As an inspiring artist, I aim to create things choosing from a variety of mediums. I have always drifted towards pencil drawings and found myself very at ease with this medium. However, since I’ve recently been exposed to more methods I am stepping outside of my comfort zone and finding my own niche. I utilize whatever tools allow a mute piece to find its voice. Whether that be through film, pencil, paint etc. My works act like keys that unlock the audience’s ability to truly empathize with a subject and relate on a deeper level. I give the viewer no choice but to see through different viewpoints that they might not have before. Utilizing abstraction entagled with reality, I show that the two realms really aren’t that far apart.
Final Project: Cavallo Rotto
For my project, I was inspired by the unique tradition of the famous horse race here in Siena, the Palio. During the special race held in October to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One, an unfortunate tragedy occurred. Out of the ten contradas (neighborhoods) competing, one horse had to be put down do to injuries. In reaction to this event, I sought out a nearby medical center that focuses on rehabilitating horses. My video recounts the events I witnessed during my time spent at the facility.
What is art for you? What do artist do? What is the purpose of art?
For my essay response I chose to focus mainly on the article “What art is and what artists do” by Jerry Saltz. He begins the article with the question “Can art change the world?” To me, I believe that anything can change the world. However the change may be as infinitesimal as a moved rock or as catastrophic as the Big Bang. As artists the goal is not to think that our minute creations will change the whole planet, but that they will have an affect on just one person. The goal is to create a chain reaction starting with one person and hopefully, if we are lucky, traveling through a multitude of people. I agree with Saltz that Art changes the world in ways we do not know. He goes on to discuss how art can be seen as any topic like Science, Theology or History and that “Art sees things in constellations rather than rigid structures.” I fully agree with this statement. Art is similar to philosophy because it is a different way of thinking. You must dig deeper if you want to capture the essence of the natural world. It is difficult to do so if your lenses are foggy. For instance, currently I am enrolled in a painting class. I have had to learn how to see things not as lifeless structures but as bounties of colors and shapes. Now, when I look at images my mind is dissecting them. I try to discern how they were created, which stroke goes where, which color was used. Artists must view things as pieces of IKEA furniture that doesn’t have a manual and attempt to recreate it step by step. Saltz brings up the idea that just because someone says your work is bad, does not mean that it is truly bad. It means that they do not like it. Which is okay. But you must not be upset because of one critic. If you like what you create nothing else matters. The key is to never stop working. “You have to work in times of doubt, in good times and bad times.” This was very interesting to me. I have always had these ideas that I want to capture on paper, yet my drive to complete them fell short because I doubted that I could make a great piece. First things first, if you have an idea create it. Then if you dislike it do it again. Edits are where perfection arises not the first draft. In order to be considered a true artists, in the words of Bauman, you must be working all the time. All it comes down to is this: like a singer who sings to find peace or an athlete who plays their game to forget the issues they face, art is necessary for artists to attain the freedom of expression necessary in such a rigid world.
Mid-Term Project: “Cavallo Rotto”
For my most recent project I decided to create a documentary film discussing what a horse means to the community in Siena. I interviewed four different people, from different contradas, with all different opinions. From this I created a video short compiling all of the interviews into a nonlinear arrangement with each person talking about the same questions. I hope to continue this project and explore the rehabilitation process for the injured horses in the Palio.
Luoghi di Fuga booklet project:
I went to nearby cemetery and drew different graves that I came across while there. I also wrote down Italian phrases that were written on the gravestones and a list of names of those who had passed and had been buried there. I enjoyed visiting the cemetery and learned a lot from my experience.
Reading Response: Rebecca Solnit, Blue of Distance:
For my response, I chose to talk about the “The Blue of Distance.” One of my favorite colors has always been blue. I am the only one, out of my siblings that has blue eyes and I have shared that color as a connection to my father who’s eyes bears the same color. What I found most intriguing about this article was that “blue is the light that got lost”. We are under the impression that blue is everywhere when you look at the water or look at the sky. But we would be wrong. Blue is never really used. Just a similar hue is created due to outside influencers. Another thing interesting about this article was the topic of desire. “We treat desire as a problem to be solved…” I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. It is quite sad that this is the case. Desire at its core is required to be discovered naturally not solved. Desire is not a problem to be solved but part of the human condition. It is a unique emotion associated with humans. And when not fulfilled, the absence of desire is represented by “the blue of longing.” Musicians sing the blues for a reason. Blue is such a special and universal color with many different meanings. Blue needs to be distant because “Some things we only have if they remain lost.”
Intro Unit Project: Tempo Zulu
I chose the moon for my project because each phase represents an emotion I have felt or hope to feel during my abroad experience.
Intro Unit Project: Walk of Destiny
My walk started near the piazza del campo and introduced me to the inanimate figures that protrude from the ancient architecture. I am very interested in the idea of lifeless, anthropomorphic structures that lack the humanity of a real person and defy the test of time.
Chris Loeber, USA
My name is Chris Loeber and I will be going into my third year at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusettes. I am a Studio Art Major with a Minor in Creative Writing. I have been primarily working with black and white drawings but look forward to exploring new mediums such as painting and digital multimedia during my time in Siena.