Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hidden New York City Art Installations

New York City resident Marc Latamie is an artist who's been working and exhibiting in many countries, including Cuba, Spain, Sweden, and Senegal. Marc Latamie is especially interested in installation art.

While most people know that New York City is home to some of the finest art museums in the world, many may be surprised to learn that free art installations exist all over the city. They can be easy to overlook. For example, in a SoHo loft one can find The New York Earth Room behind a door with a small plaque. Commissioned by the Dia Foundation, the Earth Room is simply a room full of dirt that has been there since 1977.

Another often-overlooked piece of installation art is located right near the trendy High Line park in the Chelsea Market passage. Spencer Finch put together a grid of colored glass blocks to represent the Hudson River. He took a photo each minute for 700 minutes and this installation is the result.

Even Times Square has art installations. The 42nd Street-Times Square subway station actually features a mural painted by none other than pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, commissioned in 1994 by the MTA. Don’t forget to look around as you travel to the famous art museums--you may run into art you would have missed otherwise.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Is Perception of Beauty an Evolutionary Trait?

New York-based artist Marc Latamie began his career in 1970s Paris, where he was a student of the Art History and Visual Art departments at Université Paris 8. After graduating, Marc Latamie pursued his own artistic career, one based on the idea of universalism. Today, his works can be seen in numerous exhibitions and publications.

The artistic movement known as universalism is an extension of the idea of aesthetic universalism. A concept studied by various scholars throughout the years, aesthetic universalism attempts to identify elements that human beings find aesthetically pleasing regardless of their cultural background. Extending beyond artistic taste, aesthetic universalism stems largely from evolutionary psychology and anthropology.

According to the works of many scholars of the topic, certain human tendencies such as enjoyment of foods with fats and carbohydrates are part of evolutionary psychology; those who enjoyed these foods had more offspring than those who did not. Similarly, studies have shown that humans from a wide variety of cultures share preferences in the pictorial content of art, including color and types of landscape. For many, this supports the argument that the perception of beauty, like other evolutionary traits, is universal.