Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Falling in love, again.

I have never considered myself to be a gushy person and definitely not a groupie but in the past 2 years, I have been both. In the past few years, I have developed a strong inclination for art with recyclables...reusing materials in a creative way (thus the Bear Tavern bottle cap mural). The plastic bottle caps was timed well with my viewing and falling in love with 'Up the Decibel' by Sculptor Katie Truk who I stalked, admired and became a groupie of. She uses pantyhose and wire to create the most amazing abstract sculptures that are so strong yet delicate. Timing was perfect, it was destined and Katie came to Bear Tavern to present a workshop to my 5th grade Art Enrichment students in early 2011 and then exhibited her work alongside theirs in an art show hosted at RiverStone.

Chakaia Booker is another Sculptor that I really admire. She sculpts with tires. Have you ever tried to shred or even cut a tire? It is extremely difficult and dangerous if the proper protective equipment is not worn. 
Her sculptures are incredible. Again, I love the creative way of reusing a material that so easily pollutes our environment but in a unique way that sends a message. Love the uniform color of the tires as well.

Now, for the newbie. Brittany Watkins. Whoa! I don't know much about her but looking to find out more. She is a recent graduate of Montana State University and is displaying a piece at Grounds for Sculpture. Last night, I attended a Focus Group meeting at the Grounds to discuss strategic planning for the education department. I had viewed her untitled piece prior but during museum hours when the building was busy. 
Last night, I was the only one on the first floor of the Domestic Arts Building at 8:30 pm, on a day the entire grounds are closed. 
I was able to really inspect the sculpture without feeling odd. Basically, Watkins collected and melted hundreds of white plastic bags to a point where they are connected, layered and take on a fabric look. Honestly, at first look, I thought I was viewing a beautiful white comforter that could be sold at Anthropologie. 
The way that Watkins has molded the bags together is so unique. There are lace-like holes in many spaces where the heat melted through. These simple, white plastic bags are altered just enough that the everyday item becomes nothing less than beautiful.
The sculpture, which is really in the category of Installation Art, is not one to miss if you appreciate the use of recyclables. 

All three of these women have been a huge influence on me...and actually, make it four because I can't forget Installation Artist Tara Donovan who inspired a fun sculpture experience for my 2nd graders this year. 
Each uses everyday objects in a way that forces us to respect the materials in a way that is had to conceive. Tires, throwaway bags and pantyhose....Styrofoam cups. 

Tara Donovan: Installation Art

I am in love with the ideas these women have and how they piece together a single material in a way that brings attention to the environment, social issues and our everyday lives. Each sculpture portrays how delicate yet strong female artists are. 

In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.

Update: 4/4/2012  I went back to GFS today to visit a few friends and bring my son over to say hello and looked at 'Untitled' by Brittany Watkins again. The day prior, I was testing out melting white plastic bags with an iron to see how quickly the process worked. I had to place a thin barrier in between the iron and the plastic to protect my iron but even so, the bags took some time to melt together. Looking, again, at Watkins' piece, I was struck by how seamless the plastic looks and how the plastic took on more of a tissue paper look hanging there on display. 
I understand that not every viewer is as taken with this untitled piece but the more I dig and find out about the process, the more intrigued I am. Still in love.

No comments:

Post a Comment