Today I watched two videos of a show on PBS called Art 21. I watched two very interesting videos concerning the topics of fantasy and ecology. The first episode on fantasy had four very different artists named Jeff Koonz, Mary Heilmann, Florian Maier-Achien, and Cao Fei. All our artists gave very detailed looks into how they viewed their work. Jeff Koonz made huge paintings where every color and detail has to be precisely the way he pictures it and prints out on paper. He has some work in Versailles and made a wonderful garden of intentionally planted flowers by their color to form a figure. I enjoyed his imaginative ways of presenting unrealistic products of art. Mary Heilmann paints abstract “post-modern” pieces that she enjoys leaving paint dripping down the canvas. Some of her works are titled “Capistrano”, “Surfing on Acid”, and “The Blues for Miles”. I loved the colors she used and how she expressed her passion for painting. Florian Maier-Achien made photo prints with a large format camera to get the exact images he wanted. In some he liked nice contrast. Then, once he got to edit the picture, he would try to add in something that made it look unreal even though it originated from something very real. Some of my favorites were the clouds he had that were many different vibrant colors and the road that seemed as if it were peeling back. Cao Fei is an artist that made videos of the divide between elders and younger generations. Then, she played a game called Second Life which made her wonder what her imaginary city would look like. So she worked on building her very own city and turned it into a game that everyone could play. Every three months a new mayor would be elected from the city and this person was able to change the city to how they liked it, giving players a chance to build their own imaginary city like a boundary from reality. The video for this episode of Art 21 can be found here: http://video.pbs.org/video/1281753428/.
Then next episode on ecology interested me because I am interested in the environment and how we affect its well-being. The artists in this episode were Ursula von Rydingsvard, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Robert Adams, and Mark Dion. Ursula von Rydingsvard used her childhood experience of living in a Polish refugee camp to get to where she is now. She always knew that she would never get anywhere in life unless she worked very hard. So she began doing wood sculptures out of cedar to express herself through art. Her works are large scale and very detailed due to her creating each layer one by one. She does this to allow viewer to explore it for themselves and ask questions. Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle is an artist that uses weather patterns on computers and climate change in his art. He created a thunderstorm piece as a symbol of immigration to the United States. His work did not strike my fancy as much as the others all have. Robert Adams, one of my favorites, showed his photography work of the landscape in Colorado. It began with him taking photographs of the things he hated about the development in the world but turned out as a beautiful message of how we have changed the environment and some of the things that need to be remedied. He also has a series that shows deforestation in California and tries to portray to the viewer the sadness of it all. Mark Dion collects things from different places to create his own type of natural history museum giving viewers a look into the past and how people viewed things in that day and time. He also showed a new art installation he has of a fallen Hemlock tree taken from the forest. He uses it to show viewers just how important the tree is to the ecosystem it is in because of all the organisms it supports. The video of this episode can be found here: http://video.pbs.org/video/1239798902.