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Elijah Balbach

on 22 November 2016

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Transcript of Neo-Iconography:

Contemporary Art
Since the rise of cinema and music and its commercialized and popularized role on western society, there has become an awareness of its major impact.

Conceptual artists and theorists have been documenting their ideas on the matter.
Human culture has changed immensely in values since the digital age. This lesson plan is in line with artists and theorists who speculate on the paradigm shift of how iconography can be perceived today.
"Hero, Leader, God." Alexander Kosolapov, 2007.
This sculpted work from the artist depicts Lenin, Mickey Mouse, and the Western image of Jesus Christ holding hands in kinship.
[Discuss: What are some noticeable correlations within this art piece as it relates to the lesson concept?]

Art has been used to exonerate iconic figures throughout history and has created within itself a standard in which to do so. Renaissance artists in particular had a fashion of glorifying and representing religious icons.
Michelangelo's "Madonna and Child."
(ca. 1503-1504)
"Michael and Bubbles." Jeff Koons, 1988.
[Discuss: Compare and contrast Koons' sculpture shown to that of Rennaisance artwork. In particular, its relation to Michelango's "Madonna and Child" in the previous slide.]
Critical Thinking
The rich and famous have caught popular attention through mass media and many have since become a household name. The argument that Koons portays in his art piece as well as other theorists convey is that we glorify pop stars almost to that of a religious pedestal.

What correlations can you make in accordance to this idea with the media presented?
Other artists have scrutinized icons in a different way. In Andres Serrano's work, he presented a photograph artwork that has created major debate since its genus.
"Christ Carrying the Cross." Sandro Botticelli, 1490.
"Piss Christ." Andres Serrano, 1989.
The much criticized image of the religious icon of Christ on a cross displayed in a jar of the artist's urine has opened its own jar of questions because of its context and dramatic presentation.

What can his artwork exemplify with contemporary theory in mind?
The debatably deplorable action that Serrano took allows us to reflect on how we treat religion in our contemporary culture.

The Christ on the cross image in the photo is made of cheap plastic and pine. That in itself reflects the plurality in consumerism and argues the banality in icons.

Religion in society often holds the object or image or appearance above the principle teachings and actions from religious doctrines. The artwork can debate what the values really are within Christianity.

What arguments can you make for or against this piece?
Examples of Argument Behind Serrano's Work
Additional Concepts in Iconography
"Ice T." Kehinde Wiley, 2005.
"Napoleon on his Imperial Throne."
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1806.
Another way artists have exploited the notion of exoneration is reflecting on its historical placement of iconography in imperialism and royalty.
Kehinde Wiley is a contemporary artist who takes imagery from art history textbooks, specifically portraits of royalty and religious icons, and appropriates people of color into them.
Although the leftmost image is of famous rap star Ice T, Wiley mostly takes muse from average people he interviews within his own neighborhood. He educates his muses in art history lessons and allows them to choose the imagery in which they'll be represented.
Takeaways from presentation
Icon [Late Greek eikōn, from Greek] :  a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians
2.  an object of uncritical devotion
-graphy (suff.)
combining form
1. a descriptive science.
2. a technique of producing images.
neo (pref.)-
combining form
1. new.
2. a new or revived form of.
a critical analysis of pop culture and art and how they relate to historical religion and icon
Art has driven ideas and icons throughout history by effecting our senses.

Contemporary art has used philosophy and theory to disrupt or question tradition and/or culture.

Using this presentation, how can you derive your own critical thinking and idea generation on the subject matter at hand?
Project: Create an essay or artwork based on your own opinion and critical thinking on "Neo-Iconography."

Planning: Students will take the lead in idea generation working independently and class discussion.

Product: Students will successfully execute a planned product using media that expresses their idea as it relates to the subject matter.
Students will create work that is relevant to their subjective experience and/or history and contemporary cultural studies.

Reflection: Students will evaluate their work and show it to peers discussing their process and/or product. This may take the form of a presentation.
Students will write an artist statement to go along with their piece, or if their product is written they will write a condensed summary.

Extra literary resources:

(see instructor and lesson plan template)
Full transcript