate on whether it really embodies true art or just plain vandalism. It has been around since Ancient Roman times but after World War II it came hand in hand with the rise of the hip hop culture. In the 1970's Graffiti art was all over the five boroughs of New York. Artists took it to the subways, painting trains from top to bottom. Graffiti art shows energy due to time limit since in most cases Graffiti art is illegal, though many public places are being made for graffiti artists to come and paint, such places are on Venice Beach in California. When I visited friends in Los Angeles, we took a trip to the beach and saw the many paintings drawn over each other by local "artists" and open to the public to show each of their own styles. Not only is graffiti art big in America, but its really starting to find its way internationally. When I lived in Israel there was graffiti on the walls that said "Na Nach Nachma Nachman Meuman", which is a Hasidic mantra for the Jewish Messiah to come. Most sightings are on the West bank but I had seen some in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well. Graffiti is definately found in poorer areas, used by gangs to mark turfs, but it has also became an art of religious and political voice. I believe Graffiti art followed the ideas of assemblage artists such as Rauschenberg, by using cheap and available materials to make complex and beautiful art.
Chaz Maviyane-Davies is a brilliant designer. He created a poster used at the Kyoto Conference, where many countries meet to discuss the environment and global warming, shows a man/human blowing fire onto the earth. This poster is strong in its awareness that man is creating his own destiny for the future of this planet. This poster definately creates the goal he intended for it. The colors are amazing and your eye is led from the man in the bottom left corner up through the flames and all the way up to the upper right corner where the earth is engulfed in fire. His other design that really grabbed my attention was the zebra with the giant fingerprint in the background. This really does show how human identity is linked to wildlife. His work is very confrontational and it is the result of his wanting to make an important statement about politics, environment, discrimination, human rights, etc. He does a phenomenal job at making statements about his passions and what he stands up for in this world. These things make for a great designer!!
The portfolio of Viola Zimmermann stands out because it works as one cohesive piece. All her works feel delicate and real, maybe it’s because the real life photography of hands holding her work. Her style is consistently impressive, she uses many simple digital elements in a way that still feels personal. I think one could say that her work is distinctly Swiss in the ample use of white space. Although her work is very clean, I think some people might feel that her work is too cold, dry, or bland. She infrequently uses bright colors or any element to distinctly pull the eye of the viewer. My favorite piece in her portfolio is the one entitled “Jahresbericht 2004, Ausblick 2005.” Duotone printing is nothing new, but the overlapping cyan and magenta caught my attention. I think this is also an interesting approach to dealing with a layout with too many photographs and too little space.-Raymond Mathews
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Personally I love to take road trips with friends and one thing that usually stands out when driving particularly through large cities is the graffiti art. It shows that art does not only belong on walls of galleries and museums, but can be expressed anywhere. In cities like Los Angeles and Philadelphia, there have been programs implemented that campaign to reduce graffiti that is classified as “bad” where people just splash their names without any thought behind it, and bring in graffiti artists to show inspiration throughout everyone who sees them in the form of murals. These programs promote graffiti artists to come up with murals that are imaginative without the worries of being caught doing something illegal. These artists bring about work they see through magazine art, museums, and even abstract expressionism, which I am very fond of. One of the most breathtaking murals that I have seen is Common Threads at Broad Street and Spring Gardens. These murals seem to show an evolved form of graffiti where more thought can be placed while drawing, instead of before-hand, but still capture their beauty in a larger than life view.
Christophe Nieman's designs are ones like I have never seen before. He manages to keep the illustrations simple yet with some sort of distinct message. His pop art look, cartoon style along with the way he portrays his figures is remarkable. I particularly like the piece of the silhouette of the boy's face. His eyes have a glow that really draws my attention in to the illustration. From these eyes are guns which are of the same glowing look. It is as though Nieman wants to portray the youth's vision of guns being directed toward himself. The shadows of the boy's face are of great contrast to the brightness coming from within. It is like a clashing of perception and vision. He carries this style from each piece and tweeks the design from project to project.
I really enjoy good illustrations. However, with the software to make illustrations at so many people's fingertips, anyone and everyone is an illustration if they desire. There are so many styles and I have seen a wide range of them. Of all the illustrations I have seen I really like those of Christoph Niemann. I went to his website and was very impressed with the amount of great work he has produced.His covers for the New Yorker are spectacular. His lines are so clean and bold, as are the color choices. The amount of detail he puts into his illustrations are the perfect amount: a lot of illustrations I have seen add a lot of detail, thinking that the more they add the better the picture will be. That is not always the case, as is seen by Christoph Niemann's work.I really enjoyed his toothbrush and toothpaste series. It is humorous and well thought out. I also liked the piece from the "f-spot" collection that shows the inside view of a finger up a nose, what a great view-point and genius artwork.
Martin Woodtli Martin Woodtli is perhaps the most accomplished representative of the new design scene in Switzerland, where the joy of the design process seems to determine the direction of the studios. Woodtli does not subscribe to the silly adage circulated by many of his colleagues about the computer being just a tool; he sees it simply as a process. His proficiency in various programs is such that he sketches with the keyboard as quickly and uninhibitedly as with pencil and paper. Having worked with many artists within the art market, he has no interest in following them but happily remains in the design world. He considers graphic design a "wonderful medium in which you can create friction within the existing world."Woodtli's black squares manifest themselves in complex typographic plays and manically layered, dense patterns of everyday objects produced in perplexingly exact silk screens.
When looking at this weeks artists, my eye went right to Christoph Niemann. His work is incredibly graphic, clean, and (seemingly) simple. When looking longer at his work, there is great humor and irony. Its amazing how much information he can convey with very minimal pictorial representation. The evidence of his hand has been removed completely. I find designs of this manner usually hard to swallow. The Lichtenstein installment at Fairchild is a good example. I am not one enjoy work that looks completely artificial. But this sort of removal from "hand made" work seems to only add to Niemann's work when the composition, the "punch line" is something very human and very humorous. It was very hard to find much information on the mans life outside of his work. I hope to learn more on him and his method in the future.
It was Christopher Niemann's animated toothbrush that caught my attention. I visited his website because I was curious to see more of his work and see if I recognized any of the covers he designed for the New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly. I loved to see that each of the covers he designed for the New Yorker all had a clever political spin to the artwork. I particularly love how he altered the image of the typical oriental woman holding a fan. Everyone is familiar with the style of Eastern art showing the idealized figure with the moon shaped face, the stoic nature, and the highly ornamented patterning that is often seen on the kimono. I love that he kept these elements of eastern art and it is not until you take a closer look that you realize her kimono is patterned in Pikachus and she is waving around a cell phone rather than a fan while she listens to her ipod. I think it is brilliant how he successfully subtly added contemporary cultural elements to an artistic image dating back to so long ago. Julie Rega
I found the work by Nagi Noda very interesting; with a naïve and fresh touch that makes it unique. The music videos she creates are very original, she doesn’t seek perfection in them, and they are natural and comical, but very original. Two eyes dancing with focusing problems until glasses appear and fix their problems. It’s a very simple idea but executed in a unique way.The imagery by Christoph Niemann is a great example of the power of computer illustration. His smart use of vectors and key colors make his work stand out and show the idea behind them clearly. He uses the necessary colors and layers in a very skillful way that combined with the great ideas for magazines like the New Yorker. He likes to play with ancient art and combine it with modern situations or trends, which makes some of his work very interesting. His animations are amusing, and similar to his illustrations in style and subject matter.
Learning about current designers is one of the best ways for me to learn. Viewing the work of Juliette Cezzar are other current designers makes me hopeful for the future. Everything in our world is designed and expected to be designed so the pressure of our "profession" is now standard. Juliette knows when to use the clean design and when to change it up. Depending on her client, she does what is necessary to get the point across in a aesthetically pleasing and new way. Her type face for The Creators Series was my favorite piece, reverting back to the foam letters you use as a kid, to stencil and recreate your own work. Basic and bold, they were used just to spell, to replicate and do nothing more.
The art of graffiti has truly shaped the way urban landscapes have been looked at over the last century. Though it has existed since times as far back as the Roman Empire, graffiti has embedded itself into popular cultural. Derived from the Italian word, graffiato, meaning to scratch, contemporary graffiti utilizes aerosol paint spray cans as tools in creating works. Whether it is ranging from purely artistic self expression to politically charged works, graffiti presents the viewer with powerful messages. Though there is much debate on whether it is true art or if it only vandalism that simply defaces public property. I believe that as long as it serves a purpose, then it is the products of human creativity which is what art is.
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