Monday, May 4, 2015

Art 350s                                                                                                         Jake Peck
Clint Sleeper
Spring 2015

David LaChapelle

            Being a photographer since the 80s and getting his start with Andy Warhol, David LaChapelle has had a variety of experience. From shooting high profile celebrities to commercial work to fine-art photography, David has his very unique and one of a kind esthetics when it comes to photographing, which I love. His high contrast photos with saturated colors have a story that seem to always be wild and off the page. Having David LaChapelle as an inspiration of mine has helped push me to make my photos as well push my other artwork. I’m fascinated with is approach to his work as I try to examine my own approach more closely when starting my work. I find it difficult to admire another artist so much and still have my own voice without trying to duplicate their work. Through this semester I have found more of my own voice in direction to my work. It is a lot more difficult when working in the same craft as David because I constantly envision how he might take a photograph to make it interesting and exciting and I then find myself directing towards those goals, which turns into a recreation of his style. With this semester in Art 350s I found myself not being able to connect to David LaChapelle and his photography and work more outside my realm and his. With this it lends different elements to my work that I am traditionally not use to working with. The challenge was more rewarding and insightful because I was exploring through action that helped me discover more of my own aesthetics and how I want to work with art.
            My ideas through this semester took on an element that I didn’t know I had, being pushed in a direction I probably would not go myself if creating work on my own. Also viewing other individuals work through this semester gave me more insight and inspiration to see their concept, way of working and method to further develop my own and problem solve areas I need more work on.
            Heidegger was an interesting project because I am not a philosopher and by no means do I understand philosophy to its fullest but interacting with his work and creating a project based on his particular philosophy was interesting and definitely challenging. First to dissect his words and content and then to digest his meaning and push forward into a project that would speak to his philosophy, was definitely no small task and one of the most challenging in my college career. This was mainly due to discerning philosophy and it’s meaning and direct relation to the work to be produced in class but also very rewarding and meaningful to the work I produced.
            In relation to Heidegger, I don’t find my work before this semester having much relevance but now after being exposed to his philosophy I don’t think I can go backwards. I appreciated being able find meaning with my work and create something that has meaning too, as appose to something cool to look at. It spoke to Heidegger’s philosophy and became so rewarding in the completion. My prior work does not have such meaning or backing and is just satisfying that they look cool but now I feel a loss with the work because I’ve started now to create work with meaning and work that speaks to philosophy!
            In future work of mine I would like to try and focus on more arduino and relate that to my projects. I really am fascinated with this aspect of such a small element creating and controlling such a large variable in my piece I hope I can craft into more pieces. I am still digesting the world of Heidegger and placing into my own work while still really appreciating the work of David LaChapelle and deciphering how I might be able to place the two together in my future work. With David, I feel there might not be ways to grow in depth and meaning. He speaks of his work as high fashion and tells the stories behind his photos and the dialogue they intend to speak, which I see but maybe the context is just so different I am struggling on ways give his own work more meaning when there might not be or I am trying to recontextualize his own body of work. Or maybe I am not understanding his meaning and need to sit with his work in order to look into his way of story telling and find his meaning he is trying to portray.
            David has a series I was not fascinated with called, ‘Land Scape’ which before I never paid too much attention to because it didn’t seem to fit with his portfolio of work. But now after having the experience of this class and dissecting Heidegger I am able to bring more appreciation to this series of faux power plants made up of recycled, but often discarded, material.

            After this semester I feel I am more aware and able to speak to the context in this series, which I wasn’t before because I did not have the experience needed in order to cover such material. This work is so far from David’s original body of work that I wonder what he might have gone through in order to develop this series, possibly the discovery of Heidegger as well. With this I think I am able to recontexualize my own work, give it meaning while still striving forward with my inspirations of being interesting and off the page, much like David. I definitely am way too interested in arduino to not want to incorporate this element into more of my work. I’ve been giving it more thought on how I might continue with my photography and adding in elements of arduino or electrical elements, maybe even robotics but I’m still thinking of ways and hopefully to not come off cliché. I would some how like to mold the two worlds together of stagnant photography and digital media realm and for my future works this will be my goal. This semester allowed me to open my thinking process and teach me other avenues to obtain my goals in an artist and meaningful way that I find myself again interested in creating art.

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