Zurbaran, Still Life With Lemons, Oranges, and a Rose, 1633, o/cABOUT THE IMAGE: Dr. Roger Crum (University of Dayton, Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art) calls this “one of the most famous still lives in the world”, and though I believe that mostly everything that comes from this mans mouth is gold, that quote could be argued against. However there are several things that stand strong about this particular still life, one being that this painting is unbelievably balanced. It is so symmetrical, the table surface lying parallel to the picture plane; yet simple and plain (which is a testament to the artist preference to the plain). The background is dark, but there is that Baroque light shining on the plates. The fruit isn’t rotten like in Caravaggio’s still life, but is ripe and ready to be eaten. 
DID YOU KNOW: These three objects are in relation to the Holy Trinity? The lemons and oranges are fruits of paradise, water is the sacrament of Baptism, and the rose is the Virgin Mary.
TALK BACK: What do you think is the most famous still life in the world?

Zurbaran, Still Life With Lemons, Oranges, and a Rose, 1633, o/c

ABOUT THE IMAGE: Dr. Roger Crum (University of Dayton, Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art) calls this “one of the most famous still lives in the world”, and though I believe that mostly everything that comes from this mans mouth is gold, that quote could be argued against. However there are several things that stand strong about this particular still life, one being that this painting is unbelievably balanced. It is so symmetrical, the table surface lying parallel to the picture plane; yet simple and plain (which is a testament to the artist preference to the plain). The background is dark, but there is that Baroque light shining on the plates. The fruit isn’t rotten like in Caravaggio’s still life, but is ripe and ready to be eaten. 

DID YOU KNOW: These three objects are in relation to the Holy Trinity? The lemons and oranges are fruits of paradise, water is the sacrament of Baptism, and the rose is the Virgin Mary.

TALK BACK: What do you think is the most famous still life in the world?


Sally Mann, Emmett, Jesse, and Virginia, 1989ABOUT THE ARTIST/IMAGE: Sally Mann is an American photographer whom at the beginning of her career took black and white images of her children. This photo was taken in her series called Immediate Family and caused quite the controversy. The issue, which can be seen quite clearly was that naked children were being photographed and displayed. Some viewed it as child porn (yes, you read right). But these images are too intense and defiant in my eyes to be viewed as pornographic images. There is almost a performance to this picture as you look at the way the children are positioned, the way they over play their attitude. The rest of the series (which is not a waste of time to research) was taken at their family cabin and cover many childhood adventures and playtime.
SONG: Freebird (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

Sally Mann, Emmett, Jesse, and Virginia, 1989

ABOUT THE ARTIST/IMAGE: Sally Mann is an American photographer whom at the beginning of her career took black and white images of her children. This photo was taken in her series called Immediate Family and caused quite the controversy. The issue, which can be seen quite clearly was that naked children were being photographed and displayed. Some viewed it as child porn (yes, you read right). But these images are too intense and defiant in my eyes to be viewed as pornographic images. There is almost a performance to this picture as you look at the way the children are positioned, the way they over play their attitude. The rest of the series (which is not a waste of time to research) was taken at their family cabin and cover many childhood adventures and playtime.

SONG: Freebird (Lynyrd Skynyrd)


Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878, o/c
ABOUT THE IMAGE: Cassatt captures a moment that is all to frequent in the lives of children, restlessness. I don’t know how long this little girl sat for this painting, but as a viewer you can feel her own anxiousness creep into your bones. Though her attitude isn’t to be desired, this little girl is dressed in her Sunday’s best, and we can tell from her clothing— and the fact that she has a dog— what her social standing is (although Mary Cassatt’s social standing gives away the standing in those she paints). There is something that is far important about this image than the social standings and restlessness of a child. It is Edgar Degas’ strong influence is on Cassatt that we can see from this image. It was through Degas that she began looking at Japanese prints and patterns. This study of pattern is seen in the blue armchairs and the flatness of the gray that they are placed against. Though while influenced by Japanese art, we still see the brushwork of the French Impressionist. 
SONGS: Restless (Corinne Bailey Rae) & I Wanna be Your Dog (The Stooges)

Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878, o/c

ABOUT THE IMAGE: Cassatt captures a moment that is all to frequent in the lives of children, restlessness. I don’t know how long this little girl sat for this painting, but as a viewer you can feel her own anxiousness creep into your bones. Though her attitude isn’t to be desired, this little girl is dressed in her Sunday’s best, and we can tell from her clothing— and the fact that she has a dog— what her social standing is (although Mary Cassatt’s social standing gives away the standing in those she paints). There is something that is far important about this image than the social standings and restlessness of a child. It is Edgar Degas’ strong influence is on Cassatt that we can see from this image. It was through Degas that she began looking at Japanese prints and patterns. This study of pattern is seen in the blue armchairs and the flatness of the gray that they are placed against. Though while influenced by Japanese art, we still see the brushwork of the French Impressionist.

SONGS: Restless (Corinne Bailey Rae) & I Wanna be Your Dog (The Stooges)


Frida Kahlo, Two Fridas, 1939, o/c
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter whom is most known for painting in the surrealist style. I would rather recognize her for her brilliant self-portraits. Her paintings depict pain, both physical and emotional, which I think is the key to her brilliance for she was not only painting what knew, but experienced. At the age of six she had polio and in 1922 she was involved in a terrible bus accident which left her leg deformed. As for emotional pain, her husband Diego Rivera, the famous mural painter, was a rolling stone.
ABOUT THE IMAGE: In this image we see two Frida’s sitting side by side. One of the Frida’s is dressed in traditional Mexican clothing, while the other is seen in European clothing (Kahlo’s father was born in Germany). Professor Jeanne Philipp (University of Dayton, Feminism and Art) said that this could be a reference to her being torn between her two cultural heritages and influences. I think that it is simply a reference to both of her backgrounds, as the string that comes from both Frida’s hearts are connected as one. Others say that this painting is not about a battle between her cultural backgrounds, but an expression of Frida’s hurt since during the time in which this was painted she was divorcing her husband. The Frida on the left then represents the brokenhearted women (her heart has literally been obliterated) and the Frida on the right (with the whole heart) still loves Rivera (and is holding a small picture of him).
TELL ME MORE: smarthistory
SONG: Torn (LeToya)

Frida Kahlo, Two Fridas, 1939, o/c

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter whom is most known for painting in the surrealist style. I would rather recognize her for her brilliant self-portraits. Her paintings depict pain, both physical and emotional, which I think is the key to her brilliance for she was not only painting what knew, but experienced. At the age of six she had polio and in 1922 she was involved in a terrible bus accident which left her leg deformed. As for emotional pain, her husband Diego Rivera, the famous mural painter, was a rolling stone.

ABOUT THE IMAGE: In this image we see two Frida’s sitting side by side. One of the Frida’s is dressed in traditional Mexican clothing, while the other is seen in European clothing (Kahlo’s father was born in Germany). Professor Jeanne Philipp (University of Dayton, Feminism and Art) said that this could be a reference to her being torn between her two cultural heritages and influences. I think that it is simply a reference to both of her backgrounds, as the string that comes from both Frida’s hearts are connected as one. Others say that this painting is not about a battle between her cultural backgrounds, but an expression of Frida’s hurt since during the time in which this was painted she was divorcing her husband. The Frida on the left then represents the brokenhearted women (her heart has literally been obliterated) and the Frida on the right (with the whole heart) still loves Rivera (and is holding a small picture of him).

TELL ME MORE: smarthistory

SONG: Torn (LeToya)


Edward Hopper, Nighthawks,1942, o/c
ABOUT THE IMAGE: In honor of Valentine’s Day, I present to you a picture of the founding members of The Lonely Hearts Club. In this image we see three patrons inside a diner, all disconnected. There is the obvious man sitting alone across from what looks to be a couple, but even they aren’t giving one another attention. Their hands look to be touching, but she seems more interested in the sandwich in her hands. The employee doesn’t even pay attention to them as he leans over. It is said that Hopper was out of sync with the spirit of America, and he painted loneliness in the midst of the hoopla of America. However, now is not the time to start pitying these people (or even Hopper himself), because you are the unseen fifth person in the image, standing on the outside looking in. Who’s in The Lonely Hearts Club now?
SONG: Lonely Day (System of a Down)

Edward Hopper, Nighthawks,1942, o/c

ABOUT THE IMAGE: In honor of Valentine’s Day, I present to you a picture of the founding members of The Lonely Hearts Club. In this image we see three patrons inside a diner, all disconnected. There is the obvious man sitting alone across from what looks to be a couple, but even they aren’t giving one another attention. Their hands look to be touching, but she seems more interested in the sandwich in her hands. The employee doesn’t even pay attention to them as he leans over. It is said that Hopper was out of sync with the spirit of America, and he painted loneliness in the midst of the hoopla of America. However, now is not the time to start pitying these people (or even Hopper himself), because you are the unseen fifth person in the image, standing on the outside looking in. Who’s in The Lonely Hearts Club now?

SONG: Lonely Day (System of a Down)


Romaine Brooks, Self Portrait, 1923, o/c

ABOUT THE ARTIST/IMAGE:  Let me first begin by saying that this is one of my favorite self-portraits done by an artist. Brooks paints herself in masculine clothing showing a very androgynous portrayal of herself, and it is done well. Her back is straight, hat pulled down low, and her gaze is hidden but she demands the attention of the viewer. She uses a grey and black color pallette suggesting that she is hiding something beneath the shadows that she clings too. You must admit that she looks rather stylish, and that though this look was not something a woman usually wore in the early twentieth century, today women dressed in traditional menswear is something to be admired.

TALK BACK (WITH A TRUTH & HEARSAY):
Truth- Romaine Brooks (born Beatrice Romaine Goddard) was a child in a home where the father abandoned them, and her mother was emotionally abusive.
Hearsay- Romaine Brooks, though a married woman (to man some say was a homosexual), was bisexual.
Do these two things make her androgyny her voice?


Francisco Goya, Charles IV of Spain with his Family, 1800, o/c
ABOUT THE IMAGE: There’s nothing I love more than an awkward family photo, and this is exactly what Goya paints. Beneath the beauty of this royal families jewels and garments are the most uncomfortable people that I have ever laid eyes on. But they look so damn beautiful. Looking at their clothing and jewels it seems as if they are glowing, but then you look at their faces and you see vacant eyes and pursed lips (for a closer look click here). It is said that Goya did preliminary drawings and presented them to them and they approved. This gives me two ideas; the first is that they really didn’t care what people thought about how they looked, they were royals. The second is that they wanted this new and refreshing candid look to royal portraiture.
 SONG: Royals (Lorde)
FOR A CLOSER LOOK: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Francisco_de_Goya_y_Lucientes_054.jpg

Francisco Goya, Charles IV of Spain with his Family, 1800, o/c

ABOUT THE IMAGE: There’s nothing I love more than an awkward family photo, and this is exactly what Goya paints. Beneath the beauty of this royal families jewels and garments are the most uncomfortable people that I have ever laid eyes on. But they look so damn beautiful. Looking at their clothing and jewels it seems as if they are glowing, but then you look at their faces and you see vacant eyes and pursed lips (for a closer look click here). It is said that Goya did preliminary drawings and presented them to them and they approved. This gives me two ideas; the first is that they really didn’t care what people thought about how they looked, they were royals. The second is that they wanted this new and refreshing candid look to royal portraiture.

SONG: Royals (Lorde)

FOR A CLOSER LOOK: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Francisco_de_Goya_y_Lucientes_054.jpg


"After semi-truck driver Teri Horton bought a large splatter painting for her friend for $5, she was forced to sell it in her own garage sale when her friend said she had no place for it. Eventually someone commented on the painting stating it might be an original Jackson Pollock. This documentary follows Teri, her son, and a forensics specialist as they attempt to prove to the world, or more specifically the art community, her painting is a true Jackson Pollock" (text credit: doctube)


Diane Arbus, Teenage Couple on Hudson Street, N.Y.C, 1963, gelatin silver print
ABOUT THE IMAGE: Playing dress up? Yes and No. This teenage couple stands holding hands clad in their parents clothing. The clothing is all but swallowing them making them looking even younger than they already appear. It seems that the teens are trying to project themselves to look older than they are, but Arbus uses foreshortening and by doing this she makes their head larger than their bodies, which in turns has the viewer further scrutinize them. 
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Diane Arbus took most of her pictures of people in pairs. In these pairs there would be “the typical person” and the “A type person” (or blatantly the normal person and the freak). However, these types won’t be as you expect them, she wants you to look for these two types of persons in her work. Some said that her work was exploitative (in reference to her series in a mental institution), even though Arbus established relationships with her subjects before she photographed them. 
FROM THE MOUTH: “I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do- that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.” 
SONG: Teenage Dream (Katy Perry)

Diane Arbus, Teenage Couple on Hudson Street, N.Y.C, 1963, gelatin silver print

ABOUT THE IMAGE: Playing dress up? Yes and No. This teenage couple stands holding hands clad in their parents clothing. The clothing is all but swallowing them making them looking even younger than they already appear. It seems that the teens are trying to project themselves to look older than they are, but Arbus uses foreshortening and by doing this she makes their head larger than their bodies, which in turns has the viewer further scrutinize them. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Diane Arbus took most of her pictures of people in pairs. In these pairs there would be “the typical person” and the “A type person” (or blatantly the normal person and the freak). However, these types won’t be as you expect them, she wants you to look for these two types of persons in her work. Some said that her work was exploitative (in reference to her series in a mental institution), even though Arbus established relationships with her subjects before she photographed them. 

FROM THE MOUTH: “I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do- that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.” 

SONG: Teenage Dream (Katy Perry)


Bernice Abbott, The Night View, 1936, gelatin silver print
ABOUT THE IMAGE: What this image captures is the massive scale of city architecture shadowing the scale of man. Bernice Abbott creates the feeling of the city becoming a threatening place that is inhuman to human existence. The gray coloring of her work suggest that things need to work more human nature.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Unlike this photo, Abbott started with ground level photography. She photographed street corners, stores, and news stands documenting the streets of New York, but in the 1930’s she became influenced by history and the Second Industrial Revolution. 
SONG: Higher Love (Steve Winwood)
TALK BACK: In Art USA: The American Art Book says this of The Night View, “The lights of Manhattan sparkle with a cheerful clarity in this homage to the Skyscraper spirit of the early twentieth century”. Does this photograph show the growth of a great city or the overshadowing of man?

Bernice Abbott, The Night View, 1936, gelatin silver print

ABOUT THE IMAGE: What this image captures is the massive scale of city architecture shadowing the scale of man. Bernice Abbott creates the feeling of the city becoming a threatening place that is inhuman to human existence. The gray coloring of her work suggest that things need to work more human nature.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Unlike this photo, Abbott started with ground level photography. She photographed street corners, stores, and news stands documenting the streets of New York, but in the 1930’s she became influenced by history and the Second Industrial Revolution. 

SONG: Higher Love (Steve Winwood)

TALK BACK: In Art USA: The American Art Book says this of The Night View, “The lights of Manhattan sparkle with a cheerful clarity in this homage to the Skyscraper spirit of the early twentieth century”. Does this photograph show the growth of a great city or the overshadowing of man?