Author Archives: Let's talk about Art History

The Pyramids of Giza

One of the last remaining seven wonders of the world is The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu). The pyramid was constructed in El Giza, Egypt roughly between 2500 – 2490 B.C. The Pyramid of Giza is the largest out of the three still standing. This structure is significantly large for the era it was built in. There is a common myth that extra-terrestrial life helped build the pyramid; however, there is no real evidence to explain this myth. What many people suggest is that there was an army of people

The reasoning behind constructing the pyramids was to show respect to the rulers, which in the case was pharaoh Khufu. People believed the pyramid was a regeneration site for the deceased ruler. Not only was the pyramid used as a burial site, but also has a reference to the sun. Ancient texts read that the pyramids were designed as a ramp for the pharaoh’s to climb up into the sky. The pyramids were clearly significant to the ancient world.

A simple search of “Pyramid of Giza” on google images shows the viewers the beautiful pyramid with its neighbour pyramids surrounded by a desert. Unfortunately this is not the case, there is a golf course and resort only a few hundred feet from the pyramids. Also, there is a proposition to have a major high run through the pyramids. All of this is creating lots of pollution in the air and as a result it weathers the pyramids down. UNESCO is an organization that is trying to help preserve the pyramids. They were successful in shutting down the idea of building a highway that would run in between the pyramids. Now the highway is rerouted far north, so the air pollutants from the cars won’t destroy the pyramids. It is curious why the government of Egypt doesn’t take better care of one of the seven wonders of the world.

 

Sources:

Amateur Photographer. (2014, October 23). Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston by Neil Leifer – Iconic Photograph. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/iconic-images/muhammad-ali-vs-sonny-liston-by-neil-leifer-iconic-photograph-20169

I. (2018, March 05). 25 Facts about the Great Pyramid of Giza. Retrieved October 16, 2018, from https://www.ancient-code.com/25-facts-about-the-great-pyramid-of-giza/

 

Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston by Neil Leifer

On February 25th 1964, Muhammad Ali knocked out Sonny Liston to win his first ever heavyweight crown. Neil Leifer was able to capture the perfect shot of Muhammad Ali towering over Sonny Liston, which would later be found on several front pages of many magazines and newspapers. This fight was very important for Ali because it marked his first of many heavyweight title wins.

Being a photographer myself, I have learned that it is important to be in the right spot at the right time. Neil Leifer was interviewed after taking the photo and he said “I was obviously in the right seat, but what matters is I didn’t miss it.” If Neil Leifer hadn’t captured this moment there would be of been another front page newspaper image. What makes this photo great, is that Leifer captured the moment using a high aperture setting. The higher the aperture setting the larger the focus point. Leifer was shooting with a high aperture and was able to capture not only the fighters, but also the crowd’s amazed reaction in the back.

Clearly Leifer knew what he was doing as he is one of the top sports photographers. Leifer has had much success during his 50 years of professional photography. His photos have appeared on front pages of major magazines such as: Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine, and People. The angles that he captures at significant sporting events truly inspires me to become more of a creative photographer.

 

Sources:

Amateur Photographer. (2014, October 23). Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston by Neil Leifer – Iconic Photograph. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/iconic-images/muhammad-ali-vs-sonny-liston-by-neil-leifer-iconic-photograph-20169

Neil Leifer Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://neilleifer.com/biography/

Process Post 3

I would like to take the time to discuss how I designed the layout of my website. Firstly, I decided to use the “Traveler Blog Lite” theme. This theme is very simple and is great for an older audience. Since I have an older audience I decided to keep my blog posts on the front page so right when people visit my site, they will know what my blog is about. Under my title I wrote “Analysis of historical artworks!” because it tells the audience right away what this page is.

I have added a site logo which says “Art history for all”(See above image). This is the image because I believe that anyone of any age can learn about art. Students in elementary take art classes and also seniors can take art classes. Art is truly something anyone can create because it’s so diverse.

Peer Review #1

I have the opportunity to peer review Erika Cocco’s blog about The Secret Life of Irish Dancing. This is a message for Erika Cocco about my opinions of her blog.  

When reading your blog posts I was very interested in what you had to say. Mainly because Irish Dancing is not something I am familiar with and it is very compelling to read about how much dedication you put into the sport. I completely agree with your 2nd blog post, when you talked about your ankle injury and how you mentally prepared yourself for the 2012 all Ireland Championships. The explanation about how “The mind and the body are sync” is 100 percent true and if you want to accomplish something you have to be mentally prepared to do it. I really like how you formatted your writing here, it made it easier for me to remember the life lesson when you shared one of your experiences. Good job connecting your personal experiences and teaching the audience a lesson. It really shows that it is possible to do more with less.

One criticism is that I would like to see examples of Irish dancing integrated into your blog. I am quite sure most people are unfamiliar with the sport or what’s the difference between Irish dancing and regular competitive dancing. When I was reading Blog One, I was wondering what makes Irish dancing so different from regular dance competitions? Because when I look at the photos you shared and see the outfits you are wearing, I assume there must be at least some traditional aspects to Irish dancing that separates it from society’s norm. A suggestion could be to make one blog post explaining what’s different about Irish dancing. Or possibly sharing a video of you dancing at a competition, so the audience has a clear visual understanding.

I believe you should make your audience more for people who aspire to become like you. You have gone to many prestigious dancing events, while having to balance school and work at the same time. I am sure there are many girls in the same situation as you, and that could take some advice from you. I am excited to see what you have for your next blog entries!   

When I look at the layout of your website overall it is very well decorated and aesthetically pleasing. Right when I open the website I can see “THE SECRET OF IRISH DANCING”, clearly I know what is the website about. This is great for new readers because it draws their attention to dance and they have a clear idea about what your writing about.

Overall, keep up the good work Erika, I hope you take my suggestions into consideration. Best of luck to you in achieving your goal at regionals!

Rebellious Silence by Shirin Neshat

Iran has many laws that sexually objectify women. Shirin Neshat, is a brave artist who decided to create a series called “Woman of Allah”. The series was intended to defend women’s rights in Iran. Shirin Neshat is the subject of Rebellious Silence, which is on of her most famous photographs. Currently, this photograph is available to be seen at the MET in New York City.

Shirin Neshat was born in 1957 and her father prioritized his daughters education and enrolled her in catholic school. Catholic school is where she learned about both the Western and Iranian cultures. After high school, Shirin moved to California for about 15 years because of Iran’s hostile environment. In California she realized how badly women were being treated in Iran. Eventually she went back to her homeland to confront Iranian society and her culture.

Rebellious Silence has many metaphors for how women can protect themselves from being sexually objectified. For example, the woman dressed in a black veil and is holding a gun in front of her face. In Iran women are forced to wear veils when going outside. The veil in the photo is intended to protect females from being sexually objected by men. Also, the arabic writing across the woman’s face is from a poem “Allegiance with wakefulness.” This poem signifies the conviction of martyrdom. Martyrdom is someone who has been penalized for not believing in what society thinks is true. When Shirin Neshat released her “Women of Allah” series, many people thought she was a crazy western girl because no female ever stood up for their rights in Iran. Fortunately over the years Iran has become more accepting of women and started allowing them to vote and be educated, something that was never even an idea before.

Having Shirin Neshat be the first woman to stand up for her rights in Iran, encouraged many other women to fight for their freedom as well. If Shirin wasn’t to stand up for her rights this still could of been a major problem in modern day Iran. This is why Shirin and her series “Women of Allah” is such an important piece of artwork. It really shows how important art can be sometimes.

Discussion Question: How much of a role does art play a role in politics?

 

 

Sources:

Shirin Neshat, Rebellious Silence, Women of Allah series. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2018, from https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/global-contemporary/a/neshat-rebellious

Art, Identity, and Culture. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2018, from http://reinterpellations.web.unc.edu/about/neshats-rebellious-silence/

Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa painted by the Italian Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci can be considered to be the most famous piece of art in the world. This priceless half-length portrait has been in the hands of many people throughout its lifetime, currently it now hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.  

The woman in the painting named Mona Lisa, also known as Lisa La Gioconda, the wife to Francesco del La Gioconda. Mona Lisa is dressed in Florentine fashion of her time and sitting behind an abstract mountainous landscape. During the Renaissance in 1503 when the painting was completed, it was the one of the first ever portrait with an aerial perspective. Since Da Vinci was such a famous artist at the time, this inspired many other painters to create similar portraits. The artistic details that make this painting so remarkable are Da Vinci’s sfumato technique, which shows colours gradually shading into each other. This shading technique can be seen all around the portrait, but especially on her face.

What makes the Mona Lisa such a renowned painting is not the work of art itself; instead, the story behind its lifetime. Da Vinci worked on the Mona Lisa on and off near the later years of his career and finally completing it in 1503. For the next three hundred years the painting was hung in many french palaces. In the early 19th century, Napoleon put the Mona Lisa on his bedroom wall. This brought a lot of attention to the painting. Once Napoleon was exiled from France the Mona Lisa was hung at the Louvre, until 1911 when the painting was stolen from the museum. This caused havoc to spread in France and police were investigating everyone, including Pablo Picasso a famous painter at the time. Luckily, the Mona Lisa was found in Florence and was returned to the Louvre Museum. From that day forward, people from around the world have travelled to come see the five hundred year old painting. It is estimated that six million people view the painting at the Louvre every year.

The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

The Starry Night painted by Vincent van Gogh in June of 1889, can be recognized by many people across the world. Currently this oil on canvas painting is located in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York City. 

The Starry night is an abstract landscape painting of a dark village in France being awoken by the sunrise. The context of the painting is that Van Gogh was staring outside a window of his asylum room, at Saint-Remy-de-provence during sunrise. Van Gogh painted The Starry Night a few months after suffering a mental breakdown and severing part of his own ear with a razor. The painting was some of Van Gogh’s late works, as he committed suicide the next year.

Van Gogh was a landscape painter so staying in his asylum limited his subjects to paint, but his style was not. The Starry Night consists of a variety of principles and elements of art. For example, Van Gogh shows passage of time in a sunrise, by precisely mixing dark blue with yellow to form the sky. Also, he is able to show movement of wind by creating swirls in the sky. Both elements work exceptionally well together creating a unique sky. At the time that Van Gogh painted The Starry Night, he was unimpressed with the night affect, and believed it had pushed the limit of style at the time to far. Nevertheless, later on other artists started to be inspired by Van Gogh’s night affect.

Van Gogh had a very short career, consisting of only 10 years. However he was very productive, creating more than 800 paintings and 700 to 850 drawings for his brother. The MoMa bought The Starry Night from a private collector in 1941, afterwards becoming recognized as one of Van Gogh’s most famous works.

Process Post 2

Blog goals:

1) Spreading knowledge to society about famous art pieces. I plan on accomplishing this by, posting weekly articles discussing a certain piece of work. In each article, I will talk about the artist, the context and the artistic techniques used.

2) Encourage readers to discuss among each other about art history in the comments section of my blogs. I will achieve this by asking open ended questions at the end of the each article and ask the readers to comment. Thus, creating a stream of comments for people to reply too one another.

I was asked to create a vision board (Image below) about what I wanted to blog about for my PUB101 class. Personally this was very hard for me because I have many interests; however, I decided to write about my newest interest, which is art. In the past two years, I have been creating art through the lens of my camera, capturing photos of landscape, people, cars and nature. At the same time, I was enrolled in an Art History course at my high school, which I thought was one of my favourite classes of all time. My passion for photography made me have a strong interest in the class. My interests in photography and art history lead me to creating “Let’s talk about Art History”. I am happy with the decision to blog about art history because it will grow my knowledge in my new interest.

Mini Assignment 1

I chose this meme because it’s reflects my blog about art history. The image is of a renaissance boy saying “stop wait a minute.” Since he is in a past renaissance painting and is telling the audience to wait, it seems only right that this meme is about art history.

Process Post 1

In 2016, it was recorded that there are 7.4 billion people living on Earth. Everyday we walk around seeing new faces and meeting strangers. My definition of a stranger is someone who is an unfamiliar face and I don’t know anything about them and they don’t know anything about me. As society enters 2019 it is easier for people to make friends not only in real life, but, online as well.

I was challenged by my professor this week to talk with a stranger, which I usually don’t do. After my first week at Simon Fraser University, I built up the courage to introduce myself to a stranger on the bus. My triangular point according to Kio Stark was the SFU hoodie that the stranger was wearing. I began the conversation by asking for the strangers name, which he replied with Fraser. I told Fraser that I just concluded my first week at SFU and surely, he did too. We quickly started to share our experiences with our first week on campus and how it’s totally different from being in High School. After our thirty minute bus ride Fraser and I were able to have an intriguing conversation and even discover that we share mutual friends. Once the bus ride was over I was able to call Fraser an acquaintance, at the very least.

New apps are making it easier to meet strangers online and potentially make friends with some. When I was younger I made an internet friends with a stranger I met on an online multiplayer game called Minecraft. Our triangular point happened to be Minecraft the game we both were interested in. We were able to message each other in game and slowly we became closer and started to play together more often. I became close with him that he even told me to call him by his real name Michael, instead of his username. Eventually, Michael asked if I wanted to Skype so we didn’t need to type all the time. Me being in grade 7 at the time I was a bit nervous but I decided to give it a shot. Once we talked on Skype we started to play together much more and often used Skype, instead of communicating in game. I learned that Michael was from Michigan and we shared similar interests such as: Minecraft, hockey, soccer and etc. Even though, I could only see Michael’s profile picture while we voice chatted from different countries, I was able to call him one of my friends as I got to know him. 

Both of these occurrences have shown that it isn’t hard to meet a stranger, and it is possible to become friends with people you meet in public or online. Kio Stark’s method of meeting strangers with her triangular point, makes it much easier to meet people face to face, as I learned with Fraser. Also, with new technology I don’t think you have to meet someone in person to consider them known, as Michael and I learned. I believe that in the future there will be many more easier ways to meet strangers.