Monday, July 6, 2009

What a day.

People like to rebel.
It's kinda everywhere.
I mean, think about it... People like things that are new and against the normal-whatever.
I'm speaking mostly in terms of art and entertainment.

I'm going to start in Egypt...because thinking back, this is where I first see signs of this.
Most Egyptian art followed the same gridded cannon, the same basic poses-body build-facial structure..all idealized and muscular.

Then Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten after his 5th year in reign) comes along and changes the entire look of Egyptian art for a few years. He makes artist depict the figure much more feminine or androgynous with slender hips, a round waist, skinny arms...a face with larger eyes and lips. The figures are also more interactive and affectionate than the figures of earlier Egyptian art. Amenhotep also starts the worship of one god and not many. But....many Egyptians later rebelled against this and destroyed most evidence of his reign...and after his death the worship of this one god was abandoned. Oh, and btw... his son was King Tut. woop.

Anyway. Why the sudden change in the look of these depictions? WELL there are MANY speculations. Like...he wanted himself to "emulate the creative nature of Aten" (the god he worshiped...called "mother and father of all that is." oooooor because he was actually deformed in some way...and that's similar to what he actually looked like. Ooorrr aliens..... psh. aliens. anyway.

The point is. Compared to the old traditional style of Egyptian art, Akenaten's way is radically dfferent in appearance.

So this would be alot easier if I had my history notes.

But I'm finding what I forgot.


The Romans borrowed from the Greeks who built upon the sculptures of the Egyptians.

The Romans created something like this:

Which is anatomically correct, muscular, idealized, in a contraposto pose, twisting naturaliztic drapery, details paid attention to...etc

THEN they produce something like this:

..Which is not anatomically correct, they have no knees, very stylized and NOT individualized at all.

I mean.. the Roman's didn't just forget how to produce the above sculpture. This was a choice. (unfortunately in my opinion) Oh fun fact. This sculpture is made out of a purple stone called porphyry. There was only one quarry in which this came from, which was in Egypt... It was designated ONLY for Roman royalty and the Romans used it allll up.

Now I'm going to skip to the Rennaissance which was all about balance/symmetry and naturalism/realism.... you get something like Raphael's "School of Athens"

Then we move into Mannerism... artist who are tired of this naturalistic approach go for something more artificial. You begin to get paintings that are disproportioned and distorted. It is easy to spot a Mannerist piece by the hands of the figures. They are all sort of elongated in the same way. And look, this is not balance. That tiny little man on the right could not level out a scale with all of those large smooshed figures on the left. Dont think sooooo. The Mannerists also begin to rely on color more often.... incorporating more viiiibrant colors.
Parmigianino's "Madonna with the Long Neck"

Then you get Baroque... artists decide to take things back to the more naturalistic scale of things but dramatize every aspect. You get intense chiaroscuro (light and dark), rich color, complex compositions--all at the most dramatic point in the story.
Caravaggio "The Crucifixion of Saint Peter"

Then we find ourselves with Rococo which is characterized by the subject matter of the more wealthy leisure class. The colors are much more toned down and pastel-ey. Everything is a lot more light hearted and happy-ish--highly decorative. There is a DRAMATIC mood change when you look from a Baroque piece to a Rococo piece. TOTAL REBELLION.
Fragonard "The Swing"

Then we get Neoclassicism which looks back to the Rennaissance.....(which by the way looked back to the Romans...who looked at the Greeks) Stability, fully visible brush work, naturalistic/realistic, etc.
David "Oath of the Horatii"

Thennnnn we come to Romanticism. This was influenced alot by literature and is characterized mostly by its subject matter and not on a particular visual style. It was largely a rebellion against aristocratic norms. It's subject matter usually dealt with things such as exotic places or people, present day events....romantical things... But not like romance as in "oh George... I've loved you for as long as my breath has breathed.." So... this rebellion is on subject matter. It's not the same old same old historical or religious scene.
John Henry Fuseli "The Nightmare" .....get it?

Then we get into modern art where everything goes all crazy.

Edward Manet a ProtoImpressionist goes all out and paints a nude female in a GENRE scene.. of CLOTHED MALES. crazy. This was unheaarrrd of. The nude female was only acceptable in historical paintings and mythological paintings.

The Impressionist focus on capturing the light...painting the light instead of the objects.
Claude Monet "Haystacks I"

and then artist go all over everywhere from there. No bounds.
Cubism- Picasso "Le Guitariste"

Fauvism - Henri Matisse "Green Line"

Surrealism - Dali "The Temptations of Saint Anthony"

Thennnn after they all go everywhere with distorting and playing and imagining they bring it allll back to the natural----photorealllliiismmmmmmm.


okay. so that took me way too long. I hope I got my point across.. which is.. the fact that people get bored and tend to go all out in the opposite direction to find their excitement.
and you got a history lesson that I don't know who will actually read.

ohhh and the fact that.. there really is just about nothing that hasn't already been done. Modern art has a CRAAZZYYY array of insanneeeely random eras and things and concepts and lack of concepts that I didn't feel like going through. because it already took me so long.


  1. I read the whole thing!
    And I thought it was really interesting. I mean, in my art classes we would always talk about where art was going in terms of how it would mirror what's happened in the past - how every new movement is a "rebellion" against the last - and this always led one of my teachers to think that from the super objective post-post-modern art that we see on the cutting-edge (like at Art Basel, for example - those paintings that are just shapes or lines or splatters of paint) that we're going to yo-yo back to super-romantic, classical, realistic types of paintings. I dunno if I believe that anymore- I mean, the way that this society is evolving, we're going to have about 8 trillion innovations and movements in art in one era. I just have no idea what or how anything will happen. I mean...what else can we rebel against?

  2. yeah exactly. That was basically suppose to be my point in the end of this. I actually had a better argument in my head about how this seems to happen with almost every kind of entertainment.. But after I just turned into a tiny art history lesson and I was a little worn out to finish any thoughts. but yeah. it's really interestinggggg.

  3. In the past I'm sure people have thought that they had exhausted all possible explorations, until BAM someone pops out something unexpected. And though it may not feel like it, because it's so hard to imagine the unknown, I still think there are a million more directions we can go. Yes nothing is going to be completely original and uninfluenced, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything to be said or that it has to be caused by rebellion. Then again, I guess those looking to create something new and innovative are themselves rebelling against what they find old and boring.

    I'm rambling for you Lamie.
    I still need to take Survey II...

  4. i like your thinking :) You always find an argument against what someone says. :D which is GOOD.
    but right. nothing is going to be completely uninfluenced.. THOUGH i don't think there is ANYTHING that is not influenced by SOMETHING. because... everything references something. even a simple line on a was provoked and influenced by the paper and line maker themselves...right?

  5. i agree that everything is from influence, but everything is influential. Including feelings and emotions which can result in actions or creations. Which is a circle of events, kindof like the domino affect. Because if our moods are influenced by every factor that surrounds us, then our thoughts are influenced by our moods, our minds, ourselves. And i somewhat disagree about the originality factors. I do believe there is such a thing and not because of rebellion but rebellion can be a positive thing because it takes a whole different aspect on things and gives it a tug. It challenges the norm.