Saturday, June 21, 2014

Neu Kunst: Mona & Marilyn
Post Graffiti ArtCloth

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
One of my passions is to create Post-Graffiti artwork on cloth. A series of posts on this blogspot have addressed issues in Graffiti and Post Graffiti Art as well as presenting images of such art. I have listed some of these below for your enjoyment.
Time Dimension in Art
Unleashed: The Rise of Australian Street Art
Act of Engagement
New York Spray-Can Memorials
Another Brick
Cultural Graffiti
Beyond the Fear of Freedom
Oh, Oh Marilyn and Mona@Spoonflower
Paste Modernism 4


Introduction
My latest Post Graffiti ArtCloth/Quilt works I have labeled under the title “Neu Kunst” – being German for “New Art”. These ArtCloths/Quilts are Post Graffiti deconstructed works.

Deconstruction denotes the application of post-modern ideas of criticism, or theory, to a "text" or "artefact", based on architectural deconstuctivism. A deconstruction is meant to undermine the frame of reference and assumptions that underpin the text or the artefact.

I have purposely juxtaposed a Graffiti work (by an unknown artist) with one of my Neu Kunst artworks in order to demonstrate the vast difference between the “-ism” to the “post-ism”; that is, the difference between Graffiti Art and Post Graffiti Art.


Exhibitions
The Neu Kunst ArtCloth/Quilt works were recently selected for the 2014 QSDS Invitational, “Art Quilts: Celebrating 25 Years of QSDS” May 23rd - July 3rd 2014, at the Richard M. Ross Art Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, USA by jurors Tracy Rieger (Director, Quilt Surface Design Symposium) and Tammy Wallace (Assistant Director, Richard M. Ross Art Museum).

The artworks have been previously selected for exhibition at the following venues:
(i) "New Horizons in Fiber 2008" exhibition, Art Centre of Plano, Plano, Texas, USA, February 1st - March 3rd, 2008.
(ii) "Art Textiles Conference and Exhibition", F Block, College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales, September 13th, 2008. Organised by the Australian Textile Arts & Surface Design Association Inc. and the College of Fine Art, UNSW, Australia.
(iii) The "2009 Australian Cotton Fibre Expo", at Narrabri, NSW, Australia, May 8th - 17th, 2009.
(iv) Unleashed: The Rise of Australian Street Art, Redcliffe City Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia, March 16th - April 16th, 2011.


Printed Fabric Lengths
Due to many requests, I have digitally redesigned some sections of these artworks and have made them available as printed fabric lengths. The fabric lengths, fat quarters and swatches are available for purchase from Spoonflower (custom print on demand digital textile printers) on various custom fabrics. See the following url link and click on the image to view and order/purchase the fabric design: My Fabric Lengths@Spoonflower - see also a previous post: My Fabric Collection.

Neu Kunst: Mona
The ArtCloth/Quilt work, “Neu Kunst: Mona” investigates the influence of the “fine-art” world on the “street” art of Graffiti and the Post Graffiti movement. This artwork centers on various Artists’ attitudes towards Leonardo da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa.

Toward 1500, Italian art entered a new phase, the so-called “High Renaissance” era. Leonardo Da Vinci’s (1452-1519) Mona Lisa (ca. 1503-13) typified the “new” awakening, showcasing ambitions in characterizing the psychological relationship between subject and viewer.

Toward 2000, a “new” awakening entered the art world. As modern society became more complex and alienation more extreme, layers of conscious thought and reductionism in art became only accessible to a smaller group of artists. At the extremes, with little education and with no prospect to understand their complex society, a group of artists emerged, stripped of any sophisticated tools, training or consciousness in order to create “street” art – now labeled as graffiti art. It abounded on such surfaces as public and private buildings, pavements, windows, doors, fences, electricity poles and garbage dumpsters. Their tools were simplistic. Images were usually formed employing paint brushes, paint spray-cans and stencils. Stencils were used since they were simple and moreover, the stenciled messages could be reduced to a few elements in order to make them intelligible; that is, they were producing in the most rudimentary form a modern version of the stone-age pictograph.

This Art Cloth work is named “Neu Kunst”. It is a Post-Graffiti investigation of the influence of the “fine art” world on the new awaking of “street” art. The iconography of the artwork centers on 500 years of appropriation of the Mona Lisa image. It traces its journey through time to its current destination on contemporary walls in our urban streetscapes.

Appropriated images include: Marcel Duchamp’s L.O.O.H.Q. portrait; Lili Lakich’s neon light version of Mona; Miss Piggy featured as Mona Piggy; Ennio Marchetto’s version of La Giocond; Laurie Robin’s collage-effect of the Altered Mona Lisa and advertisements.


Technique
Heat reactive pigment has been silk screened and manipulated to give a 3 dimensional quality to the central image and to raise it from the surface of the cloth base.

The techniques include numerous silk screen methods, stitching, discharge, monoprints, lino blocked, stamped, stenciled, hand painted and digitally collaged images employing pigments, dyes, discharge agents, pastels, crayons, charcoal, metallic paints and heat reactive pigment on cotton. The work is 125 cm long x 75 cm wide.

Pink was chosen to highlight this famous image and to highlight the contemporary nature of Graffiti Art by using a color in the “graffiti palette” as depicted in the central image. The color, pink, also acts as the highlight color due to the many associations it has with the elusive and feminine quality that was her hallmark.


Images of “Neu Kunst: Mona”

Neu Kunst: Mona (full view).

Neu Kunst: Mona (detailed view). Highlighting an area of stitching on the ArtCloth work.

Neu Kunst: Mona (detailed view). Image appropriated from Marcel Duchamp’s L.O.O.H.Q. portrait.

Neu Kunst: Mona (detailed view). Image appropriated shows Miss Piggy who was featured as Mona Piggi.

Neu Kunst: Mona (detailed view). Image appropriated from Laurie Robin's collage-effect of the Altered Mona Lisa.

Neu Kunst: Mona (detailed view). Image appropriated from a magazine advertisement.

Neu Kunst: Mona (detailed view). Imaged appropriated from an advertisement selling contact lenses.


Neu Kunst: Marilyn
The next piece in this series centers on Marilyn Monroe. She was more than just a movie star or glamour queen. A global sensation in her lifetime, Marilyn's popularity has extended beyond star status to that of an icon. Today, the name "Marilyn Monroe" is a symbol synonymous with beauty merged with glamour, fame, desirability, sensuality and vulnerability. From Norma Jean to Marilyn Munroe is a journey from a “person” to an “idea”.

Marilyn’s journey has been documented through history by “movie-goers” and the public at large. Using digitally printed and overworked images, the following images depict part of her image metamorphosis: Artists such as the “poster ripper”, Mimmo Rotella, reintegrated street posters into new statements as in the piece, “A Tribute to Marilyn”.

Two unknown Graffiti Artists have interpreted the movie legend: one as a sprayed, stenciled, isolated image on a wall; the second, looks at what Marilyn would have looked like if she had lived to an old age.

Food artist, Prudence Emma Staite, recreates famous works using Smarties. Here she has depicted Andy Warhol’s print of Marilyn using Smarties confectionary.

The third last image is a graffiti work of the icon in Washington DC. It is of an actual homeless man and Marilyn, keeping warm on a steam vent. It is a parody of the universal image of the famous publicity photos of her posing with her skirt billowing as she stood over an air vent. The icon has now morphed again to continue the conceptual and visual imagery of this post graffiti piece.

I have once again used multiple complex layers of printed, stitched, stenciled, painted, resist, mark-making and distress techniques to create the heavily textured and dense surface. The color, red, was chosen as the highlight color due to the many associations it has with the movie star, in particular the overtly sensual and effervescent quality that was her hallmark.


Technique
The techniques include numerous silk screen methods, stitching, discharge, monoprints, lino blocked, stamped, stenciled, hand painted and digitally collaged images employing pigments, dyes, discharge agents, pastels, crayons, charcoal, metallic paints and heat reactive pigment on cotton. The work is 125 cm long x 75 cm wide.

Bright red was chosen to highlight this famous image and to highlight the contemporary nature of Graffiti Art by using a color in the ’graffiti palette’ as depicted in the central image. The color red was also a highlight color due to the many associations it has with the movie star, in particular the overtly sensual and effervescent quality that was her hallmark.


Images of “Neu Kunst: Marilyn”

Neu Kunst: Marilyn (full view).

Neu Kunst: Marilyn (detailed view). Highlighting an area of stitching on the ArtCloth work.

Neu Kunst: Marilyn (detailed view). Image appropriated and based on Andy Warhol’s “Marilyn” print, which Prudence Emma Staite recreated using “Smarties” (M & M's).

Neu Kunst: Marilyn (detailed view). Image appropriated from Mimmo Rotella's decollage - which he created by ripping posters (particularly movie advertisements) off exterior walls, attaching the fragments to canvases, and then tearing off smaller pieces from the posters to create colorful, often amusing, collages.

Neu Kunst: Marilyn (detailed view). Image appropriated from an unknown USA photographer. A homeless person is sitting below a graffiti image of “Marilyn on a wall”.

Neu Kunst: Marilyn (detailed view). Image appropriated from an unknown USA graffiti artist. Stencil image of Marilyn on a wall.

Neu Kunst: Marilyn (detailed view). Image appropriated from an unknown USA graffiti artist who spray painted an image of Marilyn to see what she may look like when she aged.

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