Saturday, January 10, 2015

New Year - New Art

If I don't rep my kit, no one will. I mean, am I right?

Isn't this the reason people start and maintain blogs? I know that's my motivational conceit. The Internet has given rise to a bazillion voices all scrambling to be heard at once. A throbbing miasma of navel gazing, bile spewing and, in those rare moments, highly interesting declarations of individuality screaming to be recognized as the special snowflakes that they are.

I suppose it could be argued that the Internet has enabled individuals like you and me the opportunity to be recognized as the one-of-a-kind creative folks we've always known we are. So, bully to us knowing how to reach out through these series of tubes and share our artistic endeavors and expressions of self with the world at large!

The only problem with this scenario is that I've been in a bit of a flux where my artistic accomplishments are concerned. As every other artist in this crazy spinning blue asylum attempts to obtain (with various measures of success), I've tried to carve out a special little niche to hang my smock on; a signature style that is unmistakeably mine. It's been slow going.

You see, I used to enjoy oil painting. Then one day, about 10 or so years ago, I simply stopped enjoying making paintings. The inspiration wasn't there, and I had no real idea of what I wanted to paint outside of beautiful naked women. And when you have a face and an off-putting disposition like mine, the dearth of women willing to pose sans clothing is few and far between.

But the need to create something with my hands was an impulse too strong to ignore. So, in that 10-year dodge where my easel and paint brushes collected dust, I turned my attention to making collage covers for the various mix CD I'd churn-out with regularity. 

Under my made-up company, The Rocket Science Alliance Ltd., the idea behind the creation of these pieces (which resembled miniature record sleeves that I would fold and paste together) was, I suppose, a comment of sorts on consumerism. I've always been fascinated with industry and design - the creation, marketing and dissemination of product. I even went so far as to shrink wrap my creations. That one facet of my artwork contained other people's intellectual property (the music on the CDs themselves) made the idea of actually selling said pieces (if that were ever a possibility in the first place) an impossibility. So, I'd just give these mixes away for free to anyone who would accept them.

And that was going well for a while, but at some point smearing found clip-art images in Wite-Out and paint pens got to be a bit of a slog. Inspired by the likes of Robert Pollard, Joseph Cornell and Andrew Savage, I soon came to realize this form of imitation wasn't all that flattering. I mean, I had some pieces I was quite proud of, but the desire to create something truly original persisted.

Then one day last November, as I was making a mix to give away as a present for friends, family and strangers, I discovered a couple of pieces of solid colored paper mixed in my container of clipart images. I started layering the images on top of one another and simply liked the way they appeared together. Then I added some Wite-Out and paint pen lettering, a clipart R.S.A. logo, and viola! I think I finally found my niche.

Dusk To Dusk (c. 2014)
Paper scraps, Wite-Out, paint pens, and clipart on paper.

So, that last paragraph up there? It's in reference to this mix. I kind of just let any artistic conceits I had go and let the Wite-Out and color swatches fall where they may. Happy accidents are usually the best accidents, fractured and flawed though they may be.

Damage Pact (c. 2014)
Paper scrap, Wite-Out, paint pen, and photocopier on paper.

This mix was a repository for all of these new wave-ish tracks I had orphaned in my iTunes library. I really like bending these letters around within the words they occupy. It's as if they're telling your eyes to fuck off; their bodies don't belong to you.

Ipso Facto (c. 2014)
Plastic scrap, paint pens, Sharpie, and photocopier on paper.

Ah, the unofficial Portland color palette: red and white on light blue of some sort. I can't say this combination isn't easy on the eyes. This cover was made using the housing of a plastic envelope I received in the mail over the holiday. It was a very fun, slippery surface to write on. I wish I could find more of this stuff.

Sunshine Golden (c. 2014)
Paper scraps, Wite-Out, paint pens, and photocopier on paper.

I like the way the blue construction paper makes the orange-ish yellow envelope paper on this one pop. In hindsigh, this combination isn't that out-of-left-field, but it seemed radical while I making it. I'm not crazy about where that red bar is placed, but oh well. Too late now.

Cold Comfort (c. 2014)
Clipart, Wite-Out, paint pens, Sharpie, and photocopier on paper.

I've been sitting on this collection of slowcore sounds (Low, Codeine, Bedhead, etc.) for well over a decade until the creation of this cover. No image seemed quite right. Then this mailer for some conservationist group or another came in and the image just seemed to perfect to let go.

Soft Aquatics (c. 2014)
Clipart, Wite-Out, paint pens, and photocopier on paper.

Where this fuzzy lil' buddy came from, I can't recall. Most likely in a junk mail flyer. That's where most of my cribbed clipart comes from. I really went to town with the verbiage crammed into ever nook and cranny of the lettering. It started off small and simply exploded outward from there.

Action Slackers (c. 2015)
Clipart, Wite-Out, paint pens, and photocopier on paper.

This compilation was made specifically for a fellow mix-maker friend of mine across the country. The image comes from a workout calendar, and I kept the lettering upright and sedate for some reason. Maybe this cover didn't want to wrestle with the words. I dunno. I like that blue and red combo, though.

Okie Doke (c. 2015)
Paper scraps, Wite-Out, paint pens, Sharpie, and photocopier on paper.

For a while there, I thought I could be a real fancy man; all slick and proper. I even went so far as to subscribe to GQ magazine. But I've come to terms with my comfort rated fashion sense, so I let my my subscription of this periodical lapse. At least I put the publication's re-up request envelopes to some other use than sending them money. Yee-haw!!!

Hugs and Curses (c. 2015)
Clipart, Wite-Out, paint pens, paint, and photocopier on paper.

Fresh out of the oven, this cover was actually made yesterday. I decided to experiment with paint, which had the unexpected surprise of wrinkling the paper just so. The rooster image comes from a Dr. Oz Magazine pullout someone left in the bathroom stall at my work. Inspiration, aye? You find it in the most interesting places.

 Eyesore Sugar (c. 2015)
Clipart, Wite-Out, paint, and resourced material on paper.

This cover is a do-over, since the entirety of this art is pasted over a less-than-steller and quite frankly, lazily conceived-of piece. Again using paint that warps the integrity of the photocopier paper I normally use, I slathered it on and affixed a newspaper image of be-thigh-highed legs to the wet paint. Add some Wite-Out lettering and presto-chango! Trust me, this looks waaaay better than the original, believe it or don't.