“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!