Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Category — Visual Art

MET Moments

For my outside arts event, I decided on the MET. I had never been to the MET and I had tried to go once, but unfortunately when I finally arrived they were closed and I never tried again. They have a wide array of different art pieces and so I thought this would be a great chance to look at any art piece that I liked. My favorite art pieces are those that have to do with nature so those are the ones that I focused on.

The first art piece that I liked was View Of Toledo by El Greco. The Gallery Label stated “In this, his greatest surviving landscape, El Greco portrays the city he lived and worked in for most of his life.” The reason this painting really stood out to me is the way El Greco painted the sky over the city. The sky seemed to act as a veil of darkness covering the whole city. In addition, the city seemed to get darker as you go more in depth. The grass began to die, becoming duller, and the whole painting became almost black as you go further into the painting. The road was winding into the painting. This gave me a sense of difficulty and hardship and a negative feeling of the whole city. It seemed as if the further you went into the city(painting), the more difficult it was to leave and the worse it seemed.

The next painting was a View Of La Crescenza by Claude Lorrain. The gallery label stated “In its immediacy and breadth of handling, this small picture recalls drawings that Claude made from nature in the environs of Rome.” I really liked this painting. It was of trees, hills, grass and other vegetation with a fortress in the background. Even though it was in the background, the main focus of the painting seemed to be the fortress. It was almost as if the fortress was welcoming but at the same time depicted safety from enemies. In the front, there were four trees however, they seemed to bend exposing a passageway to the fortress. This contrasted with the previous painting because it used mostly light vs. dark contrast.

Last but not least, I saw The Titan’s Goblet. This painting really stood out to me since the subject seemed so unusual. In the painting, there was a huge Goblet to the right, with a small sea in front of it and mountains in the background. The nature around the Goblet seemed much smaller compared to the Goblet. The goblet was filled to the top with water and it seemed very old since it was covered in vegetation and water was leaking from cracks in the goblet. Below the Goblet was a sea with ships. This “human world” seemed much smaller compared to the Goblet. The Goblet also seemed unusual in that it fit in but also did not fit in with the overall painting. The vegetation made it blend in with the nature in the painting, but since it was a Goblet it really stood out.

Overall, I really liked the MET and I recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. This seminar really changed my perspective on art since I probably would have looked at each painting for less than a second before moving on to the next one. This seminar was not only educational but also interesting.

Thank You, Mr. Ugoretz.

P.S If you press the tittle of the painting, it will redirect you to a picture as a reference to what I am discussing.

 

December 21, 2013   No Comments

“Hide-and-Seek”

            “Hide-and-Seek” is displayed in The Museum of Modern Art. The artist of this piece is Pavel Tchelitchew. It was made in 1940-2 and was painted with oils on canvas. Tchelitchew used many different colors such as green, yellow, brown, orange, red and blue. It really captured my eye and when reading up on about it, it said that the artist used these colors and this material in order to capture the emotions and the drama of the piece in a way that many other materials would not be able to. The artwork was made in Vermont during World War II.

The subject is the “apocalyptic” vision of the childhood game, hide and seek.  I noticed that at first glance you see what looks like a tree, but when looked at closer you can see the leaves make out the faces of little children. The children are looking up with their mouths open in fear. There is a mixture of life and nature. There are human characteristics here along with birds, butterflies and plants. You can see on the bottom of the tree is a new -born baby and on the bark of the tree is a woman climbing.  There are all hidden images within this artwork, such as a foot, hand, toes and fingers. Also within this piece you are able to see an X-ray vision of the body. You can see bones and veins within the arms, heads, and toes. The veins do a great job camouflaging because it looks as if they are the branches from the tree.

This painting is displayed on the wall facing you when you come off the escalator on the fourth floor. This floor is all about paintings and sculptures, but this painting is isolated. There are no other works of art surrounding it. It is probably placed this way so that everyone will have a chance to absorb the whole picture without being distracted by anything else. This picture is an extraordinary painting with many surprises. It deserves to be examined and well observed.

http://www.moma.org/collection_images/resized/355/w500h420/CRI_5355.jpg – this is a photo of the artwork

December 14, 2013   No Comments

Snapshot Exhibit Event

When we were told that we had to take a picture for our Snapshot assignment, I thought about what photo I could take that represented New York City without it being similar to others. I thought about taking a picture of the New York subway system, or a Starbucks related item, or even a picture of a tourist attraction somewhere in the city. I never thought to look around my neighborhood in Brooklyn for a picture that would represent New York City. So, when Snapshot day came, I was walking around the city, wondering which picture would do it justice. It was only when I was a few blocks away from my home that I realized that the old Weeping Willow tree represented New York City in the past, present, and future. Originally, it had been planted on the property of a man who’s mother passed away. He had planted the Weeping Willow many decades ago in honor of her memory. Upon selling his house and property in recent years, he asked the new owners not to cut down the weeping willow because of the spiritual and personal meaning that it had to him. The new owners obliged by these wishes and, upon demolishing the old home and building a new one, they hired an expensive company that spent a week trying to uproot the many-ton, two-meter in diameter tree trunk tree with the least damage and move it approximately ten feet, closer to the corner of the property. Although it was evident that the tree was ill the first few months after it was moved, it began to flourish once again. And then, Hurricane Sandy hit. It was flooded by nearly fifteen feet of salty, filthy water.

 

Despite all of these occurrences, the old weeping willow tree survived. I felt that this tree was an accurate symbol of New York City because it survived upheaval, uproot, sickness, and disaster and yet continues to flourish despite all odds. This characteristic is part of New York City’s identity. Approximately two months after I had posted my picture up onto the site, I visited the Macaulay Building for the exhibit of all the pictures taken on that day and had the pleasure of seeing my picture in several parts of the building. I really enjoyed viewing the pictures that my classmates from all parts of the city had taken in honor of this day and thought that the way the exhibit was organized was brilliant. My classmate from Staten Island and I did the project involving historical significance of different  aspects of New York City. We juxtaposed the images taken in the city on Snapshot day with the images of the same structures taken a hundred to two hundred years ago. We enjoyed catching up while doing the project and viewing and discussing all the various photos taken and displayed.

December 14, 2013   No Comments

A Brooklyn Sunset and Snapshot Day at Macaulay

A beautiful setting sun placed in a sky filled with pink, blue, orange, and yellow in a beautiful mixture seems pretty atypical for a Brooklyn sky. However, this is the view that I have the pleasure of seeing everyday outside of my dorm room window. A few weeks before we were requested to take a picture of the city for our class, I began to notice how remarkably beautiful the sky looks when the sun is setting outside my window. As I was doing my work, I would notice that my room was getting a bit dim, but before turning one of the lights on, I would look out the window and witness one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. The sky had suddenly become a gradation of blue, yellow, orange, and pink as the sun disappeared behind the houses and trees. When we were told about our picture-taking assignment, I knew I had to capture this moment.
Two months later, I had the pleasure of seeing my photo in a very creative exhibit at the Macaulay building. The fact that our classmates could view our creativity and get a little taste of what we were seeing at a particular moment in time is a very nice idea. It was a way of sharing a little piece of ourselves with each other. We were pushed even further with our creativity when we did the assignment that went along with this particular common event. My group chose to do the option that involved the creation of a story- the name of which escapes me now. Surprisingly, all of our stories made sense and were actually pretty well written. One criticism that I do have of the event is that I would have preferred a little more interaction with students from other campuses. I came with two of my friends from Brooklyn College and, therefore, worked with them. Since this was a Macaulay Commons Event, I would have liked to have had the opportunity to interact more with my classmates from other campuses.

December 13, 2013   No Comments

NY Hall of Science

595,996,800,000,000,000,000,000,000

An unimaginable number. And yet, that’s the approximate amount of molecules that I currently have in my body.

I also know that broccoli is 4% carbohydrates, 5% fat, 3% protein, and 91% water, while an elephant is 2% carbohydrates, 7% fat, 21% protein, and 68% water. A bacteria is 5% carbohydrates, 3% fat, 16% protein, and 70% water. Comparatively, a human has 1% carbohydrates, 17% fat, 16% protein, and 61% water. Fascinating. The rockets in the Rocket Park made you feel as if you were right next to a NASA rocket launching.

I had seen some of the exhibits at the NY Hall of Science once before, but I decided to attend the museum again for a very different purpose this time: To view the Science Inspires Art: The Cosmos exhibit. The images, exhibits, and the colors simply took my breath away. I had always been fascinated by what lay beyond our world, and have previously competed in the Astronomy category of the National Science Olympiad on my high school team, so having that background knowledge really enhanced my experience, if I was able to recognize a certain astronomical object in an exhibit.

Furthermore, I viewed the photographs of the 2013 annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition winners and will include a few of them below. I had a few favorites in this exhibit. The first is a picture of Barbilophozia sp. (a leafy liverwort, byrophyte plant) and cyanobacteria under 50x magnification (the first picture), which received 8th place and was taken by Magdalena Turzanska of the Institute of Experimental Biology, Department of Plant Developmental Biology in the University of Wroclaw, Poland, using the epi-autofluorescence under UV light, z-stack reconstruction technique. The

The second picture is the Macrobrachium shrimp (ghost shrimp) eye under 140x magnification, and was taken by Vitoria Tobias Santos, of Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, using stereomicroscopy and received 11th place.

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The next one received 9th place and is by Mark A. Sanders, of the University of Minnesota, USA, and it pictures an insect wrapped in spider web at 85x magnification, using Confocal, Autofluorescence, and Image Stacking techniques. The last picture received 7th place, and is by Dr. Jan Michels, of the Institute of Zoology, Functional Morphology and Biomechanics, Germany, and pictures the adhesive pad on a foreleg of a ladybird beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) at 20x magnification using Confocal Autofluorescence.

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The photograph that placed first is a very impressive work of art, pictured below. It was taken by Wim van Egmond, of the Micropolitan Museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Pictured is a marine diatom, the chaetoceros debilis, which is a colonial plankton organism, magnified to 250x using Differential Interference Contrast and Image Stacking. Diatoms are one of the vital oxygen producers on earth and are a fundamental link in our food chains. The photograph was definitely impressive, with its contrasting bright yellow and dark blue colors, as well as the shadows throughout. The stacking technique used allowed the audience to view the diatom in a 3-dimensional scope.

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December 10, 2013   1 Comment