Stephanie Solanki, Seminar 9/12/12

In Wednesday’s class we actually discussed how “gazing” means to look at something on purpose with an intent to analyze it. Mona Lisa’s reciprocal gaze is a part of the painting that has baffled so many people for years. It is so distinct that if someone was to only show her eyes, I would know it was the Mona Lisa.

We also discussed how the perception of decency and class is different between men and women. For example, Robert De Niro can go to a premiere without shaving and trimming his hair, but every actress or female celebrity must look like she’s spent hours getting ready in order to be presentable. This, in my opinion, is not fair at all. I believe that double standard should not exist in today’s world. It would be unjust and debilitating to say that it is not good for a woman or man to make their own choices and behave however he or she is comfortable. However, this is my opinion.

One line that stuck out to me in class is “we ascribe power to a man because of who he is in the world.” If a man goes out into the world and does adventurous, innovative things, then he is a powerful man. He has been places that nobody has ever gone, and has done things that people are afraid to do. Women could do this, too, if they weren’t wearing their controlling hairnets. I mean to say that women must look modest and controlled at all times. ¬†This is exemplified by the Mona Lisa, who is wearing a hairnet to control her hair. She must keep it perfect because that is the perception of beauty. Her whole life is about being under control, and not being able to venture out and do daring things. This is a very ancient sort of mindset, in my opinion.

Next we looked at the works of Edward Hopper. His works were all of real-life situations. His “American Landscape” work did not idealize rural American life. It actually made it look ¬†quite warped because the dimensions were unique. For example, the cow looks just as big as the house from the point of view the spectator has. This is shows that the rural life of America can be a little scary at times. Hopper does make paintings that look distorted at times, but does so to make a point. This shows how real his work is. I think his style would be realism.