A little thing on Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago is a feminist artist, whose work, although initially rejected, pushed the art world to accept feminism and has defined feminist art to this day. 

Judy Chicago was born in 1939 in Chicago (initially with the last name Cohen). She was raised in a wealthy Jewish family who supported her career in the arts, this support allowed her to begin pursuing art from the age of 5. As a result of this early start, each of Chicago’s later pieces is defined by her adept artist skills and technical feats. Being a woman in the art world hegemonized by men pushed her towards her radicalized artwork. In 1965, Chicago released a modern art piece of a series of rainbow beams leaning against a wall, when art critic Walter Hopps saw the piece he largely ignored it and talked to the other male artists in the room. Years after, Chicago and Hopps met again and he told her, that his ignorance was a result of surprise at the high level of her work. Sexism from the world and critics was and continues to be, the major inspiration for her work. The most famous of these pieces is “The Dinner Party” 

In 1979 Chicago revealed an enormous project that covered over 1,100 square feet and marks her most influential piece. The piece consisted of a tile floor, three 48-foot-long tables which created the perimeter, and 39 ceramic plates which gave a spot to an influential woman in history. This piece required years of work to complete and the help of over 400 volunteers. In order to complete this feat, Chicago and her team threw, handbuilt, slab built, and slip-cast the pieces. They also employed painting, sewing, and building skills. Inscribed on the tile floor were the names of 999 influential women whose names were largely unknown or forgotten. The piece is both a respectful homage to the powerful women who came before her and a satirical understanding of the nonsensical notion of man’s power. Each of the 39 plates took a vulvaic form, this, although initially thought of as pornographic and unnecessary, defined the piece as a straightforward and “audacious” piece of art that holds a firm grip on what it means to be a feminist in art. The New York Times described the piece in 2018 writing on Judy Chicago as “a repository of women’s history” and remarked on the assumed humor of the piece had it been released in the modern world: “The audacity of “The Dinner Party,” its rhetorical energy, its humor (the vulva plates are, among other things, a play on what it might be like if women took as much pride in their anatomy as men did)”. 

Despite its initial rejection from the art world Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” has been tremendously influential to art in its category and marked the first of its kind of feminist art piece. Chicago trailblazed as a leader in the largely male art world of the time and continued to this day as a radical artist and strong feminist. “The Dinner Party” is now a permanent exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum and continues to inspire the feminist movement and female artists and non-artist alike. Judy Chicago and “The Dinner Party” remain the unambiguous “Godmother” of feminism in the arts. 

Pc: New York Times

NOW

Honestly, I don’t know if I like Charles Bukowski but I love his work. I first discovered his poetry a year ago and I was just smitten with his spot-on/blunt observations of life. It’s funny though because he has this ‘don’t try too hard kind of attitude that I really don’t empathize with and he’s also kind of gross and offensive, yet I’m totally enamored with his humor and wit.

I can’t tell you what my ‘favorite’ poem by him is, because that changes all the time. They’re consistently clever and I could read his work all day. I thought of his poem “NOW” though, while I was thinking of what to even write today.

NOW

I sit here on the 2nd floor

hunched over in yellow

pajamas

still pretending to be

a writer.

some damned gall,

at 71,

my brain cells eaten

away by

life.

rows of books

behind me,

I scratch my thinning

hair

and search for the

word.

Obviously, this is about writer’s block, and yeah that just resonated with me while I was thinking of what to even write this afternoon.

If you want to laugh, I recommend his poem “Flophouse”, if you want to be inspired, I recommend “Roll the Dice” or “How is your Heart”, and if you want to think, I would read “The Genius of the Crowd” or “Dinosauria, We.” Also, all the poems he wrote about his cats are fantastic.

PC: https://www.thegreatcat.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Bukowski-and-Black-Cat.jpg

More Waves

I probably had one of my rawest encounters with the ocean on the Santa Cruz trip. On Thursday the group hiked to Smugglers cove (Liam and I ran), this large round bay faces south, unlike Scorpion Ranch which faces northeast where we spend most of the trip. What’s important is not the bay itself but that hundreds of miles south of the bay a hurricane was(still is) active off of Baja. Hurricanes and storms such as this one generate 90% of swells worldwide, and this storm is no exception. For days large lumps of water have traveled hundreds of miles along the coast bringing warm water and very good waves to Mexico and California. The swell and bay direction created a very interesting experience in the water. Large closeout walls slammed into shores in sets of 4 to 5 waves with faces that peaked (to my best guess) at 7 or 8 feet. Liam, Zimo, and I got the opportunity to swim out into these waves ducking and swimming under them and even catching the smaller ones with our bodies, or the boogie board in Liam’s case. This experience is easily one of the coolest I’ve had in the water because of the lack of wind and large swell, the waves were perfectly clean giants and they were absolutely gorgeous. Each set was a new masterpiece of nature and each wave defined the ocean’s beauty. I love waves.

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pc: Pierre Dasen

disassociation

10:23 am. Today I was driving and I started to disassociate. It’s the moment when you look at your hands on the steering wheel and you can’t remember how they got there. An action without a thought. The frustration that comes with the inability to recognize the hands that have guided you through your life thus far. These thoughts consume you and you can feel nothing and everything at the same time. Your breathing slows and moves like the colors behind your eyes when you try to fall asleep. You will never give it away, not with the solemn look on your face, or the thoughtless gloss swimming in your eye. I don’t think there is a time when you can be more in your head, but that’s just an opinion. The sounds of her voice muffle as I try to keep myself from falling down my own throat. “Isn’t that crazy” 10:57 am. 

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pc: me

Criminally Underrated Anime

Noragami

Noragami is an incredible show that is shrouded in the world of Gods, Demons, Human Souls, and living Humans. This anime follows a trio of eccentric people, one, is a girl who discovered the world of souls, demons, and gods through an accident and was helped by the other two men in the trio. The other men are a fighting duo, a fighter, who is a god known as Yato, and his Regalia (weapon), Yukine, who is a lost human soul. The show consists of excellent fight scenes, the discovery of mysterious and forgotten pasts, and fictional mythology. I would definitely recommend this show to somebody who has watched a decent amount of anime.

8.7/10

pc: imdb

Assassination Classroom

Assassination Classroom is a show that drops the viewer into a unique classroom, one where the students, known as academic failures, are tasked with the job of killing their extraterrestrial teacher. Their teacher known as Koro-Sensei encourages them to kill him as well as further their education and physicality, as many normal teachers would do. Killing Koro-Sensei is no easy task as he is an alien that can move faster than the speed of light, fly, and even become an indestructible ball for 24 hours. This anime follows the teacher and students as they mature, grow a relationship, and become deadly assassins. I would recommend this show to anybody that enjoys anime, or any newcomer to anime. It perfectly combines comedy, intensity, and strong emotion, definitely a must-watch.

9.1/10

4 Square Diaries

Some say soccer is a beautiful game, but I beg to differ. For me, it’s four square.

This quarter, four square has taken our high school by storm. Yeah, you read that right, four square and high school in the same sentence. It is mainly played by the freshman, who isn’t the most mature bunch (ask anyone), but a small contingency of senior boys, myself included, also are driven to play. It’s probably because, like the freshman, we are not the most mature bunch.

We have created all types of rule sets: feet only, west coast no feet, and many more. Most of which came from one of the most magnificent minds of all time, (can’t say the name but it’s pretty great).

Each player uses their own rule set when they are king. The power of tailoring the rules to your strengths is intoxicating and keeps the players coming back. This forms them for square identity, with the only other factor being how much they argue and whine.

There is so much whining and arguing that goes on, it is plain to see how much these people care, even though most act like they don’t. When two players disagree on a call, it becomes a screaming match, with the mob of players itching to get back to the king square serving as a jury. If the jury grants it, a 1 v 1 starts, in which two players face off. The winner is usually the person who throws it at the other person’s shins first.

On April 1st, Mr. Floyd pranked the players, sending freshmen into what I can only explain as identity crises.

“This isn’t FAIR!” whined nearly all of them.

That dark day demonstrated how reliant these students are on four square. They truly care about a children’s game, as if it is the NBA. I have been punched, insulted, and jeered over it, and I am fine with it, it’s in the game.

PC: Playworks

Manga Review

In August of last year, I decided to start reading manga. I began with Tokyo Ghoul and Death Note. After reading about eight chapters, I put everything else down and completely blew through all 30 volumes of Tokyo Ghoul and :re. However, once I was finished, I had quite the hole to fill in my heart. I had read some volumes of Death Note and The Attack on Titan prequel which are very good but still didn’t hit like Tokyo Ghoul did. That was until I picked up Jujutsu Kaisen and Full Metal Alchemist.

Although I’ve only read half a volume of Full Metal Alchemist, it is already helping fill the hole in my soul that Tokyo Ghoul and Jujutsu Kaisen left. FMA is super interesting. Not only are both of the main characters very entertaining, but they have a very compelling backstory and relationship with Alchemy. The fights are very interesting and all the characters have a very meaningful place in the story and character development. From just the first half of volume one, Full Metal Alchemist has already dealt with Blind Faith, Scammy Religion, Military corruption, and working-class rights. Mangas like this are set in a completely different universe but are still able to make tangible storylines that make commentary on human interaction and tendencies are such a treasure. Similarly, unlike many special powers or types of magic in animes, there is a cost for alchemy. Some people who overuse alchemy, break the laws, or ask too much of it can face great costs. The layers of story in this manga as of just volume one are so interesting and I definitely cannot wait to read the rest.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

However, Full Metal Alchemist is just filling the massive hole in my soul that Jujutsu Kaisen left. Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the only storylines that are so good that I watched the whole anime twice. Even after having seen the anime multiple times, the Manga still blew me away. The art style in Jujutsu Kaisen is so interesting. It’s so polished but at the same time, you can tell it’s all hand-drawn. Every character has such unique power and look, the character design and their respective powers are just *chefs kiss*. It is the perfect mix of my two favorite animes/mangas. It has the unique character design and art style of Hunter X Hunter whilst also being able to seamlessly integrate humor. It then has the darkness and uncertainty of Tokyo Ghoul whilst having Tokyo Ghoul quality fights. All that and it has some of the most compelling and interesting characters in the manga period. I’m honestly a little glad it’s all sold out everywhere because I would blow a BAG on the rest of the series.

Photo Credit: Twitter.com

Anime I would Recommend to Anyone

Mob Psycho 100

This Anime is a classic. If somebody were to ask me “What anime should I watch?” and I knew they were new to anime, Mob Psycho 100 is one of the first anime I would think of. It should be one of the first anime that a new anime watcher should see. It has a funny, upbeat, yet deep, and meaningful story as well as unique and awe-inspiring animation. It has a plethora of characters that represent many walks of life, and many types of people. This show about a talented young Esper is incredibly entertaining, and it brings up big issues with the perception of oneself. Mob despite his talent and power, is timid and bullied, because he is different. This show has spirits, curses, and more espers. I would absolutely recommend this show to anyone who hasn’t seen it.

9.0/10

photo credit: imdb

Magi

Magi is another anime I would recommend to anyone. It’s a fantasy anime with dungeons and djinns. Dungeon Capturers attempt to get through dangerous dungeons to gain access to the power of djinns. Djinns are massive magical beings that are kept with metal vessels on the dungeon capturers body and giving them magical powers. This series is split into three shows, all of which are incredibly creative and enticing. Magi perfectly uses magic powers, overpowered characters, and war politics to create a cohesive and congenial anime.

8.9/10

photo credit: imdb

Anime That I’ve Recently Watched

Other than rewatching and still going through Hunter x Hunter and One Piece, I have been pretty invigorated in anime. Although the subculture has not been filled with the best new anime this year, I am finding shows that I am loving. Some of these shows might not be for everybody but they are all unique and great in their own way.

Ranking of Kings

This anime from 2021 is special. It follows a decently simple design with its fable format. This anime is made to resonate with real-world emotions and difficulties that many may face such as depression and hopelessness. It opens up the world to disabilities and the difficulties of trying to work around them. The protagonist in this story Bojji is both deaf and mute, as well as is especially weak in a world sanctioned by power. Despite his setbacks in life he decides to work to become the best version of himself. This feel-good story is accompanied by a unique animation style that is enticing to the highest degree. The show has not ended yet but I am highly anticipating the finale.

9.1/10

Hajime No Ippo

This anime is a story of a rising superstar. A hard-hitting boxing talent is known as Ippo Makuonochi, and his journey to the Flyweight Title of Japan. This show is made for fans of boxing, bringing in-depth details of fighting, training, and experience in the fighting world. It’s a feel-good anime with an almost dangerously optimistic outlook on brain damage in the sport (until it’s explored at the end of the second season). I personally enjoyed this anime because of the evolutions the characters go through. The anime and the sport are both about harnessing talent and power to become something unintelligible. I would definitely recommend this anime to anybody that is a fan of boxing.

9.1/10

Space Dandy

Space Dandy, although not being a show that I’ve recently seen, it is something that I feel I must recommend. This show follows a classic blueprint similar to that of Cowboy Bebop, where a group of three eccentric characters travels through space collecting aliens from around the galaxy. This layout can feel overdone or boring to some, however, I don’t believe this to be an anime based on its plot, but rather on its animation. Every episode is created with a different director, writer, animation director, and storyboard director. This show about “A dandy guy in space” became grounds for many animators to build careers for themselves in the anime/manga world. This mysterious show about mysterious characters makes you ask questions with seemingly no answer other than weird space jibber-jabber, but every episode still finds its way to leave a viewer incredibly satisfied with the 20 minutes they spent watching an episode. The show is fantastic and I recommend it to anybody and everybody (I also recommend not skip the intro song as it is fire.

9.2/10

Not Artistic

http://www.artsy.net

I feel guilty for the grades I get in art class. I feel the pieces I do shouldn’t be called art, they are just drawings, sketches, and paintings. In other words, they are not artistic.

But what is considered artistic? Is there a standard to measure how artistic art is?

If we evaluate art on its aesthetics, many pieces will be disqualified. Because for pieces like Duchamp’s toilet and Maurizio Cattelan’s banana duct-taped to a wall, you can’t really tell if it’s atheistic. Especially in modern art, a lot of artworks don’t even have a concrete representation. With these cases, the value of art can’t be determined by if it looks pretty. Many artists also purposefully create art that is “disturbing” or “unpleasant” to the public, which is not “pretty” in the eyes of most viewers. But they are considered art.