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Artist Statement: Dr. Fictor’s Extraordinary Expedition

The imagination is a wonderful thing, especially when life and believability are breathed into a creation. This work is a compilation of various items that focus on the imaginative and fantastical; it incorporates text and imagery. The fiction created suggests artefacts are authentic and have been in the same place for years. The basis of the work revolves around a narrative of a fictitious archaeologist in late 1922 who is lost on an island with these fantastical creatures and wildlife.

The process of putting together the entire ensemble took time. The making of the work was also a big part in making the fiction. With there being many different elements involved, some components taking longer than others. Everything has been given dust and stain, aged to give the work an authentic look. The work has significance in that it takes the inner world of the mind and creates it to become a reality. Everything collected focuses on a fictional archaeologist as well as their discoveries. Multiple bottles will, like beakers and scientific containers, will hold the artefacts and evidence from various plants and creatures. There is a something fascinating about each individual object in nature, yet they all exist as apart of the collection. All of the creatures that inhabit the island are fantastical hybrids that each creature looks fascinating and interesting.

There is also a cabinet that holds some of these pieces, similar to historical cabinets of curiosities that contained odd and strange items collected from around the world. To the collector, all the objects are interesting. With the objects of the collection, they all tell the story of the fictitious archaeologist. Like actual archaeological discoveries, these finds are recordings of the fictitious expedition. These different pieces all add to the stories of the fictional archaeologist’s encounters of these creatures and the island’s plantations, using various techniques in recording notes, both literary and visually.

 

Updated Artist Statement

The imagination is a wonderful thing in the mind of the beholder, especially when life and believability are breathed into the creation. This work seen is a compilation of various items that focus on the imaginative and fantastical. The use of words, along with some provided imagery. The fictional work is treated as if they were actual older artefacts that had been in the same place for years.

The process of putting together the entire ensemble of work did take some time to put together the various pieces. With there being many different elements involved, some components taking longer than others, such as the miniature sculpture representations for their detail. Everything had been given dust, stained and has aged to give the work an authentic look. The work has significance in that it takes the inner world from the mind and creates it to become a reality. Everything collected focuses on a fictional archaeologist as well as their discoveries. For the work, there are collected multiple bottles to represent the beakers and containers that will hold the artefacts and evidence from various plants and creatures. All of the creatures were created as hybrids using two or more creatures, some even having an element in the combination of creatures as well.

There is also a cabinet that holds some of these pieces, similar to the cabinets of curiosity. The cabinets of curiosity were used in the early 20th century as a collection of odd and strange items collected from around the world. To the collector, whether they are in the field of archaeology or art, they find them interesting. All of these different strange items were placed into cabinets for public display or in the collector’s study. Like actual archaeological discoveries, these finds are fictional recordings of the expedition. These different pieces all add to the stories of the fictional archaeologist’s encounters of these creatures and the island’s plantations, using various techniques in recording notes, both literary and visually.

 

Artist Statement for my body of work

The imagination is a wonderful thing in the mind of the beholder, especially when life and believability are breathed into the creation. This work seen is a compilation of various items that focus on the imaginative and fantastical. The use of words, along with some provided imagery; give viewers the connections to recreate the entire world in their minds. If the imagination is believable and somewhat understandable in the eye of the viewer, then they begin to see themselves in that world. Imagination brings out childlike wonder that gives smiles to people and brings light to life making the world a bit brighter, as well as a better place to live.

The reason for making this art because of enjoyment that comes from the challenge of creating a new breed of species. This work is the representation dreams of fantasy and how the imagination can inspire awe and wonder. The work has significance in that it takes the inner world from the mind and creates it to become a reality. Everything collected focuses on Dr. Brian Archibald Fictor, an archaeologist from early 1920s who gets lost at sea on an island during his expedition. For the work, I have collected multiple bottles to represent the beakers and containers that will hold the artefacts and evidence from various plants and creatures.

There is also a cabinet that holds some of these pieces, similar to the cabinets of curiosity. These artefacts consist of fur, teeth, claws, fossils, broken shells pieces, grass, plants, and one insect called a “Lightning Bug.” Like actual archaeological discoveries, these finds are recorded with on-field photographs, small sculptural representations and notes from a journal. The journal contains stories of Dr. Fictor’s encounters of these creatures and the island’s plantations, with provided drawings, diagrams and short notes about the creature. As well, there is also a map of the island in the back of the journal with each creature’s local.

The collection of Fictor’s belongings and findings are representative on many different levels. The time period of the early 20th century, more specifically 1922, is a time of early archaeological discoveries, especially when King Tut was discovered a year after. With archaeology in search of mystery, imagination provides just that, but on a different and more bizarre level. Fictor’s journal entries as well as the old remaining remnants from the island add to the narrative of this journey, as well as the story of the dream.  His journey from the dull and boring reality to the fantastical provides excitement, thrill and astonishment.

B. A. Fictor is the viewer’s tour guide through this mysterious land, showing the mysticism of a place that provides people a moment of escape from the hardships of reality.  People will immerse themselves within this world, diving deep within the island’s vast jungles, observing these fantastical beasts from afar and exploring the world through the eyes of an archaeologist who is consistently fascinated throughout his journey. Imaginative minds is one thing that is both important and shared in humanity.

 

FINE 303- Blog entry # 5: Annotated bibliography

The following is a bibliography of resources used for research concerning my body of artwork:

Work cited

Parshall, Peter. “Graphic Knowledge: Albrecht Dürer And The Imagination.” Art Bulletin 95.3 (2013): 393-410. Humanities Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

            The artwork of German painter Albrecht Dürer, who has also worked in engraving and printmaking, was a known artist of the Renaissance. His works was primarily based in the realm of fantasy, biblical and the supernatural, which his work would have subjects of animals, hybrid           creatures, and even the devil. Not only are these interesting creature designs by the artist, but also    they were representational and the embodiments of certain charactersistics, such as the evils of man.

 

López-Varela Azcárate, Asunción, ed. “Cultural Scenarios Of The Fantastic /.” Clcweb: Comparative Literature & Culture: A Wwweb Journal 10.4 (2008): Humanities Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

            López-Varela Azcárate takes a look at how throughout history the fantastic would be inspiration for many forms of literature, entertainment, and art. Predating back to Ancient Greek and Roman   literature (e.g. Odyssey and the Aeneid), to present day artwork, such as the baroque period, and         fictional stories and characters that represent certain aspects, such as order or chaos. It’s explained that fantasy provides good stories that are situated, escaping from the world of man to the perfect place, its confusion and roots in humanity.

Gold, Susan, Vincent J. Varga, and Lois K. Smedick. Susan Gold: A Natural History. Windsor, Ont.: Art Gallery of Windsor, 1994. Print.

            Susan Gold’s work consists of written text, bottled specimens, lighted tables and documented materials of the natural world and artefacts. The work is very significant because of Gold is trying to connect the various documented pieces together through the views of both encyclopaedic synthesizing of the Middle Ages and amateur naturalist. She gathers natural world and human products from everywhere in the world and analyzing it.

Kass, Ray, and Morris Graves. Morris Graves, Vision of the Inner Eye. New York: Braziller, in Association with the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., 1983. Print.

            Morris Graves is an American artist whose medium is primarily drawings with subject matter of birds, small animals, sometimes hybrids of animals with birds, and trees. Morris is inspired by Eastern art, primarily Japanese paintings, using design and symbolism.  Morris’ work is not just based on his originality, but he is one of the most well known artists of mysticism, spirituality, and the magic of the fantastic.

The Institute. Dir. Spencer McCall. Perf. Arye Bender, Boston Blake, Jeff Hull. 2013. DVD.

            The documentary, The Insitute, looks at a group who creates an elaborate history of the Jejune Institute where over thousands of participants follow given multiple tasks and puzzles for them to    complete along the way. The events took place in San Francisco, and all around the area there would be testing facilities, base of operations, radio broadcasts, hidden artifacts, films and old books placed in libraries as clues. What is very innovative about this is feat, with the help of the participants, is how they were able blur the line between actual reality and Jejune’s fictional    history to the point people couldn’t tell the difference.

Commitment Week - Concepts and Themes for work

For my body of work, I am interested in exploring fantasy/science fiction using endless utopian hope and possibilities, with some humour and hinting references to pop culture. For my analysis, I have chosen to analyze Ernst Bloch’s essay, The Principle of Hope (1954-1959), Claes Oldenburg’s I am for an Art, and Comic Book Design: The Essential Guide to Creating Great Comics and Graphic Novels by Gary Spencer Millidge. The concept will have a focus on the characters in their habitats, and how they interact with one another, “They should always be apart of the carefully designed fictional environment that the character inhabits,” (Millidge, 26). Humour is one that I want to have laced throughout my works in some way, whether subtle or not, simple or ridiculous. I am particularly fond of having humour used in art, for it creates interesting conversations on both art and what it is that it’s trying to male fun of. What’s great about humour, as described by Oldenburg, is that it takes something like normal life, only to twist and bend it where is projects life in an interesting way, (Oldenburg). Even though the work will have traces of humour, it will focus on the lighter and optimistic side of life and imagination. Whether it bears any similarities or not to things in reality, I prefer creating a world of hopeful imagination, where there is endless wonder and possibility, where the sensible and the absurd collide. All people dream, even in use of “escapism,” letting them grow to become something more, “Utopian consciousness wants to look far into the distance, but ultimately only in order to penetrate the darkness so near it of the just lived moment, in which everything that is both drives and is hidden from itself,” (Bloch). There are many iconic figures and things out there that people know in pop culture: cowboys, spacemen, pirates, monsters, aliens, etc., they all have an impact in someway, even if they never existed before. Now my work won’t exactly appear as anything, but will have essence of previous pop culture archetypes (e.g. creating my own monsters or cowboys). It is well known that there are many archetypes in fiction, especially when it comes to such things as comics or graphic novels, ranging from the way they look (e.g. clothes representing social status) to who they are and what they represent (e.g. Fantastic Four representing earth elements), they have deeper meaning (Millidge, 14-18). This will be what I’m exploring for my body of work.

Warm-Up Project: Ralph the Dog

For my Warm-Up project, I decided to do a combination between the puppet project and the White Cube project dealing with time and space. My project is a performance piece that consists of a large digital comic strip and sown dog puppet named “Ralph” based off of my own sketches and created myself. The reason as to why I chose to do this project is because I have a passion for cartoons, whether animated or comic strip form, and wanted to take one of my own creations and bring it into the real world, in some way. I was intrigued by the project so I wanted to go further with it at least once more. Different from the two projects from last term, aside from combining the two, was to make my puppet more complicated. The puppet requires two people: one to operate the head and left arm and hand, while the other person operates the right arm and hand. I have also incorporated articulated eyebrows, but due to how the fabric is covering them, they are not fully functional. This time, instead of sowing the entire puppet by hand, I have learned how to prepare and use a sowing machine. Also, I made paper templates to get the right amount of fabric. The only complication is that some shapes were difficult to form, especially the head. Overall the project to have been a great success, had a lot of fun putting it together, and would love doing it again.

Wall of Inspiration: Image Analysis of Alex Ross’ Justice League

Looking at my Wall of Inspiration, I’ve chosen to take a closer look at the image of the Justice League painted by artist Alex Ross from a comic book series titled Justice. These iconic characters are portrayed realistically instead of their traditional graphic two-dimensional counter parts. The characters are set against a black background, with a “heavenly” light source above them. It appears that the artist has used human models to pose for each of the characters. The bottom row (left to right) you have Hawkman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Aquaman, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. The second row (left to right) there’s Metamorpho, Hawkgirl, Plastic Man, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Red Tornado, Captain Marvel, and on his shoulder is the Atom. Finally on the top row is Elastic Man. The characters are in their respective “classic” costumes, almost as if they are the actual costumes that came right off the page. Ross has provided some excellent detail to the characters when it came to such things as the folds of the fabrics in the costumes, strands of hair and the feathers of Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s wings. All of the characters are looking towards the viewer with a serious appearance, except from Plastic Man, Elastic Man, Zatanna, Captain Marvel and the Atom. Each character in a way presents their personality. Overall, Alex Ross takes the comic book medium and these characters to an artistic level of lively detail, portraying them as very lifelike gods of “modern mythology.”

Words of Inspiration (Based off my “Wall of Inspiration”)

Linked Together. Bright. Friendly. Kind. Colorful. Cheerful. Imaginative. Creative. Childlike Wonder. Ink. Paint. Clay. Paper. Film. Traditional. Digital. Animation. Cartoons. Comics. Movies. Video Games. Adventure. Excitement. Thrills. Humorous. Wacky and Zany. Looney. Nonsense. Broad. Endless Possibilities. Unlimited Potential. Escapism. Leaving the “dull” reality to enter a world where anything is possible, a world that can reside in my mind. Iconic. Impressionable. Impactful. Relatable. Legacy. Prophecy. Destined for Great Things. Gifted. Pop Culture. Individualism. No. 6. The Man Behind the Mouse. “If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Roy Lichtenstein. WHAAM! Jeff Koons. Wayne White. Jim Lee. Neal Adams. Alex Ross. Jeff Smith. Stan Lee. “With great power, there must also come…great responsibility.” – Narration, Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962). Living Legends. Inspiring. Silent. Loud. Color. Black and White. Cinematic. Television. Fantasy. Science Fiction. Delorean. “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” – Marty McFly, Back to the Future, (1985). Mega. Brave. Noble. Humble. Boy Scout. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. And on my soul, I swear…until my dream of a world where dignity, honor, and justice becomes the reality we all share — I’ll never stop fighting. Ever.” – Superman, Action Comics #775 (2001), What’s So Funny about Truth, Justice & the American Way? Super. Heroic. Jurassic. Dynamic. Phenomenal. Paranormal. Extra-Terrestrial. Ninjas. Moose and Squirrel. Undead. Monsters. Mutants. Spies. MAD. Retro. Classic. Masterpiece. New. Family. Support, Love and Care. Italian Background. Home. Memories. Dreamer.

 

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