Who ARTed: Weekly Art History for All Ages
Christo and Jeanne-Claude - The Floating Piers

Christo and Jeanne-Claude - The Floating Piers

February 28, 2022

For those who enjoy exploring the visual arts in an audio medium, this week we focused on Christo and Jeanne-Claude. You can see an image of The Floating Piers at the website www.WhoARTedPodcast.com

My guest for this week was the one and only Tim Bogatz. He is a tremendous veteran art teacher and host of Art Ed Radio from The Art of Education University. It was great to get to talk to him and hear his insights into this unique bit of art history. He was also nice enough to have me record an episode for his show, so be sure to check out Art Ed Radio.

 

June 18 - July 3, 2016 Christo and his assistants used 100,000 square meters of bright yellow fabric to transform Lake Iseo in Italy. The fabric floated on top of floating dock system comprised of 220,000 polystyrene cubes. The fabric floated just above the surface moving with the water. There was no need for tickets or reservations. It was free for everyone to walk on as Christo said it was an extension of the street. The piers provided a walkway on the water connecting a small island to the mainland. Estimates are 72k-100k people visited per day, around 1.2 million people total over the 16 days. Christo and Jeanne-Claude had the idea for the floating piers in 1970. This was his first large-scale project since her death in 2009. If you are concerned about the environmental impacts of polystyrene on the water, after the exhibition, all of the material was gathered and recycled. Still not as eco friendly as Goldsworthy, but not as bad a Exxon.

This week is the start to my annual Arts Madness tournament. I would love to have as many people as possible join in the fun of judging a diverse collection of artists and works. Over 6 weeks, we will go from 64 great artists down to 1 ultimate Arts Madness champion. More information is on the Arts Madness page of my website.

Vote for your favorites in the Round 1 Matchups before March 5.

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted Because I do not want disruptive ads and I put nothing behind a paywall, listener donations are my only means of defraying the costs. I greatly appreciate your support.

 

Fun Fact Friday - Edmonia Lewis and The Death of Cleopatra

Fun Fact Friday - Edmonia Lewis and The Death of Cleopatra

February 25, 2022

Edmonia Lewis had an interesting life, and her sculpture The Death of Cleopatra had an equally interesting ride. After it was exhibited in Philadelphia for the Centennial Exhibition, it was put into storage in Chicago. It would later sit in a saloon, mark the grave of a horse, serve as an arts and crafts project for some local Boy Scouts before finally being professionally restored and displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Art. 

As always, you can find images and more at www.whoartedpodcast.com 

Please consider participating in the upcoming Arts Madness Tournament where listeners from around the world will vote for their favorite artists in a bracketed tournament winnowing the field from 64 down to 1 ultimate artist. 

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted Because I do not want disruptive ads and I put nothing behind a paywall, listener donations are my only means of defraying the costs. I greatly appreciate your support.

Phyllida Barlow - Untitled: upturnedhouse2, 2012

Phyllida Barlow - Untitled: upturnedhouse2, 2012

February 21, 2022

This week it was my privilege to chat with Greg Thomas, an art teacher based out of the UK. He runs the website TheArtTeacher.net which is a tremendous resource for art teachers. He has information on numerous artists and fun and interesting ways of categorizing artists to get students' attention. 

 

For this episode we were discussing the contemporary sculptor, Phyllida Barlow. She taught for 40 years before dedicating herself to creating her own art but she was almost immediate sensation once she started pursuing art full time. We discussed her piece untitled: upturnedhouse2 from 2012

As always, you can find images and more at www.whoartedpodcast.com 

Please consider participating in the upcoming Arts Madness Tournament where listeners from around the world will vote for their favorite artists in a bracketed tournament winnowing the field from 64 down to 1 ultimate artist. 

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted Because I do not want disruptive ads and I put nothing behind a paywall, listener donations are my only means of defraying the costs. I greatly appreciate your support.

Vermeer Was Using a Camera Before Photography Was a Thing

Vermeer Was Using a Camera Before Photography Was a Thing

February 18, 2022

Johannes Vermeer is best known today for painting The Girl with a Pearl Earing. Part of the allure of this painting is the pose, she seems a little caught off guard looking over her shoulder at the viewer. There is a bit of a mystery to this interaction which has been played up in popular culture with movies speculating at a dramatic story behind its creation. 

 

For me though, one of the biggest mysteries is about how it was painted. Vermeer painted incredibly detailed, photo-realistic works. Some actually speculate he may have been using a camera of sorts even though photography wouldn't come around until about 200 years later. One of the odd things about Vermeer is the small body of work he left behind. While his work was extremely detailed and one can obviously imagine resulted from a slow, deliberate process of a patient and persistent artist, it seems strange for an artist of his skill and stature to have only created about 35 works. That would put his pace at about 2 or 3 paintings per year and while quality takes time, it is hard to imagine an artist achieving that level of quality without years of practice and study producing hundreds of pieces in order to gain the skill to produce the fine art he is remembered for today. 

 

One of the things i find really interesting is that there does not appear to be much information about Vermeer’s artistic training. While he lived most of his life in the the Netherlands in the city of Delft, his name is conspicuously absent from records until 1653 when he was recorded to be a “master painter” with the delft guild of saint luke. Often there would be records of artists studying under others, working in another artists studio and rising in the ranks. Vermeer appears to have come on the scene starting at the top. This seems like a pretty remarkable accomplishment for the son of an innkeeper who inherited the family business.

 

While it is not unheard of for both artworks and records to be lost to history, the absence of evidence about Vermeer's training has led to some interesting speculation about how he became so good. The most intriguing theory is that he used a camera obscura to help in the creation of his works. A camera obscura would not create a photograph. It would simply project an image that an artist could trace. Basically the theory is that Vermeer used lenses and mirrors to project his subject so that he could trace it onto the canvas. The technology has been around for hundreds of years and plenty of artists including Leonardo da Vinci have toyed with the camera obscura. Many of my students have said that tracing something feels like cheating, but many artists would consider the camera obscura or other projectors to be simply a tool no different from using a ruler to draw a straight line or tape to mask off an area while painting. 

 

Some say evidence of the use of a camera obscura can be found in the hyper-focused detail of some pieces including maps in the background of his paintings along with blurring effects in other parts of the painting similar to the blur that happens because of the depth of field in a photograph. In his painting, The Music Lesson, there is a mirror that reflects the rest of the room. Vermeer included his easel in that reflection and there is a shuttered window and mysterious black box that some say was his camera obscura painted into the work. If you want to learn more about Vermeer and this camera obscura theory, there is a documentary called Tim’s Vermeer in which a man with no significant formal artistic training recreates a Vermeer painting using a camera obscura and the result is stunning. Ultimately whether due to his eye and freehand draftsmanship or innovation with technology, Vermeer was an incredibly skilled artist who created stunning works that continue to capture the imagination of viewers hundreds of years after they were painted and will continue to do so for hundreds of years to come.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Arts Madness Tournament

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Arts Madness Tournament

February 17, 2022

For the last few years, I have had a lot of fun with my students exploring art history through a tournament of artists. I randomly assigned 64 diverse artists to different spots in a bracketed tournament modeled after the popular NCAA March Madness tradition. Each week, voters will decide which artists deserve to advance to the next round. I have the brackets up on my website www.whoartedpodcast.com 

More information about the Arts Madness tournament is on the Arts Madness page I would encourage all my fellow art teachers to try this as an entry routine for the spring. It only takes a few minutes to get the kids voting but they will become incredibly engaged in debating which artist is better than another. I have also included a page showing all 64 artists, their works and an episode about them to help kids learn about any artist who catches their eye. To help get them hooked, I have a little prize as well. On my Arts Madness page, I have a prediction form open from now through March 6. Fill out who you think will win and why. At the end of the tournament, I will raffle off Amazon gift cards to a few people who correctly predicted the winner. Additionally, at the end of the tournament, I will read a few people's statements about why that artist deserved to win when I announce the winning artist on the podcast.

This is a fun and easy way to get your students critically engaged in analyzing artworks from all around the world. Please give it a try in your classroom to help your students discover the joy of exploring art history.

 

#art #artsed #arteducation #education #k12artchat #artofeducation 

Klaus Nomi - Nomi Song

Klaus Nomi - Nomi Song

February 14, 2022

Klaus Nomi was trained as an opera singer and a pastry chef but he became known for his unusual performances in the New York club scene. He was friends with artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Nomi got his big break after performing in New Wave Vaudville and later he joined David Bowie on the Saturday Night Live stage. That appearance on SNL actually inspired his signature look of a giant angular plastic suit that made him appear almost like a cartoon figure or action figure brought to life. 

For this episode we discussed Nomi Song which can be found at this YouTube link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvvTEDnLZpk

 

As always you can find more at www.whoartedpodcast.com 

Fun Fact Friday - The Renaissance Painter Who Played with his Food

Fun Fact Friday - The Renaissance Painter Who Played with his Food

February 11, 2022

Giuseppe Acrimboldo is best known for his quirky arrangements of food, foliage, animals and objects that form surreal portraits. 

For more information and images of the work discussed, check out the website www.whoartedpodcast.com

Jim Dine - Confetti Heart 1, 1985

Jim Dine - Confetti Heart 1, 1985

February 7, 2022

Jim Dine is an American artist who defies categorization. His work feels a little bit Pop Art, but with an emphasis on process and a gestural quality that at times feels like it has one foot in the abstract expressionist movement. Dine grew up in Cincinatti, Ohio. He was raised by second-generation immigrants who owned a hardware store and being surrounded by tools in his formative years, he grew a fascination and appreciation for them not only as utilitarian objects but things of beauty. In some of his works, he actually mounted tools onto the canvas similar to the approach of artists like Jasper Johns. 

Of course, Dine is probably best known for his use of the heart symbol in numerous works. The warmth and positivity of the symbol make it a favorite for art teachers particularly in February as so many students are excited about Valentine's Day, so I decided this was the perfect time to release an episode going into a little more depth on Jim Dine. 

As always, you can find an image of the work at my website www.whoartedpodcast.com My fellow art teachers can find some helpful resources for use in the classroom up on the site. Also, check out the Arts Madness page for a sneak peek at this year's tournament of artists. I would love to have more schools participating to get kids actively engaged in evaluating the works of so many diverse artists.

If you enjoy the show, please follow, rate it and leave a review on your favorite podcast app.

Finally, don't forget to check out my other podcast, Art Smart to learn more about the elements and principles of art and design.

The World’s Blackest Black - The Feud Between Stuart Semple and Anish Kapoor

The World’s Blackest Black - The Feud Between Stuart Semple and Anish Kapoor

February 4, 2022

Scientists developed VANTA Black to absorb over 99% of visible light. The vertically aligned carbon nano tube array will trap the light creating a surreal effect like looking into a black hole. When the substance covers an object, the contours of the form disappear into a flattened silhouette. 

The artist Anish Kapoor has the exclusive right to use VANTA black for artistic purposes. The artist Stuart Semple doesn't like the notion of someone hoarding materials and so in a delightful bit of poetic justice, Semple has developed products like the pinkiest pink and the world's most glittery glitter which users must agree never to share with Anish Kapoor.

If you enjoy this show, please check out my other podcast, Art Smart which focuses on the Elements of Art and Principles of Design to help you become a more thoughtful creator and consumer of visual arts. You can find Art Smart on your favorite podcast app, or at the website www.whoartedpodcast.com 

Henri Matisse - The Dessert: Harmony in Red (The Red Room) 1908

Henri Matisse - The Dessert: Harmony in Red (The Red Room) 1908

January 31, 2022

This episode is about Henri Matisse, one of the greatest modern painters. Born in the late 19th century, Matisse started his education focusing on law. After an appendicitis at the age of 20, his mother gave him a paint set to keep him occupied while he was stuck in bed and Henri found his true calling. Matisse immersed himself in the arts. He attended art school, he became friends with artists who introduced him to the work of other great artists. Matisse actually put himself into debt buying works from people like Rodin and Cezanne to surround himself with artwork and inspire him while he was in his studio. 

In this episode we discussed one of Henri Matisse's greatest masterpieces, The Dessert: Harmony in Red (The Red Room) from 1908. 

As always you can find an image of the work at www.whoartedpodcast.com

If you enjoy the show, please follow, rate and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen. Also, check out my other show, Art Smart.

Raphael’s The School of Athens

Raphael’s The School of Athens

January 28, 2022

This is a fun fact Friday mini episode about The School of Athens painted by Raphael in 1510 C.E. In this classic Rennaisance masterpiece, Raphael painted numerous classic Greek philosophers. The theme of the work is seeking knowledge and wisdom by coming to understand what came before and root causes. In this work, Raphael included a small self-portrait peeking out among the philosophers. Some say two of the ancient philosophers bear a striking resemblance to Raphael's fellow Rennaisance artists, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. 

Take a closer look at The School of Athens linked here or as always you can find more resources at www.whoartedpodcast.com

#art #arthistory #artsed #arteducation #renaissance #aparthistory #raphael

Bonus: Art Smart - The Principles of Design

Bonus: Art Smart - The Principles of Design

January 26, 2022

I am dropping this bonus episode in the feed to day because a number of my listeners might be interested in my other podcast, Art Smart. This is the episode on the Principles of Design. Art Smart comes out every Wednesday focusing on the elements of art and principles of design to help listeners become more thoughtful creators and consumers of the visual arts. 

As an art teacher, I always try to make my podcast in a way that is clean and appropriate for all ages, so my fellow art teachers can safely use my podcasts as a classroom resource to help students enjoy exploring art and art history.  

You can find Art Smart on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts and please do me a favor leave a rating or review to help others find the show.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec -Part 2 (At the Moulin Rouge)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec -Part 2 (At the Moulin Rouge)

January 24, 2022

This is part 2 of my discussion of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, one of my favorite Post Impressionist painters. My guest was Joe from the Blind Knowledge Network

We had a somewhat free-flowing conversation discussing At the Moulin Rouge and putting it into a bit of a historical context with technological and societal developments of the time. 

The Erased Masterpiece - Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning

The Erased Masterpiece - Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning

January 21, 2022

This Fun Fact Friday is one of my favorites. It explains a little bit about the odd incident when a young Robert Rauschenberg knocked on Willem de Kooning's door and asked to erase one of his drawings. Learn more about Erased de Kooning created by Robert Rauschenberg with a little help from Jasper Johns.

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec - Part 1 (Jane Avril Print)

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec - Part 1 (Jane Avril Print)

January 17, 2022

This week we have a two part episode about Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. In part 1, we discussed a bit of his background and then got into a bit of his work. Specifically we focused on one of his lithographs produced to publicize his friend Jane Avril and her cabaret show. You can find an image of the work linked here or at www.whoartedpodcast.com

This week my guest was Joey B, founder of the Blind Knowledge Network. You can find podcasts and more from that network at www.blindknowledge.com

As always, please follow and rate the show on your favorite podcast app, and tune in next week for part 2.

Rembrandt - The Night Watch

Rembrandt - The Night Watch

January 14, 2022

Recently a team completed a 717 gigapixel image of Rembrandt's painting, The Night Watch. Learn a little bit more about this famous piece that has been called by the wrong name for hundreds of years as it actually took place in the daytime. 

Fun Fact Friday - Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait

Fun Fact Friday - Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait

January 7, 2022

This mini episode is about Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait. It is one of the most famous paintings of a couple and loaded with symbolism. Mostly, it symbolizes that the couple was totally rich. 

As always you can find an image of the work at www.whoartedpodcast.com

The website also has resources for my fellow art teachers, and if you enjoy this podcast, please follow and rate it on your favorite podcast app.

Finally, please check out my other podcast, Art Smart available on Spotify.

Introducing Art Smart

Introducing Art Smart

January 5, 2022

I have created a small spinoff series called Art Smart. The Art Smart podcast focuses on understanding how art is created. I released the first seven episodes on day one to cover the elements of art, and starting next week, I will be releasing a new episode every Wednesday focusing on the principles of design. 

You can find Art Smart on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Please do me a favor; follow and rate the show to help others find it. 

https://open.spotify.com/show/1S9SbkmRXtChPHxmlKfeZb?si=85a1fdb080144a2f

I have also created an Art Smart page on my website www.whoartedpodcast.com where you can find the first seven episodes of Art Smart, every episode of Who ARTed and lots of helpful resources for my fellow art teachers. 

Grant Wood - American Gothic (Encore)

Grant Wood - American Gothic (Encore)

January 3, 2022

This is a re-broadcast of last year's episode on Grant Wood. We discussed his biography as well as his most famous painting, American Gothic. New full episodes will start popping up in your podcast feed starting Monday, January 17. In the meantime, I will continue putting out new fun fact mini episodes every Friday. 

Please help others find this podcast. Rate the show in Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. 

Fun Fact Friday - The Eiffel Tower

Fun Fact Friday - The Eiffel Tower

December 31, 2021

This week's mini episode is about the Eiffel Tower. Learn a few fun facts including the story of the man who twice sold the tower for scrap. 

If you enjoy this show, help spread the word. Tell a friend, leave a rating or review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

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