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Brooklyn Museum

Female Figurine. Egypt, from Ma’mariya. Predynastic Period, Naqada II, circa 3500–3400 B.C.E. Terracotta, painted, 111⁄2 x 51⁄2 x 21⁄4 in. (29.2 × 14 × 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 07.447.505

From the Brooklyn Museum I chose Bird Lady figurine from the Predynastic Period 3500-3400 BC. This pottery was made during the Badarian period (4400-3800 BC) and was named after the village of Badari where it was first found. My first impressions were the subtle details that stood out. First, the shape of the body and arms are curvy which gives off the portrait of a feminine body. Her hands are in the air giving a peaceful vibe as if she was dancing or celebrating in joy. In deeper look, her face and arms resemble the beak and wings of a bird along with her legs which aren’t there as it was a tail. There can also be another meaning since she is so bird like it can resemble freedom or flying. Back in Ancient Egypt women didn’t have many rights. This figurine can represent what women wanted to achieve or feel like because their was a hierarchy where women had to listen to obey men.

The Bird Lady has body parts of both a woman and bird. Another aspect I saw was the two toned color. The top part of the woman has a copper like color which could be made up of clay where the bottom has a sandstone color which makes it look like a rock. The bottom half of the figurine can also resemble a dress or skirt. What shocked me the most was the nudity shown on the upper body because I wouldn’t expect ancient Egypt to include it in art.

Image result for Did The Bear Sit Under a Tree

When I browsed around the Soul Of The Nation exhibit, I stumbled upon this painting that caught my attention. This artwork, Did The Bear Sit Under a Tree, by Benny Andrews spoke to me with such intensity. The first thing I noticed was the sloppiness in the execution. I saw that there were multiple colors on the flag and man. For example, the stripes are red and orange and the stars have a light and dark blue background. Also, the entirety of the flag is filled with flaws such as imperfect sizes of the stars followed up with cracks in the stripes. The flag also seems to be rolled up away from the man as if he is fighting for something against what the flag represents.

The colored man’s facial expression shows confusion or an undecided look along with anger. His hand gesture clearly shows he is ready to fight or resist against the flag. Meanwhile, his face expresses uncertainty and indecisiveness whether or not to carry out the action. Regardless, the flag is rolled up covering about a third of the portrait as the man  is pushing it away from him. The caption for the painting is a representation of a colored man during the civil rights movement with a shaking fist at the flag which was supposed to protect him. The painter portrays a sense of betrayal and anger in the man because of his unhappiness of how the United States treats colored people.

 

Brooklyn Museum Assignment

Part 1:

Ancient Egyptian Art

Torso of Dionysos, 2nd- 3rd Century C.E

In this figure of Dionysos he is appeared to us standing with his left arm over on an archaistic female figure identified as Spes, the personification of hope. He is shown wearing a panther skin over his chiton and a cloak wrapped around his upper right arm and shoulder. The panther skin was a great symbol to identify this God just like wine would have been. In order for a support a part of the cloak flows around the back and over the head of the God. This sculpture stuck out to me because it represents the ideal man during that time period. It made me think about the different representations of gender characteristics that are shown through cultures of different eras.  I was also drawn in by the techniques used to make this sculpture look real. The shadowing and the cravings illustrate the hip bone and the abs of the male. The belly button and the crevices around the breast area show an enormous amount of detail. This relates to the material we covered in class because it shows that the human body was exhibited during that period in time. Also the depth of the detail illustrates a mysterious image. The only thing that allows us to differentiate between whether this sculpture is of a male or female is the prostate and breast area. During this period of time human art was highly presented, nude sculptures filled the exhibit of ancient sculptures.

Part 2:

The Flag Is Bleeding

From the Soul of a Nation exhibit I chose to write about, Faith Ringgolds, “American People Series #18: The Flag Is Bleeding” (1967) . This painting is illustrates that the true meaning of the United States flag is not being represented. The meaning of the United States flag is freedom and peace. While in reality especially during the period of time this artwork is representing, there was a high rate of racial segregation and racial discrimination. This piece of artwork shows that we are all equal as humans yet people of color are targeted. This relates to the rest of the exhibit because it shows the discrimination people of color have been surviving over the years. I chose to write about this artwork because the different elements used by the artist allowed me to actually see a clear image. The red streaks running down with the red stripes of the flag display the image of how actual blood runs down. The knife that the African American male is holding represents the hurt and harm that was being afflicted to him during this period in time. The way that all three of the people are locking arms shows that they are equal, yet the African American male is the only one suffering or being harmed. This illustration truly brings the exhibit together and locks in the time period of segregation and racial discrimination. The artist portrayed a clear and descriptive piece, the colors and shadowing of the image bring it to life.

Brooklyn Museum

The bust of the Goddess Sakhmet was gosh-darned cool.Color: Seems to be comprised of some black stone. The particular luster it may have once had is likely not what the rustic remains portray.
Line(?): There are plenty of etchings on the bust to indicate the appearal worn by sakhmet. The bust seems to have been going for a general impression of the human body rather a realistic approach: perhaps implying simplicity for the sake of mass production or perhaps to keep Sakhmet from looking relatable.
Scale: The scale of the bust seems to be a good fit for a an ornament: meant to evoke the thought of Sakhmet but not as a center piece.
Sakhmet’s head is feline in appearance; I imagine this has something to do with Egypt’s culture. A lot of cats–a lot of felines.
Sakhmet is the daughter of the sun-god Re, taking on the role of ”The Eye of Re”: destroying the enemies of Egypt abroad. That is why I chose this work specifically: it was cool and I need a piece.
There is a big disk crowning the bust. Only a bottom portion of the disk remains. I would go so far as to say that perhaps the large disk crowning the ‘Eye of The Sun’ might perhaps just maybe be a representation of the sun
The patterns could represent ritual appearal. The face seems to be expressionless. The disk may have been used to tell the time–though that really is stretching too far.

 

In the Soul of a Nation collection I chose ‘The United States of Attica’ by Faith RInggold to write about on this blog. It is a very powerful image.
Map is split into four quadrants, with the colors being inverted through a reflection in the x-axis. I suppose the this is to reflect the information written in each quadrant. This could also just be aestheticly pleasing; it is aestheticly pleasing but I mean only for that reason and not to reflect the information.
Since this is mapping out injustices suffered throughout America: I would imagine that RInggold had wanted to use the north American continent for the map–and she did.
RInggold created the map in tribute to the men who died in the police raid on the prisoner’s rebellion in Attica, New York. A revolt had occured regarding the conditions the prisoners had to suffer through. She must have felt that this incident would be thematically appropriate to bring together all the evil of the world–and relevant too. Hence the name ‘The United States of Attica.
It seems that the colors are in reference to a popular black nationalist flag from the 60s. Appropriate considering the context.
The fact that it is a map rather than a collection of clippings containing articles and texts about these events is a part of the appeal. The fact that it is in the form of a map gives the events that RInggold had listed a lot more impact and wieght behind their reality.

Part 1

Figure of Goddess Nephthys, Ca. 664-30 B.C.E. Made in Africa

    This wooden figure represents the Goddess Nephthys. She sits kneeling on a colorful highly decorated rectangular box as a pedestal with her left arm resting on her thigh and her right arm held in front of her face. She has light brown skin, a blue wig, high yellow headdress, and a green garment bound under her exposed breasts.

Some of these colors represents her high status as a goddess. Her blue wig and yellow headdress that is supposed to represent gold symbolizes high status. This is also shown in her highly colorful and and detailed. The colors are red, yellow, blue, and green. The fact that so much color is even on the figure in the first place points to her importance as a goddess.

When we look the figures line, we can see a that this was carved by a skilled craftsmen. The figure has a smooth surface giving it a very recognizable silhouette. Examples are the large headdress Nephthys is wearing and the obvious shaped breasts on her chest.  This figure does not occupy alot of space. The dimensions of the piece is 16 by 7 by 11.5 inches. It seems to have been built to be mobile and placeable within a room.

This figure was definitely own by someone of high status because a figure of this quality would have been very expensive to purchase.  

 

Part 2

Mars Dust, 1972, By Alma Thomas

    This piece spoke to me because of its size that seemingly traps your gaze. I couldn’t help but be pulled in by the bold colors. I chose this because I immediately saw depth to it. There is a sense of complexity to it even though it looks simple and uniform. The piece relates to the rest of the exhibit because of how Alma Thomas is. She continued to create her art and express herself through it despite racial segregation and gained recognition and success through it all.

There are only three distinct colors utilized in the painting. Red, light blue and dark blue. The simplicity of the colors bring notice to the complexity of the painting. I creates a sense of 3D space. This is because the large splotches of light and dark blue behind the many splotches of red beads make it look like a beaded curtain with an unknown world behind it. And the messy lines that denies clarity is also a factor in its other worldliness.

As I have said in the first paragraph, the size being  69.25 by 57.125 inches creates a trap that steals your eyes. The size makes you want to walk right into it to discover a new world not your own. It looks like a huge portal that harbors the mystery of the world and I appreciate this feeling it portrays to me.

Museum Visit

Part 1:

The Brooklyn museum’s ancient Egypt exhibit was truly a spectacle. The exhibit displayed many ancient artworks, but the one that caught my interest was the statue of Queen Ankhnes-meryre ll and her son, Pepy ll. The first thing I noticed about it was the material that was used. It was carved out of a glassy stone that had a beige/ivory color. Its condition has remarkably been preserved after thousands of years. This is significant because it means that the queen and her son were very important figures because of the quality of material that was used to sculpt them.
The second thing I observed was the queen sitting on what appears to be a step, cradling her son. The child can be identified as male because of his head dress. His size compared to his mother can determine that he is still young. Another thing I noted about the sculpture is that both the queen and her son’s feet are rested on a platform. This might represent their status and god-like figure.
Lastly, I noticed that the queen and her son are not facing the same direction. The queen is the face you would notice first. This could represent the importance of her role in raising her heir and the future of Egypt. It could also represent the role of women in general during this time in Egypt. Women were responsible for raising the children of the future. In some aspects, they were the most important member in the family.

PART 2:

In the Soul Of The Nation exhibit, There were many pieces that represented the different kinds of discrimination amongst people of color. One piece that I found interesting was “Did The Bear Sit Under a Tree”, by Benny Andrews. The first thing I noticed was the medium used to create this piece. A combination of fabrics were used in the flag, shirt, and canvas. Paint was layered on thick, as if the painter was angry and slapping paint onto the canvas. Lines were not straight, and the stars on the flag were not uniform in size either. I believe the artist’s intention was to send a message rather than creating an art piece for its aesthetic. I also noticed the various splatters and drips distributed on the flag and the black man standing behind it. The American flag is rolled up, revealing an angry black man. He is holding his fists up at the flag. I think that the message of this painting was to show the hypocrisy of the American flag. The flag symbolizes freedom and equality, but hiding behind it is the tyranny of American history. The man is depicted with a zipper for a mouth. African Americans were not able to exercise the same freedoms as other citizens. The zipper symbolized the censorship of their voices. This piece along with the other artworks in the Soul of The Nation exhibit, show us the systematic oppression of African American in American history. It allows us to understand the pain and frustration of these people even if you weren’t there at that time.

Brooklyn Museum Assignment Part 1

Part One: Ancient World

The piece of art I chose was the “Painted Coffin Interior”.  It was the inside bottom of the coffin where an Egyptian King would be buried on top of, after being mummified.  What originally drew me to observe the piece were the colors used.  It was the only art in the room that had any color, and I love colors.

I believe the painting done was specific towards the King that was buried there.  It tell the story of his life and the things he accomplished.  The biggest figure in the center of the painting is the King of the dead, Osiris, due to hieratic scale, it makes sense that he is four time the size of the other figures, since the who;e point of the painting is for death.  The mummy would be laid on top of it, so the deceased could be associated with the King, who was reborn in the afterlife.

The birds with heads are called ba-soul.  They are the part of the soul that can travel between living world and the death world.  It was believed that only kings had these souls, so the ba-souls on the top registers were previous kings.

There are two figures holding Osiris up, Anubis and Horus.  Anubis (on the left), is a God who watches over the dead.  He was the God that embalmed Osiris after he died.  Horus (on the right) was the symbol of  kingship over Egypt.

The circles on the top of the painting, I believe, are there to show the circle of life.  Even though the King’s human life is over his soul continues on in the after life, so there are more than one circle; the soul goes on.

Brooklyn Museum Part 1 And Part 2

Part 1, Ancient Egyptian Exhibit:
When I walked into the Brooklyn Museum and went to the Ancient Egyptian Exhibit located on the third floor, I saw many interesting artifacts and ancient pieces of art work that had caught my attention. One thing that stood out for me and caught my eye when I was looking around the Ancient Egyptian Exhibit in the Brooklyn Museum was the Wreath. The Wreath was on display and it was a wreath made out of gold. It was a golden crown like ring surrounded with leaves and flowers which made it look like the wreath was a golden vine that was formed into a ring to fit onto someones head. The golden Wreath is said to have been from the Ptolemaic Period, circa third to second century B.C.E and a Gift of George D. Pratt. The golden Wreath is described to be “Formed to resemble flowers and leaves to crown athletic victors throughout the ancient Greek World.” These wreaths were used at lavish dinner parties and worn by the guests in the Egyptian capital, Alexandria, as explained by Athenaeus of Nitocris an Egyptian born Greek writer. The Wreath caught my eye because it had made me confused at first since I was visiting the Ancient Egyptian Exhibit and something Ancient Greek was among the collection.

Part 2, Soul of a Nation:
When visiting the Soul of a Nation located on the fifth floor in the Brooklyn Museum, there were many art pieces in the exhibit that could be related to modern art unlike the Ancient Egyptian Exhibit. The piece that stood out the most for me when seeing all the art works representing black power and the civil rights movement was the sculpture art piece Black Unity, 1968 by Elizabeth Catlett. I chose this piece because it can be related to society today with police shooting black people and black people raising their fists in the air yelling black lives matter. Out of all the pieces in the museum, the art piece Black Unity is like the center piece and relates to the rest of the artworks on display due to it being so meaningful in the era of the civil rights movement and also modern society. The piece seems to be made out of wood because of the wood grain look with a dark brown finish making the sculpture look smooth and waxy. The art piece is formed into the shape of a hand making a fist and the dark brown wood color represents a black person, so the sculpture must represent a black person holding up their fist. The dark brown wood is a mahogany which is a straight grained reddish brown wood which depicts the skin color. Visiting the Brooklyn Museum has been an amazing and enlightening experience which allowed me to learn more about both Ancient Egyptian Art and society and Black Art and Culture and I would definitely go back again with family or friends to see the exhibits again to learn more.

Blog #6 Brooklyn Museum

On my trip to the Brooklyn Museum, I was in awe with the modern facade presented. This being my first time at the Brooklyn museum I was pleasantly in awe and in a state of tranquility as I walked through the halls getting lost for hours on end just viewing these beautiful pieces of art.   

I saw a plethora of interesting and peculiar sculptures, monuments and other artifact types in the Ancient Egypt exhibit. One that caught my eye not because of its beauty but rather of its obscurity is The Statue of Metjetji. The statue isn’t big at all, it stands at around 2 feet tall and seems to be entirely composed of wood and some other types of natural items. It stand next to to other statues of the same person. This person is Metjetji, a scribe who was honored by the pharaoh Unas of the fifth dynasty. Scribes held important tasks in Ancient Egypt, as literacy was low, those who were able to write and read hieroglyphics were praised and adored. His title throughout his life was “Overseer of the Bureau of Tenantry of the Court” showing how important he was. Along with this, the statue was entirety composed of very worn out wood and wood being very rare and expensive in ancient Egypt also shows his notoriety and importance. The other statues beside this one depict of Metjetji in other stages of his life, showing his progression in life. This one, having a long white triangular kilt and wide big eyes which probably suggests of his maturity and how old he is. The statue stands upright with the left foot in front of the other, the white kilt has grooves in it, the color palette for the statue is brown and white. Metjetji has no hair and the body is slightly painted red.

Another artwork which caught my eye in the Soul of Nation exhibit was Wadsworth A. Jarrell’s Revolutionary, which depicts Angela Davis a renowned activist who leads to fight racial injustices. The painting is jaw dropping. The color palette is all over the place, however they complement each other very well. Yellow and orange comprises of the face and the outskirts of the painting, bright red depicts her clothings and blue, red and purple make up the hair. One of the more noteworthy aspects of this painting is the fact that words can be seen throughout the painting, these words paint a picture of Angela Davis verbally expressing herself. These words are Davis’ slogans and speeches accompanied with these signature colors to help emphasize Davis’ activism and power. This painting is beautiful and surreal with little line definition.

 

     

Blog #6: Brooklyn Museum-Ancient World

For this assignment, I was very excited to visit the Brooklyn Museum because I live right in Crown Heights and have yet to be able to visit. The museum had a beautiful layout and so many pieces that caused me to be in awe the entire time. Once I finally reached the Ancient World section on the third floor, I found myself remembering and thinking about all of the things we have learned about in class regarding Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, and beginning to analyze all of the wonderful works that were displayed. Upon my way out towards the stairs, I stumbled upon the Assyrian Palace Reliefs that all had amazing and intricate details that I became more appreciative of when I saw them in person. I thought the placement of the reliefs near the entrance/exit stairs was very telling as to what they are and their purpose because when you reach the beginning of the exhibit, it explains that these reliefs would be seen at the entrances of Assyrian palaces to “overwhelm” visitors. I remember discussing this in class when we learned of the many figures that would be used to showcase power and attempt to frighten visitors. The relief I found myself in complete awe of was the Relief with Two Registers that came from the Neo-Assyrian Period under the rule of Ashur-nasir-pal II. In doing formal analysis, the first thing I became aware of was the complete symmetry of the two registers. Although they are different characters, they are complete mirror images of one another, even down to the piece that the figures are holding/touching which I later found out was the sacred tree. Also, in doing formal analysis one can take note of the depth of the lines that were used, in some places of the register, both top and bottom, there are certain parts that have deeper lines and others that have more shallow lines. The shallow lines seemed to be used for parts that were not the main focus of the relief, such as clothes; and the deeper lines were used to enhance/showcase detail such as the scared tree of or the wings of the mythical creature and the genie. I also noted that unlike some of the registers we viewed in class, there did not seem to be a hierarchy and instead they were equal to show their equal importance and meaning.

The Brooklyn Museum

PART 1

From the Ancient World exhibit in the Brooklyn Museum, I chose the “Bird Woman” figurine from the 37th Century B.C.E. Just by looking at this statue, there were a couple of details that stood out to me. For example, the face has a similar structure to a birds beak, and the arms are unusually long. They are gracefully up in the air and have the possibility of representing wings. At the tip of the arms, the hands seem to display fingerlike structures. The “Bird Woman” is a very unique piece because it incorporates both a womanlike anatomy and a birdlike. The color is of copper tone and seems to be made up of clay. Its figure is very curvy as if the expectations of a woman at that point in time was to look like that. The artist also included the breasts of a woman. The height of the figurine is no taller than the height of a coffee cup.

After exploring the exhibit, I wanted to learn more about the figurine. After some research, I found out that the bottom half of the figure is actually a representation of a long white skirt covering the legs of the woman. That is why it looks as if the woman has no lower half. It is still unknown to this day if the sculpture represents a goddess or a woman.  I guess that part is up for interpretation.

Image result for bird woman statue

PART 2

After the Ancient World exhibit, I got a chance to look at Brooklyn Museum’s Soul of a Nation exhibit. A lot of the pieces that I saw have some sort of political agenda, much of which relates to today’s current events. Even though these pieces were created around the 70’s, it’s quite sad how they can relate to problems in the world today. There is still a huge issue with oppression, discrimination, and inequality in our nation which should ultimately be fixed. I chose the piece known as “All Power to the People” by Faith Ringgold. This was an interesting choice for me because I noticed that at the bottom of the piece it says, “Free all political prisoners.” I pictured this as an art piece created in today’s society and the kind of response it would receive. Due to the fact that most of New York’s society is democratic, the response that this piece would get is a positive one.

When I saw the words “free all political prisoners,” I pictured a society oppressed by the government and their power plays. A society that has had enough with being used in politician’s games for power. A lot of people feel the same way today about the way the government acts. Another thing that was quite compelling is the color scheme of the piece. The background is red, the words are black, the figures are black, but the eyes and the clothing are green. Also, the guns are grey. The red background could symbolize the blood of the people and the black could symbolize the seriousness of the situation presented. The man, woman, and child all have a weapon of some sort colored grey. This symbolizes a revolution. However, the green clothing is quite a mystery. Only certain things are marked green but seems to me that it is random. Also, the lines that compose the figures of the man, woman, and child are not straight, but are curvy.

I found this exhibit to be refreshing in a way where even though it was in the past, it affects the future immensly. Art is the perfect way to express one’s self even if it is representing the vision of a whole society.