Final Project: “HEY, BIG MAN!”
For my mid-semester break I spent a week in Rome where I visited many of the tourist attractions like the Colosseum and Pantheon. But every time I visited a tourist trap, there were many street vendors trying to sell me their merch. No matter how many times I ignored one of them and said “no”, another one popped up to do the same crap. I found them to be such pests, then I thought: “Hey, they’re almost like street rats!” So I wanted to make little rats and mice selling rodent-themed Rome souvenirs to people. I made ceramic molds from clay and flat drawings of cartoon anthropomorphic rats and mice of different sizes with trench coats invading the school building. I photocopied six different body-type drawings from my sketchbook, used the school’s printer to print them out in slightly different sizes, and cut them out with scissors and taped them on the walls. The majority of the pests are rats to represent the majority of Rome’s caucasian population. The mice represent the ethnic minority street vendors who tried to sell me souvenirs themed to their cultural heritage. The title is an in-joke because the street vendors in Rome yelled to me, “Hey, big man!” in order to get my attention.
Response to Alfredo Jaar “On the Being of Being an Artist”
Alfredo Jaar has certainly left me with a lot to think about. His essay is only toward a western audience because of his strong distain for western media’s and by extent western society’s “increasing acceptance of brutality”. I agree the cultures of Africa and South America are ignored in western society, I even agree that art can be a form of peace and activism. However, I question why he paraphrases Mahatma Gandhi at the end believes art can change the world. I side more with Jerry Saltz, art can not change the world, it’s reactionary to the world. I think there’s no way everyone will love art and peace. Art can certainly start a conversation of self-reflection with the “increasing acceptance of brutality” issue, but western, first world countries are static and hesitant to change.
Reading Response to Jerry Saltz’s “What Art Is and What Artists Do”
Mid-Term Project: “Watch Out!”
Have you ever thought to yourself: “Christ, Siena is so steep! These hills are gonna be the last of me! I hope I won’t fall and break my back walking down these hills!”? Well, I incorporated these thoughts into my mid-term project! I thought a great way to warn people about Siena’s steep slopes would plaster signs displayed on the sidewalks of the slopes. Building from my previous Project Zulu project, turning the signs made warning people about Siena’s steep slopes using GIMP software into three-dimensional plasture molds. Ideally, I wanted to use marble like most of Siena’s pavements, but I worked with resources given. But hey, this is coming from the perspective of an uncultured American who cannot fully appreciate Siena’s landscape.
A Siena Pharmacy from a Different Perspective
I never learned how to read and write in cursive; I did not learn a new language outside of two years of Spanish in high school. One challenge I have come across in Siena is trying to understand the street building signs since they are in Italian and sometimes they’re in both Italian and cursive. I liked the structure of the Quattro Cantoni Pharmacy because it is one of the oldest pharmacies in Siena and therefore looks different from both the inside and outside compared to all of the other pharmacies I’ve seen in Siena. Even its front sign looks more antiquated than the other pharmacies’ front signs; I wanted to put viewers in my perspective of how strange and alien the Quattro Cantoni Pharmacy’s front sign looks to me. I drew the building and the buildings next door to the Four Canton Pharmacy in detail and then inked my sketch in pen on tracing paper. My drawing is a strange juxtaposition between the more realistic building and the bizarre font I drew for the signs of Quattro Cantoni Pharmacy and Ristorante 4 Cantoni.
Una farmacia di Siena da una prospettiva diversa
Non ho mai imparato a leggere e a scrivere in corsivo; Non ho imparato una nuova lingua al di fuori dei due anni di spagnolo al liceo. Una delle sfide che ho incontrato a Siena è stata capire i cartelli stradali poiché sono in italiano e talvolta sono in italiano e in corsivo. Mi è piaciuta la struttura della Farmacia Quattro Cantoni perché è una delle farmacie più antiche di Siena e quindi ha un aspetto diverso sia dall’interno che dall’esterno, se paragonata a tutte le altre farmacie che ho visto a Siena. Anche la sua insegna frontale sembra più antiquata rispetto a quelle delle altre farmacie; Volevo mettere gli spettatori nella mia prospettiva di quanto l’insegna frontale della Farmacia Quattro Canton fosse strana ed estranea per me. Ho disegnato nei dettagli l’edificio e gli edifici accanto alla Farmacia dei Quattro Cantoni e poi ho riportato il mio disegno a penna su carta da lucido. Il mio disegno è una strana giustapposizione tra l’edificio più realistico e il carattere bizzarro che ho scelto per le insegne della Farmacia Quattro Cantoni e del Ristorante 4 Cantoni.
Response to “Blue of Distance” by Rebecca Solnit:
The reading brings a nuanced interpretation of the color blue; blue is the longing to have the object of desire. My favorite color has always been blue and my reasoning has always been because “it’s pretty”. I never thought blue should be associated with sadness and negativity, but at the same time I never interpreted as positive desire. I believe the “blue of distance” is life because the journey is more important than the destination; life is beautiful but if we get too close to it, there is no more life. Even the reading can back my “bigger than life” interpretation of blue because blue was a theme for Christianity in various paintings.
I never learned how to read and write in cursive and before this year, I did not learn a new language outside of two years of Spanish in high school. One challenge I have come across in Siena is trying to understand the street building signs since they are in Italian and sometimes they’re in both Italian and cursive. For my approach to the guidebook project, I wanted to put the readers in my perspective of how strange and alien the signs look to me. I also drew the signs to try to have a better understanding of what they are saying. For my cover, I cut out my initals “SLW” in different letter fonts and arranged them in a way to confuse readers.
Art-Craft Reflection Statement:
In today’s contemporary art, I think the line between art and craft is getting blurrier. Much like how walking became an art form in the 1960s, we are now opening our minds to what can be interpreted as art. I consider Piergiorgio Bertolozzi’s craft as works of art but he considers himself an artisan and not an artist. That is also okay because people are now more open to listening to other people’s interpretations of traditionally unconventional things as art. Even though he views his craft as practical items people commissioned him to do, I believe his knowledge of crafting shows in his work and is therefore expressive enough to be works of art.
Tempo Zulu project response:
For the Tempo Zulu assignment, I wanted to make something that would be a humorous way for me to express my adjustment to the various steep hills of Siena. I never knew Siena had so many steep slopes, and the path I walked to Piazza del Duomo for the Thursday walk had many steep slopes. My proposal is to create signs with the bathroom stick figures to warn people on Siena’s steep hills just how steep they are before they start walking up or down. The signs will be placed at the end of the hills. For the sign where people are walking up, there will be either a sign of a stick figure climbing or slouched over, physically indicating that it is tired. For the sign where people are walking down, there either be a sign of a stick figure slipping and falling off a hill or a stick figure in a position that indicates it is falling.
Reading response Rebecca Solnit “Shape of a Walk:”
I now have a broader perspective of what can be considered art. Before the reading, I thought the most I can make as art were photos, three-dimensional sculptures, videos, creative writing, and drawings. I never considered walking and natural materials as subjects for audience participation like in Richard Long’s work. I also never considered incorporating spirituality in my own art like with the works of Marina Abramovic and Ulay, and Hamish Fulton. So far, this course taught me to keep my mind open in creativity and appreciation for different forms of art. Though like Jackson Pollock, I care about showing the audience my gestures and how important the process of making my artwork is to me.
First Intro Unit Project: Walk of Destiny
I wanted to approach this project with some humor because I love comedy and it is still an adjustment living in Siena. Before I started the walk, I looked at the fountain in Piazza del Campo and realized there were two faucets with the words “acqua portabile”; I finally found one water fountain in Italy. The weekends, in particular, have tourists from other European countries. I thought this one woman was Italian, so I first asked her (in Italian) if she spoke English. She was not and did not understand what I was saying. I talked to some other people who knew varying degrees of English. When I on the middle of my journey, I hold my phone to one person and said: “Un photo?” because I didn’t know how to say: “can you take a photo of me?” in Italian. I noticed how steep the hills are in Siena and how half of Siena is nothing but hills, I got a little tired going up and down hills during the journey. I drew two gag cartoons: one commenting on the air quality and another exaggerating my feeling about walking multiple hills. I was wearing a Holy Cross shirt and to my surprise, at the end of my journey, an elderly American couple from Massachusetts yelled: “Go, Crusaders!”. Holy Cross is a small college that not even most people in Massachusetts know of its existence.
What I make in and outside of my classes are somewhat different, but the general themes used in most of my artwork in the past two years include identity politics, exaggeration, and personal aspects from my life. I prefer art that was less realistic and natural and was more exaggerated and even abstract. I mainly use paper and pencil, as well as different software programs to create most of my work inside and outside of the classroom. I do not like adding color to my contour drawings because I like to preserve the roughness of my work; painting is an interesting material to work but not one I prefer to work with. I do not like using colored pencils because I don’t know the proper stroking techniques in order to use it, so my coloring never looks solid and it instead looks more like juvenile crayon coloring. However, what drew me to creating artwork using software programs like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, and GIMP is the simple fact that I can create artwork that looks cleaner and I have the ability to color my artwork without the hassle of making a mess and looking solid enough.
I am interested in studying the human figure/naturalism as well as abstract because both spectrums are difficult for me at the moment. I hope to because a graphic designer and successfully creating abstract art is crucial. My previous studies at the College of the Holy Cross were drawing classes and digital art classes; I have grown to love contour drawing. During my senior year, I will be participating in the Senior Seminar because it is the capstone course for the Studio Art major. The Siena Art Institute has a similar program, Art and Society, where students create artwork independently that will be displayed at the end of the semester in an art show for the faculty members to see. Participating in this event will help prepare me for next year’s seminar. The main reason I want to go to the Siena Art Institute is so I can have the experience of being in an environment filled with nothing but artists before going to graduate/art school.
Selection of previous work: