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21, Denver, Product Designer

Holzer and Montgomery Interviews

Jenny Holzer’s work is incredibly inspiring and very challenging.  By using loaded phrases and playing with the new context of her work she is able to hit emotional notes that often elude other forms that exist only within one medium.  I found the interview to be incredibly informative with many details inspiring me to look at how i purse my own artwork as well.  The notes regarding her time at the Whitney Independent Study Program and how formal painting was out and more interactive experimental art was changing the landscape was enormously refreshing, and made me feel better about my own ill received abstractions.  The fact that she uses and repurposes outdoor environments also was something that struck a chord with myself. Also her views on collaborative art, vs. working alone were quite illuminating in how I should see my own ever evolving process.

Robert Montgomery’s situational art has always been intriguing to me.  The ability of the artist to encapsulate a feeling, or a moment with just text and a place has always made me envious.  When I first started using tumblr, Montgomery’s work was everywhere.  His hard hitting typography coupled with a great eye for location and aesthetic quickly made him one of my favorite artists appearing on the website.  His piece “Whenever you see the sun …” for the Dior popup shop always stayed with me in the cleverness in form and in method of illumination.   The interview gave me a great understanding of what created the artist but it was upon hearing his “modus operandi” that I was really taken.  Robert Montgomery strives to find the sacred in the mundane, and to elevate hum drum things to a new level of significance.  This is something I also try to do with my designs, and reappropriation work and looking at the breadth of his work, I strongly feel Montgomery achieves just that.

Thoughts on Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Ai Weiwei has been a design inspiration of mine since I heard of his collaboration on the Bird’s Nest for the Beijing Olympics.  His sculptural work has always impressed me, and his special brand of cultural appropriation and play with social codes has always drawn me to his art.  I knew Ai Weiwei was radical, and a dissident; I however had no idea the wide range of mediums he uses to implement the political message within his work.

This documentary provided an incredibly eye opening insight into the world or arguably China’s most notorious artist right now.  I was fundamentally impressed by Ai Weiwei’s sense of civic and community duty, his ability to use his art to try to create a dialog within his nation and his courage.  Ai Weiwei work exists in a world he creates, where each work is connected by social media, and essays and other photos that create a rich network of questions and statements about the nation, human life, and the individual. 

It is hard not to have an opinion on his work, as his controversy and the “cult of self” on display in this documentary make every action and art piece immediately asks the viewer to use their own perspective to go deeper within the work.  Ai Weiwei’s art and activism is not easy, but it does seem almost universal, and I can see that in the archetypal emotions that the work seems to invoke among myself and my friends.

All in All, great intimate look into one of china’s most dangerous minds, and provides an amazing amount of context as to who, why, how, and for what outcome Ai Weiwei works.

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