Friday, March 25, 2011

Student Profile: Brandon Markle

The Albion College Art Department is home to a plethora of students interested in many different arenas of art. The Bulletin will frequently profile some these students. This week's profile features Brandon Markle, a sophomore from Bay City, MI.

Sophomore Art History major Brandon Markle,  pictured here inside his home library.
Why did you decide to become an Art History major?
Mostly because of Professor Bille Wickre - she's the biggest reason, besides my art scholarships. She was the first person I met at Albion College and there was just some blue-streak of recognition that drew me to her and to the study of Art History. I knew I didn't want to be a fine arts major - I love creating art and appreciating it, but I knew that wasn't what I necessarily wanted to do. First and foremost, I wanted to know what I was talking about when I talked about art. Also, I wanted a major that could combine all of the things I'm passionate about into one - history, languages, philosophy, science, art, and so on. I want to go into art restoration, so this would be the perfect path to get there.
What has been your favorite Art History class so far?
Baroque Art. It's the kind of art I like - it's not abstract, it uses natural forms and it's mythological and completely monumental. It is real in a way contemporary art is not. The things that people painted were stories, and these paintings were understandable. I admire that.
You recently completed a FURSCA (Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity) project in the summer of 2010. Tell me a little more about that.
I had the opportunity to research the demographics, ideology and philosophy behind the French Revolution. I specifically looked at the work of Jacques Louis David. I created a propaganda model based upon the beliefs circulating at that time. I chose to investigate David's work simply because I enjoy it so much. His work conveys something to me beyond meaning - of course, meaning isn't in things, it is between them. It tugs at my heart strings. David is not here to tell me what he meant, but his meaning is still timeless and fascinating. Work from this period is very Greco/Roman and has great tenebrism and wonderful use of local color. Everything isn't defined by itself, and I like that.
Why is Art History so important?
 The main reason why Art History is exciting is because I'm always out looking for the message. I want the stories. You can look at a piece of art and wonder, what's behind that? What was going on in the artist's personal life? Did they experience homelessness? Were they affluent? Did their best friend just die? What were their political beliefs? Where did they live? Who did they socialize with? I want the factual, real life things. I want to use these things to prove why artists do the things they do. 

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