Dec 11 2009

Soft v.s. Hard

Published by under Cultural Passport Assigments

The work of Claes Oldenburg must’ve been treasured by the folks at the Whitney Museum.  He practically got an entire floor devoted to his work.

If you look past the weird subjects of his drawings and sculptures you will find an interesting exploration of differences, in this case, the difference between the soft and malleable and the hard and rigid.

The exhibit floor was still-life subjects, mostly of food and various household objects.  All of these objects have a hard portion as well as a soft portion.  What do I mean? In the inserted picture you can see one of his pictures, involving two shuttlecocks.  Of course there is that rigid head of the shuttlecock used to represent the “rigidity,” but coupled with this rigidity, is the shuttlecock tail, which is soft and from the eraser marks, is given a feeling of movement.

Movement, that is probably what I should have noted in the beginning.  His various sculptures of miniature blueberry pie slices all feature the hard crust that leaks out the soft and mushy blueberry filling.  The pie crust is fixed, but the filling seems to move in its own way like a form of dance.

It goes to show how different modern art is from traditional art.  Traditional art has more to do with creating replications of reality while modern art is more expressionistic of reality.  Usually traditional art deals with grander ideas such as the meaning of life.  I can’t say that ALL traditional art has to do with realism and grandiose philosophical ideas, but there are shades of gray in this case.

9 responses so far




9 Responses to “Soft v.s. Hard”

  1.   Aon 12 Dec 2009 at 2:25 pm

    What’s a shuttlecock?

    The pictures remind of birdies from badminton.

  2.   Nguyen Chion 11 Dec 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Correction on my own post:
    1) I meant Rong, in place of Wong. (Sorry).
    2) I meant too, instead of to.
    3) I meant America, instead of American.

    I can’t revised my posts as of now so this is how I will be correcting them.

    To Jensen, I know you and your friend Olaf too well!

  3.   Jensen Rongon 11 Dec 2009 at 4:09 pm

    To respond to your comment Chi, I chose this exhibition because I was initially attracted by Oldenburg’s use of whacky subjects. It was by far, the most unusual thing sitting in the Whitney museum.

    You also spelled my name incorrectly, for shame.

  4.   Nguyen Chion 11 Dec 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I totally agree with Sai. I also believe that this is the intention of the blogger (Jensen Wong). It would be my intention to if I wrote this post.
    I think i used the same method in my other posts.
    Sex really sells in American. Just like Hannah Montana’s song “Party in the USA.”

  5.   Fabiana Sagreraon 11 Dec 2009 at 4:05 pm

    The observation you made is very interesting. I like how you use the idea of the blueberry pie to make it more clear.

  6.   Rhianna Mohamedon 11 Dec 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Sai, this is an educational blog.. Is the title the reason why you decided to read this? Tut, tut.

  7.   Sai Maon 11 Dec 2009 at 3:26 pm

    This title arouses sexual desires and the explanation only further provoked my curiosity.

  8.   Rhianna Mohamedon 11 Dec 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Yeah, I love your title; I was expecting a comparison of two things – something hard and something soft (object-wise). Do you prefer traditional art or modern art? Personally, I love modern art.. I feel like it’s more detailed.

  9.   Nguyen Chion 11 Dec 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Your title is very thought provoking, Jensen.
    Is there any other reason that you chose this for your blog post?