Thursday, May 5, 2011

public art?

I went to the lecture on public art, because more and more I’ve been interested in public art myself. There’s something I am drawn towards, having my art in a public space. The art itself seems to take in the space and form a symbiosis with it. People also have a chance to interact with public art, whether they actively seek it out or not. This could be walking around it, or not being able to ignore it.

I particularly loved Lisa’s lecture. I had her for three semesters in a row, so I’ve gotten to know her pretty well. She talks to passionately about her art, which is predominately public. The interesting part about her art is that I live in the Dc area so I’ve actually seen her art in person. She talked about art objects being in the environment, which is the space. She said, “not every art object is public art” which got me thinking. The intention has to be there, and something are simply not meant for the public. I think this is definitely true; some art objects need to have the gallery environment.

She talked a lot about the site of the public art, something with she, herself has to strongly consider. The art needs to reflect the site. I found it interesting how she went about he piece in front of the New York courthouse. She knew the place was a courthouse, where justice is brought, and she thought of themes to go along with that. She had to consider the existing architecture, the history of the building as well as what happens inside it. She did the same with her airport pieces, how she created a wing type motif. She spoke a lot about the identity of a place. Her goal was to “evoke the identity of the area.”

Public art is definitely something which I enjoy, and I found this talk extremely helpful, not only in coming up with ideas for creating art, but also analyzing some of the artwork around us. I can definitely see why some public art “works” and other pieces don’t.

The people is also what Lisa talked about. The people play an important role. It’s like what we talked about the Vito Aconchi reading. Public space belongs to the people. People have to react to it, and they live and interact in the environment everyday. Lisa touched on this when she talked about her leaf sculpture by the metro. This was an extremely public place where passersby are always trying to catch the next train, heading off to work, or just another part of their everyday routine.

My favorite piece of public art was the St. Mary’s sea monster. I thought it definitely brought something to the pond, and added a mystical sense. It was so simple in design, yet effective. People added pictures and comments to the facebook page, and really got involved with it. I feel like public art on campus would be difficult though, because of all the history and meaning already existing. People hated the monster as well, they said “What is this fucking thing in our pond?!” which I thought was interesting. Public art is often tricky, in this aspect, because people may feel strongly about the environment, and after all, the public people are important as well in completing the art. Besides, is it really complete without the people?

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