Andy Warhol – Artist of the Week

Andy Warhol is a very important artist and is famous for his pop art. His art was focused on celebrities and found ways to incorporate them in his art. He was able to make a lot of art pieces very quickly and that led people to think that he is lazy and has no passion for his art. Despite that, he has been very successful and people have been buying his art for a great amount of money.

One of Andy Warhol’s most famous and recognized art pieces is Campbell’s Soup Company. It was meant to send a message about mass production. I find it very interesting and increasing the message when I found out that he paints the replicas and there are 32 different versions. To me that shows that even though in mass production no two things can be exactly the same.

Andy Warhol seems to me like a great artist as well as a smart businessman. Not only was he able to create pieces that are fairly quick to produce, he was able to have them be bought for a ton of money. I am not sure if I completely disagree with his critics since he did produce a lot of art very quickly but I find that fact alone to be very impressive.


Aaron Swartz – Artist of the Week

Aaron H. Swartz was born on November 8, 1986. He was an entrepreneur and a computer programmer and he used his skills to express his political views. He did research at Harvard University on Institution Corruption. He started an online group called ”Demand Progress”. He got arrested for breaking and entering charges. That happened because he installed a computer to download academic journal articles from JSTOR in the Institute closet. He got in trouble for wire fraud and the penalty was $1 million and 35 years in prison.


Swartz killed himself at his apartment. He had an opportunity to take a plea bargain where hehe would have served 6 months in prison. He was so proud of his work that he refused to admit that what he did was wrong. As Glenn mentioned, he did not actually do anything wrong in the first place.

I find that what he did was very brave and it’s really awesome that he believed in what he was doing. I applaud him for seeing something that is wrong and trying to fix it. It is of course unfortunate  that he ended up taking his life.

I think that regardless of his bravery he is not an artist. He does something he believes in to send a message but it is not art. I get the point that was made about how Monet was seen as radical and his art was questioned at his time but is now widely accepted and praised. Yet, what Swartz was doing was radical in a different way. He wasn’t creating an art piece no one has ever done before, he was bordering illegal activity. He wasn’t just creating art that some people did not understand. He actually made people nervous for exposing secrets.

Vanessa Blaylock – Artist of the Week

Vanessa Blaylock was born on 25 of April, 1969 in Washington, DC. She, like a few other artists we’ve observed so far, utilizes the virtuality for her art pieces. She creates avatars to send messages to the world. She focuses a lot of her messages on identity and how the virtual world affects reality.


One of her works ”All Avatar are equal, but some are more equal” was created to look like an avatar pride parade. It is an interesting art piece because avatars start out looking exactly the same. As you start to personalize the avatar it changes its look color, gender but it started out looking the same.

“Project Secret Identity”, is another example of her art. She wanted to show that privacy online is a right. The picture below shows what the art piece looks like. They had a few campuses where this will take place one of which is CSULB.

I find the avatar type of art to be interesting. As technology keeps evolving it is inevitable that new types of art will come up. It is great because it makes it easier for different types of people to reach art. It is not my favorite type of art because as a whole that type of virtual world is not something I really like.

Artist of the Week – Joseph DeLappe

DeLappe is a artist that utilizes  digital media to create his pieces and send messages. Gandhi March of 1930. It was a piece to protest the taxation of salt. He had a treadmill to be used instead of a controller in the video game Second Life and he made a figure of Gandhi walk the same journey he walked in real life. This sent a message about social independence. Through his piece he was sending the same message as Ganhdi did that violence does not help a situation.


Another example of a piece is when he signed up for a game America’s Army. He would list the names of soldiers who fought and died in the Iraq war during the game. A lot of players responded in different ways to this. Some were intrigued and thought more about it and some were angry that their game was ruined. I think that the angry ones just felt uncomfortable because their killing as a game was now more real.

DeLape did another project with 1000 origami cranes which represent peace. He took the idea of origami and applied it to drones. people folded paper drones and wrote the names of  casualties from drones in reality.


Eva and Franco Mattes – Artists of the Week

Eva and Franco Mattes use the web and media to create their art work. Their work has been seen as very controversial and sometimes almost illegal. Their pieces have a lot to do with power structures and exploring the technological world.

A recent exhibition of theirs had multimedia performances, which challenged social media’s ideas of privacy. They displayed 10,000 stolen photographs. They found a faulty file that allowed them to access random people’s personal photos. They had a slideshow of shirtless guys and girls doing the duck face. That is just an example of the many buzz stirring art works they did.

Very often they have been criticized and their artist skills have been questioned because they take part of their art works from others. In my opinion that is fine because their isn’t anything truly original. Everything is inspired by other’s work and changed around from different people.

Janet Cardiff – Artist of the Week

Janet Cardiff works with a variety of media such as video, sound and audio. She is internationally known for her art tour walks. The way they work is the people follow her directions around a specific location.


The audio she prerecords is not just her voice but sound effects are added to help with the mood. The walk is not just a guidance through a certain area but an experience of its own. Cardiff’s art has similar themes such as displacement desire and mystery.

The Dark Pool is an example of series of works. It consisted of a room that was dim and had speakers placed throughout it. There were different ancient objects throughout the room as well. Different audios of stories would play.

I love how original her art is. Instead of doing something that everyone else is, she found a way to mix technology and art and create a different type of experience. Not only is it a completely different type of art work but she also found a way to incorporate sounds her voice and videos among other things to create a whole experience. Her work creates a combination of reality and fantasy.

Artist of the Week – Nikki S. Lee

Nikki S. Lee (Lee Seung-Hee) was born in 1970. Her style of art is a mix of photography and performance. She pushed limits and boundaries when it comes to group identities.

She moved to New York from Korea and started working for fashion photographer David LaChapelle. In 1999, she decided to move away from the fashion photography aspect and start her own art. She got a lot of recognition for her work from her first exhibition in New York.

Her Projects series are what sheis most known for and what we focused on in our discussion. In this series she focused on minorities and small social groups. She would dress up and act the way the social group she chose does and her transformation will be captured with a camera by a random person.

I really like this photo for two reasons. I used to skateboard and I think it is great that she included an activity that is seen as mostly guys’ thing in her project. Also, I like it because even though she is the artist and the photo is about her project, she is not the center of what is captured in the picture. She is just watching that guy do his trick and waiting her turn.

Victorine Meurent

Victorine Meurent was born in Paris in 1844. She was talented in many aspects. Besides modeling and being an artist she had a musical gift and played various instruments. She met an artist called Édouard Manet and became his artistic muse for the next ten years.


The painting, Olympia, by Édouard Manet is Victorine Meurent in the nude. She was portraying a prostitute. Unlike the common way at the time, Victorine’s face was very clear and precise. The model has a confident face in the painting which was her choice. Her decision to portray confidence is what makes people credit her as more than a model but also an artist in this painting.

After awhile, Meurent decided to do more than just modeling and became an artist herself. She appreciated a different style than Manet. A self portrait of hers got chosen for the Paris Salon’s annual show. Meurant had six pieces of art in the show all together.

Victorine was in financial trouble in 1890s. She tried selling art in the streets and tried getting money from Manet’s widow for the paintings of her he had sold. Later on things got better for her when she was admitted to the Société des Artistes Français. Only one of her works has survived as far as we know.

Think Outside the Box – Joseph Cornell

This week’s artist of the week is Joseph Cornell. He had a very unique way of expression. Instead of using a canvas to pain or making sculptures, his most famous pieces of art the boxes he used to put different objects in. He never went to school for art he has definitely proved himself as a respective artist. He uses everyday objects but they are not random cheap things he just finds laying around. He finds special things and groups them together to evoke different feelings and memories in people.

One of the pieces of art that I found interesting is the “Blue Sand Fountain.” I found the message he seemed to convey with it very fascinating. It attempts to show a frozen moment in time. The fact that the hourglass is broken to me represents his idea of people’s perception of time to be broken. The best part is that there could be many different interpretations.

Cornell used so many different objects from around the world so it was a surprise to me that he has not travelled that much. Even more, it was amazing how he could bring all these random objects he found in thrifts stores and make stories out of them. The fact that he hadn’t travelled made it interesting that this piece called “Pharmacy” used substances and objects from all around the world to possibly illustrate how different parts of the world have different ways and beliefs of healing.

This piece of art is my favorite. I like how he used the book as a box. It begs the question, why this book was so important to him. I also wonder if the subject of the book is part of the message or if the book in general is a symbol. To me the objects in the book represent aspects of his family and life all together. In a way the book was like a autobiography.

Artist of the Week – Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman was an artist who took her suffering and used it for her artwork. She spent her life depressed and suffered until she died, sadly very young. She had two attempts of suicide and the second was successful.

Her interest in photography began in school and she pursued that interest in design school late in her life. Her photography was focused on portraying sadness and emotions of struggle. She used black and white photographs to further emphasize those emotions. She usually was the subject of her own photographs and many times she was naked. Although, she was not wearing clothes, her exposing herself did not mean to be taken in a sexual way. She was exposing her pure self; her soul. Besides using black and white photographs, she used other things such as blurriness to emphasize her point of view.


The photograph above is one of her most famous works of art. She photographed herself hanging in a doorway. What makes it really interesting is that artists afterwards took that photograph and interpreted it. Thirty years after Francesca took that photograph, Maurizio Cattelan was inspired by that art and made a sculpture. That sculpture would be places in a crate, to be transported to another museum. Cattelan, another artist, decided to display the sculpture as it was placed in the crate. Doing so changed the message of the piece. Later on Vanessa Blaylock was inspired by the sculpture in the crate and created a 3D rendered model of it.


Although, now we pay more attention to her art, while she was alive, Francesca did not get as much attention. That contributed to her depression and eventually to her suicide. It is sad to see that her passion was not appreciated and at the end lead to her death.