Goodbye, masks and Bruce (the mannequin). It was fun while it lasted :(
I had my Mandrill Mask at the “Montmartre”-Art Show on Sunday, and that was a good decision. Most people looked at the mask before the painting, some even asked how much the mask would cost. I unfortunately had to tell them that I couldn’t sell it with a good conscience, because the mask is infested with bugs. Looking back it’s because I used the traditional (and cheap) flour-and-water-mix for the glue. This is often recommended and works really well, but obviously it was too tasty for the bugs to resist.
Despite several attempts to seal off the surface, the bugs keep getting through the laquer. So the Sunday Art Show was the last time the mask was shown. I will sadly have to throw it away, along with the other sculptures I have. I guess that’s one way to make room for new projects, though: I am starting work on a puppet mask-series, also made of papermaché. But this time with elmer’s glue, and not with flour and water, we can learn something from this :)
Here’s a sculpture that was quite fun and interesting to make: “Marylin” (2013, Papermaché)
It started with a set of coconut shells I had lying around. They reminded me of a monkey’s jaw, so I made a chimp puppet. I put the puppet on my shelf, then waited for about a year before I went further with it.
Meanwhile I had been to the christmas dinner of our art class, where I had overheared two girls in a conversation. They were talking about (mostly male) models and critiquing them in a very superficial way. These models were nothing but eye candy to them, it was actually quite shocking to me.
This conversation got me thinking of how we often idealize people, especially celebrities in a very superficial way. On the one hand people will like the attention, but that kind of attention also breaks a person. One tragic example of this is Marylin Monroe: she was THE star back in her day, THE symbol of hollywood and glamor. But it got to the point where that’s all she was. Her personality, struggles or fears didn’t matter to people, all they cared about was her looks and icon-status. This eventually led her to her tragic suicide.
So after thinking of Marylin Monroe and her life, I decided to make a sculpture based on that. That’s where the chimp puppet came in: I took it off the shelf, dusted “him” off and turned “him” into Marylin. “He” became a “She”. Basically the thought was that all the superficial attention was making her into a monkey/a show object to entertain.
The couch and diamonds in the sculpture are references from Marylin Monroe’s music video “diamonds are a girls best friend”
I’ve always known that the American West was big. But coming from Germany (where everything is quite densly populated) I did not really know what “big” meant. Not until we took a roadtrip from San Diego to Minneapolis. We had 5 days, and had to travel 10-15 hours each day to make it. That’s how huge the US (and it’s desert) really are!
Despite the rush, we still managed to see some amazing landscapes, such as this canyon in Utah. It really is called “Devil’s Canyon”, and it is, like everything else, huge: those specks of color on the road are actually big semi-trucks winding their way through the slopes.
I took the photo back to Germany and completed the painting 2 months later. It’s about 75x55cm (2′ 6″x 1’10”) and is done on brown-package paper.
Last spring I spent 5-weeks in the US, 2 weeks in Seattle, WA and 3 weeks in Corvallis, OR. During that time I got to go a little further east towards the Oregon Cascades. It took almost 3 hours to get there, and these were only the foothills of the Cascades. Quiet roads through mountain forests, cold and clear air. We saw a fish hatchery and stopped to take a look around. Most of the pools were empty as were the buildings that went with them. There was not much to see, except for this house. Just before we drove off, I took a quick snapshot of it out the car window. I loved the generic yet peaceful look to the building, your common mountain house.
The painting has become one of my favorite works, and was shown at the Summer Exhibit of my art school in July 2014.
Today’s featured art piece is an acrylic painting on brown package paper. (Title: “Dog barking at the Sea”) I started work on it while I was in Cyprus in Oct 2013. I was staying in an appartment close to the ocean, so close that you could hear the waves washing up to the shore. The appartment was in a tiny village and oftentimes you wouldn’t hear anything but the ocean, especially at night.
It was on one of those nights that I was lying awake in bed, and heared those waves in the background. Then, I heared a dog barking in the distance, and the two sounds came together. The thought of a dog trying to chase away the waves seemed obvious, but also quite absurd and interesting from an artist’s perspective. So I started painting, and finished the piece when I got home in Germany.
I do a lot of different stuff, but I decided to put a focus on one of my works every once in a while. Today’s VIP is my sculpture “Greedo”. He’s an infamous bounty hunter from the original “Star Wars”-Movie. I thought this character was aesthetically very interesting, but I also was intrigued by his appearance in the movie. So I made him as a papermaché bust.