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.

ragnar last photo

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.