Humanities: Art in Monterey | March 11, 2010

BACKGROUND: This essay was from a trip to Monterey I took, and the experience I had there, in two art museums. I had to write of several pieces I liked, and why. So I wrote a terrible paper purely on what I felt of the art, and again, sadly, I didn’t really try. 

     For my field trip I went to the Monterey Museum of art. I went to La Miranda and the other in front of Colton Hall. The first I went to was the one across from Colton Hall. Also next to the “Stonemason’s” building which has excellent religious art, even though I am not a stonemason. Anyway, at the first museum I saw one artist who drew very realistic paintings but the angle and subject were very interesting and new. It was very good art. Also at the museum was photography, by various artists. The artists here photographed bigger things. The artists took pictures of things that had a vastness to them, one for example had a view of amphitheater where it kept going down and up, you couldn’t see the ends, and that gave the illusions of endlessness. Also, there was a set I liked of dunes, the curves always flowing, never ending except over the horizon. The artists used black and white photos, with which the shadows brought out the features of the pictures. I also noticed that artists tend to like curves or sharp angled lines, each bringing its own style to the art, and each with its own unique beauty.

It wasn't exactly this picture, but it was similar, but not as good


     One picture I especially liked was an Ansel Adams’ picture of a waterfall in Yosemite national park. This picture, just as in the 18th of the “24 views of Mount Fuji”, shows the power and flowing gracefulness in the rushing water. And the view is from below, to have a perspective of how great and powerful, and beautiful nature is. This view belittles the viewer, but not in a bad way, but to show the awe-inspiring forces of nature. Also, it had trees shooting up in the foreground, and a mountain behind that makes even the falls look less significant. The angle is beautiful how it catches so many sides of nature in one frame, with the mountains and trees, even the sky he left up there, and the falls itself, which is the center piece of this picture. Ansel Adams doesn’t simply have one main concept as I explained in the first paragraph of how artists sometimes focus on curves or lines and how they sometimes use a simpler, but beautiful approach. What I like about Ansel Adams’ work is that he can use so many variables and so many factors in a picture, and still catch all of them together, at the same time, at the right angle, and create a whole scene with his pictures. Its beautiful that he can do that and his medium is nature, not really a definite or defined thing, as in lines or curves. His medium is nature in itself. 

Says so much with such cheap items, in my opinion


     Another piece of art I found interesting was called “The painted desert”. It was a painting on display for an exhibition by a featured local artist, Pam Carroll. She is a realist, but as I said in the opening paragraph, her subjects were interesting, it wasn’t simply a piece of nature or any random thing. Her goal, as I interpreted it, wasn’t simply to mimic reality like a photo, making it as real as possible. Realism was her style that she painted, but not her objective. One painting had a baseball with a fly on it, called “fly ball” as a pun. A lot of her painting were very simple like that but still had a lot of meaning. And as they were simple, they were small paintings. But “The painted desert”, was a bigger painting, and had more subjects in the painting. The painting had a wooden box up against a wall. On this wooden box was a baby cactus in a pot, and some small rocks that you would find in a garden. Also, there was miniature doll of an Indian. Behind these objects was a painted picture of landscape. It had a desert floor with a backdrop of mountains and the sky, and had a couple of large cactus on them. What interested me about this painting, was the contrast between the things on the box compared to the things in the picture. The toy doll, when artifical, as in a person, was in reality while the things of nature, that were more real as they were, were actually not real and a painting. Same with the potted baby cactus, it wasn’t the more nature thing, yet the more nature thing(the real cactus), were fake, in the painting. Also with the rocks and the mountains too. Another thing I noticed, and it made me laugh, was the size. The doll was as tall as mountains, the baby cactus was bigger than the wild cactus, and the small rocks were as big as boulders. All the things they were so tiny to in reality, were tiny to them. 

     At “La Mirada”, They had an exhibition of Mark Licari. He was an excellent artist, in my opinion. He painted about the environment, pollution and progression in time. These three concepts I found a lot in his art. It was unusual to me, and I didn’t like it at first. But the more I saw and looked at it, the more I understood it, and it was art. One piece of art that was painted directly on the museum wall I liked a lot. It will be washed away in a month, but he didn’t care. Impermanence is something that is always there in life, and to him it didn’t matter if it lasted a month or years, because it will be gone nonetheless. I liked that philosophy he had. This piece, was simply the title page to his work. It wasn’t really a full piece I don’t think. It was like a cover page on the wall right before you go into the exhibit. It had his name and the name of the exhibit. It was “In Process”. But the painting had a story to it. More than just simply meaning one thing or another, it told a story. A classic tragedy. The picture had a lawn mower in tall grass, and there was a bee hive in its path. It looked like a runaway lawn mower. This is a classic tragedy, that no one wins. It is also very comedic, as you know what it to come, it is also frightening. This irony is protrayed in such a way that it alway talks about society. This case is sad, for both the bee hive and the person who let it run away. The hive gets completely destroyed, destroying a whole nation of bees. And also unleashing their wrath onto the world around, especailly to the person susposed to be mowing. If you saw his other works(I only decided to use this on the way out, after I saw the others), you would see that the tall grass represented where we are headed, and the bee hive, what will be the consequences of the world around us, and what nature will do to us. It is an environmental look at where we’re headed, and what could happen if we slipon the controls. Even though we are already headed into “tall grass”. 

Simple says a lot...

     Another one I liked was of of a storm. It had really dark clouds and as the clouds went from left to right, it became more dense, more darker, more polluted with more and more cogs and other various industrial items. Also, same with the sky above it, but this was brighter, went from orange to red more and more as it went left to right. Also, under the clouds, had red streaks with black and other dark colored streaks, and as it went right, it turned blue, and even darker colors. There was a jet in the sky, and its tail the ripped through the sky was big on the left, and got smaller till it was the size of the jet, the jet was going at high speeds to the right of the screen. The colors are very distinct and the meaning is very obvious. The sun is setting on us very soon, which is portrayed by the sky’s colors, the red and orange. The red to blue under the clouds are the darker colors, more gloomy colors, the blue. Those represent a coming storm that won’t be good, and it is soon. It will be bad. The clouds being polluted by industry, is saying it is man-made, and it will be bad. That we need to come back to nature, and protect it. The jet however is harder to understand. At least it is for me. What I did get out of it though was the speed that we, in our “fancy jets” are heading there very soon. The jet also represents the pinnacle of industry, and whats driving us there: industry and what we make in it. But another thing I did not get and still do not understand, is why its above the clouds. The only thing I could think of is that we think being industrious will get us above it, but leaving a trail behind us(the jet’s tail) that is hurting nature still. But if this interpretation is true, then I would think Mark Licari would show the effects of this “industrious thinking”. But he doesn’t as he does in his other paintings. He is very prolific, and an excellent artist with great talent and insight. I love how he shows progression in his works. It doesn’t just show one still scene, but he shows a progressing, moving scene that gives a forecast for things to come. Its very ironic how he forecasts the future with the weather in a lot of cases. But progression, I personally, hardly see in art. He does this marvelously, and with great insight. 


Posted in In Process...

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