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 Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art

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PostSubject: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:33 pm

Ok so the task. Chose one painting - using the idea of semiotics, that artists
and poets play with the word/image associations in our culture, explain what
the artist is trying to express through his/her painting. Take the image and consider its deeper connotations.....
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francisco.otero

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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:56 am

In the painting A Friend in Need, by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, we are shown dogs playing poker. For us, and the people that first saw the picture, they were caught off guard. No one expects a dog to play poker, but, thats just an opinion form by us because we've never seen an animal play any poker. Thats just a thought that we are forced to create because of custom, we are not used to see dogs playing a human sport like poker. Tha artist here, broke this boundrary. It means everything and nothing.

"Oh' capitan, my capitan"

atte: afro

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Dante Pesce



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:56 am

In "The Scream" by Kristian Kahrs we are shown a man screaming in a bridge with a twisted background. When we first look at it we get the feeling that he is scared and confused, because screaming and dark colors are typically associated to this feelings, but this impresssion is caused by the meaning we give to this things. So if we saw this without any cultural background or personal experience this painting would maybe have a very different meanig, or no meaning at all.


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sebastian migliaro

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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:12 am

Semiotics is how you interpret something because of your social or cultural background. Many things can mean something to you but to other poeple it could mean something completely different. An example of semiotics in art is the famous painting of the Lady of mystery or the Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci. This is one of the most interesting painting of the world not because what you can see at first sight, but because every "layer" of the painting can be interpreted differently, or as some people say "everything and nothing". Semiotics have an important role in Mona Lisa because some people may think something completely different to other people and you never know if what you are thinking about what is the Mona Lisa "hiding" may be something completely different to another persons opinion. Some pople say that the secret that the Mona Lisa is hiding is that she is hermaphrodite,but someone who doesnt knows what hermaphrodite means or even sees the painting for the first time may think something different because of his cultural background.

Bai-bai rabbit

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Fran Kupfer



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PostSubject: WEEK 3 - PAINTING    Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:04 pm

ARMORED DOVE (BANKSY):
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BUSH VAMPIRE (ALEX ROSS):
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Banksy’s ‘Armoured Dove’ and Alex Ross’ ‘Bush Vampire’ are two examples of artworks which communicate anti – war and anti – suppression messages by making use of symbolic elements, creating very controversial outcomes.

In the graffiti ‘Armoured Dove’, we observe the image of a dove carrying an olive branch clad in a bullet proof vest, with crosshairs centred on its breast. Being the dove the symbol for peace, and weapons having connotations with war, what this picture is trying to suggest is that the violent behaviour that reigns over our current world is threatening the peace and harmony we should be living in. The dove offering an olive branch implies peaceful intentions, and the white colour of its feathers represents purity, kindness and innocence, all of this that’s being endangered by wars and hostility in society.

Then we have Alex Ross’ painting where we observe the former president of the United States of America, George Bush, portrayed like a vampire that’s attacking the famous Statue of Liberty. This statue represents the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas, who bears a torch and a tablet evoking the law. The statue has become an iconic symbol of freedom and of the United States. Therefore what this artwork suggests is that politicians, specifically president George Bush, are somehow ‘sucking’ the liberty out of America. Freedom and justice are being neglected by the leaders of our nations. Vampires have connotations with evil and danger, plus are associated with people who prey mercilessly upon others (cold-blooded). Consequently what our artist is trying to imply is that George Bush is a heartless individual that disrespects everybody’s right to be free.

FRANCISCA KUPFER
II C
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andres weinstein



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:16 pm

The painting “Liberty Leading the People” by Eugène Delacroix is an example of semiotics in art, as it clearly represents the French revolution. The woman symbolizes liberty which is personified by Marianne, a French national emblem of liberty and reason. The man with a sword on the left side, represents the lower classes of society, and both the man with a hat and the boy, represent the bourgeoisie. What Delacroix wants us to see, is the fierce battle that took place in Paris due to the unfair situation suffered by the people of France.

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nikola abello



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:10 pm

Semiotics is the idea that we attach a meaning to all things. We name something but in a sense of connotation it could mean different things to different people. One example is "The Birth of Venus" by Sandro Botticelli.
This painting, to Plato, represented an earthly goddess who inspired love in humans and represented a perfect female. Another interpretation is that the painting suggests an appropriate behavior for a bride and a groom.
To me this painting represents femininity and divinity of the gods. The shell represents the birth as a perl (jewel) is born. The woman next to Venus with the pink blanket is the obscurity which is trying to cover Venus. The sense of evil and darkness is represented through this female since she is in a dark part of the painting where the color is grey and obscure. The angel on the other hand, may represent the divinity that has brought venus but at the same time is carrying another woman. The flowers thrown represent spring with all the bright colours.
In conclusion, a contrast is seen through the poem where joy and colorful setting represent the perfection and naturally of Venus but at the same time darkness and hatred is perceived emphasizing the envy of humans towards beauty.
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emily lynch



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:42 pm

In Michael Angelo's painting in the Sistine Chapel, there is clear semiotics. What appears to be simply to men was in fact a very controversial image. One of the men, which represents God, is reaching out towards the other, (represtative of men on earth). This gives man great importance since it shows that God reaches out to us and not the other way round. Man is also looking at God straight in the eye, which means they are equals. Though the body of Adam is below God, his hand is above God's hand, which also states them as equals, or even defies religion in suggesting that man is superior to God on some level.
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Tomás Gothe



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PostSubject: The Last Supper   Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:11 pm

In his famous painting, The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci uses the idea of semiotics to express the mood and atmosphere thorugh several symbols across the painting.

Probably the most noticeable of this is the knife, which appears to the left of Jesus, being unclear who is wielding it. Although it may be argued that the knife is being used for eating, it carries connotations of death and betrayal, which we associate with the betrayal of Judas that lead to Christ's death. Furthermore, the fact that the hand carrying it belongs to no one, adds to the atmosphere of suspicion in the painting.

The other very important symbol is the apostol that looks like a woman. The woman in art is often associated with treason and sin, which is exactly the case here, as one of the apostols fell as a sinner, and the situation ended with the death of Jesus and suicide of Judas.

Tomás Gothe drunken
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JT Lafuente



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:14 pm

Semiotics plays a big part in surrealism. The main idea of this type of art is to distort reality, and leave things open for interpretation. So, it is up to us to give these things meanings.

In Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali studies the concepts of softness and hardness, and how they each represent reality and dreams. One way he does this is by using lighting techniques. The majority of the painting is in shadows, except for one section which is illuminated. The comparison comes because of the elements present in each section: in the darkness, the clocks are melting, and there is something lying on the ground, apparently dead, or asleep. However, in the part where there is light, there are rocks. These rocks contrast with the clocks because they are hard, and from the “real world”. The melting clocks are soft, and they symbolize the “dream world” because time is altered. The figure in the middle might be sleeping, so again there is a connection to dreams. Also, since dreams illustrate what you have been through in the past, they are associated with memories, hence the name of the painting.

Another approach to this painting is that because of the darkness, we think of death. It is shown through the obscure figure in the middle. Also, the general mood of the painting is eerie and unpleasant, so we relate it to death.

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teresita eyzaguirre



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:35 pm

Vincent Van Gogh's "Bedroom", at first sight appears to be extremely simple and basic painting, yet it's complexity can be proved in the numerous interpretations that can be extracted from it. I would like to talk about my personal point of view of this painting, since I firmly believe that semiotics are all about individual responses to one particular thing. Firstly, it is relevant to observe the fact that their are no people on the painting, and the subject is ultimately furnitures. This can reflect the way of life in which Van Gogh lived, since it suggests that he prefered to spend his time being unsociable and lonely. Furthermore, it is very interesting to compare the size of the room to the size of the bed. Almost occupying all the space, the bed is painted in very big proportions to emphasize the austere and humble way in which Van Gogh choosed to live contradicting the fact that he had a strong economical situation. Added to this, the figure of the room is much like a trapezoid, and the author of the painting shows a implecable control of perspective. My interpretation to this is that the figure of the room actually represents V. Van Gogh's personality, since from young, Van Gogh showed himself as closed and hard to share with. To finalize, the painting's construction is as if painted by an infant, depicted by it's simplicity and the use of basic, pure colours. The fact that the painting is constructed this way, suggests that the behaviour of the author is mainly inmature, making the observer question is he could possibly suffer a mental unstability.

As extra information, I researched about the behaviour and mentality of Vincent Van Gogh, and at his thirty's, he developed schizophrenia, a degenerative psychotic disorder which leads to the disintegration of personality. Overall, I think that the interpretation made of this painting was very close to his behaviour and psychology.
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antonia sepulveda



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:28 pm

The intention of semiotics is to provide room for the viewer to create their own opinion on the piece of arte, literature, etc. It creates the illusion significance that may or not exist, and at the same time provides a range of posible meanings for what is being viewed.
I've looked up Banksy's work and found that most, if not all, of his work is based on semiotics; he uses his graffitis to transmit his message to the world and at the same time creates the possibility of distinct meanings, letting the viewer decide what they think the message is. I stopped on one image of a maid shoving the dust under a curtain; the image itself shown the maid throwing the waste into something we cannot exactly see. There exists the possibility of the garbage being placed in a bin or a trash area, but by looking at the image as a whole we understand that it represents the actitud of a large quantity of persons. It has the connotation of people looking for the easy exit to their problems, and just throwing their wastes to somewhere they hope won't be seen. This image can also be linked to politics, the information the public receives is reduced and not always objective, politicians as many people have the tendency to hide their problems or difficult situations and 'hide' them where it accomodates them, loking for an easy way out. These are a few of the posible interpretations of the image, each person has their proper way of viewing it and may understand something different, the main idea is that the image does not represent what it shows literally but does indeed go further into grander ideas.
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sofi steinsapir



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:46 pm

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"El Guernica" by Pablo Picasso is a famous and known painting which represents the bombing of Guernica, a catastrophic event during the Spanish Civil War. This large mural reflects the pain and suffering of people, either innocent or involved in the fighting, represented by various figures and techniques, characteristic of Picasso's work.
The painting is today considered an anti-war symbol and promotional of world peace.
In relation to the task, we inmediately observe the art work does not expressively show a bombarding taking place, making it a necessity to interpret it. We notice the posture of the bodies connote suffering and protest, as well as the fact that animals and humans are with their mouthes opened, emphasizing the idea of pain. The light bulb may represent the sun, and the fact that it's a light bulb may also reflect that it will some day end and its battery will die. The bulls are characteristic of Spanish culture, but in this case they can be taken as a sign of brutality and violence. The broken sword can connote the end of the bombarding, the defeat of the people. Finally, the mural is in black and white, which emphasizes the idea of chaos, suffering and brutal mood.
Overall, Picasso's work shows the destruction and suffering provoked by a civil war (the power of destruction humans have)
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Paula Macdonald



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:53 pm

Connotations are entirely subjective, for example da Vinci's painting Mona Lisa can give a lot of different connotations, it depends only in your opinion about it. some people say that the Mona Lisa is smiling, others might completely disagree. One of the most enigmatic questions is what is the Mona Lisa hiding?, here everyone can think whatever they want, because there isn't such thing as a bad connotation.
Another example of this can be Edward Munch's painting "The Scream". Here we see a man or a woman screaming in what apears to be a sunset. Some people think Munch did this because he wanted to show the desesperation of man in this world. Or other people think that this person in screaming because the world is ending (they assume this because of the red sky. Everyone can have different perspectives about this.
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alexandra esnouf



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:25 pm

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In this graffiti by Banksy, we confront an image of a typical tourist couple enjoying a cart ride. That is the first impression.
However, when looking at it for a second time, we can infere a far more complex image. The couple is a typical happy american looking couple who seem to be on vacation somewhere new. They are the only ones in the painting which is in colour.
In contraste, the cart and the young child pulling it on, is in black and white. We see here illegal child labour, with incredible sufferement in the boys face, with no shoes on. This little boy at the same time is being photographed by his "clients".
I think that these connotation work together complementing themselves to give out a reality message. This being how people often ignore these illegal crimes going on, and without thinking about it too much, abuse it and enjoy it.
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isabella luksic



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:56 pm

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War propaganda in general uses semiotics. The poster below shows a man with buttons on his lips, sending a clear message to all to not gossip about what was going on as it may cost lives. However, the fact that the man is dressed in military directly refers to men, warning them not to talk to their wives about where they were going or what they were doing. “Loose talk” could be dangerous for all of them, men at the front and women at home, so they were all warned against talking and this poster is literally telling people to sow their mouths shut, as there may be nasty consequences.
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Cata Martinez



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:34 am

Link : Shen Zhou - Figure sitting on a Riverbank

Shen Zhou's "Figure sitting on a Riverbank" is one of many examples of he cultural traditions in Chinese painting.
For us, who belong in the western culture, the drawing is nothing more than a pretty simple landscape, which depicts a river surrounded by rocks and mountains.
However, in Chinese culture, this image shows complete harmony between the Yin and the Yang (female an male counterparts that form equilibrium). The overall effect of peace and calmness, and the suave sway of the bamboo sticks are all representative of the Yin, the passive and cool.
The shaded, sharper rocks and the marked ripples on the water all represent strength, characteristic of the Yang, which is often depicted when the artist plays with lights and shadows.
The small size of the human fiure compared with the grandeur of the mountains and the river, reflect how we depend on nature, and how nature plays an all-encompasing part in the balance of the universe.
Semiotics have an important role in art, but the depth and/or meaning of it depends on the culture it is applied to. In this case, the image is one in harmony and peace, where everyone and everything is in order and tranquility. Other people, ignorant to these symbolisms, might just appreciate the simplicity and sober beauty of the sepia-toned landscape.
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isabella montero



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:08 pm

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The main characteristic of art, whether it be poetry or paintings, is that it can be interpreted in many different ways, depending on each persons background. This is where semiotics basically means, the meaning or message each person derives from something. The Geological Development by Salvador Dali shows his view of the future, a barren, lifeless landscape, where the memory of life can be seen far away on the horizon. He thinks that our current way of life is not sustainable and will end up destroying us.
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PostSubject: Semiotics   Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:42 pm

Within semiotics, Escher plays with elements which oppose or contradict certain semiotics. Escher is a talented painter who creates amazing optical illusions and visual puzzles by showing impossible scenarios. His paintings show elements which we expect to see in a certain way, for instance, stairs are used for going up and down and water is supposed to flow downwards. Escher manages to eliminate this assumptions or ideas which are fixed in our way of perceiving things and contradicts certain semiotics of common life. Here are a couple of examples of his works.

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josefina bendersky



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PostSubject: Re: Weekly Task Three: Semiotics in art   Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:37 pm

Semiotics talks about a symbol or image that has connotations of expressing something, wether this is an opinion, religion, idea, etc. The jewish artist, Naomi, uses in practically all of her paintings jewish symbols. When we see this paintings, we know what this symbols represent or stand for, so they give a certain meaning to her art. For example, in the following painting called "Traditions" ( [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ), at the left side we can see a dove, which for us represents freedom and hope. On the centre we find the Hassidic Jew and the Star of David, both being part of jewish symbolism. If society and people didn't taught us what this symbols mean, we would probably look at that painting and see a white bird, a star with six edges, and a strange hand, all together. Nevertheless, as we see it, we capture all of its meaning and what the author wants to express with it.
Jose Bendersky Smile
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