Paul Pfeiffer

Posted in Artists on November 9th, 2010 by clawlor

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.

http://www.moma.org/explore/multimedia/audios/35/817

http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/pfeiffer/

Bill Viola

Posted in Artists on November 2nd, 2010 by clawlor

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.

http://www.billviola.com/biograph.htm

http://www.billviola.com/

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4498864086957786589#

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4498864086957786589#docid=5465661880359138467

Jenny Holzer

Posted in Artists on October 26th, 2010 by clawlor
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.

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.

Robin Rhode

Posted in Artists on October 5th, 2010 by clawlor

Robin Rhode was born in 1976 in Cape Town, South Africa. He attended and received a Bachelors in Fine Art from Technikon Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Currently he is living in Berlin, Germany and continues to make work today. His work is characterized as simplistic street drawings that he often photographs or takes video of himself interacting with. By doing this he is able to give these obviously flat images the illusion of three dimension. His work is seen somewhat as street art because does a lot of his work in public spaces. Usually Rhode will have his simple drawing and himself interacting with it, but that is not all; he tells stories with his work that often times relate back to the “streets” that he is working on. He engages with his surroundings and the material he is working with while still referencing some bigger issues at hand.

In my opinion that is what art is supposed to do. Art is supposed to be first visually engaging. To hook you in to look a little closer and think a little deeper about the work. And second, art is supposed to have some sort of message or meaning. Thus giving the piece a purpose and the viewer a reason for looking closer and thinking deeper. Of course, exceptions exist and this is only my opinion, so feel free to comment and argue with me. Warning: I will argue back on this matter, haha. Anyway, I feel that Rhode’s work has a certain something too it. Its not big or flashy and certainly does not have a large budget, but even so, his work has a playful feel to it. It seems to mix some childish notion of life with the harsh realities of what life is really like. I think that his medium and “canvas” play a large role in how his art should be viewed. And once again, that can be said of pretty much all art, but I thought I would write it in there anyway. Here are some examples of his work; tell me what you think.

Pipilotti Rist

Posted in Artists on September 28th, 2010 by clawlor

The work of Pipilotti Rist is … hard to describe. I like her work, it’s just that her work as a whole doesn’t follow the same sort of theme and is difficult to describe altogether. So let me mentally break her work up a bit. First of all, she mostly does video or instillation projects. She says that she is fond of instillation because it allows her to express her work while using many other medias, all at once. Her projects seem to express a lustful meld of everyday life with pop-media. Another characteristic of her work seems to be both high saturation of colors, or specific colors, and a high contrast between these colors. The quality of film and imagery seems to also be similar from piece to piece. It almost reminds me of 90’s media style. But again, her particular style is a bit hard to describe. She also seems to be a big fan of projection within her instillation projects. Throughout many of her shows she has a video projected onto the walls or ceiling of the gallery and specific seating arrangements which directs the audience as to how to view her work. And often times, the seating is also a part of her work, making her shows more of an experience than an observation. With her video projects, she seems to focus again on the experience. With a music-video feel, her works usually seem to translate a particular feeling over the two to three minutes that video plays. Apart from her more traditional work, Rist has also moved over to feature film. She directed a film of her design called “Pepperminta”.

I personally really like her work. Genuinely and truly, I think her work is fun and imaginative, and says something important without being overbearing or in-your-face about it. I really like her style as well; it has a sort of vintage feel to it. Her subject matter brings attention to people or things that would maybe not seem so important without  one really looking. I feel like she lets the viewer take a look through her eyes at how she sees the world, while highlighting all the important parts. I would say that the best way to describe some of her work is trippy or psychedelic. But this may be because in my mind, Rist’s works have a sort of 60’s vibe. As I stated, her work has a distinct vintage feel, though the eras seem to be mashed together. Let me know if that made sense. Anyway, if you like Pipilotti Rist’s work, or even if you don’t, please comment and tell me what you think.

source – http://www.pipilottirist.net/

Matt Siber

Posted in Artists on September 21st, 2010 by clawlor

Matt Siber is an artist who uses some of his work to discuss the different roles of public space and how people are effected by it. Two examples of his work that are posted below are apart of his projects titled “The Untitled Project” and “Floating Logos”. In Floating Logos, Siber takes high resolution photos of different roadside signs and billboards and uses photoshop to edit out the poles that hold the signs in the air. The result is, as the title of the project alludes to, floating logos. And for The Untitled Project, Siber basically takes pictures of public spaces, again with some sort of advertisement only in this project, Siber uses photoshop to edit out all the words within the photo, leaving only an image. He then placed the text in an adjacent space, the same size as the photo. So there is on one side an image with no text and on the other, a blank space with only text, but in the spaces where the texts would have been if the image was overlapping the other. Matt Siber also has a very impresive resume, having a masters in Fine Art from Columbia College Chicago, been awarded two grants, having 13 solo exhibitions and being apart of more than 40 group exhibitions around the world.

Personally, I think Siber says something very interesting with his work. His work is the type where you don’t get the full picture upon first glance. Although his pieces are aesthetically pleasing they also have a secondary element or layer to them. They draw you in but you don’t fully understand the significance of what he is trying to say until you really stare at the piece and think about it for a while. But I guess that can be said about most art. I think that what Siber is trying to say is just not as easily recognizable from the image as other artist’s messages might be. That statement is also my only criticism of Matt Siber, because I fail to understand what larger message he is trying to portray. But maybe he isn’t trying to say anything necessarily “significant” or what is considered significant by me nor the general public. If anyone has any other insights into Matt Siber, feel free to comment, debate, argue or agree with me. All comment are welcome.

Cory Arcangel

Posted in Artists on September 13th, 2010 by clawlor

Cory is one of those artist who has such a large collective of work that placing a label or theme on his work would only be belittling it. That being said, if I absolutely had to label Cory Arcangel and his work I would say that he is an artist who finds inspiration from and uses old computer programs, their images, and technologies to make art. In particular, his work seems to really reference video games. Some of his more famous pieces are “Super Mario Clouds” and “I Shot Andy Warhol”, both of which take old video games from the 80’s and reworks their programing to change the images that appear. His work tends to tackle the relationship between consumer culture and the media that influences it. His work is extremely well-known having been featured in multiple museums and solo exhibitions. Cory Arcangle is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Personally, I don’t find Cory’s work all that visually striking. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in this consumer, video-game stricken culture that Cory is trying to exemplify, but I really don’t think that his work is all that deep. Art is designed to translate a certain emotion or idea, but personally I don’t feel anything in particular when I look at Arcangel’s work. That is not to say that I don’t respect him as an artist or his work; and not his extensive accomplishments, of course. But that is just one persons opinion, mine. I would gladly welcome any comment to try and change my mind, so if you have any incites into this artist, I would love to hear them.

Ian Whitmore

Posted in Artists on September 5th, 2010 by clawlor

Ian Whitmore’s work has a sort of stark beauty about it that one does not completely comprehend upon first glance. He is a photographer who uses seemingly unimportant subject matters within a series to portray an idea. On his website, Whitmore has displayed three series of photographs entitled “Nowhere”, “Channels”, and “Onomasticon”. Within the Nowhere series, Ian features photographs of essentially, nowhere. These photographs are not of anything stereotypical of the picturesque. The subject matters emphasize the in-between; areas that are not often recognized as being areas at all, rather just scenery on the way to another place. Essential he is giving meaning and purpose to an otherwise meaningless body of space. In his series Channels, Whitmore does something very interesting. He photographs a room with a television at the center, but on the television are images of the people that inhabit that room. I’m not sure exactly sure what the series is supposed to mean, but I can speculate that he is trying to show how the places where people live, represent them. And then by having the people on the television screens instead of actually in the rooms, the people are secondary to their environment. Making the rooms the power behind the photos. And the Onomasticon a book-making project involving Whitman actually sending his handmade books featuring photographs from the Nowhere series to others. Whitman describes the project as, “comprised of 26 artists books. Each book will pair a single word—corresponding to a letter of the alphabet—with various imagery. This new vocabulary will be composed of words both obscure and familiar; they share poignantly relevant definitions to describe the images they accompany.”

I really enjoyed Whitman’s work. I thought it was very smart of him to bring “nowhere” spaces into peoples consciousness. And I found his style to involve a lot of white light. Which is why I believe his work to have a simple beauty that almost looks sterol in a way. I found his Channels photographs to be particularly intriguing. I liked the premise of the room describing the people who inhabit it, and not the other way around. And I thought his Nowhere photos, to be absolutely awesome. And the best part of these photos is that I can’t exactly say why I like these photos so much. Perhaps its the fact that these spaces didn’t have meaning before Whitmore came along, or maybe its the static simplicity of the pieces that attracts me towards them? Either way, I find Whitmore’s work to be purposeful and beautifully simple.

http://ianwhitmore.com/

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ianjwhitmore/onomasticon-a-vocabulary-for-nowhere

Jon Gitelson

Posted in Artists on August 29th, 2010 by clawlor

Jonathan Gitelson is definitely an artist with both a sense of humor and a sense of purpose. His work seems to involve a small parodied aspect of his life that has been put together in a way that emphasizes his point.  So he basically takes something that others might view as mundane and blows it up times 1000. One of his more famous pieces is called his “The Car Project”. This piece is made up of a series of ongoing photographs of his car completely covered in  advertisement fliers. His car was photographed in front of the facility that had printed the fliers. So he would collect, as he put it, “huge volumes of what was essentially expensively printed instant garbage” and actually sewed them together into a car cover. Then, as I previously stated, he would photograph his car with its cover in front of the business being advertised. Another piece that I found particularly amusing was his “Hidden Clothing Piece”. The premise behind it being that his girlfriend was hiding his clothing because she obviously thought that it looked ugly on him. And the actual piece was each item of clothing photographed hanging in a closet by itself. Gitelson has also done several posters that can be found at his website, which is linked below.

Honestly, I’m not crazy about his work by itself, but I really like the ideas behind them. His sense of humor is clearly shown through his work. In my opinion any piece of art that makes you feel any emotion at all is a successful one. And Gitelson’s work definitely makes me laugh. The “Hidden Clothing” piece is one of my favorites because its easily relatable to, if you’re a guy with a sometimes overbearing girlfriend anyway. Also his “The Quitter” piece is another one that I really liked. It’s a series of images of a guy “quitting” smoking. And by that I mean, it’s a series of images of a guy lighting-up at different points throughout the day and saying to himself that “this cigarette will be the last one”, when of course it isn’t. Also very humorous; also very relatable. Overall I would say that Jon Gitelson’s work is creative, funny, and very down-to-earth.

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