As promised, here are the final two projects from my Concept Studio class. If you missed out on the first two, click here.
Project three's theme was time. We only had a week to come up with a contemporary art piece that fit within said theme, so I chose to make a sculpture. Ever since the beginning of this class, I had a vision that involved a potato. Even though I had not the slightest clue to what I was going to do with a potato, I was determined to put something together. Good ideas were hard to come by, as I was at a loss, until one day at work when a co-worker of mine had a really great idea; she suggested that I make a cave potato and, perhaps, freeze it in ice, as if it was frozen in time.
I started carving into the potato that weekend, using an exacto knife to chisel out two eyes and a mouth. I collected small yellow rocks from the front yard to use as teeth. There were two spare buttons from a suit purchased months ago that I decided to use for the eyes. My personal beard trimmings were then superglued to the face of the potato to form the rugged "man-tato" look. Lastly, I froze the hideous looking russet in a tupperwear bin, where it sat in the freezer for an entire week.
But something was missing. It needed a story.
Down below are just a few of the illustrations that I narrated out loud, in my best Morgan Freeman voice, for the class to hear. Behind me, projected on a giant screen, were the illustrations. For the sake of being tasteful, I'm only going to show you just few of the images, as the story itself is high in sexual content. Yes, you've read that right. Sex. Potatoes having sex. Your eyes are not playing tricks on you.
Before you view the illustrations, I want you to read the brief plot summary:
---In a strange universe parallel to ours, two happily married potatoes work to conceive a baby spud. The husband, Larry Tate, ends up getting drafted to serve in Vietnam (how creative, right?). Larry is badly wounded during a gunfight while his wife, Cindy Tate, ends up sleeping with the insurance potato, Josh. The baby is born and Josh is declared the new "father". During Larry's recovery, Cindy files for divorce. Larry is wheerchair bound and is a total wreck. Digging deep, he finds a source of inspiration that takes him and his wheel chair on a long solo journey via the open road. While out and about, Larry encounters bad weather and ends up freezing to death in a freak snow storm.---
Please keep in mind, before you read, that this story is sort of disturbing. There was no rhyme or reason as to why I picked the subject matter. Again, understand that this is just a selection of scenes, not the entire story:
The Life and Times of Henry Tate
And now, the sculpture that inspired this warped and twisted story . . .
Once I was finished giving the narrative, I unveiled the ice block, presenting the class with Larry in his frozen state. As planned, right behind the sculpture was a projected replica of it in illustrated form (see above). I think I caught the class a little off guard, but in a good way.
For my fourth project, we were to create a piece based on body. I decided to build another sculpture, but this time a hand out of paper clips. I don't have any in-progress snapshots, but I can tell you with the utmost certainty that it was a hassle to build. Before I started, I literally had to straighen about a hundred paper clips in order to begin this project. Once I finished unbending each one, I went to work on the metacarpals. These were made by intertwining a series of the small rods together. After that was finished, I built the carpals--which ended up holding the metacarpals together. I proceeded to work the fingers the same way that I did the metacarpals. This took me approximately 4-5 hours.
What was I supposed to do now with this nice looking skeletal structure sitting before me? Ah, of course, add food!
I ended up expending an entire can of crescent rolls for the skin, pieces of old hamburger meat for the muscle tissue, and blue food coloring for the veins/blood (the creature bleeds blue).
Here's a picture of it.
And here is a quick 13 second clip of it in 360.
But just like in everything I do, there needs to be a story. The hand had to have belonged to somebody, or something . . . but who? Or What?
In a split second decision, I chose to digitally record and timelapse the process that I typically use when sketching out concepts for new characters (which is not very often btw). This was done on the fly with no previous knowledge or layout of said character.
I chose to call him Hermie who, coincidently, happens to be a hermosapien. What's a hermosapien? The hell if I know. Maybe it falls in line right behind the homosapien?
Anyway, after grossing out the class with Hermie's hand, I showed them both of the videos and a nifty little powerpoint presentation on Hermie. To be quite honest, I can't remember half of what I said about this character for the fact that I was making everything up as I went along.
All in all, I enjoyed the class. It allowed me to sail into uncharted waters and find my "inner-contemporary artist", even though I still hate most contemporary art.