Art Portfolio Website

Coral Silverman art portfolio website

I finally redesigned my art website! Like the cliche of the fashion designer who wears jeans and t-shirts, or the chef who eats fast food on their day off, my own art portfolio website had not been showing off my web design/development skills.

My art portfolio website was actually the very first website I designed. My friend built it quite a number of years ago using Dreamweaver as I looked over her shoulder. Luckily for me, I guess, she was too successful and busy to update it when I needed her to add new work or announce an upcoming exhibition. I was forced to learn to do it myself.

Over the years, as happens with websites, it became largely outdated. I still liked the way it looked, but I needed to update its layout to use current code standards and make it responsive. I created a custom WordPress theme that would move and resize to fit all tablets and phones as well as all sizes of monitors.

WordPress and other content management systems are a great solution for artists (and anyone really) who need to be able to update their sites on their own. You don’t need special programs, or to wallow knee deep in code. All you have to do is log in to your site on any browser to upload new photos, add/change text, write blog posts, etc. Once you’ve had the site layout and style coded by a developer, then adding your own content is not all that hard to learn how to do.

Are you an artist, photographer, or designer who needs a new or updated portfolio site? Black Chevron Design offers discounts to creatives, and will include up to two hours of tutoring on how to update your site on your own, in person in NYC or via Skype.

Code Art

It is hard for me to know what is art nowadays. I used to generally enjoy going to see art in galleries, but now I usually leave them feeling perplexed, underwhelmed, and/or annoyed. Who is this art speaking to, I wonder? Who is finding it beautiful, meaningful, and moving? (Or at least one of those things.) Generally, I like to think about art the way I think about people. One doesn’t usually click with everyone they meet and decide they want to be lifelong friends with them. So too, I figure I am not meant to like every piece of art I come across. But for some time now, I have been having trouble finding art I would even want to be remotely acquainted with.

One popular art trend is abstract geometric work, specifically paintings. This is one genre or style of art that I can often like and find quite beautiful. My problem with it’s current popularity is its ubiquity in the face of so much turmoil here and abroad. As the world becomes increasingly rife with society-altering problems, rich people, unsurprisingly, just want to decorate their homes with pretty, colorfully blank pictures. But why is this what artists are churning out? It seems to me that artists have a duty to, at the very least, reflect the age they are living in, or as Baudelaire put it “become painters of modern life.” Instead so many of them are complicit in rich people’s denial of the extreme woes of basically the entire planet. They are, instead of épater la bourgeoisie, (maybe because the middle class doesn’t exist anymore), playing Josef Albers to the 1%.

Maybe you think artists aren’t supposed to care about such trivial things as climate change, corporate tax evasion, or working conditions in Bangladesh. Maybe you think art is supposed to be timeless and about heady themes like beauty and the sublime. Well I believe there is room for that kind of art, too. But my problem with so much of this abstract work and the artists that create it, is the air of seriousness that surrounds it. Why can’t they just admit they are just making pretty pictures? Why do they have to act like they are doing something important, when really it has all been done before anyway? When did it become subversive to create decoration for rich people’s walls?

But recently I have found a source for abstract art that is thoroughly modern and refreshingly unserious at the same time. But to view these works as art, you have decide that images are made into art not through intention, but through the simple act of creation. This runs counter to most art thinking, wherein art is all about intention, and the creation can be quite secondary, or even just about non-existent. In art school, artists are taught they can conceptualize anything. Anything can be an art project, even the creation of a child, as the show Portlandia recently so brilliantly satirized.

These “artworks”, as I see them, are some of the projects on the web development site Codepen. Codepen describes itself as a playground for the front end side of the web. Basically web developers can use the site to build code in a combination of HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Projects can be saved, shared with other users, and scrolled through, making it kind of like a Pinterest for web geeks.

Using the combination of these three languages, authors can create pure code images, shadows, gradients, and even animation that are then viewable by anyone with a web browser. The most interesting ones to me, are, just like most abstract painting, purely formal experiments meant to push and play with the boundaries of their medium or of our own perception. But unlike most artists, the authors of these work mostly consider them play- silly, fun experiments, not important artistic works. And, as everything is open source, these works have a much more modern, and honest authorship. People give credit to people whose work they are building off of. Everything, like the rest of the web, becomes a shared, collaborative effort. Really, this is also much like the modern art world, except that the art world tries to pretend that artist assistants do not exist in order maintain an artist’s mystique.

Below are some screenshots taken from Codepen:

Pen by MombasaMombasa

Pen by Dan GriesDan Gries

Pen by Kristian DalgårdKristian Dalgård

Pen by Robert LemonRobert Lemon

You can see these works in motion, as well as my entire curated selection of “pens” on Codepen.

Lapse from the East

Check out this time lapse video below by our own Vitor Teixeira composed of thousands of still photographs of lower Manhattan taken over the course of two years. He has captured some amazing images including soon-to-be historical footage of the World Trade Center Freedom Tower going up. Original music by Roger Vianna.

Anne Ten Donkelaar

These “Flower Constructions” by Dutch artist Anne Ten Donkelaar are sublimely beautiful. She makes these amazingly intricate 3d collages from cut-out flower pictures, and seamlessly integrates the real with the replicated. If you look closely, you will find real butterfly wings, plant roots, and pressed flowers hidden amongst their simulacra.  It is clearly apparent from these works that that the artist has a unique tenderness towards and appreciation of the beauty of nature.Anne Ten Donkelaar Flower Constructions Anne Ten Donkelaar Flower Constructions Anne Ten Donkelaar Flower Constructions Anne Ten Donkelaar Flower ConstructionsAnne Ten Donkelaar Flower Constructions
See more on her website.

Hello!

Thanks for visiting Black Chevron Design.  We are excited to be launching our new company dedicated to helping creatives (like us), small and medium sized businesses, and organizations achieve a fantastic web presence.

We will be using this blog to post about new projects, inspiration, design freebies, and whatever else we feel like.  Please follow us on Twitter @BlackChevron, Facebook, or G+ to keep posted.

Oh, and please have a look around our new website to learn more about us.