For my first project

My first assignment for my Conceptual Strategies class is to research three artists that are intersecting art with science, technology, and culture. One of the first artists I thought of was the Brazilian artist Vik Muniz. He’s a photographer and sculptor that creates mixed media pieces made from everyday materials to recreate iconic masterpieces or pop culture imagery thereby re-exploring what those images may represent in our current settings. One example of this is the documentary he did titled “Wasteland”, in which the artist travels back to his home country to document the largest garbage dump in Brazil and the people that pick through it looking for recyclable items. During filming, Muniz found himself shifting the focus of the film away from his artwork and on the individuals he was working with. Throughout the film, the artwork begins to reflect not only the culture of the people who pick through the garbage, what motivates them to live this kind of life, but also to how wasteful we as a society are. He creates these massive pieces where he begins with a photograph of either just the picker going about their business, or a recreation of a famous artwork with one of the pickers as the model. Then he projects the image onto a large canvas where it is then recreated via actual trash taken from the dump. He then photographs the final piece. The project reflects how many view these people as “trash” in how they chose to live their lives in actual trash, almost like its the visual representation of “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure”. The ecological messages that shine through his work on this project also evoke an emotional response of revulsion at the mountains of garbage they swim through, and when they are done, the amount that was easily recycled is equally as revolting.  A perfect example of Muniz’s work for this project is his recreation of the Jacques-Louis David’s painting “The Death of Marat”, seen here:
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The film also documents how Muniz’s project effected each of them, some of them seeing beyond the dump for the first time ever in their lives.

Another artist I thought of was the street artist known as JR. His medium of choice is photography, but his installations are out in the streets. He views the world as his own personal art gallery, which presents a defiant question about the exclusivity of how art is more conventionally accessed by the masses that can afford to enjoy it. His projects focus on how art can be used to start a dialogue between cultures, and how art can be capable of triggering political action in how it is presented. His one project titled “Face-2-Face”, is extremely powerful in its message of how historical hate distorts perception. In this project, which was a highly illegal and extremely dangerous feat to create, involved large portraits of Palestinian and Israeli, who in pairs do the same thing in life, being pasted together side by side on both sides of the wall that separates the cities as well as throughout the cities in the area of the wall. None of the images are marked as to who is from where, which presents the simple question to the viewer: “Who’s is from where? How can you tell?”. All the images evoke thoughts of how we in reality are all the same, that we all talk the same and at our very basic core are human beings that are allowing a distorted perception of “differences” build walls between us. Here is an image of how the images along the wall were laid out:
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For my third and final artist, I did a Google search for “artists working with technology” to find someone I may have not heard of before. I happened upon an article on Make, which is an online magazine that focuses entirely on making things. The Maker’s Faire that happens here in SF every year is featured on the site. The article I found didn’t interest me, but a link to another article on the site did, which led me to the kinetic artist Anthony Howe. His work involves the “mechanical complexity” of wind turbines as sculptures. His metal sculptures are immensely large, in that they designed to withstand at least 90 mph winds, and when in motion are like watching a steel kaleidoscope in action. Complex in their intricate layouts, the patterns he creates move and flow like water in a stream when air flows through them. He provides videos of each of his pieces in motion for viewers to get lost in, one of which is here:

Its as if the sculpture is breathing and swimming at the same time. His work is simply hypnotic to watch, sensual in how it moves, and soothing in its gracefulness. Through the scientific principals of how kinetic energy works, he is able to design artworks that embody those principals with a visionary elegance.

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A Strange Child gets to work!

Back in school baby! Ahhhhhhhhhhh the cozy warmth of a routine with a purpose and human interaction. That intoxicating new school year smell. The new art supplies!!!!!!!!!! Yes, my senior year has begun.

With that, one of my classes is requiring me to maintain a blog to tally up all my work throughout the semester. So for the next few months, all my posts will be regarding that particular class and perhaps my painting class as well since I like sharing my artwork and the things I make here. I’ll be focusing on what work I’m doing, the processes I’m doing, and the progression of my pieces. So, in other words, I’ll be yammering on a bit more then usual. I know, you’re all just so excited about that. Yay, the crazy lady is being productive!! Well, tough glitter sprinkles folks, its for school so suck it up. Those posts will have specific tags on them so if you see those tags, just skip them if you’re not interested in how I am getting along with my “fancy ed-u-mu-ka-shun and book learning”.

However, I will probably still talk about the going-ons in my twisted brain as I may need to when it gets to be too much. When the demons start yapping, it helps me to talk about how mean they are to me, perhaps because I end up not feeling so alone when it happens. I need to let it all out sometimes in order to get myself to realize how I’m only letting them win, that the way my brain is working is not healthy so I simply must push forward. Depression lies and Anxiety/ Panic in turn spins those lies. I don’t tend to get too bogged down in tearing myself to shreds when I’ve got work to do however. Somehow my brain is able to turn that racket down when I’ve got a deadline of sorts to take care of. *shrugs* Brains are strange places, with tons of brightly colored whirly rides that can make one laugh, cry, scream, or vomit out cotton candy. Talking about it honestly helps. Takes the power away from the darkness, at least it does for me anyway.

Well, back to business! I suppose I should share something I recently made as a starting point. I have a pair of saddle shoes but they aren’t particularly comfortable to wear. They’re stift and have zero padding for the soles, and being that my feet now require such things, I found a way to fix this on the Holy Scriptures of Pintrest. Basically, you grab a pair of white tennis shoes, black fabric paint (I used a fabric paint marker set), and a photo of what the shoes look like. It took a few hours to do it in as I wanted the black to be really solid, so I went over it a few time. Left them to dry for a day and viola! Comfy saddle shoes! Here’s how they turned out:

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See?! Super cute! My therapist today told me I should consider making a few more pairs in different colors which I might do later on. In the meantime, I’ve got another pair of comfy shoes that are freaking awesomesauce to go with some of my rockabilly clothes. Oh, Holy Scripture of Pintrest…………how I worship you so! Amen.

As for my art class, the suspense of my glorious masterpieces will just have to amuse you for the time being.

 

 

 

The Very Bad, No Good, Terrible Summer of self wreckage & art comes to a close

This summer has been an interesting and soul searchingly hard one for me. Interesting in that I’ve spent most of it being depressed, lonely, isolated, and trying to make as much art as I could. Interesting in how I had to drop the plans of transferring to a different college to finish up my degree because it offers more studio art classes, yet the cost of the school was way beyond my financial reach, even with assistance. Interesting in that I went to gym more then I usually do and not one pound fell off my fat ass.

The Soul Searchingly Hard part was my therapist helping me accept that being without a job and/or school means I’m without a purpose which leads to me beginning to spiral. Add in isolation from not having any sort human contact, and my brainmeats turn further inward with a laser-like focus on every single one of my flaws completely the Spiral of Self Destruction that I am so unbelievably talented at! Seriously, I win the gold medal in this sport!

So where does that leave me as this summer comes to an end and another semester is set to begin at the end of the month? It leaves me feeling a bit of the weight off my shoulders in that I know another of my limitations and have a general idea of what I need to do to fix it. I have at least these last two semesters left to complete my degree, which should be this time next year fully graduated with a BA in Studio art with a minor in Art History. Provided I factored in all of the classes correctly. We’ll see. And in July I’ll be working on my parents 50th wedding anniversary party right after school is done, so in way, I’ll have a job right out the gate to work on for 2 months. After that? That’s where things need to be planned out before that in some fashion.

Hubby suggested that I have two options for myself at that point. I could find any sort of job, even a part time one, and do my art on the side like a hobby. My paychecks can be 100% used to pay off my school loan, making the debt go down faster than it might if I wasn’t working. He expects to be making more then he is now so we’ll have a bit more coming in that we can also look into me renting a small art studio outside of the house, where I treat it like going to an office every day. I could even look into sharing it with someone. There, I’m not worrying about doing damage to the place too much like at home, which means I can go crazy in the place. I could even find one that will let me bring Daisy with me, so she’s getting out of the house during the day, and there wouldn’t be anything there that could distract me like the TV. He tells me that he doesn’t care what I do, as long and I do not do what I’ve been doing………..ripping myself apart internally until I break.

For now I just make things, get through my next semester, dig through the bullshit in my brainmeats to find the good, learn new things, and live life. One of my most recent paintings I did was inspired by most favorite artists Vincent Van Gogh. I didn’t draw it out first, I was messy with painting it, and I concentrated on my love of his art in my mind while I worked. I’ll fully admit, Doctor Who is what got me more interested in his work. But it was in learning about him that I found a connection to him as person. We see the world in similar ways in that the world around us is beautiful, even in the most simplest things like sunflowers or the night’s sky. A few days, I’ll be standing in front of his most famous of works, Starry Night (1893) and I’ll probably break down crying while I stare into its mastery. When Van Gogh painted that image, he was in the asylum in Saint Remy, after having cut off his ear in a hysterical fit. A fit which many including myself theorize was brought on by Paul Gauguin’s perceived “abandonment” of Vincent when the two’s friendship dissolved and Paul left town. He wasn’t allowed to paint at night in the hospital so he worked during the day based on memory of the previous night’s sky. Vincent wrote letters during that time about how he much preferred how the night sky looked, how it moved, how it glistened with life much more than daylight. That painting is Vincent Van Gogh’s soul at that moment in his life. To see it in person,……………I will most certainly need a moment people. So, I did a painting to pay homage to my beloved Vincent:

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Hubby was gobsmacked when he saw it. He actually said, “Don’t be offended, but I think it’s your best one”. There was a small part of me, I call her Veruca, that was irked a bit by him as she was all “So you’re saying the rest of my stuff is crap, eh?!” But I kicked her and she quieted down. Of all the paintings I did this summer, I’ll admit this is my favorite one. I want to try to do more like it. I signed up for the painting class this semester so we’ll see how that goes. The interesting part will be along with that, my other studio art class is a conceptual one. I’m hoping that during this semester I find a bit more of my artistic voice. I need it right now.

So once more, I find myself crawling out of my own wreckage. I am almost at the point of dusting myself off and straightening my hair bow with a sense of “I’m gonna rock this bitch” attitude. For now, its me gearing up for our vacation trip to see Lilymonster this week. Art, food, and love. Oh, and I might get lucky and get into a taping of the Daily Show!!! Tonight however, I get to live out a teenage missed opportunity. I’m seeing Guns and Roses live tonight! \m/ !! Small things of joy allow for the bigger things to come through.