WK 12 -Artist of the Week – Mahsa Soroudi


About the Artist

Mahsa Soroudi was born in 1981 in Iran, and is an artist and independent curator. Her aim with her art is to initiate a diverse amount of thought provoking and meaningful exhibitions. As in terms of what art mediums she works with, she is known for her photography. As in terms of education, she attended the University of Art, Tehran from 2000 to 2008.

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Formal Analysis

Mahsa Soroudi is known for her photography where she is able to capture moments that others aren’t able to do. In particular, her photographs of nature are genuinely taken. In her “Nature Cadence” collection, she uses a black and white lense where she captures an array of photographs from seeds being held, plants sprouting and seeds giving birth to life, or even as pictures of collections of succulents. You can see the amount of depth she tries to capture, hence using the black and white lense.

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Content Analysis

Mahsa Soroudi is a master with her craft as she tries to symbolically tell her story and living her life as an immigrant. By looking at her past and the way she has lived her life, I can see her story and many others reflecting off her photographs (specifically looking at her “Nature’s Cadence” collection). And the way how she used nature as her theme, you can tell that she tries to embody a feeling of “togetherness” or sought-after community that she has visions of.

mahsa and glenn

Synthesis/ My Experience

I really liked studying Mahsa Soroudi and her photography. But more importantly I liked hearing her story as living life as an immigant and the ordeals and challenges she faced. I believe others should look at her works to gain more of an understanding of the struggles of immigrants and to learn of the art works and styles that are being produced across seas in the Middle East.

WK 11 – Art Activity – Anime Art

One thing I really like to do is watch Japanese anime,  and one of my favorite shows to watch is Naruto. Naruto is a Japanese manga series that tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who searches for recognition from the people of his village and has dreams of becoming Hokage (the “chief” of the village, so to speak).

Throughout the series, Naruto and his band of ninjas from the Leaf Village encounter numerous threats from outside their borders. One such threat is from a band of rogue ninjas called The Akatsuki, which means “Dawn” or “Daybreak”. Upon watching an episode of where Naruto and company engaged the Akatsuki, I couldn’t help but marvel from the design of the anime characters, as well as the scripted fighting scenes. I really like the Akatsuki because they to have their own unique powers, and have their own background story.


This is one member of the Akatsuki named Deidara. He is a rogue ninja from the hidden stone village who specializes in clay sculptures that he can manipulate to move freely and explode. He considers it “art”, and that it is the strongest form of art. As you can see, he has what it appears to be mouths on his hands, which he uses to chew and mold his “explosive” clay. He can mold his clay into animal-like sculptures, which he can manipulate at will.


The picture above is of another Akatsuki member named Sasori. He is a rogue ninja from the Hidden Sand Village, is a puppet master. Considered an art, ninjas that practice mastering puppets need to collect resources to build their puppets. Sasori does this to a huge extent that he uses other people’s corpses!


The one above is my favorite member of the Akatsuki! His name is Hidan, and he is from the hidden steam village. He has a unique ability of immortality, and can link his bodies to others after he ingests his victims blood. Once that is done, his body takes the form of a skeleton, where he then makes a pentagram on the ground where he needs to stand to complete his “ritual”. He would then puncture himself with a spear-like ritual weapon, inflicting pain and death on his linked-opponents.

Watching an episode featuring the Akatsuki sparked ideas of what my next art activity would be. I really took interest in the design and ideas behind these band of rogue ninjas that I decided I wanted to recreate it, featuring me and my friends as new band of rogue ninjas. I used pencil, graphite, charcoal and finished off with using a pen to make these portraits. We’re the next generation, and we’re called the “Okami” translated means “wolf”. Choosing this as our band title is an illustration that we try to stay together in a pack and perform similar missions of the Akatsuki, as in terms of assassinations, sabotage and chaos.


The above picture is me as a member of The Okami. My name is Raion, which means lion, and I’m a rogue ninja from the Hidden Leaf Village. I have the stolen Sword of the Land of Fire (a large area of land that encompasses the Village Hidden in the Leaves). I’m a swords master, as well as skilled fighter that can use ninjutsu and taijutsu effectively. My background story was that I abandoned my village due to disagreements I found with their politics and performed multiple raids, sabotage missions and assassinations revolving around corrupt politicians.


Here is a picture of my best friend Danny as a member of The Okami, and his name is Fantomu (translated meaning “phantom”). Being a rogue ninja from the Hidden Grass Village, he was exiled for his experimentation and mechanical creations. He’s responsible for multiple top assinations and is considered a terrorist among his people. As you can see, he has a multi-purpose cannon-like arm that he had built after a malfunctioning detonation of an explosive he built. However, with this gadget and his innovation to bombing tactics, he is considered one of the most lethal Okami members.


Known for his stealth and witty remarks, above is my friend Jake, who we sometimes (used to) call “Jake the Snake”. His name in this universe is Hebi, which means “Snake” translated into English, and is a descendant of the Hidden Sand Village. What you see on his back is a large urn which contains gases he can manipulate using chakra (concentrated and manipulated energy that creates an effect that could not be done otherwise, like walking on water, exhaling fire, creating illusions). He can manipulate the gases in his urn to fight and kill his opponents. He can release toxic gases or create armies at his will. He is responsible for killing the Kazekage (the “chief” of the Hidden Sand Village), and is considered an S-rank ninja (similar to FBI’s or CIA’s most wanted).


Last member (but more will be added) is my friend Alejandro. Quick note, this one is not completed yet, but he is depicted as a member of the Okami known as Sunaipa (meaning “Sniper”) and that’s his ninja hound Tagetto (meaning “Target”). One of his weapons he has at his disposal (which I haven’t finished drawing yet) is a high-tech, personal rifle responsible for the massacre of his hometown located in the Hidden Mist Village. He also has his ninja-hound Tagetto, who he used during his massacre to track anyone trying to escape. Tagetto, with the help from Sunaipa’s chakra, can manipulate his own size and strength, and is a sensory type where he can sniff out and track his enemies from miles away. Neighboring villages and nations were informed of the massacre after his escape.



WK 11 – Artist of the Week – Eva and Franco Mattes

Eva + Franco Mattes

About the Artist

Eva and Franco Mattes were both born in Italy in 1976, and met in Berlin in 1994. They are a duo of artists where they use the internet and technology as themes and focal points of conversation. Throughout their installations, collaborative performances, film, photos and even live performances they create art that challenges the ethical and social concerns presenting itself from the initiation of the internet. Considered art pranksters and activist they operate under the pseudonym 0100101110101101.org, where they have there art work up on display. They are currently based in Brooklyn, New york but they also travel often across the United States and Europe.

For internet use only (2016)

Formal Analysis

As previously noted, there art works mainly consist of installations, collaborative performances, film, photography and live performances. Above is a live performance work titled “For Internet Use Only” (2016), where they simply share their desktop experience with anyone in the audience. Throughout the live performance, the Mattes would go online social media platforms such as Facebook, check their emails, surf the web, watch videos online, edit texts and buy things online. It is set up using a projector and a screen.


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Content Analysis

This art installation is called “Ceiling Cat” (2016). It is an art installation using a taxidermy cat placed in a squared-shaped hole in the ceiling. The art work is supposed to illustrate how the internet is creepy, just like the cat. It raises the point that the internet has little to no restrictions on privacy rights. For this particular piece, privacy rights are the focal point of discussion where the Mattes try to illustrate how people should view the internet.

1 PM, 54 Franklin

The above installation is an art piece titled “1 PM, 54 Franklin”. This is an installation of a laptop with CCTV footage of someone robbing from their exhibit. There’s a re-occuring message in their art work that challenges how much power technology has increased and how it has the power essentially over people, like prepared cameras and constant monitoring. In general, their are stories behind each piece where all of their art works challenge the social and ethical concerns that arise from the initiation of the internet and how society is more technologically comprised, especially when you look at American culture.



Thesis/ My Experience

I really liked learning about Eva and Franco Mattes. Their contributions to the art world are particularly interesting to me because of the challenges they made on the societal norms placed on the internet, and how they bring about certain issues and concerns that revolves around the use of the internet with today’s technology. I believe people should pay attention to the Mattes and their art works because they bring about awareness of the consequences of internet use, and creates discussion to challenge these norms.

WK 10 – Artist of the Week – Ragnar Kjartansson

ragnar first photo

About the Artist

Ragnar Kjartansson was born in 1976 in Reykjavik, Iceland. He is a performance artist, whose mediums reside in music, film, installations, sculptures and paintings. he first started by getting his education at the Royal Academy, Stockhol, Sweden in 2000. He began getting involved with the visual arts, and would later transfer to the Icelandic Academy of the Arts, where he even studied works by Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci, and Chris Burden. He has performed in many different bands including the electronic-pop/ rock band “Trabant”, and has had numerous accounts of film and performance-filmed art pieces dating back from his graduation. “Me and My Mother” is one such filmed-performance that he has shown every 5 years since his graduation. In this art piece, Ragnar has his mom stand in front of a recording camera and spit on him.

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Formal Analysis

Ragnar Kjartansson is a really cool artist, and goes about making his art in a very simple, yet interesting matter. Above is a filmed performance titled “Women in E” where you see a spinning pedestal, all wrapped in gold fabrics. He also had women all in gold dresses stand on the pedestal and continuously strum the E chord on the guitar. All women were musically skilled and some even played for 3 hours. Just like this piece, many of his art works include using simple actions in a repetitive fashion.

the visitor

Content Analysis

Ragnar Kjartansson is a unique artist where he uses simple actions in a repetitive manner, of which he is able to capture and captivate its audiences. Although there is not a clear story behind his art works, they leave a lasting impression on its audience and provokes an emotional response or change. For example, above is the art installation called “The Visitor”, where he has people playing instruments (including himself, where he is playing a guitar in a bathtub) on all nine of the screens. All of them sing, repetitively, “Once again, I fall into my feminine ways” and has a powerful impact on the emotions displayed by the audience on their initial observation. Some would smile at joy, while others would cry. It was seen as meditative to some, while clamorous to others.

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Thesis/ My Experience

I really liked Ragnar Kjartansson, and more importantly looking at this new kind of art work. The thing that popped up in my mind was that their was a story, or at least some sort of message, that was conveyed in the other artists I studied. For Ragnar, that wasn’t the case. Although their wasn’t a story behind his art work, it was more about the experience of it, of becoming apart of Ragnar’s reality. I would recommend this artist for others because he has become a great contributor to the performance arts world, and provides a new perspective of what art is and how it should be portrayed.

WK 9 – Art Activity – Visit a Museum

For my museum of choice, I decided to check out the Long Beach Museum of Art: Hartman Pavilion.



The museum was close by, and admission only cost $6. And on exhibit today were works by Rafael Soriano, which included photographs, paintings and sculptures. Soriano was born on November 23, 1920 in Cuba and died April 9, 2015 in the United States. The cool thing about him is that he is a geometric painter, and he escaped from Cuba during the communist regime because of its dissent towards art. He fled from Cuba to Florida, and continued his art work there, which include many art works based off of surrealism. From geometric painting to painting that is “spiritual”, his finished projects come out just amazing!

Below is a picture of Rafael Soriano

rafael soriano

Throughout the exhibit I couldn’t help but marvel at all of his art work! But two of his art pieces I really liked were his gouache on paper “Interior”, created in 1953 (pictured on the left) and his oil on canvas “Frente Al Infinito” (“Facing the Infinite” if translated), created in 1992. (pictured on the right).

First off, both art pieces take on qualities of art works that portrayed surrealism. Both portraits leave a finished and lasting impression on the audience, where people are left to gaze at it and question as to what exactly is going on. Both paintings are abstract in its own nature and incorporate the use of color, texture and contrast. However, as in terms of surrealism,  his “Interior” art piece takes on more geometric properties while his “Frente Al Infinito” takes on a more “Spiritual” reveal. They are abstract in their own ways, which was a constant theme throughout his art work and it is apparent that Soriano was heavily influenced by Surrealist movement.

Here are some more of his art works, and as you can tell they are quite abstract in their own ways.

This one is titled “El Profeta” (“The Profit”)


This one is titled “La Visionaria” (“The Seer”)


This one is titled “Sueno Guardado” (“Guarded Dream”)


WK 9 – Artist of the Week – Chris Jordan

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About the Artist

Chris Jordan was born in 1963, and is an artist and activist based in Seattle, Washington. As in terms of mediums, he has had a fair amount of installations and also practices photography. His works and photographs are created around or with the usage of garbage. His aim with his art is to cause awareness to how much people consume and waste, and tries to acknowledge the audience of the detrimental effects it has on the planet. And not only does he acknowledge of how much humans damage the planet, but the wildlife as well.

Formal Analysis

The photograph below is an art piece titled “Running the Numbers: Portraits of Global Mass Culture”. It is a generated image and portrait of what seems to be a woman curled up in a ball. The image consists of 78,000 water bottles, and come from many different brands from around the world. If you google it, it starts off with a wide shot, but then zooms in to reveal all the different kinds of water bottles. Previously noted, most of his art works include using garbage or even his own utensils that he uses to create a lasting image.

content analysis

Content Analysis

Throughout all his art works, he incorporates garbage as his tool. He does this to bring awareness to the amount of things people consume in their daily lives. A lot of his pieces pose the notion of how Americans (as well as other counties) are very materialistic. By looking at “Running the Numbers: Portraits of Global Mass Culture”, you can see all the water bottles he used to emphasis just how much we consume and waste. Also by looking how the person (in my mind, I see a woman) is presented with the water bottles, she seems to represents Mother Nature, our planet, and reveals the shame that humans should feel from performing these ways of consumption and littering. From using water bottles, phones, cans or even crush cars, he tries to bring awareness of how much we consume, and the detrimental effects it has on our planet.

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Thesis/ My Experience

I really like Chris Jordan, and the way he causes discussion for environmental preservation and conservation, as well as acknowledging the audience of how people around the world (for the most part) are materialistic creatures. I feel many people should view his art work because of how it shows the audience of how much we consume and waste, and in turn are hurting our planet. His art work could pave the way for future generations to be more politically involved with issues regarding the environment and pave the way for a more “green” environment.

WK 8 – Art Activity – e Portfolio

Pre-Home Page

pre-theme and fonts

Pre-Home Page (Blog Post Header)

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Pre-About Information:


Now, here is the edited edition of the website:


First, I really wanted to change the sub-title of my website, to give more of an insight of not only of my blog posts of my art, but of my other hobbies and skills that are actually aimed towards one of my career goals: being involved with marketing for a motocross industry. Such industries on my wish list are joining companies such as FOX racing, Yamaha, Troy Lee Designs or really anything that get me a foot-in-the-door to the motocross universe. So, I decided to also change the theme of my website to a picture of a dirt bike rider on a KTM, as well as the font designs. I also changed the color theme to match my theme picture color to provide more flow.

I Also updated an EXPERIENCE navigation bar to provide others of my experiences and skills. This will explain why I chose such things as my sub-titles to be MOTOCROSS, MARKETING, and ART DESIGN because they represent what I do for a living, as in terms of interests, hobbies, skills and is work related.

Now I don’t have a whole lot done yet to reflect my motocross side for my hobbies or career (because currently my bike is blown up), but I’m going to be getting a bike soon for riding, and hopefully racing. But if I recieve sponsoring or notability for my marketing and/or my riding, this will help bolster my chances of success in the motocross or marketing world.

WK 8 – Artist of the Week – Marina Abramovic

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About the Artist

Marina Abramovic is a Yugoslav-American performance artist born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. She first got more involved with art when she started studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in the 1970s. For her art mediums, she is considered a pioneer in the performance arts community and she has had 50 works completed in a time spanning 4 decades incorporating works involving photography, interventions and sound pieces, solo performances, video works and collaborative performances. For her in particular, the body has always been a subject and medium prevalent in all her art works, where she would explore the physical and mental limits of her being, where she would absorb pain, exhaustion and danger to obtain an emotional and spiritual transformation.

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Formal Analysis

Above is one of her first art pieces titled “Rhythm 0” created in 1974. The art piece included Abramovic herself standing before the crowd where she allowed the participants to use any of the 72 objects she had displayed on a table before the audience and allowed them to use them on any way on her body. Such items included clothes, bras, scarfs, fancy hats, make-up, and even a loaded gun. The participants would take these items and did as they pleased to Abramovic. Participants would sometimes dress her up, put make-up on her and make her look pretty. But others had negative intentions where some would write on her with markers or even just stripped her half naked. Some would even try to harm her and point the loaded gun at her while others would try and protect her. Below is a picture of a man analyzing and choosing one of the items on display and at the audience’s disposal.

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Content Analysis

I really like this art piece and how Abramovic tried to obtain an emotional and spiritual transformation. Like noted before, some participants would try and dress her up, displaying and releasing positive energy. But others had negative intent, where people stripped her nude or threatened her with a gun pointed at her. There was a dynamic exchange of energy between the performer and the collaborators, and throughout all of this she would endure all the pain and exhaustion. Also, whats important about this piece is how it transforms the observers into collaborators, where they become part of the message behind this art work.abra last pic

My Thesis/ Experience

I really like Marina Abramovic, and I also like her collaborative art pieces and interventions. I feel a lot of people should look at “Rhythm 0” and understand the idea and process of what Abramovic is trying to argue and display. I really like how her art piece exemplifies what it means to go through pain and exhaustion, where she further argues that through these what may seem very painful, hurtful and frightening situations one may finally find a spiritual and emotional transformation. It only fair to say that life isn’t always nice and their may be occasional disasters, tragedies, genocides and so on. But through these awful and terrible events, it is only natural for humans to perservere, learn from their mistakes and, perhaps, undergo a spiritual and emotional transformation.

WK 6 – Artist of the Week – Allan Kaprow

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About the Artist

Allan Kaprow was born on August 23, 1927 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and passed away on April 5, 2006. He passed away in Encinitas, California. He is an American painter, assemblagist, and a pioneer of the concepts of the performance arts. He was influenced by John Dewey’s literary work Art as Experience, and in the following years he would be responsible for having the term “happenings” coined, and utilized as a method of art. Happenings are finished art pieces taking on the forms of arts media (paintings, music and dance) through the use of ordinary objects or actions (such as using news paper, noise, and body movements).

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Formal Analysis

Going back to the term “happenings”, this new style of art was created by Kaprow. And by observing his works, primarily his happenings, he does in fact use people and just ordinary things to create his finished art works. For example, the above illustration is where Kaprow used a bunch of car tires and women to act as models essentially. But he also has what it seems to be some action, where in this particular art piece the girl is running from tire to tire. Also, most of these were taken as early as 1958, so the most of his finished projects lack color.

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Content Analysis

Kaprow’s happenings brought in an entirely new method of creating art. With the utilization of everyday objects, he was able to create works of art that are still being studied by other artists practicing in the field of happenings. Specifically looking at Koprow’s happenings, there is a great sense of variety of interpretation of what’s happening behind his art works. In the above art piece for example, it raises many questions: why is the woman wrapped up in aluminum foil in a car? Who is the man with this woman? Where is this car going? All in all, the interpretation that is a resultant of these happenings is in fact a part of the finished art work.

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Thesis/ My Experience

I really like Allan Kaprow! Although he is a much older artist, he is the person responsible with the creation and utilization of “happenings”. A new method of art while using just ordinary objects to create legit arts media, Kaprow revolutionized the art world. I think it’s important for a lot of people to use happenings as a technique to create art for it is a great way to send messages and makes people be resourceful when it comes to creating art.

WK 6 – Artist of the Week – Nadya Tolokonnikova

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About the Artist

Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova, known professionally as “Nadya Tolokonnikova”, was born on November 7, 1989 in Norilsk, Krasnoyarskiy kray, RSFSR, USSR (now Russia). Her main art mediums resides in music and performance, and she is also a political activist. She is in a music group called “Pussy Riot”, which is based in Russia and has received a lot of criticism, backlash and even imprisonment from the Russian government where at one point Nadya Tolokonnikova was sentenced to 2 years in prison for one of her performances in the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. She was charged for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, but would be released early with another member after serving 21 months due to an amnesty bill being passed.

pussy riot

Formal Analysis

By analyzing the early development of their band, they had a very rebellious look. As you can see from the above image, all the band members including Tolokonnikova wore ski masks, and wore leggings and dresses. By looking at one of her songs to be produced in the years to come, “Make America Great Again” had a very dynamic and revealing choreographing, where the theme was set on some of the issues residing in America and discussions of the intentions and credibility of Donald Trump. Through out the music, there is a lot of “skin” reveal, and had a lot of recordings from Trump, or samples, of what he had to say on the social and political issues occurring in America.

Content Analysis

By listening to “Make America Great Again”, you can tell that Tolokonnikova is very politically active and engaged with not only issues residing in Russia, but the social and political unrest that is occurring in the United States today. Throughout her song, she mentions issues regarding immigration, feminism and discrimination by utilizing a specially designed wardrobe of choice and carefully selected samples from Donald Trump. Also, throughout the song Donald Trump (played by Nadya) uses force by hired thugs to enforce his power among its citizens, particularly with immigrants and women. With such phrases placed in the beginning, like the “Speak English Only” label on the Police Station door and a specially selected samples from Donald Trump, the song  illustrates not only the attitude residing in Trump, but reveals the attitude of the United States towards these political and social issues. This revelation is significant because it shows how these issues such as racism, sexism, healthcare and government corruption are still alive today and is conflicting with a significant portion of a marginalized population.

Member of female punk band "Pussy Riot"

Thesis/ My Experience

I really like Nadya Tolokonnikova! I’ve been drumming ever since I was in high school, and one of my favorite of genres to play with is punk rock. Her music in particular is really good, as it not only has really good musical qualities, but it is also engaged politically. Throughout her music, she has challenged the corruption and discrimination practiced by the Russian government and the United States government. Personally, I think a lot of people should take a minute and just listen to one of her songs, or watch one of her performances. Her art works is not only really fun to listen to, but is also great for people to observe and analyze when discussing politics occurring in the real world.