Saturday, December 06, 2008

Andy Goldsworthy

"Photography is a way of putting distance between myself and the work which sometimes helps me to see more clearly what it is that I have made. " - Andy Goldsworthy

Our school library got Andy Goldsworthy's DVD "Rivers and Tides" and I showed it in class to the Freshmen on Friday. I was very moved by his work and the dedication he has to his art. The integration of his vision into the environment he installs it into is incredibly beautiful.

What did you think about his work? What about the process he goes through to create environmental art? Did you get a sense of the level of commitment he has to perfection? I loved the way his palette moves from intense, high contrast color combinations to subtle, sunbleached neutrals. Did you like the video? What were you impressed about? The link I have in the Title takes you to a Flickr portfolio of some of his work. Be sure to watch it in slideshow mode - link in the upper right hand corner of the page.

16 comments:

Ivana Metters said...

While I was watching Andy Goldsworthy make all those magnificent sculptures, I realized there really is something out there for everyone. My favorite one on the movie was the ice sculpture. That one you had to have alot of patience with, bite the ice to make sure it fit together, and also take time to make sure all the pieces went together like his sketch. Andy Goldworthy is a very patient, caring and impressive man. Although his work was all in nature, which is just awesome, but it also says how naturalistic he is on the enviornment.He never gave up on anything, especially the one with the rocks by the water. It kept falling down, but he would just pick it back up and start again until he got perfection. He was very commited to his work and I believe he will impress students these days to keep trying and not let anything stop you. As long as you enjoy your work, don't let anything stop you from finishing it. Thats what I got from watching the movie

Emily Ramsey said...

I really like comtemporary art. The differences it has from other art is amazing. Andy Goldsworthy showed me that there is more than just art created by humans, and more materials than what we look at everyday. The materials he used were all natural, showing me that art can come solely from nature. My favorite piece of his was the one from the tree, even though it ended up getting knocked down. That piece showed how fragile nature is.

Anonymous said...

His pieces had a lot of continuity that made them more cohesive, and more like distinct pieces all in the same series. I enjoyed the pieces that invlove the differently colored leaves. I like the juxtaposition of the bright leaves with the more subdued colors of the surrounding area. I didn't really like the pieces that were rock scupltures - I did not feel that they had any aesthetic value. However, this video made me see some of the different sides of art other than the classic view.

-Abby Jordan

Paula Conway said...

When I saw all those... fragile works of art, I couldn't help but wonder how they didn't fall apart. I liked the way he used earth elements to create all his art. The colors he uses are very rich and vibrant. Even though he uses earth elements, his artwork doesn't really take on very earthy tones. I mean, I know that he is using leaves, but to me they don't seem very earth- colored. I also like that it's contemporary art. The reason is that I think I can relate better with more conteporary art than I can with older art. I like the fact that his art will fit well into the environment. It kind of makes you think that you can make art out of anything.

Anonymous said...

When watching Andy Goldsworthy’s DVD “Rivers and Tides”, the first two words that come to mind are patience and persistence. All the art work that he created throughout the video took much time and patience, which is what characterizes him as an artist. He was skilled at his work and his art work was one of a kind. When he spoke about his art work, he went into his own type of realm and you could feel the realness and passion he had for the art. His persistence, for one, was the most impressive out of anything. He didn’t give up after the first, second, or third try. He understands that true art takes time and dedication, as well as skill. If one believes that after a few mistakes they are not cut out to continue on a certain path, their persistence decays, and they no longer continue. Although, he understands that all artists, as well as all individuals, are not limited by their flaws, but marked by their true potential.
-Kelcey De Lara, 6th period

jackie said...

I loved Andy Goldsworthy's work! It was so impressive how he could make art out of things he found locally. I found it interesting that he said that he made them as gifts for that which inspired him: the earth (the egg shaped rocks for ocean). His obsession with rivers and oceans was shown in repeated zig-zag designs that he made in his work. My favorite piece he made was the ice sculpture created from natural ice cycles that he then broke and reassembled to create the illusion of water flowing through the rock.

Anonymous said...

Whew...! It's not twelve o' clock yet huh? whoohoo.
Andy Goldsworthy's environmental artistic creations is definitely Worthy Of Gold. I think his artwork is great. I am fascinated with his fixation on the creation and destruction of the pieces which he creates. I can truly see that Mr. Goldsworthy is very committed to his artwork and is very patient; but I am not sure I would agree that he is committed to perfection. I believe that he has an idea which he plans and executes, but I do not think that his pieces has to be absolutely precise and to the tee, after all, it is the environment he is working with. I enjoyed the video dearly and am impressed with his dedication to his art.
December/12/2008
10:59 PM
AJ Capleton

Rosaura Mondragon said...

Compared to all the other kind of modern art, which I don't necessarily feel inclined to ever like, I really thought that Andy's work actually had some kind of deeper meaning and reason behind him creating his artwork. I especially commend hims for his work with the environment, such as the chains with leaves and the ice sculpture, because it is obvious that these works require an incredible amount of patience and dedication, something that the majority of people lack nowadays. After seeing the movie and some of his other work from the link you provided I must admit that I do respect his level of commitment and perfection, because some of the things he creates must take a huge toll on his patience and desire to continue after a piece collapses for the 5th time. I think that the main reason why I liked it was because unlike the Eliasson, Andy doesn't create his "art" from things like lights and walls and expects you to feel the art by physically being part of it, instead his use of nature has such a deeper connection with certain people and before seeing his work I never really imagined that ice or delicate objects such as leaves could be manipulated in such a delicate and interesting form. And because nature is what is being used instead of man made materials, like Eliasson, Andy's work is capable of having a deeper connection with the viewer because one doesn't necessarily have to be a part of the work, but the work kind of fuses with you and becomes a part of you instead.

Bianca Medina said...

I'm changing my mind on what should be considered art. There is no inalterable definition, but I do think that creativity should exemplify clarity and an idea the artist was intent on conveying. When I was watching the video about Andy Goldsworthy, I was initially bewildered by his fascintation with environmental art. I thought that anyone could simply put these natural materials together and call it "art". Although I do not fully understand Goldsworthy's purpose, I find the concept of creating art from materials of the earth and letting it be dismantled by what it was created from fascinating. I respect his aesthetic. His work was created from nature and to nature it shall return.

Katrina said...

I like modern art, but when I was first introduced to Andy Goldsworthy's specific style I was repectfully unimpressed and a tad cynical. As the video we watched in class continued, and now after I have seen some of the Flickr photographs of his work, I have become very appreciative of his style. He seems like a man who is very much in tune with nature and the harmony that exists in it. This is why I grew to like his art- because he is so dedicated to his vision, he is able to see his artisitic contruct through to the very end. Goldsworthy's perfectionism means that he never settles for less than he anticipates for and his talent accounts for the magnificently balanced pieces that he creates. I can say now that I have had a complete 180 in my perception of his unique and very personal art and that I am, in the end, very impressed and in awe of Andy Goldsworthy.

Glendon Plumton said...

Disclaimer: May contain cynicism and/or sarcasm in lethal doses

I’m going to write my reaction to Goldsworthy’s works discussing different areas of them separately. First of all, I’d like to say that he did take beautiful pictures and make some intriguing sculptures. I do consider what he did to be art. However, what I wonder about with what I saw is what is the actual art? Was it the sculptures he made that very few people would see? Was it the pictures of the sculptures that he took? Was it the film made by the professional filmographers? While there were some that I considered to be less interesting, he had some that were quite interesting. Aesthetically, many of them were interesting to see. The problem that I personally have with the construction of his pieces was that many of them lack any permanence. It strikes me as partly pointless to make sculpture such as a string of leaves in a river, that vanish shortly after being made (No, I’m not a math/science/engineering person who likes certainty and permanence at all).

Now, I’m going to move onto what was probably more expected of me in my post: the criticisms. It was interesting art, but one simple even occurred which harmed my opinion of his art. Simply put, he started talking. As far as I could tell, he was full of it. When he started talking about the metaphysical stuff that he was associating with his art, I started to have major issues. One example was his discussion about his artwork consisting of sheep wool stretched across a rock wall. He talked about how the sheep are incredibly important, effecting the entirety of Scotland’s physical and social history. I’m sorry, but I have trouble when someone attributes the effects of the climatologically and mineralogical characteristics to munchies wearing my future T-shirts. This discussion about how they are the reason that there are few trees in Scotland, he is completely off base. When he starts talking about how he communes with the past history of an area when he is making his art, I consider everything that he is saying to be metaphysical garbage. I feel that I would have had substantially more respect for the quality of his work if he hadn’t tainted it by giving his logic in creating it along side of his own

I’m now going to move over into critiquing the film itself, because it was through the film we saw his work, so the film needs to be included in discussing his work. It was well filmed overall, with shots of his work that showed what it truly looks like (which is something that isn’t commonly seen, due to the sheer lack of permanence in the majority of his work). However, the documentary fell into a few traps that amounted to mere pandering towards the base emotions of viewers in an attempt to increase their sympathy with him, and consequently to make them view him in a more favorable light. Chief among these attempts to boost his human side and to try to make viewers emotions bleed over onto his art was in the scenes at his family’s home. It is a simple, biological fact that people will react, normally favorably, to children, and the filmmakers were relying on the “awwwww” cuteness factor to try and induce positive emotions in the children. This was, quite simply, pure manipulative propaganda. This aspect of the documentary shifted my opinion of the filmmakers on the “Documentarian’s honestly” scale more towards the politician side of it.

I think that’s a decent summary of my views on Goldsworthy and the film. Though if really pressed, I suppose I could go into detail…

Anonymous said...

I found Andy Goldsworthy's to be different but not so ground-breaking that the art was completely unique. It was cool to see him go out in nature and alter the landscape without demanging it.

~Desiree' Daniels

Laura Montalvo said...

I really don't know what to say about Andy Goldsworthy. I watched in fascination at his art and little more at him in general. I think that the documentary was good in showing the process this artist does to make his art and I felt the journey to make it was more important than the finished product. I am impressed by the finished product as any one would be if they were to be walking in the wilderness and suddenly see twigs arranged in a web formation. I was more awed by the patience and precision that man had. His dedication is more art to me than his art. I can see him and see almost the meaning of art. He sits and does these things with great love and a meaning that he wishes to convey which is what every piece of art is trying to do show us something about the world, about life or about ourselves.

miguel cazarez said...

i like his wrk its very nice to see how man in general can work with the ordinary and make it something beautiful. its also weird to know how his mind works to be able to just see things like that and make them so nice and with prqctically nothing

James Cook said...

A lot of times when someone says "environmental art" I think of pictures of large landscapes. But when I saw this video it completely stunned me to see what you can do with the nature that is all around us. He took some of the ordinary objects in nature and made them into a design that didn't take away from the nature aspect and yet put it in a way that would be almost impossible for nature to recreate on its own. This gives it an individuality from the rest of art that is made. Usually the art I see is completely man made or completely made by nature. Andy Goldsworthy brings the two together, sperating the extremes. He couldn't do it without nature and nature couldn't do it without him. The mix of the creates the perfect painting on the landscape.

Anonymous said...

What did you think about his work?
I thought that it was just amazing! His dedication and patience with nature is simply inspiring! I had never seen anything like it but was fascinated and very stunned. His use of the world around him to produce such wonderful masterpieces is phenomenal!

What about the process he goes through to create environmental art?
AH! So much patience and time! I don't think I could ever do that. I was especially shocked when I watched him build and rebuild a structure of stones and the web-like structure on the side of the tree! He just never gave up!

Did you get a sense of the level of commitment he has to perfection?
Yes! Like I said earlier, I don't believe that I could do that! He needed for everything to be completely perfect and I definitely respect that. His attention to detail is evident and even a little shocking! I was very surprised when you(Ms. Miller) told us that he never used glue or anything like that to hold his pieces together! I could do what he did even with glue! That takes talent! (:

As for the photo of flowers posted with this blog, I thought that it was beautiful! A lot of times, an artist's photographs don't even seem like art to me, but Andy Goldworthy shows something completely different that I consider to be real art! I love his use of red flowers because the contrast it provides against the water is beautiful and stunning! The focus becomes the cicle in the center which keeps your eye entranced! He is an amazing artist and I am very happy that we got to watch the video about him!
~ Katherine Chernova