Public Art: Brandon Lee

For my public art, I visited two locations: The Art Institute of Chicago and the bridge right outside of the Arts & Exhibition Hall. My purpose for this experiment was to see which types of art people preferred more over the others. For this experiment, I compiled a set of five images that each represented a specific style of art. The artwork I selected were:

  1. Apollo Belvedere (ancient Greek/Roman sculpture)
  2. Modern sculpture by Bathsheba Grossman (stainless steel sculptures)
  3. The Annunciation (Italian Renaissance painting) by Leonardo Da Vinci
  4. Generic graphic
  5. The Tetons and the Snake River (B&W photograph) by Ansel Adams

I started my experiment at the Art Institute. I tried to avoid selecting people based on the galleries they were in and chose people who were focused either in between galleries or in other areas of the museum (lobby, gardens, etc). Some of the people I approached included: a middle aged woman, an older man, and a girl in her late teens. I received different answers from the three of them after asking them which of the artwork appealed to them most. The middle aged woman, whom I approached in the garden area outside of the museum told me she preferred the Renaissance painting. She told me that she very much enjoys paintings in general and she really like the religious imagery of the Renaissance period and their attention to certain details. The elderly man that I surveyed said that he preferred photography and chose the piece by Ansel Adams. He told me that he used to be an avid photographer, though did not specify if he focused on black and white photography or digital. Finally, when surveying the teenage girl, she at first could not decide between the graphic design or the modern sculpture but eventually decided on the graphic design. When asked why she chose that over the modern sculpture, she told me that although she likes modern art in general, she is interested in graphic design. She said she is currently studying graphic design as her major which led her to her choice.

The second location I went to was the bridge that connects the UIC campus with the Arts & Exhibition Hall building. I decided to conduct my survey here because many of the students who frequent this area are artists themselves. Although this was original idea, the students I ended up surveying, were not art majors at all. The first student I asked was a Junior named Kimane. He told me that he preferred the modern sculpture and insisted that he like artwork that wasn’t easily identifiable which was his reason for his choice. Essentially what he meant by this was; he liked art that was open to interpretation and could have several meanings, depending on its viewer. Kimane was accompanied by his friend, Hess, who I also surveyed. Hess agreed and chose the same artwork and told me his reasoning was similar to Kimane’s. The last person I asked was a student named Rohi. Rohi selected the modern sculpture as well,  but her reasoning was different from that of Kimane’s or Hess’s. Rohi told me that she felt the other artworks were catered more towards certain groups of people, but did not specify who in particular. She said that the contemporary artwork is something that is open to interpretation to everyone and isn’t catered for just certain people. I assumed that she was referring to the Renaissance painting, which is a Catholic piece. Because of this, she said she would have considered the black and white photograph.


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