A friend of mine sent me this photo of an exhibit she saw at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Boston. I wanted to learn more about the artist and this work so I wrote to the museum and they responded immediately with the information I requested.
The artist is Yinka Shonibare MBE and this installation is a celebration of the diversity of the American population.
The books are covered in the artist's signature Dutch wax printed cotton textiles and on many of the spines, printed in gold, are the names of people who immigrated to America. Also included are descendants of immigrants who have made major contributions to America including: W. E. B. Du Bois, Maria Goeppert Mayer, Steve Jobs, Bruce Lee, Ana Mendieta, Joni Mitchell, Toni Morrison, Barack Obama, Steven Spielberg, Carl Stokes, Donald Trump and Tiger Woods.
I wonder what Donald Trump would think, being included in this list given his anti-immigrant policies!
Unfortunately, this exhibit has closed in Boston but will be traveling to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Cantor Arts Center at Stamford University.
I wish it would come to Denver!
Lately, I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos about book-making and one artist I have been following is Natasa Marinkovic who lives in Melbourne, Australia. Her YouTube channel is "Treasure Books".
She made a video
showing how she made a version of this book and I tried it out today. I really liked the results and the fact she uses machine sewing to embellish her small pieces. Fun way to use up your paper scraps. I cut out my shapes from decorative paper and then backed them with commercial card stock and sewed around the edges. I suppose you could save yourself a lot of time by simply using card stock that was printed on both sides. But I didn't have any of these!
I have used this type of "binding" before and, of course, the covers (I used paper instead of fabric because I thought it would be more complimentary to the insides).
Besides her creativity, I just like listening to her voice. Not true with many of the crafters on YouTube who I turn off during the first 10 seconds!
Natasa has shared so many of her techniques (very generous!) that it's worth dipping into her channel to see if any of the ideas stimulate your own creativity. I think she's one of the best and worth your time.
I LOVE making art books.
The fun thing is that they are never finished! I always have new ideas to make them even more interesting.
Lately, I've been playing with layering different fabrics and sewing them together with a button. I was wondering what I was going to do with these "fabric bundles" when I looked at some tiny books I made over a year ago and voila! I glued them on the covers it made the tiny book, a tiny art treasure.
Love them so much more!
I've been experimenting with making "faux" handmade paper lately. I'm suing a lot of different substrates from copy paper, card stock, tea dyed and cool-aid dyed paper but the one I like best so far is parchment paper.
I like the translucent look of the paper after it dries and it seems strong enough to use as a book cover. But what I really love is the texture! I'm using lots of different things to put on the surface: cheese cloth, tea bag papers, thread, cut up yarns, dried flowers, fake flowers, and tea leaves, to name a few. But with all experiments, differing materials get different results.
I was using a very thin layer of napkin at first but it kept ripping so I tried some white tissue paper which is stronger but more opaque.
Tomorrow, I will review the tissue piece to see if I like it. If I don't, it will be recycled into something else and I will have learned something.
Having fun creating "Exploding Boxes" I feel it's like a junk journal in a different form. Lots of pockets for lots of secret inserts. Making some distressed playing cards for more personal inserts since I grew up playing bridge with my mom and dad.
I was happy to see that Ann Wilson's "Moby Dick" was part of the Whitney collection. This was her first abstract "quilt paintings". Fiber art can take many forms and using someone else's work as a substrate and then adding your own layer of creativity, makes an entirely new statement.
Six years ago, I got an email from Cayce Goldberg asking me if we could get together and talk. He was thinking about opening an art gallery in RiNo, where my gallery was located.
I was delighted and met a young man with lots of smarts as well as being an accomplished artist himself. A year later, he opened Helikon — a combination of artist studios and a beautiful art gallery.
Today, I visited him for his closing day and we had a chance to share our stories of being gallery owners and then closing our galleries because of gentrification. When I opened my gallery (aBuzz) there were 7 other art galleries within the radius of a block. That made our area a "destination" for First Fridays where 200-300 people would be attending our openings. When I closed my gallery, there was only 1 gallery left. We were no longer a "destination".
Cayce's story was different since he owned the building and when the city increased his taxes and he couldn't pass it on to the artists, he decided it was time to take a new path.
He talked with me about his joy at helping launch so many talented artists in the Denver community and how, one day in the future, he might try this again.
I'm sad today but happy I had the chance to know Cayce. He is a special person and makes my life that much richer.
Goodbye Helikon. Hello Cayce — here's to your next adventure!
The best way to transport a Christmas tree? On a bike, of course.
New York is my home town and I was excited to spend some time there over Thanksgiving. Walking the streets, riding the subway, and talking to people are always my favorite things to do (not mentioning going to museums, broadway shows, and other cultural events — did I mention shopping???)
But seeing this Dad and daughter transporting their tree on bikes made me once again, realize that being creative means solving problems.
I do this every day in my studio when things are not turning out as expected. Instead of getting frustrated and throwing things into the trash, I really work at figuring out what went wrong and how I can fix it.
It's my favorite part of living the life of an artist!
People often ask me "How long did it take you to create that piece?" I always answer "A long time but I enjoyed every minute"
So when I looked t this installation at the Whitney Museum in NYC, the first thing I wanted to know is "How long did it take you to create this piece"
Every surface of this fabricated, actual size kitchen, was covered with beads. Of course, it sparkles but also comes with a political message of women spending a lot of time in this room. There is a poem by Emily Dickerson, speaking of the subjugation of women in marriage, a box showing Aunt Jemima as a smiling domestic servant and the bottle of dish washing soap labeled "Joy" which is what women should feel, washing dishes.
The artistry, patience, talent, creativity, and problem-solving that artist Liza Lou exhibits in this amazing work makes me want to see what she's working on now so I will be following her creative adventures. Oh, BTW, it took her only 5 years!
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a fiber artist and love color and texture!