Unit 1 Summary

Unit one was interesting because the basics were not as boring as I thought it would be. Formal Analysis took me by surprise because I learned a bit of art history in high school and it took me to a whole new perspective on how to critique a piece of art. It was intriguing to break down a painting to small pieces of information. Although I followed through an art class for four years of highschool, the teacher did not cover the roots of art pieces and where some of the original concepts began. Critical Pedagogy is a striking topic because I did not really think about why it mattered to me until I saw how relevant to real life situations. We are all engineered to follow a hierarchy of position through grade school and it got me thinking more about how I took in information from various peers and other influencers.

The class itself holds my attention because I felt that having learned how to make art, it wouldn’t hurt to learn where art came from thoroughly. Although some bits of the lessons were less interesting than other bits, I felt like I could become more jargon for my own good and inspire others to not overlook a decent class that looked boring on paper.

Chapter 2 Summary

The art of the ancient world allows us to understand the era and time in which it was originated. We were able to fully discuss and interpret the art of ancient Mesopotamia Egypt, Greece and Rome. Each region and time period had a different perception of humanity, deities, and the cycle of human life. Looking and formally analyzing ancient art is important because it reflects the society that creates them. Societies that without these art works, would be very difficult for us to understand. The symbolism, colors and materials can tell us a lot about the culture that produced it.

The ancient Egyptian art had some variations under the each succession but, overall had a similar portrayals of the rulers, the common people, the God and even the animals. The Palette of Narmer from 3000 BCE, served not only as a palette for aesthetic needs but also an opportunity to be reminded of the greatness of King Narmer. It is quite fascinating to see that Egyptians used art as a medium to preserve the glory of their rulers, who gave the people stability, wealth and most of all aspiration. In the palette, King Narmer is the larger figure, standing dominantly, showing his power through the staff in his hand and the slave/soldier of war he is holding by the head. King Narmer also seems to be receiving the crown of Lower Egypt from the falcon. This again goes to show his dominance in uniting the two regions, and creating one unified nation. This brings the concept of harmony, and social order into discussion because the Egyptians really revered living an honest and just life, as shown by the portrayal of after life in many Egyptian art work. This idea, and the unity they hoped to achieve in the after death with the Gods was central to the civilization. Egyptian art was different from Hellenistic and Roman art, in their depiction of humans. Also, the evolution of Greek and Roman art brought about many drastic changes in the portrayal of art itself.

When we first think of Greek art, our thought first goes to the elaborate and magnificent temples and building architecture developed by the ancient Greeks. They had developed very standard ways of constructing many places of worship, and other important building. In addition, Greek sculptures and stone work of human being show the understanding of human anatomy and structure. What the Egyptians portrayed as a stoic, rigid, and animated figure, the Greeks gave their human sculptures a more defined perspective of the human form. Even though it didn’t have an individualistic touch, early Greek art still gave a standard portrayal of the human body. For example, the Kouros constructed in 600 B.C.E. give the audience the correct human dimensions for the figure in the sculpture. The knee, the body muscles are well highlighted, and even the hair though not very realistic seems to have taken an effort to create, as each individual hair strand has a wave. This had more similarities to the stone sculptures of ancient Egypt than the classical periods of Greek and Rome. As we move towards classical period, human portrayal looked much more natural and had realistic facial expressions. For example, with eh Kritios Boy, though the facial expression still remains to be a bit dull, the body construction is very well realistic and natural.

Roman ancient art by far neared closer to the realistic portrayal of the actual human body, as much of their ideology was centered on the concept of humanism. The people, and even the deities, resembled a glorified human. This was unlike the ancient Egyptians where they depicted their Gods with animal heads and a rigid body. The Romans, glorified the human body through their artwork. Starting with the sculpture of Polykeitos in 450 B.C.E. who has this amazing athletic human body with well constructed human anatomy. The figure though lacked an individualistic touch to the face and a bland hair style, still outwardly portrayed a realistic human look. As we move forward we see the Dying Gaul, the portrait of Alexander the Great, the Seated Boxer, which all have a very realistic portrayal of the human body evidenced by the formation of the hair strands and the portrayal of the human body. The sculptors during this time took time to define the human musculature and present the body as realistically as possible.

Blog #8: Humanism in Greek Art

Humanism is the system or movement of human beings. In terms of art, humanism shifts the focus in where man becomes the agent for change. It emphasizes the value and individuality of humans. In Greek and Roman art, humanism is very common as it is the main focus in majority of the pieces of art. In Egyptian and Mesopotamian art, they focus more on a higher power that is greater than mankind where as in Greek and Roman art, they focus more on the human itself.

On the left we have the Sumerian art of the Standing male worshipper and on the right we have the Greek art of the Kouros of Kroisos from Anavysos. In the Sumerian art piece, it represents a religious standpoint.  The figure is a sign or a symbol of a higher power. The figure is covered and has detailed lines below (almost like a dress or a robe). In Mesopotamia, nudity was a sign of humility which is why the figure below isn’t nude. The eyes in the male worshipper piece are wide and distinct and is one of the first things that draws your eyes. In the Greek art piece of the Kouros of Kroisos from Anavysos, the figure has more features of a human than of a higher power. It has one foot in front of the other and is completely nude. For Greek, nudity was a sign of culture and pride. The men and boys that were sculpted all appeared nude as it was a way to show strength and power. The eyes in the pieces aren’t as distinctive as the male worshipper.  In both art pieces, they have very intricate waves and beads/braids to represent the bread on the Standing male worshipper and the hair on both the Kouros of Kroisos from Anavysos and the male worshipper. Both pieces are also proportionate in symmetry and are stiff.


Brooklyn Museum Assignment Part 1 and 2





For the first part of the Assignment, I decided to enter the Ancient Korean Exhibit. I fell in love with these art pieces. This was my 3rd time into the museum. Everytime I go to the museum I check on this section because everything seems so expensive. From what I noticed about each art piece, one thing that all stood out about all of them were there sizes. They were all small and in my mind this means something of a decoration or tool. A figure such as the mini Buddha was considered to be both a religious piece. you can tell it was a religious piece by the position it was in. It was in a position of meditating and you can also make it out as religious because the hands are clasp together in a way that shows prayer. Like a divine being. it also looks decorative because it was made of gold, either owned by a wealthy family or an Emperor. The snail art piece looks to be a kettle. This kettle was a special kettle because of the designs it held that had drawings and other symbols. The museum didn’t provide any information on the kettle, but like the Egyptian makeup tool we discussed in class, this was probably just an everyday item that is considered a work of Art in today’s world. One thing I can say about it is that it seems to be representing someone because of the braided hair roped down it’s back. Finally my favorite piece of all, the Dragon holding what I think is a bucket. This Dragon was most likely a decorative piece because it doesn’t have any sign showing that it would mean anything more than just a Dragon holding a vase. It was most likely owned by someone wealthy because it’s made up of gold. In my opinion and best guess, I would say that the winding of the Dragon serves a purpose of showing immense strength by holding up the vase. Korean history is very rich. One important thing I must point out is the feeling I felt in this exhibit. These different pieces all brings out a tranquil mood because everything looks peaceful and clean. It just doesn’t show a history of battles. It shows a history of peace and tranquility.

This art piece was at the entrance of all the exhibits. I don’t know what exhibit it belongs to. But one thing to point out is the obvious symbolism of what innocence is. This picture uses a clear sky to symbolize freedom and uses the white clothing to symbolize innocence. One look at this image and it creates a warm and nice feeling to accommodate the innocence and beauty of the women in the picture. The 3 women all look away to make you feel and ask what are they looking at in the distance. The way the lighting is in the picture create the women to look like angelic figures.

Brooklyn Museum Assignment Part I & II

Part I












For Part I of the assignment I chose to dive into the Egyptian Art exhibition at the Museum. As soon as I saw the sculpture showed above I was interested to analyze this particular work of art which is called Pair Statue of Nelson and Never-ta. Using Formal Analysis I immediately noticed that the sitting couple is made out of Limestone. As I looked around I noticed that the bench where they are sitting on has writing all around it and not only in the bench but also in the persons clothing. This makes me think of the art work we saw in class and how sculptures from all other places in the wold also had writing during those times. This means that they all had their own language and similar ideas when it came to language. Their clothing and neckless have an appearance of people who are in high level society which made me think that they are a married couple from the royalty. What makes me come to the conclusion that they are married is that the are both have one arm being each other’s back and not only that but the artist made their arm unnaturally long and if looked closer on the sides they are holding each other with affection. Their body posture is stiff and everything seems alined. There is parallel lines in every section of writing. Furthermore this writing and the limestone is painter with different colors of blue, red, brow, and black. Furthermore the volume of hair in each person is large and it makes their faces look smaller, specially the woman whose face is smaller and has a larger neck. It seems that they both are wearing some sort of make-up in their eyes which makes those look bigger and angled. the size of the Sculpture is a small. I love what it represents and I love looking at it. Using formal made me understand in a deeper way what the sculpture represented in Egyptian times.


Part II

For Part II, in Soul of a Nation, after looking around the exhibit I found my attention to be caught under this amazing yet horrifying painting, The First One Hundred Years by Archibald Motley 1891-1981. As you can see in the pictures I took, the painting seems to be oiled based. Also the use of dark and cold colors is very mesmerizing because it helps the viewer feel what is going on. In the painting I feel that the artist wants the viewer to focus on the two faces that hang on the tree (Martin Luther King Jr.- J.F.K) and one from the house (Abraham Lincoln). Those are the faces of important activist and presidents of the United States. The main thing they all have in common is that they were all assassinated.  I chose these particular painting because it summarizes everything bad and wrong that happened during African American slavery and when the confederate flag was wave by the prosecutors and the “pure” white people. All this horrendous events took place under the times of those three individuals’s faces. To me the painting is very sad and scary. When I saw the painting,  it made me feel anger. To the whole exhibition this work of art in particular shows what African Americans had to go through before they obtained freedom. The Exhibition is about the Soul of a Nation, it has work of art that represent the time where Blacks resisted oppression, and the time where people made a difference. Basically the exhibition as a Then and a Now. The painting above is very powerful and meaning full and the way it was painted with different colors, scale and dimensions make the viewer to want to see it. After Motley concluded this work of art, he never painted again.

Unit 1 Summary

Unit 1 was about the pedagogy and power, banking model, and formal analysis. The Banking Model is described as teachers simply passing on an idea to the students. The teachers talk and lecture while the students are quiet and receive the information. I have experienced this type of model many times in high school. Some teachers I had would not care to listen to anything the students had to say. They would think everything that they said was correct. I think this model has more negative aspects rather than positive. You might be able to learn something but it’s not the most effective and long-term method of teaching. I think its very important for teachers to engage and encourage their students to speak up in class. This helps a lot of students learn better. The pedagogical approach to any subject must be important when you want someone to learn. For example, if you’re teaching drawing you shouldn’t just put a fruits basket in front of the students and expect them to know how to draw. You would have to teach them the basics first.

Another thing we learned is formal analysis. Formal analysis is not only describing the art but also showing and understanding what the artist is trying to convey, visually. Everybody has different ways of looking at things so our own interpretation of art will have a play in what we think it means. When focusing on formal analysis, there are some characteristics we use: color, line, space and mass, scale. We also look at the composition of the art. Composition means how the artist combines all these factors in their work of art. We also use the historical context of an artwork. It relates to the things that happen during the time the art was made. It serves to give us a better understanding of the art and show why the artist decided to make this artwork.

It’s very interesting that you can learn so much about an artwork from its historical background. I never knew how to analyze an artwork before but after learning some basics on formal analysis it has become easier. When looking at the Titian Venus of Urbino, I noticed that a lot of warmer colors were used as opposed to cool or neutral colors. Colors like pink and red were used a lot. Another technique that was cool was looking at the way the artist catches your eye from the direction of lines. They guide your eyes intentionally from left to right. I personally thought that was interesting and cool how an artist can make you do that. Also, learning of the historical background of the painting really put it into a perspective of why the art was made.