Art Gallery Essay

Art is a subjective term. Anyone can make something and call it art. Whether it be a masterpiece made by the greats Leonardo da Vinci or Picasso. Or examples of  pretentiously made works of art created today. The Last Supper, by Da Vinci, is viewed as one of his master pieces. It is universally acclaimed. Modern artist, Carmen Herrera, can be seen as pretentious due to artwork of hers that can be easily recreated in simple illustrator computer programs. This goes back to my original point that art is subjective. What people get out of looking at the piece is what really matters. Some people can love it, while others hate it.

Modern artists have ranged from good to bad. While still being subjective, one cannot put artist, Mario Prisco. He is a famous painter and arts educator. He is the former dean of Alfred University of School of Art and Design. For my foundations class, we attended a gallery with works of art done by him. Inside were his gesture drawings and imaginary landscapes.

A gesture drawing is a way of transferring what one’s eye sees onto the paper accurately. It is supposed to train the eye to see things someone wouldn’t normally see. It can be from life such as people or animals. It can also be from still objects like a table, bicycle, etc. Mario Prisco’s work demonstrates he has formal understanding of gesture drawing. Untitled 6 is one of his drawings. While paying attention to it, I noticed the beginnings of the drawing. Lines around the legs, arms, and head that were light, but noticeable, were trying to get the proportions of the figure down correctly. Once that was done, he made the lines heavier to get the form down. He used a light source when drawing this as well. There are different values. He achieved this using different levels of light and dark. This is shown on the face. One side isn’t shaded indicating that that is where the light source is coming from. The other side is shaded in from light to dark showing that part of face isn’t facing the light source.

The second part of the art gallery displayed his imaginary landscapes. They looked like abstract pieces of art through their usage of colors, shapes, forms, and lines. Abstract art isn’t representative or figurative. Mario Prisco’s work reminded me of abstraction. While not entirely abstract by definition, some of his work incorporates symbols and figurative things. His landscapes looked like deserts littered with abstract objects.

After attending the exhibit, I began to get a better grasp on gesture drawing and abstraction. I incorporated it on my own personal and class projects. I believe the purpose of visiting Marion Prisco’s gallery was to help grow as artists. I always believed while trying emulate someone’s work is a a way to help you develop your own style and taste. You have your own idea on what you want to create, but don’t know where to start. So you look for an artist’s work that is appealing to you. The point is the help you become a better at it.

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