Thursday, October 21, 2010

What is it? (REDUX)

My work is progressing in a different direction by using common materials for my backgrounds like newspaper and electrical tape. These items relate to my subjects of Abraham Cahan and Mark Zuckerberg. Cahan was the editor for the Yiddish newspaper called The Forward, which garnered a quarter of a million readers by 1924. As for Zuckerberg, he is the creator of Facebook, which has at least 500 million members. This push and pull from a selective readership to a unified membership represents the blend of cultural ideas adding to the greater picture of humanity. It'll never be a perfect relationship due to the clash of cultures on a regular basis, but there is at least hope people can gather together in a forum and be civil to one another.

While in my studio I think of all sorts of different ways to represent an image and how to re-think something that is the "norm" in society. I don't really think there is such a thing as "normal," just "less strange" because life is always strange. Everything is strange.

John Stuart Mill is as "strange" as it gets. The good kind, however. He was a British philosopher who was a proponent of Utilitarianism, which can be explained as: "the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people." I have read his book, On Liberty, which states the responsibilities of an individual who has the right to liberty. His view is that someone can do anything they want as long as they do not hurt anyone else in the process. Most people can agree with this autonomous ability. My work incorporates this autonomous idea of an individual and how they use their cultural heritage as inspiration for their ideas or even how their ideas come from the separation from their original culture.

Culture has its own pushes and pulls for people. Most people connect well to what they know, though some find new ways to express themselves through other cultural means. Jewish culture has become important to me not just because I have celebrated Passover a few times, but that it is a religion tied to a ethnic body and this is unique for any religious organization. The idea of a complete Monotheistic culture grants authority only to God, but who makes the rules when God is not clear or has socially obsolete ideas (613 commandments is a lot to follow)?

After all of this heavy talk of society and culture I would like to share something that is probably destroying ours as Americans. So now I would like to present the Deep Fried Cheeseburger:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Supernatural Kick

These are the two photographs I am using in my Digital Printmaking project. I want to juxtapose supernatural European Jewish folktales with an assimilated culture in America. The cultural aspect I chose to represent Judaism was Korean martial arts, specifically Taekwondo. Since this art was used for soldier combat at one point only to become an after-school activity it intrigues me enough to use it in a different context on how American Judaism has become more aggressive and concrete than mystic superstitious folktales of the "old country." I plan to paint on top of these photos as stated in my earlier post.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Darkroom

It's been awhile since I've been in the darkroom, and boy did I forget how much of a wonderful, even magical, place it is to me. I have been working on a photo mixed media project for digital printmaking and it's been fun so far. I plan to have double exposures of printed photographs, scan them into my computer, and then print them out on canvas paper to paint over them. This analog, digital, analog process intrigues me and I plan to focus more on the analog to reach my goal. I will post the photographs soon to give viewers a glimpse of what I was working on, ciao for now.