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Tutor profile: Diego L.

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Diego L.
Skilled studio artist with 6+ years of professional experience with galleries, museums, and public institutions .
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Questions

Subject: Ethnic Studies

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Question:

Globalization, Neoliberalism, The Fourth Revolution, and the Future of Work, what are their affects on the development of labor in Los Angeles?

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Diego L.
Answer:

With an accelerated rate of change, the 20th century pitted populations in a forceful position of adaptation where newly economic, social, and technological shifts were established. This period of transformation was catalyzed by the “new” process of globalization, a phenomenon that has actually long been discussed and analyzed. As Dan Clawson explains in The Next Upsurge, globalization “advocates” for a world that “is made up of distinct and self- sufficient national economies.” On the other hand, the autonomy of economically restrained states “in terms of their real capacity to formulate and implement public policy has almost in variably fallen short of their formal claims to sovereign national power.” Moreover, according to John Laslett’s book Sunshine Was Never Enough in response to events such as the Vietnam War and the recent civil rights movements of the 60s, by the early 1970s union membership blossomed more than ever before. For a time, the recessions of the 70s, 80s, and up till the 90s were not just infrequent dips in the nation’s business cycle but the “loss of U.S. hegemony as the world’s leading producer of manufactured goods.

Subject: Art History

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Question:

Are these works positive, negative, or ambivalent depictions of modernity? Be sure to describe how the historical contexts of each are manifested in the formal qualities of the work. In the case of the Rene Magritte's painting, address this painting specifically but also its role within a developing series of modern painting.

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Diego L.
Answer:

From the primitive illustrations of wildlife in cave paintings to the glimmering sculptor of David by Michelangelo, art has not only served as a vessel for humanity’s need for expression but also an extension of their imagination, resulting in concentrated slabs of creativity that have been responsible for evoking society to perceive the world differently. However, sometimes paintings present difficulty to the mind, and their complexities can discourage the observer to not engage beyond the surface. In fact, extending on this subject is British essayist, novelist, and literary critic E.M. Forster who claims that “Pictures are not easy to look at,” because the mind tends to get in the way of the eyes. This means that the mind takes charge of “congenial time” and forgets to distinguish between what it sees and what it has seen before. Since, an “undisciplined and uncontrolled mind” can prevent an individual from experiencing anything new and forget that images “were intended to appeal to the eye” rather than the mind (Forster). Seeing that, it is important to be cautious of an image’s ability to persuade the mind entirely and replace the eyes. Due to the fact that images can “generate private fantasies, they furnish material for jokes, they recall scraps of historical knowledge” (Forster). However, according to Forster, there are techniques and methods that can help the observer compensate for their lack of “natural aesthetic aptitude” (Forster). By searching for basic features of design such as diagonal lines, linear perspective, and underlying themes, the observer can increase their “appreciation of viewing something non-mathematical” (Forster). As explained by Forster when speaking of Titian’s Entombment, that once he found the lines he “gutted the picture’s secret” and uncovered its pathos. Nonetheless, even an accomplished artist like himself in the field of fictional literature admits to being “bad at looking at pictures.” Concerning this, the established art historian and fellow Bloomsbury member Roger Fry reminded him that “he found it an amusing change to be with someone who scarcely ever saw what the painter had painted” (Forster). As a final point, Forster concludes by encouraging the public to engage in the process of observing paintings, and insists that if he is improving on the process so can the “average outsider” (Forster). Not to mention, Forster belonged to the Bloomsbury group, the avant - garde movement that embraced the culture of sexual equality, literature, art, and the exercise of intellectual debate. Along with the group, the younger generation of society was at odds with the dying customs of the strict Victorian Era, what followed was a cultural renaissance that spawned a slew of revolutionary ideas at the start of the 20th century. It was during the early 1920s that Magritte’s work was at a crossroads and his artistic direction was in limbo (renemagritte). Thus, what followed was an experimental period where he began to dabble in multiple art forms until he finally gravitated towards surrealism. It was with this popular art movement that Magritte began to utilize its principles to ultimately help develop his life’s work. In fact, his 1925 piece The lost Jockey became his first piece to present Surrealistic qualities which served as a precursor for his later works that challenge the mystery of the visible world with a “superior reality”. He then moved to Paris where he would then rub shoulders with the likes of Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, and Andre Breton who were key influencers to the surrealist movement (renemagritte). However, Magritte disliked to be categorized as a surrealist because he was expected to paint like his contemporaries with a dreamlike quality and dark subject matter (Hammarcher). He opted out for a more practical or “realistic” approach that manipulated everyday objects into causing the simple tree, chair, or window to be misleading. Eventually, the 1930s arrived and World War II broke out in Europe forcing him to relocate back to a German occupied Brussels (renemagritte). In response to the surrounding turmoil Magritte adopted a more vibrant palette to juxtapose the sad reality of Europe. Similarly, other artists began to use their platform to express personal concerns regarding the war, like Picasso with Guernica, or Dali with The Face of War. Nevertheless, Magritte never attempted to intentionally create obscure imagery but simply a reflection of society in an exaggerated fashion. Also, his prior occupations as a draughtsman in a wallpaper factory and designer of posters matured Magritte’s style in terms of technique (renemagritte). This forced him to create images that were minimalistic and concise, with precision that makes his subject matter unmistakably accurate in relation to reality. What is more, his palette resembles the late impressionists of the 19th century like Manet, Renoir, and Seurat. Thus, further distancing himself from the dark imagery of his fellow Surrealist. As his intent was to highlight the obscurity that is embedded not in dreams but in the blatant reality that slips from people’s eyes on a daily basis. This essay will look at an image by Rene Magritte and search for potential questions he proposes and see if the painting conveys its title or intended purpose. Specifically, his 1933 piece The Human Condition which is one of his earliest works that utilizes one of his favorite themes of a "painting within a painting" (ReneMagritte).

Subject: AP Art History

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Question:

In 1917, Marcel Duchamp presented his first readymade to the public when he signed and dated a urinal and submitted it to an art exhibition. This gesture has had profound consequences that continue to shape our understanding of art today. If the appropriation and repurposing of an industrially produced everyday object as art seemed like the best way for Duchamp to raise questions about what art was in 1917, what might be an appropriate readymade for 2019? Can you think of something that one might encounter regularly in everyday life, and which, through your selection, could become an interesting work of art?

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Diego L.
Answer:

From the technically refined sculpture of David by Michelangelo to Constantin Brancusi’s Bird in Space, art has not only served as a vessel for humanity’s need for expression but also an extension of their imagination, resulting in concentrated masses of creative thought that have been responsible for evoking society to perceive the world differently. In light of Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades of the 20th century which can be found in an average home or store; I have chosen a tank-top undershirt for my readymade which shares similar attributes of the “ordinary” in a world accelerated by capitalism (Molesworth). A mundane object to the uninitiated eye this article of clothing is bound by the process of maintenance to oneself over the course of the day. A defensive layer that absorbs your sweat or insulates body temperatures as the individual goes about their business whether it is at school, a construction site, or an office. However, it’s not the tank-top’s visual language that makes it so striking but the negative connotations the garment has acquired through social issues in recent history. I am referring to the implication of calling this particular style of clothing a “wife beater” in the United States. This unsung hero’s philosophical contribution situates itself beyond established pictorial aesthetics from painting, sculpture, or ceramics and provides an alternative reality for the public in response to rationalism (Molesworth). This simultaneously ordinary and unique object when placed in a location of influence like a museum, academic institution, or public sector can then possess the social capital to demolish the backbone of rational thought. Considering a ready-made’s ability to convey an idea it is possible to enjoy the tank- top’s narrative without actually looking at it as simply a shirt. Being that, “ordinary” objects may present difficulty to the mind and their complexities can discourage the observer to not look beyond the surface. This presentation for this “wife beater” readymade will look at its presented formal elements and search for potential discourses it might propose beyond its intended purpose and see how methods of analyzation can help the observer uncover the objects true pathos.

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