maandag 31 december 2012

Coincidence in creating art

Some people wonder whether some features in a work are there by coincidence or on purpose, which could leave people thinking that the artwork is better than intended by pure luck. I can imagine that, but I have to explain how some artists, maybe all, but at least me work. Some of my work have a lot of intended features, but are not always seen. How does that work?

An idea doesn't come as a complete idea. Most ideas constitute of a lot of smaller ideas and those smaller ideas come and go. Eventually you stick with the ideas that fit the theme. So the whole process isn't about suddenly having this great idea with perfect features, but more about throwing away most ideas and leaving a small minority that work well. For the viewer it results in an artwork of which people could think: 'Huh? I can't believe the artist thought to combine all these small elements'. Well they are right. A lot of times I start a sculpture with a certain direction and change something along the way and decide after adding if that feature makes sense. If it does, I keep it otherwise not.

So for the viewer it looks like a too clever to believe process where it is actually a process of gathering all kinds of stuff, a mindless part of the process, and then throwing away a lot of things and leaving the perfect minority of smaller ideas.

Example: Mr. Clean the skeleton sculpture, started as an idea to show the problem of food marketing, but not by using the example of the tobacco industry. The cigarette lighters were just practical to make the figure, but I kept it because I saw all the links with this industry. I also considered other parts, like plastic pens or other plastic stuff, but those didn't make sense within this theme.
Eventually you adjust the sculpture a bit to show the parrallel with the tobacco industry a bit better.. and there you are!

....will keep throwing away ideas in 2013 to show you the combination of my best ideas! Have a great and healthy 2013!

zaterdag 22 december 2012

Expendables free art

Yes, I am giving away some of my small simple sculptures. Only the simple ones though. And will be leaving them in the streets of probably Utrecht and Amsterdam between Christmas and New Year. Some I want to leave because I have taken enought photos of them in the streets, some I made deliberately to leave in The Netherlands. Will make photos of their leaving spot.

Leaves me to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

dinsdag 18 december 2012

Christmas fairs

So, the winter arts market in Liverpool is behind be and liked every bit of it! Was really good to speak to all those people and see what the think of my work. Got the impression that for a lot of people you either love my stuff or your freaked out and would never want to buy anything. I personally like that! But for the rest it was hard to define what type of people bought my Christmas characters. Young old, male, female, they all bought my work. I like the mixture!

Among the things that I have learnt is that Christmas fairs are great way to show my work, will do it next year again and will start earlier so I can make more different 'products' and not only my Christmas characters.
I have also experienced that my smaller work is just as effective as my bigger work, maybe even more and that I need to keep using humour in my work, but without stepping over de barrier by becoming disrespectful to the animal. So far, I have managed that.

I haven't got any photos of the fairs right now, but have a few characters left, like some in this batch:

donderdag 6 december 2012

The last few weeks before Christmas

So I have done the Christmas fair at The Gregson in Lancaster and it went well! Sold lots of my Christmas characters and now I have de luxury problem of making loads more in one week before I go to Liverpool. I already see I need to start making these a lot earlier next year so I can do more fairs, but this has been an interesting experience, also on checking out which characters I have made are the most appealing. Good training when I make bigger sculptures!

I have also been collecting a few complete animals in bones and still have the idea of doing something with the complete animal, but also still don't know how. This will probably become clear next year and I think the Grizedale commission will help me with that.

...logging of to get back at making Christmas characters for St. George's Hall in Liverpool this Saturday the 8th of December!

maandag 26 november 2012

Christmas fairs and more

Christmas is getting close and I am working hard to get enough Christmas character sculptures done for the fairs I am doing.

- The first isn't a fair, more of a temporarily pop-up shop and is based in Amsterdam The Netherlands. It is a street art focussed shop with workshops, music and other entertainment..... and low priced art of some big names in street art. Only open in the weekends and is already started, check it out at Zeeburgerdijk:

- The second will be the Christmas fair at the Gregson community centre in Lancaster on the 1st of December. Will be interesting to see the faces of the visitors when they are confronted with my work for the first time! Here is a link of the things that will be sold.

- The third and last one, is the one I am looking forward to, it is the Winter arts Market in George's Hall in Liverpool. This is a big event held on the 7th and 8th of December. I'll be there only on the 7th, check it out: St. George's Hall Winter art market

And I will bring some of my 'normal' work too! Want to no what they are? Check my website!

woensdag 21 november 2012

Christmas waste

I walked around the high street this morning and couldn't resist checking one of those temporarily shops with Christmas crap. So depressing to see the cheapest of the cheapest stuff, made out of plastic and ending in the bin on January 2nd.
We have become so conditioned in making and buying things that are thrown away so easily. Symptoms of this disease:

1 It is crap and we subconsciously know it, but its cheap, so we buy it and tell ourselves its a steal and a money saver. It isn't when you throw it away every time and have to buy new every year.

2 The industry has moved itself the last 50 years to materials and production processes that are economically the cheapest. Although economically it is cheap, the real ecological price will still need to be paid. The question is, which generation is going to pay for it?

3 Because they make them technically crap, it wouldn't make any sense to spend a lot of time designing them. The design is crap too, which make these products very boring very fast, triggering us to throw it away.

4 There is no incentive to make long lasting products, because throwing away means buying again, which tells the industry that we like crap products and throw them away.

I just hope that I manage to make my Christmas decorations timeless and of such good quality that people want to keep them for many years to come! If not, half of most sculptures are from recycled 'products' from our food chain that will hopefully make people think about the above message!

Just finished this one: The Ghost of Christmas Future (Clay and acrylics on a sheep neck bone)

maandag 19 november 2012

Christmas decorations

Most of you, who have been following me on Facebook, already know I am busy making Christmas decorations for a couple of fairs. I am making a lot of these small sculptures with a bone as a base and they are taking most of my time, so I don't have any exciting new artistic developments to show. But these Christmas decorations are a bit of a exploration of the humour in my work. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and I hope that these Christmas decorations will give me a better feeling what works and what doesn't.

I know that some characters are a hit, but have no idea which ones will be the strongest and only one way to find out and that is try to sell them. The first Christmas decorations I have send to a new pop-up shop in Amsterdam, set up specifically for Christmas: The Amsterdam Street Art shop. This shop will open the 24th of November and will close at 18.00h on the 22nd of December.
Second is a small Christmas fair in the Gregson community centre in Lancaster. Last, but certainly not least, is the Winter Arts Market in Liverpool and I will be there on the 8th of December.

Some pictures of the decorations I have finished so far:

dinsdag 6 november 2012

Day of the Dead

Dias de los Muertos! Yeah! The day where my skull based work is celebrated the most! Last year, when I started using skulls, I already thought of doing something with this Mexican fest. I found a very nice spot to show my work and what better than a Mexican restaurant / takeaway? So my skulls can be seen on the first floor of Goburrito in Lancaster.

But They also have a display cabinet I use to show some of my small vertebra sculptures:

zaterdag 3 november 2012

Art vs nature

Got a bit quiet again. Had a lot of work, you know of the job salary type, and was on a holiday. The latter triggered me to write about something I want to share. I was walking in the blazing sun, yeah escaped the cold and wet North, grasping the tidal streams flowing around my feet at the mediterranean sea. What a beautiful thing to see! This wasn't the first time I gave it a thought; how simple things in nature give you that strong 'wow' feeling.

What has this to do with art? Well, I was wondering how art would compare with nature in its 'wow' effect. I mean, we go to galleries and come across maybe a one or two peaces that really grab our attention in the way these natural occurring things do. You might question the existence of having art at all. What's the point when having plenty of events and views to enjoy in the outdoors? Good point!
But, even when you think about how easy it is to see beautiful things in nature, a good art piece is still a major accomplishment. For a somebody to create something that others didn't came up with and gives you a 'wow' feeling is a great accomplishment.

Its just that we all, even the great masters in the art, are so tiny compared with the true master of creation, whether you believe it to be god or not.

woensdag 3 oktober 2012

Art and exhibition update

It has been I while since I wrote something about where I am at, what I have planned and how my art is developing! Mainly because I have some 'normal' work and that has been quite intense. But I have managed to organise an exhibition by myself with two other artists at Fallout Factory in Liverpool. My work was well received and it is always good to hear which works were preferred over other works of mine.

I have been mainly focussing on 2D sculptures for on gallery walls because of this exhibition, but I have also been working on developing something really new; bigger standing sculptures with a more abstract style while keeping the freaky and funny side of my work. One of my last finished 2D sculptures is part of the trigger and is called: 'The light at the end of the tunnel is a freight truck coming your way'.

Lots of positive comments on this artwork!

The coming weeks I need to start making Christmas decorations for the fairs I am doing. I will mainly bring my smaller works and some examples of my bigger artwork like skulls, standing sculptures and perhaps one of the 2D sculptures.

maandag 10 september 2012

Sculptures in mountains

Yes, took my sculptures in the mountains last weekend, right at the same time as a walking event passed by. Again in the Lake District, but this time I walked up Claife Heights and started making photos of my sculptures around Eccles tarn.
Noticing the amount of walkers with numbers on their chests, I set up my art along the walking path and got smiling faces and laughter in return! That's the thing with my artwork, people smile or laugh and that is the way people should look at it. The theme or background story might be a lot more serious, but initially people should enjoy looking at it without any intellectual thoughts! Had a great morning!

vrijdag 7 september 2012

Commissioned work

This week I have been thinking about new ideas to make bigger sculptures for a specific venue. I have been asked to come up with an idea for that venue, which is really exciting! 
The main problem so far was connecting the materials I want to use with the style/feel of the sculptures. I want to use bones & skulls, very familiar, and mountain bike parts. I prefer to have a bright coloured funny looking style for these, as always. I had some ideas, but were to me a bit straightforward. So I now started to think in images of other things, not necessarily artworks, that represent what I want. This is something that generally always helps. The brain is a clever thing; plant those images in your head and you will eventually get the idea just before you fall asleep or when you wake up!

Well, I am not there yet, but I feel like I am getting close to be disconnected enough from what I have made in the past to recreate and tick the right boxes for this project.

The last 20 images I added to my Pinterest 'inspiration' board gives an idea:

Looking to create something with interesting shapes, but clearly a figure or cartoon character. This sculpture of mine comes close to what I want:

zondag 2 september 2012

Christmas decorations

Yes, I am early with this, but missed the boat last year!

The small sculptures I use for street photos are the inspiration for making the first Christmas decorations. I started using neck vertebrae from sheep to make a Santa Claus and I liked the weird shape and the positioning of the hands and feet on that.

I also started on some fairy's, different ones, I haven't decided which one works the best. I will have a photo of a third version soon.

Then I started on Rudolph the red nose reindeer and both versions work for me very well! Especially this one:

I am not 100% sure, but quite confident that this neck vertebrae is from an actual deer and if so, most likely from a Fallow deer. I have got more deer bones and will use those to to create Rudolphs.

I have also created some Christmas postcards and the first sample should be here soon! It is definitely not the usual Christmas card, but you probably are not surprised.

vrijdag 24 augustus 2012

Where do you get your bones from?

Where do you get your bones from?

This is quite a common question people ask me when seeing my work at exhibitions or fairs. Well, I have several ways to collect bones. Sheep bones I find in remote uphill areas where farmers are allowed to leave dead sheep. Normally a farmer needs to call an agency for the pickup of dead animals. Over the last two years, I have learnt where good spots are where sheep might have died over the winter. I leave them there until all flesh is gone, takes about 6-10 months.

All the other bones, like rabbits and birds, I collect mainly beside the road. If I spot a dead animal, preferably not one that is hit full on, because lots of bones are break, then I either leave them there or move them to a better spot to let it rot. Also for collection later. A rabbit can be fleshless between 4-10 weeks, but you will have to get rid of some skin and fur yourself.

Sometimes I find something that is clean already. Once I found a ram skull completely clean while I was mountain biking.  I attached it to my Camelback and continued my ride...probably with people thinking I was mad. Well, I am!
Another time riding on my bike, I spotted a deer that was hit by a car. I took two plastic bottles to put over the rear legs and grabbed it there and lifted it over a dry stone wall. I had to hold it far away from my chest because it was dripping blood, which was quite heavy. It is still there and would mean a full set of deer bones!

Today I went out and there were lots of interesting roadkill, but unfortunately didn't have much time to secure them. But two quite rare finds I did secure, one was a female grouse and the other a Stout (Mustela Erminea). The Grouse I had spotted earlier, but didn't have any equipment with me to move it.  On the way back to it I found an almost complete hare skeleton 95% clean, that's home now. Then I found a fresh rabbit, collected the Grouse and found later the Stout. Very efficient bike ride!

The Rabbit:

The Grouse:

The Stout:

woensdag 22 augustus 2012

Fairness of high earners

So we have been angry about the bonuses and pay of bankers. Well mainly because something big has gone wrong, because if our economy still would have been strong, we wouldn't be complaining. That is how lazy we are when it comes to our principles!
So now we speak of unfairness of their millions and demand these bonuses to be slashed! Well, there are more cases where people clearly earn tot much for the added value to society they create. Let's have a look at football players. There a lot of players earning £10,000 or more a day! These are the wages that are starting to get comparable with those of bankers. These employees are just kicking a ball and provide Saturday afternoon entertainment...... You might think that as long as the clubs can pay it, it is fine, well it is not.
- Big part of their salary is paid by companies who use them to persuade you in buying their products. Eventually, you pay for it. Can you imagine what the price of these products would be without marketing and these ridiculous salaries?
- It sends the wrong message to people about your pay needing to be equivalent to what you have added to society. It stimulates the grabbing of money no matter what costs for others.

The reason for this, mainly the first bullet, is we people like to follow other popular people. We have a tendency to create pyramids of followers and in the process blowing the hype up. Money only translates the process into numbers. If clubs can pay for the salary, it doesn't make it worth it for society in the long run. We have a strong habit of assessing if something is good or not by looking at the economic viability, but we forget that the economy is based on people and big groups of people can make bad decisions. We made a decision to blow up our lending capacity....until we lost trust in that and now we have a major credit crunch.

Maybe there comes a point in time we start to see that marketing is similar. We eventually pay for it, because it is part of the normal costs to run a big company and these costs are part of the price you pay when buying a product. This means you are actually paying to be persuaded to buy the product you buy. This would be ok, if it means that the product can be manufactured in bigger amounts and reducing costs in the process, but a lot of products have long passed that point and a lot of products actually use their popularity achieved by their marketing to raise profits. So they do a lot of clever marketing, you pay for the marketing, but because the product is so popular because of it, they not only add the costs of marketing, but also raise profit margins. They have changed the price elasticity and create a hype or trend.

dinsdag 14 augustus 2012

Oxford Art Fair ...after talk

Sunday evening I got back from The Oxford Art Fair with a great feeling! This was the first time I have shown my sculptures for two days and me being there all the time. This is special, because that made sure I could see all the different responses to my work. Sunday was especially interesting, because I had a lot of nice conversations with people about my work.
One of my most recent works 'Incorporated' was received very well and definitely the effect I wanted to have. Something really cool to see, was the kids that were loving my stuff, especially the standing sculptures and the fridge magnets.

But, I also had a great time meeting all the other artists. Very divers work, but all very well done. This list isn't complete, but does show the diversity. For a complete list me sure to check  The Oxford Art Fair website:
- Time2Panic for urban art / street art / stencil art It is fun!
- Inmemoryphoto for great photos, seen what he did with one of my sculptures, great skills!
- Tony Broadbent for great abstract paintings with cool vivid colours!
- The secret art loft Tracey makes great artwork, I'll call them 2D sculptures from all kinds of random objects and balances them in one great piece!
- Dan March, illustrator gone Awol!
- Victoria Stanway, really love the humour in her work! Be sure to read what her work is about!
- Rebecca Hendin, Love zombies, but she has lots more of great artwork!
- Philip Jones, nature inspired illustrations, excellent detail!
- Made in Holmfirth Great photos, made me feel home in Oxford as a Northerner.
...Oh wait, There were two artists with photo's, well different photo's. And there was lots more, but haven't found their website so far, but check out the fair's website, they are all described over there!

vrijdag 3 augustus 2012

Oxford Art Fair

I will have my work at The Oxford Art Fair next weekend, 11th and 12th of August!
Looking forward to this event, because the setting provides a nice opportunity to interact with the viewer and see and hear what the think.
Also interesting to see how people respond to the materials I use. I can imagine it might be a bit alien seeing so many bones in an area where they are much less common than in the North West.

woensdag 25 juli 2012

2d sculpture: Incorporated

Yes, I am finally getting somewhere with my search to get an optimal combination in style, material, expression and message. ...ah and the prices of these works won't break the bank!

Ever since I noticed that I needed to express a message, I was looking for a form in which I could preserve my freaky colourful style AND telling my message about how we value things and the role of big corporations in it. So I have been focussing on the food industry. We all know food is one of the most important things we buy in life, perhaps THE most important and yet we are so careless in how we judge what we eat.
To express more with my work I have been mapping other 'dimensions' of art to use in expressing my message. Normally you start with creating the story with anything that you can use to make it visually happen. But I already had a list of demands visually and that the message shouldn't interfere with it.

So by using particular materials for my artwork I manage to send a message just by using different materials. I started with bones, which was a coincidence and soon discovered it ticked the right boxes around food (dead food source) and our mindless following (sheep). Examples are invasive species and Eco orange But still it was a bit far fetched and unclear. It was more about expressing the beauty of nature (bones and stones) in contrast to the artificial (clay/resin/manmade).

So I started using plastics to express the waste and the use of artificial food sources. That in itself had similar impact. So I combined the two and that was a bit of a search because my main base material to create, clay, suddenly only worked as an adhesive. I had to rethink how to keep my style without making the right shapes with clay. I eventually worked it out by using an earlier used technique for mosaic, like in 'Bad Enamel' And combining that with the use of other plastic materials like in 'Eye Lid' and 'Sugar Ray rabbit'. Eventually resulting in: Mr. Clean

But Mr. Clean was quite a lot of work and a very fragile piece.

In a parallel thought process I created fridge magnets, where I used what I did with Delft blue ceramic paint style and plastic mosaic, but on bone. Why? The other dimension I wanted to use to express my message was 'location'. What better place to express your message about food than on a fridge?
Soon after the first magnets, I wanted to create fridge magnet sculptures. I did, but the space is limited and I didn't want them to stick out a lot.

Now I have fused where I left Mr. Clean with where I was with fridge magnets and came up with this strong combination, 'Incorporated':

maandag 16 juli 2012

Outdoor exhibitions

I just held my first outdoor exhibition this year! What does this mean? Well, carrying up my artwork, climbing gear, camera, name plate, lunch and some clothes up on a mountain. Finding a nice spot to show my art and start creating the display.
Last year I tried something similar on Loughrigg fell, but I moved a lot and lost some of the potential interaction with walkers. So this year I want to create a more proper display that'll keep for few hours on that day. I decided to bring only work that can be hanged and looked for nice cliffs to hang them on with climbing gear. I think this works a lot better than what I did last year. I can still improve some bits. Originally, I want to have either specific poems or a description of my artwork too. I also need to think of a, not so nature intruding, way to display my fridge magnets. Some bit of metal that blends in the natural environment? Hmm...

Some pictures of my work hanging halfway up Helm crag:

donderdag 12 juli 2012

Size matters!

Oh no, this isn't one of those viagra enlargement spam mail. No it is about me searching for the right size for my art related to the amount of effort I put in.
In my last blogpost I showed pictures of 'Mr. Clean'. I have now managed to keep it straight up, but it was a battle with gravity! Again I was caught by surprise how much time I spend on a standing sculpture that size. So when I want to make something like this, but bigger, I need to rethink how I create it before it becomes ridiculously time consuming.
Yes, I now have art in a lot of varying sizes from fridge magnets, which I still need to put on my website, to standing sculptures like 'Mr. Clean' and 'The Fellracer'. In the future I want to make bigger sculptures that take the same amount of time as 'Mr. Clean'. The two problems I am facing are retaining my style and how to make them, technically. Perhaps I need to learn new techniques.

For now I post some pictures of another relatively big sculpture I call 'The Flial'. Judgement weapon in the battle against mindless consuming.

zaterdag 23 juni 2012

Mr. Clean

I present you Mr. Clean. A sculpture I want to use for an installation about the food industry and how we weirdly have ended up mixing natural with artificial in our food causing all kinds of 'modern' diseases and waste in the form of plastic and folders. To emphasise the danger of this marketing I draw a parallel with the tobacco industry, which we used to believe that cigarettes were harmless.

Why am I holding it? Well, it is not yet finished, but visually it won't get more finished then this.

dinsdag 12 juni 2012

Frustrating things when learning

Yeah, it isn't all greatness. The thing is, I try to constantly experiment and within that experiment the visual aspect is always more important than the technique. So sometimes you have manoeuvred yourself in a position where you have to solve a problem in a way you have never done. Well, that's what I had yesterday. Spent hours and hours to prepare sculpt and when finished I decided I wasn't happy with it. That's the point where you have to drag yourself away and brake it up and start over instead of finishing it and regretting you left that part as it was.

This is just a small step of many to create sculptures that will have the Freakinstyle feel; funny, freaky and a bit wacky, and also will tell the background story behind it. I decided to tell that story mostly by the materials I use; human waste. Waste is a result of how we value things. The two types of waste I use are bones and plastic. They are very different forms of waste, the first we normally never see and the second we see very day. Further, the bones I collect are wasted at the beginning of the supply chain, the plastic is waste at the end of it.

So I am now making a sculpture that mixes these two a bit more than I have done in the past and it requires different techniques and different thinking about what would work visually. In this sculpture I basically use clay as an adhesive and not as a main source for creating the shape.

Hope it will work!

vrijdag 8 juni 2012

Are you buying what you want to buy?

Something that's on my mind and is influencing my sculptures.... big corporations and the way they work. A lot of my work is about how we value things in life and especially how this is related to our consumption. We don't ask to many questions when we buy our things and we really need to think more about what is important.
Below I have focussed on the flawed system that determines how we value things. Modern marketing has filled the gap religion left on how we value things and has now a monopoly.

Marketing Menace
These days you have big companies, that can fool people in a sophisticated way. Their clever marketeers tell you a story using the right words that build up associations that make you buy their product. No your not stupid, they have big marketing departments with highly educated people who are working full time to make you buy their products! They always try to stay just within the laws/rules, but still leave you with a feeling of 'this is unfair'.

Failing Feedback
If you do notice that they are playing with you and want to tell this....then there is an employee that says: 'Computer says noooooo...' Only the very persisted customer might get his or her boss, but with the feeling that nothing will change, so why bother next time? This corrupts the feedback system and with the quantity and quality of feedback being less, they have created an environment where it has become normal to treat customers like this. I even think that employees would protest less based on their own ethics because they are used to it as a customer and probably find it normal. Especially when the pay is very low, they tent to hire people who wouldn't care less about your customer experience.
This all creates a culture of bad customer experiences.

Market democracy?
I have always thought of the open market as a sort of democracy in which you voted for good companies by buying their products, with the exception of banks and insurers whose products are vague and difficult to compare. I would now add a lot more to it. With their sophisticated market and problematic feedback system it is really hard to vote well. This is very important, because now we only notice at the very last moment when big companies do something bad. Some companies are so big, there is a lot going on, that we  can't know what they are all up to...... until BP spills oil for example. They are even lobbying to get things organised in their favour.

Local more vocal?
People sometimes don't like villages because the social control is limiting their freedom. Yes, in villages the village community dictates the morals and ethics and that can feel a bit limiting, but they prevent what they think is wrong. A small shop in a villages doesn't have the money for sophisticated marketing. If an owner of a small local shop is fooling it's customers, the customers would tell him personally and that has a lot bigger effect, because he would either be shouted at in the street or feel it in his pocket. So, yes villages and small local shops would solve this issue, but turning back the clock would be more difficult. What can we learn from this village mechanism?

Who is Simons?
I am not a big fan of more rules or laws, they are pointless. People will always find a way around them. We have to create modern version of villages or small groups that test each others ethics. I would suggest your inner circle; friends and family. We need to learn again to give feedback to people when we think something is wrong. Simons, a important author on management and accounting, created a model about four levers of control. One of them is the importance of a belief system to keep things in control. That is what we need! With the decreasing influence of religion as a vehicle for morals and ethics, not always executed in the wright way, we need something to restore the checks and balances. If CEO's can't or won't do it, we need to be doing it where we can. I hope you will try to influence your friends if you spot unethical work behaviour when they are bragging about something unethical they did!

vrijdag 1 juni 2012

Sheep as a symbol

I have been using sheep bones and skulls a lot as most people of you already know. The nice thing of particular using these is that my work is also about mindless following. I want to raise awareness for the pitfalls of our society where consuming, buying, owning are the substitutes for religion. We sort of follow these marketing machines as if they would have morals and ethics as a core business, they don't. They only tell what we want to no, that we can buy this crap and deserve to own it, because the want to sell. So we follow these companies and follow others who are following them, like mindless sheep.

I also created a few Transformers orientated sculptures that express this marketing and the 'wannahave' culture. You may now that in the Transformers story there are two sides; The Autobots and The Decepticons. Now, after a discussing on Facebook, thought it would be a good time to create the third group: The Followers.

Although, it makes me also feel a bit weird, because I follow things, stuff, people on Facebook and Twitter. Maybe I'm just a sheep with a different colour?
Anyway, I am still tempted to make a transformer that actually transforms out of a real sheep skull, which I intended with this sculpture, 'More Than Meets the Eye'

donderdag 31 mei 2012

Stuffed animals in art

About this article:

Something Dutch; an exhibition in KunstRai Amsterdam about stuffed animals used in art. The responses, as always on internet news articles, are quite negative. Apparently there is something going on about art in The Netherlands being paid by the tax payer. I believe there was a lot of criticism about one art installation being sponsored and that wasn't received well by the public and now it seems that they all assume all art is sponsored. Also, they find using these type of animals quite sensitive, especially when used in this contrastingly way. 

My art is sort of in the same area, only I don't use pet animals and also no stuffed animals. Although this is not something I would attempt, I find it interesting. Would like to see the other works to see if their message is expressed well and that it's not just about the shock effect. 
I use bones after the animal has dead long ago, mostly 6 months or much more. I think the main sensitivity is caused by the recognition of the pet animal for the simple fact that it still looks like the animal with all it's fur, expression etc.

But still it's likely that a big bunch of the public don't like my work for the same reasons. The only thing I want to point out to those that will see my work in the future; I am not paid by any taxpayer! I am purely grinding away my own hard earned savings!

dinsdag 29 mei 2012

Where my rubbish comes from

My waste frustration last week has been pointed towards sports drinks. I read that 59% of all adults drink these products regularly during the day whenever they feel tired. Somehow these companies have cleverly  convinced these people that sports drinks are magic potions that will take away an uncomfortable feeling of being tired. I am amazed how naive people apparently are when it comes to buying food. These drinks are no more than water and lots of sugar or fast energy sources, generally the stuff you only need after more then a hour of intense exercise and even then you'll be fine with normal food. I do a lot of sport every week and I don't use any sport drink.

This is a typical example of clever marketing and a naive attitude towards big food companies. I understand, I am likely still buying stuff I don't need myself, but I have a healthy paranoia. To remind me of this healthy paranoia I have created Dew, a skull made out of 4 fridge magnets. It is made out of two rabbit skulls, sport drink bottle lids and plastic. Consuming all these unnatural food sources creates a contrast with your natural body, pushes it out of balance, creates diabetes. Dew is similar; I added unnatural elements to a natural base.

vrijdag 18 mei 2012

Collateral Rubbish

Finished a new sculpture this week and it is a sheep skull! I finally got around using a plastic mosaic on a skull, which is something I wanted to do for a long time. I am very pleased with the result and it made me more convinced that this way of decorating a skull is a great way, visually but also as a message!

The story behind it:

In this sculpture I used the bright colours of our money driven modern nature to create a contrast that forms a spotlight for Mother Nature. We are now spoiling our environment and its resources because we lost the gift to value things ourselves. We need companies and herds of people to tell us what is nice and what isn’t, which result in a price tag. Our lack of criticism is creating waste along this conveyor belt of billboard progress. I went out by myself to create something positive out of ignored resources and created this out of the herd individual.

donderdag 10 mei 2012

Location: The fridge

Yes, some may already have seen them on my Facebook fanpage, but here they are; Dr. Freakinstyle fridge magnets. Food is very influenced by marketing and by a lack of knowledge of us the consumers. Where do we store all our purchased food? In the fridge. So, my fridge magnets are there to remind people to think about what to buy and what those food companies are actually trying to say. I am still busy getting the style completely consistent with this theme, but some are already quite strong I believe. Better to see them in real life to be honest.

These magnets are just the beginning, I have another two big things coming up as a result of some brainstorming I did the last couple of weeks.