Skip to content

inspiration from others

October 26, 2010

Qu 4 & 5

first of my influences…. Paper Monster

paper monster












I was researching street art & found this guy, Paper Monster;

I was blown away by his work.

He works on canvas as well as on street walls.

photo from solo show “PaperMonster Ate That Little Boy” July 2nd- 31st.2010. Vincent Michael Gallery, Philadelphia












In was interested in this photo as it shows the scale of the work & that they are interior pieces

His strong eye catching graphic images of mainly woman’s faces, are quite simple & to me, beautiful.

I find his use of colour – bright pink & bright blue & lime green, very interesting. They are bright & eye-catching. By applying them to relatively small areas of the piece they do not become too over bearing. Then being heavily overlaid with the black, the black helps to tie the picture together & keep the busy-ness of the patterns & eye-catching colours in check.

His use of pattern I find really exciting, the patterns appear be geometric, perhaps Islamic inspired. He applies them to portions of the image, drawing attention to certain areas but not over doing by covering whole image. The collaged newspapers also bring in their own colours & patterns & add another dimension to the work. They draw your attention into the picture, to the micro.

What I have taken from his work is his use of pattern, I have been using lace with my stencils to create patterns. The patterns created by the lace are more reminiscent of domesticity & when applied to the oil wells image I have been, using create a contrast & jarring of worlds.

I have done some experimentation with collaged magazine images which I’m very interested in using in my work, however as I’ve mainly been working on canvas and sticking paper onto canvas doesn’t work very well, so I think working on board for this would be a way forward. Using the magazines appeals to me as they are a medium of the media & the mass hypnosis they help to generate is precisely the thing  I am reacting to. I’m also interested in the somewhat random-ness images can be applied & juxtaposition of some images starts to create a dialogue with the viewer.



Second influence…. Christian Nicholson

"Dont Believe in Playstation 3 " 117cm x 119cm Mixed Media on Board

For my last visual arts studio I was looking at landscapes & I came across this kiwi painter, Christian Nicholson. I was initially attracted by his strong colours & painterly application of paint. As I continued to research him I came across later works such as the one pictured, where his landscapes start to become populated by people & objects & text. There is a layering of images, text & painted areas, which is a technique that interests me. The question for me is how to achieve this without it becoming to busy & unreadable.

He also uses screen-printing to add images, to the painting, as here the boy with the surfboard in the top right of the picture. I enjoy the different quality of the mark made by this process & the ability to use identical multiple images if desired.



Third influence……Sigmar Polke

What interested me in his work was his ‘free’ use of paint, the mixing of the colour on the canvas, the runs & dribbles. The white mixing into the blue creates unexpected texture & patterns, which I have experimented with using water based & oil based paints together. Bringing visual interest right up close into the picture. In the picture shown the complementary colours of the blue & orange really sing together & with some of the white of the canvas left in the background it gives visual ‘space’ & lets the colours be centre stage without being over bearing. This has been a major influence the composition & application of paint in my work in this studio.

The other element that has influenced my practise is his use of layering & multiple images. The images are quite simple & graphic in quality, line drawings or ‘dot’ images as from enlarged printed images.

from wikipedia:

In 1963 Polke founded the painting movement “Kapitalistischer Realismus” (“Capitalistic Realism”) with Gerhard Richter and Konrad Fischer (alias Konrad Lueg as artist). It is an anti-style of art, appropriating the pictorial short-hand of advertising. This title also referred to the realist style of art known as “Socialist Realism“, then the official art doctrine of the Soviet Union and its satellites (from one which he had fled with his family), but it also commented upon the consumer-driven art “doctrine” of western capitalism. He also participated in “Demonstrative Ausstellung”, a store-front exhibition in Düsseldorf with Manfred Kuttner , Lueg, and Richter.

The anarchistic element of the work Polke developed, was largely engendered by his mercurial approach. His irreverence for traditional painting techniques and materials and his lack of allegiance to any one mode of representation has established his now-respected reputation as a visual revolutionary. It was not unusual for Polke to combine household materials and paint, lacquers, pigments, screen print and transparent sheeting in one piece. A complicated “narrative” is often implicit in the multi-layered picture, giving the effect of witnessing the projection of a hallucination or dream through a series of veils.



Fourth inspiration …..  Bob Rauschenberg

Persimmon 1964 oil and silkscreened ink on canvas 66 x 50 in. Photo credit: Dorothy Zeidman














What interested me primarily about Rauschenberg’s work was his use of collage & multiple images.

“Combines” refers to Rauschenberg’s work from 1954 to 1962, but the artist had begun collaging newsprint and photographic materials in his work and the impetus to combine both painting materials and everyday objects such as clothing, urban debris, and taxidermied animals such as in Monogram[5] continued throughout his artistic life. (wikipedia)

This use of multiple images in one piece creates a narrative, in his work this narrative isn’t obvious & the viewer can make their own story.

Critics originally viewed the Combines in terms of the formal aspects of art, shape, color, texture, and the composition and arrangement of these. This 1960’s view has changed over time so that more recently critics and art historians see the Combines as carrying codified messages difficult to decipher because there is no apparent order to the presentation of the objects. (wikipedia)

I was intrigued by his inclusion of classical paintings, often juxtaposed with 20th century images. This element of Rauschenberg’s work had quite a strong influence on me using Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe. Which I have used as a background to paint on & also taken the naked female figure & made a stencil of her which I have used to symbolise our contemporary fascination with how we look, particularly women, & the industries that feed this obsession, such as magazines& TV, fashion & cosmetics & the consumerisation of identity.

above link to info on wikipedia about the painting.

Manet's Dejeuner sur l'herbe

I was also drawn by his use of painterly marks, where brush strokes are visible, & mixing of colours on the canvas.

Screen printing on to the canvas, as mentioned previously in regard to Christian  Nicholson, I enjoy the different quality of the mark made by this process & the ability to use identical multiple images if desired & also the ability this process allows to layer images.

By 1962, Rauschenberg’s paintings were beginning to incorporate not only found objects but found images as well – photographs transferred to the canvas by means of the silkscreen process. Previously used only in commercial applications, silkscreen allowed Rauschenberg to address the multiple reproducibility of images, and the consequent flattening of experience that implies. In this respect, his work is contemporaneous with that of Andy Warhol, and both Rauschenberg and Johns are frequently cited as important forerunners of American Pop Art. (wikipedia)



October 24, 2010

Question 2

“Most Important Thing; Sociopolitical Art seeks to get a reaction from viewers.”

The effort of interpretation, at least, is required from the viewer; the motivation of the artist is about communication. Sociopolitical art wants the viewer to have an understanding of the relationship between the art itself & the concept the artist wishes to convey; this art reflects what I have to say & not just what I see. Such artworks are often also part of the Existentialist movement. Dealing with matters of the human condition, they can expose the beauty, horror & humor in mankind.”

U tube video about an arts organisation called Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB). It is a nonprofit arts organization based in Houston, TX that is open to artists, individuals and organizations from a multitude of perspectives, backgrounds and countries. VBB weaves art and sociopolitical theory to create an exciting new terrain.

1) World English Dictionary


– adj

of, relating to, or involving both political and social factors

** Chose this word as i believe through my art work i am wanting to make a comment on the contemporary world.

2) Brooklyn Museum

exhibition entitled: Basquiat
March 11–June 5, 2005

Jean-Michel Basquiat in his studio, 1985. Photograph © Lizzie Himmel

This exhibition gathers together more than one hundred of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s finest works, including many that have never been shown in the United States. It is organized chronologically, with special sections highlighting Basquiat’s interest in music, language, and Afro-Caribbean imagery, along with his use of techniques such as collage and silkscreen.

The exhibition seeks to demonstrate not only that Basquiat was a key figure in the 1980s, but also that his artistic accomplishments have significance for twentieth-century art as a whole. Basquiat was the last major painter in an idiom that had begun decades earlier in Europe with the imitation of African art by modern artists such as Picasso and Matisse. Inspired by his own heritage, Basquiat both contributed to and transcended the African-influenced modernist idiom.

In Italian, 1983. Acrylic, oil paintstick, and marker on canvas mounted on wood supports, two panels. The Stephanie and Peter Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut

** Chose this gallery site as i was looking at Basquiat’s work in relation to street art style. He is the most well known & high price selling artist in this genre. I find interesting his use of colour, brush work, collage, use of text & layering to create his image.

I found this site interseting as it gave me good background information on Basquait, information on some of the ideas behind his work & how he worked.  Unfortunately the ‘interactive, multimedia highlights’ page wasn’t working as this sounded very interesting.


Unitec library source

Art full Text

link above to pdf version of article.

image from article of Koffee Pot cafe in Manchester, UK.

Title: What we can learn from Banksy

Other Titles:Part of a special section: Streets Ahead

Personal Author:Phillips, Joanne

Journal Name:Green Places

Source:Green Places no. 59 (October 2009) p. 32-4

Publication Year:2009

Abstract: Written text is incorporated into the landscape by designers aiming to weave in an additional strand of meaning or an alternative route to interpretation of the meaning of the space. Graffiti writers can sometimes prompt the establishment to more careful thought about caring for and designing public spaces, and their use of text is arguably far more accomplished than that of many designers who choose lines of poetry to adorn public squares. The only essential difference between these groups of text-designers is their relative status: One group firmly belongs to the establishment, and the other is a disempowered group of creative subversives.

Subject(s):Graffiti; Street art; Manchester (England)/Art; BanksyISSN:1742-3716

Language of Document:English

Biography: Banksy
Document Type:Feature Article


Accession Number:200927408743018

** i chose this Uuitec on line library resource as i was looking at street art/ graffiti & this article was of great interst to me being a Landsape Acrhitect, as the article is written by a landscape architect & is looking at graffiti, especially text, & it’s impact & place in the urban environment. I came on this CDVA course to explore my creativity & look at how i might tie together my art work & landscape architecture in a meaningful & exciting way.

4) Ben Allen website

“Ben Allen lives and works in Brighton, UK. 

He has worked with many clients including Levis, Virgin, Channel 5, Nokia, DJ Erick Morrillo, Subliminal Records and The Hoxton Hotel.

Ben Allen, image from front page of his website

He has exhibited his paintings in venues and galleries internationally as well as selling to celebrities such as Richard Branson, Stephen Dorff, Sophie Ellis- Bextor, DJ Dan Williams and Jade Jagger.

Working in a multitude of media and materials, influences include comic book art, surfing, skateboard culture, Japanese graphics, the Mexican “Dia de la Muerte”, typography, nature and the human condition.

Bens work is in private collections throughout the UK, in Australia, New York, Barcelona, Japan, Ibiza and has featured in Design Week, The Observer, The Times, Elle Déco, Plus1 and GQ magazines to name but a few.”

ben’s blog address:

LOVETOY Acrylic, collage, black board paint, ink spray paint, silkscreen and varnish on canvas. Presented in french black wood stained renaissance frame.



Ben Allen Table



“Mid-century reinventions by Urbankind

Take the utilitarianism of classic G-Plan-like pieces, add the work of some of the UK’s most celebrated graffiti artists, and what have you got? Art Decor by Urbankind – a limited-edition collection of retro pieces, made far more interesting thanks to new pop-art guises.

You can see the full collection in all its finery by going to Urbankind’s launch on 28 October at The Brick Lane Gallery (7-10pm). Until then…

Once a plain Danish teak coffee table, now it’s Ben Allen‘s comic book/Lichtenstein-style masterpiece…”

**I discovered Ben Allen whilst searching for graffiti artists for this blog assignment & his work really ‘ripped my nighty’ to quite Hadley.

HIs work interests me for several reasons;

*his use of mixed media, screen printing, collage, paint, spray paint, gold leaf, letraset etc….

*graphical images, that for me, comment on contemporary society

*colour, bright eye catching colours

*use of text

*layering of images

*visible materality

I also found his blog, really interesting as it gave me an insight to his world. His processess, different shows he’s had or been part of, things he’s interested in & such things as his studio- so i could see how much space he has and how he organises his working space. I was also excited to see that he has also done some work on furniture.

Visual arts

September 30, 2010

For my 3rd studio of the CDVA i chose to do visuals arts again, to follow on from my 2nd studio of visual arts, as in this studio i really struggled at the beginning, however by the 4th week of the studio i was starting to get on a roll & was excited about the direction my work was going. For this 3rd studio i was sparked to react to a  newspaper article i had read. This was a new idea for me, to work on something ‘political’, to react to something, to say something personal. I guess in the past i have mainly been driven by creating visually appealing (to me) works.

Herald on Sunday article that sparked my interest

Blog question 1

First work“on sale”

"On Sale", mixed media on canvas, 24"x24"

This work was the 2nd piece i produced which came from a culmination of the themes i have been looking at that were sparked from the newspapaer article.

* It contains the  female figure from Manets  “Le dejeuner sur l’herbe”, which for me has become to represent our contemporary obsession with how we look, and how women, particularly, are represented in the media. How the media- particularly magazines, newspapers, billboards, adverts & t.v sell this image of the perfect woman. How we should look, dress, smell, behave, even what we should be thinking & concerned with.

* The graphic image we can all identify with & catches our attention as we walk down the street is the big red & white “SALE” sign. This graphic for me represents the modern worlds obsession with consuming. Again fed to us by the media. How mass production, usually in developing countries, has made it possible to produce items at such low monetary cost that we no longer fix things, items have built obsolescence. While we poor broken ‘things’ in to the ground we rape the earth of her natural resources, that will eventually run out! To then make more useless ‘stuff’.

* The graphic of the oil well also points to this using up of our narural resources. Referencing ‘Peak oil’  & how “The wide use of fossil fuels has been one of the most important stimuli of economic growth and prosperity since the industrial revolution, allowing humans to participate in takedown, or the consumption of energy at a greater rate than it is being replaced.”

* Reaction to the modern media; particularly T.V, how we are hyptonised & taken in by it. This ‘make believe’ world becomes ones ‘real’ world.  In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years in front of the T.V!



A Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy 1991 song with a perspective of spanish television


Second work ” Peak Orange”

"Peak Orange", mixed media on canvas, 24"x48"


This again uses the oil well figure, this time larger & more dominating in the picture & with the lace effect & in black.

* Black to me suggesting evil & referencingthe colour of crude oil. Black being a ‘dead’ colour & not really considered a colour. Black is also such a strong colour visually & it makes the figure stand out from the colourful background.

*The lace creates contrast against this hard metal machine & makes it feminine & decorative.

*As with the 1st piece “on sale” i was exploring the materaility of paint, however here i have developed this element further. Using both water based & oil based paints together in places to create intersting textural marks which i enjoy on the micro scale, drawing the viewers attention in to the picture, beyond the overall image which strikes you at first.

I have also applied the paint in several different ways, using brushes, pouring, dripping & splashing & the spray paint with stencil. These different methods of application, to me, create interest & visual diversity.


Third work” Cuboard of Discontent”

upcycled 1960/70's kitchen cabinet, Mixed media

3D piece made from an upcycled 1960/70’s kitchen cabinet

I enjoy working on re-cycled old furniture, giving it a new lease of life & adorning a useful item with my art work. Allowing the art work to be more intergrated into a living space, not just hung on wall.

The cabinet was 1st sanded then painted white, before i then collaged various black & white images & text relating to the above themes i have been working with, there is also some colour magazine collage, mainly relating to the element of modern female image portrayal & media & marketing techniques, as described for 1st piece “on sale”.

After the collage i added paint, both water & oil based, either with a brush or dripped or poured on. Once dry i was then able to apply stencils with spray paint, again using the same themes/ figures as before.

I treated each surface of the cabinet as an indivdual piece of art work & also tried to consider how the whole cabinet worked, including the interior.

I decided to leave a minty green colour that was on the original interior of the cabinet so as to reference back to it’s original colour, to show where it had come from. Also to contrast with the bright colours of its new ‘rainbow coat’.

I am extremely interested in & attracted to colour. I wanted the work to have a happy & uplifting feel, as for me i considered i was looking at some depressing & ‘heavy’ issues.

The colours i have been working with on this project were chosen for various reasons.

*black, as described previously.

* pink, to me relates to feminine

*gold, is about precious-ness & decadence & also the gilt frames of old masters pantings

* orange, is about life & vitality

* blue, relates to masculine & also the sky & nature

* green, again representing nature & also the fact that green is deemed to be a restorative & peaceful colour.

Thumbnails photos to show the different sides & details

top view

detail of top

left hand side

right hand side

Right hand side detail

interior view