Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg was an American painter and graphic artist who’s work anticipated the pop art movement.

What I like about this piece above by Rauschenberg is the movement of the paint and the mixture of colour. I find this to be a very effective technique by spreading the paint in different directions and creating patterns.

By doing this Rauschenberg leaves the piece with a very simple base before adding detail which I think adds quite a lot of character to his work.

These two pieces above by Rauschenberg are similar in choice of colour. These colours compliment each other well with out over powering one another. Underneath all the bright colour is where Rauschenberg layers his imagery, newspaper and other bits. By doing this the texture and detail is shown from underneath the colours which blur them in with the black and white images.

For my own work I want to experiment with complimentary colours muckiest like Rauschenberg’s work.

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso is an artist I have enjoyed since being very young.

Picasso is skilled in many different mediums such a painting, sculpting, printmaking etc and every piece he has created is something that is detailed and unique in every way.

Below are two collage pieces made by Picasso that I really enjoy.

Piccasso’s collage pieces include many different materials such as newspaper, photographs fabrics and also objects.

This first piece called Glass and bottle of Suze is a collage piece made in 1912. What I really enjoy about this piece is the contrast between the purple and the murky brown colours. This choice of colour helps to make the purple stand out and become eye-catching.

The background also make the piece look detailed as you can still make out the writing on the newspaper clippings. This adds a different kind of texture to the piece.

Another of Picasso’s pieces which I enjoy is the ‘Still life with the caned chair’. This piece does not have any pop of colour like Picasso’s other piece but I really like his use of line and how the dark greys create a lot of depth in this piece.

Even though the colours are again quite murky, there is a lot of detail in this piece without any help from newspaper to create a different texture.

For my own work I really want to use Picasso’s attention to detail to my advantage. In all of his pieces there never seems to be one boring, tiresome section. His work contains excitement throughout.

Winston Torr

Winston Torr is a collage and charcoal artist living in Berlin, Germany.

His work captures a mixture of contour, shadows and highlights which I think capture the movement of the human body extremely well.

Torr’s work is inspired by childhood memories exploring body language and the study of faces. His work in collage experiments with bright colour and his charcoal pieces explore contrast and texture.

What I really enjoy about his piece below is his strong us of line.

The fluid movements of the harsh lines sat a tone and give me the vibe of stress and tension. This is also something I feel from looking at the body language of the subject. The way his fists are balled together and they way he is slightly hunched over gives me the impression of stress and upset.

I really like how he’s chosen to work onto of newspaper as it gives a great textural effect in the background.

For my own exhibit I want be able to use harsh lines like Torr’s work to set an emotion with my piece.

If I show frustration. in my work, the viewer will be able to get a sense of this.

Ernest Zacharevic

Ernest Zacharevic is a contemporary and public artist based in Malaysia.

His work ‘Splash and Burn’ is an awareness campaign responding creatively and raising awareness for unregulated farming practises of Palm Oil in Indonesia. His work tackles issues such as transboundary haze, Deforestation, Human and Animal displacement; murals/sculptures. The campaign has collaborated with a number of local and international non-profit organisations such as London base charity SOS.

The project was initiated by Zacharevic who has actively researched the issue surrounding this and has visited and sorted locations as well a connecting with researchers and specialists in this field.

The image above is one of the pieces Zacharevic has created for this campaign.

What I really like about this piece is that it has a way of pulling on your heart strings.

Looking at the image of the lush, green forest burn to the ground with the dark and murky background has a way of making you want to shut your eyes and open them again in the hopes that the awful image will magically disappear.

What really strikes me in this piece is the monkey swinging from tree to tree above the flames.

This kind of image makes you feel sorry for the poor, defenceless creature who’s home is being taken away from him and by the looks of it, no where to escape from the hot flames and smoke.

This kind of devastation for the animal in the image leaves a kind of tension in your body, keeping you on edge much like in a horror film.

Does the monkey make it safely to his family? Or does it perish in the flames?

For my own exhibition, I want what I am showing to create an awareness and tension much like Zacharevic’s work.

Animals are harmed and killed everyday because of the choices and actions humans make and by harming and killing them off some animals are slowly becoming extinct.

Derek Gores

Derek Gores is a visual artist from New York.

Gores uses materials such a recycled magazines, newspapers, maps and data to create portraits on canvas’. Gores work is very playful and he is able to capture great detail in his pieces whilst creating a kind of puzzle. Rearranging scrap materials, Gores is able to go from piles of recyclable material to realism from a far; but as the viewer comes closer the pieces of scrap material become more pronoun and the realism starts to fade away.

This piece below is one of Gores pieces called ‘On the Line’.

What I really enjoy about this piece by Gores is how it appears to be both simplistic and complicated at the same time.

The simplistic side of this piece lies with his choice of colour.

Going for a black and white finish with a pop of colour through out really helps to keep your attention on the recycled materials. Anything colourful would make the piece appear to be very busy but this way you are able to see the subject clearly but also focus on the material.

For my own work I want my recycled materials to be a focus point but also not be too distracting. By using a similar method to Gores piece about, I will be able to accomplish this.

Lance Letcher

‘An Agreement’ By Lance Letcher
‘Portrait of Werner’ by Lance Letcher

Lance Letcher is an American contemporary collage artist based in Austin, Texas.

His work immediately caught my eye due to it’s vibrant and colourful layers which are very eye-catching and loud.

Letcher started his career of drawing but quickly moved to collage work.

In recent years, Letcher has other materials like scrap metal to create this mural shown below.

‘Big Eye’ by Lance Letcher

What I like about him and his work is the use of up cycling objects that he finds. He uses materials he finds in bins, half priced books and discarded objects of which he gives a new lease of life.

What I really like about his work and would like to carry into my own practise is the way he uses of magazine font to create wording on his work.

I find that looking at his work and seeing the variety of mismatched typography gives his work a very interesting look.

For my own work I want to also create something that is not only going to be bright and eye-catching to any audience but that is also going to be interesting to look at and full of texture.

Philadelphia’s Magic Garden

When recently visiting America I was able to check out a few artsy places in Philadelphia.

One of my favourite places that I visited was Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.

This gallery is a small gallery who’s mission is to inspire creativity and community engagement by educating the public about folk, mosaic and visionary art.

What I really enjoyed about this work is the mixed match mosaic tiles and mixed media elements behind the work. Inside of the little gallery and also outside was a mixture of glass and tiles to create interesting textures and detail in the walls and ground. Also used were glass bottle, ceramic plates broken and used to create different shapes in the walls.

This work has made me think of ways in which I can fuse my waste pieces together to create my style of this. I want to use waste mainly collected from picking up litter and hopefully find ways to use this as my canvas.

From looking at these images I took in Philadelphia, it reminds me of a technique I used daringly foundation diploma which consisted of using large amounts of PVA glue to stick objects together on a wooden board.

This is something I could develop on.

Mural Mile

When in Philadelphia I was able to walk along Mural Mile and take in the amazing murals painted on the side of buildings.

The Murals were so realistic and so large scale which made them even more beautiful to look at. The figures and animals painted were so detailed and so realistic. The proportions of the features to the face and body were also so perfect that it felt as if I was staring up at giant humans which decorated the streets.

What was also really lovely to see was that none of the murals had been touched or tampered with by graffiti.

Some street art you see walking round places like Bristol and London which are closer to the ground and not as high up can be damaged by graffiti art and can unfortunately take away from the beauty of the mural itself.

One of my favourite murals on the walk if the one above.

What I really love about this mural is the bright colours and patterns used throughout. The mural itself is very aesthetically pleasing and very easy to look at. The bright colours and shapes making it feel as if even on a dark and gloomy day the fluorescent use of colour in some aspects of this mural would not be made to feel gloomy from the weather.

With my own work I would like to incorporate realism when creating figures and animals. Through out the years I have aways been drawn into creating abstract work as I feel as if my drawing skills are limited and abstract can help me to express more to the audience when drawing.

I would really like to challenge myself for my final exhibition at Cardiff Met and create something that is a little bit more out of my comfort zone.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Tapestry

When visiting the V&A recently I was able to have a look at a few tapestry’s. Since making my own tapestry’s I have focused on using yarn to create more texture in my pieces but I wanted to look at how more tradition tapestry’s were made.

This tapestry above was made around 1425-30 in the Southern Netherlands. The scenes in this piece are based around the events of hunting as this was a popular activity for noble and royalty around this time. Animals like bears and otters were hunted as a sport and deer and boar were prized for their meat. Anyone that took on hunting boars of bears were deemed brave as they were dangerous and hunting them demanded bravery, nerve, strategy and team work.

Noble fashion in the 15th century was also luxurious and magnificent. This tapestry represents the clothing of the courtly elite in Northern Europe very well. It gives a vivid impression of extravagant and expensive fashions worn at the court of dukes of Burgundy.

This tapestry would have been made on a large scale weaving loom with multiple weavers working on it side by side. Tapestry production was a complex process and merchants would bring in the raw materials, commission the designs and cartoons from the artists, employ the weavers and then sell the final finished products.

Weavers would have far fewer colours to work with then painters and to produce a three dimensional design required highly skilled weavers.

On a digital screen in the V&A was a digital photograph of the tapestry when they enhanced the colours to what they would have been originally. Over time the colours of the tapestry fade turning bright greens into blue tones. The back of the tapestry was protected by the sun so still holds the original bright and vibrant colours, dominantly green and red.

Seeing these tapestry’s in person really opened my mind to how beautiful they can be. Even though they take quite a long amount of time to make, the outcome is very beautiful and worth while.

Tate Modern, Artist and Society

Whilst in London recently, I took some time to visit a few of my favourite galleries.

Whilst visiting Tate Modern I was able to see a collection of artists work curated by Matthew Gale and Valentina Ragaglia called Artist and Society.

This was a collection of artist work that focus on the relationship between the artist and society. Most of the artists chosen for this actively attempt to change the world through their work and the others focus on problems in society.

This is something that I would like to reflect in my own work as I believe that art can help to show us a better world and how we can work towards accomplishing just that.

Marwan Rechmaoui, Monument of Living 2001-8
Mitch Epstein, Gavin Coal Power Plant, Cheshire, Ohio 2003 (LEFT), Biloxi, Mississippi 2005 (RIGHT)
Andre Fougeron, Martyred Spain 1937

This piece above by Andre Fougeron really caught my eye. Looking at his work and his use of dark colours really intrigued me. In this piece is a decaying body of a horse and the body of a raped woman. This symbolises the innocent victims of a country devastated by conflict during the Spanish civil war in the 1930s. I think that the use of dark colour really represents sadness in the painting and gives the viewer a sense of grief.

Malangatana Ngwenya, Untitled 1967
Ellen Gallagher, DeLuxe 2004-5

Seeing Ellen Gallagher’s work up close and personal also gave me a few ideas on ways I could use collage to experiment with my own work. I really like the way she has used both traditional and digital printing techniques to copy and alter advertisements based around the idea of ‘white’ beauty. Her techniques with layering and wording is something I could use for my own work.

Yinka Shonibare, The British Library, 2014

Yinka Shonibare’s ‘The British Library’ was a very beautifully colourful installation to see. This installation was made up of 6,000 books all bright and colourful with gold printing on the spine with the names of first or second generation immigrants in Britain. This is to symbolisms wether celebrated or lesser known, they have all made significant contributions to British culture and history.

The books are bound in Dutch was print fabric which is Shonibare’s signature material and the fabrics reveal a complex relationship between colonialism, cultural appropriation and national identity.

I also think that the bright colours represent the diversity of cultures we are lucky to live among in the UK and how diversity in our country is a beautiful thing.

Yinka Shonibare, The British Library, 2014
John Dugger, Chile Will Prevail 1974

One of my favourite pieces in the Tate was this tapestry above bu John Dugger. I really enjoy the dark blue background and the bright oranges, reds and yellows used in this piece. The contrast of the background to the lettering and imagery in this piece makes the bright colours incredibly eye catching and ascetically pleasing.

This is something I want to take over to my own work.