Dec 9, 2009

Seeing the Unspekable

I read this book in order to better understand how Kara Walker deals with the negative imagery that was made about African Americans, particularly women, while creating even more negative imagery in her work. I have run into the same sort of dilemma in my own work. Is it acceptable to re-use the same imagery of the women in Neoclassical works, or make them even more absurd, or is that just continuing it? After reading the book, I still have not found the answer, but I did gain a knowable of Kara Walker's work. It is a shorter book around 150 pages.

Many of the examples of "historical negative imagery" such as the silhouette of Flora, I had not heard of which I hope is a sign that my generation is no longer accepting racism as acceptable behavior. I had also not heard of the story of John Brown. The book goes though Kara Walkers journey in Grad School at Rhode island School of Art and Design from her love of history painting to her discovery of the silhouettes which would become iconic in her work. The book describes some of the difficulty Kara Walker has had in displaying her work and the reactions from the African American Community. Some of the quotes I pulled out of my notes:

Kara Walker: “ I began reading these romance novels and got very interested in the way of couching inconsistent desires into one format. It’s about power it’s about submission, it’s about glorified rape fantasies! There’s always a heroine who’s strong and wins in the end and gets what she wants…” (63)

“The art of viewing is the moment in which the viewer, regardless of racial self-identification, is allowed to confront his or her guilt over the traumatic legacy the disremembered and the unspeakable, the real and the imagined, of slavery” (64-65)

“walker has been condemned by her fellow African Americans of feeding the appetite that White Americans consumers have for black flesh” (117)

“’Pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering are totally transforming experiences’…That mother nature and father time might put Kara Walker back in her place by possibly recreate her as an ‘upstanding’ member of the community” …”Gender-specific view of what is and what is not appropriate behavior for a female African American Artist”(120)

“Because of her ability to speak the unspeakable, her work has been the subject of debate nearly everywhere it has been shown. Although she continues to find widespread international acceptance and accolades from the mainstream art world, it was not until her 2004 exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem that she was invited to show at a museum of African American art or history.” (123)
This book is available of Google books at :
To Learn more about Kara Walker visit PBS.org

Nov 24, 2009

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Nov 22, 2009

A - Z

I just happened to catch on the local news the other day that one of my favorite artists will be creating a piece for out local art museum AND one extremely lucky Herron School of Art student will inhabit it. The artist is Andrea Zittel who can be found on the PBS DVD Series Art 21, and in several volumes of Art Now. The piece seems to be another floating island that will be floating on the lake that is part of the gardens surrounding the Indianapolis Museum of Art.



Above photo from PBS.org

An Update

Just because you haven't seen any new work doesn't mean I'm not working hard! For those who do not know, this is my last semester before I earn my BFA in painting and my minor in Classical Studies. I am currently in three Classical Studies classes and one studio class. So what have I been doing? Lots and lots of reading! This is most of the reading for my regular classes:














And this is some of the reading for my final papers....














And this is some of my other research for my work:















And all together this piles is almost two feet tall!
In December I will be done with school and be searching for a studio space downtown, so be on the lookout for open studio invitations once I get settled in!

Aug 17, 2009

Pont Aven France

In the Summer of 2009 I spent a month in Pont Aven France in a Study Abroad Program at the Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art. This first group of images are some watercolors based on the interesting shapes of mold that are found on the trees in Pont Aven, particularly up at the Tremalo Chapel. I started to cut the paper so the mold was referencing itself or the tree instead of the standard rectangle that references a window. The smaller group are around 10 x 5 inches while the larger one was from a sheet of 14 x 20 paper.

This second Group is of a book I made researching the Bihan, small two to three inch creatures, who live in the Bois D' Amour in Pont Aven France. It is 12 inches square ( 12 x 24 when opened), Handmade, and consists of 19 Pages of text and images.


Aug 9, 2009

Website

The website is finally up!

www.bonniefillenwarth.com


  • Gallery of Works
  • Artists Statement
  • Resume
  • Biography
  • Contact Infomation