Dear past, present & future members of the Wolfpack,
First of all, put down the textbook, the highlighter, the pens, and the notebook full of ‘class notes’ and doodles. Put down the iPhone, the iPad and the Starbucks cup — and breathe.
I’ve been there.
You may be a high school senior…
“A lot of things trigger my inspiration. It can be the most banal things”
- Manolo Blahnik, shoe designer.
Inspiration. It can be a fickle thing. Sometime’s it comes to you so quickly you can hardly create something fast enough. And other times it’s like a drought, not a drop of inspiration to be found. Well this blog is your Inspiration Well my friends!
The August Deadline for Park Pictures is getting closer (4 months and counting down!) and I’d like to provide you with some more artists and ideas that could inspire you for this years theme: Consumerism. As the famous designer Manolo Blahnik pointed out, inspiration can come from the most basic things. Above are examples of works by various artists from all over the world that have taken the idea of consumerism and the everyday, and turned them into something amazing.
Starting at the top and working down clockwise:
David Shapiro, July: 112 bills (detail), 2010. From his collection: Money is No object. Ink, gouache and color pencil on Vellum. Currently a piece of this collection can be seen here, at the North Carolina Museum of Art in our exhibition 0-60: The Experience of Time through Contemporary Art. Shapiro collected every ticket, receipt, check, pay stub, slip of paper that he had over the course of a year. He then had reproduced each on vellum. His work documents his life as a consumer for simply a year. The sheer volume of receipts that one person can collect is astounding. You can see his work through August 11th.
Next on the continuum of art we have a portrait by London Artist, Nick Gentry. This work is from his collection, Social Art form the Obsolete, is created from hundreds of floppy discs. He uses obsolete technoboly, floppy disc and film strips mostly, to create unique portraits of modern day society. You can view more of his work here.
Continuing clockwise: Porcelain (fine china) Soda Bottles by Chinese artist Ma Jun. Jun created these bottles in 2007 to help illustrate a connection between the traditions of old China and the commodities of new China. His collection features porcelain cars, televisions, radios, keyboards, all manner of modern conveniences. And they are all rendered through traditional Chinese porcelain designs. To learn more about Ma Jun and his inspiration behind this collection, you can visit his site.
Clockwise, bottom: Next along the spectrum we have a photograph by Dennis Darzacq. The Paris born photographer created the series, entitled Hyper, by photographing urban street dancers in modern conevenience stores. The explosion of movement among the colorful stagnant goods creates a visually appealing message. What that message could be, is up to the viewer to find out. You can discover more of his work here.
Clockwise, moving back up: American born Scott Blake has began to create an extremely unique style of art. His medium? Barcodes. His website, Barcodeart.com features videos, portraits, and interactive displays of his work all of which are created with hundreds of barcodes. The Warhol portrait for example, when installed features and interactive display of Campbell soup cans and a barcode scanner. Scan a barcode, and a specific flavor of Campbell soup will light up. Each barcode was painstakingly recreated from actual Campbell soup cans. He creates similar interactive work with other celebrities like Marilyn Monroe.
Lastly, there are the shoes. These shoes, Boot Bling, were created by artist Sherrie Knipfe and are currently in an exhibition entitled, Bootiful, at the Sullivan+Stumpf fine arts gallery in Sydney. Her collection features consumer products, mostly shoes and handbags, that have been turned into sculpture. Knipfe created these Chuck Taylor look alikes from pine veneer and cotton. For more information about the exhibition and Knipfe’s commentary on consumerism visit Aesthetica Magazine.
There you have it. I hope that these fine artists have quenched your inspirational thirst for now, and perhaps inspired you to create your own visual commentary on consumer culture. If you’re feeling parched, and you’re still need of some inspiration, continue to check back. New content is uploaded every Tuesday!
China’s Environmental Protection Foundation designed and created an amazingly unique campaign to encourage citizens to walk more, and drive less. In their effort to promote a greener way of life, The Environmental Protection Foundation also promoted conscious consumerism.
“Conscious Consuming is a social movement that is based around increased awareness of the impact of purchasing decisions on the environment and the consumers health and life in general.”
The Walking Tree isn’t the only campaign that has encouraged people to walk more and drive less. Right here in Raleigh, “guerrilla urbanism” took over. Matt Tomasulo and friends designed, developed, and installed signs all over the city that informed people how long it takes to walk from that spot to another site. The signs were not sanctioned by the city of Raleigh, however they stayed up for a month before the city took them down. But, never fear! The campaign has been so successful that other cities around the world have begun adopting the program.
Walking Raleigh signs- Jason Hidalgo Endgadeget.com
“It’s not telling you to walk. It’s just offering the idea that it’s OK, and it is a choice. I think that’s the biggest issue — people just don’t even think about walking as a choice right now. Even if you can’t walk to get your groceries, I think you can still choose to walk each day.”
For more information about this movement, and how to bring Walk (Your City) to your town, you can visit their blog here.
How could you affect consumerism?
The Cat is out of the bag! Porsche is coming to North Carolina…
Car Culture! Horsepower meets star power as North Carolina Museum of Art plans survey of classic Porsches
Steve McQueen raced them, James Dean died in one, Janis Joplin had a custom psychedelic model; Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno own dozens and travel long distances so they can drive them very, very fast.
The Porsche, the distinctive, aerodynamic, lightweight, low-slung, and undeniably sexy feat of German engineering, is considered by many to be a work of art. And though the 20-some Porsches coming to the North Carolina Museum of Art next fall won’t be billed as “art” per se, these finely crafted machines deserve their spot on the schedule as extraordinary examples of product design, says the museum’s director, Lawrence Wheeler.
“Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed,” opening October 12, is the museum’s first design exhibition, and the first U.S. art-museum auto show to focus on a single brand.
Porsche, Speedster 1600 Super, 1958. COLLECTION OF CHAD MCQUEEN, PHOTOGRAPH ©2013 PETER HARHOLDT.
Well it’s about time! National Geographic now has a tumblr! Hallelujah! Their blog is actually a curated collection entitled FOUND.
“In honor of our 125th anniversary, we are showcasing photographs that reveal cultures and moments of the past. Many of these photos have never been published and are rarely seen by the public.” - NatGeoFound
William Bonner is the keeper of the collection and has posted some really amazing photos. I mean really, would you expect anything less from NatGeo?
As the season goes along, and all you begin to plan your submissions for the Park Pictures competition, we thought it would be a good idea to share some advice from a seasoned professional artist.
Lydia Anne McCarthy is a professor in the School of Art and Design at Alfred University. McCarthy had several of her works displayed on our billboards in the park from her series entitled Svensk Still Life. Above, McCarthy discusses her own personal inspiration and influence for her piece Renskalle med böcker. The piece is set up in the Dutch Still Life tradition, with strong visual symbols designed to inspire the viewer. In the video, she mentions the books that she chose and their significance to this specific piece as well as her overall artistic experience.
The first book is the Edge of Vision. A work published by Aperture that follows the history of alternative photography from the invention of photography all the way through to contemporary manipulation of photography. McCarthy states that his work examines the “investigating tool and materiality” of photography today. The second book, also published by Aperture, is entitled Words Without Pictures. This book, as the title would suggest, is a collection of essays written by photographers and curators discussing the issues surrounding modern photography. McCarthy says she chose these specifics book because they had direct influence on her work as an artist. In addition, in-keeping with the Dutch Still Life theme, reference books were often placed in still lifes of the time to symbolize knowledge and give the viewer specific context for the piece.
So what can you take away from this as you begin your own works? Well McCarthy has an answer for that. Artists need to “beg, borrow, and steal” she says. Artists need to find and use other works that influence their own work. McCarthy acknowledges that it’s alright to take aspects from another artist and incorporate it into your own pieces.
What other words of wisdom does Lydia Anne McCarthy for emerging artists?
- Find out who you are as an artist.
- Find what you’re interested in, and USE it!
- Your influences are vital to your process
- Look at other artists- Beg Borrow and Steal
Good luck everyone and Happy Arting!
The world of Street Photography has been forever changed, thanks to a discovery by John Maloof. He bought a trunk full of negatives from an auction house in Chicago. The photos were taken by a reclusive Nanny named Vivian Maier. A documentary about the life of Maier and her love and art of photography is in the works. You can see more of her photos and clips from her personal archives here.
Vanitas is a motif in art history that describes and depicts the meaninglessness or the transient nature of earthly things. In simple terms vanitas means vanities. Isn’t that appropriate for today’s culture? How many times a day do we see advertisements urging us to buy something, anything,…