My son, who is very interested in street artists, recommended I watch the movie, “Exit through the Gift Shop”. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and I watched the movie this past rainy day weekend thinking it was going to simply be a documentary on this counter-culture underground movement called Street Art. It was so much more … at the end of the movie you should ask yourself two questions, “What is Art?” and “Who decides it’s Art?” There has been a lot of speculation as to whether or not the movie is “real” or not … I’m not sure it really matters, in the end.
Without telling you too much about the movie and giving away the good stuff, the movie was made by the most famously anonymous street artist, Banksy.
An amateur filmmaker, Frenchman Thierry Guetta aka “Mr. Brainwash”, shoots reels and reels of film on the pretext that he is making his own documentary about street artists and their nocturnal pasting and spraying. There are many interesting focuses on different artists, most notably Banksy and Shepard Fairey (founder of Obey and the artist made famous by his iconic Obama image), who allow the filmmaker to go along on their adventures.
The drama intensifies and in the end … well, I think it has a wonderful twist. I thought it was interesting how bitter the street artists were in the end. Did “Mr. Brainwash” sell out? Is he smarter than everyone else? Is he a fraud? Is “Mr. Brainwash” nothing more than a character made up by Banksy himself?
All in all, it is a very entertaining and interesting movie! Let me know your thoughts!
Last week I visited the fantastic exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco … Pulp Fashion by Belgian artist, Isabelle de Borchgrave. The fashion was life-size period costumes made from nothing other than paper and paint (of course it was either glued or stitched together). Not only did I thoroughly enjoy her beautiful, realistic creations, but I really appreciated the thorough explanation of her process. The video was well done and you could get “up close and personal” with her art.
The costume time periods ranged from the renaissance period to modern-day Coco Chanel.
De Borchgrave uses stencils and other techniques to re-create the uniformity of fabric and I especially liked the use of metallic paint. That really made it look like silk. The foundation paper is quite thick and looks to be very heavy and resilient. The lens paper lace was fantastic and all the tucks and pleats … mind-boggling! Beads and hair pieces, and even the hair itself, if necessary, was made from paper. Every piece was a little different and had a different flair and inspiration. All the pieces were exhibited on simple paper mannequins.
In the last exhibit room was a presentation of costumes De Borchgrave created using actual paintings in the Legion of Honor for inspiration. They were incredible!
At the end of the day … we decided that it was impossible to decide on a favorite. We even tried to break it down by room, Everything was beautiful and different.
Not only did I have a great day with my good friend, Linda, but was really inspired by the creative use of paper and stencils and how it could be translated into the “real thing”. I have pulled out the mylar, the textile paints, and the tees to create my own stencils and give it a go. My creative juices are flowing!!
I recently discovered the book, The New Creative Artist, by Nita Leland. She calls it a “Guide to Developing Your Creative Spirit”. I have read other book by Nita Leland in the past and have found her to be very insightful and generally spurns me on creatively, but she has outdone herself with THIS book! It is chock full of inspiration.
There is an activity to stretch your creativity for nearly every day and the book explores many mediums and new ways to use each one. Many of the exercises use everyday things you may have around the house and is easily adaptable to helping change up your lesson plans or personally trying a new technique.
In the book, Nita Leland discusses forms of Art and Craft (printmaking, quilting, scrapbooking, etc.), as well as Realism -vs- Abstraction. There is also a complete chapter on building your confidence as an artist. The ideas in this book help you stretch your own ideas for lesson plans, as well as your personal art experience and I think it is appropriate for artists of all ages!
The book is really well laid out and easy to read. A beautiful book! Try it! If you can’t find it at the library, Amazon or Barnes and Noble sell used books for around $14. It is a hard-back, ringed book and easy to flip through. I like the rings because it opens fully and stays open while you are following the instructions!
As a young child, I always loved making random swirls across a paper and coloring the fractured pieces. It is sort of making something out of chaos. Choosing the color combinations are key to success!
Lately, I have been thinking about my random chaos drawings and thought it would be fun to do again … only with a theme in mind. I was trying to get a stained glass affect and outlined the actual image in black pen, which in hindsight I think was a mistake.
Attached is the black and white version of this peace sign mosaic … what can you do with it?! I would love to see what everyone comes up with! Please share!
peace sign mosaic to color
Sometimes it is just fun to have something easy to color and relax with. Here is an open drawing of a Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly for anyone to print and color. Just click on the pdf file and you can print to your printer on whatever paper you desire! Here is the image I used to insert in my own art …
pdf file … butterfly to print