Seduction Exhibition Review at the Jackson Junge Gallery

The group exhibit at the Jackson Junge Gallery was labeled Seduction. It includes about twenty-six works of paintings, collages, sculptures, and photographs. It was interesting to see different peoples’ interpretations of seduction and sexuality. You would think that going into an exhibition about sex, you would see the same thing over and over again, but it was exactly the opposite. As we have been raised to view sex in one particular way, this exhibit emphasizes the different new ways we can view sex and sexuality.

The works that spoke to me were those that made me question not only meaning but technique. When I went for the first turn in the exhibition I saw Ken Wilson’s collage Look, Fellows. It was a 25” by 19” mixed media collage. It consisted of what it looks like to be magazine and pornographic cut outs. What first caught my attention was the obvious nude woman in the middle of the collage, along with the saturated colors of yellow, pink, blue, and red. At first, I believed that this piece didn’t really scream “seduction to me.” Then I knew that it was because I wasn’t a man. The piece was clearly targeted for a male audience. The title itself Look, Fellows implies that this has more of a connection to makes than females. Am I mad at this? Absolutely not. This piece is an obvious representation of seduction and how the media has manipulated our thoughts and perceptions of naked women and sex. Ken Wilson had two other works displayed but to further emphasize this idea of sex and the media I would like to talk a little about his collage Guarantee Policy. The three works together almost seemed like a triptych. However, I realized that they had different names. Ken Wilson’s work reminded me a lot about the Richard Hamilton’s Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? collage. Wilson manipulates the media the same way Hamilton does. With that being said, we can clearly see that Wilson tries to challenge our perception of the porn industry and the extent in which it serves as an influence to people and their definitions of sex. Not only that, but Wilson used this idea of porn to emphasize the portrayal of women as sex objects and sex workers.

Good Fellows

Good Fellows, Ken Wilson, Mixed Media

GURANTEE

Guarantee Policy, Ken Wilson, Mixed Media

The work itself is jaw dropping. Photographs do not give Wilson’s art works any justice. The color hues are just not the same in photographs as they are in person. The works are aesthetically pleasing for me as they may not be for others. The meaning behind these works and the fact that they are in an exhibit called Seduction really makes you question the meaning of it.

The second artist I was in awe with was Beata Chrzanowska. Her work Simple Math was the kind of seduction I was familiar with. The work was acrylic on canvas and was 33.5” by 27”. The reason I say this was the most familiar to me is because it is a lot subtler. It whispers love and passion, not just lust. A lot of that has to do with the colors Beata chose to use. The range from vibrant to very soft and pastel. The movement in the painting itself is very slow. It definitely slows your brain down and also slows down your eyes as you really need to appreciate the details and brush work on the middle and upper left part of the painting. Everything makes sense to me. The way Beata chose to show this side of a female really makes women seem vulnerable. This is a different kind of seduction than we saw in Wilson’s work. It’s less in your face and it makes it a bit harder to find something that connects this work to the media. It simply doesn’t. This work speaks more on the aspects of the human body and our appreciation of it. Why are we so seduced by such thing? Because it is beautiful. Beata captures this beauty in the same way Georgia O’Keeffe captures the beauty of a female. It is a very romanticized approach to seduction and Beata might be starting a conversation of why sex can’t be a viewed like this. It might be a message to the viewer to appreciate sex, to appreciate the body you’re connecting with, and to turn on the lights every now and then.

Simple Math

Simple Math, Beata Chrzanowska, Acrylic on canvas

 

Another one of Beata’s works was the reason I even attended this gallery show. The work is called Duel/Duet. It is an acrylic and oil paint on canvas, approximately 26” by 26”. This work, in my opinion, is reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s work. It’s full of color. In the painting color is one of the important components that provokes an emotion in the viewer. May it be positive or negative? I’m not sure. For me, it was in between both. This painting might be representing this controversial issue the world has forever been afraid of: homosexuality. As we can see in the painting, we cannot tell the gender of either of these figures. We are left with the question of whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. What does this do to the viewer? It excludes those who might not be okay with homosexuality. However, it also includes them. It opens their mind to this kind of attraction and makes them see that this kind of seduction is no different than others. Another aspect that further supports this theory is that there are dark shadows in the faces of these two figures. The dark shadows can represent the mysteriousness of the act. This unforbidden love. All of my life I have seen homosexual couples hide their love in public. It is truly sad that they have to face discrimination based on who they love and who they choose to marry. This painting does nothing but makes me understand and appreciate love, sex, and sexuality in all of its tangents.

Duel.JPG

Duel/Duet, Beata Chrzanowska, Acrylic and oil on canvas

The exhibition itself was successful and opened my mind in how to perceive sex and what I define as “seductive.” My sexuality shouldn’t limit what I see as seductive and sexy. It shouldn’t limit my thoughts on beauty and sex. As an artist or as an art critic, sometimes we need to step away from the conceptualized frameworks of society. We need to step away from the “categories” that defines us. Sometimes we need to not have a gender or a sexual orientation. We sometimes even need to be homosexual or transgender. We need to be open minded in order to truly appreciate someone’s art and message to the viewers. The exhibit helps start building that awareness of who you are and the different people that surround you. Now that’s seductive.

(Visit http://www.j2gallery.com/ if you are interested in buying the works.)

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Anymore 

I’m sad because I have no place to call home.

Sad because time is slipping out of my hands.

Sad because I feel no satisfaction.

At least, not like before.

I cry because it hurts.

Hurts being alive; hurts getting old.

I don’t recognize what I see.

I don’t know myself anymore.

I became a manufactured idiot.
When I tried so hard to not be.

I lost sense of passion.

Because I thought solely on the money.
I was never good at competition.

I was never competitive.

Maybe that’s why I’m a misfit; I don’t belong.

I don’t like feeling sad. 

I’ve grown used to  disappointment. 

I’ve grown used to self punishment and self harm. 
To headaches caused by insomnia and excessive crying.

My brain loses oxygen as people around me find the need to be alive. 

Find the need to survive.
It’s a routine.

Nothing more.

What’s the point of that?

Why can’t I be happy like everyone else? Why can’t I be like them?

Why do I have to think of fucked up things?

Why are all my idols dead.
I don’t see it the same anymore. 

Light.

I’m not happy to see it anymore.
Colors aren’t vibrant.

They’re not like before.

Night

(Disclaimer: 16 year old me wrote this; I just went back and proofread.)

Heart feels cold on a summer night.

You see, you hear, but you don’t feel. 
The pain isn’t as bearable as you thought. 

Love isnt as beautiful as you imagined.

Thats what you get for being good. Thats what you get for being you. 

The darkness in your eyes is the real you. 

Fake. 

You think youre happy, but you’re the most depressed.

Telling people to take more care of themselves because you want someone to take care of you . 

You dream of that day someone names a star after you, not knowing youre a billion light years away. 

You believe in stuff you see but why not believe in what you don’t?

You feel selfish when you dont want to let go. 

You strangle yourself in your dreams. 

The disease inside of you kills others instead of you. 

But the light you see isnt the light you know. 

The fear of losing is the same as the fear of finding. 

Look for the liver not the heart. 

My Hair Journey: Blue Edition

If you have know me well enough you will know one thing about me: I always color my hair. There is not a moment in my life where I feel truly satisfied with how my hair looks. Having it one color just isn’t my thing. So I tend to switch it up very often.

I have gotten tons and tons of questions about my blue hair that I will gladly answer today.

First off I want to give you the name of the place where I get it done:

hair5

If you ever do  get to go to this salon, ask for Mayra. She’s the best hair stylist and hair color expert there.

Here are some questions I collected from Instagram:

Q: I see that you had a copper tone before the blue… did you have to lighten it more before that?

A: Yes! I had to bleach my entire head! It was a pretty easy process, even my hair stylist was impressed. Get your hair bleached professionally please!

Q: How do you keep the color so vibrant and your hair healthy? Do you know any hair lighteners that remove fashion colors easily that don’t destroy your hair as much?

A: The best secret for keeping your hair vibrant is probably not to wash it as often as you would normally do! Dry shampoo is now your best friend!

My hair is so far from being healthy! However, it tends to look pretty healthy sometimes. That is because I use the Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask.(https://beaudini.com/product/moroccanoil-intense-hydrating-mask-8_5oz-250ml?gclid=CPyBpaSUv80CFQiQaQodQ6sFeg)

It is a little pricey but worth it!.. Plus, it smells so good.

I have also heard of this brand: Overtone. It is meant to be a conditioner that you put on top of your fantasy color so it can always look freshly colored!

I’m afraid I’m not familiar with hair lighteners. I have never bleached or lightened my own hair before. I talked to Mayra, my hair stylist, and she mentioned that hair bleach sets that you find at Sally’s are actually really bad for your hair. They usually supply the highest concentrated bleach and sometimes, the buyers are not aware if the bleach they put on their hair is going to destroy it completely.

That is why I always encourage people to go to a professional! Bleach is not to fuck with.

Q: What color brand did you use?

A: I used the “Poseidon” color by Arctic Fox. (http://arcticfoxhaircolor.com/) It’s vegan and cruelty-free!

Q: How fast is the color fading?

A: This was probably my biggest fear from the beginning. How long will this color last? How often would I need to get it retouched. Here are some pictures that would help you answer that question:

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1 day after color application

As you can see, this is a true blue. Almost a navy blue, but not quite there yet.

hair2

11 days after color application

As you can see, a lot of the blue is still visible. It basically almost looks the same. The only thing that has changed are my roots. After a good time consuming shower, my roots lost the dark blue color and started to fade in to an aqua. Also, my shower was full with blue dye splats.

hair3

13 days after color application

WTF! That’s a huge difference isn’t it? I had washed my hair once again, and this is the hair color I got. It is loosing a lot of the true blue color and turning into an aqua color. I like it, but I don’t love it. My hair stylist told me it will turn green.

hair4

16 days after color application

I took this picture 2 days ago. So as you can see, my hair is still aqua. Not green yet!

Overall, I’m really happy with how my hair is fading. I would have thought of the fading part to be much quicker.

If you ever want to dye your hair a crazy color PLEASEEEEEEE don’t do it yourself. Unless, you are a professional.

I hope to be updating this blog as I accumulate more questions.

Hopefully I answered your questions and helped at least a little bit!

See you later,

Youremynirvana

Analysis of Delaney’s Self Portrait and my approach to mimic techniques.

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Self Portrait, Beauford Delaney (Oil on canvas)

When I look at Beauford Delaney’s Self Portrait, it reminds me of the faceting techniques cubists used. There is this flatness in the painting, yet we are still aware that space and three-dimensionality is present.

The portrait contained dark linear lines that are not much organic but try to maintain geometric. The eyes and nose are emphasized because of the square and triangular shapes conveyed. The lines vary from thick and thin and the most interesting thing is that the obvious features like the eyes, lips, nose, and eyebrows are the features that are emphasized with black bold lines.

What I also found very intriguing was the use of color. The medium used helped Delaney create the beautiful overlapping greens, blues, browns, and yellows in the face. Although the colors overlap and seem to be irregular in pattern, Delaney seems to have been strategic because the face does not lose dimension.

Art Academy Chicago, Rory, Chicago Seminar 6-10, KFC, 270[1]

The different values of colors really help the viewer distinguish the lights and the darks of the face. There is contrast between the colors and the values used in the face in comparison to the rest of the painting. This contrast creates balance as we see the hat and the clothing being painted in a very bold way with lack of values. Not only this, but we see balance because red isn’t seen in the face but only a small amount on the nose and under one eye.

Nonetheless, this help create harmony and unity with the painting as a whole. Space is manipulated with simplicity. The painting’s background lacks in any kind of extra information therefore making the human figure itself the main focus of the work. The texture of the painting looks very soft due to the blending of the colors that resemble almost a water-like consistence. Some areas, however, seem to look rough in texture. The background of the painting looks rough because of the small brushstrokes one can see. The brushstrokes on the background, hat, and clothes are very different from those on the face. There is a lot more detailed movement on areas that are not the face. The brushstrokes are repetitive and obviously lacks using more than one color so this contributes to the roughness of the paintings texture. Overall, the composition is very proportionate and all of the space is used making the painting look complete and rhythmic.

Now this is my inspired piece I created:

IMG_0021

Self Portrait, Luz Miranda (Oil on canvas)

When I was creating this piece, I kept in mind that the assignment was to pick three things I enjoyed about Delaney’s self portrait. The techniques I enjoyed and liked were: the distortion of the face, reminder of Picasso and cubism, combination and use of colors/medium, and the overlapping of those colors. So all of the time I was painting, I kept looking back to those “rules.”

My instructor made me change the painting because he observed that my piece had lots of potential. He insisted I pushed more into something that would be completly different than Delaney’s work. I clearly did not understand the assignment because I was thinking that the finished assignment had to be somewhat of a replica from the original piece. I would have changed the different of this piece drastically if I could have done anything I wanted.

I have had experience prior to this assignment with painting with colors and overlapping/experimenting with oil paint. So I believe I could have wow’d! the whole class showing them my true potential with colorful self portraits.

Overall, I enjoyed looking at Delaney’s Self Portrait and somewhat trying to mimic it. Of course, it is nothing alike! My painting includes much more emphasis of the neon looking colors, which is something different that I tried here.

I hope you enjoy my approach to mimic a masterpiece.

Be my guest in analyzing my self portrait.

Review of “Me And My Arrow” exhibition at the Kavi Gupta gallery in Chicago

I decided to visit the Me And My Arrow exhibition at the Kavi Gupta gallery. The first thing that I noticed when I walked in was the fact that the exhibition consisted of sculptural work but it was also an installation piece.

KaviGuptaGallery005045.jpg

The installation on the wall was the thing that intrigued me the most. It was a wallpaper consisting of colorful arrows going both up and down. The way that they are constructed confuses the viewer because of the different lines and objects having different colors. There is not one single color that is used next to each other which only emphasizes the idea of non-repetitive techniques.

Even though the eye sees pattern, only a small portion of it is actually a pattern. The arrows are the pattern, as we can see how the arrows are going up and down in the same sequence. However, the colors are not really a pattern. When you look at an arrow with a particular color, we can look at another arrow with the same color and then look at the colors around that arrow and see that they are not the same as the previous arrow we looked at. The three dimensional arrows vary in size. They are interesting in form and they almost seem to be a small part of the installation on the wall. I like the unity of the exhibition as a whole.

KaviGuptaGallery005049

I enjoy Tony Tasset’s idea of making such a simple object like an arrow, and make a whole installation/exhibition about it. Even though it seems to lack in meaning, it is something that appeals the eye and the colors cause different kinds of emotions to different people. When I went to the exhibition, I took someone else with me and they mentioned that the colors made them feel overwhelmed and mimicked a puzzle game. I felt like it was the opposite. I felt like it didn’t overwhelm me at all and on the contrary I wanted to see more of the pattern expand into different forms. It was a new way of seeing arrows and using something as simple as color to change the meaning and emotion of an arrow.

 

“This is Forever,” a love poem from me to him.

I never thought I would find you.
When all this time you were right next to me. It all happened organically.
We loved each other for who we were first. Nothing sexual like now in days.
We were intellectually attracted to eachother first than physically attracted.
Our attraction grew.
Our friendship was our biggest bond.
Our minds were synched.
Now this is my side of the story.
I have no idea if he felt the same way.
But what I saw was a friend.

Made me laugh.
Made me want to wake up everyday to go see him.
What would I not do for this kid.
I don’t care if we were just friends or is we were like brother and sister or if we went out.
I didn’t care.
He gave me energy.
He was like a drug.
As long as he was a part of my life.. I didn’t care what label he was in my life.
I just wanted to see him.

Talk to him.

Love him.

Yeah he needed me, he needed me a lot.
But what people didn’t see is it was actually ME that needed him the most.
I didn’t have much friends.
Everyone I talked to was basically fake.
The fakest people I’ve ever met were my so called friends.

I thought of life as temporary.
I’m gonna die soon, I might even kill myself.
But love saved me.
His love.

I didn’t want it at first; I was too scared.
But what I didn’t know is that I had already fell in love with him.
Since the first day we talked.
My heart sort of knew he was going to be a handful.
Whole lot of confusing love shit.
So that moment he told he how he felt.
I wanted to run to him.
And kiss him.

And that first moment he kissed me, I wanted to make love to him.
Because there was something there that I never had with all the other relationships I had.
There was trust.
The kind of trust you don’t have with anyone else.
The kind of trust you thirst for when you’re desperate for a true friend.

It came organically.
It’s not temporary.
This is forever.

This is what forever feels like.
When we make love.
Takes me to a galaxy where time is irrelevant.
When we kiss.
He takes me to a place where there is no more pain.
He takes me to a nirvana.
He is my nirvana.
And those precious moments when we laugh hysterically..
He takes me to a place where I no longer give a shit about anyone or anything.
He makes me appreciate the special thing I have with him.
I wouldn’t trade his laugh for anything in the world.
I wouldn’t trade him for anything.
Time passes and I grow attached to him each and every day.
Not the bad kind of attached.
The kind of attached that makes me worry about him and makes me want to be with him more and more.
He’s my boyfriend right now, but it feels a lot stronger.
This kind of love doesn’t come to people everyday.
This is rare.

It’s organic.
It’s not temporary.
This is forever.

The want and the urge to live.
To live forever.
To grow old with him.
The love I have for this man makes the impossible, possible.
I believe in phenomenas because he’s made me experience love in so many ways.
He makes love seem like a myth.
Because I doubt people still feel this, I doubt people get to experience it.

I doubt it.

He makes it all worth it.
He makes it all special.
He makes me, me.
Makes me appreciate me.

I’ve gained so much confidence because of him.
He makes me feel like a queen.
Like his queen.

When I look into his eyes, I see a man.
Not an ordinary kind of man.
Extraordinary.

The man that would one day be my husband.
The man that would one day raise our children.
I don’t doubt that he’ll be the best dad.
I don’t doubt it at all.
He’s shown me that he’s the best friend a person can ever have.
And the best soul mate.

I don’t doubt him at all.

He’s the only person I don’t doubt.
I can bet my life that he will become what he strives to be; what his goal is to be.

I trust him.
He trusts me.
I trust us.

Knowing him and knowing me, we’ve known what our weaknesses are.
So we won’t make each other weak.
But we’ll make each other stronger.
We’ll pick each other up like how we’ve been doing it.
We’ve been practicing, because God knows what’s in front of us.

But that’s the beauty of it.

I can’t wait, regardless of the life struggles.
Because from what I know, I have the best life partner I could ever have.
The best motivational speaker I’ve ever met. The best therapist I’ve ever met.
The best doctor I’ve ever met.
Because he’s what has been keeping me alive and going.

He’s my morning after the darkness.

And he’s my joy after the pain.

And when I wake up every morning, I feel like having him in my life was a dream.
The best dream a girl can ever have.
Finally finding her soul mate.
Finding out that it’s real.

That he’s real.
Well you can only imagine how I feel.
It’s rare, it really is.

The feeling of exhaustion trying to find someone that has already been by your side since the beginning of the journey.
The biggest achievement was surviving all this time without you and the best and most amazing award was you.

The feeling of a champion, will be a feeling that I will always have.
Because having you by my side, makes me feel like a winner.
This feeling is rare.

It’s organic.
It’s not temporary.
This is forever.

Sleepless Nights


Artist of drawing: Sean Youngs 

These are the moments I fear. 

When I’m alone with myself.

My own thoughts, opinions, fears.

Fear.

The only thing that reminds me I’m alive is my heart beat.

But have I ever lived?

Is there more than just this?

This.

The feeling of isolation. 

Of never ending confusion.

Circling my inner thoughts with desperation.

Who am I? Who am I really?

The sound of airplanes in the night sky remind me of you.

Yes you.

The one reading this at this very moment.

Where are you. In time. 

Are you as perplexed as I am.

Are you also a 20 year old questioning the purpose of life?

Or are you a 30 year old questioning your marriage? 

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that human beings have to feel this at night sometimes.

Sometimes 

I don’t know whether I’m actually here.

If I’m actually present.

Something about this world tells me that there’s more out there.

Beyond the discrimination and violence.

The poverty and the hate.

These are the nights I rise from my procrastination to actually think of the inevitable.

Of the future.

Dear future me, tomorrow me:

STOP.

Stop feeling bad for yourself. 

Start to actually sleep.

Look around you.

There’s more to life than just your heart beat. 

My 5 Sentence Manifesto

If your art doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t expect it to mean much to someone else. You are what you make; what you create. Never pressure yourself to make something amazing all the time, the unexpected is what tends to succeed the most. The days when you don’t feel like an artist just remember that you are no different than Picasso. We are human.

Art Classes

  
“Stop” by Luz Miranda (acrylic paint, cardboard, sumi ink, paper, and plastic on canvas).

Me in art school. 

I feel like it would’ve been boring because I see the same thing EVERYWHERE. 

It’s the same kind of bullshit with fakish people.

I don’t really understand what makes something art. Because most of these people in my classes don’t really know how to explain what they’re doing.

It’s not a bad thing. There’s definitely obvious talent with some of these artists. 

But the definition of art has been corrupted and made to think “anything is bullshittable.”

If it’s bullshit to an artist, does it have to mean something to the viewer?

This makes me question whether it’s like this only is higher education art. I feel like something made in high school or elementary school is more valuable to the artist than it is in college.

But I could be wrong.

Anways, I expected art classes to be fun and experimentational. But it’s honestly nothing I haven’t seen before.

Is this it? Is that all the art world has to offer? To what extent is it enough?

Maybe it’s just because I’m in a shitty art program. I don’t know. I just hope art classes at a different school isn’t so bad.

I want to see something different.

Not just everyone trying to bullshit.