WEEK 9 – Artists of the Week – Kat Von D and Guy Tang

Guy Tang and Other Body Artists


Played a role more in popular art rather that academic art. He works in Hollywood as a hair stylist. He is currently not taking any more new clients and has focused on teaching his skills to other stylists. In an interview he tells us that his largest inspiration is Pop Culture and strives to “make beauty out of madness”: I also follow Tang on Instagram along with 1.5 MILLION other followers. Each video has at least 150,000 views and the photos have around 50,000 likes. Interesting how social media is used as his personal gallery. No need to pay for a studio or have salons all over the world. Just post it on Instagram and hundreds of thousands of people will see your work in seconds. Also popular on Instagram are nail artists like Karen Gutierrez and Lexi Martone. It has become a popular trend to see tutorials for makeup, hair and nails.


Kat Von D and Tattoo Culture in Other Countries

Kat-Von-D--Latina-Magazine--05.jpgVon D is most well known for her work as a tattoo artist. She gained popularity from her reality television show, LA Ink but has not shifted her focus as a makeup artist. She has 4.2 million followers on Instagram. Unfortunately, the culture surrounded with being a tattoo artist is frowned upon and even illegal in some countries. It is illegal to give or receive a tattoo in North and South Korea unless you are a certified Doctor. If found guilty, you can be punished with jail time. However, in South Korea there is the Korean Tattoo Artist Association (KTAA) that is fighting for the rights of local artists. It is also illegal in Iran as the government sees it as a form of devil-worshiping.

I’m Iranian and I guess I don’t recall any of my family members or Persian friends with tattoos. Below, is a picture of a Persian male getting an underground tattoo in Iran. Iranians can have their rights stripped away, such as applying for a drivers licence, if found with a tattoo. Other countries like Japan and Vietnam highly frown upon it…though it is not illegal. 1393511165 The art of tattooing was initially used for spiritual art but was frowned upon over time as tattoo became associated with labeling criminals. In Japan, Some gyms, bath houses and resorts have signs that deny access to those with tattoos.



WEEK 8 – Artist(s) of the Week – Street Photography

Layla Hadidi 

July 24,2016

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

diCorcia hit a low point in his life before he started his career as artist. After experiment with drugs he started his passion for photography and attended art school in Boston. His early work was primary set in motel rooms. He started by picking up male prostitutes in the streets of LA and would pay the going rate for their ‘services’ but would instead use the subjects for his photographs. Dicorcia’s creates unique photography why utilizing sources such as artificial lighting and set design. He aims to create photos that look like film but are still able to capture the environment or events that were occurring with more cinematic style. In most of his work,  there is a lack of lighting that creates a dim background in the photo that bring drama and feelings into the art; then he typically uses another smaller source of light, like an open fridge or a car’s headlight, to imitate a natural spotlight.     







 Garry Winogrand

Born in the Bronx, New York, Winogrand lived a short 56 years but left his mark in photography for life. He wrote four books, worked as a photojournalist, advertising photographer, but was most well known for his street photography. During the 1960s, he defined and influenced street photography as it is today. His work was influence by focusing on social issues and perspective on what is like to live in America.Winogrand had several well known series of work such as The Animals, 1963. In these photos you see both animals and humans in the same scene. In an interview he describes what influenced his art; he took numerous photos, mostly of his children, after a long day at the zoo. He would occasionally take a photo of the animals withou
t thinking much of it and “at some point I realized something was going on in some of those pictures, so then I worked at it.” Many people analyze his work and see so much meaning by mixing animals and humans. He is able to succeed at humanizing the animals and dehumanize humans.


WEEK 8 – extra art activity – secret skate spot

Graffiti art and murals are found all over the world. After doing some traveling to Northern California, I was on the lookout for new, low-risk, places to tag my name. After an eight hour drive I landed in Santa Cruz. I had to do some underground research to find new local spots. Luckily I have a friend from the area and she recommended a ‘secret skate park’ that is covered with graffiti…yes please! Only about 20 minutes north from the heart of Santa Cruz was Davenport, CA. The skate park, also know as the davenport ditch,  is not visible from the road and has no signs or picturFullSizeRenderes to show you the way. With a short description from my friend through, I headed up Highway 1 and found the secret spot.

Finding the location was all part of the adventure. After arriving the old skate park, several people were skating and biking. Every time I have gone out to graffiti, I meet a ton of artists. Everyone is super friendly and every time I have been able to trade a few extra cans of paint for something else from other artists. Once I received a t-shirt, some can tips and even a miniature canvas. At the davenport ditch, I meet some local artist, Mikey and Fiona, who grew up in the area and help bring the skate park together.


After trading a couple cans of paint I was able to work with ‘Mikey’. He was teaching me how to control my lines. The closer you bring the can to the concrete the thinner and cleaner the line become. The further you pull the can away, the line become wider and more are is covered with paint. I practiced this several times and was still having trouble with controlling the paint; Mikey reminded me not to be afraid to get close to the concrete and even damage the can if necessary. IMG_1931.JPGFiona gave me a lumber crayon. A pink lumber crayon last about ten times longer than a regular crayon used on almost any surface (metal, wood, concrete) and can last through water and sun without fading. I used this to add smaller details to my final tag. I have actually seen these crayons used all over the dumpsters in Long Beach. My guess would be that because there is no sound like spray paint, gangs and artists are able to tag without the risk of getting caught. Just a quick bomb tag and you’re out of there but your name is now found everywhere! These were just a few helpful things I learned that day and people I met. I plan on continuing my graffiti journey to other places that I travel.


This week we spent time at the contemporary art museum, The Broad, in the Art District in Downtown Los Angeles. The museum is named after Eli and Edythe Broad, who are actually one of the only businessmen to build more than one Fortune 500 companies in two different fields of work. The Broads focus their efforts toward philanthropy and art. I was able to explore and analyze the art with the company of my Professor, Glenn Zucman, and my classmate, Lisa. We saw art from work from numerous artists like: Sam Francis, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, Susan Rothenberg, Jeff Koons, Sherrie Levine and Takashi Murakami. 
We started with Takashi and after few questions about the medium, Professor Zucman googled photos of his work and this photo pops up on his screen. It is a photo showing the process of how Murakami’s is created, with the help of assistants. How is this allowed? I wonder. Should an artist be expected to do his own work? David Hockney publicly questions the authenticity of artist, Damien Hirst, at the Royal Academy in London by posting a sign next to his own work that read “All the works here were made by the artist himself, personally”. As insulting as the sign that Hockey put on display was, this was not the first scenario that Hirst’s work has been criticized. 

This is the definition of a gray area because who is to say that art is limited to one artist. Art can created any way, with any medium and however many people it takes. Then there is this sleazy side that gives that impression that the priority is to. make easy money. But can the pieces created with the help of assistance do the same job as a piece created by a sole artist?Learning that some artists don’t even see the work until it is hanging in the gallery takes away from the genuinity of the art but it has been going on for hundreds of years with artists such as Michelangelo, then, or Koons, now.  I do understand the other side to the argument but do not necessarily agree. What do you think? Leave your opinion in the comments below! 


The Forty Part Motet (2001), a sound installation by Janet Cardiff is one of her most recognized pieces. It is designed with 40 speakers that are scientifically positioned to play Spem in alium numquam habui by composer Thomas Tallis. She describes the purpose of this piece is to allow the listeners to live in the present and exercise the emotions that go along with this intricate song; it is also a great way to release emotions. After watching a short clip I was able to see — or download (2)should I sa
y hear — the powerful work in action and fully understand how influential it is.

The artist described the time when The Forty Part Motet set up in New York shortly after 9/11 and people would come and cry as the musicology played and they stared into the city. It was a powerful piece during a difficult time. The fact that the art can create different reactions in different location and time period is also interesting. This was only one of of her many pieces.images (1)

She also worked closely with her husband, George Bures Miller. The couple created several audio installations together. One of my personal favorites is The Secret Hotel (2005) because I love scary/horror/thriller entertainment. The Secret Hotel is a replica of a haunted house. Unqualified noises surround you as you climb lip each set of stairs and hallways  “lined with wallpaper reminiscent of an old American hotel from ‘The Shining'”. You can even even buy this art soundtrack on vinyl from Amazon — to fufill all your thriller needs!

Week 6 – Artist of the Week – Andy Warhol


Andrew Warhol, AKA, Andy Warhol was a painter and filmmaker that left his mark in art history. He led the pop art movement in the 1960s and continues to make an influence even today. As a child, Warhol was inspired at the age of 8 when he was bed ridden of a life threatening disease. It was then when Warhols Slovakian mother introduced drawing techniques to him which evokes his artistic spirit which further led him to photography. At 14, Warhols father passed.

“Warhol was so upset that he could not attend his father’s funeral, and he hid under his bed throughout the wake.”

Warhol’s father contributed his savings to pay for Warhol’s college education. It was in the early 1960’s that Warhol created a new genre of art – ‘pop’ – that indicated low cost, mass produced, popular art. Some of his most well known work includes the paintings of Campbell’s soup cans. He became a well know artist and even celebrity. 

Week 6 – Activity – landscape with a corpse 

Layla Hadidi 

July 3, 2016

Izima Kaoru was the inspiration for this weeks activity. This scene was exciting for me because I’ve never experienced this kind of art, to imagine yourself dead. This makes the artist/photographer to really come up with different scenarios of themselves in a state that we all avoid thinking about–death.

Initially, I assumed that it was Kaoru in the landscape with a corpse series but learn that Kaoru is a man and the photos were taken of an actress. Kaoru incorporated fashion and celebrities in his photography and asks each to create their perfect death. Izima Kaoru creates a rare opportunity to see one’s own death, and then get up and walk away from it.

My perfect death probably would have included drowning in a pool of Nutella but I was too limited on resources to accomplish this.

 Instead, I thought more of what scares me, how wouldn’t I like to die. I guess I was kind of still thinking about Marina Abramović and how she would do things that made her uncomfortable — this is what life was really about. I live alone so occasionally I consider what would happen if I died in my apartment and no one knew I was dead.  

I appreciated how Kaoru create a simple background of some sort to make the corpse ‘pop’ or stand out in the photo. I ended up buying a couple of feather pillows and emptying them out of my living room floor, co wrong every inch. I then proceeded to wear my favorite knee high black boots and a fur vest to create a celebrity/cinema feel. 

I took the photos on a timer or selfie; I know that if I had someone helping me I would have achieved more unique angles but it was still a success, except, for the mess I made in my living room. It has taken me three days to clean up all the feathers in my apartment.