Picture What Happened to Us
One of the nice things of having a cadre of friendly resources and friends on the Internet is that I never have a block on projects to work on. It also helps to have a basement full of crap when quarantined as there is an endless amount of inspiration there as well.
But, like the Cowardly Lion, sometimes I need a nudge to have the courage to tackle a subject and this project was like this.
First, let's start with the origins. At this point it might be a reveal to tell you that the theme could just have easily been "things Gary breaks." The first piece to feel my wrath was the perfect circle that was going to make the background of the whole work. In the very first step in the project, I tried to screw it into the board shown below--at which point the circle cracked in half.
I have always said that artists should never venture into assemblage unless you want to be a problem solver. However, in the whole making lemonade out of lemons, sometimes the wreckage can be a "happy accident" that is a better idea than the one the artist had at the beginning.
Here is the results of rummaging my own basement and what survived to become a part of the project.
Now securely attached together, it was time to gesso up the boards so that they can hold paper and paint.
As I started on the project, the base was a composite statute that I (yes, it was me) had busted the head off quite awhile back. However, now it becomes the perfect support for what I have in mind.
Because the bust needs to be secured to the boards, I made the decision to chop off the shoulders.
The tool of choice for shoulder chopping: a Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool
Well, here we go again. While trying to attach the statute to the boards, I snapped the boards AGAIN!!!!!
Thanks to some wood glue and some Aves Apoxie Clay, all was restored
All along I knew that the head of this creature was going to be a this camera. The question became--to what purpose.
I don't have to tell you that the worldwide pandemic and our quarantine is on everyone's mind--but artistically it was not something I wanted to use as a theme until my mentor, Michael deMeng began to make this series and not only inspired me with his artistic style but reduced my fear to use something so contemporary as a theme.
Corona the Distancer
Corona the Isolator
Corona the Separator
One of the great things about Michael is he is very much a connector and so his deMeng Workshop Junkies page on Facebook let's me see the work of my fellow followers. Who could not be inspired when another artist like Susan Greaves is inspired to make a piece like this?
Susan Greaves, Dr. Wenliang's Prophecy
It is not uncommon for me to be well into the assembling of a project before the theme announces itself. Here, viewing the work of other artists launched me into my theme. I decided that there would be a secret reveal within this work and it would be housed within the former lens housing on the camera.
In order to accomplish that, I used a tin type and some paint to create this image.
This piece was put together, some painting done, more assemblage and more painting until it was done. Every once in awhile I would find that I needed to add an element to make the piece flow.
Up shit creek without a paddle
These three fail to social distance and covid-19 just spreads and spreads
My wife Denice and I had our last social activity, a concert, on my birthday
And thus we have, Picture What Happened to Us, my piece about the covid-19 pandemic.