Completing the final draft was a very satisfying and rewarding experience. In some parts of the paper I found myself having the same issues i had with the first draft where I just had so many ideas and separate pieces of information and had no clue how to piece them together. So many times I had to pull myself away from my laptop and then revisit the paper with fresh eyes. The most rewarding parts where definitely being in the “zone” of writing and then reading back and seeing how I was able to synthesize all the ideas that I could previously not connect. I chose a topic that I was really interested about, and through research and synthesis of my sources it became a topic that I truly love.
The peer review and group activities were a great opportunity to talk with my classmates about the different struggles and keys to success that we were having with our papers. It wasn’t really that productive in terms of specific peer review of each of our papers but it was a great conservation that got new ideas and point of views going that would be great additions to the paper. Some of the members of the group were still struggling on to focus their paper on so group discussions helped then have more ideas on what to focus on so it proved helpful for them. In my own paper I was able to learn new ideas to research on and incorporate in my research as well determine what would be good areas of focus within my paper.
Writing the first draft of the research paper was a lot harder than I thought it would. By that point I had done a considerable amount of preliminary research so I realized I had so many different pieces of information and ideas to synthesis in my mind and I couldn’t find a coherent way to put them together. So most of the time writing the draft was spent writing a series of sentences them realizing none of them made sense then erasing them and starting over. Then I remember what my writing 5 professor last term had told me, just write all that’s in your mind and worry about the rest later. So I did that and wrote all the ideas I had then went to sleep and looked at it again with a fresh mind. The next morning I was able to organize the ideas I want to include in the research paper in the form of a pretty detail outline to guide me and make sure I don’t go off topic.
I found the process of finding sources pretty fun. Since I was initially very clear on the subject matter of my research I would just search in the library catalog for the individual pieces of my argument like information on the politics of the time, and of the mural itself. Essentially the crude information I could develop an argument around. Once I located all the books I needed, I grabbed a friend and we went looking through the stack of Baker as well as in the Sherman Art library. I thought it was really cool to see different parts of the library that I had never seen before.
Deciding on a research topic was fortunately not complicated process for me. One class we had a discussion about the question of public art and the politics that encircle it and i thought it extremely fascinating. I also whenever analyzing poetry or art I always believe that the historical events of the time and the ideologies of the artist play a huge role in the themes and ideas in the work. So I came up with a topic that was able to combine all three aspects that I find interesting; politics, history, and the artist’s background information. The next step was finding a piece that I would be able to discuss these topic with, and I landed on Man at the Crossroads by Diego Rivera. So my research topic is about the politics of art, in terms of subject matter, which is very dependent on the ruling ideologies and history of the time, and the politics of the commissioner that allow or don’t allow for that art to be displayed.
The course Mural Art in México & U.S, in its foundation explores the muralist movement in México and the United States, focusing on “Los Tres Grandes” which are Orozco, Rivera, and Siquieros. Not only are the works of “Los Tres Grandes” examined and analyzed, but also the implications of their works in relation to the time and place they were created. This course also looks into the progression and effects of modern public art by examining artist like Banksy. Most important we discuss universal questions like what it art and what its purpose is.
My final research paper investigates the politics of art. Essentially, what are the influential politics that influence the subject matter of the art itself as well as the politics, motives, and role of the commissioner of art in what gets to become public art. In light of this topic I will be drawing support and examples from Diego Rivera’s 1932 commission of “Man at the Crossroads” at Rockefeller Center as well as the reproduction at the Palacio De Bellas Artes in México City.