Saturday, November 23, 2013

Snow and Thunderstorms

I spend a majority of my time looking at art, reading about art, and making art.  At the beginning of the semester, I was overwhelmed with all of the art that I had to experience.  The art jargon was so complicated.  What in the world does aesthetics mean? Over time, I began to understand what the jargon meant, but I had to look up a good amount of words in the beginning.  Some of them I had heard before, but others were completely new.

Along with words becoming more familiar, specific art work has as well.  People will mention an artist and I can be like "ohhh. I've seen some of his work." Or I was on a field trip last weekend.  We went to four different galleries and out of three of them, I knew at least one of the artists being displayed.  I think that's kind of cool.

One of my teachers describes it as a creative family that you choose to join one day.  You aren't chosen by a man in a back robe, by a tap on your shoulder (but how cool would that be?  No? Actually it would be pretty creepy.)  But like a family, you either know everyone in your family, or you only see each other during family reunions every five years or so.  You might catch their name in passing, but you never really get to know them.

That's kind of like what the art world is like. There are some artists that my teachers shove down my throat until we are tired of hearing about them, and then shove some more.  Marcel Duchamp.  Andy Warhol.  Then there are others who are barely mentioned.  On Monday, I shared a piece by Linda Montano and Tehching Hshieh with you.  Today, I'm going to share some more that I've found interesting over the week. 


Walter de Maria

An American sculptor from New York City.  Unfortunately, he just recently passed away this past summer at the age of 77. 

His best known work, and the one that interested me is The Lightning Field, located in New Mexico.  400 steel poles were placed in a grid-like pattern to cover an area of 1m x 1km.  What do these poles do? They light up during thunderstorms while they are struck by lightning. 

In Ohio, there were thunderstorms all the time.  A lot more than here in California, at least!  My family would sit on the porch and watch the sky as it poured rain all around us.  I specifically remember one day when my dad noticed a funnel cloud off in the distance.  Instead of heading to the basement like normal people, what did we do?  We sat there and watched the cloud move across the sky.

So, I can relate to The Lightning Field.  I think it would be a place that both me and my dad would enjoy seeing. 


Alexey Kljatov

Have you ever wanted to see a snowflake up close, so you could see every detail of the delicate, frozen piece of water?  It is said that no snowflake is the same.  Kljatov is proving just that. 

His photographs are so magical and definitely make me appreciate snow. It snows in Ohio, and after a few days, it turns brown and all ucky.  If I'm going to be near snow, I want it to be that beautiful first snowfall kind of snow.  The kind that is beautiful, untouched, pristine.  There might be a few animal tracks from a squirrel that ran across the yard, but there are no massive footprints or browning from the car exhaust as everyone whizzes by. 

I guess that's one reason why I live in California now. I don't have to freeze in the winter with yucky wet stuff all around me. 

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