Art and Architectural Designs
Public art is an important concept in the contemporary world, which results out of creativity and imagination. It takes different forms that include sculptures, paintings, murals, memorials, architectural designs, monuments, and even festivals. The current paper aims at discussing art as a community identity, explaining how the public art humanizes cities and establishing the relationship between culture and art by relating to the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower. Finally, the paper explores the development of skyscrapers and private architectural designs.
Public Art as a Community Identity
Public art acts as a community identify. Its meanings and implications represent community beliefs, language, traditions, social values, and culture – the factors that accurately define the community identity. Art reflects the society and adds uniqueness to the community. It has characteristics that give diverse meanings to social and cultural issues, economic factors, religious beliefs, and political matters. The socioeconomic and political variables are presented and represented by art. People's aspirations, beliefs, values, and norms can be deciphered from the analysis of any form of art in a particular public locality. The art can unearth hidden stories and facilitate visibility of marginalized groups and matters; these issues can be classified along cultural, gender, race, ethnic, political, or religious lines. Haley observes that art represents a people's way of life because they tend to associate with artwork. Thus, it is agreeable that public art is a community identity because it deals with specific community issues. Diverse community matters help in the identification of the community.
The statement that public art humanizes cities is the reinforcement of the existence of a significant relationship between diverse forms of art and human beings. Cities are characterized by unique towers and buildings with distinctive architectural designs. People tend to visit such places for particular reasons; however, in the course of this, they are seen actively taking photos of unique art designs and posting them on social media. The sharing of photos involving the human interaction with art implies that art has a role to play in human life. The uniqueness of art in cities makes the environment more exciting and invigorates public space. Individuals prefer to visit places with special monumental structures and unique icons. Monuments and paintings act as memories and diverse art forms induce emotions or feelings associated with beliefs, values, and aspiration. Some of the interactive artworks include huge chalkboard in New Orleans and a light-up art installment in Minnesota. Thus, the artwork in cities and public places elicits emotions and creates memories that influence human values, aspirations, and cultural practices hence it humanizes cities.
Relationship between Art and Culture
Culture involves art, beliefs, institutions, behavioral patterns, and any other results of human thoughts, imagination, and work. Diverse cultures have their particular architectural artworks that show their identity. The first example of such artworks is the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which was named after the engineer whose company undertook the architectural work. It is currently the tallest structural design in France. The Eiffel Tower has a rich history and dates back to 1889 when it was erected to serve as an entry to the 1889 World's Fair. The World's Fair was the 100th anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille, and this event was a symbol of the beginning of the French Revolution. The Eiffel Tower was a symbolic structure for the World’s Fair. In 1918, the tower had become a France symbol, and even great poets used it to express emotions about the battle against Germany. It is not just a physical structure; it represents the historical development of France. The tower makes French citizens pride because its design has been copied and replicated in other parts of the world. It contributes to the dissemination of French culture and acts as an important cultural identification icon.
The second example is the Taj Mahal, which is a mausoleum in India. It was built as a tomb for Mumtaz Maha who died during childbirth. She was the wife of Shah Jahan who was the king of the Mughal Empire. The Taj Mahal is strikingly clean due to white marble and it changes color to be in harmony with the mood of the outside world. This artwork is magnificent, as it communicates passion, love, and beauty. It is the pride of the community because it is a place to visit to experience the beauty and it identifies the Islamic community’s cultural concepts. One of the Islamic culture concepts that can be learned from the tomb art in the Taj Mahal is that there should be me minimal or no decorations on graveyards. The faces of Mumtaz Maha and Shah Jahan were placed in a manner that they faced Mecca, which acts as a way of learning Islamic religious practices. Within the mausoleum, there are writing tablet and pen box placed on the casket of women and men, respectively; these are Mughal traditional funeral icons.
Development of Skyscraper
The development and emergence of skyscrapers assumed particular designs and art. Diverse structural materials were used, which could enhance the aesthetic beauty and meet the necessary safety requirements. The constructions were driven by pride of being the tallest and most magnificent. Examples of unique historical architectural designs include the Chicago School, the Woolworth Building in New York, and the Seagram Building in New York.
Chicago School in 1884. Firstly, the Chicago School involved the use of steel-frame buildings with terra cotta or masonry cladding, reduction of exterior ornamentation, and large plate-glass windows. Secondly, most Chicago School skyscrapers had three parts of the classical column, including the base, the middle, and the capital. The capital had more ornamental details than the middle stories. Thirdly, the Chicago School was famous for Chicago windows consisting of a large fixed center panel and two double-hung sash windows. These windows allowed natural ventilation and light gathering.
Woolworth Building in New York in 1911-1913. The Woolworth Building was the tallest skyscraper in the world in 1913. It is a 60-storey building with terra-cotta clotting and steel frames. The neo-Gothic ornament is a unique feature that transforms the sky. Pride and personal satisfaction were a key motivator of the construction, as the owner wanted the building to be the tallest.
Seagram Building in New York. The Seagram Building is a magnificent structure with glass and bronze exteriors. Steel anchors the major framework. The external appearance is appealing; it is finest aesthetically and has an excellent corporate image. The interior is decorated with travertine, marble, and bronze to match the exterior artwork.
Private Architectural Designs and Art
Most of the architects of the 20th century participated in the construction of commercial skyscrapers and buildings. However, it is notable that some developed designs of private homes that include the Fallingwater (1937) and Vanna Venturi House (1961-64). The two buildings were designed with different aims. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Fallingwater for his clients, the Kaufmann family, who wanted a place where they could spend time during vacation. They wanted the place to be beautiful and free from noise and pollution. The waterfall seemed to be a perfect place to erect the building, hence, the name ‘Fallingwater.’ Kaufmann Jr. believed that human life ought to be part of nature and architectural designs had to conform to his notion. The Fallingwater has no walls facing the falls and there is a single central stone core for fire, which contributes to a magnificent view. The ferroconcrete was used for cantilevers, which enabled long suspended balconies. The whole design matches the environment.
The Vanna Venturi House was constructed by Robert Venturi for his mother in 1964. It was devised in a manner that would fit preference of his aging mother. Most architectural elements of the Vanna Venturi House were not in harmony with standardized modernistic structures because the architect designed it as a reaction to the set architectural plans. The Vanna Venturi House is a postmodern building because it adopted renowned architectural elements that included gable roofing, horizontal ribbon windows, arch-framed entrance, and a façade; however, the functions of the arch roofing and arch-framed entrances did not serve the original purposes. Thus, Venturi was practicing his unique aesthetic design that went against the traditional known architectural elements.
The art espouses human experiences, emotions, love, beauty, aspirations, and pride. S, monuments, and architectural designs are interrelated with diverse concepts of human life. Public art acts as a community identity and humanizes the cities. The architectural plans are erected in a manner that captures the fine art that elicits human interactions.