Posts Tagged ‘artwork’

Isn't it brilliant?!?

While greedily swallowing my lunch today at work, one of my midday meal buddies brought to my attention a recent controversy that had made the news. My stomach continued to audibly profess its desire for fulfillment, but I was able to wrestle my attention away from the plastic container of spaghetti in front of me, and listen. She told me that a mural had been painted in Times Square and was garnering quite a bit of backlash for the artist. After I finished my lunch, I went back to my desk and battled through my seemingly endless workload, then put in a few hours of over time just for the hell of it. Ahhh ha ha ha!! You didn’t believe that, did you? Come on!!! I did what any normal person would do. I Googled it as soon as I got back to my desk. Anyway, I saw the mural, realized why people could be offended by it, and watched a few videos of pedestrians complaining about it and/or praising the work. The artwork was done by Sofia Maldonado, a 26 year old Latina artist. For those of you that haven’t seen it, here is part of it…….

Now, Art is all about perception. Some people who disapproved of the mural argued that ‘Black and Latino women shouldn’t be portrayed as prostitutes and hoochies’. To that I say, because a woman wears a short skirt, does that mean she’s a prostitute? Big hoop earrings and knee-high boots make her a woman of the night?  Does a low cleavage line on a shirt mean that she’s accepting payment for pleasure? When I looked at the smaller aspects of the mural, like the four finger ring, the multi-colored hair and the big earrings as well as the long painted nails I realized that they are all a throwback to the past. All of these items were once trends in the urban community. That was my perception of it. Now, don’t get me wrong, the boobs busting out, and women bent over are a little risque, but this is a part of the artists style. I did a little searching and found past works by Sofia that were done in much “lower traffic areas” where women were painted pink, blue and even green. Some had shirts revealing cleavage, some weren’t even clothed. I’m not excusing the fact that they are “scantily clad” or not clad at all, but just saying that if they were painted a different color, in a different area, this wouldn’t be an issue. Being that they are in one of the busiest places on the planet they gain a lot more exposure.  Therefore, a lot more criticism.

To reiterate, art is about perception, as evidenced by the mixed reviews given by the public. When I saw the piece I didn’t see “hoochies” or “prostitues”, I saw an artists expression of her world, I saw talent in the form paint brushes dipped in creativity, and spread across a canvas of fearlessness. Nobody knows what the artist was thinking when she did the piece. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t out to portray Black and Latino women in a negative light. What do you think? Is this art degrading to women? Is it even art at all? Are people too sensitive? Comments are welcome…



Several years ago I was signing on to my Yahoo account, and in their featured news section, there was a video of an artist with talent beyond the scope of any descriptive text.  I visited his website and was pleasantly shocked at what he displayed there. His artwork ranges from self portraits, to important figures in our society, to our present commander-in-chief.  Sounds simple right? NOT IN ANY SENSE OF THE WORD. What takes his artwork to another level, that NO artist I have never seen has done, is the surfaces he uses for the artwork, the way he transfers the paint to the piece, or what he uses to create certain images. For Example, his latest piece is called “Lance”. It’s titled for the seven time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, who, before this achievement, survived Testicular Cancer. Oh yeah, those titles were all won consecutively from 1999-2005. Talk about dominating a sport. Anyway, Phil created a painting of the bust of Mr. Armstrong by laying a canvas on the floor of his studio, attaching buckets of different paint colors to the handle bars of a TRICYCLE,and allowing the paint to run down over the wheel of the tricycle as he rode over the canvas, the tire tracks giving him his desired image.  It may sound confusing or impossible, but check it out for yourself.  Phil also tackles social issues with his artwork. Another of his pieces is of our President, ole’ Georgy Porgy. The way he executed this one, no pun intended, was taking the names of Coalition Soldiers that have been KILLED in the Iraq war up until April 30th of 2005, and he wrote them on a canvas to form the smiling leader of our nation, with the very symbol of patriotism in the background.  There are plenty more pieces that amazed me, shocked me or that were just unbelievable, contained on his site, and for the majority of them, he’s imbedded videos to watch. Chronicling the process of creating each one, for the non believers of course. Stop by, be inspired and participate in his “Goodbye Art” section. In this section, he involves the viewers of his website in some fashion and creates a work of art from what he gets from us. Once completed, this artwork is destroyed. Either by Phil or Nature. Oh yeah, for anyone who hasn’t been hibernating in recent years, check out the Goodbye Art for May, its all about Sports. One of his pieces is of Roger Clemens, but it is made from Syringes. AMAZING!!! Check out his many masterpieces and come back to let me know what you think. His website is