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Latest Topics

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The value of ‘bad’ art

Explore the notion of creativity for creativity’s sake. With Covid-19 isolation, we are seeing a lot of people filling time by making things, from banana bread to paintings. What is the value of making stuff, even if it’s not ‘good’ aka. not pretty, or moving, or delicious. You could also explore what makes people identify as ‘creative’ or not – what is the difference between an ‘artist’ v. ‘someone who makes art’?

  • Interesting topic! Creating is therapeutic in itself. It does not have to be pretty, or yummy--the process of creating is in our own human nature and within the process we find things out about ourselves. Instead of the value of bad art it could be The value of the process of creating. The artist and someone who makes art is a whole other debate and topic--that makes something "art" and something just a creation. I think that depends on your training. Anyone can pick up a drum or some kitchen utensils and play a beat or sing to make music, but a musician is someone who studied and trained in music for years---but everyone and anyone can make music. The same with art. The title of an artist and musician comes with level of education I believe, but that does not mean you can't be an artist by just drawing at home. Anyone and everyone can be a creator and an artist of some sort. Maybe narrow down the topic to either the benefits or what makes the difference between an artist and someone who makes art. – birdienumnum17 5 months ago
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  • Well, the advantage of "bad" work (whether so-bad-it's-good or just plain bad) is that it provides an example of what not to do. For instance, the example of the Twilight series shows that if you want to write a supernatural romance, you should NOT make the supernatural partner abuse or lord it over the more "ordinary" one. More generally, for someone who is creating just because they want to, an initial work, for all its faults, provides a jumping-off point that they can use to refine their craft, by learning from their prior mistakes. – Debs 5 months ago
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Art in the Time of a Pandemic

After witnessing the devastation of the 1918 flu pandemic, Virginia Woolf made the titular heroine of "Mrs. Dalloway" an influenza survivor, embracing life with flowers, friendship and a dinner party.

In recent weeks, we have all seen images of the doctors, nurses and other frontline workers, saving lives in hotspots like Italy and New York. Their faces, tired and worn out, call to mind Edward Munch’s "Self Portrait with the Spanish Flu" and "Self Portrait After the Spanish Flu".

I propose a feature on the lessons we can learn from the art of past pandemics.

  • Nice topic. Maybe you can make it How to learn from the art of past pandemics. – birdienumnum17 5 months ago
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Folk arts of India: production of cultural expressiveness

Through a study of different tangible folk art forms, this article will examine how it preserves and showcases the cultural diversity of India

  • It would be worth including a few examples with your topic suggestion, as I'm sure you have some in mind. This is not meant as a criticism. I dare say there are many at the Artifice who couldn't even name a single Indian poet, painter, writer, film maker - let alone have knowledge of Indian folk arts. In the right hands, this could make for a fascinating article though. – Amyus 11 months ago
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  • Indian-American Pulitzer Prize author Jhumpa Lahiri Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University. – L:Freire 11 months ago
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  • As someone who has very little knowledge on Indian culture, I'd be very excited to get to learn and be informed through this piece. Perhaps it could include examples of ways that reflect Indian culture accurately (for those who want to learn more), and examples of how it can be portrayed in Western media (and it's inaccuracy). – Scharina 6 months ago
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The power of fashion in social progress

While the fashion industry has been historically known for promoting unhealthy beauty standards and gender norms, it is shifting towards a more diverse representation which breaks down gender norms. The article would analyze the shifts in fashion media and trends overtime and how it pertains to gender norms, body image and more. Additionally, it will detail the areas in which the industry still lacks.

  • Interesting topic! I think narrowing down this broad idea to a country would be helpful. There are many discussions that can stem from beauty standards, body image and fashion, (such as a shift from thinness and starvation to plastic surgery for wider hips/backside). Gender norms within itself can be a topic of its own as it changes throughout time (specially the last few decades). This topic could be root to many ideas! – Scharina 6 months ago
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  • This is a really interesting topic since fashion has been a core element of art and design since time immemorial, however I think this is too broad a topic to take on in one essay, as I wrote a history of fashion myself and it’s just too complex not to focus on a certain time period. Your material will be richer and more detailed, and if you enjoy the research then by all means start a series, fashion art is amazing – chloedubisch 5 months ago
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Photography and Painting

Artistic medium and perception prospered in the 19th century, it is the emergence of photography which influenced artists to innovate and alter the way they made art. Photographs allow an audience to observe and categorize, they aren’t just statements of the world but actual pieces of it. While painting can be a narrow and selective interpretation, a photograph can be treated as a mirror of reality. How did photography fundamentally transform painting?

  • Good topic!I don't know much about the relationship of photography and painting, but I do know that critics commonly claim that the development of photography pushed creative writers to become more experimental with their writing and to seek out new ways of representing "reality" (stream of consciousness, fragmentation, etc.).Photographs are narrow and selective, too, of course. When we take a photo, we choose all sorts things: content and context (what we include in the frame, what we cut out), distance, angle, lighting, exposure time, etc. – JamesBKelley 7 months ago
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The Classic/Romantic Model for Understanding Artistic Temperament

During my first or second year studying the history of art, I experienced one of those moments in which the discrete bits of knowledge I’d been acquiring in my courses suddenly congealed and connected to the larger context of human experience. Specifically, I began to consider that stylistic notions of Romanticism and Classicism as they had been taught in art history were not just artistic movements, styles, or even broader attitudes toward the nature and purpose of art. They were individual temperaments through which artists see the world, and artists throughout history—not just those of the late-eighteenth or early-nineteenth centuries—were all either classical or romantic.

As I dwelled on this idea, I came to think of these concepts not as polar opposites, but as zones on a continuum. It was intriguing to ask where I thought different artists fit on this spectrum, whether toward one end or the other, extremely (like David or Delacroix), or ambiguously in-between (like Degas). In time, my thinking matured, and I realized that art and artists are more complex than simple schemas can accommodate. But that mental model helped me organize my thoughts and understand not just artists, but people, in a way that was clarifying and systematic.

Explore whether traditional notions of "classic" and "romantic" are accurate models for understanding artists’ temperaments or mindsets, or whether they misrepresent artistic nature. To what artists might this model apply, either in ways that clarify or ways that distort? What artists or entire cultures might fall outside this model or defy it (if any)? If applicable, consider how the classic/romantic schema relates to other dichotomies such as Apollonian/Dionysian, the Ancients and the Moderns, or the like.

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    The Influence of Mexican Art in the 1920s & 1930s

    Analyze the influence and impact of Mexican artwork in the 1920s and 1930s. Specifically, analyze the political messaging the art, the new indigenous themes and influences, the artists themselves (Kahlo and Rivera come to mind) and their influence on the greater art world and their contemporary artists (Picasso et al.).

    • This is an interesting topic, when analysing the political message in art we can look at the Mexican peoples uprising against the oppressive dictator Porfirio Díaz Mori. Artists (like Diego Rivera) and their involvement with the muralist movement and the ‘masses’ was very influential too. Your onto a good thing. – tahliawhitfield 7 months ago
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    Action Painting: Conception and Legacies

    Analyse the birth and develpment of action painting as an art movement and look at some of the examples which followed on from it. Jackson Pollock is the person primarily associated with this movement but there are a lot of other artists who were working in this mode as well. Raise questions about its form, concepts, potentialities and the critical and effective work which are inhabiting this style.

    • I do recall that the newspaper “The Guardian” had a whole article devoted toward these types of avant-garde artistic styles. It was published in 1990. This may prove helpful. – J.D. Jankowski 7 months ago
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