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R. Crumb
Cartoonists always intrigued me ever since I was a little girl. I always became mesmerized with how the artist had the ability to incorporate so many details but yet it still remains a cartoon. But with this particular piece, what got me was the fact that it was a biblical comic book series. The way he broke down the different scenes and stories in the Bible and made it elementary enough to  spark the interest of kids of all ages was something that drew me in.  Research saidit took him over 5 years to complete. I can imagine, the Bible is a very intricate book with lots of things to include. He is a pretty famous cartoonist and a lot of his work are visually pleasing but I would have to say that this one is the one I enjoy the most.

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John DeAndrea
AMAZING. AMAZING. AMAZING. My first encounter with this sculpture was fear to be honest, fear that if I got any closer she would move! So realistic, so believable. I was literally drooling over it, the shadows, the texture. DeAndrea uses postures with men and women as a big relationship when it comes to these. With this particular work it is if course a female and her pose is quite relaxed and distraught. Its as if she looks effortlessly real. How he achieves such believable pieces is by layering paint onto bronze casts causing this to look similar to human skin. Majority of his works stand without props, and naked with the intentions of representing the human form better. Great idea. I think props and other objects surrounding the sculpture wouldn't really add to it just distract. This piece speaks loud enough alone without anything to "help" it.

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J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere
This has to be the FIRST artwork that I saw going into the Arsenale. I just loved it. At first I couldn't believe something like this that I see on a daily basis is showcased in this gallery. I just love natural hair. Being that I am natural myself, I find it quite relatable. At first I couldn't figure out if he was responsible for creating the hairstyles or just the photographs. After doing some thorough research I found out he is responsible for the photographs. Another plus for me being that I am interested in doing photography. He is from Nigeria and he documents Nigerian hairstyles.

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Thierry De Cordier
WOW. My most favorite piece in the entire gallery to be honest with you. This entire room blew me away. It was hard enough picking one pic to somehow slightly showcase the amount of talent he has. Research says that he is not only an artist but a philosopher, performer, sculptor, writer and poet. Talk about a Jack of all Trades. The details in this series of paintings were so direct it literally made me just wonder how difficult and tedious it had to have been to create such powerful artworks. Cordier says that the grey skies and ink black seas of his monochromatic paintings evoke melancholy and are extremely dramatic. I enjoy the dramatic waves and harsh winds because it creates a powerful message for the viewer to try and understand or to even relate.

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Hilma af Klint
The vivid colors of these pieces caught my interest. One thing that was similar in all of the pieces was the circle. Her abstract art were categorized in several different ways but the highly common one was supernatural. She experienced visions as a child and based on her life experiences she became interested in life after death after her sisters' passing. Sad to say but many of the most famous pieces are resulted from a personal painful encounter or witnessing one. Her works weren't released until after her death.

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Sarah Lucas
Before even going away on this trip I got a little obsessed with Sarah Lucas. When I finally got exposed to her work in person, it didn't subside. I actually grew to like her even more. I didn't expect to see as much of her work as I did in the gallery. Most of her work provokes a high amount of sex appeal with both male and female. The way that everything is portrayed is pretty interesting to me. Its not offensive, doesn't make you feel uncomfortable or is geared towards a specific audiences. She uses a lot of different materials but the series that was showcased in the gallery resembled metal, bronze, etc.

 
 
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Today we re-visted the Biennale. It is two different parts so me and a couple of other people went to the 2nd part (The Arsenale) with Team Slagle - My most FAVORITE museum from the entire trip. There was so much variety, interesting things, weird things, etc. I wish I could go back and have an even longer time to view the work instead of just a 2 hour limit. I had so many favorite installations shown below in my images. One thing I realized about a lot of the art there that touched me the most was the work shown by the artists exemplified not being afraid to step out of the box. Be different. Be weird. A lot of times being an artist it can be intimidating or a set-back to step out of the box due to fear of being judged, criticized, or ridiculed. Majority of the pieces were far from the norm to what I am used to or would expect. More than breathtaking and inspiring. Really boosted my confidence as an artist and pushed me to not be afraid to step out of the box. 
        After leaving the Arsenale, the graphic design emphasis art students went to visit a prominent graphic design corporation, Hangar Design Group. Their entire persona screamed sophistication, modern, and simplicity. They were a very versatile corporation that designed anything from interior design, wine bottles, mobile homes to make-up. We got a close up of not only their finished pieces but some of the methods they used to promote and broadcast their work, the process, and even hear some tips from personal experience from the staff. 


 
 
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Today we went to the Scrovegni Chapel and we had to catch a train there from Venice. The Chapel was extremely sacred so we had to dress appropriately-no shoulders or knees showing and we couldn't take any bags or take any pictures at all. We got split into three different groups because they only allowed 25 people to enter at a time. We only got to observe the interior for 15 minutes and the other 15 we had to sit in this room watching a video of the history of the chapel. Come to find out the reason behind sitting in the room for 15 minutes was to keep the temperature of the room a certain temperature to preserve the art. Pretty smart technique! Windows already let in sunlight that over time deteriorate art so the temperature from body heat can be the reason behind even more damage. But once we were inside it was amazing! Some of the damage was still pretty distinct but overall most of the artwork was pretty preserved. Being that majority of the trip we looked at religious art, I didn't get much excitement from it at first. However, I was fascinated by the way all of the Biblical stories were displayed. The one that was the most recognizable right off the bat for me was Jonah and the Whale. Pretty popular story and the image was pretty straight forward. But the wall that I may have stood in front of much longer than the others was the back wall that had the different perceptions of heaven and hell. SO MUCH CONTRAST! and the fact that it was easily recognizable made it even more mind blowing. Giotto definitely did his thing by making his audience want to reside in heaven rather than fiery hell. After all of the groups visited the chapel and everyone picked up their bags we had the option of going back to the Venice or going to Verona. Me and Mia were pooped so we decided to head back to Venice. Before getting on the train to head back to Venice we grabbed a bite to eat in Padua. McDonald's.. yes I sneaked a pic I had to get one to show to my manager. I work at one back home. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and enjoying beautiful Venice at night. Mia and I just shopped in some of the nice stores. 

 
 
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Today was a pretty light day, not entirely busy. We went to the Accademia and The Peggy Guggenhein Museum. The Accademia would not allow us to take photos and we had to leave our bags with the front desk. The artwork inside was entirely Renaissance which we have seen a lot of on this trip. Honestly, I am not a big fan of Renaissance and religious art but I still get intrigued on how the artist expresses what he thinks a certain biblical scene looks like. For example, on July 5th we went to go see David. This statue was what the artist, Michelangelo thought the character David from the biblical story David and Goliath resembled. This is not the ONLY way David was portrayed but one of the famous and well-known ones. There were several different types and styles David was created in by many different artists. This is just like the many different types of expressions in Renaissance Style artwork. So many different artists, the same inspiration but a TOTALLY different outcome. Amazing. Well after leaving the Accademia we walked to another Museum that contained more contemporary artwork. There was a lot of interesting pieces there. Most of the pieces made you look twice. After leaving the Gallery we headed back to the hotel and went to the beach!! Yes the beach in Italy.. I had a ball with my friends and had an even greater night. 

 
 
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First night in our lovely room was wonderful but I guess you can say were a little spoiled in the last two hotels when it came to the complementary breakfast. This one didn't have as much variety or big portions but they did treat us like royalty. It's Sunday and it doesn't even feel like it here, beginning to miss my family and friends a whole lot. Today we went to the three museums- the Piazza San Marco, Basilica San Marco,  and the world famous Venice Biennale. These museums were extremely different than the other hotels that we viewed before because they showcased contemporary art. Things that were out of the box, unexpected, unique, etc. Some of the work was interesting and some not so. We could take our cameras in so I tried to take as many pictures as possible. The Biennale has a lot of artwork that is breath-taking and will blow your mind away. Before leaving to go to Italy we were given a list of some of the artists that were showcased in the Biennale. I got the opportunity to see one of my favorite artists, Sarah Lucas, from the list in the exhibit. I didn't expect to see so MANY of her pieces in the the gallery but I got a pic of every one. Her work was so intriguing to look at- the weird twists, turns and texture her pieces exemplified made you wonder. Is this REALLY just abstract, or is it sex appeal, pain or even strength. I gained so many "what could be's" from viewing her pieces and can't wait to research her even more. The different forms colliding into such funky positions is kind of what captured me the most. Each room showcased a different artist's work or artwork that was similar. It is so much to see, we couldn't even finish in one day so we will return on the day before we leave. Getting exposed to so much INCREDIBLE artwork has left me at a stage of shock for the the past three days. Being an artist myself and observing the work we see day to day; it in fact pushes you to want to do MORE, work HARDER, be GREATER, etc. Of course some of the time frames all the artist did was art. BREATE SLEEP, EAT art or they wouldn't have been able to eat any meals. Of course, art was still their passion but it wouldn't as much of an option as it is now to create masterpieces. Now we have a life--social, work, school, etc. Art was their life, school, work, etc. My After completing  only like 30%-50% of the Biennale, we left and grabbed a bite to eat. The architecture and design of the restaurant- so astonishing, very fun, quirky and vibrant. After eating, we caught the water bus and headed back to the stop where our hotel was located. It wasn't really early so Mia and I decided to explore the nightlife of Venice. Some shops were still open and some we haven't even seen before. It was nice to just take everything in and enjoy the city-life of Venice. 

 
 
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Today we left Florence and headed to Venice!! Our last stop in Italy. No more changing hotels. The fact that 50% of my trip is almost over!! I cannot believe it. We had a little extra time before leaving Florence so we shopped all morning. For some reason the last day we were in Florence, every store yes EVERY store had a big sale- maybe something similar to summer blowout sale. Well we caught a train and it took about the same amount it did from Rome to Florence. Once we caught the train to Venice we had to ride a boat to our hotel. Venice is sooo gorgeous!!! I thought I was going to be terrified because Venice is surrounded by so much water but it is not scary at all. The city itself overlooks water and the way the sun bounces from building to building against the water is amazing. When we arrived in Venice we all got split up into different hotels because the hotel couldn't hold us all. But all of our hotels were all on the same street, In fact we were all neighbors. I cannot brag enough on our room. I guess they saved the best for last but our room was so beautiful and big. The hotel is mocked after an antique theme similar to our first one in Rome but not as modern. It looked like a princess suite! I was so happy that the room we were going to be staying in the longest was in fact the best out of them all. The rest of our night was free so my friends and I decided to freshen up and roam the town, bump a nap. We ate a little restaurant for dinner and the waiter was extremely friendly and patient with us. 

 
 
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Today was the most intriguing day of them all in my opinion. We went to the Galleria dell'Accademia. This is where the well known famous statue of David that Michelangelo created is- not the copies but the original one! The entire 17 feet tall statue. I was blown away-- every detail, every crease, wrinkle, defined part of the body is all there--Incredible. The diligence that it would take to create such a beautiful work of art is what intrigued me the most. It was much bigger in person than what I expected. Being able to see the proportions of David was the most mesmerizing of them all because when it comes to creating bodies of work in large scale sizes I tend to struggle- something may be too small, too big or not even. Creating an anatomy of bodies where you want it to look realistic can be a challenge. We couldn't take any pics inside but some people were still sneaking and taking pics anyway.  After being mesmerized by David, we went to the Galleria degli Uffizi. My favorite piece was The 6 Virtues by Paillou. It really drew me in solely because of the fabric, yes something as small as the fabric caught my attention. There was series of 6 different paintings; each painting showed a female who basically portrayed each virtue. I can't quite remember each one but I will update it when I do. Each painting had similar poses but the each told a different story!- gave a different message. I fell in love with the fact that each type of fabric that the female wore you could tell just by the way that it was painted that it was a different texture- just by the way the wrinkles formed, fell and the way the shadows and highlights were captured. AMAZINGGGG... SILK, COTTON, VELVET, ETC. Capturing texture that distinctly in one series is extremely difficult but this artist, Paillou definitely succeeded. It was so recognizable and easy to differentiate it from the others. After literally staring at it for quite some time, I began to try and pick out this characteristic in detail I found in Paillou's in other artwork I came across the rest of the gallery. The Galleria degli Uffizi was sooooo B I G. It took us forever to find the exit. We didn't even finish looking at all of the artwork because we missed lunch looking at the artwork and lost track of time. After finally getting out, we grabbed a quick bit to eat and waited on the rest of the group and headed to an Art Store in Italy. I was so excited! Rumors say that the famous Michelangelo bought some of his materials he used to create his masterpieces from this exact Art Store. That's how long it has been in business. I bought a few things that I will keep forever. The rest of the night we just relaxed because it had been kind of a long day. I didn't take many pics today because every museum made us put our cameras away and the rest of the day was spent shopping, who needs a camera for that? 

 
 
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Sorry it's taking me so long to post but the wi-fi in these hotels are just not good at all..HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!! and where am I? Italy!! but I still found a way to express myself for my country. We left Rome today and went to Florence. We caught a train from Rome to Florence and the scenery was absolutely amazing..like pictures out of a book. It didn't even seem real. We got to see landscapes from Lazio, Umbria, and Tuscany. Well after arriving in Florence, guess what was happening: DARK CLOUDS & RAIN. ugh. But I didn't let that take away my excitement, dragging our suitcases and bags through the streets of Florence was enough to keep me happy. The scene was so much different than Rome; because Florence is by the water, very strong odors lingered every now & then. As soon as we arrived at the hotel we were going to be staying in, the rain stopped and bright beaming sunshine came out. After checking into our hotel, we immediately set out to our first site to tour: Santa Maria Del Fiore ("The Duomo").  After seeing The Duomo we went to the Duomo Baptistry. The rest of the day we had the opportunity and freedom to explore Florence for the rest of the day/night. Well first Mia and I set out for lunch, we ate at a restaurant called Za Za. I ordered some seafood that was so delicious. It was basically shrimp, some type of gravy mixture and rice. VERY filling as well. After eating and getting up enough energy to get up from the table, we ventured out and looked at the several different booths and stores. One thing I can say about Florence is that it is much cheaper than Rome! I think I like it a little bit better actually-the scenery, it's more country-like, and of course the prices ! Well we stayed out the entire day and some of the night with some of our friends. Later that night, we set out to celebrate the 4th of July Italy Style at a local party. It was a lot of fun and i had a great time! Will try to upload more pics but the wireless is TERRIBLE! 

 
 
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Sorry I am a little late, the wi-fi is sooo slow here and I discovered that I bought the wrong kind of adapter for my charger so my laptop was dead and I couldn't post. But here I am- live from the hotel's lobby using my teacher's adapter. 2nd Day! Of course I paid for the lack of sleep this early but my night was well worth it. Ate breakfast at the hotel and I ate a crescent, some delicious pancakes with some foreign syrup, and some fruit. It was the best pancakes I ever had..way better than IHOP. The first thing we did today was go to the Vatican City and went to the Vatican Museum. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Some famous works we saw was the grand Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and a lot of Raphael's works. I stayed in the Sistine Chapel for at least 45 minutes literally looking up at the ceiling drooling! It is beautiful, google images do not do its justice. The colors are much more vibrant in person, details are more obvious, the figures look so 3 dimensional because of shadows and careful detail. You actually get to appreciate the work SO MUCH MORE. Because it was a chapel we could not wear our arms out, or short bottoms. Your shoulders had to be covered and any bottoms had to be past the knee in respect. We could not take pictures or even talk. I am still in shock that I was standing right under this famous artist's work that I had been taught ever since I was a younger artist in middle school. We toured the Vatican's Museum for a few hours and I still didn't get to see every single piece in there. After this, we all headed out with some friends to get a quick bite to eat, I had 2 clubs with potato chips. It was good-some of the bread was toasted, and the ham was freshly cut in front of my face. After eating we walked to the train and went to the Borghese Park. The longest walk of my life. It was so many hills steps and cobblestone roads. But it was well worth it. The view from the park over the city was amazing. It was definitely breath-taking. After relaxing and un-winding for a little we walked to another Gallery (the Galleria Borghese). Some friends and I lagged behind and took out time enjoying the scenery. We stopped and put our feet in a fountain and the water was so cold but it felt good because of all the walking we had been doing. The museum was much smaller but still had some beautiful pieces. Again, we couldn't take pictures. We had to leave our bags with the staff up front but this museum allowed us to take our sketchbooks inside so we could sketch and write about some of the things we encountered. After this we had a free afternoon and evening. Mia and I went to the Trevi Fountain and made a wish. Along the way we met some really nice local Italians. It was so packed but the fountain is a very popular attraction. It is good luck to throw a coin in over your shoulder & make a wish. I think if you throw one coin you will fall in love and if you throw two you will return to Italy again in the future. After making our wishes and taking pictures we ate at a nearby restaurant. I had spaghetti. After eating a delicious meal, we walked to the Spanish Steps. A lot of people were out there and it was fun meeting some many people and browsing through the booths that were set up out there. Well tomorrow we leave Rome to go to Florence so I stayed to catch up on my rest for the train ride we have. Until next time...Chao!

 
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