Culture can be defined as, ”the customs, achievements, values or beliefs of a particular civilisation or group. ‘ Artworks can be defined as real objects, as material, physical and virtual objects. They exist as representations of ideas that reflect such things as personal responses, cultural views, symbolic interpretations and critical re-interpretations of other ideas Culture has been referenced by the artists Giselebertus, Umberto Boccioni, and Jeff Koons.
Giselebertus’ The Last Judgement, gives an insight into the beliefs and cultural practices of the Romanesque period in France c1130, where Christianity dominated the world and the anxiety imposed, ? ”Millennium,’ approached. Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913) reflects the speed, motion and machinery of the 20th century culture. Koons Michel Jackson and Bubbles (1988) is an imitation of the consumer society in which we live in today.
Giselebertus’, ‘The Last Judgement’ gives an insight into the beliefs and cultural practices of the Romanesque period in France c1130, where the Catholic Church dominated the lives of many Europeans. Giselebertus’ artwork is a sculptural frieze located within the tympanum on the Cathedral of St. Lazar, in Autun, France. This sculpture is a vivid image of the last judgement, and its use of expressionist carving shows the awesome power of both the horror of the damned and the serenity of the selected few. The Last Judgement was a common theme on tympanums in the Romanesque era.Order now
It reminded the illiterate mortals of the terrifying fate that awaited them if they led a sinful life. The worshipper entered the church under the stern gaze of the all- seeing judge. Artworks at this time were designed to scare people into living according to the rules of the Church, by presenting a suitably gruesome vision of hell, the last judgement and damnation. Ordinary people saw their worst fears in the heavily detailed sculptures in Giselebertus’ The Last Judgement, where the figures of the soul awaiting judgement are depicted as elongated and thin and racked with remorse and pain as they endure the torment of the last judgment.
Romanesque art represented the growing spread and power of the monasteries, where the craftsmen, builders and illuminators, worked for the primary patron of the time, the Church, toward the spread of Christianity against the Moors, Muslim and other non-Christian groups. The early medieval period was a time of great anxiety. Superstition increased and the millennium (c1000) approached, and people believed the end of the worlds was coming. The Church took advantage of this weakness and began to use art as a psychological weapon to enforce its authority in matters of mortality and social behaviour.
Artworks at this time were designed to scare people into living according to the rules of the Church, by presenting a suitably gruesome vision of hell, the last judgement and damnation. Ordinary people saw their worst fears in the heavily detailed sculptures. This can be seen at the Autun cathedral, where the figures of souls awaiting judgement are depicted as elongated and thin and racked with remorse and pain as they endure the torment of ‘The last judgement.
Giselebertus’ The Last Judgement reflects the propaganda used by the church during the Romanesque period to strengthen the power and economic gains of the Church during the 11th century. Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913) reflects the speed, motion and machinery of the 20th century culture. Boccioni was a futurist artist who wanted to represent his experience of the modern condition. Exhilarated by the noise, speed and mechanical energy of the modern city, Boccioni, was influenced by Marinetti’s Manifesto to obliterate the past cult and traditions of the Italian culture and celebrate the new machine culture.
As Marinetti states in his Manifesto, “Set fire to the library shelves! Turn aside the canals to flood the museums! ‘…. Oh, the joy of seeing the glorious old canvasses bobbing adrift on those waters, discoloured and shredded! ‘…. take up your pickaxes, your axes and hammers and wreck, wreck the venerable cities, pitilessly! “- And replace it with a new society, a new poetry and a new art based on new dynamic sensations. “We declare,” he wrote in his Manifesto, “that the splendor of the old has been increased by a new beauty: the beauty of speed….
A screaming automobile that seems to run like a machine. ” Boccioni, like the many other futurist artists, imitated the progress in science and technology. His art was a way of approaching the modern life with its new ideas and technology. Boccioni’s artwork is a celebration of the machine; a celebration of the current modernity of culture. Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, attempted to capture the moving forms of a figure as it strides at swift speed, the legs a blur as though captured in a photograph and forms dissolving into each other.
Through this artwork, Boccioni succeeded in giving full expression to the futurist movements aims in memorable form. He achieved what he had been seeking, “not pure form, but pure plastic rhythm; not the construction of the body, but the construction of he action of he body. ” Unique forms in the Continuity of Space imitated the new modernity of the time and its power on the culture in which it affected. Koons’ Michel Jackson and Bubbles (1988) is an imitation of the consumer culture in which we live in today.
It is a postmodernist artwork, made of ceramic, painted white and gold, that is a late footnote to Pop Art that relies on one obsessive device: the exaggeration of the aura of consumer products; a devotion to gloss and glitz. Koons directly appropriates from the ideas of the mass consumer society, but his use of strategy, however, is in a very different perspective, thus giving it play within a completely different constellation of meanings. Rather than making art from some unincorporated cooperative, Koons is making art from within the structures of institutional art, as part and package of the culture industry.
Michael Jackson and Bubbles, is a parody of art history and the consumer society in which we live in today. In creating his artwork Koons “wanted to create art that was different from the public’s own cultural environment. ” He makes art from what has previously not been considered art. Koon’s Michael Jackson and Bubbles, is a symbol of the deterioration of modern culture, and our post modern society of the 1980s and 1990s. He comments not only on the popular imagery and mass production, as did the Pop artists of the 1950s and 1960s, but also of the throwaway nature of it.
In this artwork, he comments on the fake luxury,’ of the American consumer culture of the 1980s, Koons chose Michael Jackson as the subject matter, as Michael was the symbol of the mass popular culture of the 1980s. Here, Michael that has been recontextualised and reconstructed to comment on the influence and false identity of consumer culture. His fame is recalled globally. The media’s adulation and the public’s attitude to desire are evident in the manner in which Koons portrays Jackson’s precious.
By making his audience consider how much they desire objects and how they are so imbued with celebrity status that they want them all the more, Koons attempts to question the nature and influence of popular culture in the last two decades, as he states, ” My.. objects reflect desire. ” Koons portrays Jackson with his only love; Bubbles. Jackson is portrayed as a brilliant whiter figure, which could possibly be Koon’s way of making the audience consider Jackson’s constant racial and even sexual metamorphosis.
Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles, comments on the consumer society and ? ‘fakeness’ of the American culture, as the Examiner article states, “he is holding up a mirror to show what America looks like by grossly imitating the shallowness, perversity and emptiness of commercial society. ” Koons’ mirror could be a reflection of something that is not art as we think of it.
In this artwork, Koons challenges the mainstream values of histories and ideas. Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles, is an imitation and a parody of the past and present consumer culture in which we have and continue to live in. Art imitates culture. Culture has been replicated through the artists of Giselebertus, Umberto Boccioni, and Jeff Koons.
Giselebertus’ The Last Judgement, shows how art was used as an important political tool to assimilate the European population into the ever increasing dominance of the Catholic Church. Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913) imitated the new modernity of the time and its power on the culture in which it affected. Koons Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988) is an imitation of the consumer society and popular culture in which our world has and continues to live, in particular reference to the significant influence of the American culture, which unites the global society into a unified identity.