Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Digital Art & Geometric Friday - 11/26 & 11/28/14: "Grime on Grime"

Natures Footstep memes 

The Digital Art meme now includes what was formerly the Abstract Photo meme.

Geometric Friday hosted by LorikArt 

Click on the links above to view posts by other artists/photographers or to participate yourself.

Update on 12/2/14 - PHOTO HEART CONNECTION: At the end of each month we are to choose one image that has a connection for each of us.  I am choosing this image for the month of November.

As I become older (I will turn 70 next year) I love taking photos of old, even decaying, things and trying to make them into something beautiful. Perhaps I feel some connection with these rotting buildings or automobiles. They are growing old and deteriorating, just like I am. Some of them will be able to be saved, but many will crumble into complete ruin. I have no children to carry on my legacy, but perhaps, someday, someone may run across one of my photos and feel some connection to me, even when I am long gone.


"Grime on Grime"
Because I liked the colors so much in the original photo, I overlapped shapes and colors,
saturated the colors and added some texture. You can still see hints of the concrete block

foundation and the corrugated metal siding, and even a stencil that says,
"SAFETY GUARD STEEL CO" near the upper left.
I'm not sure if that was the name of the company that occupied the building or if it
was the manufacturer of the huge door.
Besides being one of my favorite creations of 2014, at least so far, it has received more 
views and favorites than any of my more than 800 photos on Flickr.

Original photo:
"Grime Scene"
This photo was taken in Millvale, PA,
a section of Pittsburgh.
I love taking photos of old, run-down,
rusted things. I thought this was
interesting because there is grime and
rust which contrasts with the pastel pink,
green and blue on the door and corrugated
metal sides. The place appeared to be abandoned.

To give an idea of proportion, a large
dump truck would fit through the door,
with room to spare.

See hundreds of my photos and art images on my Flickr pages.


(Please note that my rant has nothing to do with the Digital Art, Geometric Friday, or Photo heart Connection memes.)

I joined Flickr about 6 months ago. One of my favorite things to do is scroll through other artists/photographers' photostreams to see what they are creating and to be inspired by the work of other artists.

I have found thousand of stunningly beautiful and/or creative photographs and art work from around the world.

But, one trend I dislike is fantasy/avatar art. 

Almost every female figure is scantily clad (if at all), has huge eyes, flawless complexion and hair, and lips so puffy they look like pillows. The figures look rather plastic, as if they began as Barbie or Ken dolls and have been distorted into something worse.

However, the “puffiest” part of the female anatomy is their boobs, which are either about to pop out of their clothing or have already escaped. These avatar women don’t have large breasts, not size Ds or DDs. Most are enormous, perhaps Ms or ZZs. If these women were real, they would have to wear back braces and I guess they’d have to put on some clothes to hide the braces. Even with braces, they would constantly be breaking their noses when falling forward. Some fantasy figures have wings, but surely they could never achieve lift off. And if their breasts don’t knock them over, their torturous 7-inch stilettos might.

In addition to huge breasts, some of them have enormous hips or butts. I can’t imagine them being able to walk without an uncomfortable waddle in addition to pitching forward, and they certainly wouldn’t be able to squeeze through a turnstile or negotiate a narrow hallway without knocking something over. Perhaps, double-wide hips are supposed to counteract top-heaviness. 

What surprises me, is that much of this stuff is created by women. Haven’t they heard of the feminist movement? Many of the women of my generation had to work hard to be taken seriously, to not be thought of as mere sex objects, to have men look at our eyes instead of our chests, and to be accepted as equals in the workplace. In forty years, we still haven't achieved equal pay.

I don’t understand the point of creating such exaggerated features. Are they trying to turn on men? (I showed some to my husband and he said they were a turn-off, not a turn-on.) Do the artists want to be the women they create? Are their own lives so dismal that they have to create a fantasy world?

And then there are the male characters these artists create, which are equally objectionable. Most of their faces look like women with stubble. They are soft and way too perfect, almost pretty. They are supposed to be strong, virile men, but most look rather feminine. Those with bare chests (about 99.99% are bare-chested) often look like they have boobs rather than muscles. But, there are some who look downright evil. 

Except for exaggerated body parts, many of these figures are done with very bad proportions. For example legs that are way too short for the torso and too far apart, arms that have elbows at chest level rather than waist level. The crotches on paints are way too low. Now, I know everyone is built differently, but some just look downright distorted.

On many, men's heads are way too small for their pumped-up-on-digital-steroid bodies. I wonder if that is a conscious or unconscious way of showing what the artists think of men. It reminds me of how women used to be portrayed as air heads.

I don’t say all such art is like what I have described.  Some are tasteful without exaggerated features.

I know they are supposed to be “fantasy” so we have to suspend belief when looking at them, but I still dislike them. I even find them somewhat creepy. I do, admit, though, that some make me laugh at how ridiculous they are, so maybe there is a redeeming social value in that.

Maybe avatar art bothers me because I don’t understand the appeal. I don’t like rap music, but I can understand why it would appeal to certain people. When I see a film, I prefer not to be scared out of my wits, but I understand there is a certain thrill in horror films that appeals to some. 

I’m not turned off by the nudity. I’m fine with artistic nudes in art, photography, and film. I'm not turned off by the sexual content. I'm turned off by the exaggeration that seems to imply any women without enormous breasts and puffy lips or a man without good looks and huge muscles cannot be sexually or romantically appealing.

I'm sure many of the artists spend a lot of time creating their art, and some are very skilled, but the appeal of the exaggerated fantasy/avatar figures is beyond me. And don't get me started on avatar zombies or vampires.

What do you think?
Here are some links to see for yourself. (I'm not sure if you can view these if you are not a Flickr member.} I was going to link to some particularly exaggerated images, but I didn't want to pick on specific artists, so these links are to groups that post this type of image.  All are not objectionable to me, but there are enough that are, that I've come to dislike the entire genre.

As I said, some are quite skillfully done and are probably excellent examples of the genre, but the genre, well, you can decide for yourself.

There are many more. This is just a sampling. And there are many that are only open to members, so you can imagine the nudity and sexual content that must be on those.

I'm not sure how people create these, but in comments many refer to programs that they use, that seem to provide various elements such as face shapes, facial features, other body parts, clothing jewelry, tattoos, etc. Once they have the basic figures, I assume each can be customized.


NatureFootstep said...

your art today radiates warmth. I need that. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

love your has wonderful color.
I hate that fantasy stuff too...

Ida said...

First I love your piece. It's really cool looking. I like the starting photo too, what great subject material.
As for the Fantasy Art stuff, to each their own. So not my taste.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

First off, I really really like your photograph, the colors, the textures an everything.

Second, on your rant. My son and I attended a "Comicon" here in Tulsa a few weeks ago and I saw a lot of art similar to what you are talking about.

I didn't like it all for the reasons you state. I just don't get it and it seems to me that the people creating it and the people who enjoy it are stunted emotionally or something. It just didn't seem very mature. Something that a talented horny high school sophomore would do.

Lmkazmierczak said...

Very nice abstract/geometric piece. Well thought out observations too....I am out of the loop for fantasy/avatar renderings ♪

lorik said...

I do think this is stunningly beautiful!!!! Love it!

Kat Sloma said...

I love the way you've overlapped and repeated the shapes in your Photo-Heart Connection image. Stunning! Thanks for joining in.

gina said...

It's a very warm and dynamic abstract image that you've created. I like the original too. I also
enjoy taking shots of old and decaying things.

BLOGitse said...

I like your abstract - colors, texture...
I can have a peak of all kind of art but to spend time with...too plastic art is not my thing. Some fantasy pics are ok but seeing only them would be too much.
My favorite is 'good, old art' :)

lorik said...

I totally agree...and you have no idea how many children do their own variations of this kind of stuff...the big eyes...pretty smile...etc.
But i DO love your work.. it is art..and original art too:)