Identity as a “Conceptual Framework”

Here, I am a ghetto college boy. This is my first identity that I chose to be. Being ghetto is not something I enjoy because it makes me physically see uneducated, violent, and dangerous. But, the theme of this project is identity. To be a street guy is not accepted by society especially people who have an education. Yet, this type of identity can be chosen because we decide what we want to be in life or who we really are based on what we are truly looking for in ourselves. Many people who do not have an education adopt the concept of being a street smart person, thus, these people struggle economically and emotionally. Those who live the ghetto life are people who do not enjoy living with their families because all they experience is violence. People’s feelings towards those who are ghetto are fear and distrust because they think that these people will hurt them or steal them something. So, since these ghetto people do not have a high education, society expects them to be inferior and be in poverty.
To find oneself identity can be physically and psychologically, too. Through clothes, we can demonstrate to the world who we are and what they should expect from us. Psychologically, our attitudes and our mind set are telling us that we must do it a certain way to make us happy. On the other hand, we are not born with identity. It is something that we build up as we get older, but sometimes we find who we really are at an early stage of our lives.



This picture is about me being a “nerd”. One can say that nerds are born that way however, psychologically speaking, people can adopt this type of identity by the mind. The mind is so powerful that it makes people to respond to something they have seen or experienced. For instance, young people choose to be like their friends because they have seen how others are attracted to how their friends look like or how they act. Young people are the ones who struggle to find their identity because some of them are influenced by their friends and others are influenced by the environment they live in. So, to be a “nerd” is not a pleasant identity because these people are bully and picked on. There have been situations where children kill themselves by the bullies. Anyhow, when society sees nerd people, they make judgments about their clothes, attitude, mentality, and the way nerds live life. To be a “nerd” is something that people choose to be because they might feel comfortable being that way.



This is me dressed up as a priest. As you can see, I’m kneeling down looking at the rosary. I was pretending to pray like priests do. This is my identity for my third self-portrait picture. In this picture I am adopting the concept of religion more specific a priest. To be a priest, is a long process to go through. One of the main duties for someone to become a priest is to study the Bible and all the rules of the Catholic Church. Priests make many sacrifices such as leaving the family. This identity is not something we are born with, but that we can find it in the future through God’s call or something that we might have experienced before related to anything spiritual. When people see priests, nuns and bishops, they expect them to be holy, vulnerable, compassionate, and caring people.


Lady Gaga- Gay Supporter

Lady Gaga- Gay Supporter

Lady Gaga was born in New York City and it is one of the most famous celebrities in the music world today. Her music has evolved nationally and internationally. In 2008 Lady Gaga released her debut album The Fame, which made her become internationally well- known. Within this album she traveled to countries like Ireland, Germany, England, and many others. Nevertheless, Lady Gaga is famous, but also she has become a voice for the LGBT community.
The gay community plays a role in the music of Lady Gaga. She supports this community through her songs and video clips. For instance, in 2009 she released her other album The Fame Monster, which three of the songs were the biggest hits worldwide; Bad Romance, Telephone, and Alejandro. The song “Alejandro” was of the most controversial because in her video clip, all the actors seem to be gay. They all were dressed in the gay fashion and that is where people started to question Lady Gaga’s sexuality. The public criticized her because they thought that she was manifesting and giving the message that gays should be accepted. Another song that demonstrates Lady Gaga’s interest for gay rights is “Born this way”. Just with the title it clearly states that she favors the LGBT community. For those who have not heard the song, Lady Gaga tries to tell society that gays are born that way and it is not an illness or confusion. Because she is an activist for gay rights, the gay community makes her more famous and by the time she dies, this community will bring her to life spiritually and she will be immortal like other celebrities.



This celebrity is not just a gay supporter, but also unique. Lady Gaga is the farthest, the most unique woman when it comes to dress up. For example, when she was invited to participate in the Grammy’s, she used a meat dress. This led to talk among media and the audience. People and other celebrities were surprised, too. In some of her videos the costumes or dresses she uses give the audience something to say or something to think about. Maybe Lady Gaga is trying to give her message through these bizarre dresses. In this case, one can conclude that she is again trying to tell the people that gays are exclusive and nobody else can understand them.


Notre Dame Religion as a Conceptual Framework

Notre Dame Religion as a Conceptual Framework

The Golden Dome is one of the most famous buildings at the University of Notre Dame and around the South Bend area. In fact, the building is the administration office. Nevertheless, one can relate this building with the Roman Catholic religion. For many students, alumni, faculty members, and other fans of the University of Notre Dame respect and honor this golden roof with the statue of the Virgin Mary on top. For them and for us this is a representation of the Catholic community around the world. Like many other buildings, the statue of Mary is placed up high, which indicates that our religion has been presented to the world and no one can miss it. When people take a look to the “Golden Dome”, it reminds them of who they are as a community. When they see the Virgin Mary, they give her respect and honor by praying or just making the sign of the cross. By making the sign of the cross, it demonstrates that they are thinking about God and what he has done for them in life.  For Catholics it is our duty to represent our religion everywhere and Notre Dame is an excellent example.



I chose the campus of the school as my critical perspective. Since Notre Dame is a Catholic institution, one can expect the school to be excellent in discipline and in academics. Yet, my focus is not their excellence in their academics, my concerns are, what people think about this school who receives students from other cultures and religions. Many of the students here at Notre Dame are from other religions, thus, they do not follow the Catholic traditions. Probably, some of our traditions must be offensive to them. Nowadays, students and people in general are more accepting of others from different beliefs, but there is always someone who disagrees with the mix of religions. Maybe we do not even think why people would protest for other religions to live in a Catholic environment. Unfortunately, there are people out there in the world whose beliefs are stronger than living as a united diverse cummunity . Nevertheless, the Catholic religion does receives criticism from all areas


Irish Leprechaun

Irish Leprechaun

The Irish leprechaun is a well-known legendary fairy tale among the Irish population especially in the United States. Thus, I chose this legendary character as being neutral. The leprechaun is the mascot of the University of Notre Dame and everyone knows that this school is a Catholic institution. However, the leprechaun is not close to be any religious person, but people has tide this little character with the Catholic tradition. For instance, there have been some Catholic celebrations where the leprechaun is the theme. On the other hand, the leprechaun does not cause conflict between other religions because it is just a legendary fairy tale.


Race as a Conceptual Framework

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Kehinde Wiley is an American painter.  He is 40 years old.   His paintings are a contemporary of Afro-Brazilian, Ethiopian-Jewish, Indian, and African-American poses.  Many of his views towards African-American race are related to white European.  For example, one of his paintings is the “Posing and Passing”.  Within this work of art, Wiley gives us some meaning towards European church paintings.  Two pieces of artwork are compared to one another.  One of the paintings is a figure from a saint by a white painter while the other is a version of Kehinde Wiley.  In his painting, we viewers can observe that the people that Wiley uses for his work of art are people of color skin.  Furthermore, these African-American people are dressed normal as any particular person.  Thus, what this means is that not only saints dressed up with casual dresses are not the only ones who can be considered as holy people, but also any regular human being.  Anyone who falls under the category of a saint could be portrait as a holy person.  We expect saints to dress up with saintly fancy dresses, but in this occasion Wiley tells us from his point of view that it does not have to be that way.

Wiley also gives his thoughts between power and art, which both are interrelated.  For example, the artist uses the famous paint “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” by Jacques- Louis David.  In this painting, Wiley changes the context of history because when he makes his own version of “Napoleon Crossing the Alps”, he replaces the white man for a black person.  He did this in order to give the black people some recognition because in many historical events, there are no black people who are giving credit for what they did in the past.  His paint revives the context of history.   On the other hand, the African-American, Kara Walker, is also a famous painter who illustrates the shifting notion of power.  She focuses with the black and white shadows.  Her way of doing this is by using silhouette art figures, which are based on slavery here in the United States.  Her artworks are horrifying, aggressive, and mysterious.  She talks about stereotypes and racism because her paintings are antebellum, meaning that she uses physiology.   In one of her work of art, she proclaims that there are two groups of people who are the aggressors.  According to the painting, the Caucasians believe that the aggressors are the slaves and the slaves think that the aggressive people are the whites.  Another painting of when she demonstrates power is where there is a dancer woman who is bleeding from her hands.  In this painting, Walker contradicts between life and death and black and white.  Nevertheless, she wants us to do is to make our own judgments towards her art figures.  She asks us to do this because we always tend to identify other assumptions.

About race relations, Wiley and Walker say that we are not a post-race society, although we still live in racism.  They both tell us that we make assumptions based on skin color and appearances.  We still have stereotypes within each race, thus, post-race does not exist.

Assisted Readymade

According to Marcel Duchamp, a Readymade it’s a piece of art that is used more to picture the work of art with the mind rather than the eye.  Duchamp’s goal is to make the viewers take art from a different perspective, not only by seeing paintings of actual objects but also to go beyond that.  Along with his teachings, he applies the concepts of Cubism, and Dadaism in his work of art.   For example, he used the Nude Descending a Staircase painting.  This painting it’s associated with Cubism because the painting itself it’s abstract and it has that sensation of motion, which that’s what defines the term of Cubism. The painting its a human figure who is in constant movement.  He also used another piece of art, a urinal.  He flipped the urinal upside down and named it, Fountain.  It was very controversial when he showed his work to the public because it was inappropriate to use an urinal as art. The Fountain was an example of Dadaism, which means that a non-art object.  This type of movement, came from Europe caused by World War II.  On the other hand, a Readymade can simply create art by just collecting objects. No paint or drawing its needed to perform any kind of art when it comes to Readymade  Also, Duchamp introduced another concept of art called Assisted Readymade, which is defined as a combination of two pieces of art into a solid one. In other words, anyone can be an artist by just putting two objects together and there is no need to be a professional.

The Assisted Readymade I created was a box of tissues and on the top I had a Home Scent object with sticks on the top.  My Readymade or my Assisted Readymade is to imitate Duchamp’s work. In other words, my project was to illustrate what Duchamp was teaching us for what was art.  My work of art does not have any meaning or an actual figure but it is up to the viewer to critique my art.  Yet, for sure, I know that my art is not good or bad, it’s just art.

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