Monday Media Minute: Balan’s Wonderworld (2021)

One game that I’ve been keeping in the back of my mind since I first saw it would definitely have to be Balan’s Wonderworld. I’m unaccustomed to this game’s gameplay and story, but it’s art style, music, and premise are all too familiar. This game has carried a nostalgic taste in my mouth since I first laid eyes on it… which I suppose is weird for my eyes and mouth to have such a connection but I digress. With a similar feel to the late 1990s of the famous gaming company Sega, this game really captures a feel for what it’s going for. With a message that tells us of what negativity and positivity can truly mean, you feel like you’re in for a ride. Now, I can’t entirely recommend it, just simply because I’ve heard of the bad reviews it has received, but I can’t allow the mastery of music in this game to be overlooked. 

Balan Wonderworld | Know Your Meme

With a great use of trumpets and jazz, the soundtrack is interspersed with love and a devotion to musical theatre and plays. It’ll remind you plenty of what you love about those things and more. It might even prompt an interest in the game itself. Here’s a playlist of the game’s soundtrack:

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5SVN0–C_1xObp3QWaE5OPEiUlLD1Do8

Editor’s Note: PLEASE listen to the Final Boss Clear Musical, it’s a musical masterpiece, which is an understatement. Now for me to get back to listening to Balan’s Bout.

The New(ish) Art Exhibit in Cowan!

Spring is here! And with the new season coming around and classes ending soon, there’s a lot to be excited about! Especially for our art department, as we’ve got an all new exhibit by the Director of the Galleries himself, Jim Langer. Properly titled “So, Shall we Dis/Stance?”, this quarantine-themed collection features works by artists from all over our campus including Elizabeth Hawkins, Sasha Cline, Jakym Clark, Jordan Deaton, Christopher Pierce, Destinee Allen, and Angelica Vejar from the art department. 

Additionally, it’s a collaboration with professional artists and alumni of the college, featuring pieces from Maryse Lörtscher, Mark Brown, Katie O’Gara, and Scott Raynor.

I want to give special attention to this beautiful work titled “Life and Death” by Kirstyn Kuhn. Once a major in Fine Arts, she has clearly been continuing her artistic pursuits in her time since graduating. Kirstyn has been an artist since she was little, and this interest led her to Greensboro College. Seeing her artistic progression from a student to now has really impressed Professor Langer and he very much enjoyed her submission.

Which reminds me of the best part about the exhibit… I’M IN IT! MY WORK IS IN THERE GO LOOK AT IT!!! I’M FAMO– *ahem* I mean to say that it’s still accepting submissions, from artists and non-artists alike! Just go up to the tables in the Mezzanine (the upper level in the entrance of Cowan) and use the materials there. The exhibit will be up until April 15th, so get what you can up there for everyone to see it!

I want to credit Destinee Allen, from the art department, for these ABSOLUTELY STUNNING photos of the exhibit. Her email (along with some of the other artists mentioned in this article) will be linked below, if you have any outside interest in what these artists have to offer.

Destinee Allen: destinee.allen@greensboro.edu

Maryse Lörtscher: https://www.maryselortscher.com/ https://www.instagram.com/mloarttoo/

Jim Langer: langerj@greensboro.edu

Everydays:The First 5000 Days by Beeple

By: Malcolm Ford

Everydays:The First 5000 Days by Beeple, AKA Mike Mike Winkelmann
2007-2021 (5000 digital drawings)

This picture speaks to the scale of what can be accomplished with the combination of years of effort. It’s simultaneously hopelessly inspiring and soul crushingly at the same. A reminder of what can be accomplished each day and something I struggle to find the time for somehow. While it’s hard to pick out any specific pictures for me besides a few key ones like a green face, the overall feel reminds me of stars in a galaxy. 

https://www.artforum.com/slant/kevin-buist-on-the-nft-boom-85221

“The Moon” by Ling Jian

By: Malcolm Ford

The Moon, 2014
Oil on canvas
78 7/10 × 70 9/10 in
200 × 180 cm

Just a beautiful personification of the celestial body. If that’s the exact effect the artist was going for. The overall pose reminds me of the arc the moon will follow at night. The expression she gives off is one of true disinterest, as if the viewer is the second thought in her field of vision. Much like our moon reminds me frequently, it is only attached by that invisible force and like the background when there’s a new moon things can seem unstable, unclear and amorphous. The bouquet could easily represent the moon’s tidal forces as well as the beautiful changes it goes through as it completes its cycle.

https://www.artsy.net/news

“Brushstroke Chair and Ottoman” by Roy Lichtenstein

By: Malcolm Ford

“Brushstroke Chair and Ottoman” by Roy Lichtenstein    Painted Wood

A truly intricate piece of work with a very interesting but simple design. Reminds me of sludge or pond scum flowing down a strong river. The base of the chair and ottoman perfectly mimic the action of the roots of the tree trying to grasp onto and return to the soil like the claws of the excavator used on its stump. The piece also shows beautiful symmetry except for in the ottoman of course. It almost feels like it’s meant to have a back and it’s missing it.  

https://bombmagazine.org/discipline/art/

“Home in the Mountains” by Catherine Haggarty

By: Malcolm Ford

Catherine Haggarty, Home in the Mountains, 2020, oil stick and airbrush on canvas, 48 × 36 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

I find this piece really interesting in how it is abstract and almost doodle-like. Personally, I just see a mixture of a lot of jagged or sharp teeth and a myriad of faces along with a few shapes and forms like the foxes or the honey badger among other things. There is also a lot formed in the negative space of the piece. This is just one of many in her collection. 

https://bombmagazine.org/discipline/art/

Monday Media Minute: Friday Night Funkin’ (2021)

Welcome to Monday Media Minute! A faster version of all my normal posts where I introduce you to a piece of media that I think everyone should enjoy, despite my terrible sense of society’s overall opinion. This week’s addition is Friday Night Funkin’!

Friday Night Funkin’ is a fantastically funky looking game that pays homage to Newgrounds, an early 2000s website that was primarily used by animators and artists alike. It’s a rhythm game that uses standard DDR controls (up, left, right, down). The game follows the simple story of Boyfriend and Girlfriend, that’s their actual names mind you, and how Boyfriend wants to prove to Girlfriend’s father that he should be able to date his daughter. You play along with the beat of the music and go up against some icons of Newgrounds, and some very interesting characters related to the game’s personal plot. Give it a shot, because believe it or not, this game’s FREE! 

Editor’s Note: this game is probably really easy but I’m highly incapable of even beating the dad, so be warned.

https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/770371

Artist Spotlight: Jonathan Abney

Jonathan Abney
Quarantine Cool, Jonathan Abney. Digitial.
Jonathan Abney

The GC Art Column’s own Jonathan Abney was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a Greensboro College junior majoring in Art. He enjoys video games, YouTube, animations, and art.

“Since 2nd grade, [art has] been something I’ve always enjoyed doing.” Stated Abney. “It started as something I did on the side of worksheets in class, a lot of my early teachers either liked or hated that. My mom liked my art and the little books I made A LOT, so I knew it made others happy.”

Eric Icon, Jonathan Abney. Digital

It wasn’t until middle school that Jonathan started to take his art seriously, when a friend of his introduced him to comics. It was then that he realized he wanted to be a cartoonist.

“I wanna be something where I’d be able to substantially support myself and get to do what I enjoy.” He says as he reflects on his future as an artist. “I don’t really have a concrete plan but I don’t feel entirely clueless on where I want to be. I enjoy lots of animated shows, video games, and contrary to popular, I’m not a vivid comic reader. I enjoy them all the same because they all spark ideas for my own head.”

Pinked Lovers, Jonathan Abney. Digital

Jonathan has practiced in many different mediums while being an art major at Greensboro College but is more gravitated towards traditional drawing and drawing digitally.

So far, Jonathan has done several commissions as well as made comics for the Greensboro College newspaper, The Collegian.

Summer Cover, Jonathan Abney. Digital.

You can find Jonathan and check out his works on his Instagram and Twitter which will be found below!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jjjabbers

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jonnyjraws/

Why Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Will Always “Age Well”

In 2003, Nintendo released their 10th installment of The Legend of Zelda series with The Wind Waker for the GameCube.

Fans were ready for another adventure with Link as just a few years prior, both The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask were released for the Nintendo 64.

Screenshot from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

However, a lot of backlash came with the release of The Wind Waker as fans much preferred the more “realistic” and “darker” themes of the past games.

The Wind Waker sports a cartoon-styles scenery and characters, as Link is shown very small with stubby features and big eyes. Nintendo used cel shading to render the game to make everything seem flatter and more cartoonish as bright colors and rounded textures are littered throughout the game.

Luckily, over time, The Wind Waker became a favorite to many and the hatred over the cel-shading. Bill Trinen, a Product Marketing Director at Nintendo, referred to this as the “Zelda cycle.”

Screenshot from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda’s producer, Eiji Aonuma, added to this by saying, “Basically, as time progresses, negative opinions about The Legend of Zelda turn into positive ones.”

He was right, because in 2006, Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which had much more realistic graphics, and a lot of fans at the time wanted more of the expressive cartoon style that The Wind Waker had.

Screenshot of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

When looking at the original release of The Wind Waker in comparison to Ocarina of Time, it is clear which game aged better. Even for a 2003 release, the roundness and bright, vivid colors of The Wind Waker do not show as much age as the geometric and natural shading of Ocarina of Time.

This difference can really be seen in the different textures of the water. In Ocarina of Time, the water is see-through and was meant to mimic real water. In Wind Waker, the water is bright blue, accented with curvy white lines to represent the waves of the ocean.

Screenshot of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Of course, what really matters is how well the game plays and not just how good the game looks. But I think it is easy for people to agree that simple, toon-styled games like The Wind Waker tend to age better.

Resources:

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/09/nintendo-was-well-aware-of-the-wind-waker-backlash-discusses-the-zelda-cycle/

“Walk the Light” Genesis Tramaine

by: Malcolm Ford


Genesis Tramaine, Walk the Light, 2019
Acrylic, Oil Sticks and Spray Paint on Canvas
60 × 48 in
152.4 × 121.9 cm
.


It’s hard to describe Genesis Tramaine’s specific style for portraiture but maybe that’s the point of their work. It’s easy to see just from the way it looks how it was created with raw emotion and expression but also deep consideration of what to highlight or draw attention to in that portrait, wear to place the love. A lot of these portraits seem to me to include texture within the portrait each one tells you a story especially with all of her portraiture in fact. Regardless, her portraits are always interesting to gaze at
just to draw out the connection she’s had with these people or possibly the conversation that might have influenced the portrait.

https://www.artsy.net/artwork/genesis-tramaine-walk-the-light