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Strategies for Survival
woman artist, cartoon-like, graphic, underground publication, text, comic-book style, politically astute,art star, cartoon, confrontational artwork, Andy Warhol, satirical, abstracted, simplified, blacck and white, social and political issues, immigrant, tongue-in-cheek, feminist, contrast, ink drawing, stereotypical, exclusion of women from the art world, symmetry,requirements to be an artist,'tongue-in-cheek', commentary on women artists
description

Carel Moiseiwitsch has taken her inspiration and layout for Strategies For Survival from  contemporaryCurrent, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time, but can refer to being current with any specified time. (Artlex.com)  popular women’s magazines. But Moiseiwitsch satirically presents a different slant on the conventional media to seriously draw attention to the plight of many women artists.

Unlike the covers of many women’s magazines, adorned with slick highly manufactured coloured photographs of a glamorous women in submissive poses, Moiseiwitsch presents the opposite. Her cartoon-like, black-and-white  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  makes no attempt to portray traditional beauty. In her drawing, the woman’s features are distorted and her body language and expression are confrontational. The nonconformist apparel, hair fashion and adornments are in keeping with a stereotypical image of a  contemporaryCurrent, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time, but can refer to being current with any specified time. (Artlex.com)  woman artist.

Magazine titles like Glamour or Vogue are carefully chosen and fonts are carefully designed, all in order to entice the buyer to learn strategies to obtain beauty, popularity or success. But, Moiseiwitsch’s fictitious magazine title, Strategies For Survival gets right to the point, lacking the traditional glitz found in glamour magazines with it‘s handwritten font. This is a magazine any woman artist could reference to learn strategies for survival, popularity and success and in this work, Moiseiwitsch voices some frustrations of being an artist and draws attention to important issues in an artist‘s life.

What becomes clear as the reader scrolls down the topics to be highlighted in this issue of the magazine is that the ‘strategies for survival’ are related to being a woman artist in a very competitive and often male dominated art world. Essays of interest related to this topic are satirically titled ‘Artists Share Their Wild Wild Fantasies About Success’, ‘RIPOFF: A Revealing Story About Galleries’, and ‘European  TopiaryThe sculpting of live shrubs or trees into decorative shapes. (Artlex.com)  and Other Things You Should Know About Getting a Canada Council Grant.’ Moiseiwitsch also alludes to the fact that many artists, and especially women artists, live on the poverty line in her title ‘Welfare Do’s And Don’ts.’

Moiseiwitsch presents her anger in a humourous way by including, ‘Art Affair, Will She Leave Art Or Will Art Leave Her (A Strip)’ and ‘Can He Cook?  Women Artists talk About Success and Men.’  Her wrath continues as she cleverly references two successful  contemporaryCurrent, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time, but can refer to being current with any specified time. (Artlex.com)  male artists without libelously identifying them when she titles her headlines, ‘Excerpts from Art-star’ Andy Whatnot’s New Blockbuster Novel‘ (referencing Andy Warhol) and ‘How To Make Cute Landscapes and Become A Millionaire’ (referencing Toni Onley, who is presented on the ARTSask website in the theme Earth Science and Art).

Finally, she even might be questioning her chosen career as she  titles one of the articles in her magazine ‘Should You Be An Artist? (A Quiz).’

 

additional resources Things to Think About
  • Does Moiseiwitsch present a stereotypical idea of what an artist is in this artwork? How would you describe the artist profile she presents on her cover? Do you think she was angry, in general, about some of the politics and realities of being an artist? Traditionally, the history of art has widely and systemically excluded women. Do you think it is easier today, than in the past, to be a woman artist? What do you think you need to do to be successful as an artist?
  • Why would Moiseiwitsch write "Rip Off - A revealing story about Galleries"? Research or visit a number of galleries to learn about commercial, artist-run and public galleries and how they operate.
  • Research the life and work of Andy Warhol. Why might Moiseiwitsch have been referring to Warhol or someone like him in her blurb about the "Art-Star”? How does Warhol fit the profile of an art-star?  You can start by visiting:
Studio Activity

Moiseiwitsch’s medium

In Strategies for Survival, Carel Moiseiwitsch appears to have written text with a  watercolourAny paint that uses water as a solvent. Paintings done with this medium are known as watercolours. What carries the pigment in watercolour (called its medium, vehicle, or base) is gum arabic. An exception to this rule is water miscible oil paints, which employ water as their solvent, but are actually oil paints. Colours are usually applied and spread with brushes, but other tools can also used. The most common techniques for applying watercolour are called wet-on-dry and wet-on-wet, along with the dry brush techniques dry-on-dry and dry-on-wet. Colours can be removed while still wet, to various degrees by blotting. Most watercolour painting is done on paper, but other absorbent grounds can also be employed. The papers most favored by those who paint with watercolour is white, very thick, with high rag content, and has some tooth. (Artlex.com)  or  inkLiquid or paste media containing pigment(s) and used for writing, pen and brush drawing, and printing. Writing inks, even blacks, are rarely sufficiently permanent to be used for art purposes. Black drawing ink, known as India ink in the United States, is especially made for use in permanent works. When it dries it is water resistant, enabling it to be gone over with a wash or watercolour. Also available is a water-soluble drawing ink; though otherwise permanent, it is capable of being washed away with water, and may be preferred to water-resistant ink for certain work. Chinese ink is similar to India ink, although various minor ingredients are added to enhance its brilliancy, range of tone, and working qualities. Most colored drawing inks are not permanent; those made with permanent pigments are usually labeled with names of pigment ingredients rather than the names of hues. Printing ink is actually more closely related to paints than to the pen and brush inks. (Artlex.com)  resist medium. She then let it dry and painted over her text. When the  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)   mediumAny material and technique used to produce a work of art (paint, glass, clay, fibre, video, sound, etc.). It may also refer to the liquid with which powdered pigments are mixed to make paint. Note that the plural form of “medium” is “media.”  dried, she would scrub away the resist  mediaAny material and technique used to produce a work of art (paint, glass, clay, fibre, video, sound, etc.). It may also refer to the liquid with which powdered pigments are mixed to make paint. Note that the plural form of “medium” is “media.”  with an eraser and her white text remained.

Learn more about this  techniqueAny method of working with art materials to produce an art object. Often implied is the sense that techniques are carefully studied, exacting, or traditional, but this is not necessarily the case. Examples include basketry, blotting, carving, constructing, découpage, embossing, encaustic, exquisite corpse, firing, folding, hatching, kerning, laminating, marbling, modeling, necking. (artlex.com)   and use it to block out white areas in a  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  or  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  of your own.

Take a risk

In a new  seriesA number of things or events standing or succeeding in order, and connected by a like relation; sequence; order; course; a succession of things; as, a continuous series of calamitous events. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  of work, Moiseiwitsch decided to challenge herself by working in a style, called  abstractImagery which departs from representational accuracy, to a variable range of possible degrees. Abstract artists select and then exaggerate or simplify the forms suggested by the world around them.  (Artlex.com)  expressionism.

  • How will you sustain your involvement? 
  • How can you encourage yourself?
  • Who can help you? 
  • When you have finished your exploration, ask yourself, “What did I learn in the process?”

Monoprinting

Explore  symmetryFormal balance where two sides of a design are identical.  and  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  mixing by making a monoprint.

Comic books

  • Use irony in your image development.
References

Moiseiwitsch, Carel.  ‘This Is a True Story.’  Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, Vol.13, No.1, Spring 2005.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning