Monday, September 28, 2015

your turn #4

edward steichen, portrait of marlene dietrich (early 1930s)

this post is ongoing with the forthcoming info (of next monday class). remember i close the comment box early next wednesday morning.

15 comments:

beccamag said...

I enjoyed talking about the explosion of typefaces in the 19th century this week. I really loved a lot of the images that were shown of the different bold typefaces. I didn't know that the trend of sometimes writing in all capitals started in this time period. Two of the advertisements of fonts (the first two images of that post) look exactly like some hand drawn logos and advertisements that I see today. Those images remind me how important picking the right typeface is when designing a graphic or piece or artwork with type. The right typeface can be crucial and help you sell something or help attract attention to a cause. I love the look of these advertisements. The other images of the more intricately drawn bigger letters are simply beautiful. Although I feel they are less useful in a practical sense for spelling out words, they are an outstanding piece of artwork in themselves. The letter A that has been made into a story and magnificent drawing is so impressive. I’m interested in seeing more work done by that artist and possibly other letters if they had been drawn.

Becca Magrino

Anonymous said...

At this point we have discussed several different ways in which the representation of war has been designed through visual or graphic representation throughout history. I think it is interesting how we can draw several comparisons to the ways in which modern war is visually depicted today. I am taking a class which analyzes cinematic depictions of American history. Most of the movies we have discussed so far have been about war. Somebody mentioned how Matthew Brady used to move bodies around in his images, sometimes to get the perfect shot, and sometimes to create a scene in order to make a point. It reminded me of our discussions on Zero Dark Thirty and how the CIA in fact helped shape and “design” the script of Zero Dark Thirty with the screenwriter to reflect a more favorable picture of the capturing of Osama Bin Ladin by the agency. Additionally, how films such as American Sniper are carefully designed and produced in order to create a sense of American patriotism in the viewer in order to bolster popular opinion of our continued military presence in the middle east. Also the film Apocalypse Now was mentioned in class, yet it is a classic representation of Americans “winning” a war that we did not win. Apocalypse Now’s origin as an adaptation of the colonialist novel Heart Of Darkness, provides an excellent comparison to American imperialism and how we use our military.
-Lucy Hynes

Anonymous said...

What really captured my attention this week was the development of the arts and craft field. The lavishly decorated room by William Morris really exemplifies this exuberance of ornaments and style of the decorative arts. As Prof. Triff mentioned Morris design style was a great development for costume furniture and interior design. The minuscule details of the table on the right are so beautiful and we can see it was meticulously engraved and so that was must have taken a long time to produce. How many days or months did the carpenter take to manufacture this table? And if we start to think that every object in this room had that same level of detailing, how long would it take to get a room ready? Moreover, how long would it take for a house to be built? These 19th Century houses were not built like our modern houses with plaster walls and carpet floors, much the contrary they were built with bricks, massive wood pieces, etc… This all took time to assemble, a lot more time then our contemporary buildings that are built in weeks or a few months. I think the distinctive aspect that propelled this change is the constant search of the 20th and 21th centuries to excel in mass production, and therefore loosing the attention to detail that was primordial in the latter century. Mass production scales down the personalization of objects in order to sell to a larger crowd and if we want a personalized design this will be more costly. Take for example the two furniture stores: IKEA vs. Kartell, the price triples or even quadruples.

Sabrina Tomlinson said...

I was really intrigued with the discussion about the effect of war on art. Typically, you hear about war and its negative effect on society. You would think for artisans and craftsmen there would be a negative connotation to war. Money gets tight, the creative sector really feels the hit because art isn't a luxury many people can afford during that time. However, there seems to have been a surge of creativity as I've seen in the posts that we talked about on Monday. The invention of chromolithography in the works that depicted the Civil War took something very depressing and drab and gave it a new life. This war really tore America apart in terms of the North and the South. However the vibrancy, clarity, and liveliness that was brought to the war story gave America an inside look into the action and gave a sad time some excitement. Art brought these two broken parts of America together again to appreciate the magnificence of war and the art of war. Producing the exact moment of action and having a keen eye for detail created a sensation of excitement and a un unexpected creativity that one doesn't necessarily consider when they think of war. I think this is an important part of what art should be for a consumer. It changes mindsets, it produces emotion or reaction, and it's always changing. All of these things are apparent here and coming together, to give life to war which is when you think about it, kind of a paradox. Art didn't suffer during war---it thrived.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to know more about Howard Pyle since I liked his illustrations very much. I did not know that he was considered “The Father of American Illustration”, or that he was a prolific writer and teacher. He also produced fables, fairy tales, and adventure stories. I found that to be pretty cool considering that Illustration is sometimes hard to understand for many people (as a profession) and is even undervalued at times. He was born on March 5, 1853, in Wilmington, Delaware, and was married to Anne Poole, with whom he had seven children. He founded a School of Illustration in Philadelphia at 1894 (where he taught for free) and parallel to that also published about 99 illustrations. He taught some of the greatest illustrators (interestingly enough, his classes were about fifty percent females). He studied to be a painter but got into illustration trying to make a living. As a tribute, The Delaware Museum of Art would be founded eventually to exhibit his art works. He died In Florence, Italy on November 9, 1911.

Alejandra Jimenez.

Anonymous said...

The one thing I really liked was our discussion on type styles. I find it really interesting seeing how type was changing as it became more of a demand in different varieties of printing. "Relief printing, the basic technology of letterpress, dominated newspaper, book, and magazine production at the mid-century." Whenever I see a poster or advertisement from many years ago, I always questioned how did they do that? How did they come up with that? This discussion pretty much answered that, it also made me see things in a designers point of view. As a graphic designer, I can choose any type face to use in one of my designs. Just the other night I was using my new drawing tablet. I was practicing with it, I wrote my name in different ways. It was then that I realized that this is mine. This is my handwriting, this is my design. It has become more and more common for designers to do that. It's not really a demand, but pretty much a way of designing. I liked seeing all the different logos and type styles that we created so long ago. It makes you question of where they got the idea to do that, or just to try something new. No matter how much type evolves, it all started from somewhere. Some designer had an idea or a purpose to create what they created, and it impacted graphic design at that time. People not only wanted something new, they wanted more of it. As a designer I'm always trying to challenge myself in a sense of what else can I do, how can I make this better and so on.

- Alicia Veasy

Katie Luddy said...

The portrait of Marlene Dietrich in the early 1930’s by Edward Steichen was the beginning of a new genre of fashion photography. This beauty shot depicted a sense of glamour, mystery, femininity, and unattainability which were encompassed in Marlene Dietrich’s career as an actress and singer. Steichen, who was a house photographer for Harper’s Bazaar at the time made great strides to advance the magazine to appeal to the readers. I look at this photograph of Dietrich, my first thought is how timeless she is and that her beauty is what many women only ever dreamed was imaginable. She establishes a sense of fantasy with her beauty and career. Men, women, and children of that era must have been in awe of this woman and the statement that Steichen’s photo leaves you with. Not only is her beauty a key point of this photograph, but the lines of the furniture with the curve of her upper body and also the sense of emotion expressed in her face and in the draping of her hand. Steichen made Dietrich’s portrait into a detailed, emotional, beautiful piece of artwork. This wave of fashion photography heightened during the 1920s to 1930s and thanks to publications like Harper’s Bazaar were able to be mass produced to be shared with the world before the start of WWII.

Anonymous said...

The images of Charles Dana Gibson’s Gibson Girls really caught my attention in class. I was confused as to whether Gibson was simply portraying a physical ideal for women to aspire to, or whether his illustrations were advertising and promoting a confidence and independence for women to embrace and emulate. I researched the Gibson Girls online (thank you Wikipedia) and it seems like his illustrations are categorized as a combination of both physical idealism and female empowerment. His depictions of women became the standard of beauty women during the 1900s all imitated: being tall and slender, but with full hips and chest (women wore special corsets to create this exaggerated S-curve shape), a thin neck, and hair elegantly stylized atop her head. Gibson’s works also depicted the Gibson girls doing things like going biking, attending college, and even entering the workforce if she so desired. BUT, Gibson never went too far as to showcase a woman fighting for her right to vote or to illustrate a suffragette. So, although the Gibson girls in some ways are emancipated, Wikipedia says it best by describing Gibson’s illustrations as “…both [undermining] and [sanctioning] women's desires for progressive sociopolitical change”. So, although I agree that Gibson’s works may have been radical at the time, I think Gibson’s emphasis was more on illustrating and maintaining an ideal through his images rather than causing radical change.

-Rachel Watkins

Anonymous said...

My favorite topics that we discussed in the past week were yellow journalism and satirical political cartoons. I love American history and the history of politics, so when we began to cover these topics I was immediately intrigued; I remember learning about them in his school and being equally interested. Focusing on Yellow Journalism, what I like best about this topic is that during this time period, journalists were more concerned about exposing the truth. They wanted to make sure the people were informed and thus relied on more factually based pieces; unlike today's journalism which is mostly made up of biased opinions with facts that are picked and chosen based on what the writer wants you to think. I feel that today, you no longer get all of the important news because everything is censored and manipulated. Moving on to political cartoons, I enjoy this topic because not only do I find political cartoons amusing, but I find that a lot of times it allows people to understand the complexity of politics in a simpler form. When comparing the political cartoons of Thomas Nast's time and today though, I prefer the older cartoons because I feel that they can be considered more as works of art than newer cartoons. The detail and simplicity of the sketched, black and white cartoons of the late 19th century really allow you to take in the picture rather than be distracted by the bright colors that many modern political cartoons encompass. I also like the fact that you can see the pen strokes in the cross-hatching and sketching. In all, I prefer the simplicity of the late 19th century print journalism.

Anonymous said...

My favorite topics that we discussed in the past week were yellow journalism and satirical political cartoons. I love American history and the history of politics, so when we began to cover these topics I was immediately intrigued; I remember learning about them in his school and being equally interested. Focusing on Yellow Journalism, what I like best about this topic is that during this time period, journalists were more concerned about exposing the truth. They wanted to make sure the people were informed and thus relied on more factually based pieces; unlike today's journalism which is mostly made up of biased opinions with facts that are picked and chosen based on what the writer wants you to think. I feel that today, you no longer get all of the important news because everything is censored and manipulated. Moving on to political cartoons, I enjoy this topic because not only do I find political cartoons amusing, but I find that a lot of times it allows people to understand the complexity of politics in a simpler form. When comparing the political cartoons of Thomas Nast's time and today though, I prefer the older cartoons because I feel that they can be considered more as works of art than newer cartoons. The detail and simplicity of the sketched, black and white cartoons of the late 19th century really allow you to take in the picture rather than be distracted by the bright colors that many modern political cartoons encompass. I also like the fact that you can see the pen strokes in the cross-hatching and sketching. In all, I prefer the simplicity of the late 19th century print journalism.
-Alejandra Madrid

Ashlee Fabian said...

The topic that struck me the most this week was our look at satirical political cartoons and their development and impact. Thomas Nast was clearly an incredibly bold and interesting artist, with a strong voice and message in his work that could not be avoided or silenced once provoked. He did much to embody and promote the movement of expressing discontent and corruption through political cartoons and his work is thought provoking, as well as beautiful. His drawings are very detailed and impressive and were visibly painstakingly created for maximum effect. I found it very interesting that he also originated the convention of representing political parties as animals, which is still a staple of modern political cartoons, and that he clearly had a deep conviction in the importance of his work. The significance of his work drew attention and exposed problems in his time. Unfortunately, his powerful shock factor and his unwavering determination also provide a stark contrast to the current wave of "political correctness" and censorship in global society and the dearth of meaningful mainstream critical voices despite the overabundance of political cartoons. It is frightening to note that one of the boldest political cartoon magazines in our time, Charlie Hedbo, was threatened and targeted for trying to exercise their artistic expression through satire. However, overall, we would as a whole be lacking in significant political criticism and satire without the legacies of pioneers such as Thomas Nast. -Ashlee Fabian

Fabiola Perez said...

I enjoyed our disscussion on journalism and satire this week. I particularly enjoyed the political cartoons. Thomas Nast's cartoons are bold and controversial. They differ greatly to the drawings that we see today. I
also enjoyed our discussion of the Gibson girls and this new age of feminism. This idea of the working and educated women. We looked at sketches of women reading the newspaper and being involved in the army. This was a new era for women and it's interesting to see the transition on paper. This idea that women are strong and powerful, and are not than wives and mothers is a strong message.
Fabiola Perez

Anonymous said...

The picture of Marlene Dietrich just comes to show the glamour, mystery, and sensuality a woman can portray without being risque. Steinchen really took fashion photography to another level with the beautiful portraits of many stars of the time. One of my favorites is the Gloria Swanson picture with her face covered in lace. I think his style is very romantic, adventurous (for the time), fashionable, and iconic. Like you said in class, this style no longer exists, and i think is just such a waste. I usually admire my mom's picture because even in the 1940's and 1950's we can still see that kind of style in the photographs, perhaps not as detailed, but with the same idea of glamour in mind. Charles Dana Gibson also gave us illustrations where women were idealized with the Gibson Girls. These illustrations only came to represent the girls of the time, with the same idea as Steichen's photographs. His intentions were to show the women in power, liberated but at the same time stylish and elegant. Walleska Lacayo

Anonymous said...

When you hear the phrase “arts and crafts,” you tend to think of raw macaroni pasta glued to any possible surface and then sprinkled with glitter. I find it so surprising that this is not how the phrase began. The Arts and Crafts Movement in America was actually a fine art – the concept of which I find hard to wrap my head around considering the connotation of the phrase that has been engrained in me since I was old enough to use glue. The movement started at the beginning of the 1900’s as a way to counteract the industrialism going on at the time. It was a unique form of craftsmanship that utilized Medieval and Gothic decorating patterns to create handmade, expensive objects (i.e. furniture). A room full of arts and crafts at the time was an overwhelming amount of pattern, design, and beauty for a small space. Each surface would be uniquely transformed into a one of a kind piece of work with an entire story behind it. I’m sure the man to first use the phrase “Arts and Crafts” was not intending it to transform into what it is today: a meaningless form of art expression for young children, with no relevance to decorative fine art design anymore.

Jamie Port

D'mauri Jones said...

The Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900's was a chance for self expression and people with an inner artist to display their own creativity and designs. The Medevial and Gothic influence during this era led to pieces displaying detail with darker and rich looking tones. This movement not only gave opportunity for the artist to display their own work and likes based on their own senses, but also gave them the opportunity to profit from their talent as well. Rather than people buying mass produced items they now had the chance to opt for a "one of a kind" piece, which in turn were much more expensive. It's interesting to me that this type of craftsmanship and design started the arts and crafts movement. I feel as though it is still present current day but may be referred to differently. We have designers,artists, craftsman, etc.. It's all just based on the likes and perceptions of the individual designing just as it all started in the 1900's.
-D'mauri Jones