Miss Amber May

Digital Approaches to Fine Art

The insanity of Jeff Baij and the surrealism of Man Ray

August 28th, 2013

 

I didn’t think dirty dishes could be art…but apparently to Jeff Baij they are masterpieces. Most of the artist’s website is composed of images of randomness that appear to have no meaning (and frankly, I don’t believe there is any meaning to them.) On his bio page, he’s collected negative testimonials from his visitors, most of them saying how horrible his art and his visions are. Aside from dishes, Baij’s art consists of GIFs, videos, photomashups, Pokemon, graphic photo captions, and even scanned drawings.

I personally think Jeff Baij’s art is tasteless, insubstantial, and completely meaningless…yet I cant stop looking at his archive! Despite the vagueness of his work, I enjoy it BECAUSE it’s totally random! Since I am a loyal Tumblr user, I’m pretty used to scrolling past weird images and videos containing pointless information , so Baij’s work sort of reminds me of the things I see everyday in the strange world of the internet. If there is any meaning to his pieces, I’m guessing he’s trying to demonstrate how art is subjective and it is in the eye of the beholder. I’m led to believe this because of the way he displays his audience’s words of disapproval. Actually, Baij reminds me alot of Marcel Duchamp whom also poked fun at the idea that art is subjective. “BEHOLD! A urinal! A true masterpiece.”

Jeff Baij Website: http://www.jeffbaij.com/

 

And now let’s do a quick 180 to talk about Man Ray…

 

NO! Not “Manray” from Spongebob, Man Ray the surrealist photographer! According to his archive site, he was one of  “the most versatile and inventive artists of this century.” While he was alive, Ray created photographs, paintings, drawings, and objects sometimes for movie props. Despite his many talents, he was widely recognized for his fashion and portrait photography. He was also known for his photograms, which were photos created without the use of a camera.

I found this man to be not as strange as Baij, but strange enough that I could see why he was a surrealist. Also unlike Baij, it is much more clear in Ray’s pieces what the main message is; making his works appear more like the traditional art we’re familiar with. I like how he thought outside the box when it came to art, but not so freakishly out of the box that it’d look like it was created by someone fresh out of a mental asylum. (sorry Baij!)

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