Thursday, December 2, 2010

Connecting with the Great He-Goat

When I was younger I lived a year in the countryside of Mexico with my grandparents. The most exciting time of the day was after dinner when my grandfather would start to tell me haunting stories of creatures; stories ranging from black ghosts to the legendary la chupacabra. These stories were convincing at the time and they would often inspire my brother and me to go hunting for them.  For that reason the painting that most intrigued me from the modern art history slides was The Witches Sabbath by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya created in 1797-98. It is a lighter version of what I found from Goya’s later work in 1820, The Great He-Goat or The Witches Sabbath (El Aquelarre). It is one of the fourteen “Black Painting” he painted directly onto the walls of his home, La Quinta del Soro (Home of the Deaf or Villa of the Deaf). Made with the technique al seco, oil paints on plaster it was created when he was 74 years old. The Great He-Goat is an intense haunting image of a freighting crowd surrounding a large he-goat. Described appropriately by Fred Licht as “the most extreme manifestation of the growing misunderstanding and estrangement between modern society and the artist (Goya)”[1], this was during a freighting time in his life, where he was detached from society and dangerously ill. Linda Simmons recounts Goya’s illness as “overwhelming: he heard a constant roaring and ringing in his head; he was dizzy and prone to fainting, nauseated, and, at times, nearly blind”.[2] Goya was extremely detached from society and was afraid of eternal social separation which caused him to become rather mad. During this difficult time he continued to find a connection with the witches Sabbath but in a much darker light. His way of understanding the witches sabbath was laying out the scene on the wall of his home. He used line, light, and color in order to create the scene we examine today in order to uncover the story behind The Great-He Goat.
The most significant creature in the painting is the he-goat himself and the bold lines that outline him into the shape of the triangle, they are entirely different lines then those of the coven members, the diagonal and straight lines show strength and authority. He gives balance to the painting with most of the coven members to the right of him.  The title “el aquelarre” is a Basque word that breaks down to “field of the goat”. The small town of Basque, Spain has been attributed to having had the witches Sabbath celebrated in a field for goats where in 1610 Basque witches were reported to have been meeting before major Christian holidays. The first recount of a huge he-goat was by a young girl attending the witches sabbath in1335 at Toulouse.[3]
The only light source in the painting seems to be a fire between the goat and the coven. This doesn’t allow the viewers side of the he-goat to have any light which makes him entirely black with only one glaring eye as a feature. The coven is lit by the fire which allows details of distorted facial expressions in the crowd of witches and warlocks, until it reaches a young girl on the right who is cloaked in black, with hands in her muff. Her blank expression is the most curious thing in the painting she appears calm and observant of the sabbath that is taking place. It has been said that perhaps she is waiting to be initiated into their rites. Goya used the world of witches to denounce the degradation of humankind.[4] It was also described that the devil would be given a sacrificial gift by his witches. Either the case she would have her soul blackened, illustrating the ruin of humankind Goya struggled with. She was said to originally have been in the center of the painting but when it was removed from the wall this had changed and she now appears at far right.
The color in the painting is important because Goya turned to only dark pigments in order to create his black paintings and so the use of white and light colors such as on the small man near the devil, it seems to give him a kind of importance and unholy glow. The coven members are wearing mostly dark black and grays with a golden color that is a reflection from the fire. There is some white and a bright white cloaked warlock man who at first may appear like a child who is in fact his assistant.[5] These tones make the painting serious, dark, and give an apprehensive mood which makes you wonder what would happen in the next painting especially to the young girl. The black goat give off such a malevolent feel and the looks on the attendees faces seem as though he has the power to demolish one of them instantly and rambling from just the fact that he is present.
It seems as though Goya is drawing out the ideas and theories that ran around during the time of witches celebrating the sabbath in Basque. Stories passed around of goats, sacrifices, witches, warlocks, and hallucinations being used. The devil was said to have sexually abused the people who attended and manipulate them into doing things for him. This was Goya’s personal obsession that he never intended to be viewed by his audience. It was a much darker and haunting Goya especially in the comparison of the painting of the earlier 1798 Witches Sabbath. The Great He-Goat gives us an idea of the nightmarish images that made Goya mad during the darkest time of his life, his deep fascination that will never truly be revealed and we will be left to wonder whether this was a fantasy or something he experienced.

[1] Fred Licht, Goya, Page 204. Abbeville Press Publishers, 2001
[2] "The Sleep of Reason Brings Forth Monsters." Online Magazine: The World & I Online Magazine. Web. 01 Dec. 2009.
[3] Condendish, Richard. The Black Arts. Pan Books, 1967. Print.
[4] "Museo Nacional del Prado: On-line gallery." Museo Nacional del Prado. Web. 02 Dec. 2009. .
[5] "Museo Nacional del Prado: Enciclopedia online." Museo Nacional del Prado. Web. 02 Dec. 2009. .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Goya Notes from Portland Art Museum

Y no hay remedio. Francisco de Goya. Etching, dry point, engraving, and brush bite. 1810-20. Portland Art Museum.

            Y no hay remedio (And it can’t be helped) is a print of The Disasters of War by Francisco de Goya. The depiction itself is morbid as are most of the prints in this series. The scene is set in a dark manner & appears to take place amid a hill top around dusk, as most of the print is in black.  Goya illustrates Spanish guerrilla fighters tied to wooden posts awaiting execution by two firing squads, of which one is anonymous to the picture with only the barrel end of there rifles etched. This print shows us the misery that the Spanish incurred by the anonymous French military while Napoleon was trying to take control. Goya shows this through his use of lines, space, and, light.

            The guns that are on the right of the print are implied lines that direct you to the center where a blindfolded man in awaiting execution. The body language i.e. slumped shoulders and his head facing the ground shows he has accepted that he is going to die. The vertical wooden posts imply that there will be repetitive deaths throughout this war. The Spanish people were tied to the wooden posts to increase the psychological effect of death and lower morale to those who witnessed the executions.

Goya uses the space between the rolling hills to create depth in the print. The space between the men lead us to the sunset which represents that there is still hope in Spain and that it hasn’t been extinguished by the French.  Goya uses space to make the print three dimensional by using shading, overlapping, and making the objects in the background with less clarity except the face of the Spaniard who has pained look.  The space around the Spanish contrasts the closeness of the French military showing that they are invading the space of the Spaniards.

            The lighting is soft with individuals being highlighted more than by the main light source. Goya made this especially odd because the sun is setting behind them and natural light would not show the front of the Spanish however he wanted the viewer to notice in a theatrical way the misery of the tortured. The Spaniard in the front who has already been shot down has a glow of light around his head which Goya added so that the viewer would be able to see the pool of blood. This gives you a sense of the horrific loss that was occurring. Goya is portraying the Spanish as the victims and giving a one sided view so the French appear to be the immoral side.

            Goya uses individual characteristics and facial features on the Spaniards to make the viewer understand that these were neighbors, friends, and family versus the French military who are almost faceless. Goya uses these visual elements; lines, space, and light to emphasize the misery and torment that the people of Spain endured at the hands of Napoleon and ever conquering French military. This is especially exposed through implied lines from the anonymous rifle barrels, the space between the men that lead to the horizon line conveying hope, and the theatrical source of light that enhances the pool of blood.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


          America prior to 1840 had many social and economic changes especially during the many reform movements. Reform movements were often based on the struggle for social justices such as religion, land, race, labor, and politics. The best way of understanding America prior to 1840 is looking back at the moments when New World leaders advocated liberty, equality, freedom, and justice ideas that modern Americans boast. Some of the most important early reformations were Europeans coming to American, enslaved Africans urging for their freedom, outlawing religious persecution, colonist standing up to the Stamp Act, the America Revolution, women expanding their political activism, and the reformation of the Articles of Confederation.  

          The most important reform movement began with England inhabiting North American which encouraged Europeans to settle in the New World. Many of these European immigrants came to be freed of religious and political persecution. They saw the opportunity to obtain and farm land; so many untapped natural resources in the New World. Two-thirds of English settlers came as indentured servants hoping for a future with freedom. Seeing as the New World was an uncertain place without the migration of many Europeans in search of freedom, America may have never been created. If England hadn’t seen a surplus of population and poverty Englishmen with such high hopes for escaping economic inequalities would have by no means came to the New World in search of liberty through land ownership.

          Early during the colonial period it was important to find people to cultivate the New World in order for the colonies to function and prosper. Indentured servitude was mostly commonly used during the initial colonial period however soon slavery became the easiest way to have constant labor. In the South it was very important for colonies to have slavery because of tobacco industry. Enslaved Africans cost more than indentured slaves but were better prospect as a workforce. Slavery was not popular in England however the colonies would create slave codes that would chain Africans to slavery for many years to come. It was uncommon for colonist to question slavery and enslaved Africans did not identify themselves as a group yet therefore no one stood up against the injustices of slavery for some time. Enslaved Africans began to understand the injustices of slavery the Stono Rebellion in 1739 was the first time they fought for their free will. Quite a few enslaved Africans marched near the Stono River and burned houses, barns and killed white people encountered. Although slavery would not be abolished for much time after, the Stono Rebellion created a dialogue for future debates on if enslaving Africans was civilized.

          Religious persecutions in Europe lead to hopes for more leniencies in the New World. England being a Protestant country was opposed to the idea of other religions especially Catholicism. Maryland’s proprietor was Calvert; he was a Catholic and envisioned Maryland as a place for religious refuge.  He hoped Protestant and Catholics could live in harmony. Catholics were often colony officials and Protestants were the majority of settlers in Maryland. Puritanism was a very anti-catholic movement and was upset that Protestantism in England had rituals that were very similar to Catholicism. Puritans wanted to rule themselves in a Christian manner and felt that the New World was the best place to start. Pennsylvania was created as a British colony by William Penn; he hoped for spiritual freedom and created a group called Quakers. Many of the first colonies were formed by religious groups hoping to have a voice in a New World. Although there was a lot of religious persecution between the colonies especially concerning the Puritans who were very zealous and felt the only way was the Puritan way. Religious diversity began to be a normal way of life in the colonies similar to present day America, for an example there was Baptist, Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Lutherans. Many more migrated once they got word, especially from Scotland and Ireland. Later down the road the Bill of Rights secured religious freedom with the First Amendment.
          The biggest crisis that called for reform was when colonist believed Britain’s were encroaching upon their liberty and attempting to undermine their freedom. Britain believed that new regulations needed to be put in place in order to guarantee the empires continued strength and prosperity; it had lost a lot of its strength during the war. However the colonist did not appreciate the new taxation and regulation on its economy and ignored these attempts. After the Seven Year war Britain had felt a lot of debt and hardship therefore its advisor made a plan to make it more efficient. In order to create a more efficient government they needed to increase the inflow of money this involved raising funds through the colonist. Many of these funds would go to help pay for the debt the war had caused and to help finance the empire that was at a loss. It only seemed reasonable that colonist should help pay Britain’s debt as they were still Britain’s colonies. However colonists were enraged at the new taxation and insisted they weren’t represented in Parliament and therefore could not be taxed by Britain.

 The Stamp Act of 1756 was a departure from normal taxation because it wasn’t on the usual trade but on printed materials that every colonist used. Seeing that the Stamp Act offended a diverse amount of colonist it became the first time colonist as a whole felt that something had to be done to stop outrageous taxation. Several local elites felt that their authority was being challenged through this taxation and their response was to defend their liberty no matter the penalty. Americans did not only debate but became organized in the efforts to resist the taxation. This alarmed Britain because they had never felt such a strong resistance from colonist. The most common and popular word used by critics was “liberty”. All this commotion about liberty influenced many different colonists to rally involve themselves open dialogue about the injustices Britain was enforcing. The colonist soon became what some called to be “liberty mad”. However the colonist stood up for a cause they felt deserved the right to be heard all around, without these bold efforts the hope for a united America may have never came into creation.

          The Declaration of Independence was the United States asserting the right of revolution. It let the people have self-government and consistently ask for their rights to be met. Battling the Revolution was the first intense time the colonies came together and fought for their chance at freedom from Britain. The American Revolution was a combination of struggles that included a national independence and conflict over what kind of country America could be once it won its independence. Many colonists knew the potential they had to be politically independent from Britain.

The Revolution inspired many enslaved Africans that freedom many be very near. Some Americans began to slowly realize the injustices and hypocrisy of slavery. The language of liberty was so strong many slave communities felt a new beginning. Some enslaved Africans petitioned for freedom and others even sued the courts for being “illegally detained in slavery”. This was an example of the constant debate and questions over reforming any injustices colonist had . Many slaves ran away from their owners and became fugitives. They could only think of freedom because of the constant inflow of pamphlets, ideas of petitions, and opinions held on how slavery should be outlawed. 5,000 slaves fought for American Independence and many felt they deserved the freedom they had fought for. Aside from that about 100,000 enslaved Africans ran away in order to fight alongside British soldiers in hopes of gaining freedom after the war was over. 

          Women often searched for a reformation of their rights. Women felt the hope of independence from British and women such as Deborah Sampson daughter of Massachusetts colonist enlisted as a disguised man in the Continental army at age 21 as an attempt to fight for her countries freedom. Women contributed to the revolution in many different ways in order to make the movement happen. Many women helped pass information about British movement during the war. Women supported the war and army by holding fundraiser, this really was some of the first time women were showing public and political activism. Women such as Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren had opinions on politics and would at times express this through poetry. However being a woman still limited your freedom. Although some women had more courage to stand up and to be heard did not change women’s rights even winning the independence didn’t alter the law inherited from Britain.  Women that did decide to be a part of the revolutionary movement were very helpful in creating a future for improving women’s status and making them equal to men.

          The need to improve the Articles of Confederation created a need for every American leader to re-evaluate the ultimate question of sovereignty. The heated debates involved the question of who should have the ultimate power in state versus the new government. Some of the issues that came to light were in consequence of the Revolution, many of the financial obligations the states had made to the men who contributed through their farms and fighting in the war had not been fulfilled. One of the biggest issues that drew attention was Daniel Shays’s rebellion that occurred in western Massachusetts. Men that hadn’t been paid by the states and men that had incurred debt from contributing there provisions   had been fed up because courts were in the process of seizing there land for the failure to keep up with payments.  They were outraged at the injustices and decided that they must close the courts so they could not rule against their rights. They acted similar to the way men had acted during the Revolution; this included creating liberty poles and getting crowds to speak against the statesmen. In the end they got no sympathy for the injustices and over 1000 were arrested for this “anarchy”. There was no national government to stop the States from infringing on the rights on the local mass.

Many became aware of the danger that States may present to individual rights if there was no over encompassing protection for their rights. Public liberty was not being heard and the leaders during the Revolution understood that something had to be done to solve any future upsets that could destroy the independence they had fought for. The Congress had a lot of influence because of what it had contributed during the Revolution and was the only group that could bring the State leaders together to reform the Articles of Confederation. Since North and South were so radically different and States as a whole did not want to give up any of their powers it months debating all of the issues that needed to be handled in order to create a strong government. Different groups formed such as the Federalist, Anti-Federalist, and Nationalist, they all had different opinions of how the country should be run. In the end the South got to keep slavery and the United States became a federalist country and national authority was strengthened. The Constitution was the final document which only contained 4,000 words and gave a brief outline of the new structure the country would utilize. The Bill of Rights was created in favor of the Anti-Federalist who felt that recognition of rights should be laid out. Had the conflict of State powers never came to light the Constitution may have taken many more years to be created and the Founding Fathers may not have been the men who laid out the Constitution which we base our government and country on in present time.

The endless debate of reform during the colonial and creation of America created the present day United States. National identity was achieved by the people through conflict and dreams of freedom and liberty. In understanding the men and women who questioned and fought against the injustices is truly the only way of understanding how it felt to be an American prior to 1840. The New World was a frightening idea and being able to convert that to the country that stands here today was fascinating. Realizing that this was not an easy battle but one that took every man and women attempting to understand and form in their minds the rights and justice that they deserved was evolution at its best. Never before has such a great nation been created with such rational thought. Although slavery had yet to be abolished many recognized the inhumanity of the situation and saw that with more reform in the public mind that it could be abolished. The greatest thing America has achieved is understanding that without constant debate and reform no body of people can continue to evolve or achieve greater heights.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sophie Calle

Les Dormeurs [The Sleepers, 1979]

Douleur Exquise (Exquisite Pain, 1984–2003)

Lift your self out of the humdrum of modern life and sink into despair, there you will find the most `Exquisite Pain'.
Prenez Soin de Vous (Take Care of Yourself, 2007)
Suite Vénitienne [Please Follow Me, 1983]
"I had no friends; I didn't know what to do with my life, so I started to follow people. Establishing rules and following them is restful. If you follow someone, you don't have to wonder where you're going to eat. They take you to their restaurant. The choice is made for you."
L’Homme au Carnet  (The Address Book, 1983)

L’Hôtel [The Hotel, 1983]

Les Aveugles [The Blind, 1986]

Pas Pu Saisir la Mort [Couldn’t Catch Death, 2007]

Thursday, June 17, 2010


when i saw this i realized it was pretty amazing,

hes amazing, jeff meades, isnt it funny that they paint simmilar styles and both have last names

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010


Blake Livelys dog & a black chug

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Heart-less Zine

A few pages from a zine I made

Past few days

Me as a 5 year old

Boyfriend, Kyle

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Moms recommendation

First sketch book, from the begining

girl in pieces

funny memories


they are (no joke):

  1. black lace
  2. the real housewives of new jersey
  3. baja blast
  4. ibproufin
  5. celebrity gossip
  6. dirty necklaces
  7. flavored cigars

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What went wrong?

we are still wrestling with the problems of poverty, hunger, unemployment, healthcare, drugs, population, racial conflicts, political uncertainty, economic inflation, recession, energy, water, and global warming.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


its seems like i have been pointed in a definite direction by life today...
i have always had amazing data at my finger tips and have only done it no justice.
i am disappointed in myself for not allowing myself to reach my potential.
i am letting myself think i am too weak to take the steps.
i know, trust me i know i am capable of achieving all my goals.
i was so close to being where i wanted to be but i let something overcome me, myself.
this has been one of the most difficult things i have ever had to confront.

today i was reading sigmund freuds "the unconscious and civilization and its discontents" not because i chose to because trust me before reading this i would tell you i am no fan of psychoanalysis.
however after reading a part of it i can say that i can agree with some of his ideas that are virtually also some of the ideas that dianetics must have been founded on.
he writes about the unconscious, and contrasting it from being conscious which i have always understood as the reactive versus the analytical.
how in hypnosis a man can be put into a unconscious state and told that when he wakes up and the hypnotist touches his tie he will feel hot and take off his jacket.
this can be similar to when a person had an unconscious incident in their lives and a fit took place near them it is being recorded...than later in life when they feel like they are in a similar situation suddenly they do the dramatic reproduction of throwing the fit they once heard in while they were unconscious.
they could be unconscious for many different reasons, because they got hit by a baseball or because they chose to be.
they drank alcohol or smoke weed.
someone doesn’t have to be completely out of it to be considered unconscious.
every time you choose to drink and black out or don’t totally know whats going on is a honestly a risk. it’s a time where something that is occurring around you could be recorded and you could play it out later like an actor when something similar to the incident takes place.
your body is comprised of cells and cells record. everything that happens to you is recorded by your body whether you want it to or not.
this is a reason why weed cannot be legalized because not only is it an opportunity for the government to have tighter grip on the "high" society but also and a risk that you will regret later when you do something "that just isn’t you" because ITS NOT.
its not you it is someone else or something else that you are playing out. and i am not only talking about dramatic fits but also about things that stop you from being happy such as committing to someone you love because you are playing something your parents said to you when you were unconscious or something you heard when you were in an ambulance. this can be affecting you everyday and i am someone that knows that these commands can overcome you at the worst moments, and hold you back from true happiness. i am not saying blame your unconscious reactive mind for all your shortcomings because ultimately you can choose to lets this control you.
you have the ability to snap out of that place and say "wow that is NOT who i am" i am not the person that has a crying fit or gets nervous in front of crowds, and suddenly your not.
just be aware that as long as you allow more of these commands to be entered into your mind the more and more you will lose control and inevitably lose yourself.
don’t do drugs as a way to escape, live your life through everything (good/bad) and you will be a stronger happier more accomplished human being who can find the beauty in life rather than numb themselves which will ultimately result in an unhappy and depressed condition.

***things that helped me realize why this information can only help me and make me stronger are the shows dollhouse and house md which i watched on netflicks and hulu.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Current Project

this is all my art

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Revolution by Edwin

Bought a purse like this from Revolution of Edwin. Except its alot smaller since the big purse things isnt working for me.
The website for this designer is so terrible.
The purse on the right is amazing. Most beautiful purse I have every seen.