Overrated & Underrated Artists 5

Why are some artists overrated, while others are underrated? This video provides 3 examples of overrated and 3 examples of underrated artists. We explain the specific reasons why these artists receive more, or less attention over time. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Alex Rowe & Cat Huang.

Video Walkthrough

  • Why is Hyman Bloom not well known compared to other expressionist artists from that time period like Willem de Kooning?
  • Hyman Bloom demonstrated excellent draftsmanship in his drawings but also could create a visceral experience with paint.
  • Historical context is a large factor in whether an artist is well known or not.
  • Hyman Bloom’s paintings challenge the viewer, and therefore are tougher to market to a large audience.
  • Peter Max’s images are often better well known than his name.
  • Peter Max was similar to Thomas Kinkaid in that his work was shown in malls and had broad visibility.
  • Peter Max likely paved the way for other artists like Takashi Murakami.
  • Robert McGinnis was an illustrator primarily known for his poster of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
  • Robert McGinnis’ artworks show the male gaze, frequently painting thin women in provocative poses.
  • Perhaps we can’t blame an illustrator for the work because it’s done in the context of publications, magazines and set by the art director.
  • Sometimes our rationale for liking an artist or artwork is the associations we have with seeing the artwork.
  • Nostalgia can play a part in how we think about an artist.
  • Lisa Frank’s designs are so over the top that you have to respect how much she pushed the boundaries.
  • Lisa Frank was incredibly savvy about marketing.
  • A question that pops up in a search for Lisa Frank is “Is Lisa Frank a real person?” (yes, she is)
  • Special effects artists like Alec Gillis often do not get any recognition, they are behind the scenes and in the movie credits.
  • Alex Gillis worked during a time when there was no CG to create movie effects.
  • Special effects artists had to be super innovative with their materials and techniques.
  • Sally Mann‘s photographs of her children were featured in her Immediate Family project.
  • Sally Mann’s photographs of her young children have been controversial for objectifying children.

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