This was my final art paper. I got a 100 on it. I actually got a 100 on all the papers. Hope you enjoy the read.
African art can take many forms which are dependent upon cultural and spiritual practices. Personally, my favorite region of Non-Western art is African Egyptian art. Egyptian art is classified as the region of the lower Nile Valley between 3000 B.C. and 30 AD. Egyptian culture began in Africa and was the accomplishment of African people. The Nile flows south ward to an area called Nubia, present day Sudan. This was the key place for trade that linked to Egypt. Common resources included: ebony, ivory and gold. Kush was the most well-known of the Nubia kingdoms. Kush existed longer than1,400 years.
In chapter 18 the book discuses Arts of Africa on page 417. This page is also home to a photograph of an ornament from the tomb of Queen Amanishakheto. One of the queens of Kush. This design was created sometime during the Meroitic period (50-1 B.C.E.). Currently this sculpture is housed at the Agyptisches museum in Berlin, Germany.
This ornament was molded of gold with some glass inlay. The center point of the structure is home to the solar deity Amun which takes the form of a ram. Above the ram is a sunrise in the shape of a disk. On the top, a very small gemstone can be seen with what looks like snakes on each side. A reddish bead can also be observed above the sunrise disk. Below the ram in the shape of a half- circle we find a green ribbon of color. The gold looks to be carved in some places. On the areas with geometric pattern the gold could have been molded or stamped. The ornate object fit for any journey to the afterlife. The tombs are the sacred places of the meta- physical kings and queens. These treasures never intended for the modern eye.
The aura of noble souls, stories of kings and lavish treasures intrigue us all. The spiritual idea of Egyptian culture was to preserve through tombs. The afterlife was the obsessed focus of the present life. The royalty would spend much time and resources on their ideal burial shrine. On the inside of most tombs are a maze of artifacts for the royalty being honored. Pure wealth and riches. We obviously know many of these tombs have been raided and studied, thus leaving us with the knowledge and art we see. I personally feel that the items for study should not be removed for any reasons from the tombs. Removing these items disrupts the original intended overall design of the immensely thought out work of art.
Egyptian art appeals to me because of its stylized and symbolized design. As well as the mythical aspect. The regal elegance of gold and gemstones mixed with mystique. Gold meant more than wealth to the Egyptians. The Gold symbolized the eternal power and life of the sun. The gold of the Gods would not decay, it was supposed to bestow immortality. The pharaohs believed that a well-planned and ornate tomb would provide them with an exceptional after life. Many tombs contained furniture, jewelry, precious jewels, gold and art. All of these elements perfectly placed creating a much larger work of art.
Life after death was a preservation process it dictated the spiritual, social and economic system. This is evident in my most favorite Egyptian art work. The Mask of King Tutankhamun, housed at the Egyptian museum in Cairo. This work of art was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. This work does not appeal to me because it is iconic. It seduces me because of its super-natural refinement. Tutankhamun died around 1323 B.C.E. The Egyptian culture had already existed for 1,700 years before his rule and endured another 1,300 years after.
The perfect symmetrical balance and form of a bust. Perfectly molded gold with no imperfections. The majestically vibrant colors of cobalt, turquoise, and deep red are balanced perfectly. On the top of the head piece are a vulture and a cobra, symbolizing the goddesses of protection for upper and lower Egypt. In the ear lobes are perfectly drilled holes, looking like an ear modification. When looking at this piece I have a hard time wrapping my head around how this was created seeing that the craftsmanship is well ahead of its time. The back perfectly stamped with hieroglyphics containing a protective spell from the book of the dead. Designed to preserve the being inside. All of this allure for the Pharaoh. Their personal prized possessions meant to be hidden away from the average beings. I personally feel that the items for study should not be removed from the tombs. These works of art were created by masters of their trade and craft with exquisite regard for the noble. The pharaoh’s put a great emphasis on the items they wanted crafted meaning they would seek out the masters of the trade being desired.
If this were my burial ground I would want it kept the way it was intended. I would contribute to knowledge and allow study but only if artifacts were in the original location. The design of the tomb was intended to be kept as a whole piece of art work. Similar to the way instillation is to be viewed thus meaning not removing items. In instillation, each item is carefully thought out from the construction of each piece to the placement of that one single item with a collection of other items. The preservation of the original design preserves the artistic foundation of the culture and traditions of the people. The Egyptians had strict burial beliefs and practices. Our selfish human nature now disturbs the resting place of these people. There are many ethical issues that surround the subject matter. Artifacts found by scholars have been documented, photographed, and stored for safe keeping. I agree documenting these items is highly important; however, I don’t feel that these items should be removed. I also feel that the items should not be restored. These treasures were linked to a burial right and were the wishes of the deceased and should stay in the intended forms. My personal artistic and ethical beliefs are deeply rooted in respecting and honoring those whom have passed on
The paintings I have chosen for this assignment have many similarities, including the title of the work. When thumbing through the textbook (Living with Art ), I did not skip any pages when looking for subjects. I started at the back of the book and found my first subject on page 479. When I saw it, I automatically knew which painting I would choose for the comparison.
On page 479 I found “The Birth of Venus” by William- Adolphe Bouguereau, created in 1879 and currently housed in Musee d’ Orsay, Paris, France. I had never seen this oil on canvas painting, but immediately knew the subject content and began looking for “The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli, created in 1480 and currently housed in Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy. I finally found the Botticelli piece on page 370 in the textbook.
The first similarity we immediately notice is the title. These paintings have the same subject matter, which is the Roman Goddess Venus standing on a clam shell in the water surrounded by mythological figures. Bouguereau created his composition about 400 years after Botticelli. The Birth of Venus has been depicted many times in the history of art. Venus is the Goddess of love, beauty, sex, and prosperity. It only seems fitting that artists want to create her and others want to study this muse.
Botticelli created his Venus during the Renaissance, which is evident in the style of the painting. Botticelli used Tempera on Canvas. The color scheme I observe is mostly complementary using 5 Main colors, those being blue, orange, red, green, and white. Botticelli balances these colors by using them on opposite sides of the work. For example, if you look at the lady figure on the right of the canvas, she has orange hair and is holding a red cloth. When you look on the left side of the canvas you see that the wind god is wearing a blue cloth and both he and his companion have green wings. When looking at the fabrics in this work, we also see much detail of wrapping and draping, which was common in Renaissance work. The color disbursement also gives the viewer a weighed balance.
In Bouguereau’s Venus painting we see a similar theme of the complementary colors, except Bauguereau uses mainly blue and orange hues with white. An example of this is the light blue of the sky against the peach skin of the cherubs. This work is balanced in color but has more of a balance that moves around the canvas. The colors in both paintings have a different style. In Bouguereau’s work the colors are very pale and have a heavenly feel about them. In Botticelli’s work the colors are more intense and have an earthly feel.
The Venus in Botticelli’s work is approaching land on her giant floating clam shell. The color tells us this is a more earthly painting. The main emphasis is on Venus and her body, which is portrayed in perfect form. On the left side of the painting, the wind god is blowing on Venus, which symbolizes that she is coming to life. The lady on the right is holding the cloth and awaiting to robe Venus.
The line work in Botticelli’s composition - especially the clam shell and fabrics - is very detailed. These pieces give the artwork much movement on the three sides of Venus, which greatly emphasize her presence. The hard lines in this work add to the earthly feel. These hard lines also make this piece feel more two- dimensional. The loose background also makes the work feel flat. The water and the area where the water meets the land does not have much depth, thus making it less interesting to the eye. Botticelli does use a consistent repetitive pattern on the water.
In comparison, Bouguereau’s composition showcases Venus as the emphasis and center location as well; however, the artist offers us a more aqueous, heavenly approach. The soft colors and soft lines flow gracefully around the composition, giving the viewer a more three- dimensional aesthetic. The circular light pattern gives us the unified movement. Through this movement, a viewer feels the rhythm of the sky and sea. The soft brush strokes in the sky give the clouds and cherubs a more flowing approach. The clam shell in this work is the weighted center piece upon which the muse rests. The clam shell in this work has more movement due to the soft lines. The portion of the work with the sea and figures has a more abrupt standstill, causing the viewer’s eyes to focus on Venus.
To continue the comparison, in both paintings, Venus is the unifying element, which ties all of the elements to the center of the composition. The construction of the form on both Venus figures is almost identical in stature. Both have one leg slightly bent in and they also have similar hair length and color. The art placement of arms and torso definition is configured differently, which might convey different meaning depending on the viewer. The reoccurring emphasis is always placed on Venus as the core viewing point. In Botticelli’s work, the core of Venus’ form is much more muscular and compact. Bouguereau’s work gives Venus a more rounded form; one could suggest that this is to show the curves and beauty of Venus. Perhaps, the ideal of perfect proportions changed over the course of 400 years. Despite this difference, the works of art still depicted the flawless form and beauty of the Goddess of Love.
Both paintings having the same subject content make it easy to process the visual elements. The colors are complementary and cohesive in both works. The line work in both is refreshingly refined. The female form of Venus is held to the true standards of time and motion in each composition. The 400-year time gap between these paintings definitely shows us that the basic formula for an aesthetically-pleasing composition does not change often. As long as a piece of art has the unity of movement, all the other elements fall perfectly into place. In both works, Venus is the abrupt halt to where the emphasis is immediately taken. This only seems fitting since she is the eminent perspective of what many perceive as true beauty.
The composition I have chosen is a mural produced by an artist that goes by the name or tag Dragon76. He is a Japanese artist that specializes in large live scale painting. He has traveled the world creating art in many cities. He studied oil painting at Osaka College of Art. His street art education was not obtained through formal classes.
He created this work in October 2017 for PRHBTN. This organization showcases street artists from around the world and focuses on beautifying Lexington. You can find this Mural on the complex building which houses the following organizations: The Plantory, Broke Spoke, Foodchain, Smithtown, and West 6th Brewing. The physical address is listed as 501 West 6th Street, Lexington, KY, 40508. The mural is on the side of the building that faces Coolavin Park and some apartments.
I often frequent this area to curate a gallery space. This composition brings me much strength and encourages me to always do more for the better of humanity. Every time I pass by it I can honestly say I feel it speaking to me. You know the artist has accomplished pure unity on a physical and mental level when those feelings are produced upon viewers.
Dragon76 creates his style by using techniques in graffiti, manga, and traditional block printing. He frequently uses lots of textured layers of vibrant color as well as stenciling techniques. In this work of art, Dragon76 doesn’t really use a color scheme. However, when the eye first looks, it could be perceived as slightly complimentary because of his use of blues, greens, oranges and reds. It also holds a bit of a natural color scheme in some areas.
If you look at the head piece on this figure you see the word Ouroborous. When I first saw this work of art I had no idea what it meant, so I Googled it. Many links on Google have this description: An Ouroboros is circular symbol looking like a snake, or a dragon, swallowing its tail. This is to symbolize wholeness or infinity. After reading this, the harmonies of the work were completely aligned.
Speaking of alignment and harmony, I find it very pleasing in this work. This work has significant movement and rhythm, despite the fact that the figure is somewhat standing at what looks like attention or ready for battle pose. The alignment by definition doesn’t line up to be perfectly symmetrical. This piece is slightly asymmetrical and follows all of the rules for asymmetrical balance. The reason it follows all the rules is because of the apparent emphasis on textures and patterns. The rhythm in this work of art has much tempo due to the variation of patterns and the placement of patterns. This creates an appropriate visual weight.
I love the scale and proportion used as well. The scale of the figure is obviously larger than life because it is a mural; however, the proportion of the wall when standing at the appropriate distance makes the scale overall look balanced. The scale of his body parts is in proportion to the golden mean. The proximity of patterns and objects are also in unity. The organization of textures and colors was perfectly thought out. The figure of the man is perfectly defined between the background of the dusty turquoise halo and the smoky foreground. This is why I feel like the man is a warrior standing at attention. These layers give this composition depth. The eye is definitely tricked into seeing that three- dimensional layer. The book and lecture refer to this as trompe l’ oiel. I feel the artist does this by having a few subordination objects.
In this work, I feel those are the elements that make this human warrior look like a chief cyborg. On the face, you see small mechanical-looking elements. These mechanical elements also give this work more variety. Overall, the artwork has a very tribal feel until you get to the mechanical parts. These mechanical parts definitely give visual interest. Another section of this composition that adds to the principal of variety is the tribal pattern of a dragon over the heart of the warrior. The unity and variety of this composition convey a very strong sense of purpose.
This composition is found in an area of town which thrives on the idea of paying it forward to others. Having a modern day chief cyborg warrior on the wall adjacent to the park only offers inspiration and hope to all that pass by. Some personal themes Dragon76 likes to convey include: co-existence, peace, harmony and revolution. He wants his paintings to have energy that convey action. The following is a quote from Dragon76’s Facebook page.
“I will be so glad if they can feel positive energy which I felt from graffiti and minority culture though my painting”
I feel this message when looking at his work. I can physically feel my endorphins jumping around in my brain. This is brain food for me. I often find murals and street art very inspirational.
This mural personally provides more of a message of unity.
Dragon76 provides a pleasing aesthetic, both in a mental and artistic way. He provides a balanced and strength-filled unity. He is a true god at producing a pure symbol of an Ouroboros. Dragon76’s work is the paramount to symbolize wholeness or infinity.
So for those of you who don’t know I used to blog. Subject content does it matter ? just living the day-to-day life. My friends keep telling me to blog again. So here I go, like the only dream of ever known.For about a month now I have been toying with how I would start this blog. So the more I think about it I just said I’m going to do it, so today’s that day that I’m just doing it. So I guess I should start with a little introduction for those of you who don’t know me first and foremost I am a mommy to my almost 1-year-old daughter who is my world.Who is my angel. Secondly I love my community of Lexington Kentucky. It’s a beautiful place especially for those of us who like to call ourself artist.
Stay tuned for more. Y’all didn’t think the first one would be that kind, did ya ? This is basically just the teaser . This blog will be host to : my art , art that I like or projects I collaborate on , my poetry if I let it surface and my life in general . I am just going to be honest upfront I’m a busy woman so I will try to publish weekly however I feel in the beginning it will probably be bi-weekly please leave comments and follow me on social media. I will update other aspects of the site soon . This will include the collaboration page as well as add more to the gallery of things I have done this year .
Lucinda, a native of Kentucky, grew up near Lexington in the small town of Versailles. At a very early age she started to demonstrate her creativity. Lucinda has been developing her style and technique for over 10 years and continues to explore new depths to express herself through art.