Browsing by Subject "sculpture (visual works)"
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- ItemAngel Genares Fine Arts Senior Thesis Project(2014) Genares, AngelDuring the year, my thesis shifted from staging a live social event in the gallery to making records of such interactions. This change came about when I began working on the drawings to complement and contrast with the sculptures. I became more interested in making a record of people coming together in a medium that would allow for more control. Through drawing and sculpture, I considered how personal recollections are made. The black and white charcoal drawings are reflections of how we construct and reimagine memories through blatant erasures, redrawing, and changes in perspective. Each drawing is assembled from various sources, including photographs. The drawing of a dining room table lies flat on a six-inch platform, reorienting the table to its original spatial context, and conversing with the wall-mounted sculptures above. Together they evoke the continuous process of memory-making, and the way people come together on multiple occasions or through different points of view. Both sculptures are composed of found objects assembled on tabletops, one a nightstand and the other a dining room table. Each sculpture suggests a specific moment within the drawings. Daniel Spoerri’s “tableauxpièges” influenced the decision to mount the sculptures on the wall. This repositioning turns the sculptures into records, rather than functional tables or objects with which the viewer can physically interact. While Spoerri allowed chance to dictate the composition of each table, however, these sculptures are deliberately composed.
- ItemBreathe(2017) Montinola, JulianaHailing from Manila, Philippines, I am no stranger to dense, chaotic environments wrought with overpopulation and poor air quality. With little access to green spaces, I became drawn to plants. I was fascinated by their ability to purify air pollutants and their symbiotic relationship with humans. The act of creating a meaningful relationship with plants struck me as the antithesis of the worst aspects of urban lifestyles, such as stress and poor health. My senior thesis is an installation that draws influence from the natural world and incorporates chrysanthemums into its form. Its design revolves around concepts of growth, purification, and protection. Breathe is an installation comprised of several white vessels, which are attached to the wall at various heights and angles. Their positions follow the flow of a branch in an otherwise blank and secluded alcove of the gallery. Each vessel is unique in size, shape, and design. Their forms are heavily influenced by the organic twists of butterfly cocoons and seashells, expressed in the angular, man-made language of paper folds. These vessels contain live chrysanthemums, which are incorporated into the installation to highlight the benefits that greenery offers us. This particular chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) was chosen for its ability to cleanse up to six different urban pollutants, making it one of the most efficient air purification plants evaluated by NASA’s clean air study. In the hostile conditions of a windowless gallery, sunlamps nourish these plants every night after the gallery has closed. They are removed during the day to avoid altering the simple, blank space in which the artwork exists. This serene and minimalist installation works with form and space to acknowledge the benefits of greenery in our lives. Freed from visual clutter, Breathe invites the audience to contemplate our symbiotic relationship with plants and the essential role they fulfil in ensuring our continued existence.
- ItemElizabeth Fawcett Fine Arts Senior Thesis Project(2015) Fawcett, ElizabethPeople tell stories across multiple mediums and I have always enjoyed storytelling accomplished by means other than writing. Many Russian tales were told orally and through illustrations as many peasants were illiterate, and folklore differed from village to village because these tales were not permanently written down. The illustration of stories by means of the visual arts is fascinating because the viewer must interpret the story from forms they see, not by words they read. The artist plays with ambiguity, and meaning is incorporated in subtle ways. I have attempted the same in my thesis project. My thesis consists of individual sculptures, each telling their own narrative. The main theme of my artwork is relationships, and all of the main actors in my narrative sculptures are busts of women and girls. Each sculpture illustrates various types of friendships among girls and women, with some of these bonds strong enough to be equated with sisterhood. However, many bonds are not without conflict. Two figures comprise each work, with the figures either in opposition to one another or the two figures causing opposition in their environment. Significantly, opposition in my work creates conflict and thus a story. “Binary opposites” are found within many European tales and especially Russian folklore such as the oppositions of “pure” and “tainted,” and of “familiar” and “unfamiliar.” Similarly, in my work, most of the figures play opposites of one another, and the concept of opposing forces is borrowed from folklore. The conflict is noticeable in the details, placement and contrast of the materials of each bust. The materials used in the sculptures include wood, metal, clay, fabric, thread, and flowers. Not all sculptures, however, use identical material. All of the busts are composed of clay, but each sculpture has its own unique and delicate additional material. The additional materials differ from the clay because the additional materials are fragile while the clay is solid and heavy. The juxtaposition of the clay and delicate materials also plays a role in emphasizing the conflict of each artwork. The overarching theme of bonds ties all of the works together and each sculpture possesses some material similar and common to others.
- ItemExhibition of Straw Pyramid and Still Lifes(2015) Etzkorn, AlexisThrough dialogue across the mediums of painting and sculpture, I explore art making as the cultivation of an intimate relationship between artist and subject. The still life paintings develop this relationship through my careful noticing and appreciation of seemingly mundane objects. The shirt strewn across the table. The rotting pumpkin sitting on the street’s edge, awaiting its impending disposal. The chair I walk past everyday, most often unoccupied. These objects are usually just objects; however, through the act of observation and the laborious process of painting, I develop affection for their fine details. Within each simple object, an infinite number of compositions vie for my attention. Strange shapes of vibrant color burst at their seams and breathtaking forms reveal themselves. My role as a painter is to devote myself to these subjects, to study them so closely that these small, luminous details, ordinarily unnoticed, become bold, vibrant, and alive. My role as sculptor takes on this task in an immediate, direct way. While my paintings create an intimacy with the subjects through their translation into an image, Straw Pyramid fosters this relationship through direct, immediate contact with the subject—the neon, plastic drinking straw. The sculpture has been a constant exploration of how the humble straw can be transformed in a way that brings out its essential qualities. A painterly expression highlights the bold, neon colors; wire wrapping accentuates the ridges and bends; and the construction of a systematic pyramidal structure demonstrates a potential for perfect geometry. These modes of expression and construction evoke the warmth of a human presence, a physical connection between structure and artist, that stands in contrast to cold, geometric, Minimalist forms crafted by machines. This warmth also extends an invitation to the viewer: the whimsical straws exude a fun and friendly vibration that attract the eye from afar and encourage the viewer to get to know them, to examine the same details and qualities of the straw I explored through my process of art making. This body of work serves to disrupt the viewer’s perception of the mundane, so that they might reconsider and appreciate its details—the beauty and ornament of their own living room chairs, the garbage they are leaving at their curbside, or perhaps even the vibrantly colored, smooth, plastic straw swirling around in their smoothie.
- ItemGrace Xie Fine Arts Senior Thesis Project(2014) Xie, GraceCandles, once the most reliable source for light, are now popular as memorials, religious and romantic decorations, or as symbols of the past. The real candle I made lost its light due to the presence of the wax—the very source of its light— more specifically, due to the wax’s liquification and liquidity. Its structure creates an irony: its result contradicts the intention that a candle serves as a steady light source. The documentary of the burning process is projected as a moving image onto a part of the candle, which is the original site for the candlelight. To me, the projection presents to viewers the candlelight that you have never seen—a history that was not in your memory. Yet the infinite loop—the eternal return of the ghostly light—can create a fake memory, and therefore, a fake witness. The film does not simply tell you the past, it also reminds you of the past, while the reflection captures everyone coming towards the candle and traps you in the loop. In my college years, I have taken a number of courses and conducted my own research on the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Middle Eastern politics, and the Holocaust. Through hearing stories about all kinds of turmoil and their representations, judgments, and justifications, I began to feel and experience—rather than just seeing—our human history, its complexity, construction, and repetition. I read history; I stare at images; I watch documentaries; I go to museums. At the end of the day, what I perceive forms part of my memory, my history, which becomes an essential element that constructs my identity and myself.
- ItemJordan Schilit Fine Arts Senior Thesis Project(2013) Schilit, Jordan; Baenziger, MarkusTo me, art is funky and random. To me, art is spiky. To me, art is both harsh and delicate. To me, art is a challenge to carry. To me, art doesn’t like sitting around—even if it’s resting on the floor. To me, art doesn’t represent figures or forms from our world. To me, art twists and turns and makes up its own mind as it goes. To me, art colors places that are dull. To me, art makes people happy. To me, art uses the same amount of energy as a morning run. To me, art forgets rules. To me, art is cool for both artists and non-artists. To me, art is confusing. To me, art works as a team. To me, art creates smiles. To me, art talks—but isn’t specific to language. To me, art recycles junk. To me, art makes something out of nothing. To me, art is vibrant and catches the eye. To me, art doesn’t care if it’s hated. To me, art doesn’t care if it’s loved either. To me, art has endless interpretations. To me, art lives. To me, art is free. To me, art does whatever the hell it wants to do.
- ItemNate Rehm-Daly Fine Arts Senior Thesis Project(2016) Rehm-Daly, NateAs technology changes, how do the ways we represent ourselves change? How do we represent ourselves in our artificial creations? As the boundaries between ourselves and robots become less clear, what does it mean to be human? Moreover, what defines a robot as a robot? I am interested in the ways that technology enables us to evolve, to change, and, most importantly, to create. The origin of the word technology comes from the Greek τέχνη (techne), which, translated into English, means “art, skill, cunning of hand.” Technology fundamentally relates to creation, and humans are creating beings. Through our creations, which often involve self-replication, we form human simulacra. These simulacra are often meant to be identified immediately with “humanness.” but sometimes they are created to be estranging and “other,” often through their material composition. These simulacra manifest themselves in different forms; I am particularly interested in how we replicate ourselves in robots. A robot can be made of anything, but their creation or composition tends to involve an element foreign to human biology. We have considered the idea of the robot many times over, in films like Blade Runner and in novels such as Frankenstein. Most robot literature is concerned with a fear of humans being usurped by robots, placing an emphasis on their otherness. I am interested in what will happen when these boundaries become less clear and the difference between creator and created becomes less evident. In the face of such efficient simulacra, what does it mean to be human? My work explores the creator and the created in a way that blurs the lines between what it means to be naturally born versus manufactured. In my work, I seek to instill life into cold, fabricated metal pieces; the forms of these metal parts relate to our cultural vision of what constitutes a robot. I also cast parts of my body in bronze to reference the visual language of humanness and the idea of self-replication. I combine these human and artificial forms to explore my interest in how we represent ourselves in this robotic “other.” My work explores the relationship between human and machine, metal and flesh, natural and artificial, and the connections between ourselves and our creations.
- ItemNaturalistic(2015) Tennakoon, PamuduNaturalistic is inspired by the natural world and my fascination with sensory associations. Inspirations for this work include the smell of rain and freshly cut grass in the spring, which makes me reminisce of springs past. When viewing an object, the mind makes associations to forms that are familiar. Similarly, when confronted with a smell, the immediate reaction is to make associations to what corresponds to that smell. This work takes the shape of three-dimensional flowers and a relief of geometric trees. The trees engage with the physicality of the gallery allowing for the juxtaposition between architecture and natural forms. Furthermore the flowers placed on the walls and the floor allow the viewer to find their own way through the space, similar to a garden, and provide an opportunity to engage with an experience that encapsulates both sight and smell. Trees, flowers, and the interaction between these forms and built environment have inspired the work I have created throughout my undergraduate career; the distinction between “manufactured” and “naturally occurring” is a subject that I have constantly pondered. Living in a world that is quite preoccupied with purpose, a justifiable reason for the presence of anything, has made me question the purpose of gardens—conglomerates of natural forms planned and designed by man. Does this make these spaces less natural? Moreover, gardens are created for decoration. Does this mean that society values gardens? Do we look past the purpose of a garden and recognize the beauty of nature? Do we understand what we see within gardens? As we continuously substitute nature with human innovation, how do gardens evolve to maintain a coherent dialogue with the materialistic culture that is developing? Where does the line between natural and man-made lie in this space?
- ItemNo Boundaries, No Airspace, No Visas(2012) Tulsyan, Antara; Baenziger, MarkusWhen I work on my art I enter a place of retreat, a meditative zone blocking out everything else. My art is a reflection of my feelings and moods that I cannot express in any other way. When I look at my sculptures, the lines speak to me because of the emotions they depict, as in a journal. My sculptures’ elemental, organic shapes and lines and curves represent different feelings, but they complement each other to form a simple yet complex piece. Just as I transform these emotions into simple lines, I hope my work can generate unique responses in all who view it. I use shapes that are abstract but reflect some aspect of my feelings, including the frustration of getting them to look the way I want. The materials are based on how I want the piece to “feel,” and while I like bold colors I often use just a few to create contrast and differentiate between individual components. I start a sculpture based on my current frame of mind and then find a theme to work around it. Often times, the sculpture is shaped by the challenges and technical difficulties I face, but my moods inform its development. While making sketches to come up with an idea for this sculpture I found that they all had many different parts that could exist as sculptures on their own. This lead to an exploration of what it meant to have individuals that could join as one entity. I started out wanting to make an interactive mobile of many small birds, arranged in the shape of one large bird. I wanted the piece to have movement generated by the viewer to create a sense of playfulness. Observing flocks of flying birds to find an overall shape for my sculpture, I decided to incorporate a background to give the birds a sense of placement. After trying different backgrounds, I am now attempting to create a minimalistic environment with few details in order to focus on just the elemental forms and colors of our surroundings. I hope my future work will reflect the same simple lines and organic components within a variety of environments.
- ItemThe Living(2015) Garcia, MarOf particular interest to me are transgressive identities—identities that transgress societal boundaries and definitions. In my life and in my work, I am acutely aware of the tension between my innate human desperation for belonging and an enigmatic magnetism that draws me ever toward my true self. As a biracial and bicultural child, I became familiar with this tension early on, rarely feeling the security of knowing where I belonged in the social sphere. Now, as a young adult, I remember my nervous first years of life with gratitude, thankful that I was loved and never felt comfortable; I learned to find a place with others, while always feeling somehow outside. I now find beauty in the tension between what is easy and what is true, a stretch that is familiar to me, but that I suppose I will never get used to. By appreciating this kind of strain, I appreciate my place as a biracial, bicultural, queer, gender non-binary, pansexual, polyamorous artist. In this body of work, The Living, I express this tension through prints, plaster, fabric, clay, rubber, and thread. The works are explorations of the complex relationship between humans and human-made definitions. A 6-foot tapestry depicts a crowd of looming adult figures, which are pulled outward by the plaster figure of a single crawling infant, in a work titled Crawling. The figures have words from 90 different languages printed on them, all of which mean “I am,” “me,” or are some other form of self-referential language. These words are repeated until they cover the figures in a faded patchwork. The resulting installation is a literal manifestation of an infant transgressing the fabric made up of others’ words. It is neither possible for the infant to escape the fabric it emerges from, nor for the crowd to let go of the infant that pulls it. Next to this piece is an arrangement of prints, utilizing a range of printmaking techniques including monotype, etching, lithography, and Chine-collé. The imagery in these prints further explores the motifs of the infant and the silhouette. I use these as a way of exploring my own emotional challenges and inhibitions, revealing color combinations that are sometimes ethereal, and sometimes battered and violent. Below this array are the small clay hands and face of an infant, breaking out of a rubber mold, all of which are held together by nothing except for a thin white thread that is repeatedly wound around the entire object. This piece, entitled Wrapped, mirrors and is an essential partner to Crawling; they use the same face and hands (this time in clay instead of plaster) and they each situate the infant in a kind of inescapable restraint.