Van Gogh

Van GoghVan Gogh took a lot of bold moves as an artist in the post-impressionist period. He used bold colors and rough textures that brought a whole new element to his pieces. I think it’s so interesting that this man dealt with anxiety and personal struggles, and you can see that translate into his works. ‘Starry Night’ contains aspects of darkness and roughness of a fallen world, beauty and vibrance in the sky.

However, while many people focus on Van Gogh’s struggles, he truly created beauty out of his own hardships. Van Gogh was quoted, “I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed.” He didn’t let his trials hold him back and His optimism and and brightness show through in both his life and his paintings. He is an amazing example and he shows us that out of the difficulty of our lives, we can make of ourselves a masterpiece.

Confucius

ConfuciusConfucius is a really cool guy. His moral teachings shaped the way that the Chinese think, even today with respect for their ancestors and parent-child relationships. Confucius believed that if they remembered the high moral standards of their ancient rulers, that they would be more highly motivated to be better people , which would in turn influence society to flourish. This also created incentive to become educated about their history.

He also taught the idea of the Junzi, or the superior man. The Junzi was the idea of the ultimate way of living and was a model for every citizen to live by. It’s interesting that both Confucius and Nietzsche created these ideas of super men, however both were based off of opposing ideas. The Junzi was of the upmost morale, while the Ubermensch was amoral. That really was just a cool thought that I wanted to throw in to show off how intelligent I am becoming. I hope you’re learning too!

I think today’s conclusion is, why is it important to understand history? Why did Confucius yearn for the Chinese people to know about their past and how does it affect who they are today? How does it affect us as we learn, and who will we become?

Duchamp

Duchamp

This is what I’ve learned about modern art: it gets a bad rap and, is more often than not, misunderstood. I used to scoff at the idea of a black square claiming to be art, but I’ve really come to love modern art, especially dada! Duchamp was one of the most innovative artists of the dada movement. He created the idea of found art, taking everyday objects and putting them in a different or odd position with the intention of changing the perspective of the viewer.

What I find most touching and emotionally impactful is the inspiration for modern art. After the drastic changes of the industrial revolution and the terror of WW I, the people were scarred and broken. They had previously seen war as glorious and honorable, but were left feeling betrayed by the false propaganda of their fathers and grandfathers. The world didn’t seem to make sense anymore.

It was this sweeping sadness and confusion that led to the creation of modern art. Artists reacted against all they knew, realizing that maybe what they thought to be truth, wasn’t really truth at all. While their reaction may be radical, I’ve found a soft spot for those people who felt so lost and I think those feelings resonate with people in the tumultuous world we live. That makes me wonder, how have we and how will we respond through our art today and in the future?

Chopin

Chopin

Chopin was one of the great virtuoso pianists. Virtuoso pianists of the Romantic era buried themselves in transforming the art of piano from that of entertainment  for the common man to extreme technicality that only the profoundly learned could play. Chopin innovated several genres including the nocturne, the waltz and he invented the instrumental ballade.

As a true Romantic he uses inspiration from nature turning the notes into imagery of raindrops and quiet evening scenes. The way he plays the notes is so careful and soft and then accompanied with strong and decisive notes. It’s pretty incredible that people literally dedicate their lives to what they love or feel is important and truly become an influence and impact in the world.

Newton

Newton

Gravitational force, net force and all those other forces…I’m so glad other people can conceive and understand those things and benefit our world.

Scholl

SophieScholl

This week is turning into people that I’m kind of obsessed with, but these people are so amazing! I can’t even tell you how much I love Sophie Scholl! So much for presenting unbiased opinions.

Sophie Scholl was a student at the University of Munich during World War II. She was involved in a group of student activists against Nazism called the White Rose non-violent resistance group. They worked secretly, writing pamphlets and papers that they distributed around campus. The small group was imprisoned for treason and then quickly executed.

I admire Sophie so much for her bravery, and I wish I was more like her. She was steadfast in her cause and completely loyal to her morals. Can you imagine being so invested and sure and courageous enough to have these be your last words: “How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause. Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action”?

Wilberforce

Wilberforce

William Wilberforce was a political activist and is most famous for his abolitionist efforts. He was elected Member of Parliament by the age of 21 and continued in politics for over 40 years. What is most impressive about him is his passion to change the world and to benefit all humanity, including those who were not seen as humans by society. He worked for years with incredible opposition to end slave trade. He sacrificed his whole life and also his health to the cause of freedom and safety for the people he served.

His example and work makes me wonder, do we as society work to benefit others, especially in our personal professions? Are we aware of the serious problems in the world and are we concerned enough to be moved to action? If one person with enough support can accomplish so much, what can we accomplish now, especially with our resources?

 

 

King Jr.

King Jr.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal’…I have a dream today.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.