Congratulations on receiving an Art History Honorable Mention/ Fall 2023 and best wishes ongoing to:
Bautista Guerrero a Sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in Art History and Economics
“I am currently studying economics and art history. I am interested in the intersection between these two fields which comprise an extremely lucrative and influential part of our society and how they directly influence each other. In my studies I have focused on the notion of art as commodity as well as why we, as a society, place such great economic and social value to something purely aesthetic and visual in nature.
I am an intellectually curious leader who thrives on high performing teams. As the strategic development analyst for the Daily Californian, I meet with potential donors and alumni to ensure the financial longevity of the publication through diverse funding methods. Further, I put my skills into practice this past summer at the Meridian International Center, where I served as the FedEx Corporate Diplomacy Fellow and assisted the firm in acquiring millions in dollars of funds from various Fortune 100 and 500 companies. Further, in my time at Meridian I worked closely alongside the Center for Cultural Diplomacy to curate art exhibitions that utilized art as a means of cultural diplomacy. The exhibitions I worked on focused primarily on diplomatic initiatives as well representing typically underrepresented genres of art from all over the world.”
Honorable Mention Scholarship Essay / Bautista Guerrero:
Compare and contrast the 2 paintings shown below:
Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s painting “Composition in Black and Gold” and Frederic Whitaker’s “Curious Cloud” offer contrasting perspectives on nature and composition through the lens of watercolor. As a husband and wife duo, the two paintings are representative of the two artists’ stylistic perspectives about two rather similar subjects. The works move to show how the artists’ choice of medium, composition, and subject-matter can all serve to provide radically different interpretations about landscape and nature.
As the name suggests, Eileen’s “Composition in Black and Gold” is a composition of Black and Gold. The painting, which depicts a family of crows nestled in a thicket of brush, is not solely about the overt subject matter of wildlife. Rather, it is evident that, as the title suggests, this is a “Composition in Black and Gold”. The striking black of the birds is so palpable against the soft background of the gold colored brush of which they rest within. The birds and brush are simply a vehicle for the beauty of the water-colors used in this work. The painting is characteristic of Eileen’s stylistic approach that blends together the water-colors so effortlessly to create a seamless ocean of beauty within the work.
Meanwhile, when examining Frederic’s “Curious Cloud” it is evident here that the title focuses on the subject matter that uses the medium as a vehicle for the image. In this work, Frederic focuses on the mobility and fluidity that watercolors provide to create an image that appears as if it is moving. The dark gray contrasted amongst the light pinks and yellows create a dramatic juxtaposition that allows the viewer to focus on extracting the fluid nature of the cloud form the rest of the sky. Just as he is able to interpret movement through his use of watercolor, Frederic is equally as capable at using the medium to describe fluid motion as he is to describe simple country scapes. The way in Which Frederic utilizes the medium differs from his wife, but both styles are equally as able to communicate the beauty of nature through watercolor.
It would be remiss to not discuss the ways in which being husband and wife influenced the artistic styles of the Whitaker’s. For many years the notion of husband and wife artists resulted in misogynistic interpretations of the women’s work being put in comparison to the context of her husbands. For Lee Krasner, this was her “rigidity” and “discipline” that contrasted the “free-moving” and “wistful” nature of her husband, Jackson Pollock’s work.
Instead, what we have here is two diametrically opposed works that simply use the same medium to convey vastly different themes and emotions. And it is exactly this notion of individuality that allowed the Whitakers to excel independently from each other without being pinholed as a “Husband and Wife” duo. Instead, each Whitaker found a niche in the watercolor painting landscape and nurtured a specific talent in which they used watercolor as a vehicle for.
Frederic and Eileen’s styles could not be more different—fluidy and motion on hand and medium and color on the other. The artists do not compliment, or build upon, each other’s styles. Instead, each Whitaker was able to take the medium of watercolor painting and transform it into their own.