Mathias Poledna’s: Imitation of Life has over 5,000 handmade sketches, layouts, animation, and ink rendered frame by frame that to eventually lead into a short animation. It is a 35mm color film with optical sound and 35 mm frame enlargement. You can see he rendered this spectacular background with watercolor while the foreground is this simplistic and vibrant shapes. The cartoon is portrayed to be in the Biennale gardens and is about three minutes long of a donkey in a sailor suit having adventures in nature that mimics Disney’s cartoons.
Poledna’s subject matter is representational colorful, whimsical, child-like cartoon. Using watercolor in his work, it gives a sense of realness to the cartoon. Almost like it contradicts one another having a simplified cartoon combined with a lovely, rendered nature in the background. You can see in the image how Poledna carefully added a variety of values with watercolor that gives the cartoon depth. He managed to create textures, which is present if you look closely at the bark of the tree or the bushes in the back. The focal point is the brightly drawn cartoon quills that are not rendered much like the background but rather are outlined with bold black lines that draws your eyes right to it. The quills are drawn much more differently from the nature scene where Mathias made sure it demands attention.
Poledna wanted to recreate the artwork much like Disney’s cartoons. It is a fun and whimsical approach that intrigues people of all ages and suppose to be around the time of the Great Depression. This artwork is safe and causes no controversial issues but is culturally significant because everyone likes to be able to escape the real world and observe a world much happier than their own with no starvation, disease, depression, etc. It gives people a chance to think more optimistically and temporarily ignore the negativity. In fact, the watercolor background gives an impression of a soft look, like everything is safe. It is similar to the Rocco style period, where everything is perfect. It’s impressive for the 1930s to 1940s time period to have this type of technology to create a motion picture artwork come alive.
Overall, this artwork is what I consider to be good due to it’s beautifully contrast of rendered nature and simplistic cartoons. I’m drawn to the vibrant colors and whimsical atmosphere the artwork brings. It reminds me of simpler times when I was younger where there is no presence of stress, obligations, and life is to be enjoyable and carefree.
1. Marisa Merz incorporates a whimsical side to her artwork. It all has an abstract approach in a child like way. The media she uses seem to consist of chalk, charcoal, crayon, and watercolor. Her work looks like it was done in a fast pace fashion. I don’t fancy her artwork too much because I feel like her pieces are “already been there, done that, seen it.”
2. Walter De Maria is an artist who seems to have a more balanced composition of brass/copper cylinders in his work. By standing at different angles, it appears the viewers can see his work in a variety of different perspectives. I appreciate that it is more of an interactive artwork for the audience.
3. Varda Caivano’s paintings are an above aerial shot of landscapes in abstract organic shapes. It has an unfinished feel to it as if he is demonstrating the processes of paintings step by step. I find his work appealing because it gets the audience thinking what the message is and why he used certain color schemes than others.
4. “Kamikaze Loggia” is a simple architectural artist that plays with lines and space throughout the confinement. His work has an unfinished appearance that even makes furniture by conducting lines made of steel and wood in different directions. This type of grand scale artwork of the whole house impresses me how time consuming it must have been.
5. Enrico David has a creative way to do his art by stitching or weaving yarn in a repetition of patterns that are inverses of one another. The patterns have completely different color from its opposing side. I find his brave risk of using a large composition of sewing to be appreciated but I feel like just using patterns can tend to get on the dull side.
6. Henrik Olesen seems to take a more political stand such as sexuality in his artwork. I have a more difficult time trying to figure out the random assortment of found objects in a box near his drawings. I feel that even his arrangement of the gallery has an uncomfortable atmosphere, which he may be trying to convey.
7. Sarah Lucas also takes a sexual approach towards her work by creating abstract balloon people which all have one to more phallic shapes intertwined. I think it was constructively a good decision to use gold so when the light hits it, it looks as if the piece displays movement.
8. James Lee Byars’ work has minimalist elements that intrigues me but also confuses me as to why there are only two vertical gold bars spaced apart. It must be symbolic in some way but honestly I would not stay focused on this piece long enough and would want to move on to the next one.
9. Mark Manders has a variety of artwork that has a combination of geometric and organic forms. There is an interesting use of space where part of the head fits into a tight spot. It’s strange artwork but something about it keeps my attention.
10. Carol Rama is a feminist artist who uses a consistent theme of shocking images primarily female sensuality. All the art pieces seem to use a medium of watercolors and have a repetition of each image wearing a floral crown. Thus each artwork was connected to one another through similar color schemes and the symbolic floral crown.
11. John Bock creates a simplistic house where everything is geometric while the only thing that is organically shaped is the maggot itself. Thus making the maggot the focal point. If Bock meant to disturb the audience then it worked for my case since I never want to be brought attention to a maggot.
12. Hans Josephsohn makes organic human like forms out of a medium could be clay or mud. The sculptures have a rough bumpy texture that give the impression it is aged, that time has passed. I like the fact that if you observe long enough, you can pick out the human facial characteristics of the sculptures.
13. Danh Vo takes a more cultural aspect in his work. There is a repetition of shapes throughout the faded blankets stretched out on the wall. This aids in creating a connection to one another thus being harmonized. I find his work interesting because maybe Vo is incorporating his home life and showing it to the audience in an artistic fashion.
14. James Richards primarily uses a monochromatic color scheme in his photos. Each photo has the models doing so some sort of action thus expresses more of a story. I’m fascinated with the eyes he wove with thread using a crosshatching technique. Richards distributed beautiful monochromatic values and texture.
15. Daniel Hesidence uses mixed media in his paintings. There is a lovely color scheme of blue, green, white, black, and some sort of other material that stands out giving it texture and the focal point of the piece. There is an efficient amount of movement due to the textured organic shapes present. I’m curious as to what the message but I perceive it as maybe something dealt with the depths of the ocean floor because of the color scheme and the sporadic shapes and lines.
16. Geta Bratescu has representational images of shapes that appear to be similar to organs. The medium she uses is cloth and stitched the shapes with colorful thread. Her artwork makes me want to approach it closer to observe the detail of the stitching in tiny zig zag motions yet overall creating large organic shapes.
17. Harun Farocki is a filmmaker that films the most religious or monumental locations where the body of Christ was, the footprint of Mary, the mouth of the River God Triton, the Vietnam wall, etc. You can see the significance and emotion of the crowd touching the sculptures and Farocki manages to capture it. Watching the clips of his film felt powerful how people are capable of appreciating those who have fallen or feel closer spiritually to their god.
18. Helen Marten seems not to only install props but also dabbles in graphics as well. Her work has a playful, innocent, humoristic element by using props such as produce, nature, plastic/steel animals, and children’s old-fashioned toys. It’s effective to see the props and come up with conclusions as to why they are placed together.
19. Simon Denny seems to take an interest in worn out technology. He combines three-dimensional and two-dimensional objects and intertwine them together to get an interesting illusion. Some of the two-dimensional items made me question whether it was a photograph or an actual item.
20. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye main medium is acrylic or oil paints. She shows importance of daily life of African-Americans but has the foreground and background equally in dark values. Only small amounts of subtle color are shown through to make a dramatic impression. This brings to my attention the most.
21. Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys use an odd placement of mannequins in daily life. It’s uncomfortable and confusing how the combination of oddly made mannequins and how eccentric the storyline go together. Not entirely a fan of their work.
22. Pamela Rosenkranz medium use video and possibly tape over a blue square. The tape has obvious air pockets that make quite a contrast against the vibrant blue. Is her artwork demonstrating how harmful chemicals can be to the skin thus the air pockets represent damage to the skin ( the pure vibrant blue rectangle)?
23. Trisha Donnelly uses an abandoned house where the inside is bare, dark and aged on the inside and the focal point is this white, stressed, textured, and worn stone of some sort. I’m not sure of the meaning she is trying to convey.
24. Rudolf Stingel focuses his art around a medieval time period with aged repetitive patterns and color scheme on the walls. The black and white paintings really pop against the vibrant patterned walls. If you look closely enough you can see the texture on the black and white paintings. I really enjoy looking at the paintings because there is such great detail and beautiful use of values. It gives it a photographic impression.
25. Yuksel Arslan’s work revolves around the evolution of man and the process of reproduction. Asrlan seems to take interest in how the human body works. There is a repetitive lines going up and down to represent of brain activity or heart beats. Then there are some of his other paintings that I don’t know how exactly how the relate with the others.
26. Christopher Williams main medium is photography. Mostly all the photographs are monochromatic and the items belonging in nature. He shows excellent use of defining foreground and background. I’m curious about the one individual cover of a magazine that has nothing to do with nature and what it has to do with the other photographs.
27. Katrin Sigurdardottir deals with architectural landscape. The patterns are beautifully done and have a gothic appearance. A lot of movement is present by her use of geometric and organic shapes leading in different directions.
28. Lawrence Weiner is the only one out of the list of artists who truly uses graphic design. His placement of the text is evenly spaced and balanced. The text practically a copy on the opposing wall. Not exactly my cup of tea for graphic design artwork because nothing is essentially different.
29. Mathias Poledna has two different styles, one being simplistic and the other being cartoon. I’m more drawn to the vibrant colors and details of the cartoon. The background is done fantastically in watercolor while the foreground is the main imagery of bright solid colors that bring the image out.
Never did I think I would ever get the chance to go to Italy! Ever since I arrived to Lander my freshman year, I had always hoped to be able to go specifically to Italy. So I decided to save up each year hoping I'd get the opportunity and here I am finally getting to travel to the country I've been fantasizing for practically 3 years! I hear from others who have previously traveled abroad say it is a life changing experience and I believe it! I've attempted to learn a few short phrases in Italian so hope that helps. Just hope I won't have to use the phrase "Mi sono perso" which means I'm lost!