Monday, September 23, 2013
Only a couple weeks ago, a long-lost Van Gogh painting was rediscovered, tucked away in an old Norwegian attic. Art academics and Van Gogh lovers alike all marveled at the new masterpiece, thought to have been lost to time. However, one must think; how in the world do you lose an art piece? Especially one created by someone as famous as Van Gogh? Well, there’s a simple explanation for why it had been tucked away for so long; forgery. During the period in which the piece was first bought, art forgery was rampant and spooked many buyers into shamefully hiding away their spoils, thinking that they were tricked into buying something crafted by some master copycat.
Art forgery had begun over 2000 years ago, when Roman artists mimicked Greek sculptures. Later in history, apprentices of famous artists all the way up to Renaissance times would have their pictures sold under the names of their instructors. Post-Renaissance nobles went through an antique-loving phase, which was a golden age for art forgers, who would go to great lengths to make their art seem authentic. Even Michelangelo, the famous painter of the Sistine Chapel and creator of lifelike sculptures such as The Pieta and David, had created some fake Greek sculptures, even going so far as to bury them and even breaking pieces off to make them seem authentic. Some “fake” art pieces from those past eras are still beloved today, despite their false identities being revealed.
Today, art forgery is still wildly rampant, though there are many advanced ways of detecting fakes, such as testing the paint’s makeup, giving the suspicious pieces an x-ray, etc. Many “flunkie” artists are often the tricksters behind these fake artworks. Although the art of forgery is far from being exterminated, we can at least enjoy the fact that in this modern age art forgers can easily be caught and stopped.
Brown, Mark. " Newly discovered Van Gogh painting kept in Norwegian attic for years | Art and design | theguardian.com ." Latest news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | theguardian.com | The Guardian . N.p., 9 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
Anonymous Author(s). "Art Forgery" Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_forgery>.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Lastly, I chose a picture of myself and two other tubas in a line during marching band to be my main piece. Marching band is a huge part of my life, and I don’t think I would be anywhere near the person I am today without it. I used pencil to create this piece, and used the principal of patterns throughout the whole piece. The reflections on the bells of the tubas were the most difficult for me to recreate, and I spend quite a while trying to make them look correct. Also, the grass texture was hard for me to perfect and I had to erase and redraw multiple times in some areas so that the whole field looked about the same shade. If there was anything that I could fix, I would probably try to add more details to the bells, since I am still unsure about how satisfied I am about their final appearance.
Overall, the pieces I created for the realism unit turned out a lot better than I was expecting them to. I really think that I did pretty great, and I’m hoping that in future units I will be able to put my talents to the test again like I did on these three works.
The second piece was an overhead view of a desk, covered in materials I need for APUSH; a textbook, pencil case, eraser, pencil, and sharpener. I believe that this is a common sight for many students like me, especially if they are enrolled in several AP classes. I used pen to create this picture, and experimented with the use of lines to create values. Personally, I think it turned out extremely well, considering my limited knowledge of linework and my shaky hands. If I could change anything, I would probably fix the errors I made on the pencil case, as well as add more detail to the desk itself, since it’s rare to find a flaw-free desk in a school like Apex High.
When I was told the theme of our first set of pieces was going to be realism, three of the most common-seen parts of my life popped into my head, and I knew that I had to use them. One thing that came into my head was the family’s pet bulldog, Sam. Then I thought of all the textbooks I’ve had to haul around. Lastly, I thought of marching band, and how I devote hours of my time and effort to it for most of the first semester. When I thought of these, I knew that they had to be my subjects, because they’re all very real to me and greatly depict everyday events in my life.
The first one, a closeup of my bulldog Sam, was the first one I thought of. She is a beloved family pet in our house, and whenever I think of my life one of the main things that can be seen is how important our pets are to my everyday life. My household just wouldn’t be the same with her foldy, chubby face and her constant lazing around on our kitchen floor. I focused on making her the center of the piece, therefore utilizing the aspect of emphasis by making her the lightest part of the picture. I used pencil for this piece, which worked very well, because I consider myself pretty good at using pencil to create darker and lighter values in a piece. If I could change anything, however, I would probably try a bit harder on the background; to me, it seemed a bit lackluster compared to all the effort I exerted on the details on Sam’s jowls and face.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
From the beginning of their existence, human beings have always been creating. Whether it be on the walls of a cave, into the surface of a wooden block, or dozens of other mediums, humans have been painting their lives, hopes, beliefs, and dreams into visual creations for future generations to admire for years to come. However, after centuries of wear and tear, these ancient works get closer and closer to being disintegrated into nothing but colored dust. So, over the years, there are people who rise to the challenge of renewing these beloved masterpieces.
But, not all of these “art restorers” are up to par. In fact, there are many works of art that have been destroyed by the careless acts of restorers over the years. For example, Greek statues were not supposed to be plain white. In fact, they were very colorful; however, the worn paint was washed away instead of repainted, because historians thought that the sculptures looked “better” that way. Oftentimes, built-up dirt on a canvas and actual darker values in Da Vinci-era paintings have been ignored, leaving some classical paintings looking like they were taken by an out-of-focus camera. Sometimes restorers think it’s a good idea to risk completely destroying a work of art by repainting over an image with watercolors or other paints; oftentimes, this is not too big of an issue, other than certain minute details being blotted out. But when things don’t work out so well, images can be completely decimated; for example, the disastrous results of an elderly woman attempting to restore the painting “Ecce Homo” in a church in Borja, Spain, left the old fresco painting completely unrestorable and lost forever.
To summarize, people have always been trying to save pieces of the past that have been gifted to them by their ancestors. But sometimes, those works of art would have been better off if they had been left to crumble.
Inglis-Arkell, Esther. "The Worst Art Restoration Mistakes of All Time." io9 - We come from the future.. N.p., 28 Aug. 2012. Web. 5 Sept. 2013. <http://io9.com/5938377/the-worst-art-restoration-mistakes-of-all-time?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+io9%2Ffull+%28io9%29>.
Author Unknown. "Spanish artist Cecilia Gimenez to share riches from botched restoration of a painting of Christ." Artdaily.org - The First Art Newspaper on the Net. Agence France-Presse, n.d. Web. 5 Sept. 2013. <http://artdaily.com/news/64519/Spanish-artist-Cecilia-Gimenez-to-share-riches-from-botched-restoration-of-a-painting-of-Christ#UhZOY2TXip1>.