Friday, December 12, 2003
First off I think it needs to be said that the new Weebl and Bob is a really, really, really good one. Bumhats!
Today I had to dash all over North Campus delivering finals and tracking down people. Such fun. Then I came back and went to the Natural History Museum to draw critters. That place is damn creepy. It was practically empty. It is sort of unfortunately set up for art purposes, because I have to sit on the floor to draw the animals, so the only ones I can draw are the ones on the bottom shelf of the display cases. I drew a beaver (came out OK), a rabbit (came out dreadful), and a red fox (came out quite well). I may go back tomorrow, if I get thoroughly bored of studying for chemistry.
This recent bout of critter drawing is to get me properly psyched up for the Envelopes show in Detroit this February. It's being set up by Ryan Estrada, whose link I finally put up on the side there. I know I've mentioned him before. Not only a superb artist, a Very Nice Person as well. I will be submitting a piece to this show, and hopefully it will not suck with the power of a thousand black holes. The whole event has gotten enormous, involving a great many artists, most of whom are doubtless better than I am, but such is life. I believe it's supposed to be at the Detroit Film Center. If you're in the area keep an eye out, it looks like it'll be a good do.
Anyways, Wednesday was our CFC class final presentation. The assignment was to make something about 'hope and despair'. People were saying that this was our best batch yet, but I didn't think so. It seemed to me that a lot of people, for this project, used very generic concepts of hope and despair. There also seemed to be a prevelance of small, posterlike things. Exceedingly unimpressive, for a final project. I was all disappointed and whatnot.
That said, some of it was good/different. Joe, once again, amazed the entire class. He did a Flash movie on the computer, with really creepy Cirque de Soleil music and images he drew in Illustrator and a really sweet, really sad poem he wrote about how his mother has cancer. It made everyone get teary and shivery all at once.
Thomàs did his project on 'Hell--the place where there is no hope'. Which is accurate, if you go in for that sort of thing, but not mindbogglingly original. For his piece he got a tank and put these twisted little figurines in it. Then he filled it with feeder crickets and mealworms. And got a soundtrack of screams. What it lacked in originality of concept it certainly made up in originality of form (compared to everything else in the room).
Taylor's was actually quite good. Hers was all about post partum depression, and she made a paper doll set called 'Post Partum Pam'. That's OK so far as it goes, but her craftsmanship was impeccable. It looked for all the world like a real paper doll set you would buy in a store somewhere in the 50s. All glossy and perfectly colored and such.
Then there was 'Prozac Barbie', which was a mild idea but raised itself with good craftsmanship and an obscene amount of attention to detail, right down to making Barbie's jewelry out of pills. There was a blownup photo of a lady in a 'pose of despair' with words all over her body that was very bad. Not only was the photo a stock photo, one of the words was spelled wrong (lonely was spelled as 'lonley'). For a piece relying heavily on the words themselves to make an impact, a misspelling was inexcusable.
Another painfully generic one had a painting of a downcast looking girl all in blue (gee, get the despair imagery there, folks?). And it had a broken heart sewn in fabric on it. And a sad poem about getting your heart broken. I'm not even kidding. It was that pathetic.
Then there was the one which consisted of three paintings of a girl, one showing her getting injured, one showing her hiding the scar, and one with her showing off the scar. Thusly making a statement about accepting what happens and having hope, versus denying it and having despair. Or something. OK, fine. But the paintings... oy. Oy. Anime, that's what they were. Bad anime. Anime done by a retarded monkey with a broken hand. I have pictures, but I can't bring myself to post them online. It made me retch.
And of course we had the requisite political commentary ones. Andrew's piece was actually not bad.. it was about poverty in some African country, and hope through religion. He did a small poster, which was boring, but the piece was redeemed because he made it very neatly and carefully. And he used all his own photos (he had gone on a trip there), as opposed to the stock photography that lots of people seemed to enjoy using. Helena did something about Native American oppression. I dunno, it was just a blown up Photoshopped image, it was nice-looking, but nothing that would've taken me more than 20 minutes to whip up.
Oh, and the worst in the class, by far, was about 9/11. It consisted of three panels with bits of wire and things on them. The first one showed two wire towers with a plastic toy airplane glued on top of them. And bits of glass. The second one was a big mess of wire and ashy stuff. The third one was a torn up flag which had the words 'Our colors don't run' painted on it. I seriously wish I was kidding about that. The person who made it (*cough*Alix*cough*) put her computer behind it and played that 'Proud to be an American' song. You know. The one with soundbytes of 9/11 footage inserted? She then read a poem of a her own invention, a lovely little piece of tripe along the lines of 'Into buildings the planes did fly/ People 'round the country did cry'. The badness of this 'art' cannot be conveyed. I nearly gagged during the presentation. It should not have been allowed to exist.
Right. Mine. Well, you all know what my concept was. Red Sox fans. I ended up making 15 big panels. Each one had comic book-style illustrations on them. They were arranged in the general shape of the World Series trophy. When you read them in the order they were hung up, they told a story. Oh, here, I'll just copy and paste my 'artist statement':
This project follows the lives of two everyman (and everywoman) Red Sox fans as they go through one hectic year of rising hopes and plunging despair. The form of the piece echoes the form of the World Series trophy, the ultimate focusing point of both hope and despair for Red Sox fans. At the end of the story, the two find themselves right back where they were in the beginning. The whole cycle repeats. Just like the cycle of hope and despair repeats EVERY FREAKING YEAR for Red Sox fans.
The two fans meet, interact, and live their separate yet parallel lives. Are they destined for one another? Will they find one another through a love of baseball? Who cares? It’s a story about Red Sox fans, and any story underlying that is just a bonus.
The panels with red in them are the ones you ought to read. The purely black and white panels are copies of the main, red ones, and are present only for visual impact.
Yes, that is precisely what I turned in. Hmph. Well, someone in the class has to have a sense of humor. Honestly. I don't know if the damn thing turned out any good, but at least it was big, it was kind of funny, it was different, and I sure as heck know I worked a long, long time on it.
picture was here, but photohost died, sorry
Mmmyup. Those of you at home can see it up close and for real, 'cause I shall be bringing it home. My teacher thinks I should tell the Red Sox organization about it. I asked her what the heck they would do with it. Her response? "They could hang it up in a bar!" Gee, thanks prof!
Maybe I'll hang it up in my room. It'd be rather impressive there. Not sure if I've got a wall big enough, though. Ho hum.
Crikey, I really hope no one in my CFC class reads this. I was just very hard on a lot of their stuff. Of course, I didn't mention everyone in the class, because I'm too lazy to go through every single project, but still. I could have just got myself into quite a bit of hot water. Oooooh well.
I finally printed out and organized a bunch of pictures, so when I get home y'all can see the bizarre folks I've been hanging around with out here in the vast midwest. Egads I can't wait to get home. Chemistry final on Tuesday, flight home on Thursday. It'll be OK though, the roommate leaves Tuesday, so I'll have a couple days here before I head out that will not be filled with agony.
Who wants to do the Freshman Experience back at SHS? Eh? Eh? C'mon, you know you want to influence those impressionable little high school seniors. I refuse to do it by myself, for fear of getting stuck with a panel of people like the Blocks and Madame Grasso and Jeff Pratt. But if someone else normal is there, I think it would be extremely funny and well worth seeing. Email me, kiddos, this is an event we ought to take over and remold in our own, twisted way.
Er. Yes. Off to read more Lord of the Rings. The goal? Finish all three before seeing Return of the King. Began the first one about 5 days ago. Current progress? About 100 pages into the second book. We shall see what we shall see.