Show Us Your Art! (and other art talk)

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A conversation with @Ulu made me realize we're chock full of artisans working with our hands so you're probably constantly creative in other ways. I'd love to see what other people have created. Show us what you make when you're not building bikes! As they say, "no wrong answers"!

This was a commission piece I created in 99 for a jazz related company named DownBeat that appreciated the abstract nature of graffiti-style lettering. It was to be mounted on a mirror with the painted back helping to define the object and make it somewhat more legible. The color of the piece is dependent upon it's reflected environment. It was designed for a changing landscape allowing the introduction of flowers, for instance, to reinvigoration a space with new colors every day. From concept to near completion..
Screen Shot 2023-02-22 at 11.11.56 AM.png

This was my third metal piece. I had this one cut by water-jet at an artist friendly shop in Brooklyn named Milgo-Bufkin out of deco-aluminum sheet. This is the D after painting the back, resting on a mirror. I masked the brighter green outline on the front and sprayed it, editing with a razor.
D from Downbeat.JPG

I connected the lightweight material with industrial adhesive after roughening up the meeting points. But I hadn't accounted for the combined weight being more than the sheet could handle and you can clearly see dimpling at the top right of the A, if you can find the A ;)
Downbeat_diag.JPG

DownBeat Records.jpg

Unfortunately I never got a picture of it's final mounting so the defining color behind is wasted in these shots. I wasn't thrilled with the overall alignment and had a really tough time mounting it but It was fun conceiving of it and working with my hands!

[extracted with help by CaptainAwsome from this conversation]
Ha! Sure, place the onus on the starving artist and forget the tasteless landlord and privately funded "arts" organizations who's boards are stuck in the pop era. These are typically promotional pieces benefitting the backers of shows and private collections. As a self proclaimed artist trapped in the cultural wasteland that once was a mecca for creatives this situation enrages me. It's the corporatization of cheap products at inflated prices and it works in conjunction with the concerted effort to stifle what governments might consider dangerous art.. like 70s rock and 80s rap for example. Both informative and political means of conveying stories, squashed by the market with help from (Reagan-Clinton) government deregulation of media. In New York for instance, our laws on vandalism have historically wavered between misdemeanors - felonies and back again depending on the political climate as such a visible, high traffic city has the potential to spread messages globally by simply writing on walls, (the origin of the word vandalism). When this happens the law sees no difference between scribbling and stories tall murals resulting in task forces sent out to collect the identification of artists who haven't been absorbed by establishment employ. Those who might deliver beautiful, yet subversive messages in a public forum. This eyeball represents that suppression by filling all available presentation space with fluff. A win-win for wealth. Though I blame those with the power to place and profit from this piece rather than the unimaginative artist. They have to live with the criticism that follows work that hasn't matured yet. Its allll money and this [artist] is a pawn. Ya think Ozzy was given a show to help his career or to make one of the original detractors of war look like a blithering idiot while battling addiction knowing he's still angry and active with a couple of kids on the come up?


p.s. sorry for the off-topic rant. I don't mean for it to sound angry but I am passionate about this. Peace, love and arts!
 
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VonDutch was the guy painting all the flying eyeballs.

I think this photo shows that just because you can do something as an artist doesn’t mean that you should.

I mean, unless this is a college of ophthalmology, it’s kinda horrifying. But then we have a couple of pretty awful statues around here as well.

Ha! Sure, place the onus on the starving artist and forget the tasteless landlord and privately funded "arts" organizations . . .
As a self proclaimed artist trapped in the cultural wasteland that once was a mecca for creatives this situation enrages me . . .

You did seem pretty ticked off. No problem. I have to delete a lot of my stuff before I go postal on people who don't deserve it. I guess I was never trying to be a rich, world known artist. I just created art that I could sell & feed my family.

I don’t know what it’s like to starve. Even as a student, I worked nights in a food plant that made deserts. If you worked the line you couldn't eat on the job. I was fixing machines covered in food, where I somehow had to scrape my way thru icing and pietarts and those little cheese crackers.

But I do know what it’s like to create art and sell it. I did my best work when I was a computer guy doing computer graphic arts in the engineering business.

Here is part of one job I modeled in 3D, an amphitheater which stands behind the big theater at Kings County Community College.
theatre1a.jpg

I retired from computers and engineering in 2016. I do some comic art for fun. This was for my bike seat. My niece did the actual CNC stitching.
snailFUL.jpg
 
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Glad to know ya fellow creative! Thats an interesting run you've had. Evidently we all travel familiar veins here. For me it boils down to forming visions with my hands. My graffiti based infancy evolved into murals, giving way to set design supporting programmatic animation studies funding my current bike fantasies.. but I keep my eye on the street because it's the most accessible. Not unlike our bikes. I'm guessing we're all creatives.

Thats exciting to have a public piece you contributed to still standing. I'm gonna bike over and look at the amphitheater @Ulu, partly because I didn't know it existed. Thanks

I also had to learn a program to create the outline for laser cutting this piece. From the look it may have been one in the same. At that time it was architectural software with a manual the size of a phone book. I'd cut one by hand priorly but it was too rough.
 
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Personally, I think that giant eyeball is very cool. Wish we had one in Savannah.
Great "EYE" for a cool bike photo op @biknut !
There has been a movement around here to remove such dated Pop Art from public places.
Not everyone thought our giant cubist wrestling robots was timelessly attractive.
I think it was titled "The Lovers", but with robots who can tell? I have a pic somewhere...
 
Thats exciting to have a public piece you contributed to still standing. I'm gonna bike over and look at the amphitheater @Ulu, partly because I didn't know it existed. Thanks
It's in Bakersfield CA bro. That's a loooong ride.

Edit...I worked on buildings from San Diego to Seattle. Early on I did a lot of local projects, and I see some of them almost daily. The local elementary school was one. If I drive the main boulevard from East Clovis to West Fresno I can see buildings I worked on that were remodeled at least twice (The Wearhouse.)

The last 25 years I did almost all structural drawings for boring public schools and buildings.
That's what that theater drawing was about. A lot of that shows concrete underground, that doesn't show at all in real life..
 
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It's in Bakersfield CA bro. That's a loooong ride.
I was wondering how I missed it. We've got a Kings County Community College too. Figured you were traveling for work. Silly uninventive colonial naming conventions.
 
If you go to San Francisco, you can see these two. The red one is 201 Spear St.
The gray tower is one of the twin Rincon towers. The red one was the world's easiest job.
Those Rincon towers curve and step a dozen ways and were a geometric nightmare to draw.
But I'm not responsible for any of the major artistry.
I drew all the manufacturing drawings for the windows, and the dies to extrude the various aluminum shapes.
spear st rincon.png
 
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Thank you. I wish I could claim responsibility for how good they look. My work is a lot less obvious until you get right up there to the doors.

The crazy thing is that I once told my dad I wanted to be an architect, and he told me there were a lot more starving architects than starving engineers.

I don’t know if that is true or not, but I spent a lot of time doing jobs for architects as an engineer. Thankfully, almost all of them paid their bills.
 
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I've done some work for architects as well. The ones I know are currently starving so... Good parenting on your pop's part.

Worth noting that 60% of New Yorkers don't have enough savings to survive 4 months if they were to lose their jobs, so the architects aren't the only ones.
 
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It is far far far easier to criticize than to create. And just because something is deemed ugly, does that make the expression less artistic? Some would argue that Fransisco Goya made ugly art, but no one debates wether or not he made art. Taste is subjective, this has always been one of my favorite paintings for exactly the reason that not everything needs to be pretty for the masses. Art need not match your couch
Francisco_de_Goya,_Saturno_devorando_a_su_hijo_(1819-1823).jpg

Saturn Devouring His Son
Fransisco Goya 1820
 
All true. And Goya was retelling a story, while not historic, the myths and their meanings held wisdom for future generations. When pieces are important in that way they tend to stand the test of time.. thus art is implied. My favorite example is Banksy's street stencils. This is his work from the period when Disney was absorbed by GE who was producing military weaponry. Simple but beautifully effective and continues to inform as most people these days inquiring about my shirt, which represents an actual street stencil, were either unaware or forgot.
Banksy.jpeg
 
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All true. And Goya was retelling a story, while not historic, the myths and their meanings held wisdom for future generations. When pieces are important in that way they tend to stand the test of time.. thus art is implied. My favorite example is Banksy's street stencils. This is his work from the period when Disney was absorbed by GE who was producing military weaponry. Simple but beautifully effective and continues to inform as most people these days inquiring about my shirt were unaware or forgot.View attachment 225122
My brother collects kozik vinyl. He did a series of political and celebrity busts, your Banksy reminds me of one he has yet to acquire
125_001.jpg
 
If you erase the word “artist” from my criticism it still stands.

It’s kind of a strange term anyway. Anybody that does anything can consider themselves an artist. Whether other people consider them an artist depends on many things.

After all the military contracts ran out in California about 1980, I found myself working as an itinerant collage artist, because so many engineers had been laid off. It was either that or fix cars for a living. Better engineers than me were flipping burgers and working at the unemployment office.

I did art on speculation. I did art for hire. I did art for my own fun. I did art as gifts. It didn’t matter. I had to make enough money to feed my kids.

I did do a few flying eyeballs, on skateboards.

One thing that I did not do was paint on other people’s property Unless I was hired to do that. That happened once or twice that I got commissions.

But it often happened that I would go to some random arts and craft show and sell out, or nearly so. I did that for over a year, until I got another engineering job designing jigs and fixtures.

I created and sold at least 100 works in that time, and I don’t have any of that stuff left. Sadly, I wasn’t into photography at all and there are no photographs of it either. I’m sure by now it’s all sitting in dusty basements or long ago tossed out in the dumpster.

I was married to a girl who did beautiful dried floral arrangements, and we sold a lot of that stuff too. I’m afraid the shelflife on her work was even shorter than mine.
A bunch of us on this site have or still play music for fun and money at times. I always had a 9 to 5 and did music on the side. Music is probably one of the shortest lived arts when it comes to performance. I suffered several lay-offs and companies going out of business and have had a bunch of interesting low end jobs with very little money coming in but had to keep the kids fed. I love the art world but I know it is in the eye of the beholder and the money can be very fickle.
 

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