Sunday, March 16, 2014

Discarded/ Destroyed/ Devoured Art

A friend of mine posted this fascinating link to 10 artist who destroyed their own work.

And as I finished reading it, I realized I could be counted amongst their numbers.  Not all of it is entirely on purpose, but I thought I would take a moment to go through the pieces that AREN'T (any more).

And so we begin with "Anton Purr's Parable of the Tree". Monoprint, drypoint etching, paint thinner transfer, iron on transfer, pen and ink, collage and watercolor.  If you'd like the back story on how and why this piece was created in the first place, you can read it here.


So why doesn't it exist any more?  This thing was MASSIVE.  Almost a 5 foot square, impossible to store (I don't have 5 ft flat to lay it, it couldn't be rolled, nor would it not crumple on itself if you tried to store it upright), and full of anger.  After attempting to store it in various frustating ways for a year, this print found it's way into the burn pile.

Second in our list we have Untitled Cardboard and Paper Sculpture.  12" x 18" Fall 2009.
6 different views of the same sculpture.  And it's sister piece Untitled Cardboard and Paper Box.  12" x 12" Fall 2009.

These were created in my first art class after a ten year break from completing my degree.  When I started that semester, I was worried that I wouldn't know how to make art any more-- this class helped build my confidence.

In all honesty, I loved making these two pieces.  We started by making the box, exploring layers and textures.




The second part of the assignment was to imagine it exploding/morphing/changing into something new:


My absolute favorite part of this was that it was a completely different sculpture from each side that you looked at it.

So why don't they exist any more?  Well, I cannibalized the box to make the sculpture.  And we live in southern Alabama with extremely high humidity.  A month after making it, this once awesome sculpture looked like it had suffered the cardboard equivalent of geriatrics.  It was hunched, almost half the size of it's glory days, with pieces popping off where the glue had given up like joints.  So it found it's burial in the recycle box.  I still sometimes wonder what the guys who pick that up must have thought of it when they came across it in my bin with milk jugs and aluminum cans.

The next one is easy to see why they didn't last long...  They're cookies (;


They were part of a beautiful edible art display done by Beverly Leach in Spring of 2011.

Next up, we have "In the Beginning". Acrylic and mixed media.  If you would like the story on the creation of this piece, you can read it here.


As lovely as I thought this piece was, it irked me when I realized after I'd made it that Judaic art would not include any images of people.  The couple kissing in the upper right star is wrong.  But that could be fixed.  What -couldn't- be fixed is how fragile and difficult this piece is to store.  The dreidels kept falling off.  It had to be stored flat...and it's not actually -flat-, so it had to be stored flat on top.  After having 3 of 4 dreidels fall off for the umpteenth time in 2 years, it was finally rolled up as a small fit of frustration found it outright tossed in the trash.  The thought of this piece being gone for good was breaking my heart, so I thought I'd give a look through all the photographs I took of it and discovered that 3 years of adobe photoshop work means it's not going to be a complete loss (:

The next piece makes me both angry and sad.  It's the original copper plate for my "Mucha's Zombie".



I can still make digital prints of this print available...but for actual runs, where 200 was the goal, there are less than 15 runs of this print.  Because some how, a rubber band decomposed and melted to the surface of my plate.  I still have it, in the hopes that some day, I will find a way to remove the offending rubber without destroying the plate underneath it.

The next two pieces are site works we did as a collaborative project on the campus of Troy University.

The first is called "Court Yard Kudzu" because we took a vast array of stakes in various lengths and this piece just 'popped up' in the middle of the Malone Art Building courtyard one morning like kudzu.  No warning-- Ta-Da!  We intentionally put it around the walking path so that people would be required to interact with it in some way--either directly by passing through, or indirectly by completing changing their route to -avoid- passing through.



As it was in the walk way, this piece lasted about four days and then we cannibalized it for the next site work, called "Reclaiming the Labyrinth".


This one stayed in place for several months and my favorite part is that it took an abandoned labyrinth and created a new maze you could walk over it.

The next one is just a fun sign for my love of playing in the SCA:


"Troll" is where you go to pay for the event and sign in.  And it's much easier to find if there's a sign for it.  And I've always loved the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff (:

The problem with this one is that I could not find any place around here that could laminate something 16" x 20".  And so, like the card board sculptures before it, it succumbed to Alabama humidity.  The upshot is that I will probably just remake this one in a smaller size that CAN be laminated.

The next piece is called Self Portrait #2. acrylic on canvas.


And quite frankly, my heart wasn't in it.  I loathe doing self portraits.  This one has been re-gessoed so I can reuse the canvas once I figure out what's supposed to be on it.

The next sculpture is a shadow sculpture "Two Mothers: Mother Earth and Mother Nature"  I took all natural discards I found along the way and turned them into the sculpture portion called "Mother Nature".  The shadow it cast was called "Mother Earth".





Quite frankly, it was -awesome-!  But, it was made from just gathered recently living things so every minute after this, it was decaying, rotting and starting to fall apart.  After 3 days, it was ready to return to the nature from whence it had come.

The next piece was never finished to begin with.  It was working on the idea of explosion from within.



This piece was coming along -so- nicely...but then the dogs ran through and dropped it to the floor.  I gathered the pieces and reassembled.  Then my youngest was running through and banged into it.  So I gathered the pieces and reassembled.  Then my husband thought he'd move it for me to a safer location...so I gathered the pieces and reassembled.  When I accidentally bumped into it and it was going to need reassembling AGAIN, I called it quits, pulled it apart and gave my husband the awesome remnants for use with his WarHammer 40K game.

The next two pieces were for my senior exhibition, called "Chimera: The Heroines of Grimm".  You can read about both pieces here and here.


Quite frankly, Alabama humidity eats more of my paper sculptures than anything else.  I still have both canvases and will (hopefully) (eventually) reimagine them.  Until that time, they're just off in storage.

The next piece is the third in a triptych  called "The Devil's Loss" open Triptych panel 3. Monoprint, collage, pen and ink.  You can read about this piece here.



The problem with making large paper pieces with delicate moving paper pieces is that you have delicate paper pieces meant to move.  Lets just sum it up as there was a storage and movement incident and it didn't survive.

At least with the advent of digital photography, my more recent work isn't 'truly gone' forever.  There is a recording that they existed.  And now for the sadder part of the list.  The part where I was in college for the first two times and was horrible about photo documenting my work.  For three years of art classes, I have a grand total of 18 pieces that remain-3 ceramic pieces, 2 sculptures, 2 metal pieces and 11 drawings.  I know that there were over 8 more ceramic pieces, several sculptures, stained glass pieces and multiple drawings and paintings.

Some of what is gone, I can't even remember.  Some of what is gone, I can (and it would be fantastic to stumble across them and see them again) but I'm fairly certain they've been lost, undocumented, to time...much like the pieces of several of the artists who intentionally destroyed their art.


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