This guest blog post comes in response to recent digital conversation sparked by an article on MTV.com taking issue with the description for an undergraduate Fine Art course (co-taught, not incidentally, by a woman of color) entitled “Pretty Hurts.” This piece, composed by Fine Art department chair Vanalyne Green and course instructors Ariel McCleese and April Bey, was intended to contribute to this vital and momentous exchange as well as to elucidate the intentions animating the description’s provocation. We hope the dialogue will continue as we wholeheartedly embrace the values of inclusivity and gender equality that have informed this conversation as well as the work of all the artists discussed below. Please continue to weigh in with your thoughts and ideas on this dynamically shifting terrain in the comments section below.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Earlier this year, Photography alumnus and visual effects master Peter W. Anderson, ASC, accepted the 2013 Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an Academy Award for technological contributions that have brought credit to the film industry. “Without the sciences what would the art be?” Anderson asked as he hefted his Oscar. “Without the art, what would the sciences be?”
Artworld luminaries hail Stockholm debut of Sculpture After Sculpture, curated by Grad Art’s Jack BankowskyFriday, October 24th, 2014
By all accounts, Sculpture After Sculpture, an omnibus exhibition curated by Art Center faculty member, Jack Bankowsky, is a major event, capturing nothing short of a pivotal moment in the evolution of modern sculpture. The show opened last week at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet to great fanfare, including this piece in Artforum. For those who can’t make it to Sweden, the following catalog excerpt offers a glimpse at the compelling story this audacious show tells about sculpture’s relatively recent past and possibly its not-so-distant future.
For the past 20 years, Jorge Pardo has been swinging his wrecking ball around the art establishment, tearing down traditional categories of creativity and staking his claim to an underused patch of terrain utterly his own, at the intersection of art, architecture, design, painting and sculpture.
“What I do is shape space and play with the history that forms people’s sense of expectation,” the Cuban-born Fine Art alumnus explained in a 2013 W Magazine profile. “I don’t think art is not functional. A painting is functional. People hang it on the wall. You can trade it. It’s like money. But historical tradition says paintings are not functional.”
A 2010 MacArthur “Genius,” Pardo has been bucking tradition since he rose to prominence in 1998, with 4166 Sea View Lane, a functional sculpture/house he designed and built for a MOCA exhibition. His current project may be his most ambitious yet. Pardo has handcrafted each element of Tecoh, a compound of buildings and gardens in the Yucatan jungle, to create an Edenic multisensory experience. At the heart of all of Pardo’s work lies a DIY commitment to artisanship, honed during his time at Art Center. “I like to know how things work,” Pardo told W. “I think everything interesting comes from figuring it out.”
This story originally appeared in Art Center’s Spring 2014 Dot magazine, where you can read more about alumni and faculty achievements.
Of all the ways Mike Kelley has been celebrated for his pivotal contributions to contemporary art, since his death on January 31, 2012, his impact as an educator may be the most significant aspect of his legacy to go relatively unexamined, if not unsung. Kelley was a faculty member of Art Center’s Graduate Art Department from 1992 to 2007. And during his time teaching at Art Center, Kelley mentored such monumental talents as video artist Diana Thater (who now chairs the department from which she graduated), multimedia artist Pae White, installation artist Jennifer Steinkamp and Fine Art faculty member Jean Rasenberger.
In the above video, inspired by Kelley’s MOCA retrospective, these artists examine the ways in which Kelley influenced the kind of artists they’ve become, the work they create and, perhaps most importantly, how they go about crafting and sustaining a life as an exhibiting artist. Kelley has often been credited with helping raise the clout and visibility of LA’s art scene when his career took off and he declined to follow the well-worn path previous west coast supernova artists had followed to New York. As one of the first internationally acclaimed artists to root himself in Los Angeles, Kelley was, in essence, laying the groundwork for his students and their contemporaries to do the same.
If these artists’ upwardly-tilting career paths are any indication, Kelley’s impact on his students, his city and his creative discipline only gets deeper as time goes on.
Ellen Surrey is a fervent flea market flâneur. “My greatest inspiration comes from American nostalgia, and a single thrift store find can hold so much history,” says the Spring 2014 Illustration graduate whose work is featured above and on the cover of the current issue of Dot magazine.
Her love of Americana is evident throughout her work, including her illustrations of folklore hero Paul Bunyan, a series that marked an artistic turning point for Surrey. “I really pushed myself stylistically and medium-wise and from that point on I started to gain a lot more confidence as an illustrator.”
With New York Design Week in full swing, the city is teeming with design lovers and luminaries seeking a competitive edge on leading talent and trends. Art Center is featured at two major events: the high-profile International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and WantedDesign. Attracting nearly 30,000 tastemakers in the worlds of interior design, architecture, retail, manufacturing, distribution and developers, ICFF is considered North America’s premiere showcase for contemporary design.
“I equate designing with cooking,” says Kristina Marrero, who graduated this past Saturday from the Product Design program and also received Art Center’s Student Leadership Award for the Spring 2014 Term. “It’s when I share my creation with others that I see the complete experience come to life.”
Marrero describes herself as an experience crafter, and indeed she crafted an exceptionally full experience at Art Center. She served as Art Center Student Government’s (ACSG) Executive Secretary as well as its Product Design representative.
She attended Tama Art University in Tokyo as part of the Future Craft Student Exchange as well as multiple sessions of the Pensole Footwear Design Academy in Portland, Ore. first as a workshop participant and twice as a teaching assistant.
Marrero interned at both Tesla and at Adidas, participated in several Designstorms, served as co-president of Girls of ID, an industrial design club, and helped many a student elevate their design concepts as a lab assistant in the Color, Material and Trends Exploration Lab.
At graduation, Marrero shared with the audience the following 10 takeaways–or “bling nuggets” as she said her Visual Communication instructor Derek Howard would call them–from her studies at Art Center:
Oscar Ahoy-a! Grad Film student, Rahat Mahajan’s ‘Istifa’ selected as Student Academy Award finalistTuesday, April 15th, 2014
Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka the organization that hands out the Oscars) receives over 500 submissions from student filmmakers around the world. This past week, Art Center Graduate Film student, Rahat Mahajan’s narrative short, Istifa (Resignation), was selected as a national finalist for the most prestigious prize awarded to student filmmakers.
Please join us in congratulating Rahat, a 5th term student from India. Shortly after hearing the good news, we caught up with Rahat and asked him to share his thoughts on the process of making the film and where he hopes to go from here.