Exit Through The Gift Shop—impression after watching

The movie drove me nuts. It’s very similar to Catfish, the minute you start to question whether it’s the truth or fabrication, you can’t get the idea out of your mind. You got attracted by the plots and thought what they are doing are absolutely insane, but you’d rather believe that’s what actually happened–because taking such effort to make everything up are crazier.

Going back to this movie, the title Exit Through The Gift Shop is really interesting. It could be an irony criticizing nowadays artworks are so duplicated and similar that they look like those mass produced gifts in the gift shop—and of course they are priced clearly when pricing artwork has no standard in the first place. It seems to me that this interpretation goes along with the original intention the director wants us to believe, at least on the surface, his anger and criticism towards Mr. Brainwash for stealing from other artists and gaining both fame and wealth overnight is obvious.

However, is that real? Many people have doubted about the existence of Mr. Brainwash,for his experience looks too dramatic to be true. Honestly when I watched the first half of the movie, I was totally astonished his personality(or persona). This man(Thierry, Mr. Brainwash) was so capable of following his heart, leaving everything behind and without even questioning why. Let’s assume everything is real for a minute, this man went from knowing nothing about street art, to being able to persuade the world that he is a professional. It makes a perfect example for the slogan “nothing is impossible”. No words describe it better than quote from the trailer,”street art has no rules, and Mr. Brainwash breaks them all.”

The question about originality and creativity also caught my attention. For me, I don’t consider what Mr. Brainwash did as original artwork. He didn’t come up with any original idea. By merely adding or changing elements to other people’s work, making it look different, a new art piece was freshly made. There is no way that I will agree with that.

Yet If we think about it, before becoming Mr. Brainwash, Thierry was actually brainwashed first before everyone. He was exposed to the street art, got addicted to it and then to a point he was willing to bet everything on it. Before the show he didn’t know he would get famous, he sold out everything he owned to make it happen. And then he come out on the stage, brainwashing other people to create the fad. Although in the long run, everyone will realize what it really is and move on with life, Mr. Brainwash will never be a legend again. No one gets the right to criticize. Only if we “exit through the gift shop” can we see the real picture.

Some people think this movie was Banksy’s prank, which totally make sense but we could always argue both ways. However, in the world full of knowing and not knowing, and truth and fabrication gets so blurred—I choose to  “exit through the gift shop”,  stop questioning whether it’s real or not and move on with my life.

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Exit Through The Gift Shop—impression after watching

Interview about creative process

This is a class assignment, we need to do a 2 min interview with a creative person about their creative process. So I did the interview with my college friend, she always has that passion for drawing and never give it up even she is a business major(because of the large cost, uncertain future and pressure of finding a job to attend an art school, she chose to be a business major in college.That’s how I know her, we were in the same major.)

Because the video is in Chinese and the background noise basically covers our voices, I’ll just put up a picture when I was interviewing her.

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below is the content of our interview:

Q: What does your inspiration mostly come from?

A: My inspirations mostly come from life. Sometimes before I sleep I will think about things and thoughts just strikes me. And when I see scenes arouse my feelings I will also remember that.

Q: So in what kind of situations do you usually see these scenes that strike you?is that when you are traveling?

A: On my way to work, the scenery is beautiful. There is a river on my way to work, and when I see a man watering the flowers, a woman dancing, actually there are many stories on the road, they can all become my inspirations. And I will draw  or write them down in case I forget later.

Q: Besides that, where would you find your inspirations?

A: I guess by reading. By reading books, and by looking at other people’s work(drawing).

Q: Have you ever met a situation that you just run out of all your inspirations?

A: Sure, a lot of times. (any example?) It’s hard to give an example. Usually I draw when I have inspirations. I think for me the difficulties are mostly like while I was drawing, I suddenly realize that I can’t express what I want to say in the first place. I had this kind of situation a lot.

Q: Is it because of the time lag between the moment you got your inspiration and the moment you draw? How do you find those feelings back?

A: Yes, that’s the reason. Well, when the feeling is gone, it’s gone. I can do nothing about that. I will try to think about it hard to see if I can remember it, or I can only discard it. Sometimes when it has a deep impression on me i can find it back pretty easy.

Q: When you draw, would you feel the time pass quickly?

A: Oh yes, the time passes so quick that I couldn’t even feel it. I am very fulfilled and feeling enriched when I am drawing. Many days will just pass like you blink your eyes. Many times when I was at home by myself, I would keep on drawing and eating was just a way of giving me energy to continue drawing.

Q: What kind of drawing do you do right now?

A: Mostly inbetweening, and my works are more Japanese style. Actually I am working on practicing different styles right now instead of limiting myself in a certain style. Because I am not from an artschool, so I need more time to learn the basic stuff. And the fact that I can’t learn it systematically, I can only explore myself.

Q:  You mentioned the fact that you have never been to an arts school. Do you think those people who graduate from arts school have more inspirations?

A: I can’t say that so absolutely. I guess it varies from person to person. But if you have a group of people who encourage each other and grow together, it would be of great help. However I think the environmental factors are just one thing. I think the decisive factor is you must like something deeply yourself.

Q: Do you draw for your work?

A: No, drawing is my interest. I am a content editor right now, so I don’t really draw for my work. I think sometimes it’s hard to find what you want exactly, but you can always work the other way around. Like right now although I am doing a different thing, I can still learn from that experience and express what I learn in other kinds of jobs in my drawing. I don’t have to be a painter to paint, and I haven’t reached that level of ability of a professional painter anyway.

Here are some of her works, the first one is her earliest work, and the last one is her latest work.

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Like I said, being a business major in college, she never get a chance to go to art school, but she never give up drawing and never stop learning by herself. From her work, you could see her progress. Her name is TomB(this is the name she uses in all her work).

Always proud of her.

Interview about creative process

Voices for women- new ad campaign

Here are several new ad campaigns launched by different brands stressing on empowering women and giving women confidence. Most of them went on virus the minute they were released.

HOWEVER, We need Emotional Appeals, but we also need RATIONAL SOLUTIONS.

We want more portrayals of women in ads–not only showing the young pretty women, not only the flirty or family-oriented side of women. We need to SEE. We need to ACT.

And we could START from here.

voices raising awareness:

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

dove evolution

Body Evolution – Model Before and After

dove onslaught

Voices speaking up for women:

Labels Against Women | #ShineStrong Pantene

Not Sorry | #ShineStrong Pantene

Always #LikeAGirl

Voices calling on redefining beauty:

Isn’t it time we redefined beauty together?

#BeautyIs a freckle, scar, or wrinkle

Voices for women- new ad campaign

Why do we care about advertising’s impact on women?

If you haven’t been aware of the influences from our media, from the advertising, these videos will give you some clue. If we don’t change the images of women in advertising, it’s going to affect not only women’s body image, confidence and well-being. It’s going to affect everyone.

Reinforcing Gender Stereotypes Through Advertising

Women in the Media (advertisements objectifying and sexualizing women)

If Women’s Roles In Ads Were Played By Men

Miss representation Trailer HD

We can make a CHANGE. It depends on what we DO.

Why do we care about advertising’s impact on women?

Why pursuing beauty is harder than ever for women?

Here is a great article to help us understand why we as women start to care about our appearances and bodies more than ever and why it is harder than ever for women to pursue beauty. It didn’t come out of nowhere, media, advertisement, even the start of photography, make a contribution to the current situation.

Why It’s Harder Than Ever For Women Not To Obsess Over Their Appearances

Author: Amanda Scherker

URL:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/20/women-beauty-culture-obsess-over-appearance_n_5754382.html

We’re bombarded on a daily basis with images of ideal beauty. These images show up so often in our daily lives that it’s easy to forget how new they are; that 150 years ago most women didn’t see any photographs of other women — much less a daily barrage of Photoshopped advertisements.

Having so many ways to showcase beauty and personal self-expression is awesome. But when most mainstream images push one narrow depiction of beauty, it also suggests that women who don’t look like that are inadequate.

When you think about it, women are facing a daily visual battle unprecedented in history:

Unless you were really wealthy, you wouldn’t have even had a mirror prior to the late-19th century!

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Checking yourself out used to be expensive! According to Carla Rice’s book, Becoming Women, only the wealthy could afford a mirror, which cost the equivalent of a luxury car. Besides, most glass surfaces were wonky and uneven, so your appearance could vary dramatically from mirror to mirror, according to Kathy Peiss in Hope In A Jar. Peiss says that many people didn’t really know what they looked like until the late 19th century, when glass mirrors became a common presence.

The first widely-available images of American women were in fashion magazines.

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In Carnival on the Page, Isabelle Lehuu writes that commercial depictions of women’s fashion first became popular in the U.S. in the early 19th century. These hand-colored engravings showcased the fashions of the time, rather than individual women. At the time, makeup was associated with prostitution, cosmetics were homemade and too much concern with physical beauty was considered vain.

By the 1860s, photography became widely available to average Americans — and with it, new anxiety about looking good.

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By this time, middle-class Americans could afford to have their portraits taken at studios. According to Peiss, this was the first time many Americans had a permanent, fixed image of what they objectively looked like, and they were often depressed by what they saw. One photography manual noted that the photograph called more attention to women’s facial features and began supplying makeup at their studios. Celebrity photos hit the market; Americans would buy photos of their favorite celebrities and even include them in their family photo albums.

In the late 19th-century, the growth of mass media created an explosion of imagery, the most popular of which was the beautiful, young American woman.

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In the late 19th century, women’s magazines started being mass-produced and widely available. To compete in the growing market, editors began featuring “Cover Girls” on their magazine covers. The most famous was the “Gibson Girl,” shown above. The Gibson Girl is considered the first nationwide image of the ideal American woman, and her face was mass-produced everywhere from scarves to china to wallpaper.

In the 1920s, women became the central targets of the booming advertising industry. By 1930, women said ads made them feel badly about themselves. 

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Spending on advertising ballooned throughout the 1910s and 20s, and most of it targeted women. In the past, beauty regimes were mostly a pastime of wealthy women; ’20s beauty advertisements established it as a goal and even mandatory duty of all womankind. As a 1924 ad put it: “Unless you are one woman in a thousand, you must use powder and rouge.”

Ads equated beauty with love and social status; black women were targeted with advertisements selling dangerous skin lighteners as a means to social advancement. Ads used imagery that encouraged women subconsciously to compare themselves to models, and to see their own bodies as “things to be created competitively against other women,” as Stuart Ewen writes in “Captains Of Consciousness.”

The Hollywood film industry increasingly defined the image of the ideal American woman.

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Hollywood films created new standards of attractiveness, particularly as the increasingly popular glamorous Hollywood close-up made actors’ facial features, and their makeup, more noticeable. Throughout the ’30s, more and more American women bought celebrity-endorsed cosmetics and Hollywood beauty how-to-manuals in the hopes of looking like their favorite starlets. Makeup, once considered tacky, was now glamorous. Peiss says that by 1940, “The attractive, made-up woman bespoke the American way of life.” The US government even declared lipstick a wartime necessity.

In the ’40s and ’50s, the television brought moving images of glamorous actresses and beauty commercials into the home.

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Proven to be especially effective in marketing beauty products, the cosmetic industry poured money into its TV commercialsCosmetics sales boomed, tons of new products were invented and beauty products were increasingly marketed to teens and tweens, often at schools or youth groups. TV also made beauty pageants into worldwide events — the search for the pretty face was now an industry. Marilyn Monroe embodied the beauty ideal of the moment. Beauty had truly become a major goal for the American woman.

From the ’60s onward, the female body became increasingly exposed, and subject to increased scrutiny.

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Images of women became slimmer everywhere, from Vogue fashion spreads and Miss America pageants to Hollywood movies and average women were encouraged to strive for this look. While women have always been subject to strict body-image standards, women were now exposed to so many more images of an ideal body on a daily basis. According to Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth, beauty magazines faced with low sales in the late ’60s shifted their focus from fashion to the female body, and between 1968 and 1972, the number of diet-related articles grew by 70 percent. Media obsession with thinness took a toll: Wolf cites two studies that showed that the number of teenage girls who thought they were fat grew from 50 percent in 1966 to 80 percentby 1969.

From the ’70s on, images of women also became increasingly sexualized.

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From the ’70s and on,  women in advertisements became increasingly objectified and wore less and less clothing. Meanwhile, the gap between models’ weights and that of the average American woman’s continued to increase. By the ’90s, women were most typically playing the role, and looking the role, of a sexually-available object, everywhere from music videos to television commercials, from magazines to primetime television.

And the beautiful women depicted were still predominately white.

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While women of color were creating their own artistic images, the primary cultural beauty standard was always presented as white. As Maxine Leeds Craig writes in Ain’t I a Beauty Queen?, “Before 1974, every Vogue cover had featured a white woman, before 1983, every Miss America was white.” The television and film industries were similarly whitewashed. Still, many women of color broke down barriers to gain visibility in the mainstream culture, like supermodel Donyale Luna, the first black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue. Although mainstream media began to become slightly more diverse from the ’70s on, women of color still tended to be hyper-sexualized in ads and films and were often depicted to appear more “white.”

In the ’90s, Photoshop created a new form of feminine perfection, erasing natural body fat, signs of age or any perceived blemishes.

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Photoshop programs were first invented in the ’90s, and were used to create artistic, futuristic images. By 1995, a retouching was ubiquitous in mainstream ads, making women appear impossibly thin, with impossibly smooth, poreless skin. In 1985, one in three women said they were unhappy with their appearance in a Psychology Today survey. When asked the same question in a 1993 survey, one in two women felt that way.

Today, women are exposed to more digitally-altered media than ever.

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You know the drill: We’re surrounded by images of women that are mostly underweightmostly white, and often hyper-sexualized, at younger and younger ages. Adding social media into the mix, women are put in the position to compare themselves on a daily basis, not only to celebrities and models, but to their peers. everyday comparing themselves to friends and celebrities (who may even bephotoshopping their photos.) It’s a constant cycle of comparison and “improvement,”fueled by the multi-billion dollar diet, plastic surgery and cosmetics industries.

Those visual comparisons seem to appear everywhere you look. And that can make cultivating positive body image seem difficult. But awesome women are challenging the tired standards of beauty sold by the mainstream and fighting to create new standards of beauty. This work questions the way our beauty culture marginalizes women of color and shames women who aren’t stick-thin.

These images help counter the daily barrage of media images we all face, and serve as an important reminder that it’s our culture — not our bodies — that needs a makeover.

Why pursuing beauty is harder than ever for women?

Ideal Women Overtime: beauty models of all times

Here is a very good article in giving us a glance about our ideal beauty model overtime. It shows us what are the beauty trends from the last centuries,from which we can see how the society’s perceptions about women beauty have changed.

The Ideal Woman Through the Ages: Photos

Author: News Discovery

URL:  http://news.discovery.com/history/art-history/history-beauty-120412.htm

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Venus and Adonis by Peter Paul Rubens, 1635

Today, “Rubenesque” is a polite way to say “big” or “plus-sized.” Peter Paul Rubens painted portraits of full-figured women in the early 1600s, inspired by his second wife, 16-year-old Hélène Fourment.

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Gibson Girl, 1897

“In the late 19th century, the emphasis was really on women’s facial features,” said Joan Jacobs Brumberg, a historian who wrote “The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls.”

“The bosom was noticed in the 19th century but not with too much cleavage.” Women wore corsets, and the Gibson Girls showed off slender waists. Ankles, also, were highly sexualized.

Photo: Von Charles Dana Gibson: Aus dem Jahre

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Flapper Girls, 1929

Around World War I, with the advent of movies, the body begins to be emphasized as much, or more, than the face.

“Fashion has changed so that a slim silhouette in a chemise is ideal, and matronly seems old fashioned. Women are dancing and doing sports, and they are no longer infatuated with the Victorian ideal of being frail and sickly,” Brumberg said.

VIDEO: The Science of Sex Appeal

4

Marilyn Monroe, 1955

After WWII, technology started changing the way beauty was perceived: bathrooms with electric lights and mirrors highlighted concerns about acne and formerly overlooked details, Brumberg said. Corsets replace girdles, and bra cups became extremely pointed.

Actress Marilyn Monroe was perceived as the epitome of beauty in the 50s. There’s been much speculation about her size and weight. Was she really a plus-sized beauty, asks this piece in Jezebel which dug up the actress’s actual dress size numbers.

Photo: Actress Marilyn Monroe on the set of “The Seven Year Itch,” directed by Billy Wilder in 1955.

5

Betty Page, 1955

In 1955, Betty Page won the title “Miss Pinup Girl of the World.”

She was known as “The Queen of Curves” and “The Dark Angel.”

NEWS: Sea Squid Are Same Sex Swingers

6

Twiggy, 1966

“It wasn’t just feminists who burned bras,” Brumberg said. “Bras and underwear changed. The body becomes something for you to control from the inside, through diet and exercise, instead of exterior control through the corset. Different body parts get attention in different ways.”

Model and actress Twiggy personified the swinging 60s mod culture in London. Twiggy was known for her androgynous looks, large eyes and short hair. In 1966, she was named “The Face of 1966” by the Daily Express and voted British Woman of the Year.

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Christie Brinkley, 1987

When Allure magazine conducted a poll on beauty in 1990, Christie Brinkley embodied the all-American look, landing her on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition three times.

When Allure did a similar survey in 2010, attitudes had changed: 69 percent of respondents no longer believed in a single “all-American” look. Women and men picked a Latina model as most attractive among pictures of different races and ethnicities.

Photo: Christie Brinkley Sighting in London – July 12, 1987

8

Michelle Obama, 2012

“Michelle Obama is very much about health and mobility and activity and strength,” Brumberg said. “People may say she looks hot, but really they’re saying she’s an icon for the women’s health movement.”

Obama’s body suggests healthy eating, she notes, whereas today’s fashion magazines still portray more emaciated bodies.

Ideal Women Overtime: beauty models of all times

Creative theorist/pioneer intro

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:

He is famous for his work in the study of happiness and creativity, and is best known as constructing the notion of “flow”. He encourages positive thinking.

Edward de Bono:

He is regarded by many as the leading authority in the field of creative thinking, innovation and the direct teaching of thinking as a skill. He is also renowned for his development of the Six Thinking Hats technique and the Direct Attention Thinking Tools. He is the originator of the concept of Lateral Thinking.

Teresa Amabile:

She is primarily known for her research on how the work environment can influence creativity and motivation has yielded a theory of creativity and innovation; methods for assessing creativity, motivation, and the work environment; and a set of prescriptions for maintaining and stimulating innovation.

Roger Von Oech:

He is the author of three creative thinking classics: A Whack on the Side of the Head, A Kick in the Seat of the Pants, and Expect the Unexpected. His newest products are the Creative Whack Pack(app, virtual tool for overcoming mental blocks) for the iPhone and the X-Ball(physical tool to inspire creativity).

Graham Wallas:

He was known for his contributions to the development of an empirical approach to the study of human behavior. His  writings reflected a basic optimism toward social problems mixed with some skepticism. He was highly critical of contemporary social science for not being sufficiently scientific.

Sigmund Freud:

He was the father of psychoanalysis. He elaborated the theory that mind is a complex energy-system, articulated and refined the concepts of the unconscious, infantile sexuality and repression, and he proposed a tripartite account of the mind’s structure—all as part of a radically new conceptual and therapeutic frame of reference for the understanding of human psychological development and the treatment of abnormal mental conditions.

E. Paul Torrance:

He developed a creativity test(Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking TTCT). He also created the Future Problem Solving Program International.

J. P. Guilford:

He was well remembered for his psychometric studies of human intelligence and creativity. He was an early proponent of the idea that intelligence is not a unitary concept. He explored the multidimensional aspects of the human mind, describing the structure of the human intellect based on a number of different abilities.His work allows for greater appreciation of the diversity of human thinking and abilities, without attributing different value to different people.

Alex Osborn:

He was the father of Brainstorming. He made creative thinking and brainstorming household words.

John Cleese:

He is an English actor, comedian, writer and film producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on the Frose Report. In the late 1960s, he co-founded the comedy troupe Monty Python.

John Lennon:

He was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the rock band the Beatles, he most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. With Paul McCartney, he formed a songwriting partnership that is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century.

Steve Jobs:

He was an American entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor, who was the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Inc.

Marcel Duchamp:

He was a French artist who broke down the boundaries between works of art and everyday objects. His irreverence for conventional aesthetic standards led him to devise his famous ready-mades and heralded an artistic revolution.

Creative theorist/pioneer intro