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Posts Tagged ‘art’

An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.

George Santayana

This week’s post is about Pop Art: we have to choose one artist and one or more paintings/sculptures that he did and relate them with our blog’s theme.

I’ve chosen Claes Oldenburg and hereafter you’ll see a brief biography and the analysis of some of his works mixed with some of my points of view.


  • Name: Claes Thure Oldenburg
  • Born: January 28, 1929 in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Field: Sculpture, Public Art
  • He lived in New York, Oslo, Chicago
  • He trained in the Latin School of Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University
  • In 1976 he began working with Coosje van Bruggen (a sculptor, art historian, and critic), whom he married in 1977
  • He used as his subject matter common and commercial objects in his urban surroundings (one of the principles of pop art and this way he was contributing to its expansion in America)
The use of everyday objects is a mean of expression. By using them in many of his works, Claes is criticizing people and also how they can transform in their minds such simple objects like for example an umbrella or an ice cream in something so needed, so big.
That’s why his works are all in large scale: he portrays what happens in the mind of the consumerist.
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The work I’ve chosen was the Hat in Three Stages of Landing 

Sculpture’s description: three identical sculptures with a single abstract hat form, perforated by holes to suggest a colander and let the sky through it to pattern the shadow below. Formed of aluminum and set at three elevations 80 feet apart on top of double stanchions.

Local: The site chosen by the Salinas Outdoor Sculpture Advisory Committee was a park area in front of a new auditorium and community center at the edge of town, a setting with tall eucalyptus trees edged with stables, adjoining the stands of the California Rodeo.

Salinas is a place where hats are essential because of the many works out-of-doors.

The subject of a hat fit well into this approach. It could be seen as if thrown from the Rodeo stands, descending in stages like a balloon or small plane landing on the grounds of the park.


The appearance of our Hat was controversial because we turned the curve of the brim over, facing it down to suggest a saddle and also placed the crease in the Hat crosswise to its path, liberties we defended in writing to the committee with success. 

Claes Thure Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

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From my point of view, besides giving an interesting detail to the landscape, these three hats are pretty useful in the hot sunny days:

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So why I have chosen Claes Oldenburg?

His works, besides being “simple” (the use of daily objects in very large scale), are very original and a soft critic to society and its obsession with consumerism. If some people look at his works and say something like “omg there’s nothing more ordinary and simple thing” and “I can’t believe it, they could have occupied this place with something more useful” well it’ll only show their lack of depth view and they’ll see that they were criticizing themselves because they buy all these “simple”, “ordinary” and “useless” things. 

This way he glorifies the insignificant, while playing with it.

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The fashion besides the art

The famous cowboy (/cowgirl) style doesn’t exist only in the old west movies. It was the choice of some famous brands such as Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbana in very recent years: 2010 and 2011.

Characterized by the cowboy hat, with a light shirt and jeans combined with the typical cowboy boots.

It’s original and, if well combined with the clothes, this hat gives an elegant style. 

The boots are kinda interesting but I think that only combine well with all the other cowboy clothes. 

However I need to say that it isn’t such a light style to use every day. 

Dolce & Gabbana Spring Fashion 2010:

I love both these styles, besides thinking that in the right picture the boots could be in other style. 

Ralph Lauren Spring 2011 Collection presents Cowgirl Fashion:

If honestly I don’t like to much these clothes… The coat reminds me an old bed sheet. 

It’s more a safari style than properly cowboy…

From Elle España:

I love these clothes and I do not mind having equal 🙂

Adam Kimmel – Spring/Summer 2010 – Collection Cowboy:

It was missing a more masculine and less teenage clothes in the fashion world.

To finish this post I selected a very elegant and popular celebrity with a cowgirl style: Kate Middleton

I love it! The white fits well on her. She don’t need to be always with dresses to look elegant like a princess.

Bibliography

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claes_Oldenburg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coosje_van_Bruggen
http://poparthistory.webs.com/claesoldenburg.htm
http://ficpopart.blogspot.pt/search/label/Claes%20Oldenburg
http://www.owensvalleyhistory.com/cowgirls01/cowgirl01_m.jpg
http://img.alibaba.com/photo/315598404/princess_cowgirl_hat_BSH_0372_.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Xd2tr8jvrfw/TDFq6oR_IHI/AAAAAAAAB6c/J0Owk1FpPeA/s400/Reba+Cowgirl+Hat.jpg
http://www.fashion-stylist.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/image/Gant_pre-fall_collection.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_8pZbCBP6KeE/Sd-rLqj_VMI/AAAAAAAAAmA/psso4DuWIr4/s400/cowgirl+chic.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5LPyMfqKW_A/TY-LVQr_qyI/AAAAAAAAAhY/AbdE1Rfz84Q/s1600/RalphLauren-cowgirl.jpg
http://www.southmoltonststyle.com/2011/04/key-look-cowgirl.html
http://fashioninyear.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/picture-of-kate-middleton-cowgirl-look-Kate-Middleton-with-Cowgirl-Fashion.jpeg
http://dudicas.blogspot.pt/2009/06/cowboy-fashion.html
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The Street

Have you ever heard about this painting? Made in 1964 by Romare Howard Bearden, an African American artist and writer who portrayed the fight for Human Rights through art.

Now analyzing this picture, the people portrayed here may be the African American people who live in New York and this scene is passed on one New York’s street (this artist was also African American and also lived some years of his life in NY). We can see that it is a busy street, very confusing and difficult to understand if we look at it superficially.

Everyone of the 24 (it is so confused that every time I count there appears a different number) African American people are black.

This art technique is called “collage“. Firstly Bearden made a collage of various papers on cardboard, then Bearden enlarged them by means of a photographic process called photostat. Bearden called these enlargements “projections”. And after that the pictures were in black and white. Hereupon, despite all the people are black, in the picture they have both white and black skins. One of them seems to be Martin Luther King, an important personality related to the Civil Rights Movement. The junction of the two facts related above (white and black skin tone in black people and Martin Luther King) is to symbolize that there are no difference between people, particularly between whites and blacks, who are the most discriminated (the black people). Martin fought for the black people’s rights and Bearden also wants that equality.

All of these who are looking down have their faces covered or are with the eyes closed, which are signals that they do not let themselves put down. The others either are looking in front (for the picture’s observer) either they look up, like as a sign of “dream big”, about liberty, equality and in their case one thing implies the other.

In a closer plan, , we see “musicians” / people playing, smoking, but there are few, the ones who really enjoy life, because a huge number of them is working.

The conditions where they live are dire comparing with the conditions of white people and it’s almost an irony because, just in New York, about 50% are African American people.

The appearance of a black cat crossing the street can be a sign of two things. The first and more common is the superstition that, if a black cat crosses the street, you will have bad luck – the black people’s bad luck (they were treated like animals for many years and still now there are a huge number of racist people). The second thing is to join the cat with the population, since they are both black, they’re discriminated, demoted, considered “something to avoid“.

The bridge, seen in the background, in the upper right side, is the symbol of the passage from one shore to another, from a life / way of life to another. In this case the bridge is the connection between the black and white population (and this was the objective of both Martin Luther King and Romare Howard Bearden: to unite the world avoiding racism or discrimination, forming a society in which all are equal and have the same rights).

Below we have the gesture of saying “I love you” with the hands. This might be a “thank you” from Bearden to us, because if we are interpreting this picture and if we reach this point it means that we care somehow with the black people.

Some of these details are also present in other works of art of this artist. He uses them to emphasize even more the discrimination to black people.

Bibliography: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romare_Bearden 
http://www.nga.gov/feature/bearden/tech2.shtm 
http://www.artvalue.com/image.aspx?PHOTO_ID=1464274&width=500&height=500 
http://collection.mam.org/vmedia/tms768/M1996.52.jpg 
http://humanitiesusa.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/romare-bearden-the-dove-picture.jpg
http://g1b2i3.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/romare-bearden-the-street.jpg

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