Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A Sad, Sad Day in the Art World -Merce Cunningham

The Art World is grieving the loss of one of the most influential contributors of modern dance and choreography. Merce* Cunningham (4/16/1919 to 7/26/2009) died of natural causes at the age of 90. Cunningham was a great inspiration in the Art World. I wish I could go on and on about his brilliance and his philosophies, but then it would turn into a research paper that nobody would want to read. I’m sure that a lot of younger people may not be able to identify Cunningham or be in touch with what he did, so I’ll try to briefly highlight some of his major ideas and beliefs while trying not to bore you all to death. He’s definitely an artist worth studying and, if you can, visit his website

*Merce?! Pronunciation, please: “MURSS”

Major Contributions to the Art World: Cunningham was considered an avant-garde dancer and choreographer who created dance primarily based on movement. His mission was to use movement as a way to go through and across space without the necessity of using a storyline.

Cunningham identified two principals of movement:
movement that is learned, studied, structured, classically styled, and used as language
2. movement that is invented and is constantly being invented

I was interested in dancing and I didn’t particularly care the kind of dancing. I was interested in information and trying to find out what made movement up. What is it? The fact that somebody said that it’s a ballet step or isn’t a ballet step didn’t seem to me to be terribly important of what was and still is important. -Cunningham, 2009.

The Cunningham Mission: Starting out as a tap dancer who later studied ballet and modern dance, Cunningham went through his lifetime searching the different ways to express the natural motions of dance that communicated art on another level.

If I didn't lose you and you would like to learn more about his views and philosophies of music, visual art, and dance, you can visit my blog at where you will also find more pictures of the artist.

Happy reading,

Leslie Ann

Thursday, 16 July 2009


Ed gave me permission to draw/paint on my door so I decided on a Koi, continuing in my current theme.  

It's far from being finished, but I'd thought I would give everyone a sneak peak.  This is also my first time using Acrylics and I have to say, they are a lot of fun.  I've been sort of experimenting as I paint on the door with layers, glazes and techniques.  Its been a bit scary, cuz I'm learning as I go, but so far its been fun.     

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

I'm Working with Some Duralar

Currently I'm working on these duralar pieces (Same material I used to make my headdress in the previous post).  They are very interesting because you can create all kinds of dimensions with the unfocused look of the second piece that sits in the back.  I'm thinking about making one that's shaped like a blimp that slowly fades out of focus the farther it extends back in the paper.  And I want to write    " G E N I U S " on top of it.  There are these things I wanna write on them because they just come to me when I'm working.  It may sound naive and egotistical I suppose but it's my first reaction and I guess it's influenced  by all I know about the process of art making, sometimes buying and selling as well from what I hear from most people.  Some of the work does not include these "quotes"  because I made them on the impulse of just making something because I felt something.  Something that led to do my work that day.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Oakland Art Murmur and 49 Geary

We visited 49 Geary and Oaklandartmurmur openings this weekend and it was a lot of fun.  Although I didn't find many interesting shows in either one of the events there were definately some artists that stood out for me.  In 49 Geary I really enjoyed all the work in the Jack Fisher Gallery  by John M Mcgregor but I was really impressed with the work in Mark Wolfe Contemporary gallery.  The show 1981 pervert really surprised me and it was fresh seeing new media art being produced in that scale with the vintage colors and pin-up women.  It was a nice clash of many opposing things like sophistication of the patterns and naivety of the subjects and in many moments a morph of the two.  In Oakland we decide to wear masks and walk around.  At one point me and Apryl decided to join the group of dancing people in front of the Buzz gallery since everyone went crazy after hearing a Michael Jackson  song.  Tony felt sorry because he scared a lot of children that day with his devil mask which was not well received by 
Christian children.

A Visit to the Portola Art Gallery

I originally went to the Portola Art Gallery to view the featured artist, Alan M. McGee. McGee took photographs of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures at Stanford University. The statues were primarily based on Rodin’s Dante’s Inferno. Being the nerd that I am, I was excited about seeing photographs from the collection –especially when I heard that McGee manipulated lights and shadows in order to get different perspectives of the sculptures. Manipulating a Rodin statue! I was flabbergasted. You can’t change something that an Art God created for all of us to cherish and adore. I wanted to know what McGee was up to, so I went to Menlo Park to investigate.

The Scene: I didn’t realize upon my arrival that the gallery was part of the Allied Artist Guild. There were little shops with crafts, clothing, jewelry, and furniture being sold by the artists. Once I entered, I felt like I was in a Disney cartoon where everything was so cute, perfect, and surrounded by trees. This place is so pretty and cozy that I even saw a wedding reception taking place.

More Specifically, the Scene of Interest: To my surprise, the gallery was compiled with artwork from the other artists in the guild as well. However, my mission was to first observe these McGee photographs, and then I can dilly dally.

Photographs were on walls and a book consisting of each photograph had quotes from Rodin. Inspecting each photograph, I realized that McGee was able to bring to life a Rodin statue in a two-dimensional world.

Pierre de Wissant. Black and White Photography.

His Pierre de Wissant was my favorite.

Who?: Pierre de Wissant was a wealthy burgher* who, along with five other burghers, volunteered to sacrifice himself for the town of Calais, France during the Hundred Years War between England and France.

*definition of burgher: wealthy French guy who lives in a specific town

Back to the Art Piece: The juxtapose between light and dark, smooth and rough, graceful and stiff were clearly defined. The light shining on the statue’s neck becomes the climax while the statue’s clothes are almost monotone in shadow. Accentuating the light on the skin enables one’s eyes to flow with ease over every muscle and vain in the statue’s arms and chest. The light creates a liquid effect that emphasizes motion as if the statue was twisting and contorting itself in a painful pose.

Yes, it was a show that should make Rodin smile. Not only does this show-off a beauty that can only be seen with manipulated light, but it also enhances Rodin’s original intentions of beauty and beast.

For More Information:

To see more pictures from the Portola Art Gallery, you can visit my blog:

If you would like to learn more information about the Portola Art Gallery, visit the website:

Happy reading,

Leslie Ann