The Vigilant Robot

a watchful eye of creative complexity

Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Wonderful World of EXPO CHICAGO

Wow, I finally made it to Expo Chicago at Navy Pier and it was full of more beautiful and inspirational things than I imagined. I get a little overwhelmed in really huge spaces with so much to look at, but thankfully, the wonderful art and the really well thought-out floor plan made the space breathable and enjoyable. With hundreds of galleries, I spent over 4 hours perusing the aisles of charcoal, oil paint and sculpture and I jotted down over two pages worth of artist’s names whose work called out to me. Below is a small selection of artwork of which I took note.

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Artist: George Widener
I have thing for creative and non-traditional maps.

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Artist: Alighiero e Boetti
I have a thing for letters.

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Artist: Donald Moffett
Who wouldn’t like this?

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Artist: Eric Daigh
A beautiful portrait made out of push-pins.

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Artist: Alejandro Puente
I have a thing for color studies.

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Artist: Kasia Houlihan
From a series called “Tables of Content”
Using the Table of Contents as a way to create fragmented stories to be read in many different ways.

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Artist: Miler Lagos
Newspaper collage

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Artist: Valeska Soares
I have a thing for the creative use of books and book parts.

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Artist: Henry Darger
I found it interesting that the little girls in the painting have male genitals and they are revolting against the man. Is fighting, war, or revolt a male trait and those women who decide to fight channeling their inner male?

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Artist: Jaume Plensa
I love letterforms, as I said earlier, but turning letters of a variety of languages into beautiful sculptures to create a serene setting is even better.

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I’m not sure of the artist, but he was there and asked if it should be called “Arming the Bridge to Equality” or “Arming the Bridge to Freedom” and I though equality, because it plateaus at the top and freedom is something one is always striving for, almost unattainable.

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Artist: Brian Willis
A beautiful rayon thread “painting”

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While I really dislike Shepard Fairey, I have to admit that his prints are pretty beautiful, even if plagiarized.

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I don’t know who the artist is, but I find this funny. I think I would like to send it to some people.

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I am unsure of the artist, but I enjoy the meaning I get out of this piece: we are all held attached to what appears to be freedom (independence is written on the jacket of the man holding the strings), but what we are attached to is nothing but an ideal that is meaningless because it comes from someone in power who is not vested in our interest; it is faceless, headless, because no matter who is in power, we are stuck to these strings that move us about our everyday lives, thinking we are free, striving to be free, but in the end, we are not.

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Artist: Kazimir Malevich
I have a thing for Russian Constructivism/Suprematism.

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Artist: László Moholy-Nagy

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Artist: Anne Lindberg
I wish I took a better picture of this. I really love these graphite line drawings. They are so beautiful and exude patience.

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Artist: Francois Morellet

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Artist: Robert Gober
Ha!

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Artist: Dan Gunn
They’re just beautiful.

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Artist: Antonio Santin
From a distance, it really does look like a beautiful, ornate carpet hanging on the wall.

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I am unsure of the artist, but I think this piece is called Rhythm & Blues, and to me it represents slavery and a time of segregation, the black man imprisoned in this system viewed as only valuable when it comes to music and performance.

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Artist: Sanaz Sohrabi
Beautiful print

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I’ve seen this at the ground floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. It’s still funny.

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My hand stamped in case I were to leave and come back, but unfortunately I was unable to return. I was glad to see much of the work at Expo Chicago.

Hand-lettering: War of Error

I love hand-lettered work. I love typography. I just enjoy looking at well-made letterforms. I rarely make my own letterforms, however, other than the occasional sketch of a letter when I’m bored. I enjoy drawing letters, so why do I not spend more time doing so? Confused, I decided that I am going to do some hand-lettering every week.

Here is week one: War of Error.
The “War on Terror” is a war that keeps on going; it has no end. Does it even have a clearly defined beginning? In textbooks, yes, but in reality, I’m not too sure. There’s a lot of stuff going in in the world right now and people seem to have forgotten that we are still screwing things up in other places, some old, some new. I have been thinking about Iraq and Afghanistan lately, wondering about their turmoil. This is what I felt like hand-lettering.

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Ahhhhhh, the Muslims are Coming! (Film)

“Well how do you feel about 9-11?”

A few days ago I went to the opening of the documentary, “The Muslims are Coming!” at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. Directed by comedians, Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah, the film is about a bunch of Muslim stand-up comedians on a tour they called “The Muslims are Coming!” where they traveled to very conservative U.S. cities to do some outreach with the communities there and combat Islamophobia via comedy. The crowd at Gene Siskel Film Center was in an uproar as it was a very funny film. It was good to see a film that covered a range of religious belief and practice within the Muslim community, from the religiously disciplined Preacher Moss to the very secular Negin Farsad. Each comedian has their own views and own style of comedy that I think the film would be lacking if one was missing. The editing is excellent, especially in the opening scene showing various segments of words spoken by ignorant news anchors. The interviews with a variety of comedians, including Jon Stewart and Janeane Garofalo, took the film outside of being Muslim and simply a comedian that cares about social issues. It was a wonderful added element. I really enjoyed the motion graphics and theme song of the film and was really happy to see that those aspects of the film had as much thought poured into them as the film’s content. It made for a very enjoyable, beautiful, and funny documentary that I think all Americans should see.


Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah participated in a Q & A session after the movie, and it was nice to hear a bit more insight on various feelings each had about their experiences on the tour and just doing stand-up comedy in general. Dean often stated that most people were not malicious and that they were just uneducated about Muslims and had a lot of questions. Overall, they had positive experiences.

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Teenage Mathematical Nerd Poetry

While doing some cleaning today, I stumbled upon a poem—or love letter—that I wrote as a teenager. Wow, I used to be a really big math nerd.

Dear my little Polygon,

Our love is like your radius to my diameter. When we kiss, our lips become collinear. When we are together, it’s like we are symmetrical and forever inseparable. Every time I see you, it is like a secant through my heart. We are both the semicircles to a complete circle. You are the vector and I am the resultant vector. Forever is how long we will last, to infinity.

Love your little Diamond,

Annan

Uhmm… yeah. Even though it’s pretty nerdy, I kinda dig this. I’m guessing that I wrote this as a sophomore after being inspired by geometry class, but I really don’t remember. I think it’s actually pretty cute, but quite hilarious. Addressing a letter to an imaginary person who is metaphorically a polygon is pretty funny. Maybe I was really addressing a polygon. I’m not sure. I like the idea that I was writing to a geometric figure, so we’ll go with that. I’m actually missing mathematics right now.

“Pray for Syria” – Sketch & Design by Me….

I absolutely love this piece “Pray for Syria.” It provides a mix of emotions from sadness to hope; it speaks for itself.

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

“Pray for Syria” is an original sketch and design by me.  I never share my sketches but wanted to make this one available in the form of numbered / signed / limited edition prints.

*** Limited to only 25 SIGNED prints.  Get yours here —> http://etsy.me/14LcTlb

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