Sunday, October 24, 2010

Underground Street Art to High Class Pop Art

My Friday and Saturday were experiences in to the fringes of the art world. And interestingly they were rather related.
I snagged this from It is not mine.
 So Friday, I stuck around school for a showing of "Exit Through the Gift Shop." A very interesting documentary by Banksy, about the revolution of street art (or to some, graffiti). For those of you who do not know this guy, he is a rather revolutionary artist (to some), who expresses himself through street art and other "counter-culture" actions. Yes you may be against graffiti, but look at some of these. You might change your mind. I find his style and satire rather inspiring and insightful. The documentary itself was very interesting, there was some really impressive footage of all sorts of art "installations." Very inspiring. If engineering fails me, and my stint on Jeopardy falls out, and my restaurant goes under I may just turn to roaming the streets to express my feelings. I would highly recommend "Exit Through the Gift Show" to anyone who is even remotely interested in to the movement. Also to anyone that need to get me a Christmas gift, I have had this on my unofficial list for about 3 years now, but there is an awesome collection of his work called "Wall and Piece" that would make a good gift.

I grabbed this one from
On the other side of the spectrum (well not really... but I will get to that in a bit) I went to "The Warhol" last night with some people from Church. The museum, which is a tribute to Mr. Andy Warhol, was having some sort of promotion where they were open for 24 hours, and had free admission. So last night I got a text at 8 ish, asking if I wanted to meet at 9 for this adventure. It was a lot of fun! There were 6 of us that went. We ended up parking behind the Fort Pitt museum, one of the guys is a curator (I don't really know what his position is... he is sort of in charge of the place) there. It was basically Pittsburgh's bat cave. At one point you are driving on a park way, and all of a sudden you jump over a curb and tuck under an overpass in to a rather well lit and spacious back lot for the museum. We got a mini tour of the main part of the Fort Pitt museum before we headed over to the bridge towards The Warhol.

For those of you who did not know this, Andy Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, and actually graduated from Carnegie Tech (what is now Carnegie Mellon). Previous to last night I did not really know all that much about Mr. Warhol, other than the soup cans and the Marilyn portraits. I feel as though if he were to have been born in our generation, with Photoshop and the internet (specifically YouTube) he would have been a different beast. The galleries and the museum itself were amazing. I am not a huge fan of all of his work. Some of it I really like, but a lot of it I find pointless and a little lame. (possibly because I am an Engineer) Which is funny, on of the girls who was in our group is an artist, it was interesting to hear her perspective on things. After visiting all of the floors, and seeing way more pictures of naked Marilyn Monroe that I thought existed, we ended up leaving around 12:30 in the morning. Yeah for late night culture.

So the interesting thing about the two areas of art is that they are surprisingly the same. The pieces of Warhol that I really like are his screen prints (like the Monroe portraits) where he plays around with different colors with a similar design. Another example is his "Skull" series. These images are very very similar to those done by Banksy, Mr. Brainwash and Shepard Fairey as outlined in the above film. The simple derivations of a common images repeated over and over again seems to hit a nerve. I would even suggest that the modern street artist pulled a lot of ideas from greats like Warhol, some of their work is indistinguishable from his.

All in all my culture meter went up. I think in my future place of residence I will have reproductions from both ends of the spectrum.

As for Sunday, my culture meter went unchanged. I had class today! In exchange for class this Tuesday, and class the Tuesday of Thanksgiving, my Computational Photography professor traded us for a 3 hour class today. So from 5-8 we sat around and talked about homogenous transforms. He also may or may not have bribed us with pizza. It was not so bad, and now I can check that off of my list of things to pull up in conversation... "What? 8 AM classes? Yeah, well once had class on Sunday!"

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