So everyone knows the Atlantic Monthly ran an article asking yet again "Can women have it all?" to which Jessica Valenti responded with a hilarious compilation of stock photographs showing the dire stock-photo lives of the archetypal "Sad white babies with mean feminist mommies."


I'd just like to add to that that it's an archetype that long pre-dates the stock photography industry, in the world of image-making. Witness, below, satirical drawings by Honoré Daumier, in Les Bas Bleus (The Bluestockings) depicting the dangers that can happen in the home of educated women.

18th century, darlings, and look how far the conversation has not come:


If women are allowed access to education, their houses will fall into disarray and their babies into the bathwater...


...and their poor beleaguered husbands left to fend for themselves in child-rearing.


As the French say, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."
daphnep: (ART)
( Apr. 8th, 2012 12:34 pm)
Over breakfast, Dan asked "do you think Thomas Kinkade's work will ever be in a real museum?"

"I hope so," I replied. "In fact, I'd like to curate that show, myself."

I told him what angle I'd like to take, and what context, and we mulled over speculative titles. I can already see the street-side banners:

Happy Little Trees: Duchamp to Kinkade, Consumerism and the Commodification of Fine Art in the 20th Century.
Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Bob Ross, Thomas Kinkade

I think it's genius.
The key component of art, to me (and I mean art that makes a mark in history) is that it tells us something essential about the time and place in which it was made. And I think Kinkade's work makes two valuable points about our era: the shopping mall consumer culture of mass manufacturing, and America's current deep need for fantasy and nostalgia for idyllic times and places that never existed. It's not a flattering portrayal, perhaps, but it's completely relevant.

I'd also like to work into this lineup some aspect of the spiritual/devotional purpose of his art. Art has long served that purpose, commonly and throughout cultures. We no longer find the same comfort in gazing into the eyes of the Blessed Mary Mother of God, but clearly glowing cottages with picket-fenced gardens somehow, for many, serve the same purpose, today.

I just can't figure out who Kinkade's closest (20th C) predecessor would be for devotional painting of this type--I need another artist or two on the contemporary spiritual side to add to my exhibition, to make this link.
daphnep: (warhol)
( Aug. 14th, 2011 10:55 am)

Every morning when I wake up I experience an exquisite joy--the joy of being Savador Dali--and I ask myself in rapture, "What wonderful things this Salvador Dali is going to accomplish today?"
daphnep: (yarn (he)art)
( Aug. 20th, 2010 09:14 pm)
I love it when knitting and art collides, when knitwork gets elevated to fine art, or Art takes a swoop through arts and crafts.

And when I saw this photo, it nearly took my breath away:

by artist Helen Pynor, website here:

Some people knit socks, and some knit...feet.

I love the way it's photographed, with the toes dangling to just barely touch the floor, with the shadow of the fabric creating phantom twins of feet.

(Plus, for an added twist, it's knit of human hair.)
The Uniform Project, where that artist Sheena Matheiken ( wears the same little black dress every day for a year, is winding down to the end of its year.

And now, near the end, she does a fashion homage to Magritte:

How much do I love this?
The main reason I was laughing at those plastic Venus statues way back when (rather than being truly horrified, as many readers were) was that I have a different contextual reference for this kind of fine-art-inspired schlock. Simply put, I see it all the time.

Today, I found another particularly horrifying batch of products I would like to share with you. They're Christmas ornaments. I want you to have a look. I want to show you that sometimes, an ugly art reproduction is simply that: an ugly art reproduction.

Yes, it's more appalling when among their many other faults, the repros uniformly thin out the women represented, but it's not deliberate, and the cries of conspiracy are still wasted, misplaced, and overblown.

Have a look at some other cultural "conspiracies":

First we start with a rather pretty "Starry Night" ornament. Starry Night is good, you can put that on practically anything, and people will buy it.

From there, however, things get a little more shifty. Here's a take on the old "Venus", coming up again. No cultural outrage to be found here, this Venus isn't skinny, she's just plain ugly, both her and the shell she rode in on.

And what have they done to poor Vincent Van Gogh? What sorts of political and cultural outrage does this ornament inspire? Or shall we just snicker and groan with horror, and move on?

If Vincent didn't make you laugh...there's always this one, titled "Sean C." You tell me, but I think they're trying to do Bond, James Bond.

So, no grand conclusions to be drawn. Just that ugly stuff abounds, and the range of crap that people will pay money for is really astounding, and I think some of it really deserves a proper mocking.
This time, the American Craft Council Show.

title or description

More travel, more shopping, more bright and shiny goodies to attract my wandering magpie's eye.

Sing it, now: These are a few of my favorite things! )
daphnep: (ART)
( Jan. 31st, 2009 07:49 pm)
To balance the equation, I'd like to show you this, which [ profile] feanna linked in a comment to that other post.

title or description

I really love, love fine art spoofs and imitations. (See? I even have "art spoofs" on my lj "interests" list.) A really well-done spoof pays close attention to the original, and anyone who has tried to copier apres les maitres has learned that you can't copy a master without noticing boatloads of details you've never seen before, and acquiring boatloads of respect for the original piece. For a while, I was doing Andy Warhol-style pet portraits for money (made a fair chunk o' change off of those, for a time) and I honestly will never look at a Warhol silkscreen the same way after. Good imitations are hard to find, it's a lot harder to do (at least to do well) than one might think, going in. Anybody doing it right is going to be spending a lot of time trying to get inside and understand the original, and what could possibly be better than that?

The original is behind the cut. )
daphnep: (sheep)
( Oct. 20th, 2008 01:28 pm)

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

20 Impressionist, 8 Islamic, 7 Ukiyo-e, -21 Cubist, -32 Abstract and 11 Renaissance!

Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

daphnep: (ART)
( Oct. 13th, 2007 10:45 am)
I can't believe nobody on my list has posted this yet, it's awesome!!

title or description

It's Doris Salcedo's "Shibboleth" installation at the Tate Modern in London. It's a fissure in the floor, and it's hitting the news big because so far three people have actually fallen in (although it's only a few inches wide at the widest, so the worst someone could do is break an ankle, I guess.)

It looks very cool, though...I'd love to see it.

title or description
daphnep: (lempika guitar)
( Apr. 27th, 2007 03:30 pm)
Doesn't hearing Tom Waits' voice just make you smile?

Everything about Tom Waits makes me smile. See, that's the thing about the holy trinity: books, art, and music. Art in all its forms is the surest way to change people's moods, feed them information, change their outlook, change their lives, feed them the little changes bit by bit that add up and make up the bigger picture, or just send people about their day slightly changed. It's what matters.

Today, it's Tom Waits.
daphnep: (ART)
( Apr. 11th, 2007 10:43 am)
Here's a fascinating article from the Washington Post, about an experiment with violin virtuoso Joshua Bell busking in the D.C. Metro:

I don't have time to really read it like I want to, so I'm posting it here to come back to, later. Some of y'all might be interested as well...touches on an entire range of points fascinating to me, from contextualizing art to children's innate musical appreciation to buddhist mindfulness.
daphnep: (red)
( Mar. 25th, 2003 03:30 pm)
A poem I copied into my journal 8 years ago this week which still seems appropriate now (or appropriate again?).

Dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)

trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)

honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at this wedding)

never mind a world
with its villains or heroes
(for god likes girls
and tomorrow and the earth)

-e e cummings


daphnep: (Default)


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