Evan_art85's Blog

Modernism Vs. Post-Modernism

The 1930’s marked a new movement in art that lasted all the way to the 1980’s.  This ground breaking movement was called Modernism.  Modernism began as a rejection of tradition; it was a way to get away from the old way of doing depicting ideas.  This movement sought the need for a clear, easily recognizable and more memorable visual way of putting ideas together.  The art of this movement seemed to be very simplistic and demonstrated primitivism and even radicalism compared to the previous way visual communication was done.  On the other hand Post-Modernism was also a movement that began as a rejection of tradition.  Since Modernism was around for so long it became the new norm.  Post-Modernism was the deconstruction of Modernism.  Unlike Modernism which was orderly and simplified, Post-Modernism was very chaotic and out of control.  Post-Modernism seems as if there were no more rules in designing.  This movement lasted from the 1980’s and is still continuing today.

One example of a Modernist designer is William Golden.  Was the creator of the “CBS Eye” logo.  This logo has been around for about 50 years and its design has not been altered.  CBS says that it is an, “American icon, recognized and respected around the world, and one of the best crafted, most identifiable and most successful corporate symbols in history.”  The symbols design is influenced by a human eye.  William Golden’s simple and clear way of representing a corporation puts him under the category of a modernist.  This eye clearly was an easily recognizable and a more memorable visual way of depicting a company since it lasted so many years.  Golden said this about his work, “The kind of effort that goes into graphic expression is essentially lonely and intensive and produces, at its best, a simple logical design. It is sometimes frustrating to find that hardly anyone knows that it is a very complicated job to produce something that is very simple.”  But he executed this very well; simplicity was his main goal when it came to designing for CBS.

On the other hand Woody Pirtle a Post-Modern designer who did a lot of work for T. G. I. Friday’s, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, UCLA, and many more.  Pirtle like many other Post-Modern designers created many works that were a bid more complicated compared to the modernists.  Instead of being very organized and simple his work was a bit more chaotic, but still somewhat organized in a different way.  Some of his work like other Post-Modernists began to be influenced by computers and their form of distortion and different way of doing manipulating the imagery.  “Perhaps technology can be given only slight credit for aiding in the metamorphosis. And morph is a key root word, because there was a very brief period when Woody played with Photoshop-like imagery, as in the 1989 poster for UCLA’s summer session.” (http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/medalist-woodypirtle)  This only further motivated the method of chaotic order, because it made this style a lot easier to accomplish through the use of technology.

Art in the Modernist movement was very simple and orderly, where as the Post-Modernist movement was very chaotic and complicated.  These were two very different styles of design and can be easily seen just by comparing William Golden’s work to Woody Pirtle’s work.  Both made a name for themselves and created brilliant works for their clients, but both came from completely different eras design wise.  Golden got the point across with simple designs that have lasted centuries. Pirtle used a more chaotic, but orderly approach as well as using technology to his advantage.



–       http://www.aiga.org

–       http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org

–       http://www.cbs.com/specials/cbs_75/eye.shtml


Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Nowadays art can be viewed almost everywhere, you no longer have to take a long trip to the museum and walk through every room filled with a lot of people maybe blocking your view of the piece you are trying to look at. Some people never get a chance to even see the original piece any more because it is reproduced so much. Arts availability is due to different forms of technology such as photography, lithograph, print making even film and now the internet. But is all this reproduction degrading the value of the work of art? Does the art piece need to be limited to have value? Or does the art work have an impact on the viewer no matter how many times it is reproduced? I think the constant reproduction of the piece makes the value much greater within a culture because everyone gets to see it and walk away with a work of art that they could never afford. Print making and silk screening were two major techniques which allowed the artist to expose his art work to more people.

Works of art in a museum are priceless. People often buy works of art that are reproduced because they could not afford the original pieces. I believe that exposing reproduced works of art to more people will create the impact the artist intended on more people. Art is universal and can communicate with many people from around the world; the art work now has a larger value because it is now recognizable to many. Andy Warhol was one of those artists who used print making and silk screening as his major source of reproducing art work to the public. For example the Pop art celebrity paintings of Marilyn Monroe and just recently Michael Jackson’s portrait, became famous and recognizable to everyone around the world because he created the original and then reproduced it by using printing and silk screening techniques to create many reproductions. He used his original design to create posters and t-shirts so that the public can have a piece of his art work and at the same time he gained a profit. Andy Warhol was the master of mass exposure of his own art work. He paved the way for many other artists such as Keith Herring who also followed his foot steps to exposing their art work to the public. Andy Warhol not only gained a profit, but his art work was recognized through out the world. This simple print making and silk screening technique allowed him these advantages and his art work was valued by many people.

In Walter Benjamin’s article the “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” he states, “Replicas were made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters for diffusing their works, and, finally, by third parties in the pursuit of gain.” I believe that what he is trying to say is that reproductions have to exist, especially for an art student. An art student is often looking, exploring, and examining and original work of art made by a master painter. The artist student is trying to gain the masters technique of painting and be able to develop and practice their skills to be like the master painter. The artist reproduces or at least attempts the same brush strokes, color blends, and the rhythmic motions that the master painter developed. The art of reproducing becomes a valuable resource for art education, student and teachers. The work of art gets exposed, studied, recognized and analyzed by many.

Walter Benjamin also states that, “The work of art reproduced becomes the work of art designed for reproducibility. From a photographic negative, for example, one can make any number of prints; to ask for the ‘authentic’ print makes no sense.” Benjamin means that the photographer’s objective is to have their photograph seen by many and having a larger exposure to their photographs. Photography is another major resource of reproductions. Reproductions are now valued by the public because of their availability. Photographers have gone beyond simply taking pictures of interesting images. The artistic composition makes photography a fine art, like painting or sculpting. Reproductions are now seen as a work of art that can be purchased by anyone. That reproduction has now gained value because of its exposure.

Reproductions have a larger audience and are valued more because of their expose and their availability. Technology has allowed reproductions to be affordable and have been marketed for global exposure. Reproductions serve a value to many in many art and work fields.


Benjamin, Walter. Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, 1935.


Printing Press vs. The Internet

Evan Munoz

Printing Press vs. The Internet

Inventions have always been created to help make people’s lives easier.  Some inventions have such a great impact on our lives it can change our whole insight on the world.  Two inventions that I believe that have had a huge impact on the entire world have been the printing press and the internet.  These two inventions have changed societies and have created new ways of learning, communicating, and entertainment.  But which one has had the greatest impact on society?

In 1451 the first printing press was invented by a German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg.  He created the first interchangeable metal type; this enabled him to use the same metal pieces to create different combinations.  This printing press used moveable type, rag paper, the squeeze press, and oil based inks.  The press changed people’s lives forever.  Before this revolutionary invention came around to mass produce books, people used to hand write books, making books very limited and expensive.  Since the books were so expensive only the rich had them and only the rich could read.  Book topics were also very limited, at the time only the church produced books so they could regulate the topics people read.  After the printing press was created it opened up a whole new world for people, it allowed them to spread information quicker and helped literate the public.  New books were also being created such as grammar, etiquette, geology, and even science.

The printing press caused people to think differently and spread their ideas faster.  A lot of these ideas were scientific, ideas that could not be easily printed in the past because of the churches control and censorship.  Scientists benefited greatly from this because now they could document their results and share them with fellow scientists.  This enabled scientists to expand their knowledge and make more sense of their studies.  This eventually would lead to and explosion of new thoughts and lead to the Scientific Revolution and the Renaissance.

As a result from the printing press people in Europe began to drift away from the church.  Martin Luther had a different theology and the printing press helped him spread his word.  The creation of the printing press caused the Protestant Reformation in Europe.  Some say that if Martin Luther didn’t have the printing press he would have never have successfully gotten his ideas out.  The church would have crushed him with no effort, since before the printing press was created they controlled everything published.

Around 1992 is when the internet started to boom and dramatically change the way we do everything nowadays.  The internet like the printing press has created a way for people to spread information, but unlike the printing press this spread of information is almost instant.  You can talk to someone half way around the world in just seconds, but not just contact them you can see them and what they are doing in a video chat.  This not only helps if you have a relative or a friend that lives somewhere distant, it also helps businesses have a conference if not everyone can make it or if they are physically unable to.

Not only is the internet great for instantly contacting someone, it has also opened a market for online shopping.  This is good for the business person because they don’t need to open an expensive store or hire employees, they can just post up a website that can be accessed around the world and sit back and collect the money.  This also allows the company to compete against big businesses easily.  Shopping online is not only good for the business person but it is good for the consumer as well; the product is often cheaper than it would be in stores, it is open 24 hours, and they don’t have to leave their home to shop.

The internet also provides information for about anything you could possibly think of; history, entertainment, news, sports, science, technology, etc….  No more trips to the library and searching for a book through that huge library and the finding that the book didn’t even answer your question.  It has changed the way we learn being able to access so much information instantly and interactively.  Teachers can now post tests or games to help students study, easily and hassle free.  Students can even attend class in virtual worlds without ever leaving their room.

Both the printing press and the internet have changed people’s lives forever, allowing people express their ideas and share them with the world.  I believe the internet had a greater impact because never before have people been able to communicate instantly.  The internet has created another world for people to live in to express themselves, learn and grow.  And nowadays you can connect to the internet almost anywhere via cell phones, laptops, and other devices.

Work Cited

–         http://www.flowofhistory.com/units/west/11/FC74

–         http://library.thinkquest.org/C0124364/impact_of_the_internet.htm

–         http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/views/j_dewar_1.html

the book of kells art or design

Evan Munoz

Book of Kells: Art or Design

When discussing the Book of Kells one must decide if it is considered art or design.  When deciding if the Book of Kells is art or design one must first define both terms; art is a form of communication, it can be an idea or an experience created through an artist.  Design is a plan that has a specific purpose.  According to Hume and Kant in the” Philosophy of Art,” each philosopher has their own perspective on art and beauty.  Each philosopher has clearly made a statement and a decision to this question, “Art or Design?”  I have determined that the Book of Kells is indeed, art and design.

The Book of Kells was created in the late 6th-9th century, in monasteries in Ireland.  It was transcribed by Celtic monks to help educate the people of Ireland and inspire them to learn about the catholic religion.  At this time not many people were educated, education was a Loughery of the rich, and many people didn’t even know how to read.  Since many people at this time were illiterate the monks had to find a way to make them want to read and learn about the catholic religion.  The illuminations were not jus mere decorations that left the viewers in amazement, they helped cause curiosity in the readings.  The illuminations also morphed into type, attempting to make the viewer try to read the writing.  This really illustrates the fact the art was helping the monks communicate their ideas; they weren’t just put in there for no reason they had a purpose.  The monks really knew how to get the readers attention through their use of design and artistic skills.

The pages of the Book of Kells were created and illustrated for a specific purpose to educate.  Each page was a work of art designed to evoke the viewer’s imagination of each scene.  These pages were a visual dialogue between the artist and the viewers. The artwork depicted the principles of art ( balance, emphasis, unity, rhythm, movement, proportion, variety and harmony) and the elements of art ( line, color, value, space, shape, texture and movement ) which were the standards of art that Hume and Kant spoke about in “The Philosophy of Art.”  Hume says that good art, “attains critical approval across the barriers of culture and time.” (Gracyk)  The Book of Kells defiantly fits this definition of good art since it has wondered an infinite generation of people through out the ages. The book is considered Ireland’s finest national treasure cherished for centuries and inspired many.  Hume stated that art has to have a standard between art and good art.  He created five factors and how to judge whether art is just art or good art.  Art work must contain a strong sense, united delicate sentiment, improved by practice, perfected by comparison, and clear of all prejudice.   In terms of these factors, I believe that Hume would agree that the Book of Kells contains all that was need in order for it to be considered a good form of art and design.

Kant on the other hand describes art by its beauty that has a specific purpose.  Kant says, “what is distinctive about art is that purposiveness is accompanied by some specific purpose.  With fine art, that purpose is the communication of ideas.” (Gracyk)  The Book of Kells obviously had a design and its specific purpose was to create works of art and educated its viewer.  The Book of Kells‘s art work had a “spirit” to it that drew the viewer into it, with its shapes and characters.  Kant describes this “spirit” as the viewer’s imagination.  The “spirit” cannot be described with words only imagined in ones head.  When looking at the Book of Kells you are drawn into its intricate details of artwork and this causes you to use your imagination.   But not question the story. Kant states that that art evokes your soul and spirit and I believe that the Book of Kells does just that.  Beautiful pieces of artwork and a design purpose to educate the viewer.

The Book of Kells includes many examples of why it is considered both art and design.   Both Hume and Kant have different philippics on how to judge art and determine whether it is art or design.  Each critic supports my beliefs that this one illustrated manuscript fits both, Art and design.  I believe that you can not have one without the other.   Art must have standards like the Factors of art mentioned by Hume and Art should have a purpose to communicate and create a dialogue between the viewer and the artist.

Works Cited

–         Gracyk, Thomas. “Philosophy of Art: Hume and Kant: Summary and Comparison.” 2002. Web. Sept 2009.

–         Ragans, Rosalind. “Art Talk” Glencoe McGraw-Hill. U.S. 2000.

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