Fresh Paint – Kevin Korb

On July 2, filmmaker Sam Bacile posted a satirical video on youtube that not only displayed Muslim prophet Muhammad, but depicted him as an immature, savage, sex-hungry murderer. Two months after it was posted, on the 11th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, violent protests sprung in Eqypt and Libya toward the contents of Bacile’s video. U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens, was killed in Libya along with three additional Americans who were embassy employees.

Rather than the fact that the prophet Muhammad was depicted so poorly, the protesters in Egypt and Libya were enraged simply because the prophet Muhammad was portrayed in the online video. In Muslim religion, any sort of visual representation of sacred figures is strictly prohibited. This characteristic of Muslim religion is widely known so it can be easily assumed that Sam Bacile and the other producers of the video were well aware of it. This certainly does not imply that they knew that there would be such a catastrophic response but they must have obviously known that Muslims would be angered nonetheless.

According to Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey, the four murders left Americans confused, angry, and fearful towards the Muslims’ harsh reaction. But the question is: should Americans be feeling this way? Should they be so surprised that this offended Muslims so immensely? The article questions this by describing how we once had this issue in the history of our country. Colonists at Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay prohibited images of Jesus Christ in their churches and scratched out crosses in their books. Also in the early Republic, artists avoided drawing forms of God and Jesus in their pieces. Painter Washington Allston addressed this when he stated “I think his character is too holy and sacred to be attempted by the pencil.”

Let us not forget how insulting the video was in the representation of Muhammad. If you click on the link below to view the video, you will see how childish and unintelligent Muhammad is portrayed as. The video is satirical but Muhammad is clearly disrespected and insulted.

By no means does this justify the violent protests resulting in the deaths of four innocent Americans, but shouldn’t Americans acknowledge the fact that this video is absolutely inappropriate and insulting towards Muslims? Should there be some way to monitor the content of videos that are being posted on the Internet so that they could be removed if they are clearly made to insult others? Should Sam Bacile and the other producers be punished for what they did despite their freedom of speech?


Fresh Paint – “Lady Liberty, Inspiring Even in Pieces”

“Lady Liberty, Inspiring Even In Pieces”

Fresh Paint Post by Kunal Kang

The Statue of Liberty is the epitome of democracy in America. Having stood in New York’s harbor for over a hundred years, the Statue of Liberty is a shining beacon of hope not only to New Yorkers, but Americans as a whole. To me, it is such an amazing and comforting thing to see the Statue standing there on my ferry rides to and from the city every day. It provides me with hope for the future and reminds me of all the opportunities I have because I am fortunate enough to live here in America.

This personal feeling towards the Statue of Liberty was inspired in me by Hilarie M. Sheets article “Lady Liberty, Inspiring Even In Pieces”. This article tells about how an artist named Danh Vo “has been recasting a life-size Statue of Liberty” from copper, just like the original. Vo has called his creation “We the People”, a reference to the United States Constitution, but here’s the catch: Vo has been separating the pieces of his work and scattering them around the world after they are made. Several pieces of Vo’s work are now visible at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago, but the pieces will be viewable at 15 select locations around the world once they are finished being made. Vo has talked about his work being “both a monster and a virus that can move fluidly and mutate as it is shuffled to new places”.

Officially, Vo has not revealed his intended meaning for his project but Susanne Ghez, a director at the University of Chicago, has said that “it raises the question of democratization in the U.S. and our history of imperialism”. By taking a well known symbol of American freedom and scattering the pieces, Vo is either trying to say that democracy and freedom is spreading throughout the world through America’s influence or that American freedom itself is being threatened and on the verge of being broken apart. Both messages are powerful (one good, one bad) and I think Vo realized this when he refused to comment about the meaning and purpose of his work. I believe Vo intended each individual to see his project and make their own personal decision about it.

I felt that Vo’s project exhibited America’s freedom being torn apart, although I do not feel that this is true. When I read this article, it affected me deeply because the Statue of Liberty has always been something so solid and everlasting. To me, Vo’s scattering of he pieces of his Lady Liberty represented the breaking apart of democracy itself in America because it contrasts with the unified and guided appearance of the actual Statue of Liberty. Also, the image of a recreation of an important American symbol being broken up and scattered around the world angered me because I felt it did not fully respect an important piece of American history. The only thing I could compare it to in my mind is that cutting up and scattering of the American flag, which many would consider a heinous act. Yes, American has been going through some hard times but it has never stopped being the leading symbol of hope and freedom in the world, seeking to help those less fortunate. Vo’s work, though unique and unprecedented, send a negative and unrealistic view of America that I do not agree with.

What about you? Do you think Vo’s work is celebrating or eulogizing democracy? How do you feel about democracy in America?

Fresh Paint – “Flea Market Renoir May Have Been Stolen”

In today’s society it is so easy to snag deals on movies, clothes, food, or just about anything in general. Applications such as Groupon give us daily deals to by various items at discounted prices and places like thrift stores give us access to cheap, stylish clothing. These forms of discounts aren’t only beneficial to the consumers, but the producers as well in that they can attract more customers or get rid of items they might not want. But how would you feel if your possession was wrongfully sold at a ridiculously low price or worse, stolen?

In recent news, a flea market shopper found out that the painting he/she bought for $7 is actually worth more than $75,000. The painting is in fact a work called “Paysage Bords de Seine,” which translates to “Landscape of the Banks of the Seine,” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and was scheduled to be sold this Saturday at the Potomack Company, an auction house, located in Alexandria, Va. However, the sale of the painting was put on hold after a reporter discovered that it was stolen in 1951, over six decades ago.

So how did this painting end up in the auction house in the first place? According to, a Virginia woman purchased the painting two years ago at a flea market in West Virginia. She had only bought the painting for its frame and tried to rip it apart, but her mother encouraged her to get it appraised. When she brought the painting to the Potomack Company in July, the experts confirmed that it was a painting by Renoir.

The painting was originally on loan to the Baltimore Museum of Art back in 1937. However, soon after its owner, Sadie A. May, died and bequeathed her art collection to the museum, the painting was reported to be stolen. The Potomack Company reported that they checked Art Loss Register, which is the world’s largest private database of stolen and lost art, before putting the Renoir painting up for sale, but the painting was not listed on the database. What is also strange is that there weren’t any police reports of the theft and the work wasn’t listed in the F.B.I.’s art theft website either. The auction house’s owner, Elizabeth Wainstein, has stated that, “Potomack is relieved this came to light in a timely manner as we do not want to sell any item without clear title.” The director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Doreen Bolger, stated that although the officials have only seen the photographs of the painting, they are assuming that the painting is real and she would be glad to show the painting again if it were to be returned to the museum. The auction at the Potomack Company will continue to go on as scheduled with the withdrawal of the Renoir.

What happened to the painting after it was stolen in November 1951 still remains a mystery and what would happen, now that it has been found, still remains unclear. Do you think the painting should go back to the Baltimore Museum of Art, where the art piece was first stolen? Or should it be given to the auction house since there weren’t any police reports filed and the painting wasn’t properly listed on the database?

Fresh Paint – Yolanda Chang

It Is So Last Century

It was a phenomenal event when Guernsey’s auction house helped Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science realize that they had a mislabeled and forgotten Picasso stashed away in storage. Instead of the instinctual action of displaying it, the museum decided to sell the piece. The problem with “Seated Woman With Red Hat” was that’s type of artwork has not been on the market for almost 50 years and therefore a price tag would be incredibly difficult to estimate. This situation was described by Patricia Cohen in “Long-Forgotten Picasso Is a Museum’s Windfall.”

One can easily understand that there are many financial factors that go into this decision: the maintenance fees associated with upkeep of the piece in whichever institution it ends up in, the value of the piece in itself, the possible revenue it may generate for the institution, etc. The value of the piece cannot be determined by its appearance alone; the value of the piece brings into mind the value of its creator.

The break in price agreement between art analysts and auctioneers is that this piece holds a value that changes with time. The deep-rooted respect that the world has for Pablo Picasso and his work is arguably enough for the market price to be around $30-40 million, which has been estimated according to the article. People are willing to pay exceptional amounts of money to see a skewed conception of a mistress, purely because a man who obtained increasing amounts of credibility over the course of history painted her.

The style of the piece is not originally Picasso’s. It is a gemmaux, which “are made of multicolored pieces of glass, layered and then fused together with liquid enamel.” This technique, when on display, plays around with light and is intensified when subtly illuminated from the back. A French artist named Jean Crotti, who, subjectively, is not as famous as Picasso, developed this technique. Picasso and Crotti lived during the same generation, from the late 1800’s to the late 1900’s. They probably were friends who exchanged ideas for their art. If one were to view some of Crotti’s most widely known works, there are abstract pieces that are more oriented toward geometric figures. When Picasso uses the gemmaux technique on the mistress, he uses geometric figures but adds on bolder strokes of thick black. These strokes arguably accentuate the piece.

In art, as like in fashion, there are in seasons and out seasons. What was “in” during the 50’s has gone out at the turn of the 21st century. Pieces such as Mona Lisa have stood unchanged and have never been devalued, but in our contemporary world, art has to become “modern” and transcend the “classical.” The pricing of the “Seated Woman With Red Hat” is still to be determined, but the question stands: do you feel that classic art pieces should never go out of style? Or should the spotlight of the art world be shifted away from our ancient Greats and move toward more contemporary pieces?



Fresh Paint


By Daniel J. Wakin

Published Sept 12, 2012

Imagine that after you put in hours of work your boss pays you in beer. Absurd isn’t it? Not to Amanda Palmer, a rock musician, who in her recent tour had asked her fans to play for her as backup musicians on stage. On her website, she posted “Wanted: Horn-y and String-y Volunteers for the Grand Theft Orchestra Tour” (“Rockers Playing for Beer: Fair Play?” ) where she sought out people who played certain instruments. She asked her fans to show up for interviews and then lets them perform on stage. However, she promised only hugs and alcohol as compensation. This led to many negative comments on the singer’s Twitter account. Many believed that her actions were ridiculous and unprofessional while some believed that the situation was just sad. Despite all the negativity, she refuses to pay. She claims that the $1.2 million dollars that was raised from the sale of her album “Theater is Evil”—which some argued could have been used to pay these ripped-off musicians—“went toward recording expenses and the costs of promotion and touring.” I certainly do not believe that all that money went to those expenses, and Ms. Palmer is merely trying to save money by having her fans play for her. Furthermore, I certain do not see a point in why Ms. Palmer would harm her self-image by being cheap.

Also, Ms. Palmer believes that there is nothing wrong with what she is doing and she claims that if her fans are happy playing for her and her audience is happy then there is no problem at all. However, Raymond M. Hair Jr., president of the American Federation of Musicians, completely disagrees with this. Mr. Hair believes that “If there’s a need for the musician to be on the stage, then there ought to be compensation for it, Playing is work and there’s a value associated with it, and that value ought to be respected.” The argument presented here is that whether or not the fans should be paid in monetary means.

I agree with the fact that if Ms. Palmer’s fans were willing to play at the tour for free because they value the concert rather than the money, then there would be no wrongdoing for not paying them. However, I think music should still be appreciated. I believe that the fans should still be paid with money because playing for the tour is a professional job, and all work done should be compensated.

What do you think? Do you think that Ms. Palmer’s tour is so great that her fans would want to play for her for free? Do you think that it is just for Ms. Palmer to compensate her fans with beer and hugs? Since the fans are happy, does the work they put in have to have valued? Is Ms. Palmer being unprofessional and being a jerk for not paying the fans? Is Ms. Palmer doing what’s right? Do you think Ms. Palmer is keeping her profit and slurping off of these ripped-off musician fans?

More on Dance

After talking about dance reviews and critics, I thought you might enjoy this overview of principle highlights of the fall dance season, Three Stars of the Dance World, by lead dance critic of the New York Times Alastair Macualay. Yes, that is his name but as far as I know he is unrelated to MHC. Comments or comparisons with the other critics we looked at are welcome!

An added note: all the readings indicated on the schedule are available on the protected Resource page. The only item not there is the play, The Piano Lesson. You are repsonsible for obtaining that.

Add your page to “Scrapbooks”

Hi everybody, when adding your personal pages, please make sure to place them under the heading “Scrapbooks”. In order to do this, click “add page”, and then look for the section on the right hand side of the screen where you can add a “parent”. Set “Scrapbooks” as the parent of your new page. That way everybody’s page will show up under “Scrapbooks” (which is under “Projects”) and not on the home page. Let me know if you have any questions!

Once you’ve created your page, you need to link it to your eportfolio. This is easy! Just go to the page you created, type whatever short title or introduction to the eportfolio you want, highlight the text, and then click the “Insert/edit link” button at the top of the page (it looks like a chain link). Once you’re there, copy and paste the url (web address) for your eportfolio into the ‘add link’ space. Then voila, the page will link to your eportfolio!

Top of the Mountain

I live at the top of a mountain.

I have to go on a trip to get home. It’s a straight path, a climbing trail. On my way home I have the chance to prepare for what I will feel when I arrive.

The ride home builds up anticipation of my arrival.

When I get there, nothing exists, except freedom. When I reach the top of the mountain on the lift or snowmobile, I see hear and feel freedom.

The world lies at my feet, I am at the top of the world.



The next thing I feel is on my carve away from home. The wind is crisp and clean, the trip down the mountain is exhilarating and it clears my mind.

I am the only one who chooses my route down the mountain. I am in control, but at the same time I have a respect for the mountain and for nature.

I live on the mountain; the mountain and I are one.