Friday, February 24, 2012

Your turn #5

Jean Delville, Idol of Perversity, 1896
There are plenty of themes: Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Aestheticism, Exoticism, Decadence, erotica, 19th century consumerism. Then there are the great artists of the epoch: Chéret, Grasset, Mucha, Dudovich, Koch, the Beggarstaffs, Toorop, Delville, Goudy, Beardsley, etc.

What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

The topic of 19th century consumerism really interested me. The style that was used for propaganda and advertisements is appealing, especially Jules Cheret’s work. The posters are bright and delicate. The obvious hand painted quality is something that I miss in today’s overly photoshopped advertisements. The symbolism used is more whimsical and they’re used more to emphasize the point of the advertisement. Today, they symbolism in ads is a little more subversive and geared towards making the target buy something. Relate this back to the previous post on the design of shopping. Another point that I’d like to discuss would the appropriation of imagery in propaganda and advertisements. Shepard Fairy’s appropriation of art nouveau imagery in his Obey works is effective, but definitely annoying. In this case, the actual appropriation is more important than the final image in conveying his message. There is a beautiful quality though when he brings back an older image. It takes the new message and relates it to a visually familiar time which comforts the viewer.

Alexandra Roe

Augie Kazickas said...

The difference I see when comparing 20th century nude daguerreotypes to those of the 21st century is that the models in the older photographs are all smiling while todays nude seem destitute, - prostitute. I think smiling makes the art more comfortable, welcoming, stimulating. Julian Mandel’s smile seemed to me to be similar to that of the ‘Mona Lisa’ because it projects radiance and warmth, but is also enigmatic. Just as Da Vinci’s figure seems to be mischievously complacent, I think Mandel does the same by knowingly but snugly expressing the provocativity of erotica.

Another contrast I noticed is that the old daguerreotypes are very bourgeoisie. Shots depict models with jewelry, lying in rooms with elegant decor, and embroidered furniture, pillows, mirrors. All of this adds elegance, class, to the photos instead of the 21st century daguerreos which could easily be mistaken for a Nat Geo gallery on sex slaves. How can one "honestly and cleanly" enjoy the modern daguerreos when they conjure such cloudiness and conflict?

Patty Alfaro said...

Art Nouveau interior design and Jugendstil buildings always seem to capture the spirit of nature so well, it makes me instantly depressed when I remember that modern buildings just do not look like that. I understand that building Art Nouveau structures must have been insanely labor intensive, the structures are so intricate, bulbous, shapely, and curved, but they are so inviting, I think it makes up for any difficulty required in their production. Since one of the main purposes of a building is to contain people, shouldn’t people want to stay in buildings? Shouldn’t a building’s design make people want to stay? I know that may seem a bit general, but I present for the sake of contrast, the library, the art school computer lab, or even the communication school computer lab. These rooms, among other things, seem cold, antiseptic, and just generally sterile. I often find the need to escape outdoors for at least a couple of minutes when I am working in the library or any of the computer labs. Maybe I just need rest from the eyestrain, but something about nature always seems to clear up the discomfort I get from sitting in a white-washed, right-angled room. So why not bring nature indoors again? I think everyone could benefit from some inviting organic shapes.

Anonymous said...

The Art Nouveau movement particularly captured my attention the last couple of weeks. I was especially interested by the works of William Morris. The Arts and Crafts style, inspired by the writings of John Ruskin, sought to reintroduce attention to craftsmanship. It campaigned against mass-production and standardisation. Producing instead, works of high decorative quality, organic in nature yet simple in form. Morris’ Red House is renowned in England as the first architectural structure built in this Arts and Crafts style. In it, Morris strove to embody all the ideas and principles he believed integral to the movement. It was meant to be a ‘palace of art’. Placing emphasis on natural materials, with wall paintings and stain glass by Edward Burne Jones. The house was the realisation of this anti industrial belief. Perhaps our modern society could benefit from certain ideals that this arts and crafts group defended. As consumers, we all to readily sacrifice quality for price and convenience. I believe that in many cases design has become too standardised and commercial.

Harriet Ashton

Anonymous said...

Last class we discussed the differences between erotica and porn. An important point made was to not blend the terms or use them interchangeably because porn may be erotic but erotica is not porn. Robert Mapplethorpe was a magnificent photographer that was mentioned in class during this discussion. Last semester I learned about his exhibition that created uproar and controversies across the art world. Many of the museums in the United States pulled out of displaying the show because of high amounts of protests over his works which were deemed as pornographic and obscene. His work had a “shock effect” on many, no doubt, but he managed to make connections between mankind and nature like no other. Aside from Mapplethorpe, we made comparisons between the daguerreotypes from the 20th century and now. The style appears to have changed and the women are no longer perceived as naïve or realistic. A significant difference is the gaze of the female nude. Now the models are looking straight into the camera and therefore no longer naïve or coy.

Ashley Bahamon

Anonymous said...

Last class we discussed logos as graphic design. I found this particularly interesting because being a graphic design major; I’ve designed a logo in the past and know how challenging it can be. Koch was used an example of a logo designer through his religious symbols and signs. An effective logo communicates an identity that is easily recognizable by viewers. I think of logos as a picture summary of an organization or company’s mission statement.
We also talked about Cheret, a master of poster art. The goal of posters is to catch viewer’s attention and relay a message. Most people see posters passing by on a wall, limiting their attention to span to seconds. For this reason, the image and message of the poster must be clear and concise. For example, in Cheret’s “Absinthe Rose Oxygenee” poster, the image is large and discernable and the text is limited to a few words, allowing viewers to quickly and memorably grasp the artist’s message.

-Kristen Vargas Vila

Emilee Lau said...

What caught my eye most from last week’s class was the work of Aubrey Beardsley. His fine line work is reminiscent of Japanese woodcuts, giving the images an almost ethereal elegance and grotesqueness, while his use of space and contrast lures the eye to the details and symbolism of the picture. We learned that Beardsley contributed greatly to the aesthetic movement as the co-founder of The Yellow Book, and that his work was the embodiment of the psychology of decadence, insulting of Victorian values. In fact, Beardsley’s work could be considered the visual equivalent of the meaning of ‘decadence’ as it is defined in a social context: a corrosive decline due to an erosion of moral, ethical, and sexual traditions. Going along with the old versus modern daguerreotypes comparison, here is someone’s tumblr entitled “Modern Decadence” which does a pretty good job of illustrating today’s over-indulgent society in the form of photography/animations.

Ernest said...

The idea of mimicking nature in architecture has always really intrigued me; ever since the beginning, men has always look at the aspects of nature that shelter us from the sun and rain, just like they have looked at the human body for both esthetics and proportions. If we study the three classical orders we can see that they have a great and important connection to both us and natural elements around us. For example the Doric column is an abstract representation of the male figure, the ionic represents the female and the Corinthians which is the most elaborate of the three represents the top of palm trees. Art Nouveau is by far one of the most intricate and elaborate styles of architecture that have taken place in history, it really brought in nature to the building; its forms are very organic and extremely ornamented to both simulate and represent features taken straight from nature. The style is very costly due to the fact that most of the ornamentation is done by hand and it’s mostly done with natural materials, like wood and stone.

Ernesto Morales

Anonymous said...

I really liked the idea of 19th century consumerism. All of a sudden these great posters like Jules Cheret and the Beggarstaffs were coming out constantly flooding people’s minds with images. No longer were people forced to go down to their neighborhood store and buy whichever supplies they had, but rather people had the choice to choosing which product they preferred. As you said in class “Being a consumer means pretending independence.” Choosing one type of sugar over another based on its poster is exactly what theses companies are trying to do. Its most likely the same exact thing in both packages but being able to choose “your” sugar adds to “your” style. You then become independent because you made your own choice. You also mentioned in class that, “Products look like they were chosen by chance.” Again, people want to have a “cool” style. So it makes them feel cooler if “your style” picks the “cool” brand of sugar. It gives the appearance that you have given no thought to which type of sugar you buy when in reality you give an equal amount of energy deciding which type of sugar to buy as you do with any other decision in your life.

Josef Albert

Jacinta Yong said...

As defined in class, erotica is an artistic approach of themes pertaining to sex. Looking at the erotic daguerreotypes from the past, as many students discussed, the subjects are natural in their poses, looking away from the camera very naively. Our observations of them now are appreciative, but I must ask if this was the same of the past? Those daguerreotypes during the time may have been perceived equally as we do to porn today, something vulgar and in some countries outlawed. I would hope the appreciation of erotica in the past was better than today. With mass production and especially the internet, porn is not hard to find. But in context of a Judeo-Christian society, porn and erotica is now often grouped together because of fear of obscenity. In the example of Mapplethorpe, the realism of photography has become a medium debated to be artful or not. Is a photograph of a penis as artful as a painting or sculpture of one? Even Sally Mann’s photographs were controversial because they were naked photos of her children. There is a great misconception in the general public because we think in images now, but often times not critically enough to understand the differences.

Anonymous said...

Art nouveau was an art movement that affected architecture, graphic design, and painters. Art during art nouveau was very decorative and had disturbing colors that would catch the viewers attention. The architects used a lot of iron, glass, and concrete; the buildings had very curvy lines and made an impression. I personally am a fan and loved the art during this movement. I think it is absolutely stunning.
Last class we went over Marcello Dudovich and looked at his Bitter Campari poster. That poster really caught my eye. The color scheme is just perfect, it gives a very strong first impression. The picture he uses and the type face just goes together perfectly, it gives it a romantic, dark, seductive, and intriguing feel. I also looked into some of his work and they all have the same style. I also loved the Martini & Rossi poster he did; it is gorgeous.
Erotica, which is a form of art, is what considered today ‘porn.’ A nude picture today is considered porn because of what people use it for and how woman model and present themselves. It is not longer innocent or natural, it is seductive and aggressive.

- Erika Gonzalez-Rebull

Lisandra said...

One of the styles of Architecture and art itself that I like the most is Art Nouveau. I believed the same thing those artists, graphic designers and Architects believed during the 18th century, that the greatest beauty could be found in nature. When you think about art and architecture what could be better to emulate than things taken straight from nature. When we look at the vast differences between modern and contemporary architecture and the architecture that took place during this style; we can see how we deviated from nature into the industrial, and our architecture started to simulate and symbolize machines rather than trees and human scales. Also there is a vast difference between the cost of Art Nouveau style building and that of modern architecture, which is fully stripped from ornamentation and uses materials such as concrete instead of the use of stone and wood.

Lisandra Nunez

Anonymous said...

I found it interesting how different and unique the Art Nouveau style was and still is today. I find it particularly interesting how Jugend Magazine was able to take this style to the level it did. George Hirth who started the magazine, used it to convey a different way of viewing art. I enjoyed looking at the collection of images from the online gallery ( for the magazine. It was an insightful example of how this style was used in all aspects of the magazine. Although the covers were unique pieces of artwork, I think, the art spilled over into the other aspects as well. This style is very much apparent today, the New Yorker magazine is an example. Today’s fashion magazine covers sometimes copy this style as well. Fashion photographers oftentimes use this style in their work, Vogue magazine covers are another good example.

Suely Chong

Luzyanis Fraga said...

Art is constantly developing and transforming from one movement to the other. During the late 19th century Art nouveau started to decay and the modernism movement started to grow. The curvature that predominated in the Art Nouveau was transformed into straight lines. This fact is evident in graphic design, architecture and paintings. Victor Horta is an european architect who used the movement of Art Nouveau to design structures. Early in his career his main focus was the curvature of his designs. He designed the first building recognized as the first appearance of Art Nouveau in architecture. Horta incorporated interior iron structure and a stone facade with curvilinear botanical forms. After a decade of being the pioneered of the Art Nouveau his designs gradually started to become simplified with no more classical reference. In the 20th century Horta developed his designs in a more simplistic way because of economical reasons. By using the latest developments of technology he designed buildings in accordance with the Art Deco movement. Horta went through a process of metamorphosis during his career in order to adapt to the different economical situations and the advances in technology.

Luzyanis Fraga

Isaac said...

Commercialism of the 19th century began the modern marketing era. Products were publicized to the masses due the technology of the time and made graphics and advertising as important as quality and accessibility. Advertising created an identity for products. Everyday items had a name, a face, a representational feeling with the development of commercialism in the 19th century. People chose which product character they want based on their personal style and agenda. Some people wear Armani and eat fillet mignon. Some people wear Salvation Army clothes and eat Ramen. People don’t wear Armani and eat Ramen because their ‘product faces’ don’t match styles.

Ana Trinchet said...

19th century consumerism.

Consumerism and materialism one leads to the other one. Just before the Industrial Revolution consumerism changed, capitalist development and the industrial revolution were primarily focused on the capital goods sector and industrial infrastructure. It was the era of mass consumption where there were enormous quantities of every product and were at low prices. Then in the 1990s the reasons to go to college change from being first to get a better education or help others, to just go so then you will make a lot of money. It has become like the food chain, a consequence of events, people wanting more money to consume more even though they may not need it. Everything now days influenced you just watching the TV there are more commercial times than anything else.
It is also interest than from here own many groups have evolved to alternate from this live style. Example: “simple living”, ”eco-conscious shopping” .

Ana Trinchet

Lindsey Reiff said...

The differences in erotic daguerreotypes from the past and present really stuck with me. In the past, the photographs were art. The positioning was well thought out, the scenery and accessories were ornate, and the models were not posing sexually, but happily. In today’s erotica, the subjects come off as either sad and troubled, or all too aware of what they believe the (male) audience is looking for. From the faces, most notably the pursed lips and bedroom eyes, to the suggestive poses, we have lost a naivety that means we have lost a certain type of art. Or perhaps it was not a naivety, but the knowledge that not all nude art equates to porn. That the two audiences are not necessarily seeking the same thing. I wonder if it represents an increase in how sexually charged our culture is today, but I suspect that the change most likely stems from how widely available porn has become.

Jamie said...

There are several distinct differences to be distinguished between erotica and pornography. Erotica is meant to be viewed as primary an art form, whether it be a graphic print of piece of literature. It's purpose is to beautifully and masterfully depict the sensuality of human existence. Pornography, however, has a more aggressive purpose. It displays sexuality in an explicit way that is meant to stimulate erotic feelings as opposed to other emotional sentiments like erotica. The image provided today is, in my personal opinion, a detailed and free-flowing piece of erotica. One may not pick up this image to instantly please a craving for a certain feeling, but it will still evoke a feeling upon viewing. The color tones, exaggeration, and abstraction incorporated in the image are reminiscent of an old appreciation for the beauty of human anatomy in it's most natural form. It's message is not direct like a pornographic picture, but is up for personal interpretation and thought. In this way, erotica can be considered to be created for the purpose of individual appreciation for the depiction, not only what the depiction stimulates.

Jamie Shankman

Anonymous said...

I think the most important artist we learned about this past week was Robert Koch, the German master of typography. His Christian symbols that we looked up online demonstrated a new, slightly gothic highly styled shift, my favorite of which was the Psalms 42:1 with the deer, "I long for you, Lord, as a deer longs for running streams." Erotica was definitely the most controversial thing we've discussed so far, but I can't help noticing after taking the class how NOT controversial it is. Citing Robert Mapplethorpe as an example of this in class, and the difference between nudity and nakedness, art and porn, it was interesting to see the evolution of erotica over the course of human history, especially the European Gothic and Japanese styles--I even checked out the Juxtapoz website, and was excited to find many modern examples of erotica, often a highly stylized cartoon-esque version, and even reproductions of these into tattoos. It was interesting to get a different perspective on this, rather than it being seen as demonized as it often is by the larger Western culture.

-Stephanie Kryzak

can zarb said...

When we say exoticism, I think of Paul Gaugin. He refused to be a part of the French bourgeois class and moved to Tahiti. Fell in love with a girl way younger than him married her even though he had a wife in France. He had the influence of the authentic world where he could experience the more aesthetic. He used Tahiti and his young lover a lot in his paintings. He is well known for his “primitivism”. He used the androgynous which does not identify if the person is a male or female in his paintings.
For art nouveau, a remarkable Czech artist Alphonse Mucha made the real art with beautiful details that marked the era. He made advertisements, calendars, illustrations, covers, decorative panels and much more. Natural forms, curved lines were the characteristics of the ornaments of that era.

Anonymous said...

Of the topics we discussed I thought that the relationship between Mucha and Sarah Bernhardt's celebrity. I believe that Mucha's new way to depict the starlet was a great attribute to her fame and success. Mucha produced posters, designed sets and costumes all for the most famous woman in the world at the time. This is the first relationship with an art director and celebrity that is a predecessor to celebrity today fame is so dependent on their image and artistic persona. For example pop artist like Madonna and Lady Gaga have developed great notoriety primarily because of their trademark images. In these days graphic designers are “Photoshop -Muchas” airbrushing starlets and bubblegum Betties. However, in the time of Mucha his works were stylized artful interpretations, while today depictions of celebrities are hyper-realistic depiction of the unreal.

---Eric Rodgers

Amy said...

In the 1830s and 40s the most immediate subject of photography was portraiture. The female nude was incredibly popular at the time. Looking at the photos we viewed in class I couldn’t help but notice that some of the poses used for the photographs were heroic and dramatic. It reminded of a painting in a way, which one of the reasons why I believe they are so different from 21st century nude daguerreotype. Then I began thinking about male nudes and why this subject was and still is in some way a taboo. I think one reason might have been status. The naked male body did not show any form of opulence and displayed nothing about the man’s “character.” As I research I found that early photographs of the male nude (for example those of Eadweard Muybridge in which he showed naked men performing athletic activities) were disguised under the category of scientific studies. This was until Baron Von Gloeden, a German aristocrat which took pictures of nude youth in Sicily in simulate scenes of ancient Greece. These were early photographic representations of the male nude as an art object. However, during the Renaissance males were painted naked and their bodies were cherished, why was it different in photograph? Could it be that the body was no longer objectified but it was now real? I think that is an interesting topic to dive into.

Anonymous said...

One of the topics we talked about last class was logo, and it really interested me a lot. I always know design of logo can be really complicated and difficult, but only as a tool of commercial. But I was surprised when we looked at the history of logo, the very first logo was not for commercial. Logo design is required for Symbolism, it is only one picture but it need to represent the whole product or event, it need to be simple, attractive, and lead a deeper thought for people. I never noticed until last week that Japanese tend to use simple letters and words for their logos that can represent a characteristic of a country as well.
Also, the differences between porn and erotica are very interesting and obvious. When I looked at the models in erotica picture, all I can think is they are so innocent, like they have no idea about their own beauty, which really amazed me.

Qiansongzi Chen

Alexa Prosniewski said...

In last class we talked a lot about consumerism, and how we are all consumers. I think it is really interesting to analyze how art and design are involved in this. For instance, how companies, like target, are in a way "spying" on us and design their advertising and business around their findings. It is also interesting to look at art nouveau posters and other art and see how much of it is geared towards the consumer. Even the art that is not blatantly trying to sell you something, usually has an underlying consumeristic qualities. I also thought it was really interesting when you said "being a consumer is pretending independence" because we often think the opposite. We think as the consumer, we are in control, because we are choosing what to buy. When in reality, what we are choosing has already been chosen, or expected, for us.

joyce sosa said...

After introducing last class erotica in the history of art we can see that it is totally different from what people may misinterpret it as porn.I think in the past , since this subject was still a little tabu, daguerrotypes of this type of art where more unique and not everyone would practice it and publish it.i think this fact that before it was more private can be seen in the models face, or pose when you had a photograph.Before the look in the models face was not as direct as today’s picture like the comparison that Professor Triff gave us. In the past it was more mysterious , ,sutil, now you see the models looking directly into your face. In other words it was more elegant, even though it was not typical at that time, it was kind of classier. In the picture that is posted we can see an example of this type of art , done in a very sutil way where the women looks like is covered with a veil . At the same it does not look realistic, it looks like a mythology goddess or creature, with feminine features.

Haley said...

The art of eroticism, nudity, and pornography, are all closely knitted art forms, with quite different connotations. Eroticism and nudity portrayed in art generally have a less forced arousal than pornography. In 1524, Marcantonio Raimondi, a man of the Italian Renaissance, printed 16 sexually explicit engravings, called the Modi, which symbolized themes of mythology and pleasure. Pope Clement VIII placed Raimondi in jail for reasons of sedition. After a year of negotiations, Pietro Aretino, considered the modern day father or pornography, was succesful in arguing the release of Raimondi. This bit of history shows the extremity to which society has increased tolerance and acceptance of pornography. Culture and society has transformed, through means of cultural adaptations, technological advancements (such as the invention of the printing press), and natural human sexual desire. Theses factors seem to continue to push the limits of censorship in the media. Examining the difference between the acceptance of earlier erotic art, and the pornography industry and its heightened acceptance as a cultural norm, it is intriguing to think what will come of this aspect of social evolution in the future.

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