Tag: artists

Paula Rego – Portugese Painter

Paula Rego – Portugese Painter

I have recently been looking at the work of Paula Rego. At first, i didn’t think much of her paintings, they looked really odd and the dark colours made them look rather disturbing.


The old republican 2005

After learning more about her work and the stories behind them, I think she is remarkable! Her pieces are so powerful! Her paintings tell a story of her life and what she has been through. A use of nostalgia, by looking at scenes of her childhood and putting a story there. It is both a physic and emotional experience.

She says that if you paint pictures, it’s about whats inside of you and what comes out. We all have secrets and many of us show it in our work.

One series of paintings that stood out to me were the paintings of women having backstreet abortions.

Back then abortions were illegal in Portugal. There was a referendum to legalise it, but nobody had bothered to vote. She wanted to become involved, to make a change because they desperately needed proper clinics. So she did these explicit paintings of young girls to make people aware, because she felt people needed to know how important is was for women to have abotions legalised. She had the power to change the law.



Image Reference: https://www.abbothall.org.uk/abbot/artwork/paula-rego



Image Reference: https://uk.pinterest.com/baxte5/paula-rego/?lp=true

Paula Rego herself, had a hard life. She had back street abortions herself and men at that time didn’t care much for women. Her father suffered from depression and her mother didn’t teach her much. Over the years she had lost her innocence.

One quote i liked from Paula Rego was:

“If that person understands your work very well, they understand you really well”.



Zaha Hadid – Architect

Zaha Hadid – Architect

Zaha Hadid is a famous architect. Her architecture is known to perhaps contribute to a better life.

She gave us a new view on architecture, which was less confined by gravity, and more to do with slipping. Rock movements inspired her. Her designs opened the eyes of clients, and the public of what space could be. For example, She had completed  the  maxi building in Rome in 2009. It took 11 years to complete. It was Zahis latest project and she won the best building prize.


The parallel sweeping lines on the ceiling were meant for paintings to hang from, this was something other people had not thought of and showed how we can make use of space and with its serpent like structures, it woke up the neighbourhood and brought back the barouque culture feel back into Rome.

This design was very important to Zaha because it was more handmade rather than computer based. She loved the old baroque feel to it which is a sign of nostalgia. Bringing the old look into the present.

She had a fascination with the Russian construction and nature, following the tradition of making buildings people are wanting.


Zaha had a total dedication to her art, she gave up her family, her romantic affairs etc. She completely devoted herself to her projects and the fact that she was an Iraq woman makes her the most impressive and inspirational female architect of today.


Her first completed project was made up of sharp lines with a futuristic look. It was very abstract. The Vitra building, was built as a fire station. It was one of her earliest works.

Week 3 - Exercise 02.jpg1200px-Vitra_fire_station,_full_view,_Zaha_Hadid.jpg

During her time as an architecture, just like any artist; she had many aborted projects, lots of designs don’t get realized. She had more than 60 projects before she died. She had a style that pushed the boundaries, her legacy was very important. Her building designs were so unique and the legacy of how people will use her buildings is also unique, the experience of being in one of her buildings is apparently so unlike other buildings. They have the idea of movement and shape and shows an advancement in technology.


reference: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/10018727.article?




Decay & Power Part 2

Decay & Power Part 2

So today i watched a talk by David Polka, a street artist. I thought about his opinion on how street artists portray death and decay and i think that he has an interesting opinion and i agree with his thoughts and feelings on this subject.



He says that cities and olden buildings express decay. They speak for the passage of time and human presence. They’re inspiring with there cool textures and the way that we can relate to architecture. You can see all the processes that had happened, you can see the contrast of seeing man-made structures return to the way they were from. It opens up new questions when you see the processes happen, like overgrown plants etc.

He says that as a graffiti artist he wants to leave a mark on the world. We all do because if we don’t, we feel lifeless. Graffiti art is highly controlled visual advertising on blank walls. It makes people feel that they can give an opinion when they look at it because its not like going to the gallery, its more open and it makes people think. This is an example of the power art can give and another opinion on decay.

If you’d like to watch the video i have been referring to, you can watch it here:


Nostalgia Part 2

Recently, i watched a talk from Bruce Mcall on nostalgia, a future that will never happen.

Bruce Mcall is a commercial artist for the New Yorker. He says that in his work, he uses something called  “Retro-futurism”. Which is looking back to see how yesterday views tomorrow, which he says is always wrong.

The 1930’s in his opinion, was the peak time for that because of the depression and it was a way to get away from the present and to look at the future, which was always optimistic. They thought that technology was going to help them get through it.

78724_800x600.jpgA retro-future that never happened — full of flying cars, polo-playing tanks and the RMS Tyrannic, “The Biggest Thing in All the World.”

He then talks about something called “Techno archaeology”, an example of this is his poster named “The Hindenburg” which was from 1947 looking at the day all american families have them.

He goes on to talk about “Faux Nostalgia” which is the yearning for times that never happened.

Wing dining-1.png

Bruce Mcall says that nostalgia is the most utterly useless human emotion. I don’t totally agree but I see the point. Nostalgia if taken to extreme becomes a mild case of depression and self-deception. The past is never as great or as bad as it seems and nor will the future be as wonderful or as terrible as we can imagine.


A link to Broce Mcall’s talk on this https://youtu.be/fOk6HQaNpdE






Innocence Through The Eyes Of A Child

When we are born, “we are born to be good”, quotes Jean Jacques Rousseau, An 18th century philosopher. When we are young we aren’t exposed to modern society and are happy in the state of nature.

Jean Jacques Rousseau was forced to flea his hometown in Genevor. He was brought up in isolation and so when he moved to Paris it was a completely different experience, it was full of luxury of the day and opulence, not like his home town which was very poor.

In 1749, he read a newspaper advert on recent advances of the arts and sciences which had contributed a contribution of morals about the world getting better. His opinion was that the world hadn’t improved people, people had changed from being good and innocent as a child and being emerged from their pre-social society.

He believes that when a person is exposed to the social society they are self loved and compare themselves to people around them. This is like social media today where people are addicted to looking at apps such as Facebook and compare themselves to others and get themselves depressed and feel the need to impress those around them. We are happy in the state of nature when we don’t think about these things and have an innocent mind and no worries.

In 1755, he published ‘Discourse on the Origin of Inequality’. He claimed that original man, while solitary, was happy, good and free.on how to raise your child and how to prevent them from the society of corruption.

In his last 10 years, Rousseau wrote his ‘Confessions’, justifying himself against his opponents. He studied his own life experiences which showed what living is like on the inside and looked at how he had been raised. He died on 2 July 1778 in Ermenonville, the estate of the Marquis de Girardin, who had given him refuge.

Reference: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/rousseau_jean_jacques.shtml




Power & Decay In Art

Today I am going to discuss the two themes; power and decay. We find decay fascinating as a subject and its all around us. It brings us together. We are constantly exploring and spending money to see things that have decayed. For example The Tintern Abbey, one of the greatest monastic ruins in Wales.

There’s something that fascinates us with the past, perhaps it’s how the buildings were built compared to the modernised designs we have now. The wonderment of how something/someone that once was revered and had purpose is now cast aside and neglected for a myriad of reasons. Why and how did that rejection occur? Is abandonment always inevitable? When I look at such images I can’t help but see life and death simultaneously – what was and is. Here is a photograph of a painting held at the Tate Museum in London.

JMW Turner, Tintern Abbey: The Crossing and Chancel, Looking towards the East Window, 1794.



Picture reference: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2014/mar/03/ruin-lust-our-obsession-with-decay-in-pictures

Art is also very powerful. The human brain responds to art in different ways, Art that we find beautiful can apparently increase blood flow in a certain part of the brain by as much as 10 per cent- the equivalent to gazing at a loved one. Great art can be beautiful, but it can also be scary and dreadful.  It can disarm us but also can alarm us with its embedded messages.  It can also be educational, for example we don’t really think about problems of others and by global issues, like whats going on in America at the moment with Donald Trump being president. We do not feel strongly enough that we are part of a global community. Giving people information often leaves them overwhelmed and not empowered and poised for action. This is where art makes a difference. Art doesn’t show people what to do but engages you to your senses. It can make you feel which can spur thinking and action which is why at the moment there is a lot of propaganda art in America.


This poster is designed by Shepard Fairey. More information on this to be found on: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/shepard-fairey-s-inauguration-posters-may-define-political-art-in-trump-era-a7536721.html

I hope from my opinion on the power of art and decay has given you more of an understanding. Here are a few links of sites i found interesting if you’d like to read more into the subjects: