A while ago my friend told me about Coursera this amazing website where you can take college classes for free online. I’ve signed up for a few but never managed to actually finish one mostly due to poor timing on my part. I started taking this data science class and really wanted to finish it… and then I started working over 60 hours a week and couldn’t manage to fit it in.
But now I can! Well… not that class. I’m too far behind, BUT this art class I signed up for just started and by golly I am determined to finish it! I know, its weird. Taking an art class online. But so far, its been pretty interesting. This past week we learned about fantastic art. – dadaism, individual fantastic artists, and surrealism. We then had to create our own ‘fantastic’ art piece exploring the ‘absurd, bizarre, imaginary, whimsical, and grotesque’ using any, all, or none of the techniques we discussed in the course. After all, this whole period was about stretching the bounds and just doing your thing.
Anyway, from here on out, I’ll post a bit about what the theme of the week was, my artist statement, and then the two pictures of the work that I submitted.
It took me a while to figure out what kind of feel and technique I wanted to use for this work. I was unsure of the approach I wanted to use and if I wanted to fit myself into one of the movements that we studied. After some thought, I chose to go as a more individual approach using my artistic style paired with my inner dream world and allowing the public to glimpse my idea of my subconscious.
After careful thought, I decided to go with mixed media for my piece, ‘Night’s Journey’ including magazine cut outs and india ink. I first began the piece using watered down ink and a brush to get the wash effect in the background while trying to make it appear like storm clouds. I knew I wanted to go with a nightmare theme and was lucky enough to find photos of costumes worn around the world of nightmaresque creatures in an issue of National Geographic. I paired these with a few photos from Glamour magazine – the child in the clown costume and the Barbie dolls. I added in the lips and the eye for a more sexual feel. Instead of leaving solid lines around the cut outs, I decided to tear the edges giving it an even more unfinished feel.
The idea of this work came from a dream I had when I was around 15. I dreamt that I had a key that could open any door in this parallel universe. I decided to take a dark approach to this dream as I tend to have nightmares and am really drawn to how dark the subconscious can be even in someone whose personality doesn’t quite reflect that. I chose to lay out my images in a way that would appear that the doors were floating in the mist and clouds with stairs leading up to them, so that the journey man (a small cut out at the bottom of the page who is almost unnoticeable) can choose his door.
I chose to go with the images of the nightmare creatures paired with some images that don’t quit fit into those categories. In my experience with nightmares, you might begin your journey in a dream and end somewhere completely different and much darker. I want those images – the barbies, the child in the clown costume, the eye, and the lips – to make the viewer as uncomfortable if not more so than they would be looking at say the man in the Krampus costume (top, middle). I want the viewer to really think about the lack of control you have in your subconscious and how it can really lead you astray with the stories that it creates while you’re fast asleep.