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Lesson Plans

Re: Using Art Reproductions

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 12 Jul 1996 20:10:27 -0400

Re: Nancy Walkup's inquiry about using art reproductions in the classroom.
My last class with 3-D Design students--I showed them a video of a 60 Minutes
program about the contemporary art market. One of the featured artists was
Jeff Koons. I first gave them postcard reproductions from the Koon's series
of sculptures "Ushering in Banality" (Micheal Jackson and Bubbles, Three
Puppies, Bear and Policeman and the famous Puppy made from flowering plants).
I asked them as groups to write about their reproduction in the manner Terry
Barrett suggested: "What are you looking at?? What do you see? Then I asked
them to describe what the work was about and how did they know?
The last question (before I showed the video) was: Do you think this is a
work of art? Where would you see this--in a major museum, in a gift shop or
an interior design store or maybe even a swap meet??
I then asked the groups to tell their opinions about the work.
(Many students thought the work was from a gift shop)
We then watched the video and I asked the groups to write about the work with
the new information they saw in the tape.
Many students were indignant that the artist has others make his work, many
were surprized that this was the work of a very well-known contemporary
artist. We talked about the issue of the theme of banality--repetition of a
mass-produced kitcsh. Many didn't think his work was art--especially the
series of vacuum cleaners!!!!! We had a lot of fun with this exercise and I
hope it gave students something to ponder the next time they see contemporary
art that is difficult to understand.
Teri Brudnak
Orange County High School for the Arts
Los Alamitos, Calif.