Wednesday, December 26, 2018

LOL: The Humor Show

There's been a tradition in Belmar in recent years that the debut show of the calendar year is a Salon style show, meaning it is for members only, and at the opening artists are invited to present their work to the crowd and answer any questions.  Often there is a theme, and for 2019 it will be humor, one we've had before.  This is an open show, meaning that anyone who pays the entry fee and provides something that meets the requirements gets in.  The one obstacle I saw was having something new to put in.  With classes going through the end of last week, cards to make, the East Meets West project, holiday stuff, and everything related to the end of the fall semester and preparing for the spring semester, I didn't feel I had time to create anything new, and there isn't much I haven't shown there already.

A few weeks ago I was down in my parents' basement, my previous studio, looking for something else in my art rack, and ran across some old blocks I had forgotten about.  Didn't think about it at the time, but later I realized they might be the answer to that show, so while visiting there last week I retrieved them from where they were.  It was an old project, from shortly after I had returned to New Jersey, influenced a little by my time in grad school.  Once upon a time it had been printed and colored, but I no longer have it, probably lost in the Hurricane Sandy flood, though I may have a slide of it somewhere.  It was a group of prints that were influenced by the concept of semiotics, the study of symbols and meanings, and the effects they can have, a concept covered in a class I had shortly before leaving Carbondale.  A part of contemporary art theory, but heavily used in advertising over the past few decades.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, pictures used in artworks and advertisements can add a lot of content to an image, hitting the viewer at both a conscious and unconscious level.

These pieces were influenced by advertising, both the vintage stuff that I always enjoyed, and some contemporary stuff at the time, about 20 years ago.  I got the idea of combining both, something I see humor in.  So today I pulled proofs, one from each block.

After they have a few days to dry, I'll color them both, and if I like one of them enough, I'll shoot a good digital image of the result, pop it in a frame, and submit it to the show, due in about a week.  Both pieces are about combining various symbols commonly found in advertising, each carrying symbolic meaning, but very incongruous when used together.  I'll save those specifics for when they are finished.


Post a Comment

<< Home