zaterdag 29 juni 2013

Urban Scoundrels

Besides creating some big sculptures like these two:

I have also been busy setting up 3 different 'lines' of small sculptures, these are:
- Small fossils
- Celebrities made from bone and clay, like the Christmas characters I made last year
- Urban Scoundrels

The last type of sculpture I started with and these will be limited edition casts, painted by hand and big chance they all will have a different paint style. The Urban Scoundrels are small sculptures based on wild life that has adjusted to urban life. The characters I am now developing are:
- Pablo Escobike, a slug
- The Golf Ball Snatcher, a bird
- Squatter, a bird
- no name yet, a moth
- Vinnie Molini, a mol

Two characters are more or less finished:
Pablo Escobike: The slow and under influence, council worker that has the responsibility to draw the lines for the British cycle paths. It goes slow, random and intermitted. Pretty pointless, but Pablo is having fun because he is addicted to white paint and seriously needs to go to a rehab!

The Golf Ball Snatchera very unamused character that likes to mess with someones game. His character is best described as the Joker from the Batman films.

Stay tuned when more of these characters pop out of the mould!

donderdag 20 juni 2013

Art statements - part 3?

I recently saw a degree show of a group of students and saw some nice work in there, but what stood out the most, at least for me, were the art statements. They stood out in a negative way, because I can't imagine that people around the age of 21 have come up with overly complicated words and sentences that mean nothing. At that point I am very tempted to grab one of those students and ask; 'Did this bullshit come naturally or are you taught to write likes this?' But that would be even rude to say for a Dutch person and I have no clue how to give this feedback to British people. Somehow I get this feeling, I don't know because I 'just' ignore established forms of learning, they are being taught to do this. If so, I very very strongly disagree with this policy!

You often see words as: explore, discuss, conversation. Words that are actually meaningless in art. So you are exploring a theme? Pfff, have now idea how that looks like and I don't care. I care about what you have discovered, not how you hopped on a boat to sail the vast oceans of complicated words. They often use these words to avoid being precise, direct and clear. You often see that they are exploring A, B, C while 'having a conversation with 1,2,3 and being influenced by X, Y, Z, creating a matrix of almost endless options. If that is what your work is about, then you haven't decided yet what your work is about and if this is a statement for a finished piece of art, than you failed to reach your goal and are now covering it up by extending the meaning of it so it will always hit something. They basically try to hit the moon with a Gatling Gun.

One of the reasons why you have an art statement in my opinion is to add to the work. 1. Sometimes to explain, but that shouldn't be too much otherwise you haven't done your job as an artist properly. 2. To add to the message you are expressing.
Any way, you are communicating to an audience and it is pointless to try and do that if; 1. People stop reading halfway through the first sentence, 2. Read it all, but understand nothing. If this is the case, then you are not communicating, you are just sending or better, trying to show of. I have said it before, it seems that for a lot of artists and apparently people that teach them, the art statement is to try to show how intelligent the artist is by using language that makes the viewer feel less intelligent than the artist. Oh, and sometimes the statements are a bit long as if they couldn't decide which was the key message and then decided to add them all and confuse their audience.

These statements have the opposite effect on me, it makes me think the artist is less intelligent, because it is a lot harder to write a statement everybody can understand and still manage to excite people to look at your work more after they have read it. I know I haven't mastered it. I write in understandable English, but so far only managed to describe what I made and why I made it.

If you want to get the feeling of what kind of art statements I am talking about, check this link and press the 'generate bollocks' button. So every time you read something like that, you have a pretty good chance that the artist is a bit insecure about his or her work.

dinsdag 11 juni 2013


A couple of weeks ago I set up my solo exhibition 'Urban Infusions' in Grizedale visitor centre cafe in The Lake District and also attended Strummercamp artshow. I also collected my work at Goburrito in Lancaster and The Lass 'O Gowrie in Manchester. All within 2 weeks I touched all the my artwork at had to do some selecting. I am also looking at attending new events and that makes you think about which works to bring to new events and realised I have a lot of different things:

Standing, not hanging:
- Medium sized sculptures with bright colours and without bones; GoGo, Cungo, Hom Rottey, Robit and Eyespresso.

- Medium sized sculptures with bright colours and with bones; This Transformer below, but also The Fellracer, Monkey Business and Mr. Clean.

- Small bone based sculptures, sculptures like the Christmas characters or the ones I use in my street photos

- Small stone based sculptures around fossils or fossils created on them. 

- Big fossils of fictional characters; Finished only one so far of the big ones, will finish a big one soon this week!

- Skull based sculptures in various styles

- Paintings

- 2D sculptures; The Wile E Coyote road kill piece and Incorporated (below)

- Fridge magnets

- Started to do badges, no photos yet

So for new events I like to make new things, but feel I have so many already and quite a few I haven't fully explored before I go to another new form. Yes, I feel I need to focus on a few to get better at them and make my work more recognisable. The question is; What type of work do I need to focus on? This is so hard, because I love every single one of them. Got a bit tired with the casting en making the sculptures without bones, but I am fully motivated to work on them again, mainly because I have got a bit more freedom to add character to them. 
I don't want to make new types of art for now, so what did you enjoyed the most? I have set up a poll on Facebook and would appreciate giving your opinion and click on one or two types that you think I should make more of.

Off course I have de freedom to do something different, but I am an artist it is part of my DNA. However, it doesn't mean I am ignoring you. I recently discovered I do use peoples advice more than I thought I would, so you will have more influence then you would see at first glance.