Read How I Got Into The Arts Here:
- Read Part 1 Here: How I Got Into the Arts Part I: College and Jewelry
- Read Part 2 Here: How I Got Into the Arts Part II: Cookie Cutters
- Read Part 3 Here: How I Got Into the Arts Part III: Frank and The Artwalk
- Read Part 4 Here: How I Got Into the Arts Part IV: Making a Splash at MGA
- Read Part 5 Here: How I Got Into the Arts Part V: The Police Station
Important Things to Know:
- The Magic That Is The Waterjet
- CAD: Computer-Aided Design
- A Love Letter To My Mentors
- 2021, My Insane Year of Art
This will be my last post before talking about what I’ll be making for the showcase, which is damn soon. Too damn soon.
The things that inspire me are usually large and immersive. They have elements of craftsmanship, scale, and intrigue. I always like to make something that has never quite been made before, so I’m always looking for the people that are doing so for inspiration. So let’s talk about a few of those artists in this post.
Daniel Popper is a multidisciplinary artist known for delivering larger than life physical installations at festivals around the world. [Wikipedia]
I started following Daniel Popper when I became interested in concrete, in which he has made several huge concrete sculptures for music festivals. What I like about Popper’s work in particular is the scale, the pieces are beyond massive. And they are cool and modern and fit in their space well. While I haven’t seen it in person, my favorite is this piece is Ft Lauderdale titled Thrive. 15 tons of glass fiber reinforced concrete, mixed with plants, in a piece you can actively walk through. Hits all the check marks for me. I did see a piece of his in Miami for Art Basel last year.
Olafur Eliasson is an Icelandic–Danish artist known for sculptured and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. [Wikipedia]
I like Eliasson’s work because he’s naturally curious and there is a certain depth from science evident in his pieces. I first found him when doing research into kaleidoscopes as he made a series of them (which are very cool and my favorite work of his). He was featured on a Netflix show called “Abstract: The Art of Design“, which is a worthwhile watch into his practice.
Kusama may be the most popular/mainstream of the artists I appreciate, known mainly for her mirrored infinity rooms. What I like about her work is that the spaces are not only immersive but transcendent, a direct tie to her life and how she views the world. There are people that try to copy her, but the authenticity of her work shines through always in a way and a touch that only she has. I saw my first room of hers last year at the Phoenix Art Museum while at a public arts conference.
Anish Kapoor is the artist who I undoubtedly admire the most, even if he is known for being an asshole in real life (see: the blackest black). I love his work because his pieces are physical objects that play with your perception of the environment they reside in. They are technical feats of craftsmanship as well, with an unparalleled attention to detail. They are powerful, mesmerizing, and hypnotic. I have seen many pieces of his, but last year I got to see The Bean in Chicago while at a fabrication technology conference. Spending a solid two hours, got to see how the work interacted with it’s space. I naturally walked around it to see the variances in my own reflection. I sat afar and watched people interact with it. I stayed and watch the light and colors change as the sunset. To me, it is it’s everything good public art should be: beautiful, intriguing, playful, iconic, and place-making.
BONUS: TWO ART INSTITUTIONS
Finally, I have an affection for 2 institutions in the arts world. Meow Wolf and Burning Man.
Meow Wolf is synonymous with immersive art. Started in 2008, their original experience is an installation in Santa Fe inside of a 20,000sq ft bowling alley. It’s hard to describe besides an experience, it is really an overload of all of the sense, in a trippy and beautiful and playful . I attended in 2018 when I happened to be close enough to visit. If you ever have a chance to experience one of their installations, DO IT. Currently they have locations in Vegas and Denver as well. I may or may not have applied to work for them at one point.
Burning Man is a world famous art event that takes place in the desert of Black Rock City, Nevada every year. I have never been, but the pinnacle of my making experiential art would be to have a piece at Burning Man. The work shown there is from all around the world from skilled and respected designers, fabricators, and artists. My favorite piece from Burning Man is called “Space Whale”, a 40’ steel and stained class humpback whale sculpture. It is simply a gorgeous piece. The story of Space Whale is also interesting, as the piece was made at cost for Burning Man, with most of the labor being donated. After being displayed there, it was rented to the city of Reno and became a beloved piece of public art for the area. After the lease term ran out, Reno intended to buy the piece for $1,000,000, but the pandemic hit and the deal fell through. It is currently for sale and the story of the Space Whale is still happening. It’s a pretty interesting story to follow that goes beyond simply art.
Anywho, hopefully this is a little insight into the things that I like and draw inspiration from, and that it shows in the work y’all will be seeing April 14th.
Stay Tuned for My Next Post: Shit, This is Going to Be Expensive