Week 1: Classmate Conversation

About me: Hi, I am currently a senior at CSULB majoring in Film- Narrative Production. I am expecting to graduate this spring 2017. CSULB has been a place where major events have occurred in my life, from switching careers to losing loved ones. I am grateful for the opportunities and people I’ve met here. My interests include watching movies and researching cars. I was originally born in Cairo, Egypt and I immigrated to the U.S. in January of 2001. No regrets.

Art experience? My last art class was in middle school, but I did take a Ceramics class back in senior year of high school. That was fun!

Class discussion: In the first class of Art 110, we were placed into groups to discuss what is art and what  we liked/focused on, e.g. cars, the beach, etc. Many of these ideas that were brought up in our discussions revolved around physical things, like food, and other things like North Korea. The overall focus was on were these concepts potentially artistic, and if so how could they be represented through art. Film, paintings, and physical pieces from real world objects were used as examples.

My definition of art would probably be vague, but it is based on the general idea that if you can take something from reality (or not), such as the relationship between a father and son, and portray it in an interesting, unique manner, you at least get close to making art happen. I think taking an ordinary object that is widely available, like a bottle of water, has artistic features if one was to focus enough energy on its design, but I don’t think it can really be called art. I think you need to do more than just take something we are already familiar with; you need to shine a different light on it.

In my opinion, I think it is vital to realize that when someone earns the title of “artist” you are essentially equating that person with Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Picasso. Beethoven. Rembrandt. Take your pick. These are people who we usually regard as artists, so if I’m an artist, I better be as “good” as they are. This may seem harsh, but I don’t like seeing the word thrown around to name just anyone.

I believe there is a difference, for instance, between a painter and an artist who happens to paint. In my field, to illustrate, I think there is a difference between a filmmaker/director and an artist who happens to direct films. For example, both Michael Bay and Stanley Kubrick are directors in a medium that can be art, and a very effective on at that, but Michael Bay wouldn’t be considered an artist by many people. Stanley Kubrick would.

Of course, art is subjective, so my definition of what art is likewise subjective. All I know is that if I ever get to direct films in the future (a dream!), I better be called an artist if I make art, not simply another movie.

Question of the Week: Where do you draw the line on what is art?

As mentioned above, for me one way art can be created is when you take something from the world and cast a different, special perspective on it, or you make us see it in a different way. It can be based on an abstract notion, like love, or something we can actually touch or hold. Dale Chihuly uses glass to make exquisite glass sculptures, many of which are of real life things, like plants. We are familiar with what plants are, but with the use of freeblown glass and a nearly unlimited choice of colors, Chihuly makes what can be called art. Plants themselves have artistic features, like the bottle of water mentioned earlier, but I don’t know if I’ll ever walk out, look at my front yard lawn and say, “What a work of art!” In fact, it’s probably the opposite.

Other ways to discern art if if the work of art, for example, is something you’ve never seen before or something that makes you think about what you’re looking at in a new way. All forms and mediums of art I think have that potential, but it’s not easy to achieve.

P.S. my bad I forgot to take a picture! I figured we just had to discuss the question in our groups. Sorry!

 

 

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