Monday, November 9, 2009

Video Games

Can a video game be considered art? It may tell a story and allow you to play in the world, the graphics are often very well rendered, but is it art? I really do not know the answer to this question. Personally I do not think that they qualify as art because the work all goes through a computer, but is photography not art, and do you not expose film, or more likely these days simply take a digital image of what you want?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Mighty Boosh

Surreal English insanity. This show is so very incoherent it makes the plot line of Family Guy look like Shakespeare, yet there is something engrossing about the surreal ramblings that just draw in the audience. So interpret it as you will enter the realm of the mighty boosh.

South Park Rules

Just putting it out there, South Park is amazing. I have seldom found any funnier social commentary that straddles all sides of the issue, the animation is singular and memorable and if you don't like it that makes me sad.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Offensive=Art ?

Artist Paul McCarthy recently made a giant inflatable dog turd sculpture. Why is this art? Is this art simply because it offends the sensibilities of people who do not want to have a giant inflatable dog turd in their face? It also proved to be a safety hazard when it blew away from the Swiss museum it was at in a storm and ended up in the yard of a children's home. I don't consider this to be art. What does this make me think about? How does this make me consider the piece? It's a giant inflatable shit for crying out loud! Just because something is offensive should not mean it is automatically art.

H.R. Giger

Everyone is familiar with H.R. Giger, even if they may not know it. Have you every seen the iconic science fiction movie Alien? The you know well the works of Giger. His work seems to appear to be an amalgam of flesh and machine. His work often appearing in very dark colors, close to greyscale, and having everything very elongated and ribbed with pipes and fittings appearing very surreal. In fact Giger has been described as a surrealist artist. You can see his work either by searching the internet or at his website here. A lot of his work seems to have sexually explicit overtones, and many people are put off by the sometimes disturbing nature that his work takes on. I like his work for a couple of reasons. One, the Alien would never have been the same without him, and two I like the surreal quality his work has. The blending of machine and man make his work interesting to look at even though the sexual nature is often disturbing and very explicit. If you want to see an example of the more disturbing work click here, but know that I have warned you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Toki Wartooth, William Murderface, Pickles the Drummer, Nathan Explosion. They are the most brutal metal band of all time. Millions flock to the remotest parts of the world to hear them play just one song, thousands are killed and it's all just a cartoon. For those who are not familiar with Dethklok, they are the metal band from the Adult Swim cartoon Metalocalypse. What does this have to do with art? Well if you watch the cartoon, the style of animation presents itself with a very distinctive feel. The characters are quite clearly cartoons, yet the realist of the movements, the speech and the attention to detail in finger placement during guitar solos makes it a very unique show. This dichotomy allows you to blur the line between cartoons and reality. The cartoon is also a satire of popular culture, which can be quite scathing at times. I believe that this causes people to think about the meaning of the show therefore making it, in my mind, art. When you look at some of the full music videos you can see some very interesting stylistic choices with placement and juxtaposition of images. You can see a music video for Bloodrocuted here. The quality is poor, but it may give some insight into the style of the videos

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

movies and art

Lets discuss for a moment movies. Are movies art? I believe that some movies quite clearly are and some are simply appeals to entertain the masses. Let us examine Beerfest and A Clockwork Orange. Now Beerfest was a funny movie with a simple premise. Not much depth here, not much though goes in while watching this movie. Watching this type of entertainment is a very passive activity. On the other hand we have A Clockwork Orange. This movie forces you to think. Watching this move is not a passive event, you actively have to work at it. The movie posters reflect this. We have a Beerfest poster which essentially says BEER! And we have a poster for Kubrick's work. Just by looking at the poster and reading the blurb, you have to wonder, who is the young man in the picture, why s he dressed like this and why is he wielding a knife? I think that this is the greatest definition between the sophomoric (though thoroughly enjoyable) low art movies and the thought provoking high art pictures.

One of my favorite things about A Clockwork Orange is the use of music as a counterpoint to the happenings of the movie. We have a scene where Billy-Boy and his Droogs are about to rape a young woman and what is the music we have playing? A light waltz. How off putting is this? A scene of the utmost cruelty broken with a light waltz. We see this theme constantly throughout the movie where acts of violence and cruelty are offset by light classical music. I am willing to bet that after seeing this movie, you will never hear Singing in the Rain the same way again. So what are your thoughts on movies in the arts?

Food for thought

Here is a picture showing a few pieces by Jeremy Moon (as best as I can tell) hanging at the Albright Knox art gallery in Buffalo NY. I ask of you, are these pieces art? According to the Wikipedia entry,

Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions.

By this definition, these pieces are certainly art. My question for you is, should something like this be displayed in a gallery? And furthermore, what possible meaning could these pieces have? It seems to me that the only purpose of these pieces is to be paid. I am a cynical person, but the one in the background with the gray canvas with X's painted across it seems like something that I could do. It feels to me like an attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the viewer. Like, "look at this! It is art! It means something incomprehensible now pay me!" What do you think?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some Interests

So Chris, some of my interests are Games Workshop games, good movies (ex. A Clockwork Orange, The Godfather (I & II), etc.), and Gothic architecture. I also enjoy a good piece of art from pretty much any period except for the pieces that seem to have been painted by a 5 year old (ex. a gray canvas with red stripe, maybe it's me, but I don't think that this should be in a museum)

Artist I enjoy

So I was thinking that I would post some information about an artist that I enjoy. John Blanche. He worked a lot with Games Workshop in the fantasy world that they created illustrating concepts in an inimitable style. His drawings are both in color and black & white and have a definite dark theme to them. In this particular piece I like the contrast between the blurred background figures and the sharp definite lines of the battle sister in the foreground.