professor
Pier Consagra

Dec 2004

This course starts out with you drawing an egg for 2 hours. If you've never taken drawing before, you might find it helpful to do this (and discover the wonder of the cast-shadow, the reflected shadow, and the inner-shadow). However, if you've taken drawing, you just need to get past the beginning 3 classes, and the arrogant B.S. spilling out of Pier's mouth. (and it's Pierre, not Pier, like the Chelsea Piers.) You won't need to buy half of the items on his list, just start with the basics. Pier is hilarious, but most of the time he has no idea what he's talking about, and don't expect him to learn your name until the last week of class. If you're good, he'll recognize that and treat you right. If you're not, then be prepared to be overlooked. If you're experienced, then at least you get a model to work from for half of the semester. If you're not, then you'll spend the entire time drawing plumb lines. I had a great time in the class, but only because I never took Pier seriously. Don't expect lots of personal attention.

Dec 2004

Pier is fabulous. He's such an entertaining guy, and he makes class a ton of fun. I'd never taken a visual arts class before this one, and now I'm hooked. He starts really compelling discussions sometimes, and has really neat projects/assignments. There is a lot of figure drawing, which is really helpful and hard to find elsewhere. He's a really chill teacher, and, like any art teacher, is a little bit crazy, but in a great way. He likes to encourage his students to explore both their left and right brains in the drawing, which is where the doodling aspect mentioned in other reviews comes in. If he feels you're strong enough with figure drawing (usually for those who have more experience), then he will encourage you to doodle for the last number of classes. Really interesting things came out of this, and it was cool to see. His critiques are somewhat silly, but they're entertaining, and there's definitely a lot of value in everyone hanging up their work for the rest of the class to see. This class definitely helped me learn a lot about drawing, and to develop a style of my own. Pier is very supportive, but my only critique of him and the class is that you will never know what you're getting in the class until it shows up on your grade report at the end -- as much as he loves you and you finish all your work on time, you're not guaranteed an A. I really don't know how he grades, but it seems generally fair, with a few flaws.

Jun 2003

While its true that Pier's critiques are basically useless (he thinks all of western art history can be summed up in the terms 'presence' and 'absence') the critiques are only the last 15 minutes of class. He is the only basic drawing teacher who focuses on figure drawing- which is terrific and really improves your skills. While his end of class critiques are useless, if you ask for help during class he gives good guidance. If he doesnt say anything about your drawing in class, ask him afterwards- it can be very worthwhile, especially because he'll skip most of that presence/absence junk. Unfortunately, he spends the last few weeks of the class asking you to doodle- an exercise he thinks will let out your id (see above for pier's relationship to freud)- which is just annoying and useless. Overall he is amusing, and you will improve your drawing- even if its more from the classroom environment than from his instruction. Its worth taking the class just for the figure drawing.

May 2003

He's a decent teacher, helpful mainly with the figure drawing, but most of what you will learn will come from simply drawing for 5 hours a week in class. His critiques are laughable. He focuses on about 3 abstract terms and judges all art on the basis of these-you will understand the relevance of none of them. His taste in art is absurd. He obsesses over awful drawings for some obscure reason and grazes over masterpieces with relative disinterest. He was also raised by Freud; everything is sexual reference in his eyes.

Jan 2000

Pier is unique and vastly entertaining. Highly recommended.