Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Artsy Fartsy

Warning: Links abound!

When my high school put on Play It Again, Sam my freshman year, I played the part of the "Museum Girl" (Diana Davila) in this scene.

Today, I played Woody Allen's part--in my Comp 2 classroom. Showing them several different painting, drawings, and photographs, I asked my students to write about the piece of art they felt they could most easily and closely identify with. My assortment included paintings by M.C. Escher (Bond of Union and Relativity), Van Gogh, Picasso (Girl Before a Mirror and The Old Guitarist), H.O. Tanner, Dali, Munch, and R. Bearden; the photography of Ansel Adams, Annie Liebovitz and Lois Greenfield; and a few pieces from my own private collection--paintings by my brother and one by local a artist. "What does it say to you," I asked--in as non-pretentious a manner as I could muster. I must say that they reacted quite positively, and many of them were excited to run into new artists and paintings. They were very interested in the controversial Miley Cyrus pictures and I think a few of them fell in love with M.C. Escher today.

At the end of class, I asked them to write a response to one of the photos or paintings we'd looked at in class (there were about 20 items to choose from, including one sculpture. We only discussed a few of them as a class). Seven out of 19 students chose the Dali. We had not talked about it at all; it was simply displayed against the blackboard with several other options. All of these students were female. Although they differed in whether they thought the painting was melancholy or simply peaceful, almost every single one of them expressed a wish to be at the window with her.


Dedalus said...

Wow. I don't know what to say about that. All of them were female? Interesting. Because of course to me it seems like a classic Male Gaze kinda thing, and I say that as somebody who's done my share of Gazing. I like that picture just fine, sure--but it's interesting that an apparent world-class dick like Dali could come up with something that women would respond to in that way. I guess that's what "genius" means.

I got an "A" in Crazy Beeyotch said...

Thanks for the link. I loved this: "During another television appearance, on the Tonight Show, DalĂ­ carried with him a leather rhinoceros and refused to sit upon anything else"

Where do I get a leather rhinoceros?!!