Category Archives: Meen Jung Kim

Meen Jung Kim: Teenie Harris (Word Count: 588)

Charles ‘Teenie’ Harris was one of Pittsburgh’s most influential photographers of the 20th century. Being a photographer for the ‘Pittsburgh Courier’ he strolled the streets of Pittsburgh and took thousands of pictures of the minority community. He was also known as “One Shot” because he hardly ever made his subjects take retakes. His subjects ranged from famous figures like, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Louis Armstrong to the lives of the working class. Being a photographer that caught the essence of life in Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Museum proudly purchased around sixty thousand negatives. For the last ten years, the Carnegie Museum focused on researching and collecting the famous photographers negatives, and they recently opened their collection to the public. It educated us of Teenie Harris’ life as a photographer and of that time period. The Carnegie Museum showed that they were still collecting data and had an interest in the communities help in collecting more information of the photos and of that time period.

On the second floor of the Carnegie Museum, in the Heinz Galleries, the exhibition “Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story” will be exhibited from October 29, 2011- through April 7, 2012. This exhibition picked five different ways to portray 987 pictures, that were taken by Teenie Harris. The first room was clean and crisp with white walls, and had seven different categories of slideshows. The Categories: Gatherings, At home, Words&Signs, Crossroads, Urban Landscapes, Fall of Crawford Grill and Style. The slideshows showed an image for around ten seconds, but they were timed so that there was a playful beat playing back and forth from the different categories. It went very well with a upbeat jazz playing in the background by McG Jazz which was made particularly for this exhibition. Sitting in the middle of this room and watching the different slideshows almost gave it a feeling of the celebration of our proud Pittsburghian artist Teenie.

The next room seemed to be more educational with a chronological timeline of Teenie’s Photos all along the walls, and the archive computers lined up in the middle of the room.  On the tables were audio headsets, a small directory, and numbers one could call through their cell phones for more information of the photos. Going around the room, one could really tell that Harris was an artist who lived through photography, instead of it being just a day job. The photos captured snapshots of the life, that were not posed or photoshopped. The essence of that time was captured perfectly.

The last room had photos of Teenie and excerpts of people explaining Teenie. There was also a video in a separate room where a slideshow of Teenie Harris’ photos were overlaid with the voices of relatives, friends and people who knew Teenie. They informed the audience of his amazing skills as a photographer and how he enhanced their lives.

The exhibition seemed to be a modern day shrine of the influential Charles Teenie Harris. It celebrated his amazing photographs, but also the life of that time. It educated us of our history through the eyes of an artist. The snapshots of parties, and riots, and all the events, in that time period makes us imagine how the city we live used to be. Because the photographs are so honest, it makes the viewer imagine the subjects and make their own narratives through the photo. Looking through the 987 photos immersed me into this time and made me feel like I was apart of this time period.

“California Newsreel – ONE SHOT: THE LIFE AND WORK OF TEENIE HARRIS.” California Newsreel – Film and Video for Social Change Since 1968. 2001. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http://newsreel.org/video/ONE-SHOT-TEENIE-HARRIS&gt;.

“Charles “Teenie” Harris.” PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http://www.pbs.org/blackpress/film/transcripts/harris.html&gt;.

Historic Pittsburgh. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.

<http://images.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/i/image/image-idx?q1=harris&rgn1=hpiccma_ci&type=boolean&med=1&view=thumbnail&cc=hpiccma>

Carnegie Museum of Art. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http://www.cmoa.org/searchcollections/listview.aspx?Search=1%7C%7C0%7C0%7C%7C0%7C%7CTrue%7CFalse%7CTrue&Page=1&IPP=192&sb=&gt;.

“Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story.” Carnegie Museum of Art. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http://web.cmoa.org/?page_id=327&gt;.

“Documenting Our Past: The Teenie Harris Archive.” Carnegie Museum of Art. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http://www.cmoa.org/teenie/intro.asp&gt;.

 

Alice Kim: Cathy Wilkes (Word Count: 300)

From November 12, 2011 to February 26, 2012, Cathy Wilkes has her first american solo exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Cathy Wilkes is an Irish artist that produces complex installations that have been shown all over the world, including the Venice Biennale. Her work was also nominated for the 2008 Turner Prize, which is Britain’s most famous award for contemporary art. She collects found objects and uses them to portray different topics in society, while keeping the integrity of the objects. Most known for her installations made of sculpted and found objects, she turned the Forum Gallery on the first floor of the Carnegie Museum, into an installation that combines paintings, sculptures, and found objects.

There are three sculpted bodies, paintings, and three platforms filled with objects in this installation. The three sculpted bodies all reminds the viewer of some sort of pain.. The woman in the far right is hunched over and seems to be doing a labor intensive act. This uncomfortable position that almost looks natural, as if this woman had been hunching over and working so long that this horrible position has become apart of her. The platforms reminds the viewer of a historical artifact display with items of the Somme War, her fathers tool making tools and a needle work sampler owned by her mother. The paintings, objects and sculpted people echos loss in many different aspects. The loss of veterans, the loss of her father, the loss of those roles that used ones hands to create things, the loss of the roles her parents played in society at that time. This exhibition has a melancholy mood where one feels a complex mixture of loss, respect, curiosity, and discomfort. It draws the viewer in to study each object to understand another aspect of loss.

http://web.cmoa.org/?page_id=3530

http://web.cmoa.org/files/2011/06/CW_final.pdf

http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/turnerprize/turnerprize2008/artists/wilkes.shtm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2001/jul/13/art.artsfeatures

http://arttattler.com/archivecathywilkes.html

Meen Jung Kim: Factory Installed (Word Count: 468)

The exhibition, Factory Installed, opened from October 28, 2011 to May 1, 2012 at the Mattress Factory. The co-directors Barbara Luderowski & Michael Olijnyk and curator Katherine Talcott weeded out six hundred artists submissions and chose these six artists: Pablo Valbuena, Mariana Manhães, Natalia González, Nika Kupyrova, Than Htay Maung, and Veronica Ryan, to create new work for the mattress factory. Like the name, “Factory Installed” the only theme that seemed to tie these artist together were that these artist all created installations in the site-specific location.  Not only did the artists vary in ethnicity, ranging from a Burmese artist based in Pittsburgh to Spanish artist based in France, but it also varied in material, and concept.

From the art pieces spread out through four different floors, Pablo Valbuena’s ‘Para-Site [mattress factory] 2011′ was one of the strongest pieces. “Para-Site [mattress factory] 2011” was an installation in a dark room. A projection is shown on the farthest wall changing the viewers perception of space. The simple black and white video creates an illusion with the light to make a virtual world. The simplicity of the light captivates the viewers attention and makes the viewer question the space and imagine other ways the room can be transformed. Its simple beauty keeps the viewer focused for the whole duration of the projection.

While Pablo Valbuena used a projection and a dark room, Natalia Gonzales also experimented with light in “Light Recordings 2011”. However Gonzales used a range of different materials, including steel, automated lights, wire, pulleys, plumb bob, and concrete. Contrasting to Valbuena’s piece that is in a sleek white room Gonzales used the cave-like basement, and creates a mysterious environment with the constant changing lights and the complex materials.

One could try to fit Valbuena’s piece and Gonzales’ piece by saying they were trying to create a new environment with light, however Than Htay Maung’s “My Offerings, 2011” reminds the viewer that their was no consistent theme. Maung’s piece consisted of plaster hands holding bread. The hands were dispersed throughout the room, and there were slips of paper where one could purchase a hand so the money could go to charity.

Although their was an overall theme of using the space space provided, I felt that that was not enough to make it an exhibition. Because the installations were very different in concepts and materials, it was difficult for me to stay focused on the theme of site-specific installations. Normally I enjoy a wide range of mediums and thoughts on a particular topic, however I felt that there were too many different qualities, from complexity of the concept to the overall moods. And because the exhibition only had six artist, the ranging concepts made me enjoy them more as individual pieces instead of understanding the artworks as one exhibition.

The Mattress Factory Art Museum. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.mattress.org/index.cfm?event=Exhibitions&gt;.

Meen Jung Kim: Unblurred (Word Count: 748)

Being an art student in the city of Pittsburgh has many positive aspects. From the close knit supportive society to the many art event, it always gives us events to go to. One of the more popular events are gallery crawls. There are two gallery crawls in different neighborhoods of Pittsburgh that help the community and art students create a bond with the art world.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s gallery crawl has been taking place since 2004 in the cultural district of downtown Pittsburgh. On the other hand the Penn Avenue Arts District’s Gallery Crawl, “Unblurred” takes place on Penn Avenue including from 4800 to 5500 Penn Avenue. Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery Crawl takes place seasonally, making a total of 4 times a year. Penn Avenue Arts District’s Gallery Crawl takes place monthly, excluding January, making a total of 11 times a year. Both take place in the evening, however while Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery crawl takes place from 5:30PM to 9:00PM, Penn Avenue Arts District’s Gallery Crawl takes place from 7:00PM to 2:00 AM.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trusts ‘s Gallery Crawl had twenty-three venues, all in a three to four minute walking distance. Most of the venues were galleries, or arts educational spaces, giving the gallery crawl a more formal feel. While Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery Crawl is clustered in 2 blocks, Penn Avenue Arts District’s Gallery Crawl is spread out through five different neighborhoods, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Garfield, Friendship, and East Liberty.  Penn Avenue Arts District’s Gallery Crawl had thirty-nine venues and was in a 30 minutes walking range that was spread throughout several blocks.Penn Avenue Arts District’s Gallery Crawl had a range of different types of venues, from restaurants, bookstores, vintage shops, bars, and galleries, making it an event where the individual  could pick and choose their night based on their interests.

Both gallery crawls invited everyone, however there were different crowds that showed up. Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery Crawl had a range of people, but they were mostly college students and adults. Not everyone seemed like they were apart of the art majors, but they seemed interested. While Penn Avenue Arts District’s Gallery Crawl was a mixture of a younger crowd mixing high school students, and young adults.  They also seemed to be apart of the art world, whether they were in the tattoo world, or the formal art world.

Unlike the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery Crawl, Penn Avenue Arts District’s Gallery crawl had a range of artwork and activities. Because it was dispersed over five neighborhoods, it gave the viewer  a chance to really get to know the area. Also, having public art like Eco-Equation by Dave Edwards and the ecoDesigners Guild, made the long walk more enjoyable. Eco-Equation took place in an empty lot,   and these artists made three connected signs that showed the type of green idea that grew.  Not only did they have public art but they had a glass blowing demonstration at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. At the demonstration, young kids with their mothers watched in awe as the old male teacher effortlessly created ornaments in front of them. After the demonstration one could go to relax at the DojoYoga for HappyHourYoga. However, to the art lovers, the IF Gallery catered to the people who wanted to enjoy a typical gallery, which featured works of local Pittsburgh artists. This show exhibited Seth Clark, who used found paper, charcoal pastel, acrylic and ink to create subtly elegant houses. Seth Clark was also exhibited in the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery Crawl, at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.  Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery crawl also had different types of venues to go to from the musicians Black Violin with Drums, in the Trust Arts Education Center, to the Free Dance lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio. However, there was not as wide of a range of activities as the Penn Avenue Arts District’s Gallery Crawl. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery crawl focused more on art, ranging from interactive art, installations, paintings and sculptures. It had formal gallery spaces making it an event where one could easily dress up for, while Penn Avenue Arts District’s Gallery crawl seemed to accept and eagerly look for your personal style.

Both Gallery Crawls seemed to be a fun way to unite the art world into our community, although the artwork wasn’t inspiring, the lively mood and atmosphere made up for both gallery crawls. This made them fun events art students could go to, and be with other passionate artists.

“Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District.”The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Web. 05 Nov. 2011. <http://www.pgharts.org/education/gallerycrawl.aspx>.

A Pittsburgh Neighborhood»Friendship. Web. 05 Nov. 2011. <http://friendship-pgh.org/>.

 

 

Meen Jung Kim: Gertrude’s Lot (Word Count: 626)

On the 4th flour of the Andy Warhol, the exhibition, Gertude’s Lot opened September 17, 2011, and will be open to the public until January 8, 2012. Being one of the five venues for Pittsburgh Biennial, it featured successful Pittsburgh based artists. Gertude’s Lot sets itself apart from the other venues of the Pittsburgh Biennial, by featuring creative women professionals “whose work aims at transgressing boundaries and engendering transformative change in an apparent nod to Stein and her important life’s work.” (Gertude Stein was a writer and a patron of the arts of the 20th Century.) Gertude’s Lot exhibited the works of 22 artists: Elise Adibi, Lilith Bailey-Kroll, Kim Beck, Patricia Bellan-Gillen, Dara Birnbaum, Cara  Erskine, T. Foley, LeToya Ruby Grazier, Jill Freedman, Amisha Gadani, Vanessa Louise German, Deborah Kass, Eileen Lewis, Jill Miller, Ayanah Moor, Dulce Pinzón, Madelyn Roehrig, Diane Samuels, Karen Seapker, Carrie Schneider, Renee Stout, and Alisha B. Wormsley.

In this exhibition, the two themes that caught my eye were funny and light hearted works versus the uncanny creepy works. These works had loud characteristics, capturing our view and holding it there, making the viewer study the piece more attentively.

“I am the kind of guy that takes care of my pubic hair..” one hears near the back wall of the exhibition space. These words are coming from ventriloquist’s dummy in T. Foley’s video artwork ‘Easy Pieces’. Artist T. Foley gives this dummy named Hector different voices of males. Some of these voices were found on personal ads posted by men on Craigslist. There were a range of personalities shown through this dummy, however each one had a humorous quality to them, making the viewer stand next to this screen and hear all of the characters. Just as humorously provocative is an art work found at the opposite corner from ‘Easy Pieces’, Jill Miller’s “Milk Truck”. The Milk Truck is also a video piece where Jill Miller advertises her Milk Truck. This truck has an enormous breast attached to the pink and white truck, and it is made for mothers to breastfeed their young.

Mixed in with these entertaining pieces are artworks like Vanessa German’s ‘Minstrel Blood: The Greatest Show On Earth. Everything You Need For Your Menstrual Show.’ This piece is made up of a puppet theater like structure with a female figure in the middle dressed in hair, shells, jewelery and other found objects. The color scheme is dark and eery, giving the piece a shrine like feel with a spirit that needs to be respected. Alisha Wormsley’s ‘The Children of Nan: Chapter One: En Dings’ was another eery piece located around twenty steps to the right of German’s piece. ‘The Children of Nan: Chapter One: En Dings’ is a video piece where the viewer must put on headphones to hear the narration of the visuals. The calm documentary-like narrative addresses the people in the video with numbers, making them into an object. There are also primitive sounds in the background making this documentary like film a savage, primal atmosphere. On the opposite corner is Renee Strout’s “The Root Woman’s Work Table.” It has a similar color scheme to German’s ‘Minstrel Blood: The Greatest Show On Earth. Everything You Need For Your Menstrual Show.’ Also being an installation, it is made up of a table, a cabinet, a chalk board and different types of roots. Although neat and organized it left a reminiscence of the woman who worked there. It gave me the feel of a witches’ cabinet full of secret ingredients for her potions, and I was stepping in unwanted territory. Having a mix of these two different themes made the exhibition hold the viewers attention for long periods of time, giving us a wider range of emotions and thoughts.

“Gertrude Stein Biography – Facts, Birthday, Life Story – Biography.com.”Famous Biographies & TV Shows – Biography.com. Web. 29 Oct. 2011. <http://www.biography.com/people/gertrude-stein-9493261>.

“Press Release.”The Warhol. Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, 31 Aug. 2011. Web. 29 Oct. 2011. <http://www.warhol.org/uploadedFiles/Warhol_Site/Warhol/Content/The_Museum/Press_room/documents/WOG_Max%20Gimblett__Biennial_Press_Release_FINAL.pdf>.

“The Andy Warhol Museum.”Biennial 2011 | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Web. 29 Oct. 2011. <http://biennial.pittsburgharts.org/?p=116&gt;.

Meen Jung Kim: Sites of Passage (Word Count: 549)

In September 2011, two art exhibitions focusing on portraying political issues opened in Pittsburgh. The Silver Eye Center for Photography on East Carson Street focused on 9/11 and the aftermath until today, while the Mattress Factory Art Museum on Monterey focused on the political turmoil in Egypt.

While “HomeFrontLine: Reflections on Ten Years of War Since 9/11” exhibited a mix of eleven international photographers: Claire Beckett, Nina Berman, Kevin Bubriski, Gabriela Bulisova, Ashley Gilbertson, Baptiste Giroudon, Michael Kamber, Benjamin Lowy, Alfonso Moral, Eugene Richards, and Peter van Agtmael, “Sites of Passage” exhibited a group of egyptian and american artist who were in the heart of the uproar in Egypt: Asmaa, Amado Al Fadni, Hend Samir, Hyla Willis, Andrew Ellis Johnson, Mark Bellaire, Mostafa Sleem, Noha Redwan, Wendy Osher & Nouran Sherif, Susanne Slavick, Emily Laychak.

“HomeFrontLine” focused on depicting the tragic details of 9/11 through photographs and multimedia. The photos were printed neatly ranging in sizes that were never smaller then a sheet of A4 paper or bigger then a movie poster. On the other hand “Sites of Passage” had a mixture of installation of all different mediums, video, sound, photo, paintings, and sculpture. The sizes also varied from an installation as little as a packet of A4 paper, to one big enough to fill an entire room. Susanne Slavick also used photography as a medium in her “Alexandria” series, however unlike the artists of HomeFrontLine, she used gouache to paint in a ibis in the photographs.

Both of these exhibitions focused on political issues, however the subjects they decided to portray were very different. “HomeFrontLine: Reflections on Ten Years of War Since 9/11” focused on all of the different people who were affected by this war. Eugene Richard’s “War is Personal” is a mix of photographs and personal stories intermingled to make an multimedia projection. Reading each of the stories and staring at the pictures reminds of one of every individual who fought for the war, their families, and how their life has changed after being apart of the war. After a while, one forgets about the political issues, or the ‘enemy’ and views everyone apart of this war a victim. HomeFrontLine mostly uses portraits, and photos of people to give across their message. On the contrary, “Sites of Passage” uses tombs, music, animals, pomegranates, and other objects to remind one of an aspect of the tragedy. They mostly focus on minor aspects of the war, and how it has changed the society.Wendy Osher and Nouran Sherif’s “Swarm” is a beautiful installation where silk is covered with political imagery and twirled around like a child whipping around in a silk princess dress. The image is constantly moving making everything blurry. mirroring of the imagery of the riots in Egypt.

While HomeFrontLine is a personal emotional attack of sadness, terror, and sympathy, Sites of Passage did not focus on one specific emotion; it ranged from terror, to hope. One exhibition was focused on the consequences of the war, while the other was based on dialogue through the political struggles. They both had political issues governing their artistic outlooks, however they portrayed it in very different ways. Whether is was documentary or a representation, both exhibitions portrayed the political issues strongly, giving the viewer lots of things to think about.

1.Firefly Tunnels. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. <http://fireflytunnels.net/>.

2.The Mattress Factory Art Museum. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. <http://www.mattress.org/index.cfm?event=ShowExhibition>.

3.”Home Front Line: Reflection on TenYears of War Since 9/11.”SILVER EYE CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. <http://www.silvereye.org/exhibitions.htm&gt;.

Meen Jung Kim (Word Count: 483)

Eric Shiner, the new director for the Andy Warhol Museum says that he does not trust curators who do not live with art, and his house is living proof that this art lover brings his passion home with him. His 2,500 square foot apartment is covered with paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, installations and video art. Even his bathroom was a mini gallery of drawings, and photographs.This art enthusiast says he has been collecting since he was a graduate student in Japan. Since his first purchase of a still photograph from Miwa Yanagi’s  Elevator girls 12 years ago, he has been collecting a wide variety of artworks.

His apartment seems to have enough works to fill a middle sized gallery space, and that is not including the other art works he doesn’t have room to set up. Eric Shiner says that the difference of curating an exhibition at work and at home, is that the exhibitions at the Andy Warhol Museum were there to give a narrative and educate the audience. He focuses on the artistic journey the viewer, from all different art backgrounds, will have. On the contrary, his art works at home are set up to create a dialogue withing one another. A pink painting by Ain Cock of Jacky Kennedy holding the rifle that killed her husband is facing the abstract painting Paul LeRoy Gehres did of his ex girlfriend. The violence in both of the pieces give them a common interest for sharing dialogue. Shiner treated his art works as roommates, matching them up with common interests. He give each of his art works a life with his loving arrangements and his anecdotes tied in with each and every one of his art pieces.

Eric Shiner showed that he does not just collect art, but he also collects items he finds at flea markets, garage sales and eBay. He likes to have a harmonious mix of the high and the low, the important and the unimportant. He likes to keep his guest guessing. His most interesting collected item was a camel saddle that was made around the civil war for military purposes. It had the feel of a contemporary sculpture. Not only did he collect different items through flea markets, but he also bought his furniture there. He says he is a cheapskate and never spends more then five hundred dollars on furniture. He would rather spend his money on a new art piece to adopt.

Just looking around Eric Shiner’s house it was apparent that he was an individual to lived and breathed art. He collected the artworks to feed his hunger for art instead of as an investment. And maybe it was because he seemed to be well fed in his passion of art, or his very successful career at the age of 39, he seemed like an individual who was truly happy and satisfied with his life.

Bibliography

Loeffler, William. “Eric Shiner to Take on Warhol Role Full-time.”Pittsburgh Tribune. 8 July 2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2011. <http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/ae/museums/s_745854.html>.

Momich, Betsy. “Carnegie Magazine | Winter 2008 | Face Time: Eric C. Shiner.”Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh | Home. 2008. Web. 15 Oct. 2011. <http://www.carnegiemuseums.org/cmag/article.php?id=119>.

“New Warhol Director – Like Warhol Himself – Takes Risks for Art’s Sake | ImaginePittsburgh Online.”ImaginePittsburgh Online | Imagine What You Can Do Here. 22 Sept. 2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2011. <http://www.imaginepittsburghonline.com/2011/09/22/warhol-shiner/>.

Sheridan, Patricia. “Warhol Museum Curator Has an Eye for Home Decorating | Deseret News.”Salt Lake City and Utah Breaking News, Sports, Entertainment and News Headlines – Deseret News. 10 Jan. 2010. Web. 16 Oct. 2011. <http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705357521/Warhol-museum-curator-has-an-eye-for-home-decorating.html?pg=1>.