Please copy and paste your First Opinion/Position Paper on this Class Blog page…

Published by: roberttracyphd

Academic professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I teach theory courses in Art and Architecture History. In addition, I also curate exhibitions on campus as well as in other venues nationally and internationally.

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24 thoughts on “Please copy and paste your First Opinion/Position Paper on this Class Blog page…”

  1. “On the Rocks” … Ensamble Studio

    “I sing my heart out to the wide-open spaces
    I sing my heart out to the infinite sea
    I sing my vision to the sky-high mountains
    I sing my song to the free”, Pete Townshend.

    I want to start with this song to freedom for my formal analysis of the work of Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa, Ensamble Studio. But I don’t want to talk about architecture, I want to talk about liberties, spaces, landscape, and the Man. So if this exercise has a starting point which is to use the Pete Townshend quote as a frame to look through, let’s do it right, and the first thing we do is remove the frame, let’s do this mental exercise, and leave said window unframed ( out that piece of aluminum!), only the material of the wall, with a hole in it, where to look, exactly as are the windows of Ca’n Terra in Menorca Island, Spain. Do you understand where this is going now? We talk about materials, we talk about basic senses, we talk about man facing (not against) nature. The naked man touching the materials with his hand. Isn’t this the most basic principle of nature? In the class PowerPoint of the project, there is the Ensamble Studio Manifesto, (I would call it a mantra), Do you know how it starts? His first point, “We think with our hands, we experience. We seek to control the processes more accurately than the results ”. Thinking with your hands, what a basic and beautiful idea. I think it is the best way to understand architecture. You will never understand from a description what it feels like to enter the Pantheon in Rome, or the feeling when you touch the sincerity of the stone with your hands. This García-Abril and Mesa understand, work on and repeat it over and over again in their projects. Let’s see.

    -Structures of Landscape, Ensamble Studio
    I dare say that its architecture, despite being buildings, speak more about landscape than buildings. They are pieces of earth, of horizons, of man’s feelings towards nature, brought to construction. Despite having large projects that speak of his vision of architecture, such as Hemeroscopium House, SGAE Central Office and The Truffle, with a masterful handling of stone, the forces of structure and composition, are his conceptual works (manifestos ?) which we should observe, study, and admire. Towers of Landscape (1) (Orléans Architecture Biennial) talks about utopian stone skyscrapers, Structures of Landscape (2) (Fishtal, Montana, United States) configure primary elements (earth, rocks, sound) talks about erosion, weathering, crystallization, metamorphism … They build landscape, and finally, I would dare to say their most audacious project, that of Ca’n Terra (3), where they take the utopia of their discourse to real construction. A cave raised to the level of Home, but without giving up its cave nature.

    -Allegory of the cave
    Paraphrasing the work of the Greek philosopher Platon, I want to bring the relationship between man and the cave. Let’s start from the initial basic concept, answer, if you are in a mountain and is surprised by a great storm, what are you looking for to take refuge? Yes, even today thousands of years later, humanity associates cave with protection, with refuge, with Home. In fact, Man’s relationship with the cave as home is the oldest story in the history of architecture, the caves of Lascaux (France) or Altamira (Spain) as the first homes of humanity have evolved throughout history, through The Cave Houses of Cappadocia (Turkey), of 3000 years old, and Granada’s Sacromonte Cave Houses (Spain), of which there are records from the year 1600, the most moderns being barely 50 years old, this concept, this intimate relationship between man and the cave, far from being left behind, has been redefined over and over again, and the last turn of the screw has been given by García-Abril and Mesa with their great Ca’n Terra. It is the house of the earth: first that, earth; then quarry, and now reinvented as architecture. Artistic space carved by hand as a classic Renaissance work, mineral nature (its galleries recall the crystallization of minerals) as an extract from the stony landscape of the island of Menorca. Architecture at the service of material, and not the other way around. As its manifesto expresses, space thought with the hands, molded with pain by master stonemasons, and now redefined as Home. In the words of Ensamble, “This is a project that boldly seeks the balance between nature and artifice, between stories and times, between people and the environment.” I think it is the best definition of everything that this work implies, peace between man (with its worldly noise, cables, electricity, its mere presence) and nature, since the space created is not only for the contemplation of this but precisely for the interaction with her without giving up the comforts of home (without these we would only be talking about House), respecting her in perfect balance.

    Let us think that this project is what the Mountain once dreamed of becoming, to be again the Home of Man.

    Notes:
    1. https://www.ensamble.info/towers-of-landscape
    2. https://youtu.be/jpD0Lx-97B8
    3. https://youtu.be/dTO39Brvmrs

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  2. Ian Medina
    ART 434
    Stop Inviting Walls Into Wide Open Spaces
    In this paper, I’m going to write about a quote by Buddy Wakefield, “Stop inviting walls into wide open spaces.” This was very thought provoking because it made me recall all the ideas and creative solutions that I’ve never considered because of my own restrictive limitations. Limitations such as do I have enough time to finish it, is this too ambitious or is this too different from the example provided? These restrictions I’ve set for myself do nothing but suspend my creativity when working on different projects. On the other hand, limitations or ‘walls’ can also inspire new creative solutions. Instead of the self-inflicted restrictions, a project requirement such as a specific size, specific color themes, or etc. can actually force an artist to think outside the box. For instance, I had a class project where we had to illustrate different words using only six lines. With this condition, it forced me to evaluate every line to make sure that I’m using them efficiently and in a creative manner. That project ended up being one of the highlights of my portfolio.
    The two works that I’ll be analyzing today are “The Hive” by Elmgreen and Dragset, and “Go” by Kehinde Wiley. These artists had the arduous task of creating an eye-catching piece of art that will be immortalized in Moynihan Train Hall. I chose these pieces because they were immediately eye-catching and proved to be such unique artworks. I think both pieces of art fit very well with how much you can accomplish if you stop laying down walls in open fields.
    “The Hive” is such an elegant sculpture filled with depth and meaning. It’s a very idealized image of how our global metropolis would be if we could all coexist together. I really liked how they included iconic buildings from all over the world, including Chicago, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London, Paris and New York. The United States has definitely been well-known for being the melting pot of the world. New York, especially, has all kinds of cultures, languages, religions, ideas and everything else constantly being exchanged on a daily basis. Elmgreen and Dragset definitely wanted to portray a snapshot of all the major cities in hopes of creating a global utopia. I think from a design perspective as well, it’s very aesthetically pleasing. It’s not meant to be a perfect symmetry, but the piece is very well-balanced on all sides and all the buildings seem to gravitate towards the center. It also brings light into the building, which was one of the things that they wanted to improve with the old dreary train hall. Lastly, I really appreciate that it genuinely looks like a beehive when looking at it from straight below. I’m sure that looking at it from the sides will show the elongated building structures, but from below, it just seems so surreal.
    Elmgreen and Dragset learned to stop placing walls in their open fields of creativity. Based on an ArtSpace quote by Linda Yablonsky, “…Yet, as the artists discovered while growing up in Denmark and Norway, it can also be narrow: insistent upon consensus, inhospitable to thinking outside its box.” (Yablonsky) So, from first hand experience, both Elmgreen and Dragset knew what it was like to be restricted into boxes. As a fairly homogenous society, a little isolated from the rest of the world, the Scandinavian peninsula may seem to have limited resources for blooming artists. That’s why “The Hive” is so incredible when looking into their upbringing. The creative depth and artistic innovation that went to the artwork is impressive and shows that they definitely stopped putting limitations in what they can do.
    Kehinde Wiley’s mural of “Go” was also awe-inspiring for me. I really liked the creative medium he went with by painting a stained window on the ceiling. It’s very reminiscent of famous ceiling murals such as “The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo. However, the subject of the mural painting is what elevates this piece of work even higher. Instead of the expected religious imagery on the ceiling, Wiley painted different people breakdancing above the clouds. He wanted to emphasize the impact of black culture not only in the United States, but around the world. Especially with what’s going on in the news the last few months, it’s so crucial that we recognize black Americans for their important roles in our society. It’s so refreshing to see them in a new light, in a world without police brutality and institutionalized racism. In this mural, they are light, airy and filled with so much carefree energy. This three-piece mural is incredibly beautiful, especially with the lights dimmed. It seems like an ethereal portal into a vibrant universe. I also really appreciate the symmetry of the piece, providing it with a well-balanced composition.
    Wiley definitely went “outside the box” when turning this idea into reality. Having the stained glass windows on the ceiling forces the viewer to see it from its best angle: down below. It’s a step-up from a regular mural piece because it incorporates light into its design and highlights the piece’s vibrancy. I also enjoy how the piece is constantly viewed differently because it depends upon the light that enters it. From the photos I have seen though, it seems like it’s best viewed when the lights are dimmed and it gets exterior light from the sun. In his website, Wiley also mentioned that he didn’t want to limit his idea in the streets of America. He wanted to consider the wealth of cultures in other countries and create a utopia for black people everywhere.

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  3. Ca’N Terra, Menorca Island, Spain

    Ca’n Terra is known as the house of the earth and is reminiscent of when man took shelter in caves to escape the elements while respecting that it is to be coexisted with. This beautiful outside house helps those who enter get to experience living with natural scenery while becoming a part of it. The team behind this architecture are Anton Garcia-April and Debora Mesa, artists that are a part of Ensamble Studio who specialize in outdoor architecture. They had a vision of a place that is welcoming to all those that visit and does not impede the growth and beauty of nature. They also understood that the beauty that Menorca Island had to offer is to be respected and not torn down for another man-made looking structure. Their thought process is best described with this quote from Robert Harbinson from Eccentric Spaces, “Writing filled up that empty space in the most miraculous way. I am a far from mystical person, but I was propelled to begin by a dream. I mean one of those events which happen to you in the night, not ‘an idea’….From that moment I have not really been capable of the same depth of unhappiness as before. From the onward I could say with conviction that everyone contains his own happiness within him.”
    The architecture stems from a very empty cave that they filled with furniture and new life, just like how Robert Harbinson refers to writing being able to fill up an empty space. From the outside, all you may be able to see is lush greenery on a mountainside. On the bottom, there are huge, square openings to the entrance of Ca’N Terra. The plants surrounding look very healthy, but do not go near the entrances. It is interesting how the land is so bare right before one is able to step foot inside and it does not seem to be the doings of human meddling.
    When entering Ca’N Terra, it is most noticeable how flat the cave walls, roof, and flooring are. There are still spots that are lumpy and may need to watch your step while navigating, but the smooth spots seem to be naturally made with a little help from Ensamble Studio.The duo seemed to have flattened out the main walkways inside the cave, but the cave seemed to already have a somewhat smooth foundation in the before photos taken upon the exploration phase. Perhaps it was when the island was still under the ocean, or perhaps there was a river that smoothed the walls hundreds of years over to get this result. That would also explain why there are so many plants surrounding the mountain as there was a viable water source. All the square openings seem to accommodate even the tallest members of society and lets one know that they are about to enter an equally big, open room. The windows are another set of large openings that would be able to let in huge amounts of sunlight for when the days are pleasant outside. These square openings seemed to have been smoothed down by the duo as well since they are almost perfect but not fully as to keep the cavern’s charm. Entryways are not blocked either probably due to being sanded away like the entryways to keep the consistency and smoothness while keeping the walkway convenient. The map of the groundwork also shows how geometric each “level” the cavern has.
    A noticeable touch added to this house of the earth are the added additions (not a part of the cave) such as furniture. There is a small lounging place where the wall concaves a bit. A cushion is visibly seen with a light source. The intention was probably for a person to read a book or just relax there. It looks like it would be the fireplace of the cavern if they moved the cushion and got some wood from the outside. A table can be seen at one of the openings for one to spend some time outside. It would be most pleasant to host a dinner in that spot as it is the perfect spot of both in and out of the cavern. In the main room, which would appear to be the equivalent of a living room, there is a table in the middle across from the relaxing cubby. There are no chairs visible, so the main purpose would be to keep something on the table or just have it for display purposes. There are decorative potted plants that help make the cave more cozy and bring a touch of color into the place. On the back wall, there are stone formations that may indicate the equivalent of a kitchen based on the location. Some rectangular rocks jut out and it kind of looks like an oven with a counter to where one preps their meals in their own everyday home.
    The most important room of the house contains the Tree of Life. It is a tree that has been growing in the cave and reminds us humans that this is a spot that does not fully belong to us. Life exists in this one barren cave and it has been here before we showed up, that’s what it represents. The house of earth is to shelter living beings, kind of like it is Mother Nature tending to her children of this world. The tree is alone in the room and rests upon a big stone that once belonged to the cave. Here, it will remain undisturbed and unattached from the cave.

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  4. ART 434/472
    Gustave Courbet, The Stonebreakers, 1849, Oil on canvas, 5.4 x 8.4 ft (Gemäldegalerie, Dresden (destroyed))

    “Good taste, which is spreading more and more throughout the world, had its beginnings under a Greek sky…To take the ancients for models is our only way to become great, yes, unsurpassable if we can.”
    (Johann J. Winckelmann, Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Art in Painting and Sculpture, 1755)

    I chose this quote because of the inevitable irony, which is not evident until later in Winckelmann’s time. Courbet is one of the artists who proof that Greek’s idea of beauty and the ideal models is not the goal every artist should aim to nor it is unsurpassable. It has always been strange to me that, for example, Renaissance masters would paint their figures as the Greeks mandated only to show us unrealistic muscular bodies. Yet, these were and are considered outstanding works, and for many, very realistic. Don’t get me wrong, I do consider classical pieces outstanding work, but I always have been in my mind that nonsense I described. Which brings me to the next question: what is a realistic painting?
    There is the academic answer to that question, as well as the colloquial one. Colloquially would be what I usually hear people said when using that term, and it concludes in the painted figure or object as being similar or identical to the palpable subject. However, when I was studying Gustave Courbet, I started wondering about the real meaning of “Realism”. I got it wrong for a long time when I thought it was only a matter of depicting the subject as close to reality as possible, meaning on its form. Nonetheless, Courbet’s subject matter made me realize that Realism comes from depicting what is real, in opposition to what is ideal, as Classical and Neoclassical art professed.
    Thus, the art piece I chose to analyze is Courbet’s The Stonebreakers, one of the clear examples of the artist’s resolution to break the mold and depict what he sees instead of what he thinks it should be. Not focusing on the idea of beauty but of what it is real.
    The composition of the piece is pretty simple: two figures in the foreground, distributed symmetrically on it, one on the left and another on the right. In general, the space on the piece seems balanced, where the figures occupy the same space as the field, and they are placed in the middle of the horizontal line, which also makes the orientation of the composition horizontal. There is no much going on in the background, since it is just a dark field, resembling shade on the field, suggested by the diagonal glimpse of light on the structure or wheat field on the ridge. Sometimes my mind considers this dark area in the background to be a burned field. In contrast to it, the foreground is brighter and filled with distinct figures and objects. Both the field and the figures offer the same level of detail, which makes them blend. This includes the texture on the rocks, the ground, the wheatfield, the pickaxe, and more. It makes the objects easily recognizable. These aspects add to the realism of it.
    Another unusual aspect is the absence of facial features: the artist opted to hide the faces of the figures. Essentially, we don’t need to see their faces. We do not need to identify them. Besides, keeping their faces hidden from the audience makes the figures even more real. Other elements in the piece tell us more about the scene, without the need for facial expressions. For example, the tattered clothes, including the patches, contribute more to the backstory of these men: the work they do is rough. After knowing that, it makes sense to assume that the body posture of the young man shows struggle to carry the basket full of stones. The old man, on the other hand, seems more pausable and calm, which denotes his experience on the field. With these mentioned details, Courbet offers more insight into the realist part of his painting, which indeed was considered direct and crude.
    About the color palette used by Courbet, they are mostly warm colors, like a sort of amber filter that unites all the elements. The lines on the painting are sharp to define the stones and other objects lying around, but they are thicker on the figures. It flattens the figures on the picture plane. Another element that reinforces the flattening of the figures is the profile pose of the old man because it barely shows depth. However, the diagonal position of the young man offers dynamism and strengthens the depth of the piece, and balances the painting. Additionally, this diagonal position of the left figure suggests movement, because it suggests he is in the middle of an action, which is carrying the basket of stones. We can also get the same sensation from the diagonal position of the old man’s tool, suggesting he is about to break some stones, hence the title.
    Another element that adds depth to the painting is the shade cast by the light source, which appears to be where the viewer is because it places the wheatfield between the foreground (figures) and the background (dark field). That being said, the background would represent a muddy or burned field, since the light source would not permit it to be a dark field as suggested previously.
    Speaking of shades and depth, the values in this piece are strong, presenting a high contrast between the foreground and background.
    It is not surprising that we find mostly organic shapes in the painting because Courbet only depicts nature and the man working on it. Geometric shapes would appear if there were any man-made structures present or something similar. The organic aspect of the whole painting adds even more realism to the piece.
    Indeed, The Stonebreakers is a remarkable piece by Courbet, that it is simply what it is: a memory of something the artist saw. There is no much more into it. I could use it as an example of the peasant world as probably someone might have done, but its appeal falls in the simplicity of it and the powerful opposition it represents against the established parameters of the Art Institutions.
    Returning to the chosen quote, I was thinking of the irony of a successful artist who rejected the Greek models for his art. It does not have to be beautiful, and it is not a matter of good taste or not. Art has multiple windows, each one revealing a different place. It is that diversity in Art that makes it stronger. Perhaps it would have been easier to use Winckelmann’s quote along with a Neoclassical painting, proving the point he makes. However, that would mean I agree with the superiority of Greek models in modern, and contemporary art, which is not the case. I love the contrast or opposition in matters. It only shows us that there is more than one mass of thought in the world and that is what should persevere.

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  5. Lizbeth Ramirez | Art 474 and Art 434 | First Opinion Paper
    Man is an odd creature, with its keen desire to change, to transform. It seems as if they never settle for what nature provides. They want to make nature conform to man, to bend to the will of man. So they tear down its walls, knock down its trees and wreak havoc as it goes. “…propelled by a dream” so it seems that all men follow the same theme. We see something complete, not bothering anyone or anything yet we take over it. Fill up its empty space with whatever fits our needs, transforming historic landmarks into dwellings fit for kings. It’s funny to see how we went from living in caves to modernizing, and then returning back to the same caves to give it a “modern look”. I think that makes nature angry, to disturb her peace, her tranquility.
    Are we not satisfied with what we have? Must we tempt nature? Make her retaliate? I believe that perhaps it’s not our intention seeing as we like to create something new out of the old. I think man simply does anything to fill that voracious hole inside. To fill that emptiness by creating something beautiful for us to feel, to see, to touch. But I think eventually like the painting by Thomas Cole “The Voyage of life-Manhood” depicts, a wave of water will come to destroy everything made by man and return it to its natural state. It’s a nice juxtaposition to see how one painting shows destruction while the cave Ca’n Terra, Anton Garcia-April, and Debora Mesa shows creations or reinvention. Changing the cave into a house suitable for living. I think the quote by Robert Harbison nicely summarizes this idea, although he mentions a different medium “Writing filled up that empty space in the most miraculous way. I am a far from mystical person, but I was propelled to begin by a dream. I mean one of those event which happen to you in the night, not ‘an idea’….From that moment I have not really been capable of the same depth of unhappiness as before. From the onward I could say with conviction that everyone contains his own happiness within him,”. Humans always feel the need to reinvent or recreate themselves as they plan their “New Year’s Resolutions”, but many find different mediums. Harbison describes how writing made him feel ethereal happiness, it was his medium. He was inspired from a dream to write, to create, to force himself out of this “depth of unhappiness”. I think he is quite accurate when he states how all man “contains his own happiness within him” but some just use different forms of art as an outward expression of this happiness or to distract them from their “depth of unhappiness”.
    Yet although we as curious and restless human beings love to grow and to change the world around us, I think Earth itself is exhausted of all of this. So eventually it’ll all lead to the end where one natural disaster will wipe out everything that man has created, every form of expression through infrastructure and developments created on Earth. One day it’ll be full and the next a large wave could come and wash it all away. Creating a sort of blank space while humans try to survive it all. Almost like Earth itself pressed a button to restart everything because it was tired of being used and abused by a man. I know that the artists of Ca’n Terra probably did not have any sort of malintent when they created a home of that cave, but it just does not sit right with me. What was the need? Why not keep the caves as it is? What if it was a sort of historical artifact where humans lived thousands of years ago? What if in their attempts of reinvention they destroyed a piece of history? The home they created is a beautiful space and work of art but the home took over caves that were already, in my opinion, lovely on their own.
    We are told Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
    but how can we judge Beauty if we are not satisfied with its Beholder?
    so we augment reality.
    Make our noses smaller, breasts larger, stretch our pockets wider
    we buy Things-
    oh how we love things
    all to cheat our eyes into believing,
    Believing what we refuse to see,
    what Natures knows.
    is it that maybe we Neglect what we already have.
    Filling our bodies with plastic, forcing our outward appearance to match
    the beauty we feel
    the beauty we dream of.
    So that our “depth of unhappiness” is slightly more shallow
    just shallow enough to see ourselves for what we truly are
    a Cave with twists and turns
    with an unforgiving presence that dreams.
    So maybe change is good, maybe we don’t mean to replace
    to anger Nature by thinking She made a mistake-
    What if She retaliates?
    with her deafening silence, Her pleas for an apology
    Wiping away our existence with the slamming of waves
    Carrying away every sin etched on Her holy ground
    Her work of art that you neglected
    and instead, made her frown.
    Or maybe Nature is giving you another opportunity,
    a fresh start
    a blank space
    a white canvas
    Maybe She likes when we take control
    When we augment reality
    and take control of this thing we call “destiny”
    So she gives us an aid,
    a clutch to hold
    a boat to ride through Her waves
    We see the Destruction
    But all it does is inspire Reinvention
    Creation
    Light,
    a New day.
    We take what is old, unwanted, neglected
    and reinvent our Cave
    Removing the darkness,
    the empty, heavy, and hollow space
    allowing her Waves to wipe it clean, anew
    So that once we come in and settle in our new beautiful
    we simply Breathe;
    finally content with our Beholder,
    The transformation of the cave was beautiful but still sad. I am not sure if the artists intended to replace the cave but instead make it more useful, but why should they assume that cave was not already useful? Either way, they were propelled by their own dream, inspired to create something new out of something old. Maybe eventually that cave will be taken over by nature. But for now, it’s its own beauty. Just like the painting by Thomas Cole “The Voyage of life-Manhood”, nature will restore itself. We’re just temporary beings on this earth, taking advantage of nature’s resources and beauty. Hopefully one day we begin to respect her and allow her to be at peace.

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  6. Nayla Palafox
    ART 434-1002

    Expanding the Grid: An analysis of The Hive

    New York City is one of the most culturally diverse cities in America. Most popularly known for its busy streets, ever-expanding architecture, and its celebration of the arts, New York City offers an opportunity for travelers to truly embrace the emotional connection that comes with exploring the history of the city. Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas further explains how important architecture is in New York’s culture, claiming that:

    “Manhattan has no choice but the skyward extrusion of the Grid itself; only the Skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of a man-made Wild West, a frontier in the sky” (Rem Koolhaas).

    In this quote, Koolhaas offers insight on what makes the city of Manhattan, one of New York City’s most populated regions of its 5 boroughs, such a unique instance in which one specific type of architecture is essential to the culture of the city. Koolhaas implies that skyscrapers are essential to keeping this city alive, and the only way to ensure that the city continues to thrive is by “expanding the Grid,” in other words, focusing towards appreciating the buildings and their significance, putting a greater meaning to what this form of architecture has to offer to New Yorkians both physically and emotionally.
    After further analyzing this quote by Rem Koolhaas, I found that it greatly represented Elmgreen and Dragstet’s The Hive, an art installation piece located inside the 31st Street entrance to Penn Station. This artwork is a part of a newly developed expansion to Penn Station called the Moynihan Train Hall. With this expansion came the idea of recognizing the importance of the arts in New York City, offering a variety of artists the opportunity to create installations that best represent New York while also celebrating contemporary art. For this reason, Elmgreen and Dragstet decided to move forward with a piece that would best represent the power of light; The Hive art installation is an upside-down light fixture consisting of 100 buildings reminiscent of New York City’s skyscrapers. Once one enters through the door, one can observe a structure containing a group of buildings that are diverse in height that seemingly appear taller the closer they are towards the ground. The buildings in this installation also have carvings and detailing of textures one would see on a skyscraper, even including translucent material used to mimic lights peeking through the windows of the buildings, representing the bright lights of the city. This grand installation hangs over the entrance of the train station expansion for a variety of reasons, the primary one being the idea that this representation of New York welcomes travelers and commuters that are both entering and exiting the building, reminding them of the beauty of architecture and how it is a staple for the city.
    The Hive serves as a tribute to the great skyscrapers of New York and what they represent. All works included in the Moynihan Train Hall serve as a form of hopefulness, contributing to architecture both old and new and how they are a result of civilians overcoming an array of obstacles. In the time that The Hive was developed, the world was still facing the everchanging results of a global pandemic, feeling lost in a society where physical and emotional connections feel all but lost due to the restrictions placed as a precaution of protecting lives. With this life-changing experience in mind, all artists working on installations for the Moynihan Train Hall felt that it was necessary to provide installations such as The Hive, reminding those entering the building that once our current obstacle ends, we will have the ability to return to a place in which we learn to heal and return to a form of “normalcy.” In this case, The Hive encapsulates busy New York City life, a time before the pandemic in which overcrowded streets guided people to immensely busy buildings, skyscrapers that serve as the location for a workplace environment in which various talents apply their skillsets, keeping the spirit of New York alive.
    As described in the aforementioned quote by Rem Koolhaas, The Hive portrays these forever growing skyscrapers; when viewing the piece from a right-side up perspective, one notices that the buildings only grow taller. In fact, one may argue that The Hive is portrayed as a “Grid” in which Manhattan may only grow upwards as it provides space for businesses to offer more opportunities to those looking to succeed while also serving as a metaphor for “reaching for the sky.” Moreover, Rem Koolhaas mentions the concept that skyscrapers can be described as a “man-made wild west,” a point that is fascinating due to the fact that one does not typically view rural and urban environments as a mutual concept, but rather view them as opposites. Even so, skyscrapers as represented both realistically and in The Hive do offer endless opportunities to grow, giving the city and New Yorkians the chance to grow in character, an opportunity to explore what the world has to offer.
    Overall, The Hive and Rem Koolhaas’ concept of Manhattan being a skyward frontier correlate in depicting what makes New York so special. The Hive was developed with its audience in mind, reminding those entering and exiting the building that despite the challenges that each day brings, New York offers so much to look forward to, leaving one with the hope that they will be able to “reach for the sky” and overcome any obstacle they are facing. Additionally, much like other commissions created for the Moynihan Train Hall expansion, The Hive reminds passersby of the unity that comes with New York’s culture. Although one may view The Hive and only see it for its literal form, there is a greater meaning behind grouping diverse sets of buildings together to depict a daily experience for the everyday New Yorkian. Modern day New York is well known for the manner in which diverse cultures celebrate their individual traditions, as well as invite other cultures to learn more about their traditions as well. In conclusion, The Hive is a formal example of the welcoming culture that stems from visiting a city that is so rich in its diversity, and also serves as a home to millions that strive to work in unity to overcome any obstacle life has to offer.

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  7. Ryan Roberts
    ART 434/474
    Wide Open Spaces: MEET Center Analysis
    Everywhere we go we always seem to feel that we tend to be in crowded areas whether that is in the city, our neighborhood, or even at work. The architecture piece that I am going to be discussing is called “The MEET Center” done by Carlo Ratti and his amazing team. The MEET Center was interesting to study because Ratti was focusing on creating this 16,000 square foot space into a place where people could essentially escape from places where we might feel claustrophobic, and by doing this he accomplished that space is a key element in our lives. I happen to find the quote said by Sara Paretsky valid to what Ratti is trying to achieve with his work to the public. Paretsky states, “People have less privacy and are crammed together in cities, but in the wide-open spaces, they secretly keep tabs on each other a lot more”. This quote I thought fit nicely because when reading the quote over and over I started to think that the Paretsky statement is true to the world we live in, especially in these trying times. For example, whenever I am simply walking somewhere in a busy area I don’t really think about the others and only focused on me and the place where I need to go, in comparison to when I am in a large room with fewer people I do find myself thinking about them in terms of what they might be thinking or wondering if they are having a good or bad day. Something about being in a large room that offers a lot of space always feels more relaxed that it gives you the feeling of being less stressed and more so caring for others.
    The interior of MEET is where it shines because Ratti was not able to change anything on the exterior since the city restricted him from doing so. Nonetheless, with warm yellow and orange lighting that we see inside the building perceives to have a pleasant welcoming to those who come and visit. The light would only be seen from the second floor when viewing from the outside, Pearson mentioned, making the people outside also become more alert of the building. I think that is an interesting way how the building was made to where people from the streets would be able to see light from the second floor, but seeing how they may have been on purpose is great because I believe if the building had the first and third floor visible with light would not appear as attractive. Another of the main focuses Ratti had in mind when building this area was combining a feeling of new and old with the architecture that is represented from the rooms to the staircases. The direction that Ratti wanted to take when combining that new and old feeling is by having those two combined would create a new, but subtle modern take on architecture. Along with the unique and outstanding architecture, the staircase is obviously the main focal point of the structure and its purpose is to become the social hub since there would be people walking up and down these steps throughout the day. Not only the staircase is where people would be able to feel free with space there is also a cafe and theatre on the first floor, but class/workrooms are also on the second floor and offices on the third floor. Everything that is offered from this sounds amazing and calming workspace for ones trying to get away from the crowded areas.
    Another unique aspect about how the staircase was made, is that it was made out of digitally lightweight steel panels, and considering how this place is meant to be away from the digital world is quite ironic but brilliant. Realizing that Ratti developed some material from digital fabric and making it very subtle throughout the building is definitely a key element to what he wanted to accomplish. A couple of things that stood out for what he did around the staircase is the halo and the MEET sign that aligned in a specific fashion. I found that these two elements that surround the staircase are fantastic because they are both made from digital form, but if you really want to know what it looks like and analyze it people will slowly come together as a group and view it. Thinking how this would gather people is exactly what Ratti had the intention of doing because people now don’t really look at art like they used to, and doing this could bring that community and make it even bigger than it was before.
    Expanding on the open wide spaces and the staircase creates an enormous amount of space for people to roam around is exactly what Ratti intended to do when in the process of building it. He wanted the space mainly because he had mentioned how when living in a world with technology that surrounds every day of our lives we never find time to block out the things we do not need in life. In contrast to what he has created at MEET, he wants people to feel free to open up and find the time to interact with other people when walking up and down those stairs because nowadays nobody does that anymore. When on social media there is always a tendency to filter out certain ideas, people, likes, and dislikes. However, that is the complete opposite of MEET and trying to achieve once things go back to normal in the near future. By getting others around with the same creative outlet or mindset can lead to a better networking group because whether it is getting writer’s block or artist’s block we all need a source of a third party to help us keep moving forward. Seeing this does make for a great opportunity to connect with people around the city or others that are visiting from out of town. Not only will this create a bigger social group for you, but it could also change your life in a positive way. With such a wide-open space all around the building from the cafe to the offices, Ratti also mentioned that MEET is like a “vertical plaza”, and that ties into the place giving off the feeling of a place to call home but on a much larger scale.
    Other than the staircases, the overall design of the interior is incredible like I mentioned earlier. The previous physical features included a classical look and Ratti had to convert that look into a stone and brick look. By changing the overall look from classical to modern the design reminds of a 70s household mainly because of that warm lighting and the way the stone looks. When first looking at images of MEET I instantly thought of that throwback 70s design and thought that was outstanding. Obviously, that is something we do not see much of anymore for the interior of a house but it would be interesting to see that style make a comeback in architecture.
    Refereeing back to the quote and with all things considered about MEET, I believe that the reason why people may feel safe and open about sharing other knowledge with people is that they don’t feel under pressure when walking around the building. Knowing how much space there is provided at MEET people would definitely think about the others around them because when you are placed in any room or in a park with an enormous amount of space I always catch people looking around at one another. They may or may not be thinking about the ones that they are looking at but they do care more about their surroundings versus a busy place. The bright and warm lucid lighting also gives off the impression of a spacious area that seems to be a cozy invitation to come and explore while meeting other people is one of the best things that MEET has to offer. Viewing the images that are seen to be at night time especially, truly does its best when it comes to having your attention drawn to it, and I find that to be something more buildings around the world should find the inspiration from MEET and apply it into the future.
    Overall, what Ratti and his team did over the years in the making of MEET is historical and a game changer to our social lives. A place where people try to get people to come together and spread their ideas with one another is something that the world needs, plus what would be a better place like MEET.

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  8. Cover It Up -or- What’s Really Going On Behind the Veil?: Architecture vs. The Installation Art of Christo

    “Most old cities are now sclerotic machines that dispense known qualities in ever-greater quantities, instead of laboratories of the uncertain. Only the skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of a man-made Wild West, a frontier in the sky.” (Rem Koolhaas)

    Christo Javacheff confronts viewers of his work with a fundamental mystery, a question of unsatisfied voyeurism that begs to understand what is going on behind the covered facade. Works by the artist such as Show Case or Green Store Front forge a surreal connection between form and function, between expectation and desire, and between interior and exterior. “Their crucial feature…was no longer the exterior or the outer shape, but what happened inside, what could or rather could not be seen in their interior.”1 The covered glass panes of the show cases or the windows of his storefront works conceal the reality of what is happening within the structure; the covering of glass, which is usually transparent, calls attention to the exterior of the object while also inspiring curiosity as to what is going on behind the paper, what is being protected from being seen by us.

    Show Case (1963) is composed of glass, stainless steel, wrapping paper, satin fabric, and an electric light, the interior of the glass walls of the display case covered with paper. An orange satin fabric inside the back walls of the case and the electric light within offer a warm glow on the paper that covers the glass; the light emanates from the center of the case, alluding to some sort of human presence or intervention within the case (it feels like a human has interacted with the space inside recently, or perhaps it’s been abandoned by humans for quite some time). The glow from the light on the paper reminds me of seeing lights within a home on paper shutters, a quiet signal that the home is occupied. This lends a coziness to the display case, making it feel more like a domestic space than a commercial space. Maybe this is the point? It seems to me that the artist is making a comment about our relationships to familiar spaces that we inhabit, interact with, or ones that we simply pass by often; how is it that blocking our view of the goings-on within a structure or building drives the desire to know what’s behind the mask/curtain/facade?

    Christo’s Green Store Front (1964) is a continuation of the exploration of denying the viewer their voyeuristic pleasure of being allowed to see what’s inside. In this piece, the interior space has been increased in scale, similarly treated with the artist’s signature paper-covering-the-windows in this simulated store front. Green Store Front is made of wood, aluminium, brass, enamel paint, plexiglas, fabric, plastified fabric, polyethylene, rope, brown wrapping paper, tape, and a fluorescent light. The storefront series represents a shift from free-standing, self-contained sculptural pieces to sculptural installation, with multiple pieces composing an overall scene. The work shifts from resembling Beuys to a more Edward Kienholz-esque approach to installation around this time, and Christo becomes more interested in places than individual objects, more interested in the interactions of people and architecture than people and things.

    When Christo exhibited the store fronts at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City (home of Pop artists like James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol), he seemed to be making an anti-Pop Art statement about the obsession of Americans over things and spending money to acquire things.2 The American Dream is served as a lifestyle adorned by things that anyone can achieve, despite their background or story, so long as they dedicate their life to working hard and playing by the rules, while at the same time being bold and taking opportunities when they are presented. Consumerism is intrinsically tangled in this cloud of vague meaning that people call the American Dream; the more one participates in the frenzy of work and spend, the more opportunities to happiness there are afforded to the hard worker. Other artists of this time period in the first half of the 1960s in New York have presented their viewers with ironic idolatry of consumer products, logos, and advertisements. Christo made a more sophisticated and nuanced comment through his similarly critical view of a consumer-based ideal of freedom by denying the desire to see, to hold, to possess whatever is out of our grasp. Consumerism wants to satiate your desires, it wants you to possess it, if only temporarily. Christo inverts the gratification and viewers are left confused by the denial; why can’t I have my expectations met? My expectations of satisfying my urges are usually met in other contexts, why can’t I have what I want in this situation? Maybe another comment being made is that the fantasy of desire-fulfillment through consumption of goods never really satisfies that urge, fills that hole; enough is never enough, more and more must be acquired and used.

    Rem Koolhaas says that “old cities are now sclerotic machines that dispense known qualities in ever-greater quantities, instead of laboratories of the uncertain,” meaning that the modern world becomes relegated to the workings of a machine, to becoming more efficient and less inspiring or challenging to the mind. Koolhaas creates buildings that incorporate odd designs or angles in their shape, making the buildings very present and different-looking than the often drab buildings that surround them.3 He believes that “the skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of a man-made Wild West, a frontier in the sky,” an optimistic view of Capitalism and consumerism that assumes that all people are afforded the same opportunities to get ahead, and that the major reason for someone not succeeding in our ultra-competitive society is that that individual is not trying hard enough. The term “frontier” in itself is super problematic, which implies that there is a space or resource out there waiting around for you to take it, and to assume that skyscrapers are somehow saviours of man through providing structures to house the exploitation of Capitalism is also something that I find off-putting and anti-populist.

    The work of Christo is anti-architectural in a sense; the temporary interventions of the artist through covering, wrapping, and disguising or hiding architectural forms call attention to the function of spaces and invite the viewer to consider the form secondarily. Architecture is meant to be permanent, to stand the test of time, and installations by Christo take a more ephemeral or temporaneous stance on the display or presentation of aesthetic public experiences. Speaking of the ephemeral nature of their work, Christo once said, “I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.”4 Christo seems to understand that freedom doesn’t come from a structure, it comes from what is happening within, without, and around the structure. It isn’t the skyscraper that makes the conditions for success possible, it is the immense effort of the hard work of countless people inside the skyscraper that really matters. Without the force of workers, the skyscraper would be obsolete and useless, much like the empty display cases or desolate store fronts of Christo’s imaginary counter-Capitalist dream. It isn’t the cover of the book that tells the story, the real story is found in the content across the pages inside.

    Bibliography
    1 Koddenberg, Matthias. “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Show Cases, Show Windows, and Store Fronts.” Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Sept. 2020, christojeanneclaude.net/artworks/show-cases-and-store-fronts/.
    2 “Artists.” Castelli Gallery, http://www.castelligallery.com/artists.
    3 Martin, Hannah, and Elizabeth Stamp. “Rem Koolhaas’s Architecture and Design.” Architectural Digest, Architectural Digest, 7 Dec. 2017, http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/rem-koolhaas-buildings-article.
    4 “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Green Store Front (Project) .” Artsy, 2021, http://www.artsy.net/artwork/christo-and-jeanne-claude-green-store-front-project-n-138-x-98-x-12.

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  9. Kevin Kim
    ART 434 1002
    ART 474 1001

    “Stop inviting walls into wide open spaces!” (Buddy Wakefield)

    Wakefield’s quote addresses a conundrum that everyone can relate to; the unnecessary need to add constraints or limitations to something. This resonates with me as I tend to either overcomplicate and limit myself greatly in whatever I do, especially in art, or blindly follow standards without ever thinking why I’m doing this or if it’s even necessary. Instead of thinking about what I can do, my mind immediately shifts towards what I think I can’t do. Not to say this is necessarily a bad thing as creative innovation can be achieved through limitations, but it can be problematic and stifle progress. An important part of the quote that jumped out to me is the word “inviting” because of its implication that people tend to openly bring about these limitations themselves. Even if there are already obstacles in the way of something, people tend to add more themselves either consciously or unconsciously. However, individuals are all different in the way we think, and once we begin to break down these self-made walls, we can truly see how creative freedom can lead to truly diverse and innovative art. Two artworks that break down the walls surrounding them I wanted to talk about are the Ca’n Terra by Anton Garcia-April and Debora Mesa, and The Hive by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset.

    Ca’n Terra by Anton Garcia-April and Debora Mesa was one of the first works of art that came to mind after reading Wakefield’s quote. Ca’n Terra, meaning “House of the Earth”, is located in Menorca Island, Spain and is a old stone quarry that was renovated to be a home. Most people wouldn’t think of the potential of a stone quarry being a home at first glance and, even after renovation, it is definitely a place that most people wouldn’t really think of as a home. I’m sure if one were to ask people what a home is, their responses would be based on the general idea of a home, both in terms of physical and psychological aspects that have influenced through years of molding. However, if you were to ask what a home means to them, suddenly the meaning becomes more fluid. They might say somewhere where they feel safe, relaxed, and free to express themselves. Suddenly, Ca’n Terra doesn’t seem like such an outlandish idea to people anymore.

    To understand how and why Anton Garcia-April and Debora Mesa came up with the Ca’n Terra for their home, we can take a look at their goals and work process. One of the manifestos by Ensamble Studios, the organization that Anton Garcia-April and Debora Mesa are a part of, that stood out to me was, “Our work has no pigeonholes, no barriers. We design the shadow to obtain spaces of light and we can build with heavy elements to obtain weightless and transparent spaces. We go from stressed structures to dense structures, from the small scale of the house to the bigger scale of the city, from reordered nature to prefabricated systems” (Manifesto). Ensamble Studios’ manifesto gives insight into how something like Ca’n Terra, with how it has been renovated into a home that fits with Anton and Debora’s vision of home, can be made. Thinking from a historical standpoint, the concept of home would’ve been considered a cave to our ancient ancestors, changing as humans developed over time, ultimately making the idea of an old stone quarry being one not too far fetched. Ca’n Terra invokes the meaning of Wakefield’s quote through its thinking outside the box, leading to an impressive architectural structure that holds all the weight of the term “home”. Anton and Debora’s architectural innovation breaks down the standard of a normal home while giving no reason to not consider Ca’n Terra one.

    The Hive by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, located at the Moynihan Train Hall, is another example of how people can go against inviting walls into wide open spaces. The vision of The Hive was of a global metropolis, with the purpose of attracting the attention of the busy commuters traveling across the Moynihan Train Hall. The result was an inverted, surreal metropolitan cityscape hanging from the ceiling of the Moynihan Train Hall. The buildings that make up The Hive are influenced from metropolitan buildings around the world such as New York, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and London.

    Taking a look at the finalized result of Elmgreen and Dragset’s The Hive, it begs the question of how and why the two came up with its innovative design and unique placement? Elmgreen and Dragset believe their works can influence change, not only in terms of art but also in terms of politics, society, and preconceived perceptions. In an ArtSpeak interview by Linda Yablonsky on June 29, 2020, Michael Elmgreen states that he believes, “research is a process of forgetting the conclusions you’ve come to and testing the theses behind them. It’s forever doubting and questioning, and never coming up with a final result” (Yablonsky). In another quote in the same interview regarding the duo’s working process, Elmgreen states, “scientists need to doubt their results all the time in order to get farther. We would still be working with stone axes if not for that curiosity” (Yablonsky). By taking a look into the thought process of Elmgreen and Dragset, we can begin to understand how the duo came up with a uniquely innovative design that breaks from usual artistic standards in favor of creative innovation. The Hive could’ve simply been an art piece that was placed in an art gallery or simply grounded into an area that is much easier to notice, but it wouldn’t carry the same impact to it compared to where it was designed to be. In regards to the notion of being placed in an art gallery, Elmgreen states, “It feels so unreal that we go through the same motion of installing a show over and over again without discussing why we do this and what has happened before. It’s like trying to make a ritual celebration out of something that’s very artificial” (Yablonsky). It is no question that every choice design and placement was deliberate. To finish off, a final quote from Yablonsky’s interview, Elmgreen states, “But through our experiments, and those of many different artists, you can keep alive possibility of change. It’s so important to show that you can break the rules, even on a small scale, especially in societies that have become more and more regulated. If you don’t keep the flame alight, what is there, in the end?” (Yablonsky). It is clear that the artistic duo would agree with Wakefield in the importance of breaking down walls in wide open spaces rather than inviting them with much to show for it.

    Our greatest enemies in creativity and innovation often are ourselves. Keeping things in boundaries through limitations and constraints may appear to help us by narrowing our focus, but it can be a double edged sword. Like Anton and Debora’s Ca’n Terra and The Hive by Michael Elmgreen and Dragset, it is important to always be pushing our imagination and reevaluating our pre-existing beliefs of what is seen as normal to us. If Anton and Debora had only thought about the concept of a home in the usual standard, a beautiful architectural piece such as Ca’n Terra that challenges a normalized and everyday concept would never have been made. The same goes for The Hive; if Elmgreen and Dragset didn’t look to make change and didn’t believe in a necessity to make change, to think outside the box, the unique inverted global metropolis would never have been made to attract the awe of the Moynihan Train Hall’s increasingly busy commuters everyday. Rather than inviting walls into our imagination, it is imperative that we should be working towards breaking down any existing walls in order to broaden our creative freedom.

    Works Cited

    “Manifesto.” Ensamble Studios. https://www.ensamble.info/about

    Yoblansky, Linda, ArtSpace, June 29, 2020. https://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/meet_the_artist/interview-elmgreen-dragset-what-we-need-to-do-as-cultural-workers-today-is-to-find-a-new-way-56596

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  10. Emily Sarten
    Art 699
    Opinion Paper

    “I’m a London lad, but I’m fascinated by America. I want to take a motorcycling trip across the country and see those wide-open spaces.” (Charlie Cox)

    I feel like I should start off by saying I have never ridden a motorcycle in my life. In fact, I think they are really dangerous and impractical. They’re also really loud and startling. But I understand the appeal. They are super sexy. They are made to make men feel like they are riding on horseback through the vast open American countryside. Motorcycles are a lifestyle, one that I am semi familiar with because of my dad taking me to rallys when I was a young girl. The leather and the buckles and the Van Halen. You get the idea. It’s about freedom. A freedom that you can only get from 150cc of torque between your legs.

    Billy Al Bengston loved motorcycles. He loved to race them and to paint them. I am thinking specifically about his B.S.A. Motorcycle Series from 1961. The image that was included in the presentation was titled Skinny’s 21, the image being that of a motorcycle against an orange semi-circle, with a cream color bordering that. The bike is done in the pop art style, graphically depicted in black with silver trim and a blue coat on the gas tank. It looks to be very much in the screen printing style of Warhol, a close friend of Bengston, and we are shown the bike’s profile. The orange is pleasant and warm, with the orange leaning more towards yellow than red. The minimal nature of the painting places importance on the bike and its aesthetics, and I am left to make my own associations with this object.

    And I start to think about freedom. The freedom of being able to ride off into the sunset like you would see in the movies, away from all of your worries and cares in the “real” world. Maybe someone you are into is sitting in the back grabbing you from behind and holding you for safety. The orange in the image screams of the golden hour during sunset, the cream accent above it signaling the last bits of midday light. The arches of color mimic the shape of the wheels and of movement which I think was a smart design choice. The piece is painted with automotive paint which is speaking directly to the subject matter. It also allows for the finish to be high gloss. The slick nature of the material is feeding into the sexiness of the subject. It makes you imagine running your fingers over the motorcycle and around its curves. This painting is a purely aesthetic experience, with little to be left for interpretation. Then I read the quote by Charlie Cox and it made me think of the piece immediately and how this image of American freedom and wide open spaces is still very much alive in the minds of those who think about this country and what it can offer.

    I think Charlie Cox has the same fantasy that I have about what the motorcycle can offer. And that’s not to say that there aren’t motorcycles in Europe or everywhere else in the world, but the imagery of America, particularly in the American West, is that there are vast open spaces that are just waiting to be explored by those who are just brave enough to do it. There are lots of open, vast spaces in the West, a drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles gives you moments of expansive land. I think the problem with this idea that there are wide-open spaces that are inherently magical and worth exploring is that it is a fantasy that few actually accomplish.

    The wealth needed to live the fantasy that Bengston is selling is rare and often unattainable for everyday people. The artists’ wealth and connections afforded him the opportunity to live out the dreams that are fed to Americans and those abroad but are actualized by few. The automotive paint used to create the image is speaking to a possession, a car, that not all have the ability to own but most fantasize about. The piece Skinny’s 21 is about our desire to attain the dream through consumption. It helps to perpetuate the status quo that objects equal happiness or, in this case, freedom.

    As a work of art Skinny’s 21 is flashy and voluptuous but lives on the surface of the asphalt. It does no more than to encourage a lifestyle that many aspire to but few attain, for the rebellion necessary to be a biker does not fit in between work meetings and picking the kids up from school. It’s glossy exterior hides something much more dull under its surface and it is the banality of our real lives. We might have moments where we feel like James Dean with his cool swagger, but in actuality we are being sold a fantasy.

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  11. Kaitlyn Hinojosa
    Art 434. 1002
    “Stop inviting walls into wide open spaces”! (Buddy Wakefield)

    When I first read this quote I took it literally. One way I thought about it was stop ruining what already exists by gentrification. I still think that was a way to read the quote however upon thinking of it further I thought of it in terms of art block or a creative block, which we’ve all experienced in some way. Sometimes its self inflicted and other times it is not. We give ourselves boundaries as artists for example “I’m an oil painter, I can’t make a sculpture.” Or “I only work with the figure, I cant do landscapes.” And the list goes on. These sorts of boundaries are good to think about sometimes. Knowing where you stand as an artist is good in early career stages BUT it can be detrimental when we apply them to our practices. However, on the flip side of boundaries they can be good to think of them as catalysts for your next piece. For example; “Ive never done a painting smaller than 10 x 10, my next series will be of smaller pieces.” Boundaries don’t stop there though. I also think of it as having a “finished work”, when I finish a painting I’m usually always thinking how can I improve this or make it better? And it isn’t always directly on the canvas. Often times its recreating the art differently and reworking the idea or concept.
    That’s what I found to be the case with Kehinde Wiley’s GO. It was said that Wiley had worked with the idea of GO before in paneled paintings and are now in the Brooklyn Museum. He arranged a very similar composition and the setting was almost identical. In terms of exhibiting the art the panels too were hun on the ceiling. Wiley did not let the power of a boundary stop him from reworking a piece of art into an even better version of it. He instead furthered his idea and reworked it to fit not only his current style but also achieved an even bigger canvas and location. His ideas didn’t stop there he didn’t let him being a painter stop him from working in a new medium (stained glass). He even went as far as changing and working in a different medium because the possibilities are endless in what he could do. He was a great example of this idea to stop inviting walls into wide open spaces. Looking deeper into the artist and the content within you could even apply this quote to his work in that way. From what I know Kehinde Wiley is a black man and depicts black characters in his work. In this piece in particular these characters are in a position that is very reminiscent of the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Of which are all depicting euro-centric standards so to depict black characters in the manner of something that alludes to euro-centric religious art is groundbreaking and breaks down the walls built from not only society currently but also it breaks down a historically anti-black narrative in a way that is not a direct appropriation but is modern, fresh, and uniquely Wiley. What’s kind of funny about this work is it is mentioned in the PowerPoint that he included the gypsum molding in the art piece to tie in with the metal rods of Penn station’s windows which, are on the wall. So it’s a bit ironic that I’m tying in this quote saying to stop inviting walls into your work but.. Wiley quite literally invited a wall into his work, or even LITERALLY he invited the ceiling wall as his canvas. I think theres also something beautiful about that though, he invites his art in a way that isn’t disrupting terribly and when seen its actually quite like a breath of fresh air and a sigh of relief meanwhile, having this beautiful message about the black community.
    Another case of this can be found in the artist Stan Douglas’ work Half Century. Different ‘walls’ compared to Wiley’s GO but boundaries nonetheless. This time the boundaries were not self-inflicted (or maybe they were). This piece showcases different bits of life from the last half-century at Penn station. He did so through video and photography only, his vision was to depict different moments in time from different eras. Only, we’re not in the 60’s anymore and it’s a bit harder to capture that time period. He did not let this stop him. He hired actors and professionals to set the scene and emulate the sense that these photos Douglas took were actually from that moment in time in that exact location.
    These artist’s broke down these ‘walls’ head on and it’s truly inspiring to see full time working artists create things after road blocks or not letting their preconceived boundaries stop them from creating. To me its always important to think about how is my work challenging me our the viewer and it doesn’t always have to be something “deep” to me because people will read my art however they want to read it wether or not I give a statement about it.

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  12. Nick Callo
    Art 699
    Opinion/Position Writing Assignment One

    From its infamous tourist attractions, diverse communities and an overwhelming gesture towards architecture, New York City is filled with potential. What makes the city so distinct? What is it that attracts individuals to the city? These are questions to be considered when examining the city, and understanding the mechanism of how it thrives. In my perspective New York City has captured the ideals and aspirations of many. The life of the city is the hustle and bustle that individuals describe. These passive interactions between one another, build on such synergy, thus creating an environment that is fast paced, bold and dynamic.
    New York City has been dubbed the concrete jungle of the world. As Rem Koolhaas has stated “Manhattan has no choice but the skyward extrusion of the Grid itself; only the Skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of man-made Wild West, a frontier in the sky.” Manhattan has been built as a dense, vertical environment. On the horizon, you have individuals on a constant flow of commute. By train, sub station, taxi or by foot, the city is curated with an influx of activity. Removing the context, in this case the Skyscrapers of New York City, and all order, reason of movement and hierarchy go array. Through years of iteration and the constant innovations of technology, the city has gone though many phases of change. Its streets, its infrastructure all tell a story. Architects and designers alike, have leaned into preserving this context, and have been mindful on incorporating a mixture of the past and present. Koolhaas has been guided by creating an experience that is aware of tradition and culture, while meeting the demands of the present. There has always been a challenge in a dense city, where retrofits look to find a balance between the past and future.
    Reflective of its growth and strengths, these buildings and dynamic interactions are indispensable to the cultural state of the city. There is a grand gesture when walking through the streets of Manhattan. When individuals look up, they’re greeted to a glimpse of the vast city skyline. I would argue that Rem Koolhaas has envisioned Manhattan, as a drawing board that has numerous possibilities, thus stating it is a frontier in the sky. Vertical cities have an intriguing factor when it comes to design elements and features. As a designer, architect, engineer or artist, verticality will inform how you design, organize or layout a space. Smaller lots may inform one to stack spaces, creating an arrangement of circulation. These small details, can further enhance or highlight distinctions from one space to another. The facades of these buildings may look familiar, but its overall program will create the mystery or intrigue from within.
    Moynihan Train Hall is not a skyscraper, but is representative of the cites message and its offerings. Architects from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP or SOM have made it a point to emphasize light in its design decisions. The West end of the Moynihan Hall has been revamped to create an arrival that is grand in scale. Using original trusses the designers and architects were able to realize the usage of natural lighting. The natural lighting has allowed the space to take on a feeling of abundant space and volume. Crowding was an issue at Penn Station, and this has offered some relief to the issue. Incorporating such key elements can assume a number of reactions, and one is to observe the prominent glass ceiling. I think this lends to the idea of looking “up” when in New York City. Either intentional or not, the Hall begins to highlight what is just outside its walls. Though the city is dense and is vertical in form, SOM has found a way to frame what NYC has to offer.
    As a part of the Moynihan Hall project, Elmgreen & Dragset’s The Hive was commissioned for the 31st street entrance. This concourse is exemplar in capturing the essence of the city. Light, shadow and contrast all play hand in hand to create a force for the art piece. Throughout the day the shadows, and light begin to shift, mirroring the activity happening on the ground. The dimensional aspect of the piece hanging above, should prove to command the attention of by-passers. It is a piece that makes a statement, that stimulates a degree of curiosity. Scale alone, can be striking but not to overwhelming for the viewers. Articulation of balance between the solid piece and transparent windows allow for further interpretation.
    “Grid” stated by Rem Koolhaas in his quote can be understood as a system of repetition. Manhattan overall does have a grid system, from street intersections and means of transportation. Everything that is designed or planned is rooted in hierarchy. One building won’t be exactly alike to another, carrying its own set of characteristics. This motivates designers to push boundaries and offers positive constraints. Just like The Hive, it is similar in form and material selection, but each one can be more or so distinct. Representing NYC’s skyline since the 1880s it carries the past in a modern representation. Protruding towards the by-passers just below allows for them to truly grasp the mass of the piece. Had it been set on a foundation in the concourse, the piece would have had less of an effect.
    Overall, cohesiveness seems to be the message that resonates. The main idea of vertical scale, movement and contrast all are composed well in the Moynihan Hall and The Hive. Rem Koolhaus has identified that the urban city is what we make it. The context that we bring to the “grid” works together to communicate a range of past and present ideas.

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  13. Cover It Up -or- What’s Really Going On Behind the Veil?: Architecture vs. The Installation Art of Christo

    “Most old cities are now sclerotic machines that dispense known qualities in ever-greater quantities, instead of laboratories of the uncertain. Only the skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of a man-made Wild West, a frontier in the sky.” (Rem Koolhaas)

    Christo Javacheff confronts viewers of his work with a fundamental mystery, a question of unsatisfied voyeurism that begs to understand what is going on behind the covered facade. Works by the artist such as Show Case or Green Store Front forge a surreal connection between form and function, between expectation and desire, and between interior and exterior. “Their crucial feature…was no longer the exterior or the outer shape, but what happened inside, what could or rather could not be seen in their interior.”1 The covered glass panes of the show cases or the windows of his storefront works conceal the reality of what is happening within the structure; the covering of glass, which is usually transparent, calls attention to the exterior of the object while also inspiring curiosity as to what is going on behind the paper, what is being protected from being seen by us.
    Show Case (1963) is composed of glass, stainless steel, wrapping paper, satin fabric, and an electric light, the interior of the glass walls of the display case covered with paper. An orange satin fabric inside the back walls of the case and the electric light within offer a warm glow on the paper that covers the glass; the light emanates from the center of the case, alluding to some sort of human presence or intervention within the case (it feels like a human has interacted with the space inside recently, or perhaps it’s been abandoned by humans for quite some time). The glow from the light on the paper reminds me of seeing lights within a home on paper shutters, a quiet signal that the home is occupied. This lends a coziness to the display case, making it feel more like a domestic space than a commercial space. Maybe this is the point? It seems to me that the artist is making a comment about our relationships to familiar spaces that we inhabit, interact with, or ones that we simply pass by often; how is it that blocking our view of the goings-on within a structure or building drives the desire to know what’s behind the mask/curtain/facade?
    Christo’s Green Store Front (1964) is a continuation of the exploration of denying the viewer their voyeuristic pleasure of being allowed to see what’s inside. In this piece, the interior space has been increased in scale, similarly treated with the artist’s signature paper-covering-the-windows in this simulated store front. Green Store Front is made of wood, aluminium, brass, enamel paint, plexiglas, fabric, plastified fabric, polyethylene, rope, brown wrapping paper, tape, and a fluorescent light. The storefront series represents a shift from free-standing, self-contained sculptural pieces to sculptural installation, with multiple pieces composing an overall scene. The work shifts from resembling Beuys to a more Edward Kienholz-esque approach to installation around this time, and Christo becomes more interested in places than individual objects, more interested in the interactions of people and architecture than people and things.
    When Christo exhibited the store fronts at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City (home of Pop artists like James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol), he seemed to be making an anti-Pop Art statement about the obsession of Americans over things and spending money to acquire things.2 The American Dream is served as a lifestyle adorned by things that anyone can achieve, despite their background or story, so long as they dedicate their life to working hard and playing by the rules, while at the same time being bold and taking opportunities when they are presented. Consumerism is intrinsically tangled in this cloud of vague meaning that people call the American Dream; the more one participates in the frenzy of work and spend, the more opportunities to happiness there are afforded to the hard worker. Other artists of this time period in the first half of the 1960s in New York have presented their viewers with ironic idolatry of consumer products, logos, and advertisements. Christo made a more sophisticated and nuanced comment through his similarly critical view of a consumer-based ideal of freedom by denying the desire to see, to hold, to possess whatever is out of our grasp. Consumerism wants to satiate your desires, it wants you to possess it, if only temporarily. Christo inverts the gratification and viewers are left confused by the denial; why can’t I have my expectations met? My expectations of satisfying my urges are usually met in other contexts, why can’t I have what I want in this situation? Maybe another comment being made is that the fantasy of desire-fulfillment through consumption of goods never really satisfies that urge, fills that hole; enough is never enough, more and more must be acquired and used.
    Rem Koolhaas says that “old cities are now sclerotic machines that dispense known qualities in ever-greater quantities, instead of laboratories of the uncertain,” meaning that the modern world becomes relegated to the workings of a machine, to becoming more efficient and less inspiring or challenging to the mind. Koolhaas creates buildings that incorporate odd designs or angles in their shape, making the buildings very present and different-looking than the often drab buildings that surround them.3 He believes that “the skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of a man-made Wild West, a frontier in the sky,” an optimistic view of Capitalism and consumerism that assumes that all people are afforded the same opportunities to get ahead, and that the major reason for someone not succeeding in our ultra-competitive society is that that individual is not trying hard enough. The term “frontier” in itself is super problematic, which implies that there is a space or resource out there waiting around for you to take it, and to assume that skyscrapers are somehow saviours of man through providing structures to house the exploitation of Capitalism is also something that I find off-putting and anti-populist.
    The work of Christo is anti-architectural in a sense; the temporary interventions of the artist through covering, wrapping, and disguising or hiding architectural forms call attention to the function of spaces and invite the viewer to consider the form secondarily. Architecture is meant to be permanent, to stand the test of time, and installations by Christo take a more ephemeral or temporaneous stance on the display or presentation of aesthetic public experiences. Speaking of the ephemeral nature of their work, Christo once said, “I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.”4 Christo seems to understand that freedom doesn’t come from a structure, it comes from what is happening within, without, and around the structure. It isn’t the skyscraper that makes the conditions for success possible, it is the immense effort of the hard work of countless people inside the skyscraper that really matters. Without the force of workers, the skyscraper would be obsolete and useless, much like the empty display cases or desolate store fronts of Christo’s imaginary counter-Capitalist dream. It isn’t the cover of the book that tells the story, the real story is found in the content across the pages inside.

    Bibliography
    1 Koddenberg, Matthias. “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Show Cases, Show Windows, and Store Fronts.” Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Sept. 2020, christojeanneclaude.net/artworks/show-cases-and-store-fronts/.
    2 “Artists.” Castelli Gallery, http://www.castelligallery.com/artists.
    3 Martin, Hannah, and Elizabeth Stamp. “Rem Koolhaas’s Architecture and Design.” Architectural Digest, Architectural Digest, 7 Dec. 2017, http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/rem-koolhaas-buildings-article.
    4 “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Green Store Front (Project) .” Artsy, 2021, http://www.artsy.net/artwork/christo-and-jeanne-claude-green-store-front-project-n-138-x-98-x-12.

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  14. “Manhattan has no choice but the skyward extrusion of the Grid itself; only the
    Skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of a man-made Wild West, a frontier in
    the sky” (Rem Koolhaas).

    Our world today is no longer conformed to the 2-D grid of reality that we’ve walked on in the past; the new age of technology has set us far apart from previous generations, as we’ve surpassed their wildest imaginations with our new ideas and innovations. Our Wild West is no longer a desert run by cowboys but a space that we cannot physically enter. If we were to consider Rem Koolhaas’ quote as a metaphor instead of actual buildings, then the skyward extrusion of the grid is building above the ground level of our reality to shape time and space. Our frontier began with 0’s and 1’s and has now expanded into computers and new portable technology. It goes even beyond that with real-time sensors and now artificial intelligence.

    But with the new advances in technology, where do we draw the line in considering our human nature yet still progressing in our virtual ideas? How do we stop our digital Wild West from becoming as lawless as our previous one? It seems the integration of human nature and technology is important, and it’ll make our transition to the digital world much smoother.

    One of the most prominent characteristics of human nature is our need to interact with each other. In 2020, the Coronavirus Pandemic showed that even with the latest technology and all the time in the world, humans still get bored. Quarantine made us realize that it’s not our cell phones or apps or digital games that make us happy, but it’s people. We like to meet, talk, and be with each other, and not just through a screen but in person. One thing that technology can’t seem to replicate is actually being with someone. While humans want to soar high with skyscrapers and leave our 2-D grid, we can’t ignore the basic structure of where we began. Perhaps our solution to this dilemma is integrating both the real and digital world in one space, where we can communicate and talk in person, and then jump into a digital space together.

    The MEET, a digital culture center in Milan, Italy was built by Carlo Ratti. Ratti was tasked with a commission to create a physical space “for people curious about the virtual realm” (Clifford R. Pearson). Ratti’s main challenge was creating a space to not only merge reality with new digital technology, but to also show it aesthetically through his building’s design. His physical space was 16,000 square feet on the 3 lower floors of a 6 story building, which was placed in a neighborhood that had classical elements of stone and brick built on the outside. Ratti had to figure out how to make his modern design fluid with the outside structure since he wasn’t allowed to change it. His solution was brilliant- he utilized light and color to hybridize the interior spaces. He chose the color orange and he tinted the windows that faced the outside street to create an inviting and curious environment for the street onlookers while keeping the traditional aesthetic on the outside. The windows also feature a letter inside each one of them, and together they spell “MEET”.
    The heart of the MEET is not its 50-foot tall atrium, but the staircase. Unlike most staircases in buildings where it’s only use is to get up or down a level (and often tucked away in a sketchy series of echoing doors), the MEET’s stairs are bright orange and can be seen from all three levels. These stairs, also known as “The Living Staircase” have a glass railing with a modern metal border that makes you feel like you’re in a maze of rectangles. Other than the arched atrium, there are no organic shapes to be found, and it gives the space a modern and digital feel. The staircases’ name comes from its use of sometimes being a theatre or a work space. The stairs and platforms are wide and open, and meant for congregating and having conversations on. Ratti refers to the stairs as a ‘vertical plaza.’
    The MEET also has different spaces to collaborate and share technology in. The Theatre has 200 seats and features three projection surfaces to host conferences, public meetings, and cinema. The three projectors really immerse the audience into technology, as the screens and pixels completely surround their field of vision. Surprisingly, the theatre isn’t the most technologically-immersed room- The Immersive room is. The Immersive room has not three, but fifteen projectors that have been “designed, set up and finished to offer an exploration of the potential of creative technologies through the body and the senese” (Meetcenter.it). Once again, Ratti is bringing in human experiences with technology, as the 250 square meter space is large enough for presentations and concerts as well. The MEET also has a Creative Studio, which controls the audio and video editing for all the projects.
    While MEET is meant for the public to integrate with new technology in a single building, it’s function goes beyond just its local neighborhood. MEET is global, and it reaches out into cyberspace to bring more people and ideas together. MEET is the new frontier for the digital age, and its building is the beginning of the skyscraper that goes beyond the grid. In this Wild West, there is no sky, and so there’s also no limit.

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  15. For my opinion paper, I wanted to expand upon Buddy Wakefield’s quote, “Stop inviting walls into wide open spaces!” This particular quote immediately stood out to me because I agree greatly with this same idea. I believe that walls take away from the beauty and freedom of an open space. I have always found myself being very fond of big, open spaces because they make me feel as if I have more freedom to move, think, and feel comfortable. In my own bedroom, I’ve placed my furniture in a way that fully maximizes the space I have. As a student studying both art and engineering, I always find myself feeling the most comfortable and free in an art classroom, since they are traditionally larger in size and have higher ceilings in comparison to the cramped classrooms in the engineering building. I believe that the lack of walls allows for more free-movement, making us more comfortable, and in turn making us more willing to think and create.

    While trying to connect these thoughts to a piece from class, the first piece that I was immediately reminded of was Ca’n Terra by Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa. The entire Ca’n Terra project focused on rehabilitating a found cave in Spain into a piece of architecture that offers a common space for relaxation. I remember when learning about this place through our class powerpoints, I was reluctant about the project at first, as I thought they were going to renovate the cave entirely to fit the trends of modern architecture. However, I was very happy to be proven wrong after learning that Garcia-Abril and Mesa intended to work with what was already there instead of demolishing and modernizing the cave. The Ensamble Studio team actually purposefully removed partitions and walls that were created by the rubble. By doing this, they not only maximized the space this cave offered, but they also created the perfect grounds for free-thinking and relaxation. Had they completely remodeled the cave to have distinct rooms separated by walls, the space would have felt more like an office rather than a place for individuals to connect spiritually with themselves and find a sense of calmness. The open, almost seamless flow of the rooms allow for a much more inviting and comforting sense of togetherness that would not be able to exist in a conventional home setting. There is almost no separation to the rooms, which creates a more honest and trusting environment because nothing is hidden behind doors or walls – everything’s out in the open. Furthermore, by using simple cushion settings for seats, it creates an environment that fuels comfort and closeness that would not be seen had they used something else like chairs or stools, since laying down or sitting criss-crossed is a much more vulnerable position of relaxation than sitting down. The intentional lack of walls and doors also removes the idea of barriers that are both literally and subliminally created with any door or wall, and the openness of the space makes visitors/inhabitants of the studio feel much more intimate and connected. There is nothing there to separate them from each other or even suggest the idea of separation. In turn, this presence of intimacy and trust brings out feelings of comfort, which then cultivates true, raw relaxation. It is for this reason that I believe this type of setting is perfect for any communal space or home. When I look at photos of the space, I can tell just from looking at it that the environment is extremely welcoming and calming just from how open-flowing and simplistic it is.

    The second piece that came to mind when thinking about Wakefield’s quote was HIVE by German artists Elmgreen & Dragset. HIVE is easily one of my most favorite pieces that we have learned about in this class so far, primarily because of how unorthodox the installation is. Normally, when you think of a sculptural installation such as this, you might assume it would be built on the ground, or maybe even protruding from a frame or wall. However, the HIVE installation hangs above viewers on the high ceilings of the Moynihan Train Hall. I thought that the artists’ choice to do this was an incredibly brilliant and creative way to make use of the space they were given, and I would even suggest that this piece would not have worked any other way. From the photographs, you can see that the sculpture is placed in quite a busy area. It hangs right above a main entry-way, and right next to a large staircase. Thus, it is obvious that this space is not one for people to stop and sit in, but rather one that sees constant movement and a great amount of foot traffic throughout the day. In a city as busy as New York, commuters need to get places and get there fast, so placing this sculpture on the floor would have been an insufficient and superfluous use of the space they were given. In the same way, a creating a wall or podium for the piece would also cause an inconvenience for commuters. By placing the sculpture on the ceiling, the artists are making good, maximum use of the space they were provided. Not only this, but they also were able to use this to give their viewers a changed perspective that serves as a fundamental key to the depth and symbolism of the piece. New York City is a place where many individuals go to look upward towards their futures. For example, business people might come to New York to meet with wall street investors who can kick start their companies. Artists might come to New York to get their start in the industry. In a sense, the placement of this installation builds upon that idea of how NYC is a “hive” for upward thinking and hope towards the future.

    I also had a more symbolic and political interpretation of how this piece connects to Wakefield’s quote. HIVE is actually a cultivation of many different cityscapes – not just New York City’s. Elmgreen & Dragset mentioned how they included landmarks from other places like Chicago, Hong Kong, London, and Paris into the sculpture. In a sense, by doing this, they were alluding to the ideology that New York City is a place where anyone and everyone can come to embark on new beginnings and opportunities. For many immigrants, New York is the place to move in hopes of finding a better life for themselves and their families, and I connect this Wakefield’s quote. In stating, “stop inviting walls into wide open spaces!” one may see how this can be a way to speak against the anti-immigration laws and ideologies that continue to spark great debate in America. Not only New York but America in itself is a wide, open space of opportunity that can be a new hope for struggling families of other countries. Personally, that’s what America was to my family, who immigrated here from the Philippines in the 80’s. We should not, as Wakefield put it, ‘invite walls’ to keep these opportunities from those who can benefit from them. I thought that by combining the city scapes of international landmarks with New York’s landmarks, Elmgreen & Dragset do a great way of alluding to the idea that New York City is built upon the fact that it is a melting pot of different people, from all different places of the world, all coming together to look upward and find new beginnings and a better life.

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  16. SCULPTEUR ET SON MODELE DEVANT UNE FENETRE 1933 (VOLLARD SUITE)
    “Writing filled up that empty space in the most miraculous way. I am a far from mystical person, but I was propelled to begin by a dream. I mean one of those event which happen to you in the night, not ‘an idea’….From that moment I have not really been capable of the same depth of unhappiness as before. From the onward I could say with conviction that everyone contains his own happiness within him.” (Robert Harbison, Eccentric Spaces)
    Many works of art or architecture begins with an idea or a thought. Or like the quote by Robert Harbison says a “dream”. These amazing creations come from so many places and seeing artists bring these ideas to life is truly one of the talents of the human race. Being able to create and bring objects or pictures to life. When most artists start off a piece, they start with a blank canvas. A canvas waiting to be brought to life by the brush strokes, the colors, the details of an idea or purpose. One of my favorite artists is Picasso because he chose to go out of the norm and create beautiful and intricate pieces of art. When you think of Picasso you remember his crazy pieces. How most of his paintings are crazy, unique and creating a new style of art called cubism. He truly “dreamed” up these weird and crazy art pieces that so many people admire and respect today.

    One of my favorites pieces from the lectures is the Sculpteur et Son Modele Devant Une Fenetre 1933. When you fist look at this piece, I see two different sides with different styles. One side showing a beautiful statue with standing next to a pedestal. Within this drawing we are seeing showing shades of pencil and line work. When you look deeper into the line work, you see him start to create square shapes within the shading and lines. Creating a sense of detailed shading and shaping. While on the right side of the piece, you see a quite simple and clean sketch. You see a man sculpting this statue, however instead of it being covered in lines and shading, it is only single lines. Barely having any overlap. Making the artist seem simple and plain compared to this magnificent and detailed sculpture.

    When I look at this piece, I see a simple man trying to create this beautiful and interact piece of art. Which is interesting because in this piece, Picasso said that he put himself in this art. Creating his own Arcadia, showing himself in an honest way. To me this shows that Picasso is an honest man. He does not need to depict himself in a glorified way. He just wants to be seen as he is, an artist. Picasso is showing this difference between modern art and classical art. He is showing the end of traditional style of art. This idea of antiquity and how he is making way for a new style of simple and minimal art.

    The second piece of Picasso I think of when I read this quote is his most famous piece Guernica. This piece is a tragic tale of the bombing that happened in Guernica. He depicts such heartbreak, pain, and destruction throughout the painting. Instead of starting this big, empty canvas as a “dream” he created this piece as a remembrance to the lives that were lost during this war. When looking deeper into this piece, you see that each figure has their own story. One woman is holding their child in their arms looking up towards the sky in tears. Another figure looks as if it is trapped underneath the carnage. Picasso shows the story of Guernica by depicted these shapes and creating a dark and gloomy scene with grays and dark colors. The simplicity and cubism are an incredible attribute to the history of Picasso. Showing him growing from this classical artist and creating this new style of art. When I look at this piece, I can feel the pain and heartbreak in the room. Making me feel the like I am there witnessing the pain that they were experiencing. Picasso truly created his “dreams” in his own unique way during his time. Giving birth to a new form of art called cubism.

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  17. Martin Perez
    ART 434
    Elmgreen and Dragset – “The Hive”
    “Manhattan has no choice but the skyward extrusion of the Grid itself; only the Skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of a man-made Wild West, a frontier in the sky.” (Rem Koolhaas)

    For my formal analysis, the work of art I will be taking a look at is “The Grid”, a sculpture piece created by Elmgreen and Dragset. This sculpture was commissioned by the New York governor and other agencies for the January 1st opening of the new Moynihan Train Hall. The sculpture is meant to serve a purpose with its placement, which is to further the purpose of the train hall. The hall was created to serve as an area of respite for weary travelers who use the train system to get around the city. Thus, by extension, the sculpture serves the same purpose. Alongside two other artworks in the hall, The Hive will greet passengers with its monumental size and presence, allowing the viewers who rush from station to station to feel at ease as they marvel the art installations.

    Simplified, “The Hive” is a sculpture of a city which is upside down. It is constructed with stainless steel, aluminum, polycarbonate, and LED lights and lacquer to finish it up. The skyscrapers in the sculpture are placed upon an irregular polygonal shape that acts as a base. The city is made up of a series of one hundred skyscrapers that are up to nine feet in height. They are also comprised of a varying amount of shapes, with some being the usual rectangular prism to some being cylindrical in shape. There are a few nontraditional shapes as well, with some spiraling or ending in triangular shapes of points. The reason for all these varying amounts and types of skyscrapers is so that the commuters who regularly use the new train hall with be able to have a new experience every time they view it, and even more so if they were to view the sculpture from different angles every time. Compositionally, this imitates the city look even more and does not make the sculpture comprised of mostly rectangles feel too man-made, but allows it to seem more organic. It truly replicates a bird’s eye view of New York City. Rather, for this piece, it would be a worm’s eye view. This is because the sculpture is upside down. The reason behind it being upside down is because it is meant to act as a mirage replicating the actual city. Not only is it a replication of the city, but of the people who live in the city. The base plate is reflective, so anyone who were to look up at the piece from below would see themselves in it as well.

    In terms of the quote, the sculpture could not be a better representation of the meaning. Early in America’s life, the wild west was the area to explore to be able to see more of the world. It was large, took up a large area, and was unexplored. In contrast, the east had been mostly populated already, even before the US had become an official country or even begun its revolution. While the west brought new beginnings, the east felt old, as if there was nothing left to find. Rem Koolhaas makes a good point in his quote. He is saying that since there is nowhere left to explore on the surface of the planet in east US, the only new frontier would be to go up to the sky. It is why areas in the east coast, like New York, are comprised mostly of skyscrapers. In this piece, the skyscrapers and the city are literally in the sky, per se. To be placed on the ceiling is to be placed on to the sky which originally felt so far away. However, despite the placement on the sky, there is a bit of irony in the fact that it is facing towards the ground. While we originally had interest to go up, this mirage city in “The Hive” is heading downwards. It can be interpreted as some sort of reminder to the everyday people who travel by. While the viewers are going about their busy lives and thinking about work and payments and making money, and generally making their way upwards like the city, they can be reminded to not forget their grounded roots. So long as we remember our roots and where we started, we’ll be able to appreciate making it to the sky later on.

    Returning to the sculpture, I believe it accomplishes what Elmgreen and Dragset set out to do. Alongside two other impressive installation pieces, they set out to make Moynihan Train Hall a place of comfort where those traveling to and from can feel at ease during their travels. Not only was the base structure for the hall designed with this goal in mind, but the artworks are there to further emphasize the point. “The Hive” is a part of this, acting as a way to get the viewer thinking about the work, rather than their daily worries. Not only that, but it is designed to provide a new experience with every new look at it, so that it does not grow stale or become a plain sight that does nothing for the viewer.

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  18. Moynihan Train Hall
    “People have less privacy and are crammed together in cities, but in the wide-openspaces, they secretly keep tabs on each other a lot more.” by Sara Paretsky
    Ultimately, individuals can develop stunning pieces that will create a lasting solution and impression on the audience and the users on the projects through art and architecture. A case in point is the New York City-based Moynihan Train Hall. Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall is an expansion of New York City’s Pennsylvania Station into the adjacent James A. Farley Building, the city’s former main post office building. The Farley Building, designed by McKim, Mead and White, sat the original Pennsylvania Station. Five decades after the loss of the original structure, the Moynihan Train Hall had again provided New Yorkers a new entrance.
    Indeed, the magnificent structure has been highlighted as one of the landmarks of urban planners and influences modern transportation designers. To this effect, the lens through which will be incorporated to analyze the pieces of art is one by Sara Paretsky, when she affirms that “People have less privacy and are crammed together in cities, but in the wide-open spaces, they secretly keep tabs on each other a lot more.” The assertion cannot be further from the truth than the happening and the Moynihan Train Hall’s architectural intent.
    Conversely, the element of having wide-open spaces for people to interact with is illuminated. To this effect, one such aspect can be highlighted through the deliberate architectural design that allows for an increased space volume. This means that there is a more enhanced sense of arrival, coupled with the idea that since the people who dwell in cities are used to be crammed in places, the open spaces create a new dynamic that they can interact with dignity and freedom of space.
    A case in point is in the architecture of the arrival hub of the Moynihan Train Hall. There is deliberate planning to exempt the arriving commuters from the New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Trail use alternative routes and increase efficiency following the significant space volume. It is thus an architectural masterpiece that also seeks to merge the important aspects of nature since the architectural enhancement sees the building tap into the natural light instead of the conventional electricity lighting solutions. It also integrates seamlessly to the surrounding and the town’s intent to create a commuter-friendly and safe space and transit hub.
    The principles of design also depict the projects the symmetry and their scale and proportions. In this view, the picture highlights the three-dimensional dynamic in highlighting the architectural symmetry. Lines outlined in the picture also create a shift that magnifies the background. It enables the audience to have an overall view of the magnitude of the structure and the detail that has been incorporated to come up with the architectural design. Additionally, it also enables the appreciation of the space that the planners have set apart from the commuters intending to traverse through the Moynihan Train Hall.
    Correspondingly, Sara Paretsky delves into the architectural masterpieces being an avenue through which the public can keep tabs on each other. The lens is a valid one, as substantiated by the proposal on the thirty-third street entrance. It is a phase with the sole intention of ensuring the gateway and the pen south gate deliberately portraying a place where there can be seamless interaction. Additionally, the emphasis is improving the dismal sense of arrival while also ensuring a reduction of the commuters’ limited capacity in the Moynihan Train Hall. It is thus a vital facet in ensuring that architectural design meets the intention of the planners. Conversely, the artistic masterpiece aligns itself with the strategic plan of the city.
    The picture is an illustration of the offsite product should the phase be completed. The intention to use bright color also creates an allure of intrigue. Additionally, it also creates unity and variety, which is useful in breaking the monotony. To this effect, it fits the intention, which is to create a place for commuters to enjoy transit and sets the tone for a favorable place to encourage interaction. In retrospect, the artistic and architectural depictions are examples of how the planner’s and architecture’s visions can be merged to highlight the administration’s strategic plans, intending to appeal to the public through the massive project.
    In summation, a critical place such as the commuter hubs should be a place that is attractive and encourages interactions. These parameters have been met by the architectural designs of the Moynihan Train Hall. The lens used to emanate from the perspective of Sara Paretsky when she affirms, “People have less privacy and are crammed together in cities, but in the wide-open spaces, and they secretly keep tabs on each other a lot more.” As mentioned, the element of having wide-open spaces for people to interact with is surely illuminated. These elements notwithstanding, there is deliberate planning to exempt the arriving commuters from the New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Trail use alternative routes and increase efficiency following the significant space volume.

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  19. Ana Flaherty
    Art 434/472
    “Your color is not true; all these contrasts of light and dark make me think that you paint by the moonlight, as for your life studies, they resemble nature as much as a violin case represents a violin.
    Artists have the power to portray historical moments and figures in time now whether they choose to accurately represent these historical elements is another matter. It is not unknown that artists especially found in the 18th or 19th century created portraits for the upper class to display the sometimes paying client’s power, class, and hierarchy. In the case of Jacques-Louis David’s painting interpretation of Napoleon in 1801, it is another example of how artists can distort from reality. In some ways, David intentionally altered how Napoleon’s trip through the Alps but even in what was left accurate there are false studies. Historical paintings of events or people only represent the messy outline of their reality they are trying to mimic. However, artists are unintentionally recreating portraits of nature and life in their own version never of reality.
    The quote I will be discussing states “Your color is not true; all these contrasts of light and dark make me think that you paint by the moonlight, as for your life studies, they resemble nature as much as a violin case represents a violin.” (Pierre Guerin, quoted in Batissier) Understanding the quote, led me to consider first how much the violin case actually represents a violin. Trying to guess what a violin looks like from the violin case alone would be an inaccurate assumption of what a violin is, it is misleading from the reality. Just as a painting is misleading to the reality of a historical or still life portrait. Placing them next to one another they share similar shapes, but one is much more intricate than the other. The violin case itself is a larger less shapely version of the violin with fewer curves and notches. Considering the violin which has a tighter frame and fine details unlike what is seen in the case itself. The case is a protector and safe keep for the violin to reserve its power and vocal range. A violin needs a violin case without it, it is at risk of being harmed by the temperature changes, which damages the strings, can cause the wood to warp, or leaves it at risk to be destroyed by outside forces. Just like a still life painting of a landscape, for example, picture a painting of a mountain view overlooking a forest. Imagine this painting of the mountains is the violin case and the physical mountains themselves are the violin. The violin can survive without the case for some time. The violin can be tuned if the strings were affected by the temperature for some time. But over time the strings or wood will become too damaged to be completely restored back to its original condition even if taken good care of. Paintings or photographs of landscapes are reminders to people of the beauty around them and without taking the time to appreciate it then people would begin to stop caring about preserving it. Once people lose connection with the beauty of nature they stop trying to preserve it. Which leads to mass deforestation and destruction of once beautiful landmarks. Simply, the quote comparing life studies to that of the violin and violin case can be explained down to the idea that life studies only show a mere outline of reality. However, in some cases, the artist is intentionally altering the reality of the stories they represent to create a different reality.
    In 1801 Jacques-Louis David completed a painting called Napoleon Crossing the Alps soon following the release of his painting much controversy began for many people knew that some elements of the painting were far from the truth. David’s painting portrayed an action-packed version of Napoleon’s journey through the Alps. Napoleon was seen on a fierce horse strongly huffing and climbing up a hill, the wind blowing its mane and Napoleon’s cape behind them as Napoleon points forward supposedly leading the troops. However, in reality, Napoleon did not lead the troops across the Alps, in fact, he did not even leave on the same day as the troops. Napoleon left a few days after the troops and he did not have a “fiery” horse but instead a mule because of his size. Napoleon was a rather small man and the real image of Napoleon sitting on a horse would look quite disproportionate. Napoleon paid David to make him appear as a strong, tall, heroic leader when instead he was a small man on a mule who left a few days prior to the troops. Overall, some argue that David intentionally made some of the gestures over-animated to make fun of the situation. But others still criticized him not for the story but for the overall technique compared to his past paintings.
    Not only was David criticized for the irony of the painting’s story itself but others from his time criticized the technique of the work itself. If one refers back to the first portion of Pierre’s quote, “Your color is not true; all these contrasts of light and dark make me think that you paint by the moonlight…”. Looking at Napoleon Crossing the Alps there is not a direct light source one can find, and there are no shadows beneath the horse as there should be. This refers to the idea that our understanding of contrasts of lights and darks stem from nature like our understanding of how the sunlight or moonlight would play on shapes. In his image, there are the basic fundamental shapes that allow the viewer to understand what we are looking at. We can see the shapes of some mountains, clouds, a slight downward slope to indicate he is going up the mountain. Like the violin, case comparison talked about earlier this painting merely gives us an idea of the Alps Napoleon traveled on. Since the painter most likely had not been to the exact location of the Alps Napoleon traveled if at all, he had to use his knowledge of contrasts of nature to create the image. The colors and shadows are not true since he only can recreate a simple understanding of the potential surroundings. He unintentionally left out fundamental things that would have existed in nature from shadows to highlights of sunlight.
    We will always be influenced by nature, yet it is difficult for us to actually capture what it looks like. Nature simply influences us by its shapes, shapes found in nature are correlated with different types of feelings. Back in our caveman days, spiky plants in nature were found to be dangerous and now we associated that shape with pain, discomfort, or fear. Take a look at animals with long exaggerated sharp features and see whether your first instinct would be to touch the sharp spiked backs or teeth or rather you would keep your distance. Something as small as our human instinct to recognize certain shapes as dangerous or safe shows the level of influence nature holds. Yet how is it that we are unable to capture everything in nature if it is such an influence?
    Of the famous painters who did commissions for the upper class, it is a wonder to know how often historical portraits represented their clients in an elevated version of themselves; And whether any of these famous portraits portrayed a slightly different version of the person’s story than we have in the history books. Pierre’s quote gave a deeper meaning to understanding replicas of items such as historical paintings copying a real event or person. Artists consciously choose to alter their images based on their clients or personal desires. However, artists forget that they are already unconsciously changing how they recreate what is in front of them based on their understanding of colors and shadows. Overall, these historical paintings of people and events may share similar shapes to another, but the reality would be much more intricate than an artist can create through a painting.

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  20. Jimmy Truong
    Professor Robert Tracy
    Art 434-1002/Art 474-1001
    4 March 2021
    Opinion Paper 1

    Just like life and nature itself, the spirit of art can take inspiration from all types of things that surround us on this planet. Not only are we a very adaptive and intuitive species, that same element can be found in the nature of art. There were many quotes that stood out for me when I had looked over the artworks that we have gone over so far this semester, but I think my favorite quote would have to be the one from Buddy Wakefield, declaring, “Stop inviting walls into wide open spaces!” I find the quote overall to be extremely powerful on many accounts. At first, it might seem like a pretty simple and quick to the point quote compared to the other ones provided, but I saw that this quote could be applied to so many things and to so many different life circumstances. Often, society has a habit of keeping things organized and put into containers when such walls are not really needed. This can be applied to not just architecture, but can be applied towards our art, mindset, and emotions as well. Why is it that for being the most intelligent and technologically advanced species on Earth, do we keep trying to shackle ourselves down? Often, artists will cripple themselves by having an imaginary wall preventing them from expanding their creative abilities. They hinder their abilities by allowing certain “rules” and practices that they think society is holding them up to, but the only thing that is impeding their skills are the walls that they themselves have put up. So often do these walls create unnecessary closed spaces that should instead welcome a more inviting and expansive energy that would be more beneficial. Do not get me wrong, there is a certain beauty to closed-off spaces as well. To those of us that are lucky enough to be able to live in the comfort of our homes that have access to electricity and heating, walls are what reminds many of us of a place that we can be our real selves in. Whether we are in our rooms doing homework, or hanging out with our friends, these physical walls that surround us are what most of us think of when we think of home. Especially with the recent Covid-19 epidemic that has shutdown the planet for the past year, many of us have spent a very long period of time getting to know our walls. To many, these spaces feel cozier and safer compared to big-wide open spaces, but with our ever-increasing population, closed-off spaces have a certain time and place, and I believe that we should not limit ourselves to this made-up space.

    There were two standout pieces that I think that this quote can be applied to. The first example that we went over in class that I think this quote can be applied to would have to be the Moynihan Train Hall that has been under renovation for the past couple years and very recently opened to the public on January 1, 2021. Known as New York City’s new ornate Penn Station train hall because of its recently modernized renovation, this refurbished train hall has a completely new and refreshing ambiance and identity that is being put to good use now. Previously, many were saying that the cramped and compressed interior of the space of Penn Station held more of a “basement” vibe that enveloped the commuters of NYC. The constricted space would then play part in giving NYC train stations a negative allusion whenever anyone ever talked about the train stations of NYC. Not only were there a countless number of travelers that relied on the station for transportation between their home and work, the tight spaces, inconvenient walls, and the low ceilings, added along with the overabundance of commuters, made this place a terrifying experience that people with claustrophobia would even have nightmares about. With this new renovation, what was previously a gloomy and depressing space that people used to travel to their dreadful jobs, now became a spacious and bright train hall that used the energy of natural lighting to fill up the open air of the hall. Amassing an impressive 255,000 square-foot space, Penn Station’s new light-filled train hall is anything but dark and gloomy now. Several new pieces and areas regarding the station can be applied with Wakefield’s quote too I believe. Not only does it have many wide-open spaces that feel free and inviting, the many art installations that the governor of New York and The Skidmore, Owings and Merrill-Architects (SOM) had commissioned for and were materialized by various artists for this train hall have also enabled the station to have a greater essence of open-space and expansiveness, as well as having a more inviting atmosphere. Whether it was The Hive by Elmgreen and Dragset, Go by Kehinde Wiley, or Penn Station’s Half Century by Stan Douglas, all these commissioned pieces help the station have a more enjoyable and refreshing experience that the previous iteration lacked greatly. Scattered in various areas within the Moynihan Train Hall, these pieces were all extremely large, and it helped tie the wide-open spaces together incredibly nicely. Instead of being pieces that might have lost part of their identity if they were of a smaller scale, the large pieces put into perspective how tall and open the new-found space is.

    The second piece that I immediately thought of regarding Wakefield’s quote would have to be the Ca’n Terra project that was done by the Ensamble Studio. Located in Menorca Island, Spain, this newly renovated space has now found a new identity. The team which is ran by Anton Garcia-April and Debora Mesa have repurposed this abandoned stone quarry into a minimalistic and comfortable living space that fuses the comforts of home, with the soul of Mother Earth and nature as well. Ca’n Terra, which means “House of the Earth,” in Catalan, is a series of caves that used to house an abandoned stone quarry that has now been repurposed. Now, the space is as minimalistic as possible, while also providing the same comfort as a home. This newly refurnished living space is both modern in looks, yet still holds onto its primitive nature as well. Instead of demolishing the cave and creating something that is entirely modernistic, the Ensamble team instead removed a good amount of the walls that were within the caves, without ruining the identity that was given to the caves by Mother Nature. Instead of making separate living spaces, the newly reborn Ca’N Terra now houses tall and wide-open spaces that allow for a sense of calmness and comfort that the previously abandoned quarry had no sense of having. Compared to its previous life of being a cold and abandoned stone quarry, it is now a warm and inviting home that gives off the feeling of relaxation and solace. Although the spaces within Ca’N Terra are incredibly larger than your average living space, it still gives off the feeling of home. The massive rooms and tall ceilings allow for all the rooms to be able to allow in plenty of fresh air that gives the home a truly unique sense of nature. Looking through the project, one would quickly notice that there is a severe lack of walls and doors separating the rooms from one another. The walls that many would have used to have a sense of privacy are completely removed now. These tall and opens rooms instead are all connected without the obstruction of walls to provide a more cohesive sense of togetherness. What many would originally see as being cold and uncomfortable, ends up defying all expectations by being incredibly inviting and welcoming instead.

    “Stop inviting walls into wide open spaces!” (Buddy Wakefield). This quote is telling me to stop limiting myself by putting up imaginary walls. These limitations need to be broken so I can truly be free and explore the vast open world that is in front of my eyes. Ever since the beginnings of mankind, we have placed obtrusive walls into what would-be wide-open spaces. Imagine if the pieces that I covered had walls obstructing the spaces. Instead of having room to breathe, they would instead instill a sense of stiffness and discomfort. Instead of having our walls put up, sometimes it is better to bare it all to have a true sense of freedom. Whether it be our thoughts or emotions, sometimes these walls need to be broken down so we can have a true sense of being our real and true selves.

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  21. Peter Townshend’s lyrics,
    “I’ll sing my song to the wide-open spaces
    I’ll sing my heart out to the infinite sea
    I’ll sing my visions to the sky-high mountains
    I’ll sing my song to the free, to the free”
    Reminds me of a young lover’s first heart break. One can interpret the opening line as the initial shock from the removal of what is familiar. All that was once populated is now empty. The heart-broken is now aware of the void that was once filled. The second line takes the grief of the heart-broken through another stage of grief where one can see the long arduous path of healing their broken heart. The site of a soundful sea is a path without endless site. Taken into consideration as a next stage in ones sorrow is the bargaining that one usually acts in a gesture of desperation, then one may look up into the sky exclaiming some sort of solution to fall from the heavens. The last line comes in the form of acceptance in that is has become normal now to nonchalantly be told by all those free of the pain from heartbreak. When I see Kehinde Wiley’s Go I see his piece as the portal to consoled grief of the heartbroken.
    I interpret Kehinde Wiley’s Go as a powerful celebration of healing the broken hearts of life. First point to recognize is the placement of the piece. The second distinguishing factor to address is the scene displayed in the piece. The third factor is the medium used to harness the vision. These three elements of Go compel the viewer to interact emotionally with the piece.
    The placement of Go suggests to its viewers that above their heads is a vision that holds a powerful solution to the question of the heart. As Peter Townshend’s lyric says, “I’ll sing my song to the free…” the piece radiates confidence by the powerful perspective it renders. The images of people above one’s head demand the attention of a story being told with the audience captivated by the imagery of poetic gestures in the piece. Poetry in motion is portrayed over our heads. The viewer must look up to view the piece and might risk the occasional neck discomfort to fully take in the whole story. The subjects of the piece radiate a confident glow of pleasure one that can be understood as resilience and perseverance after a broken heart. One that moves forward in search of their next true love. The imagery interweaved with the pigeons resemble an almost cathartic emotional tranquility one might feel as the result of a spiritual awakening. To have the piece coincide with the height of the ceiling and the backdrop of the heavens it produces a godly presence one that is not expected to be found in the entrance of a train station.
    The subjects of the piece tell a story of playfulness healing. The dancing painted in the piece shows a love for a body in motion as a way to show resilience for the pain of heartbreak. The many different gestures give a different personality to each different person painted. Every individual in Go represents a different emotion through the facial expressions on display. Yet individually they may not harness the same amount of emotion as combined together. The perpetual motion these images maintain make the scene a cyclical representation of time versus a linear representation. In other words, there is no beginning and no end in the scene. It all may begin and or end with any given person.
    The medium used for Go allows the viewers to look past the plane of the piece and further out beyond with aid of the light which passes through the glass. As a human, to be placed in a scene in the sky, the scene emanates an infinite portrayal to the limited beings that we are. The stained glass creates a lens that allows the viewer to see through the subject as if one is looking into their soul in search for their thoughts. As light passes through the stained-glass one sees the image come to life, in the same manner, when the sun does not pass through anymore, the image becomes dormant. This is a good analogy to the ups and downs love brings to the heart. Even though it may feel at times to be crushing, the pain that comes with heart break always rescinds, although sometimes slower than we would like it to. Just the same, the ecstasy attributed to love also diminishes as time goes by. The day and night that love portrays itself as, becomes the cyclical passing of time. The mullions act as a natural break in monotony that love always brings. We tend to be complacent on the everyday occurrences that love brings.
    The pigeons add an element of beauty in the form of their flight. The are not always perceived as beautiful birds but rather a nuisance to the fabric of the city. However, in these images hey are seen in full wing span from different angles. They are elevated to status of poetry in the air for everyone to see. The same images that are common on the outside and detested are now revered in the backdrop of the stained glass.
    To love oneself is harder to do when worried about the love that is lost. One cannot fully learn how to receive love until one knows how to love themselves. Go combines the love of life with the love of dance. The location of the piece allows all the observers to love it from below. The people in the piece show love for dance, for themselves, and for one another. The stained glass shows the love for light as it allows it to shine through revealing to all Go!

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  22. Using the quote “Manhattan has no choice but the skyward extrusion of the Grid itself; only the Skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of a man-made Wild West, a frontier in the sky” by Rem Koolhaas, I’ve taken a look at The Hive by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. The duo’s installation is quite fitting for the city it is located in, though they of course made the installation a mix of iconic buildings that already exist in different cities, with high-rises from their own imagination/invention. The quote form Koolhaas does pair great with the installation by Elmgreen and Dragset, because the quote literally mentions a city in New York, talks of skyscrapers, and mentions of past expansion in terms of the Wild West, that can be used to compare to the installation as also referring to past, present, and future city expansion. To describe the installation, it is made up of skyscrapers that look like different heights but the tallest go up to 9 feet tall models. They look to be made of mostly metal, and very much appear like a model of a plausible city with the illumination feature consisting of 72,000 LED lights. The LED lights are genius in this purpose of portraying an accurate model cityscape. They hang up-side down from the ceiling like stalactites. This installation provides lots of context to the way we live, have lived in the past, and what could be the future. By having the installation of buildings hang up-side down from the ceiling like stalactites, the installation refers back to caves and how man used to live. The name of this installation “The Hive” also refers to the changing of man’s living environments and which can lead to comparisons of the human-made cityscape to the complex and ever-changing architecture of a beehive. The installation’s name also suggests that cities are also constantly evolving. Thinking about the quote from Koolhaas, I thought about its mention of expansion, its comparison of the Wild West, and how skyscrapers are expanding upwards in the air like people expanded out west. It made me think harder about “The Hive” and about our world’s history of expansion and what expansion could look like in the future. While looking at the installation, seeing how it’s made of metal and the buildings all look pretty tall, it’s easy to visualize the future consisting of taller buildings to cater to more people. What also leads me to believe this installation is referring to the future, was the choice of metal in being used as the primary material. In lots of our cultural references like movies or stories told, metal is an example of futuristic living, which is arguably how the topic of future city living is brought into discussion with the installations use of metal. It hints that the number of high-rises will increase in the future. Personally, when I think about that assumption of the future of our cities being expanded by building more high-rises, I don’t feel very enthusiastic. I know that building upwards could be an answer or a benefit to some, I think it would be rather suffocating, in comparison to the wide-open spaces like the quote from Koolhaas talks about. “The Hive” provides that possibility for viewers to ponder at. In all honesty, the Koolhaas quote would be a great addition to add near the installation, to have viewers also ponder the possibilities of changes to our environment, and how it’s also changed from what was once the norm like caves. It’s quite impressive this installation that Elmgreen and Dragset built, consisting of 100 buildings that together weigh more than 30,000 pounds. On another note, I do wonder how the installation is secured to the ceiling and how it’s going to maintain its permanent spot there. 30,000 pounds is tremendous, and probably requires a lot of thought and safety measures to assure that the installation remains on the ceiling. Looking at the photographs of it, it’s hard to even guess how they would stay up there. A picture of the installation of a zoomed out, face-on view, reveals the interesting formation the building are arranged. The formation looks pinched in on the sides of the pile of buildings and that the top and bottom sides of the formation show the buildings bursting outwards either north for the top side and south for the bottom side. Now I know that is not a great description, but I could guess that calling the clustered buildings shape closely related to an pointy sideways infinity sign or pointy 8, would also be a more helpful description concerning their formation. Their formation gives an interesting perspective to look at of course head-on. Looking at the pictures, it’s hard to tell whether or not viewers are able to view the installation head-on, but to me, it doesn’t look like it’s possibly. Perhaps maybe if someone lays on the floor to view the buildings, but even then, I think it would be hard to see the interesting formation and perspective that the buildings are arranged in and provide. For this reason I do appreciate there being photos of the installation face-on so that people can see the shape of the formation that the cluster of buildings make. “The Hive” does look very cool from the side views, like reminiscent of a giant chandelier due to the light components, if one didn’t see the stalactites reference. This brings me to wonder how the installation looks at night, and if it’s even more beautiful, with the illumination of the LED lights.

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  23. Abelardo Santos
    Patricia McRae Baley
    Art 434/474
    4 March 2021
    What I think of art reviewers is a person on a clipboard trying to describe the piece of art to their general audience. Another thing an art review would point out, what makes this art stand out and the impression it gives out when you look at it. An example of a piece of art would be comparing two Buddha pieces and pointing to certain things people could not see. Then, the art reviewer would point out certain things that the general audience would most likely miss by just looking at that art piece. I will give my opinion based on the quote I chose and examples how it relates to my two classes and artists.
    The quote I chose is called “By portraits I do not mean the outline and the coloring of the human figure, but the inside of the heart and mind of man.” When I first heard this quote it made me think it was talking about a person’s heart and mind and what makes up that certain man. This exact quote reminded me of when I look at the portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte and to be honest the guy was short. Also, I did not expect Napoleon Bonaparte to be a general based on being short and with looking on past generals present themselves with being tall and having like four or three medals on that person. Another thing, it opens my mind by looking back what Napoleon Bonaparte has accomplished despite his height. Then, another revelation made me realize to never judge a book by its cover and to look from the inside and based on that person’s actions. There is another thing that interested me in the quote: it talks about the mind and it could be applied to man is their intelligence. Their could be a saying that could relate to this exact quote and a picture can say thousand words or action can speak louder than words.
    There is a person called Hobie Alter and he looks like a surfer who lives for the moments of life. Also, the quote comes into play because he surprised me by being successful in society and for being well known. Another thing I did not expect of Hobie Alter is for modifications on the surfboard and its design. What made me impressed with Hobie Alter is his mind to turn what he loves into a business and it is called Hobie company. This person was able to leave a legacy of what he has done and how it affected the community of California. When I looked into Hobie Alter he reminded me of how people can turn what they love to a huge success. It makes the quote from paragraph one even more relevant to judge the heart and mind of man. I honestly see Hobie Alter as a man that made has dream into reality and it is rare to see a person like him succeed. While there’s another thing I have seen when looking into Hobie Alter having the heart to put in hard work to make his dream come true. It really shows to people that hard work can help you find your place in the world. Then it reminds me of a business man how they started from nothing and even gained everything through hard work. I was also reminded how one of my teachers said life is unpredictable and how people will face obstucles that seem impossible but told me to keep pushing forward if you want to achieve great success.
    Also, there is a man named Kehinde Wiley and when I look at him he gives me the impression of some kind of comedian. When I looked into Kehinde Wiley is a unique artist regarding the mind based on an art called Go. It has about five young black men in different poses while floating on the clouds. Another thing this artwork shows is Kehinde Wiley heart of being a person that has a heart of a kid that has a unique imagery of looking at the skys. While looking at this painting reminds me as a kid when having trouble sleeping would count sheep jumping. There is another thing that reminds me of my childhood how my parents would always say to get my head out of the clouds. This person showed me that there are artists that can have a rare mind and could imagine things people would not even think of. It also reminded me of how I would be jumping on the trampoline and looking at the clouds. While it showed me that this artist has a mind of a free spirit with a kids imagination and that the image of Kehinde Wiley is rare because sometimes an artist doesn’t smile and has this serious expression.
    Then, there is one piece of artwork that caught my attention and it is called Wrapped Package in Wheelbarrow by Christo. While I was looking into this piece it surprised me how Russian communists repressed some much freedom back then. When it comes to the heart of Christo shows how he felt, when Russian communists repressed freedom felt great despair. I based this in my honest opinion that his mind was open to the world and how dark society can be. It was really surprising to see the wrapped package and how much rope shows that Russian communists people were repressed of freedom. Another thing that surprised me badly was the condition of the wheelbarrow shows that Russian communist rule was not really great. If I had to be honest regarding Christo definitely fit into a saying I once heard is that a great age comes with great wisdom. Also this artwork reminds me of how history does have its best moments but has dark times. This artwork reminds me of how my parents would always say to be grateful for what you do have and appreciate it. I was surprised looking into this artwork had histroy of being a way to escape at the time Bulgaria. There is another thing it reminded me of is how to appreciate the rights that I do have today because I learned back then in my history class that Russian communist rule did not let people express what they say about the government system and they punish people that tried either going to jail or rehabilitation. When reflecting back to the quote of the first paragraph it reminded me Christo heart of being able to endure Russian communits rule and had mind was very sharp and know that he will eventually escape to gain his freedom
    In conclusion I expressed my opinion based on the quote and used it regarding artists and my personal sayings. What I tried to do was relate the quote and give the person an insight of what kind of person the artists are. If you want the short version of this is opinion using the quote on the artists and my personal saying regarding the matter.

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  24. Jack Torres
    Professor Tracy
    Art 434 – 1002 / Art 474 – 1001
    04 March 2021
    First Opinion Paper
    Oscar Wilde once said, “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” While this piece is not particularly a portrait but a landscape with figures, I will be taking a look at Thomas Cole’ painting called The Voyage of Life: Childhood which was painted back in 1842. Cole’s painting has such an immersive world any viewer can see when looking at this painting (aside from the other three paintings which relate to this series). Wilde’s quote definitely hits right with Cole in the way the feeling of this painting is based on his own views as the artist rather than the “sitter” or the us as the viewers. It has such a magical feel that man would not be able to see in real life and Cole has created this world from his deep “feeling” onto the canvas for us to admire and immerse ourselves into this story he is trying to tell us.
    Cole’s use of contrast really helps emphasize what he wants us to see in this piece which becomes very obvious at first glance. The contrast of the way the light is creating cast shadows in the cave the figures are coming out helps let them stand out with the use of brighter colors. The guardian angel is able to stand out and emit her energy of light into this world which immediately catches my eye when first looking at this piece. Even the baby below her is bright with life and has no worry with the beautiful scenery it is coming out of from the dark cave on the gold boat they are sailing on. There is also a burst of warm colors surrounding the whole environment in this scene which seems to be like the setting of a sunset or even the rise of one. Then we have the use of cool colors of greens and blues coming from the greenery to show us that there is life in this world along with the flowers it has grown.
    The overall composition of this piece is very interesting to look at. The way our eyes view this can be compared to the golden ratio. The first thing that catches the viewer’s eye is the subject of the guardian angel on the boat with the baby because of the contrast with the bright white against the nature surrounding them. Then the eye moves out from around the figures and into the scenic view of the nature to the sky or vice versa. Looking at the scenery first will always bring back our eyes to the angel on the boat. Space helps balance the composition overall with the top half almost being filled with the rocky mountains and have a portion of the sky seen to understand the perspective from where we are looking at.
    The concept behind this painting can mean anything, but the way Cole presented it this way has me thinking it’s a metaphor of this baby coming into life from such a dark place which is the cave and into this lit up nature of greenery and life. Up at the top left corner we can see a hoard of dark clouds hovering over the rocky mountains before it disappears as it moves further right which is where we see a clear sky is another indication of that feeling. Coming from a dark place and the help of this guardian angel helping let this baby see the day of light and introduce them to a life full of wonders which seems very beautiful to me. I can almost get lost into this world myself just staring into the horizon full of fresh grass and flowers surrounding my feet if I were to walk in it.
    To conclude, Cole’s creative imagination helps bring Childhood to life which strongly represents Wilde’s quote where the artist is the one who has the power to show their feeling rather than the person they are painting. In this case, it is not a specific person Cole painted, but a whole story of a world with this guardian angel and baby venturing into this landscape. It makes you wonder where other life forms may be and how far these two have traveled or where they’re traveling. It’s breathtaking and I would wish painted worlds like these could be real to sight see at.
    Buddy Wakefield once said, “Stop inviting walls into wide open spaces!” The second piece I will be looking at is the installation piece in the Moynihan Train Hall called The Hive from the duo artists Elgreem & Dragset. Wakefield’s quote strongly reflects Elmgreen and Dragset’s piece in letting their piece shine through in an open space where walls shouldn’t have to be “invited ” into and missing the opportunity to use it for something remarkable. It is unlike any other that I have seen before and would love to see with my own eyes someday. It’s an upside down looking city which definitely catches people’s eyes to want to look up and immerse themselves even for a moment into this piece as they go about their days whether they’re going to work or traveling. This use of space is a great provider for many people to walk through and admire since it’s available to all those that pass.
    At first glance, the first thing I see or maybe others will see is the fact that it’s a scaled cityscape hanging upside down. Taking a closer look, there are many shapes that can be detected. Considering we’re looking at it from below, the tops of each of the buildings have distinctive shapes such as squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, and other geometrical shapes throughout the whole piece. You can say there’s some pattern into this piece with the repeated shapes we see whether they go from horizontal to vertical. Each of the buildings has its own uniqueness to it from its geometrical stand point as some may seem layered than others that just stand as one whole equal building. There is also repetition and pattern in each of the buildings based on their designs around them whether they are hatched lines going diagonal from each other and overlaying or grid-like.
    The use of space in this installation is great as it doesn’t take up the whole ceiling the artists were provided with but limited to the sharp-edged geometric base where the sculptures stand against and hang from the ceiling. It doesn’t overwhelm the viewers passing by to see a while ceiling covered in miniature buildings but within the middle of it while the light around it stands out as a complimentary border. There’s also a nice sense of balance with the positive and negative space where the sculpture of the piece is the positive space and the ceiling itself above is the negative space.

    The illuminated buildings have such a calming feel when staring up at them, too. Color is also a play into this sense of “calmness” that doesn’t make anything too chaotic or bring out any other negative emotion. There seems to be around three types of shades in this monochromatic seeming structure. It ranges from white, tan, and greish lights that illuminate the buildings. It could also be the help of the base these buildings stand on since they buildings are reflected from it which sort of makes it seem like this city would also be standing in water. It’s very magical in that sense and can bring up anyone’s imagination in how they see this cityscape full of illuminated lights. They sort of remind me of those huge lanterns people will set out and let them freely float off into the air to bring a mesmerizing light show during the night.
    In conclusion, bringing in “walls to open spaces” should definitely be prevented when such amazing art can be introduced to people during their everyday lives. It is a great escape from reality even for a moment to question and understand how a piece is made or even the meaning behind it. Elgreem and Dragset are amazing artists with great craftsmanship to be able to pull off this cityscape and hang it above the ceiling which brings enough life into the space they were given. It gives it a personality that no one could miss even if they wanted to.

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