Monday, 29 October 2012

Project Update

I recently had my progress review, which I found to be very helpful! As a result of the review, I've been encouraged to steer in a slightly different direction with my project, for the time being anyway.
Previously, I was doing observational drawing in preparation for some 3D ideas. While studying roses in particular I found myself getting a lot of inspiration and ideas from them. I noticed how all the small lines and grooves in the petals of the flower have a resemblance to the lines on our skin and the veins within our body. I decided to look more closely at this idea and have started to realize that there are many objects in the world of nature that share similarities to the human body. My plan for now is to observe and record these and find ways of experimenting with the two, and possibly combine them in some way.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Artist Inspiration- Jeff Koons

I did some research on Jeff Koons and discovered that his work is very relevant to what I'm working on with my project right now. I'm aware that Koons has a huge variety of subjects in his work, but I decide to focus in on his work with flowers because they are the most suitable pieces for my research at the moment. Koons takes objects from popular culture and uses them to create giant, whimsical, kitsch sculptures. I want to take images from popular tattoo culture and transform them into something new, just like Koons does. Also, I'm fascinated by the wide range of materials he uses to create the same object- flowers. It inspires me to try out different materials myself! 

Monday, 22 October 2012

More 3D work

This is a skeleton I made out of paper and masking tape. I'm happier with this work than my previous 3D attempts, and I think I've made a little progress.
I enjoyed working with paper and I'll definitely use it again in the future!

Using New Materials

So I've started working in 3D, and I wanted to try out some materials I've never used before to experiment with. I began by working with wire, but sadly it wasn't very successful! My first attempt at making a rose was a complete disaster. 
As you can see, it completely fell apart and ended up as a big ball of mush!
My second was a little better. It resembles a flower of some sort, but a rose? Not so much.
After that I started messing around with masking tape, and I found it a lot easier to work with! This is what I came up with.
Working in 3D is completely new to me(I haven't made anything properly with my hands since the Junior Cert!)and I do find it quite difficult, so I know I'm not going to come up with anything impressive right off the bat. However, I enjoy the challenge and I really want to keep trying it out.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Observational Studies

Before beginning moving onto 3D work, I was advised to do some observational studies of the pieces I intend to make. For the moment, I've been focusing in on roses and skulls, as they're two objects I consider to be very typical tattoo symbols. I really want to get a deeper understanding of their structure before I try my hand at making them!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Artist Inspiration- Scott Campbell

Scott Campbell is a tattoo artist from Louisiana, who is quickly becoming one of the "brightest new voices in the New York art scene." He originally studied to become a biochemist but chose to follow a career in tattooing instead. But his real talent lies in his work on mediums other than the skin. He has only been showing in galleries for a few years, but is already being highly acclaimed by fine art communities all over the world. 
I'm so glad that I stumbled upon Campbell's work, as I find it fascinating! I admire his choice of mediums and the attention to detail he puts into everything he creates- cutting US currency with lasers to create intricate sculptures,drawing with graphite on delicate eggshells, working with holograms and light installations, and even burning images onto tortilla bread!
His work is relevant to my project at the moment, as I've been looking at ways to include recognisable tattoo images into my work without simply showing them on the skin (as we are used to seeing them). Campbell creates a whole new environment for his tattoo imagery and takes them out of context.

Short video of one of Campbell's pieces:

Moving on to patterns and 3D work

As I mentioned in my last post, I want to keep tattoo imagery central to my project, but in a different context. I explored the idea of using the imagery to form part of a bigger picture, or as part of a pattern. I also looked at the techniques of old school tattooing and considered if there was a way I could encorporate some of it into my work. For example, the tattoos always had strong, solid outlines, dark shading, and minimal colour.

At the moment, I'm planning on moving forward towards 3D work. I'm interested in taking well known, popular tattoo images and transforming them into 3D objects, as opposed to just flat images on the surface of the skin. In doing this, I will be taking them from their home in the 2D world and creating a totally new space for them in the 3D world. I still wish to keep exploring disguises and concealment, so I'll be using the 3D tattoos to form part of a mask of some sort!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Artist Inspiration- Angelique Houtkamp

Angelique Houtkamp is a Dutch painter and tattoo artist who I've drawn a lot of inspiration from. She herself is inspired by old school tattoo imagery, and old Hollywood glamour.
I find her work to be very relevant to my project. In her paintings she often takes a typically beautiful face and either alters it or conceals certain parts of the face. I also like how she takes certain tattooing techniques (strong black outlines, dark shading) and carries them through to her paintings without actually making them look like full on tattoo flash. This is an element I'd definitely like to use in my own work!


Unsurprisingly, my ideas have developed on from my original concept. Before, I was exploring the idea of perceptions of beauty in relation to tattoos and body art, but now I'm focusing in on the ideas of tattoos as "personal propeganda". Basically, I'm just looking at how tattoos can allow a person to show only what they want to be seen about themselves. Tattoos can act as a sort of disguise, letting us transform into whatever type of person we wish to be, while at the same time masking and concealing the aspects of our personality that we would prefer to remain hidden.
In terms of my work, I would like to toy with the idea of masks and forms of disguise. I've played around with altering faces and transforming them into something new, but I'd like to develop on further from this. I want to continue to use tattoo imagery in my work, but perhaps in a different manner from now on!