Stephen Vitiello is an artist that pushes the spheres of a “visual artist”. Primarily creating work that involves sounds and music, Vitiello usually either installs his work or performs his music live. This brings up a very interesting issue as to what label to give him. Is he a visual artist whose work should be shown in galleries, or is he an experimental musician? Well, he is a visual artist because he performs and installs his work in galleries. Vitiello creates his sounds through very different means then one would think. He has been known to smash microphones, burn them, and shoot speakers with a canon to record the sounds they produce. I think this work is really inspired. Who would have thought to try and destroy recording equipment just to see what sound they would make? And I’m not sure as to how he makes music from all of these noises, but the end result is spectacular. Of all the artist we have researched on this website so far, Stephen Vitiello is one of my favorites, which is funny since his work challenges what visual art is. But don’t just take my word for it, create your own opinions and comment back.
Paul Pfeiffer is a well known video artist who focuses on incorporating and editing found video pieces. He graduated from the San Franscico Art Institute for his BFA and Hunter College in New York for his MFA. Pfeiffer has been a part of many distinguished gallery exhibitions and received several awards, including the Alpert Award in 2009. Primarily, he uses bits of clips or even still frames to create his videos. Often times it will take him months to produce a short four minute clip. And he will most often use a small LED screen television to exhibit his works. In one series, Pfeiffer focuses on sports arenas and distorts them. He edits the images or clips to take out players or equipment to bring the focus to different aspects of the game that are not usually in the spotlight, like the audience or the sports equipment for example. Personally it is very difficult to comment on his work, because so little of it is accessible through the internet. Though, stills from the videos are readily available, the videos themselves are not.
Bill Viola is a world renowned artist who has done extremely influential video and installation work. Having graduated with a BFA in Experimental Studios from Syracuse University in 1973, Viola has worked to push his work and technology to their limits. Viola was one of the first artist of the film medium to gain great success, and because of that his works are known world-wide. Viola has pioneered works in video art. This includes works with specific meaning and symbolism, not just an entertaining anecdote. Some of his works include, “Reflecting Pool” and “Anthem”. I exemplify these two specifically because in each, Viola transforms and distorts picture and sound almost independently from each other. In Reflecting Pool, a figure comes to a reflecting pool where he a some point disappears, leaving behind his reflection. In Anthem however, Viola distorts and elongates the scream of an elven year old girl, leaving a chilling feeling that accompany the otherwise silent film clips. I think Viola is definitely note-worthy based on his accomplishments, grants, and exhibitions alone, without even seeing his work. Although, after seeing some of Viola’s work I can see why he is so famous. It is hard to represent his work as a whole, though I would describe it as state-of-the-art. I mean that for most of his film’s time, i.e. the 70’s and 80’s. His work is simply amazing, and for those of you who have not seen some of Bill Viola’s pieces, I strongly recommend it.
An artist who seems to be truly moved by the art of words, Jenny Holzer primarily creates projections that are projected onto buildings in prominent cities. Her works appear to have a variety of meanings. Some of which are politically fueled, a short form of poetry, a metaphor, or have no meaning at all. She received a BA from Ohio University in Athens in 1972 and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 1977. Some motifs in her work seem to be death and disease. By making use of the public space, Holzer’s work overcomes bias of people. Art in public spaces affects a great variety of people, and not just those who would have gone to see the art in a gallery for example. Her work, literally says something that could have a vast effect on numerous people. Personally, I think her work has a lot of good elements going for it. You rarely see a fine, visual artist who uses words and language in their work often. But I am also really interested in the use of language, words, and metaphors. I also like the idea of making work that is consumed by hundreds of unsuspecting individuals. Comment; write what you think of Jenny Holzer’s work.