For a good while now I've been interested in the fetishization of robots by modern society. From an early age I was fascinated by famous robot characterizations like Gigantor, Astro boy, the robot from the Forbidden Planet and Invisible boy movies and of course Silent Running and Star Wars. These pre-real robots, I feel are an homages to a technology we don't quite know or understand. I find myself asking what sort of waste and refuse will be left by them as they become obsolete like mobile phones from the 90's are now. Also I tend to think we have strange expectations of robots, will they bring with them happiness and new hope. In a way, I think that the modern ideology of what a robot will be, is similar to that of the Cargo Cult natives of New Guinea and their building of effigies of airplanes with the belief that these likenesses would bring prosperity and plenty. The sculptures here are a start to a theme I would like to pursue in my art. It is a mix of the cargo cult iconography, African fetish and that expectation of our modern culture that robots will bring solutions to many needs that we find it hard to address in society like pollution, war, elderly care, loneliness and the need for profit.
I am calling this theme my robot fetish.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Seeing in the Christmas / New Year period in New Zealand, I've have had time to finish off some colourful artworks. Though the last one is unfinished by a whisker I still wanted to post it.These are not actually in frames but I believe that I should find frames as close to the ones I have mocked up here.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
I have several artworks that when I finished them I was not that impressed with how they turned out. One of those was this little black and white kitten staring at two fish in a bowl. The style I was aiming for was that of some Japanese art I have admired where narrative is described with limited detail - The fish - The bowl - The ledge - The kitten and that there was a moment at which the kitten could strike out at the bowl and the narrative would end. As I have arrived back in New Zealand to live and unpacked our huge storage container, I have been able to review a whole lot of work and see them with fresh eyes. This little image is now becoming a favorite of mine. It has already won the heart of my wife who won't let me sell it.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
The image of the robot head from the previous post didn't do it justice. So I am posting this again. I have made a few alterations adding the x mark in an area I thought needed a little something. Also the darker border adds a little depth. The size of the image is 60 x 58 cm . When framed and finished it will make a great statement piece.
So I am still creating larger works using a paper lamination process called "papier lasagne" . It basically results in a large but terribly strong paper surface to paint on. These two works are directly inspired by the "Bots in a box" sculptures I make. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Inspired by my bots in a box and still happy to experiment with my reinforced paper. I have been working on a new series of acrylic paintings. This is the first of many. I have at least 4 more being assembled. The process requires reinforcement of the back of the paper and a layer of coloured tissue paper to add a ground colouring for the impasto and acrylic paint.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
This weekend I have been busy testing some new large artwork ideas. This image was made, or should I say is still being developed. From a very small image sketched from my imagination on a piece of scrap paper no bigger than a business card and then blown up at least 100 times. I have then transposed that image to a large composite paper and mixed media surface. So now I am slowly building up the image to create a colour work of an imaginary landscape.
What I want to achieve is the same simple style I am forced to create when making my images in recycled plastics. Like the two red silos image. I am also very much a fan of work by Shaun Tan and in this image attempting something similar. His haunting and moody use of light sets an almost wonderland existence in his artworks. Very much reminiscent of De Chirico's surrealist landscapes - another one of my favorite artists.