Twombly, Twombly!!!


 

I recently visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This is one of the exhibitions that caught my eye.

Cy Twombly was an American artist, who belonged to the same generation as Robert Rauschenburg. He was a painter, sculptor, and photographer. He was born in 1928, died in 2011. In 1954, Twombly served as a cryptographer for the U.S. Army. In 1957, Twombly moved to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life. His work was mostly Abstract Expressionism.

 

Second Voyage to ItalyCy Twombly, Second Voyage to Italy

 

Twombly lived in Rome after World War II. He ended up being among a generation artists, in 1950’s Europe, that were trying to forget about the war. For his inspiration, Twombly used his surroundings in Rome, combined with the new style of American painters. He used these sources, and combined it with his own emotional reactions to them.

His paintings mostly had a solid color background that was usually gray, tan, or off-white. On top of the solid color background, Twombly scribbled. A few of these, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, resembled a chalkboard. And, what looked like chalk, was in the form of scribbling. Many of his paintings use this scribbling style, which sometimes resembles cursive handwriting (a calligraphy style). Other times, Twombly’s work resembles grafitti. One of the large paintings, at the Museum of Modern Art, looked like random chalk marks. But, some looked more like cursive handwriting. Though, there were no actual letters represented, just vague shapes that resembled the structure of letters. Later in his career, he would focus more on romantic symbolism.

Untitled Cursive-style piece

Cy Twombly, Untitled

Cursive-style piece

When I stood next to a large Twombly art piece “Untitled, 1971,” a museum employee told me that it was worth $1 Billion dollars. That intrigued me. I looked into why Twombly’s work would be worth so much money. Twombly was a big influence to generations of younger artists. He is considered a very important artist. He is said to have influenced Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Clemente, and Julian Schnabel. Another reason that Twombly’s work is so expensive now, is scarcity. Twombly has a small body of work, only creating about 650 paintings. When compared to artists, such as Andy Warhol who created over 10,000 works of art, Twombly has a relatively small amount of completed works. If every major art museum in the world sought to acquire an important Twombly piece, there wouldn’t be any his artwork left.

 

Untitled 1971.jpg

 

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1971

Me Next to a $1 Billion dollar art pieceMe next to a $1 Billion dollar art piece

I liked the artworks by Twombly that were more of calligraphic style, that looked almost like cursive handwriting. My favorite piece of Twombly’s, n the Museum of Modern Art, was a piece titled “Note I” from the series “III Notes from Salalah” 2005-2007. It had that chalkboard aesthetic, the forms that resembled cursive handwriting, and drips. The calligraphic-style faux lettering looked watered down. And, the letters were dripping.

Note I from the series III Notes from Salalah 2005-2007Cy Twombly, “Note I” from the series “III Notes from Salalah” 2005-2007

New semester, who dis.


The best part about starting a new semester is being able to curve people with a legitimate reason, such as, “Oh, sorry! I can’t make it today, I have a new school schedule!”

Okay I am totally kidding (well kind of), but here we are again in the semester where students scramble for classes like we are playing twister, bending over backwards, standing on our heads, reaching over our competition while trying to land our feet on without breaking our backs. However, during this chaos coupled with the insanity of finals, we forget about the opportunity for self-growth.

The transition between each new semester allows you to reflect on what you have learned, where you started, and where you are going next. It is amazing that we as students have the freedom to choose which classes we will take and use them as tools to discover ourselves, with very few limitations. For instance, if your major is still declared as undecided, you can shop an endless list of creative classes, such as art, social studies, and philosophy, which can assist in creating yourself and who you want to be.

One of the best parts about college is there are hundreds of GE courses that may have nothing to do with your major or your career, but the knowledge you gain from each professor, lecture, and project gives you a new perspective.

College should not be treated as a stepping stone to land a corporate job that will pay for your retirement; the worst thing a person could do is enter college just to find a good job. Higher education is revolutionary because it is an open space for self creation and enables you to cultivate your own individuality. The second worst thing a student could ever do is take a class for a mere unit filler and not grow from its content. Each class a student takes should be strategized based on what you want to learn, what you have not learned, and what will be useful for you.

Although some GE courses are required, as students we have every right to choose classes that nurture our own interests; we pay for the classes we take, therefore we are entitled to choose what material we will spend 9 hours of our lives studying each week. Hence, our schedules should be filled with courses that stimulate our curiosity.

College is also a playground to discover new ideas, cultures, and self-awareness. We as students should seek out classes that will give us a new perspective. Learning about different cultural experiences will not only expand our knowledge about the world around us, but will also lead to self-realization of our own consciousness.

This process of narrowing down classes should also be filtered by what is valuable to us as future world leaders. However, this should not be confused with treating college as a pipeline to the workforce; college should be a supplement to your future career and livelihood. A useful example would be a student going to college to become a doctor, but seeking out ethnic study courses to widened their knowledge about other people’s experiences to assist their craft in the medical field.

Again, it is fair to say that a new semester is stressful because finding the right courses can create so much anxiety. However, amongst all the turmoil, remember one thing: do not work for college, instead let college work for you.

Taking a Break with Adventures!


This semester has not been stressful as previous semesters. But I have been busy with a lot of essays and projects for classes. Last week I decided to take a break from all of the work and go home for a few days. It was my niece’s birthday and my sister decided to go to a place called “The Jungle” in Concord, CA. I did not realize how stressed I was  from school until I was on my way to “The Jungle.” I was thinking about all of the assignments I had to do the following week. However, once I got to the place there were children playing in tunnels, slides, and bouncy houses. My sister was in the arcade playing a racing game with my niece. Their shoes were off and they were having a good time. My niece ran up to me with her two friends and they asked can I go to a bouncy area with her. I said yeah. At that moment all of my worries about school was over. I was in the moment of enjoying my niece and finally having a day to enjoy myself.

My sister joined us and we went inside a bouncy play area. It was amazing how everything was set up inside. It looked like a world of Super Mario with blown up flowers, and shapes to grab onto if you fall. We climbed up blown up stairs leading us to a slide. My sister and I went down to wide slide with my niece and her two friends all at once. It was scary and amazing at the same time. We all tried to get up and constantly fell. It was funny because we could be clumsy and silly without any judgement. Of course, with younger children around there is never judgement. My sister and I realized how old we were because we were out of breath. We went up the slide once more and got out. When we got out we did not have enough energy so we rolled out and landed on our backs. It was so funny that we could not stop laughing.

When we finally got up my niece ran to the tunnel and invited me. Of course, I was crazy enough to get in. We were climbing, sliding, and going through so many things I thought it would never end. I tried to keep up with my niece, but I realized I am taller now and older. When we finally got out my heart rate was beating quicker than I expected. Afterwards, we went to the arcade and played games. I have never played the dancing game or air hockey. I played and was pretty good at them. I have not felt so free in a long time.  I was happy that I took a break from school and went home for my niece’s birthday.

For all of you readers, if you want to take a break from school for just a day. I would not suggest to go to a party, night club, or do something that you are used to doing. I would suggest going out and doing something where you could feel like a kid and be silly for once. As we get older we forget how to have fun because of our load of responsibilities. Taking that one day off will be worth it. If you do not have time right now, try it after finals week. It will be worth the wait.

Working Is A Glass Half Full


Today at work I was given a field day, which basically means I get to work outside and out of the office. The work site is an hour and a half away in the middle of the San Joaquin Delta. The objective is to locate siphon pipes that go through the levees and go into the water so that they can divert water from the river to the land beside it. Now that you have some perspective on what today will be like, I would like to introduce you to the theme of this entry.

I feel the strain of work and the slow moving clock, but it is a stressful life to concentrate and focus your energy on that. You must try your hardest to look at the work that you do and look at it with the Half Full Perspective. If you are unfamiliar with this it is when you focus your energy on the upside pieces of the labor that consumes your time. People will down this form of optimism, but that’s the beauty of half full. You still recognize that there is a balance and that the half emptt is also present. I could concentrate on the allergies I have, the mosquito bites I will get, and the rainy weather, but that’s not the way I see it. You can dramatically change your life by just altering your perspective on the way you look at things.

It is challenging to go through life always trying to make the best if things. There are plenty of things I wish I had and there are plenty of times where I don’t always feel the best, but I actively try to maintain the joy in my life. Life will always try to get you down and that will never change, just be a little more open to the fact that statistically we will all eventually feel pain. Not all the same, but all people hurt some way or another. Embrace that and try hard to overcome and beat it.

All the things I have learned is that taking care of yourself and your well being is the first job and the most important job. If you don’t work, the world around you doesn’t work.

Work is a cycle and that is a scary thing to imagine. The same thing for x amount of years. That is why it is important to try and find things to be thankful and happy for. If you need change, initiate the plan that needs to be done to get ahead. Good things do not come easy, but it is fun working your ass off for something you really want. You need dreams, turn those to goals, turn those goals to actions, turn those actions to habits. I blamed people, quit blaming people. People will always let you down. Count on that, and take accountability to the things that are important to you. Blame yourself and allow your ego to forgive yourself. We sometimes treat everyone fair and treat ourselves cruelly. Treat your self you deserve it. Be happy for no reason, allow yourself to see the light in things that are not there. Being happy is sone thing to fight and work for.

Easter


Easter is finally here! This was a holiday I used to spend with my family without understanding the meaning behind it. As a young child, meaning behind holidays does not matter. The only thing that matters is that the family gets together and celebrate the holiday with each other. I come from a big family so our family tradition was to visit our cousin’s house in Richmond, CA. The house has a back yard that has a hill and big enough for all of the children to search for Easter eggs. I remember going to the house, painting Easter eggs, and eating large plates of food. The parents would be in the backyard hiding the Easter eggs in the backyard , and us children would go to the back and do a Easter egg hunt. There was always a golden egg that had money in it. The adult’s loved me and knew I would share with my siblings, so they showed me where the golden egg was. I held on to the money until it was  time to go home. When my mom took my siblings and I home, we stopped by the store, and I bought us all snacks to eat. I used to love the Easter egg hunts.

Now that I am older, everyone in my family is working. No one has time take the entire day off for Easter. We all might work and get off early. But I realized that things change as you get older, especially the way you celebrate holidays. There are only a few children in our family right now who can do the Easter egg hunt. However, my cousin’s who held Easter each year at their house is older now. No one feels like doing the Easter egg hunt so my siblings, mother, and I meet up by five o’clock and eat dinner together. It isn’t much but it is enough to keep my family together for the holidays. We are now discussing a new way to celebrate Easter. For instance, doing more activities for my five year old niece to have something to look forward to each Easter, similar to what my siblings and I looked forward to each Easter. Although my family and I are older now, it is still great to have traditions to expand ideas for them in the future.

 

Losing my mind, and possibly my government…


imagesOne of the things I’ve been comforted by, since Trump’s election, is the amount of political participation. People are protesting, going to town halls, etc. It has made me think that, if we can sustain it, we may have a chance at stopping (at least) the worst of what’s happening in D.C. now. Because it is the only way we have of stopping it. It’s only been a month of Trump’s presidency, and already you can feel the fatigue. We can’t let the fatigue get to us. What is happening is seriously terrifying. It is threatening to slowly erode our democracy. I don’t think that Trump is Hitler, the comparison is insulting. And, I don’t think Trump is the only person threatening our free system in this country. I think there are a lot of congress people that are doing whatever they feel like doing, instead of representing the American people. But, if we can keep up the level of political awareness, and outrage, we can really shake up Congress in 2 years. I’m really hoping that we can vote out enough Republicans in Congress to get a majority. Then, at least, we can make it much more difficult for Trump in the last 2 years of his presidential term. And, even more hopefully, we can then vote Trump out. Amazingly, I feel like members of Congress are actually incentivizing people to vote them out of office. Since Trump has taken office, and done many things that scare people, or anger them, or both; people have begun to engage with their respective member of Congress. They’re going to town hall meetings, calling their representative’s offices, or e-mailing their Congress person. And, incredibly, Congress’ response has been to shove their fingers in their ears and shout “LALALALALALALAAAA, CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!” This makes me rage as much as Trump being president. Congress is supposed to represent the will of the people. They are supposed to be beholden to their constituents. But, now, they are shutting down lines of communication between them and the people they are supposed to be working for. Kellyanne Conway is telling them to ignore their constituents, that the only thing that matters is (what she calls) the “Real Person Impact” (R.P.I). She says that it only matters what “real” people think. Which I find directly insulting, apparently I’m not a real person. But, how does she determine what “real” people think anyway? She’s telling representatives to actively ignore constituents trying to make their voices heard. And, we know the Trump administration denounces polling data. So, how are they getting the information on what “real” people think, anyway? Over the weekend, our representatives went home to their districts. Of the 292 members of Congress, there were only 88 in-person town halls scheduled, and 35 of those were for ONE Congress person. Our members of Congress are instead opting for live-streaming town hall events online, where they can pre-screen any questions they decide to answer. But, that’s not all. Many Representatives are not answering their phones, or e-mails. We have people faxing their representatives, because it’s the only way they can get their voices heard by the people that are supposed to be representing their voices. I hope all these people hold on to their outrage over this, and actually vote these people out in 2 years. Because this is not how democracy is supposed to work.

Art Street Fun


Palette.As an artist, I tend to flinch when someone goes up and touches another person’s art. Much of the time, art is made to just be observed. But, going to Art Street, and seeing different pieces that were designed to be interacted with, was a change that quite interesting. I had to get over the knee-jerk reaction of “why are you touching things?” That was a difficult feeling to get over. I’ve taken art history classes, where you learn of all the art damaged or lost forever. In the early 19th century, some frescoes from ancient Egypt and ancient Greece were stripped of their original color for aesthetic purposes, aesthetics of that time period. Art being handled, or exposed to camera flashes, etc. can slowly damage art over time. And, the art is someone else’s creation. I would usually feel strange, seeing people touching my work. But, art isn’t only one thing. Art is everywhere. Art is an experience. Art can be anything. DuChamp famously took a pre-made urinal, and signed his name to it. A joke, yes. But, also a statement, anything can be art. And, having art that engages more than one of the senses makes for some pretty interesting experiences. There’s a room with nooks cut out of the walls, lined with pillows to sit on. The nooks have headphones, with meditation style music playing through them. The room has a giant zen garden in the middle, lit up by green and yellow lights softly shimmering across the room. Another piece was made of moss, in a picture frame mounted on the wall, with a sign that says “Please touch me.” One piece, that was particularly popular with children in attendance, was a collage (in pieces) on several turnstiles. Depending on which way each of the turnstile collages were faced, and where you were standing, determined what type of collage you will see. Kids ran through these giant turnstiles, pushing them around and around, like they were playing in rotating doors. Having art that not only engaged your senses, but could be fun, is extremely smart. Kids are having a good time, and being exposed to art. I wasn’t just standing around, talking about the pieces, wondering if I could take a picture. I was standing inside the art, playing with it, feeling it. Everyone was having a good time, kids were going up to the open mic. Adults were closing their eyes, and really listening to the experience. We weren’t just staring, we were climbing inside, and living the experience. I think this kind of art needs to be around us much more than it is. Going to an art gallery, or museum, feels like a chore sometimes. Something to educate us, or our children. But, once you are there, you go out of your way to keep quiet. You’re afraid to take photos of the work. Adults with children are always on alert, making sure the kids aren’t wandering off breaking things. This isn’t a conducive environment to enjoy the art you came to see. And, it’s mostly boring for the children. I remember being dragged to museums. I didn’t want to be there. But, experiences like this make people interested in it, engaged with it more fully. It was a lot of fun.

Art Street by M5Arts is in Sacramento until Feb. 25th

 

If you are an artist at Sac State, and would like some of your art reviewed, contact me: DJTraySquat on facebook. And, listen to Poli-Psycho on KSSU.com every Wednesday at 6-7pm

Valentine’s Day Plans


imagesValentine’s Day is one of those days that people either look forward to or not. Depending on if you have a date or not is what will get you in a good mood. I personally never have a Valentine or try to have a Valentine that day. Its not because I’m a grouch towards the lovey dovey thing. I usually look at others and laugh at how silly they could get about the person they love by doing romantic things. Also, how sad and lonely people are because they don’t have a relationship, or are too afraid to ask their crush to be their Valentine. So what am I looking forward to on Valentine’s Day? Being my own date and treating myself to anything I want to do. Taking myself out to eat or calling some of my single friends to have a single night out is usually a good choice. It’s too much to make plans and believe they are gonna go as planned. It’s best to wake up and see what you prefer to do that day. If you all have someone special in your life go ahead and share the love. If you have a crush go ahead and ask them to be your Valentine. If you have plans enjoy them. If you don’t have plans treat yourself or ask some friends to celebrate with you. It’s a day to share love to others and yourself. It shouldn’t be a day full of expectations but surprises. For all of you who have class on Tuesday it’s okay. I am kind of upset because it’s on a Tuesday and not on the weekend for everyone to enjoy their entire day.

If you all are curious about how Valentine’s Day came about I think it would be a great idea to look up the story. It’s a beautiful story about a man falling in love with a woman. The way they met was interesting and the way it ended makes a lot of sense of the day celebrated. After learning about the story I have a better understanding about Valentine’s Day. It helped me realize that Valentine’s Day isn’t about dates or presents. It’s about sharing love to others and yourself. So to the readers, go out and share your love others or even yourself. I hope everyone enjoy their Valentine’s Day. Hopefully there is enough information provided here for someone to get an idea of something to do for that day. Enjoy yourselves and share your love. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

 

 

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Super Bowl Heartbreak


ap17037035090294Well that was an intense Super Bowl we all witnessed! The Falcons got off to a blistering start which was clearly leaving the Patriots a bit bewildered. The first half was nothing short of surprising because the Patriots were not supposed to trail by that much; granted we all knew the Falcons had an explosive offense…but so to did the Patriots. The amazing thing though, was it was not the falcons offense that gave them that big lead, it was their defense. Brady threw two picks, one which was returned for an 82 yard touchdown. Coming into the game, the Falcons defense actually ranked closer to the bottom of the league (according to nfl.com), so when Dan Quinn’s defense came out with those 2 picks and the 3 or 4 sacks of Tom Brady, I was a bit surprised.

Then came the 4th quarter…and literally everything changed like I knew it would. The Patriots were just too good to play that poorly and I knew they would at least make a game out of it…and boy did they ever! As soon as Julian Edelman made that ridiculous catch, I knew the Falcons were going to lose. Everything was going the Patriots way at this point and there was going to be no way that the Falcons defense could with-stand the Patriots onslaught.

It was painful to watch the Falcons lose control of that game. As a 49ers fan, I was only rooting for the Falcons because their offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, was going to be our new head coach, which should be cause for excitement for Niner fans, but that is another blog for another time. The Falcons just simply ran out of gas, and against a team like New England, that is asking for trouble.

Overall, it was an exciting game to watch. This game seemed to have all the drama that a sports nerd could want. It had the excitement of the team you rooted for getting off to a sizzling start, then it had the moments of nervousness as you watched the opponent start to come back, and finally it had that disastrous moment of heartbreak, when you lose in overtime. This game had every emotion you could ask for. This is why we love watching sports. Yes, our teams will have moments of glory, but there are those other times when they (in this case the Falcons) must endure gut wrenching moments that sting you for the entire off season.

On the bright side, the Falcons still look poised to make another championship run, if they keep their core players intact and they can stay healthy, then I think they have a legit shot of returning to the super bowl. However, losing their offensive coordinator is going to be huge for them because Matt Ryan had a really good relationship with him and they both worked very well together. Whoever becomes their new OC will have to try and emulate the success that Matt Ryan and Kyle Shanahan built. Not an easy task.

Super Bowl


superbowlI am not a huge fan of football, but watching the Super Bowl last year had me interested in watching it this year. The half-time show was interesting to watch because I didn’t expect so much entertainment during the game. I was with my roommates at the time and they were telling me how they were ready to see the performers during the half-time show. I asked why were they so thrilled and they provided a video from the 2015 Super Bowl half-time show. It was Katie Perry performing “fireworks” and she put on a great show. Last year Coldplay, Beyonce’, and Bruno Mars performed. It was a great performance, I didn’t expect the Super Bowl to be so live. After watching the performances from last year and 2015, i was ready to watch the Super Bowl to see who will perform this year. Lady Gaga performed and she did an amazing job. However, I expected to more performers than one so I was kind of disappointed. That is my fault because I was more interested in the half-time show than the actual game.
In contrast, the football game was interesting to watch. Of course I didn’t pay attention to the  entire game, but it got heated at the end. Both teams were tied and that made me want to watch the game. The Falcons and Patriots were tied for ten or more minutes and I was curious to see how either team would win. Of course they would be tied once the game is close to being done. The Patriots won the game and many fans were happy that their team won. There are many other games coming up but this game as interesting as last year. I am going to look out for more performances and commercials for the Super Bowl half-time shows. Hopefully it gets more interesting than this one game and performance.