Archive for the ‘Artists’ Category

John Blatter:overview

John Blatter received a BFA in Sculpture from the Ohio State University, and an MFA in Sculpture from VCU.   He has had solo exhibitions as well as participated in group collaborative efforts in the United States and Internationally.  He even has collections in MOMA.  Blatters work centers around sculpture, sound, and video.

Bored of One (2005) consists of six individual speakers surrounding an empty table, resembling a boardroom discussion.  The voices (recordings of himself) discuss Blatter’s importance within the corporation and I think this lends to a discussion about the importance of the identity of the artist in a work of art.  Blatter incorporates a lot of himself into his pieces, for me this helps to make the pieces a lot deeper in meaning and a lot more personal and interesting to think about.  In Diary (2004), John presents a simple installation of a diary sitting on a shelf.  The audio that plays is Blatter himself reading parts of passages.  This gives the piece one of the most personal views possible and the effect would not be lost even if I found out that these passages are not real.  The personal part of his art is very endearing, because so much of our society hides their true selves and his art has a certain openness that will surely draw viewers in.  John Blatter incorporates other people in his work, Movements is a 44-piece audio installation produced from stories that John collected from a variety of people.

I really love John Blatter’s work; I think it’s really interesting and also personal which helps to drawing the viewer in.  The sculptural elements that he incorporates are on the whole very clean-cut and simplistic which does not distract from the audio and helps his pieces to be balanced in the variety of different media elements that they employ.

Nam June Paik: overview

Nam June Paik is a Korean-born American artist who is considered to be the first video artist.  He is very well-known for his installation pieces many of which involve televisions, an exploration of the media.  In 1974 Nam June Paik used the term “super highway” in application to telecommunications, which gave rise to the opinion that he may have been the author of the phrase “information superhighway.”  He has been quoted with saying,

Skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality. Technology has become the body’s new membrane of existence.


installation view Modulation in Sync: Jacob’s Ladder, 2000

“The Worlds of Nam June Paik”

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 2000

A series of buddha’s watching themselves on a television screen as a reference to the effect of media.

Philips Consumer Electronics Deutschland

“Electronic Art” , Nam June Paik, “Turtle”

Internationalen Funkausstellung, Berlin, 1993

TV Cello

The More the Better, (1988) Three channel video installation with 1,003 monitors and steel structure; color, sound; approx. 60 ft. high.

Several Installations incorporate TV’s in the forms of robots

I really enjoyed Paik’s pieces, they are very visually pleasing and some of them are so large that being able to see them in person would be a real treat.  The statement he makes about people and the media has been used by many artists after him probably due to it’s prevalence in our lives today.  His combinations of sculpture and the ability to project images make his works both visually stimulating and magnify the communication of the message.

Stephen Vitiello: overview

Stephen Vitiello is a visual and sound artist who was originally a punk guitarist.  He is an installation artist that is particularly interested in the physical aspect of sound and its potential to define the form and atmosphere of a spatial environment.” He collaborates with many visual artists in order to form a variety of pieces with different visual and sound elements.


In the 1999 work, “Winds After Hurricane Flloyd,” Stephen Vitiello recorded the World Trade Center creaking after the hurricane.

One of his most recent works “A Bell for Every Minute” where he sampled bell sounds from throughout New York City’s five boroughs, 59 bells in all layered into one room-filling sound in the High Line installation.

In his Project “Four Color Sound,” Vitello accompanies audio with choreographed lighting effects





“Something Like Fireworks” incorporated Sound and Lighting Design in collaboration with Jeremy Choate.

I really enjoy Stephen Vitiello’s installation pieces because of their integration of both visual and sound elements and the way he cooperates with other artists to produce them.

Paul Pfeiffer: overview

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1966, Paul Pfeiffer attended Hunter College of New York and the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1990.  Pfeiffer works in many different forms of media including sculpture, miniature recreations, video, and photography.  Paul Pfeiffer addresses themes such as faith, desire, contemporary cultural obsessions, and the influence of media over culture, fears, and obsessions.

Pfeiffer uses recent innovations in computer technology to his advantage in his work where he “dissect[s] the role that mass media plays in shaping consciousness.”

In a series of works based around various sports (basketball, boxing, and hockey), Pfeiffer edits out and erases the bodies of the players in order to shift the focus to something else be it spectators, sports equipment, or trophies.  The way they are presented; on small LCD screens and often looped showing a connection between the way the art was achieved and how it is presented to a general audience.

His series The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Pfeiffer does the opposite; he edits the photo so that one player is focused upon even if that player was not necessarily the focus of the photograph in the first place.

Pfeiffer also does miniature dioramas of sets from films that include “The Exorcist” and “The Amityville Horror.”

I really enjoy Paul Pfeiffer’s work because not only is he original in ideas but he uses the means that are currently available in art to create and make a statement at the same time.

Bill Viola: overview

Bill Viola is a video and installation artist.  Born in 1951, His work focuses on universal human themes including birth, death, and overall conciousness. “Viola uses video to explore the phenomena of sense perception as an avenue to self-knowledge.”  His work has influenced much in the area of electronic, image, and sound technology in “New Media.”

Contained in the series “Buried Secrets is one of Viola’s best known works, “The Greeting,” an interpretation of “The Visitation” by Pontormo.  This Video is done in slow motion in order to enhance the emotionality of the piece.

The Greeting

In his video “The Reflecting Pool,” Viola stops a man jumping in midair while the reflecting pool continues to be undisturbed and the reflections of figures can be seen in it while the man gradually fades away after which a man emerges from the pool.

The Reflecting Pool

I really enjoy the artwork of Bill Viola.  The subjects he explores are interesting ones that would apply to a wide variety of people and the way he executes it is very clean and consistant.

Jeff Baij

Jenny Holzer: overview

Jenny Holzer was born in 1950 and as an artist deals with using words and ideas in relation to space.  She attended Ohio University (BA), RISD (MFA), and an independent study program at the Whitney museum of American Art.  She was originally an abstract artist and a painting and only began using text in her work in 1977.  She makes use of projections to translate ideas onto real space.

Her most famous work is “Truisms” in which she compiled a series of aphorisms and made them public in a series of different ways, including street posters, phone booths and LED billboards.  Much of her work deals in projections onto buildings and city-scapes.

Jenny Holzer Projections

I really enjoyed the work of Jenny Holzer, it’s a really interesting idea that conveys a message to many people at once.  Because of the large scale of the projects, the intensity of the message is magnified.

Jeff Baij: overview

Jeff Baij is an artist living in Venice, California.  He has recorded making $65.13 for his art to date.  His art deals in the online and computer world and often playfully makes fun of both.

Alot of his work deals with online research.  In “Definitive Kowloon” he found all of the pictures available online depicting the Kowloon Walled City on a specific day.

Definitive Kowloon

Recently he has had a series of images on his blog of the outline of various animals with various textures inserted into them.

He also uses many .gifs in his artwork that have to do with objects moving over eachother and pixelated, moving, rainbow-colored geometric shapes.



Dance Party

The Floating Island

Some of his other works include:

Blood Vomit

Can my software distinguish friends from foes?

Index of /Party

He has an ongoing work of various quicktime movies showing morphing images. (actually pretty cool)
Hallway 2


Because he does so many different types of things, it’s hard to describe the body of Jeff Baij’s work.  The only real connection between the works are that they are computer-based, but they lack any real defining elements about them.  I do respect some things, for example I am not able to write computer code or make .gifs and I did enjoy some of the witty commentary on internet searches (Value) but on the whole I was not that impressed.  For a lot of his work, the idea is there, but technically (a lot of the time it’s very sloppy work) he does not come through all the way and make the viewer want to continue to explore his blog and see more.  In short, I like that he does his own thing, but a lot of it does seem pointless (example:1:10:100:100kb Lines)

Last year one of our own from Mary Wash posted a rather scathing review of Jeff Baij that prompted a pretty awesome (yet slightly embittered) video-response on his bio:

Blog Entry

Jeff Baij:

let me make you a list of personal insecurites surrounding my art:

  1. not “black metal” enough
  2. not “rap” enough
  3. too small
  4. no consistent theme that says “jeff made this” (unless you count shitiness)
  5. starting to think that sheer volume of output does not make up for
    1. lack of good ideas
    2. lack of physical objects (not counting glow-in-the-dark daleks)
    3. everything i make looking like its from 2006 and this is 2010
  6. maybe i should spend more time than it takes to toast a pop-tart to make something
  7. other stuff but i’m bored now


Robin Rhode: overview

Robin Rhode is a South African artist who works with everyday materials like charcoal, chalk, and paint.  He incorporates the ideas of street art in that he uses public places like the walls and the street to do his artwork.  His works are very simplistic and often address social issues he is introduced to in South Africa, where he often visits.  His range of media spans performance art, street drawings, photographs, videos, and animations.  Because of the simplicity of much of his work he can appeal to a very wide audience.

I really enjoy the visual elements of Robin Rhode’s work.  He is able to simulate action using only simple drawings and pictures in a way that is very interesting to the viewer.  Any shortcomings of craft in this case are overruled by the interactions he makes with his work.  Because of the nature of his work it has a very temporary quality that is not common to traditional work.

Pipilotti Rist: overview

Pipilotti Rist is a video artist living and working in Zurich and the mountains of Switzerland.  She is well-known for her freestyle video and audio installations as well as a feature film finished in 2009, “Pepperminta”.  She’s a contemporary artist and feminist that specializes in video editing and explorations in color and sexuality.

I am on the fence about how I feel about this artist.  I do think that her Installation pieces in galleries are presented very well and create a lot of interest for the viewer but I am confused/very much do not enjoy some of the video pieces that she is most known for such as “I’m not the girl who misses much” and “Pickelporno.”  Watching these videos I feel like I’m not being open-minded or they are just going over my head but I seriously feel disturbed; if this is the intent of the artist then the job is well-done but it does not change the lack of enjoyment I get from the videos.

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