This piece started in a really different place than it ended. I woke up a couple mornings ago and decided to tidy up my studio. Then disaster struck! I knocked over my teal liquid acrylic container that I had failed to close all the way. In a panic I snatched up a canvas and tried to transfer as much of the ink puddle as I could to the surface. Hence the beginnings of this work. Most of that is now covered but I liked the color palette it inspired.
Some times when you play with a new art medium you love what you create simply because its so fun and new. Other times you create something that you absolutely hate. I rarely create a piece of art that I can’t find any redeeming quality in but this small piece managed to do it.
This was created using Wonder Under Fusible Web, which is a cool mesh that melts and sticks to things when you iron it. I was working with a group of friends and we had a lot of options. I made two right before this one that I liked, that are now in a frame, and thinking I had the hang of it I created this one.
I got a little stuck on the butterfly. I really liked it but had a hard time finding things I liked to go with it. I kinda just threw a few things together and hoped for the best. It was awful, so I tried adding more things (which has saved me in other mediums such as painting and decoupage). That however made it worse.
I am excited to say that now this piece has been archived on my blog I can throw it away guilt free. What do you do with pieces you create that you hate? Feel free to share in the comments.
September 11th, 2001 has become a day immortalized in the memories of a nation. Early in the morning two planes, hijacked by a group of terrorists, crashed into the World Trade Center towers. The world watched as the two towers fell down in smoke. Although media coverage was swift to censor the events of the attacks, people everywhere can recall the frightening live broadcasts. Never before had the safety of the American people been so systematically compromised. Although terrorist attacks occurred on United States soil before, such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, the lives of civilians hadn’t been jeopardized like they had been on 9/11. Alongside the World Trade Center, the Pentagon was hit, and a fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania, allegedly targeting the White House.
“No building symbolized the neoliberal world order better that the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and no building symbolizes military might in the United States better that the Pentagon. The White House, the target for the third failed attack, would have been the perfect representation of political power” (79, Bleiker).
To comprehend the intensity surrounding 9/11 countless pieces of art have been created to remember, process, and immortalize the events of the day.
Zhang Huan is a contemporary artist, primarily involved in performance art. Over the past couple years he has flitted in and out of my perceptions, but this last semester I learned about him in much more detail.
The work that brought Huan into the spotlight for the contemporary art world was 12 square meters (1994). While living in a rundown house in a small provencial town outside Beijing, Huan decided to create a performance commenting on the conditions of where he was living. The rental only cost him .75 cents a month and contained a shared bathroom with no door or running water.
He sat naked for 2 hours covered in honey (or sugar water depending on the source you read), and fish sauce while flies slowly became stuck to him in the public bathroom. He did not move for the entire time, except to blink the flies away. After the 2 hours he walked to the nearby pond, which was also highly polluted, and walked until he was completely submerged. In photographs documenting the performance you can see the swarm of dead flies floating around his head, which had previously been attached to him.
All of Huan’s works comment on the world around him through taking his body and consciousness to the extremes. His body of work reminds me of other performance artists such as Marina Abromovic, and artists from the Gutai movement in Japan.
The information for this post was abbreviated from my Art in China lecture at University of Colorado with professor Park.