Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Musings of an Artsy Highschool Kid -- on alternative mediums and methods

Ever reach under your desk or chair and accidentally touch a piece of gum? If you’re lucky, it’s hard and dried and been there for several years. If you’re immediately go wash your hands. Most people agree that chewed gum stuck on something is gross.

Sticky Situation by Sally Choe, 2011

This is a piece my friend Sally did for AP Studio Art last year, using normal things like charcoal and then some less common things like gravel. And chewed gum. It should have been disgusting – well, it kind of was – but all of us crowded around it anyway, utterly fascinated. I studied it for awhile, wondering at how the use of gum in artwork suddenly made it something I really wanted to poke. She’d taken something off-putting and made it interesting.

I had been struggling with my own work for the class, which at the time just bored me. After seeing Sally’s piece, I started exploring alternative mediums and methods for inspiration. I found a lot – and learned that sometimes trying ridiculous things can really pay off. The more impossible it seems the better. If you’re looking for inspiration of your own, here are a few examples:

Elements of Existence by Nick Gentry, 2011

Painted on discarded floppy disks

Bob Dylan by Iri5

Made from old cassette tape

Dream Vacation by Ghost of a Dream (artist duo: Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was)

Made of discarded lottery tickets

Michelangelo’s “Hand of God”, recreated by Josh Chalom

Made of 12,090 Rubik’s Cubes

P!nk by Jason Mecier

Mosaic portrait made from donated celebrity trash.

These are just some examples - I, at least, won’t be stopping here. Alternative methods are just as much about having fun with art as they are about producing ‘good’ work, so I plan on enjoying myself – and dare you to try something new.