Postmidterm Blog

11/12/2013

Spirituality and The Great Outdoors

The outdoors and spirituality has always been intertwined throughout human history.  The selected photos are, in my opinion, good examples of this relationship.  It’s kinda hard to make sense of a lot of post-modern art; some of these aren’t of that style, the latter ones most definitely are.

hipster_mitchell_on_postmodern_art_by_katmomma-d4esbycLisa Fifield is a Chinese-Native American artist who paints primarily Native American themes.  Native art often focuses on the connection between humans and nature, something often lost in modern society.  She grew up in Washington and was greatly influenced by the Wounded Knee Tragedy.  This inspired her to distrust Western expansion and she began to learn about Native American history as well as her own ancestry.  Her work blends humans and nature, often literally, in an expression of culture, heritage, and tradition.(2)

Birch Tree Woman

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Birch Tree Woman (date and place of origin unknown) is just as it sounds, a woman who is also a tree.  Her leaves are bright green and healthy, providing protection for birds from the weather in the background.  The tree-lady has a ring of leaves around her head, not unlike halos from earlier era religious paintings.

Dancing of the Elk Clan Women

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Dancing of the Elk Clan Woman depicts a group of women dancing and animals dancing with them, causing the animals and people to fly.  While fairly ridiculous, it symbolizes a hope for unity between humans and animals.  The Natives desire to coexist peacefully with animals and respect them greatly for what they give to humans.

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Mariko Mori is a Japanese artist who specializes in naturalistic abstract paintings that are digitally created.  She grew up in Japan and went to fashion school, where she developed her artistic style as a model.  She dislikes pop culture and instead chooses to create bizarre, peaceful worlds in which the viewer can get lost.  She uses giant pieces of special glass (10′ by 20′) to display her digitally created artwork.  She travels around the world photographing landscapes and photoshops objects and often herself into the photos in some sort of thematic dress (2).

Kumano

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Kumano (1998, place of origin unknown) depicts a priest and a dancer in some sort of ceremony.  There is a strikingly red bridge and a bright blue temple in the background, as well as a transparent image of a waterfall.  Ceremonies often take place outside to bring people in better harmony with nature. This photo has an almost mystical feel to it, the objects and people in the picture quite don’t seem to belong because of their bright colors contrasting the foliage, but their faded appearance makes the mind question whether they are even there at all or if they have always been there.

Dream Temple

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This photo, Dream Temple (view from the Royal Academy of Arts installation, 1999) is of a white temple on sand.  The temple is almost entirely made of glass that, using science, is both opaque and transparent depending on if there is a human behind it.  It is the only piece selected that is not outside, but as it is a transparent temple it seems it was designed to be viewed out of, likely somewhere solitary for introspection.

Burning Desire

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This photo caught my eye because of the small mountains and layers of rock, but it actually is supposed to represent hope for the Tibetan people who are still under control by the Chinese Government.  The women levitating off the ground are dressed in traditional Tibetan Buddhist garb and also happen to be on fire.  Suicide by fire has been an uncommon extreme act of protest, showing the person would rather die a horrible death than willingly go on the way things are.  This is shot in the Gobi Desert, part of northern China.  The floating rainbow person is supposed to represent hope and is floating higher than the rest.  The artist Mariko Mori used her own image for these five people.

Pureland

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Pure Land (1998, place of origin unknown) depicts the artist Mori floating as a Shinto goddess with weird alien musicians floating on bubbles and playing instruments around her and a strange house/spaceship in the background.  I honestly have no idea what this painting is supposed to represent but it is surprisingly peaceful, considering the strange nature of the work.  A lotus flower can be seen floating on the lake, which is in fact the Dead Sea.

http://www.bta.it/txt/a0/01/en/bta00194.html

http://www.mnartists.org/article.do?rid=56601

http://lisafifield.orgfree.com/LXibit08.html

http://www.artelectronicmedia.com/artwork/burning-desire

6 responses to “Postmidterm Blog

  1. Mariko Mori is a very interesting artist indeed. It’s pretty awesome how photo manipulation has created a whole new sort of form of art. These pictures look both realistic and fantastic at the same time. You did a good job explaining the artist’s background for the two artists you chose. I would have liked to have known what your opinion on the meaning of the third Mori picture is, and the tragic thing that it represents. But your blog is top quality for sure!

  2. Your theme was interesting because of the myriad interpretations that could have arisen from it. Spirituality and the great outdoors have likely accompanied one another since thought could persist. The artworks chosen in this exhibit are very pleasant and contain many implications of spirituality show through their symbolism. You did an excellent job describing the background of your chosen artists and informing on the presence of spirituality within the selected works.

  3. I love how you have incorporated many different types of art into your post. It really shows that the outdoor theme can be incorporated into almost anything. My favorite piece is the Birch Tree Woman, its a beautiful piece. I really like your theme; its simple and easily seen through all the pieces that you chose. Nice Job!

  4. You can tell by reading your blog that you really looked into the pieces that you choose. You don’t just say this painting was created in 1998, you include what you like and what the paint represents. I liked the paints that you included they are not as abstract as some of the art in this section. Mainly, I agree with the saying in your first picture, that the glue bottle turned sideways on a chair is art, haha. I think that art needs to include thought, creativity, and emotion. Some of the art from this section was really out there.

  5. This is a great blog! Both Fifield and Mori are interesting ladies with immense talent and insight. I prefer Fifield’s paintings, but Mori’s photos, though more obscure, have a really peaceful atmosphere. You did an exemplary job at researching your chosen artists and describing your feelings regarding each exhibit. The only thing I found confusing was resources. It was a little difficult to navigate what you wrote in regards to your links. Glad to see you used hyperlink, though. That helps a lot! Good job!

  6. I really enjoyed your focus of nature and art. The joke card at the top explains perfectly what post modern art once it could be anything. It didn’t have to be on canvas or follow specific guidelines instead it could be whatever the mind, or in your case spirit felt. Well done. I

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