Sunday, September 21, 2008

Your turn #3

23 comments:

Bridget said...

In 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on church doors. This act of rebellion that was effectively spread to the public called into question the acts of the Catholic Church & eventually led to the Protestant Reformation. It is precisely this concept that makes the history of the poster so intriguing to me. The accessibility of the poster to the public…the freedom of expression it allows…its influence on the development of street art… there are many reasons that the creation of the poster was monumental.

The French Revolution, combined with the invention of litho in 1798 by Senefelder (Austrian), gave birth to the mass-produced poster. Prior to this, posters were painstakingly made by hand. With the invention of lithography, thousands of posters could be made with ease. In 1881, government laws designated specific posting places and limited this space to posters that had been approved, stamped, and taxed. These restrictions led to the standard poster size.

Frenchman Jules Cheret was the first to mass-produce posters as artistic images, and was thus deemed the Father of the Poster. His first poster was of actress Sarah Bernhardt. Posters have been used to advertise products, events, and people. They’ve been used as political propaganda.

Triff mentioned billboards and how we are bombarded with advertising today. This is the sickening truth. While it is fact that most posters/ads are created for this purpose, I like to think more about when posters have been rebellious, expressive, underground. For example, the brilliant work of the kick-ass Guerrilla Girls!!!

Extending from that, I believe street art is a product of the poster revolution. My favorite living artist is Swoon. She creates prints that are wheatpasted all over the streets and has even used her images to cover up the aforementioned billboards. This dialogue of artists expressing their discontent and taking the streets back for their own creative purposes is, for me, the most rewarding part of street art, and I believe it can be traced back to the poster.

Here is a quote from the Russian Revolution that I think embodies this excitement:
“The streets shall be our brushes - the squares our palettes!”
-Vladimir Mayakovsky (1917)

Anonymous said...

You need to be really careful about your use of copyrighted images. You're posting a ton of stuff that requires permission from the artist/copyright holder still. In some cases the artist or direct heir still is living and holds the copyright. These artists may not allow online use of their work. Just a note of warning. BE CAREFUL.

A.T. said...

As you can see the images I post here are used strictly for educational purpose and contain proper credit. There's no profit here. Thanks for the warning and keep visiting.

yasemin said...

When I first heard about the Punch Magazine in class last week, it really got my attention. One of the first things that strike me most about this piece is its use of creativity. Humor is used in such a creative way that it makes the viewers think. Moreover, the cartoons and the text magazine contains are also very effective in delivering the intended messages. These great drawings and illustrations not only reflect the importance of freedom of expression at the time but it also draws the viewers in with its quality and uniqueness. It does a very good job in bringing its satirical and humorous intent to the readers. When I look at the weekly magazines, or other comic drawings now, they somehow don’t really draw me in. I think what’s important in a comic drawing is the message that it’s conveying to people. If it is well drawn to reflect an opinion and if it persuades readers to read and think ,it should be considered as a successful piece.

Jenna Levine said...

As somebody who is very interested in the design of magazines, Punch magazine caught my attention the most. To my surprise, after reading about the magazine, I learned that the magazine was open from 1841 and 2002. When Punch was first distributed, artists drew straight on to wooden blocks and then an engraver would carve it. Looking at early cartoons, the skills of the engraver are clear with intensive line work and intricate details. In 1953, when Malcolm Muggeridge became editor, his goal was to give Punch more of a sharper edge and wanted to get rid of the traditional cover. At this time, it is clear that color became an important addition to the magazine and the magazine went from simple black and whites to cartoons enhanced with both bright and pastel colors. It is clear that in order for a magazine to stay alive, it must change with time in order to appeal to different generations. What started off as intricate woodcuts, turned into designs, still intricate, but filled with color and a bit of cheerfulness.

Bianca Lynn Londono said...

I loved the video of the woodblock technique. I find it to be an interesting process to have to separate an image into layers to create a whole. I find that this process is also used today as modern designers create layers of art in current programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Though currently the printing process is digital, there are similar issues of registration and color values that modern designers take into account.

I also believe that many current designers are looking back to early graphic design, referencing the incunabula, by revisiting handwritten type (Here is a link to an article that has a great development of handwritten typography). It seems as though as long as new technology comes out, there will always be a reaction against it. Just as the rise of Industrialism and the growth of the mass production came about, there was a return to the handmade object of the Arts and Crafts movement, especially by the English, at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century.

Zak Zaintz said...

The woodcut technique video was an interesting watch since I had never seen this form of art creation before. Using relief, the block of wood is carved out to represent the picture which is then transferred onto paper. It's incredible the amount of detail that apppears on the final product as well as how tedious and intricate the process itself is. The way the different colors are used to illustrate distance and depth as well as gradation within the painting is very interesting, which is known as the bokashi technique.
This method of painting is very similar to the movable type printing process credited to Johannes Gutenberg. The processes are alike because of the use of relief printing onto a sheet of paper and Gutenberg basically took the same technology as woodcut and revolutionized printing.

Ashley Nicole Garcia said...

I found an underlying principle in the posts and comments so far has been that of reciprocity and continuity. The video on woodcutting was fascinating; while the separation of layers is reminiscent of Photoshop, it is also somewhat similar to silk-screening, where different layers of colors are printed on at different times. The article Bianca posted on handwriting typography demonstrates exquisite examples of handwriting. Today, we view calligraphy and the art of beautiful writing as a special skill; most of us rely on a word-processor, and would certainly never think of handwriting invitations to special events. Yet a century ago, how would people have felt about the word-processor? They would have shunned the task of handwriting and gladly used the computer. I think its very interesting how blurred the line can be between new technology and old. Gutenberg’s printing press was seen as a modern miracle, which indeed it was—but the Chinese had invented a very similar type of movable type centuries earlier. The cartoon style seen in early Punch magazines fell out of favor as the use of color became more valued, but its influence can clearly be seen again in the work of artists like Herb Block.

Victor said...

Romanticism was a very emotional movement in the arts and caught my attention since it so obviously contradicts all that was occurring at the time. The industrial revolution was thriving and romanticism draws away from the conformity of these rationalistic ideals and finds meaning in the exotic. An example of this is the noticeable shift in literature to a look into the human psyche. In the image presented in the post, a man stands at the top of a mountain, surveying the horizon. The fog appears to represent the unknown or mystical aspect of nature. How does the man in the image connect with what he is so intently watching? Does he see this vast unknown with awe or fear? These are emotions that are conveyed through most of the visual arts at this time, for example Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix. If you look at the faces of the men and woman painted in this image, you will see multiple emotions, from passionate sentiment to terror.

Anonymous said...

Capsar David Friedrich's "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" caught my eye. I find it to be a compelling piece. This man with his back facing you is on top this mountain looking out into the vastness before him. A sense of solitude overcomes me looking at him, and wandering what is he thinking? Similar to what victor mentioned above. Does he feel alone and small in the vastness he is overlooking? Or is he in awe?
Romanticism emphasizes intuition, imagination and feeling. I believe this piece not only projects that but also makes the viewer feel this way as well. It harnesses the power of imagination to envision and escape. One's own thoughts and feelings are projected onto this piece. Charles Baudelair said it best "Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in the way of feeling."
-Giovanna Garcia.

Jess Page said...

It is interesting how we take typing on the computer for granted when it wasn’t so long ago that typewriters were still in use. The ease with which we can produce professional, organized type is impressive. Because of this convenience, however, standards have been pushed much higher. The linotype machine (late 1800’s) is an interesting advancement from the hand-placed type technique developed by Gutenberg around 1450. Since the machine can lay down whole lines of type at once, production of mass distributed print material became even more efficient. It became “possible for a relatively small number of operators to set type for many pages on a daily basis” (WKPD). This innovation came at the time of the Industrial Revolution along with many other major inventions. The ability to print and dispense so many copies of newspapers, books, et cetera, enforced literacy and learning. Along with this increase in general knowledge, people were more politically active. Why is it that now, in a time of ubiquitous access to knowledge, that our participation in politics is still lacking?

Lila Dominguez said...

I want to comment on the camera obscura post... In a class I took in the photography building, we made one of these out of the dark classroom just by drilling a small hole through the outdoors-facing wall. It was sunny outside and that combined with the pitch black of the classroom made for a perfect camera obscura. All of a sudden the opposite wall inside was illuminated... although everything was inverted, we could make out cars driving by, students walking past, trees..
The principles behind camera obscura date as far back as 5th Century B.C., although I read somewhere a suggestion that this phenomenon
could have very possibly occurred naturally in the caves that ancient man once dwelled in.
The pinhole camera, which functions under the same optic principles as camera obscura, is first credited to a Chinese philosopher (470 BC to 390 BC) and the subject was later written about and published much later in the 10th Century AD by a Muslim scientist named Ibn al-Haytham, who wrote an early book on optics.
It is remarkable to think of the roots of photography coming from the East and dating back so far!!
By the way, if you haven't tried making your own pinhole camera, its super easy to make and fun to use. You can find more info about it here:
http://www.pinholeresource.com

Liam Sweeney said...

Punch’s contribution to society in the 1840s is no less important than the advent of Romanticism or the circulation of publications of applied knowledge, such as Mechanics Magazine. I think it was a brave move to publish a satirical and humorous publication at a time when design and typography was primarily utilized for dry, informative periodicals. But as Penny Magazine proved, the working class was ready for entertainment and news to collide. Also, with the emergence of Romanticism it is not a surprise that exotic types and comic depictions of the world intrigued people. It’s use of loose typefaces and sketchy drawing techniques are a welcomed departure from very rigid, formal design. Punch directly influenced Mad Magazine, which was founded over one hundred years later as well as the comic book subculture that is still prevalent. Even newspapers today have a comic section, which was started when The Times used Punch material as filler.

ileana palomares said...

I think the paintings of the Romanticism stroke me the most. When I look at them, the word mystic comes to my mind, something full of emotion and feeling. I think these paintings are very interesting to look at and interpret because they have a sense of mystery lying within them. Also, I think nature is one of the greatest things we have here on earth and the way painters approached nature during that time, I think is totally unique and full of power and energy. It is like nature was talking to all of us and trying to send us a message. Also, I enjoyed the woodcut video. I thought it was very interesting to see all the different steps that have to be taken in order to come up with the final piece. It is a very delicate process and I thought that it is true what Bianca said, it somehow resembles the way we work today with software such as Photoshop and Illustrator, were you work on layers and go step by step creating your final piece. Additionally, I thought the Punch magazine made a very good work coming up with all those satiric images that made fun of politics and issues of the society during those times. Definitely they are catchy and visually it is very interesting to see how creative they were in coming up with all those cartoons and ideas, which I think, certainly made a point and delivered messages that get across very well.

A.T. said...

Nice site, Bianca.

Lauren L said...

As I watched the video Typographic technique, I learned about all the previous machines for typing ranging from the linotype to the digital processor. Typing in the early 19th century was tedious and timing consuming. I feel hand writing would be quicker and more efficient; it’s not like you have the luxury to erase on the early machines. Also finding the letters to make the lines would be timing consuming also. What would have if you lost a letter in a certain typeface? Or what if you did not have enough of one letter for you line?
The other video I watched on woodcut technique was eye opening. It seems like this ancient method has not be modernized. The process used horse hair brushes and authentic handmade paper. It also amazed me that he used 17 different colors to make his floating world piece. The whole process was intricate and slow. Even though I enjoyed watching woodcut art, I would not like to do it. When I create artwork I like to just let my emotions and hand go free rather than follow a particular processes.

elizabeth said...

The French print maker, Charles Melchior Descourtis, was a good example of the Romantic movement. He captures a realistic, natural/exotic environment with the sense that the viewer is 'in the moment' of the situation. I found some more of his color engravings at http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/results.html?searchTxt=&bSuggest=1&searchNameID=17024. These also further illustrate his talent. His process of layering the color prints in ochre, red-pink, blue, carmine, and black inks is similar to the process that I learned when layering lithograph prints and when I pulled 4 color prints. I believe that modern publication illustrations are also produced by a similar layering effect. Its interesting to consider how processes evolve yet stay the same in core ways. This was something that I was contemplating when watching the u-tube technique videos & reading the earlier posts of bridget, yasemin, bianca & jess. For instance, I'm a fan/collector of poster art, especially the non-intellectual concert promotional variety. Is this because the political posters that we see littering our streets on election days, are so darn basic and dull? I couldn't imagine collecting current political posters, they are more like bumper stickers, but without the message. Perhaps the reason why the average American isn't really involved in politics is partly to do with the fact that politicians don't really engage us in discourse and less to do with our ability to access information.

Stephanie said...

Wood cut reliefs just simply amaze me. I believe I have commented about something related to reliefs in all three posts so far. The devotion, patience, and time each piece consumes is unfathomable. After witnessing this process, I agree with Triff’s assumption that this man in the video clip does not own a television.
I can’t help but to wonder the skill and practice it requires to perfect this technique. This technique is more developed than what we saw with Dürer’s apocalypse woodcuts because color is now introduced – which also further complicates the technique. Different colors have to be introduced in different layers which makes the art even more noteworthy. The work we saw produced in this clip only made use of 17 colors and the wood cutter’s effort can still be appreciated.
This kind of art, however, I believe loses the element of spontaneity. Much planning must go into creating the final product. The final product is obtained as a result of a sequence of exact predetermined steps. I wouldn’t want to imagine on the disappointment of making an error half way through a wood cut such as this…

Jaclyn said...

Daumier's work is what really interested me in the class discussion. I've always been interested in his technique and style. It is my opinion, that his works were not only unique in style and form, but had social and political connotations to them that separated his work from the others of his time. He is definitely one of the pioneer's of his genre of work. His work and others, such as the publication Punch magazine opened the door for a whole new type of graphic design and eventually led to our so cherished modern day cartoons. It is clear, by comparing the graphic styles of Punch magazine and of Daumier's works, that there is a common theme between the two. Satire, humor, and contempt for the corrupt are shared by the two sources. Not only is it interesting to note the similarities between those two, but it is also interesting to note that the same similarities exist between those sources and our modern day equivalents (ex: Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park). This comparison just goes to show how early graphic design work has come to shape our current ways of approaching the same outlet of expression.

Laura said...

I'm fascinated by the rapid evolution of typography in this era, especially the way typefaces are incorporated into the design of each era. The video on typographic techniques, though informative, forced a great deal of evolution into a mere 5 minute presentation. I recommend to whomever is interested to search each process, because there are better, more informative videos out there (search through wikipedia or youtube).
The concept that most interested me was the idea of phototypesetting, which i had never heard about before. The co-evolution of photography and graphic design has never been more evident, seeing as how the techniques developed for photography gave designers more freedom than ever. Just look at the difference between Koenig's steam-powered cylinder press and the modern typewriter. Variation in design increases exponentially as photography and typesetting become more accessible.
Another feature of the typesetting research we've been doing that impresses me is the way multiple typefaces were arranged on a single poster to create visual interest. Before color could be added to posters, the best eye-catching technique was incorporating variation in size and type to create a desired effect. The "caution" poster uses 5+ typefaces and varies the size every line, causing the viewer to be drawn in with large, bold type, and observe details with small, thin type.

I appreciate Bridget's insight into the history of poster art, and i think that the modern trend in design is to advertise using concepts explored by the "expressive, underground" art she mentions. Designers such as David Carson are praised for the way they take unique, artistic elements and apply them to the world of advertising. The most effective way to set any advertisement apart from the competition is to create something completely unique. But isn't that what independent artists aim for as well? Just a thought...
~Laura P.

Tanya said...

I am attracted by the "wanderer above the Sea of Fog". Like other works of Friedrich, this image also presents the loneliness, but also the hope at the same time. In this image the lonely man is standing on the mountain and looking far away, with clouds below him. The foreground is dark, but the far landscape is bright, which is predicting that no matter how hard current life is, there is always hops. “To understand why this should have been so, we need to look more closely at the nature of the style and its origins.” I think during the history of German Romantic movement, due to the impact of new thoughts, artists are unsatisfied with the reality. However, they couldn’t find direct ways to break through. They feel a great depression in their hearts; therefore, they choose romanticism to express their hopes, to convince themselves that the perspective of society is as bright as the sky.

Jon Turner said...

As we start discussing closer ties to the present, it is obvious that we will have seen much improvement in the way printmaking will be done and that youtube video easily explains it in a five minute video. Its amazing the progress we, as humans, have accomplished. My thinking is what in the world will be the new typeface or new means of printmaking in 20, 30, or even 40 years. In today’s age we have the ability to speak into a microphone and have the words displayed in front of us and printed as needed and even have the ability to virtually write in our handwriting and have it printed as well. With technology always being improved to easier, more efficient, and less economical strain, who knows what else we will accomplish in the near future.
With the evolution of the magazine being introduced to even the middle class and the lower class, illustrations were a big use of conveying a message from an article. With literacy very low, it amazes me how political cartoons were used so effectively and how the human eye can take in an image and come up with a complete story to the picture, truly taking the cliché “a picture is worth a thousand words” to another level. It was the means of news for most people and some had to rely on this method to be informed of the outside world. It’s phenomenal to see the image not losing any importance to the method of type and print but only helping its counterpart.

Amanda C said...

I used to think sculpture was a cheaters form of art. That the conception, creation and execution were quick and painless... until I took a sculpture class and realized how much effort goes into a work. Similarly, I used to feel that prints were less respectable art forms, that it was a cheaters way out because it was reproducible, mechanic, etc. However, (my opinion was changed before this but still) after watching the video of woodcutting I really feel that it takes a genius to put it together. Not only was I impressed with the skill and mastery expressed by Graham Scholes and the intricacy involved with every step of the process (down to the paper and the bristle of the brush). I understand that he is just practicing an old art form in a very traditional way but it makes me wonder what brilliance it took for the first person to come up with it. To invert the prints, to make several blocks to layer one color on top of the other exactly to a certain point it seems so out of left field but it works! I'd say that is on par with the person who randomly came up with putting cow milk, chicken eggs, cane sugar, wheat flour and vanilla extract together and putting it over fire until squishy to create a cookie. (Also -- in my opinion a stroke of genius!) but... back to the point. I'm mesmerized and amazed and awed by the dedication to mastery that is expressed through the work of Schloes .
Lastly, on a somewhat unrelated note the process seems to remind me of a Chuck Close show they had at the met a few years back where they showed each painting step by step plate by plate how it was created by layering color on top of color in small sections/blobs to create a larger image that suddenly then resembled a realistic portrait.