Sunday, April 26, 2015

Artist Talk: Rebecca Phillips "Women, Machine and Gendered Cross-Currents in photography 1850-1925"

Amelia Van Buren, Woman draped in veil, 1900

The art talk by Rebecca Phillips focused mainly on the role of women in photography's history. The main argument of the talk was that women's role in photography from 1850 to 1925 was a very small one but a very powerful one. Women's role in photography was mainly based on portraying the stereotypical activities of women through photography. Women were not aloud to use photography the with the same freedom as men. There were restrictions on what women were able to produce as photography. Also it was hard for women to have their photograph seen as art. 

Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, 1936 

The talk began with Dr. Phillips introducing the invention of photography. She introduced the Daguerreotype and the Calotype as the first forms of photograph. After introducing the basics about the invention of photography, she introduced each of the major woman photographers from 1850 to 1925. Some of the more influential woman photographers were Lady Elizabeth Eastlake, Lady Clementina Hawarden, Julia Margret Cameron, Dorothea Lange, Frances Benjamen Johnston, and Amela Van Buren. 

View from the Window at Le Gras, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, ca. 1826

I enjoyed going to this talk because I was able to learn a lot about the role of women in photography. I was also able to learn about the struggles that women had getting people to take them seriously and to look at their work as equal to a photograph taken by a man. This talk opened my eyes to what life was like for women and how hard it was for them to be taken serious as artist. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Artist Post: Charles Cohen

Charles Cohen is a digital artist from New York. He was born in 1968 in New York, New York. In
1990 Cohen received his BA from the University of Chicago. In 1994  Cohen traveled as an exchange Student to London, Uk, to attend the Royal College of Art. In 1995 Cohen finally received his MFA, with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design. From 1997 to 1999 Cohen was in a Core Fellowship Program at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

Cohen creates art using photographs and removing the subjects from the photographs. The artworks he makes have an implied eroticism to them. You are not able to see what the subjects are doing or even what they look like, but the viewer is able to imply what is happening. The photographs are typically of strange places. these places are either strange in themselves or strange compared to the acts of the subjects in the images.   

The images interest me because of they way that they play on the viewers "dirty mind". The same image shown to a young child would not evoke the same emotion or even be read in the same way. This same principle may be true if one were to show these images to a person from another culture. The image above could be read as a woman simply sitting on a couch. The entire idea behind the images that Cohen creates is that they are culturally influenced. There are many different ways to read the artworks that he creates.