The topic for this blog that I wanted to focus on was media and the age of digital entertainment. Once this factor was intergraded into art, it completely changed because many works followed political or controversial movements.
You Are Not Yourself, 1981 is the first piece I picked to analyze by Barbara Kruger. Followed by her iconic Your Body is a Battleground, 1989. Kruger was most known for her bold and sometimes aggressive slogans pasted over images she found in magazines. Informed by feminism, her work shows her critiques towards consumerism and desire. Her works were notably posted on billboards, bus cards, posters and also on her site specific installations comprised of video, film, audio, and projections (Barbara Kruger, 2017).
Kruger’s work goes against the grain of the traditional ideas of how women should be of the time. The first piece You are Not Yourself questions the conformability that women put themselves through to be what the media wants them to be. The elements that are present in both of these works are space; using negative and positive areas to create a sense of depth. Value, using lightness and darkness to draw an emotion from the viewer and line, used as a descriptive line to highlight in this case the women’s faces. I love her works for the feminist side she shows, especially when it was not heavily accepted like it is today, I think each piece is empowering and sends a message to the viewer that you do not have to fit inside the mold.
In the Pavilion of the Red Clown, 2001 and Homey Puppy Biter Chills in the Hood, 2007 are both well recognized works by the infamous Robert Williams. As a founder of Juxtapoz magazine in 1994 which soon became one of the most circulated art magazines out there, Williams was used to being in the lime light of the digital age.
The first piece In the Pavilion of the Red Clown sheds light on the lightly talked about subject of mental disorders which are currently even hard to get regarded as a real thing. You see that the clown is actually suffering PTSD from the loss of his leg and relying heavily on alcohol to coop (In the Pavilion of the Red Clown, 2017). In the second image Puppy Biter Chills in the Hood, you see a snake trying to disguise himself as a person with a shirt saying I’m a person too! I think this portrays the idealism that people act falsely but still try to persuade you that they are real. In this day and age that can be compared to our news sources and other ways the media is giving the public information. The three elements of art that I find most present in Williams pieces are color, the bright bold colors really attract your attention to the pieces, texture which highlights the curves of the fabric or the scales of the snakes, and finally value which is used throughout the pieces to showcase the lighting and the shadows it creates. Personally these pieces are not my favorite even though they are nice to look at. I think they I could not have them in my home because of the prevalence of snakes….
Saving my most favorite for last, I picked two works from Banksy which are Jack and Jill, 2005 and Flying Copper, 2005. Banksy is a legend in the underground world and soon grew to take over what we know as modern art. Where to start… he is arguably one of the most controversial street artists in the world and developed an entire subculture based on his work. He had documentaries about him with out people even knowing his true identity. At the age of 18, he began to develop stencils, and after almost getting caught for vandalism, he become hooked to the art (About Banksy, 2017).
The first piece Jack and Jill, uses the controversial topic with the police. Using children in police uniforms he shows an innocent time of play but also a time when children need the protection, it ties in the relationship that children do need protection sometimes from their own lives through intervening from other entities which as the police. This has been a long controversial topic especially involving childcare, and social work. Since his works are so popular, it really spreads the message throughout the growth of the digital age and media. The second image Flying Copper was created to give a happier side to the police making them appear more friendly to the public with all the tension from police brutality through protests and arrests. I think it might be his own self reflection also through his run ins with the law because his art was mainly illegal. The three art elements are line, color, and shape. Color really brings the piece together complimented by bold dark lines highlighting the image. I think both of these pieces are controversial and something that I like and would not mind looking at in my home for hours a day. I love the contrasting colors, it brings positive emotions, especially with the bright yellows.