After viewing the video of Shea Humphrey's 100 artist collection, there are three attached questions. Can you help me?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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  • Question #1

Since the first question calls for a personal response, the student will have to answer this one himself.

  • Question #2

"Did his response to the contemporary art world meet his goals discussed at the beginning. Why or why not?"

Shea Humphrey expresses frustration with the contemporary art world. After viewing contemporary art in Europe, Humphrey came away with a longing for "more work that is appealing to public as well as accessible" as well as work with "more exquisite craftsmanship and technique." So, he decided to create his own exhibit with these criteria.

While his fabricated artists display some interesting pieces that meet the criteria he has set for himself clearly Humphrey spoofs some contemporary art as well as the artists. For instance, the piece in which the female artist "created" weather by breathing back and forth repeatedly upon the ground to "leave life's marks" from her 5 ft. 5 in. frame elicits laughter from the audience because it is ridiculous. Also more of Humphrey's lampooning is evinced with the "scratch off original art" from a collective group of Japanese artists who sell 9"x10" cards that off "new, alternative art space" with themes of fate and chance.

On the other hand, Shea Humphrey fulfills the criteria he has set for his project:

  1. It must be explicable in five minutes.
  2. It must appeal to the Head--that is, contain intellectual ideas.
  3. It must appeal to the Heart with passion and "soul" in the artwork.
  4. It must show evidence of Hands; that is, it must be greatly crafted.

One work that meets the criteria has been created by "Nell ----" who "uses the sky to fill holes in the ground." The clever use of mirrors in the ground where there are shallow spots or holes creates, says Humphrey with feeling, "a portal to jump in...that reflects the sunrise and sunset." 

Perhaps, the most sensitive works are those in which nature partakes as Humphries provides the birds with materials with which they fashion what Humphrey calls "love nests." And yet there is mockery of contemporary artists who let animals create for them.

Moreover, the artwork that Shea has created is accessible. After his project, Humphrey published a book with photographs of his 100 contemporary works. With the cost of $1000.00, the cost per work is only $10.00.

  • Question #3 

"Pretend that you are Shea Humphrey and invent your own artist biography."  

All that is needed to do here is to apprehend the humor and emotion of Humphrey: He often spoofs the people who adopt insignificant causes but act as though they are truly meaningful and important; for example, the artist who lies on the frozen grass and melts the dew with her breath is described in this manner, "Ephemerality and transience breathed back and forth to leave life's marks." Here there is a mock intellectualism given to this "artist" who does no more than what any child could do. On the other hand, there are some works that present true beauty in doing as Shea states, "Human have appropriated and learned from nature."

So, in creating an artist biography, the student may wish to take the environmentalist-to-the-extreme as an example. Or someone like the artist whom Shea describes only as paranoid; you could further develop him. At any rate, imitate Humphrey and have the biography and artwork be playful and passionate, expressive of a multi-faceted artist. Just use your imagination after re-watching the video.

also, he is serious when he speaks of how "humans have appropriated and learned from nature."

Sources:

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