Art Influences Art

I have always been a lover of high, avant-garde fashion. From Gautier, Louis Vuitton, and Yohji Yamamoto, high-fashion houses around the world inspired me as a child to think outside of the box when it comes to creativity. I used to wonder incessantly of how in the world did these designers come up with these concepts that enveloped no sense of practicality but all aspects of wonder, dream, and true artistic form?

Couture fashion, designs created for one special, statement-making purpose, is the prime example of how the concept of fashion should literally be considered an art form. Designs that are custom-made, intricately detailed, and sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars not only take a lot of time to create, but also take the creativity and talent of some of the most brilliant artists in the world.

In analyzing some of the designs that walk the runway today, many of which are torn to pieces (figuratively) because of their “over-the-top” nature and impracticality, are pure examples of art forms redefined by other traditional art forms. Paintings, photographs, nature, decor, all are influences of the gowns you see walking the Paris and Milan runways.

This concept of “upcycling,” usually referring to taking something “useless” or “old” and recreating something “new” and “interesting” with it, can be applied to the way in which some high-fashions come to be. Not to say that any traditional art forms are of lesser value to the fashions that are put on display today, but there is a connection as to how these fashion designers fuse the creativity in their heads with the powerful creative minds of the painters, photographers, and interior designers that we come to immediately associate as artists.

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The image above illustrates a comparison between a painting of a disturbed sea, with blue hues and deep blacks fading amongst each other, and a gown with a similar color scheme in an ombre-flurried effect. Similar aesthetic, different artistic geniuses.

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Broken, demolished, nature’s colors, all are concepts captured in both of these photographs, illustrating great techniques of the same inspiration board.

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When you can get the same effect from a painted/crafted wall that you do a dress and satchel, then you know you’ve hit the nail on the head.

Check out some of the Spring 2015 Couture looks for some great inspo!






7/11? More like 911

Beyonce has done it again. I am sorry to bring another fangirl post to the blogosphere about, in my opinion, one of the most inspiring and unattainable talents of R&B music, but it has to be done.

The singer released two new bonus records to her latest album Beyonce, entitled “7/11” and “Ring Off.” The songs were meant to be released at a later date, but somehow they got out before their planned release. Thank the heavens they did.

“Ring Off” is a song that seems to be about the singer’s mother and the drama experienced between her father. It’s empowering. She sings to her mother in a loving voice telling her to finally put her “love on top” (a reference to a track from her studio album “4”). The theme coincides with her album’s mission of women empowerment. Going through the ups and downs of her marriage, the singer is consoling her mother and letting her know that it is finally time for her to be happy with this “ring off” of her finger. She can finally be herself and learn from the mistakes that happened in her past. Great song, check it out here!

“7/11” is just what the doctor ordered. The beat follows suit to some of the hits from the current album like “Partition” and “Drunk in Love”. There’s a place to dance, a place to sing, and a place to…rap? Yes, the singer seems to have fallen into her own genre with the Beyonce album in general. Mixing her vocal abilities of singing with the crispness of her speaking voice, she stands in her own lane with this upbeat hit.

The possibly biggest fangirl part of this record is the D.I.Y video she did for it. Check it out below, and then we’ll talk.

Yes, she’s in her underwear 98% of the video. Yes, she’s still amazing. The video showcases her dancing around with, what seems to be her real backup dancers, having fun with the some of the moves they’ve been working on for the track. There’s butt-shaking, there’s a pyramid of bodies, and there’s Blue Ivy for .2 seconds on a bed. I mean, can it get any better than that?

The release of these two records and the music video reminded me of how exciting it can be hearing a great song for the first time or seeing a great video for the first time. Music, especially the mainstream kind, can get old really fast, and it’s always great to have that “wow” moment when something first enters your ears and takes you over. Whatever music you enjoy, I encourage you to try and absorb the moment when you first hear a favorite track or view a favorite video. It’s great for memories because we all know how overexposure is the theme of this generation.

Finding Brandon Graham part 2 + Interstellar

Uncanny combination.

Here is the link to Brandon Graham’s blog the “royal boiler”.

It is basically like an online scrapbook of various things that he finds interesting or scans of work he has done recently.

Also, here is an image of the cover of “Walrus” his published sketchbook.

I must say that my interest in comics came at an unfortunate time because nearing the end of the semester, this newfound medium is only acting as a distraction, preventing me from working diligently on the work at hand. But at the same time, it is always nice to find new interests.


On to Interstellar. I didn’t like it that much. Not that it was a bad film by any means. But it wasn’t anything exceptional. I won’t write this with a summary, so as not to have any spoilers.

For the most part it felt as if Christopher Nolan was just way too ambitious with this film. The film was way too long and I felt as if it could have ended at one point but it just kept going. Having a run time of almost three hours, it feels as if Nolan has studio execs by their balls at this point, given the fact that they allowed him to release such a long cut of his film.

Also, does Christopher Nolan have to try and blow people’s minds in every single film he makes? More importantly, I can’t help but feel that people say their minds are blown after watching a Nolan film because they ‘should’ say so. I was always fascinated by the visuals but probably the most mind blowing film I have seen from his filmography is “Memento”, and not “Inception” or “Interstellar” –maybe the “Prestige”. But even then, I find it hard to really jump on the Nolan hype train. There is something about his movies that feel almost too clean for me (I have no other way of describing it as of yet).

I mean I still enjoyed the Dark Knight trilogy and his other films that I listed, but they are by no means my favorite films of all time.

Also, please, why do people have to talk so much during this movie, perhaps I was with the most obnoxious audience, but throughout the movie, there were constant oohs and aahs and questions being whispered. So annoying.

I think Nolan needs to dial back on his stories and bring it back to smaller budget films and focus heavily on story.
Interstellar was fine, but it is no “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Nolan tries so hard to tie up the ending in a nice knot and provide an easy answer to the questions brought up in his movie. But what made 2001 such an amazing film is that Kubrick did not provide an answer. I still don’t know what the ending of that movie means. That is why it is amazing, because it never fails to challenge me and get me thinking.

Mid-Fall Reflections

So I have a problem. It’s not a particularly big or important problem. It’s just a problem. But it’s affecting me in a pretty big way.

Today, Wednesday (or early Thursday morning, depending on how quickly I get this done…oops), is my posting day for arts, ink. I love this blog. I love it to death. I sometimes wonder how I got on the blog and how the idea to let me write about arts in whatever way I want is somewhat questionable, but overall, I think it’s great.

So all day, I’ve been thinking about this blog, thinking about what I want to write about. First, it was a conversation with a new co-worker of mine, and how it ties into how I experience art, specifically theatre. But then I read the news about A Series of Unfortunate Events, how Netflix is making it into an original TV series. I also read about the pervasiveness of sex on broadcast television, and how shows nowadays are pushing the boundaries. Last week was my first creative writing workshop, maybe I can talk about that?

You see, I have the opposite of writer’s block at the moment. There’s just so much to talk about and only one day a week to do it. News comes out every day about art, especially popular media like the TV shows we watch weekly. I can barely keep up. And that’s excluding the influence of my classes, how we talked about T.S. Eliot today and his poetry and how his later poems shifted into something that countered his earlier ideas and standards for poetry, and how no one who wasn’t already established as a brilliant poet (like T.S. Eliot) could ever publish the Four Quartets as their first poem.

All of this, everything combined, it makes me wonder…am I getting repetitive in my blogs? Lather, rinse, repeat. Movies, theatres, TV shows, writing.

I;m willing to chalk it up to the amazing experience I;m having at this University, how here I’m overexposed to art, and I can get my quick fix like a junkie looking for his next high as easily as I can walk down to the CC and get a passport. I’m just wondering if any of my fellow Inksters feel the same way, like they talk about the same things over and over again in a cycle, desperately trying to find artistic meaning in the forms available to us as burgeoning writers, engineers, business women, lawyers, nutritionists. Are there really no new stories to tell, in nonfiction as well as fiction?

“I Think Everything in Life is Art”

“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How you’re writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.” 

I came across this quote from Helena Bonham Carter for the first time last week. It’s quite enthralling. She uses the examples of everyday life, from the way you drink tea to what kind of food you make, and equates it to the importance of art in life. I love this quote a lot, because I can connect to it. When I sit down, excited to write my ArtsInk post every week, I’m so overwhelmed about the different ways I can talk about the art that is present in all our lives. It’s literally everywhere.

I know what you’re thinking. “Art can’t be simplified to the act of drinking tea or smiling at someone!” But, think about the way the steam swirls in the air, as warm Chamomile tea sits in a mug on your coffee table. A symbol of comfort, warmth, and being at home. A feeling of relaxation because your day was long, you talked a lot, maybe laughed a lot, and now you need to find solace in something soothing, something that can fill your belly with flavor. That is art. That is a moment in time that can easily be captured in a photograph, a painting, a video, but it’s so much better than any physical piece of art. It’s your own moment of symbolic peace.

“What about a smile? That’s something on your face, how can that be art? You’re smile can be crooked or small, no one can connect to a smile!” Well, my friend, think about it. Getting that happy smile from a stranger or someone you love can literally make or break a day. It’s the transfer of hope and kindness among humans. It’s a silent exchange that means so much when given to someone. We see smiles within physical art products as well, and we buy it and embrace it because it makes us feel a certain way. That same concept applies with smiling in real life.

Carter’s quote can be applied to any moment of our days when we’re feeling uninspired by the world. It’s a matter of looking closely and appreciating the beauty of everything, even a simple cup of tea.

Come At Me, Patriarchy

So, I’m on Youtube. I’m getting ready to watch some sort of video, possibly even just listen to a song while I’m doing my homework, heck, I don’t remember. But of course there was an Ad blocking my way.

Youtube ads are not always a curse to me. Sometimes they’re actual videos, and I like it when they make the “ads” a trailer for a movie. That’s not so bad – it’s not commercialism shoving it’s big ugly face at me in a constant attempt to get me to spend my money on worthless crap. I like movies, and even though they do represent a certain section of commercialism that thrives off of people like me who love to be entertained, I think they still have something to offer.

This, however, was not a movie ad. Darn.

The music started up. It was good music, I noticed. Some pop artist? Maybe. When i jiggled my mouse over the screen, the title came up at the top.

Stuart Weitzman | #ROCKROLLRIDE

Uh…okay. I still have no idea what this is, but hey, still marginally better than a Febreze commercial.

And then I noticed the shots. The angles of the camera. The filters stolen directly from a high schooler’s instagram. This was meant to be “artsy.”

And, of course, objectively I can say that it was creative. It did some cool things with the camera, and the editing was pretty neat with some frame effects. But something was wrong. Oh, so wrong.

The subject of this short film? music video? thing? was in fact two beautiful women. Flowing blonde hair, legs that went on for miles and miles and miles, and some gorgeous trees all around them. Perfect for the film, right?

But instead of presenting these women as women, as people who deserve respect, as people who have opinions and voices and are allowed to think and speak and act however they want – these women were dehumanized. Shots of legs and butts were in front of my screen and I just wanted to go onto the set and yank the camera out of the directors hands and shout YOU ARE RUINING DECADES WORTH OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS. Until the very end of the video I didn’t even get a good look at the faces of these beautiful women. The material itself wasn’t all too bad – it showed the women getting dressed in cute outfits, riding bikes on a trail, driving a flashy cool red car, and, the kicker, riding a motorcycle.

These things in themselves aren’t dehumanizing. Some of them, such as the motorcycle and the expensive car, are things typically attributed to men. But by shooting the women’s butts, by not showing their face, putting an extreme emphasis on their bodies and the way they looked next to these props, it made them seem like objects – like they were just toys that the director was playing with.

You may ask at this moment how this even remotely relates to art. “You’re just an angry feminist ranting about something you happened to come across.” You bet I am. But the fact that the director wanted this to be taken as art, as something to be critically analyzed and thoughtfully considered is a joke. This isn’t art – it’s objectifying women. And what’s worse is that it’s an ad on Youtube, going out to thousands upon millions of people who click on their favorite cat video. This ad-disguised-as-art isn’t art.

It’s a joke. A joke that isn’t funny anymore and needs to end.

For reference, I’m not including a link to the video because I’d rather not promote something that shouldn’t be getting any views at all. Instead, enjoy this lovely video of kittens who love Star Wars a bit too much.