The idea of photography existed long before the invention of the camera. Drawings, sketches initiated the idea to create a conceptual image that could be treasured. Differences in culture and time, really affected each photograph. The idea of photography as a hobby brought a new perspective to artists like Daguerre and Nadar, who exploited the new technology. Photography helped society to explore, advertise and communicate various topics of the current time. It was their form of advertisement. At the early stages, photography was not considered an art; it was a scientific method. Therefore, photographers were looking to paint through the lens by either setting the pictures up in a similar ways as it was done for the paintings, or by altering their colors. A picture was worth a thousand words, for example Nadar’s celebrity photos. These celebrity portraits created an image of the person that was to be known for all time. Iconography was very important, and it still is in today’s society, the pose, the brooch and the cane were some of the important details added in the photographs in order to make them unique. Nadar is also known for having the first photographic interview with scientist Michel Chevreul on his 100th birthday. It is here where the combination of print and photo gave to the initiation of the slow motion pictures. Once the series of photographs were played in sequence the movements were noted. Which brings to mind the Edwaerd Muybridge studies which helped proved locomotion. Nadar was a genius that also contributed flash photography,the first aerial photograph from a balloon and was the first to exhibit impressionist art. Walleska LacayoHere is the link to the first interview: http://www.abc.net.au/arts/artists/michel-chevreul-felix-nadar-the-first-interview/default.htmhttp://www.luminous-lint.com/app/image/8735721435163870594584/
When I look at an erotica such as the one above I realize the complexity of the subject. In a way it is considered art because of coarse there is an idea being executed well which is the basis of anything you can call art. But on the other hand, there are so many wrong things going into it. I don't want to sound like a feminist cause I'm not but it does exploit women. It's like women are a piece of meat and either men take advantage of it or women themselves by using it to get what they want. Besides this whole negative aspect, this piece specifically is not even enjoyable to see, the head at the bottom so gruesomely bleeding on the plate; it's disturbing. It's hard in today's world to really understand the difference in erotica and porn because as we talked about it in class, erotica no longer exists. The only thing that exists today is porn so anything that seems in the smallest sense pornographic is categorized as porn. Like I began this post, erotica is very complex because we don't really understand it as it was because it was a different culture so we relate it to porn and it becomes just one category.Zina Dornbusch
I was very impressed with TAKATO YAMAMOTO'S "HEISEI ESTHETICISM". It is described as erotica and may seem sexual for the subject's nudity but I believe the art is representing much more than that. I found the illustrations very psychological. Many of them seemed to be representations of inner conflicts of the subject, or complicated emotions; fears maybe. I particularly like the ones with skeletons. They appeared to me as kind of mystical and transcendental. They could also be easily compared to some portrayals of depression or suicide by different artists. The illustrations are very elegant and sleek, also very feminine. I believe they capture "incomprehensible" feelings or layers of all women, as I do believe us women are complicated (and that's what probably makes us such an interesting subject in art). What I liked the most about it is that it is the kind of art that can be looked at again in a different moment and be interpreted differently. Alejandra Jimenez.
I am absolutely fascinated with the conversations of erotica in art. I think the development of the naked human form in art and the interpretation has such interesting societal implications behind it. What truly defines the difference between nude photography and pornographic photography? Is it the author's intentions behind the piece or does that defining judgement lay in the hands of the audience? What if there is a disconnect between those two forces? As someone's interpretation of any piece of art is extremely dependent on their personal background and experiences, no two people are ever likely to look at one piece of art and have the exact same views and opinions about it. So is a piece pornographic when the majority of the audience sees it as such or does it only require one person's opinion to color the entire piece as sexually explicit? In the 1964 Supreme Court case of Jacobellis v. Ohio, this concept was debated as the judges determined whether the state of Ohio could, consistent with the First Amendment, ban the showing of the Louis Malle film The Lovers (Les Amants), which the state had deemed obscene. It was determined that the film was not obscure and hence was protected under the First Amendment but it raised many questions as to what truly defined obscenity. Justice Potter Stewart held that the Constitution protected all forms of free speech except "hardcore pornography". He famously wrote, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that,". This "I know it when I see it" mindset still prevails predominantly in the US, with any image of naked body being liberally judged as inappropriate. A woman's breast, for example, is widely seen as explicit, being blurred out in television shows or programs, and being banned on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Women are criticized for breastfeeding in public, yet scarcely clothed models and celebrities are everywhere in the media. In other parts of the world, it is not seen as inappropriate at all. Unfortunately, I can't say exactly what characterized obscenity as a whole, because no matter what I said it would inevitably be contradictory to what someone else believed. But personally, obscenity is a difficult characteristic to achieve when I am looking at something, in particular when it involves art. I don't think the human body is in any way inherently sexual. I think human beings as people are sexual, but not the physical human body. Even in sexualized images or art pieces, I think there's more depth behind them than just the sexual aesthetic connotation that the term pornography seems to imply. I think obscenity exists in this combination of the author's intentions and the audience's interpretations.—Samantha Richard
I’ve never thought of the early war illustrators and photographers as designers before, but now I definitely see it, especially when it comes to photography. Prior to the Civil War, artists and illustrators depicted war as a heroic, noble phenomenon. When you look at paintings of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, they are all very majestic. So, these photographs were probably the first depictions that showed just how horrific and detrimental war actually is. These photographs and illustrations were the shifters in the public’s perception of a nation going to battle, and consequently, they redesigned and repositioned the concept of war in their minds. A similar shocking awakening occurred when video footage of war casualties first began showing in movie theaters across the country. Film made the harsh realities of a distant war strike the hearts of those at home in an unforgiving way. Therefore, just as early paintings had the power to influence public perception, these Civil War illustrations and photographs also had the power.-Rachel Watkins
What I found interesting about the erotica art was how it differs from nude art. It's categorization is also interesting because it is not necessarily full porn, but it greatly differs from classical nude art. Nudity in art has been around basically as long as art itself, but was usually depicted as a sort of graceful, bare beauty. Nudity in classical art was a way of showing the ideal make and female body; an illustration of health, power, fertility. Unlike that kind of nudity, nudity in erotica is vulgar, not representing of a refined woman in the case of the image in this post. While classical nudity gave women an aura of power and confidence, I feel that erotica, in my eyes, does not depict that. Instead, it seems that the women are blankly staring, weak, victimized almost. There is no empowerment or positivity radiated by erotica. Although I do still think that erotica is indeed a form of art, I don't believe it can be held to the same standard as classical nude art. Alejandra Madrid
I'm upset that I missed the last class, because it seems like we've moved away from typography and more into photography. I find in general, that photography and the works recently shown emit more emotion, and therefore hold my attention more than the lectures on typography. What specifically interests me is the element of erotica present in the images on the juxtapoz site. These images are inspirational to me because some of the images are very much like the subject matter I choose to draw. I am attracted to dark and sexually implicit themes because they incite a reaction from the audience and are more interesting to capture. I am really drawn to close ups images of the female body, specifically the face. There is so much emotion that can be found in each curve and shadow of the body. I love influences from other cultures, so Takato Yamamoto's work speaks volumes to me. It is culturally rich with heavy Japanese influence, mostly featuring the female visage, and a dark and sexual theme with delicate lines. I actually have some of the prints and it really is influential to me. I feel like the features on the juxtapoz site, along with Yamamoto's pieces will continue to inspire me and inspire the audience to have a strong reaction to the art, whether good or bad. And isn't that the point? It makes you feel something and that is truly art.-Sabrina Tomlinson
Something I found interesting in this week’s topics was how the evolution of photography was shown. One of the post discussed pictorialism, peaking in the late 1890s through early 1900s. The idea of photographs being deliberately designed similar to prints somehow making photography seem to be more as an art, rather than the original concept of reflection. On the counter another post discussed photography being used as a scientific aid in Muybridge’s Photo in Motion, solving the question of a horse’s stride in 1878. The idea of such a complex use for a relatively new technology at the time completely counters the elementary thought of it as an art form several years later. It makes you question the technologies we use today and further into the original discussion of this class as to what is design. Photography shows the diversity of design uses through a single technology. This week’s discussion has changed my thoughts on photography as a design tool rather than a media in many ways and I would be interested to look into its evolution further. Caitlin Houlihan
Looking at Takato Yamamoto’s illustrations can be somewhat difficult to interpret what the artist is actually trying to depict. All of the illustrations have a common theme of younger, innocent looking women who are put in these erotic poses while surrounded by death. It makes me wonder if the artist associated these erotic acts with sinning or was he somewhat aroused by mixing the two together. In almost every picture the woman depicted looks almost angelic in the face but when you look around her, there is evil lurking. In several pictures he chooses to put two women, one who seems to be more dominant, and the other dead. In these pictures I interpret it as putting the woman in a position of power, rather than depicting this through a male figure. His style “Heisei Estheticism” in which he says is meant for fantasy, darkness, metamorphosis, love, and death is left for the eye to determine its meaning and purpose. -D’mauri Jones
Spencer SchladantAgain this post is coming from the perspective of an art historian and not a graphic designer. The concept and reality of design is continually evolving and growing in my mind with each lecture as I realize that essentially everything in art history has been "designed". Before I just confuse you and myself by keeping myself in this endless loop of design versus art I wanted to touch on romanticism and how the artists of the period were designing their paintings, both compositionally and in a narrative sense. Everything was artistically designed with skill and talent and the stories designed to evoke something in the audience (or whatever really), but it was also designing the art historical movement of romanticism. What these people produced became this period or art that is so highly studied, whether they intended it to be or not, romanticism was designed. Modernism was designed. Minimalism was designed. Art history as a practice was designed and looking at it from that perspective changes things for me as an art historian, because studying the way these movements and theories are designed adds another element to the practice, its not just something that appeared and we apply to things.
What I found to be most interesting was the topic of the circus as a collection of freaks. Coming from a design aspect, the advertisement of a “freak show” is so wildly appealing to all kinds of people, that it was purely genius. Not only did it become a successful business, but it gave purpose to many people who were probably struggling. What I also found fascinating is how the idea of “freaks” has morphed over time, and in our modern day has translated to body alterations. Whereas in the past, these “gifts” were a natural birth right, now it is self induced. Body alterations is so common place in the 20th century, and it is rapidly growing in its appeal. Tattoos have been around long before our time and continue to grow in popularity. Even more recently, piercing has become a form of body art, and most people don’t look twice if you have either of these. Not only that, but plastic surgery could be put in this category of body alteration as well. However, it is when these alterations are taken to the extreme that the person then becomes a “freak”. In our times, the “freak” is almost completely self inflicted, the polar opposite of when the idea of the circus came to be.-Jamie Port
On Wednesday you spoke about how romantic artist designed scenes in their works to convince the audience of an idea. During the time period low age expectancy "forced" people to do everything before 30. The point was to die young not old because the older you get you were expecting death. I could relate to this because I'm a person who wants everything now. I secretly enjoy the idea of falling in love and dying with my significant other. These romantic artist have done a good job persuading me to "be that guy" in their scenes. This past Monday we talked briefly about designing porn. I was amazed that pornography had been around for so long. (115) You stated that pornography fills a need or yearning in males. That pornography was potentially created to satisfy a biological need. In today's society pornography is so mainstream in comparison to 30 years ago. It's so easily available that younger audiences are able to view it. During class I asked myself: was porn created as a need or did we create the need ourselves through the creation of porn. Isaiah Simmons
I enjoyed talking about the history of photography in class even though we didn’t go far into detail about it. I am studying photography and have taken the History of Photography class last semester. I remember learning about the Civil War photographers, focusing on Matthew Brady and his team. We looked at photos by Matthew Brady, Alexander Gardner, Timothy O’Sullivan. I found it interesting that some of the photographers’ photographs were actually staged. They moved bodies and set up scenes by adding props to have their desired effects on the viewers. The same body might be used multiple times to portray different scenes of war. After being in this History of Graphic Design class for a few weeks, I now see this action to alter the scene as an act of design and not just a fraudulent photo. The choices the photographers made to design their photographs are very important and probably good intentioned. Beca Magrino
I would like to continue the discussion of freaks, and extend the theme of universal design to colonialism. During our class discussion of freaks, Saartjie Baartman also known as Sarah Baartman, immediately came to mind. Due to her large (by Western and European standards) buttocks she was displayed as a human freak and shipped around Europe due to her race. Her systematic coercion into slavery and designing of her body as a “freak” and “natural wonder of the world” was and remains to this day a dark stain on European colonialist consciousness. She was paid a relatively large sum for a person in her position, 12 guineas a year. Yet, how much of this she actually received is subject to interpretation as she died in debt and resorted to prostitution in the last years of her life. Greater and more important questions to ask in terms of the treatment of Saartjie is her representation not as a person wearing normal clothing, but as a spectacle, appearing always in a scanty loin cloth indicative of her “ethnic” origin. Her coercion into testifying against herself at a trial in London, and her constant vacillation between owners as a slave woman. How does one design the systematic degradation and enslavement of an entire race? One way is through a plethora of caricatures presenting a different body as an ‘other’ and therefore as deviant. Graphic design and illustration helped to play a large part in the success of colonialism. It is important to recognize the elements that worked in its favor so we can avoid enabling those same techniques in our battles against racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice in today’s society through the images that we choose to produce.Lucy Hines
Caspar Friedrich's painting that we looked at reminded me of the 50 Shades of Grey movie poster. It made me question the difference between love and sex, and the difference between sex and erotica. Erotica has a history. It's a part of history that was frowned upon. Religion played a part in that. Christianity didn't condone that. Christianity didn't agree with that. So back then it was labeled as porn. When you think of porn today, it's not tamed or sensual. It's more raunchy and hardcore. What I found so interesting in our class discussions on erotica and porn, they aren't the same thing. Erotica is art driven; it has an artistic purpose. Porn is the fantasy or the perception of what sex is or how it is. Porn is a part of our society. That's why the painting reminded me of the 50 Shades of Grey movie poster. The movie itself had a lot of controversy. So many people talked about it. People liked it, people hated it. Either way it's now another thing people think of when they think about sex or porn. What made the movie so controversial? The nudity or the sex acts themselves? I watched the film and it wasn't very graphic, but once again my view is different from someone else's. I have no problem with erotica. I've seen many explicit paintings and photographs, the human body is a beautiful thing. I'm currently taking a History to Photography class. We discussed the times that having a nude "photo" was very controversial and not accepted. Artists payed photographers money of nude photos so they can paint a picture of it or a picture using the model. As long as the painting wasn't ofa traditional everyday European woman. If it was a woman that was of a different culture or background, it was accepted. Once again religion played a role in that. Good Christian European women didn't do things like that. So when it comes to erotica and porn, they pretty much go hand in and hand to an extent. They are two different things, but at one time, one was treated like the other is now. Erotica was the porn of back then, now it's not. It's not as known as much as porn is today. Porn is porn, It's here. Was it created due to our lack of erotica, or was it the monster that came to be because of erotica? Either way they both play a role in our society, but one just has an artistic purpose.And this the 50 Shade of Grey movie poster I mentioned.https://www.google.com/search?q=50+shades+of+grey+poster&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMIwvHSx6KOyAIVBVYeCh2iDAnv&biw=1920&bih=904#imgrc=whQBFrREMZpH3M%3AAlicia Veasyand the painting is under your "designing the romantic images (love and hate)" post.
Photography was accidently invented in 1826, with the capture of a moment in time of Niepce’s view of nature. This revolution of the camera/photograph was used to take an accurate snapshot of a moment in time with nature, humans, events, artistic visions, etc. In many of the portraits we have studied so far, the photograph portrays a certain vision to the viewer. I can’t help but wonder, is this portrait a vision of the photographer or the model or both? This one picture has and will be viewed by a vast amount of viewers who will inevitably create an opinion based on the image and will skew their perceptions of history. Today, photographs are very much a captured moment in time by the photographer but the depiction is influenced by many other factors. The selfie has become a way for the photographer to be the model at the same time, the selfie they take of themselves shows how they view themselves. It is then up to the viewer to analyze it based on the image they are viewing mixed with there own personal experience. Katie Luddy
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