Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mixed Media?

What is mixed media art?

Technically speaking, "mixed media" is any combination of two or more primary artistic mediums combined in a single piece of artwork. Try looking up what are considered the “primary artistic mediums” – that, in itself – was a bit of Internet folly. Maybe you can find it.

Hence, I guess, if you are using resin to make a pendant – or clay, or anything - and you add glass beads or any other of the “primary artistic mediums” (which amounts to just about anything) your jewelry would or could be considered to be of mixed media. It’s why I changed the description on this blog. It is the way I create, always has been, so I thought I ought to define my work that way.

Maybe we could break the “mixed media” label down further by quantifying it into larger titles (for example): “mixed media paper sculpture” but all those extra labels just strike me as redundant. Or, maybe as Etsy tags they ought to read - "mixed media paper sculptures with bit and dabs of acrylic, crayon, and ink." LOL It's one of those "things" we could do – but maybe shouldn't. I am a jeweler and I work with more than one primary medium so I’m paring the excess labeling as far down as possible

Why mixed media Sharon? (So, I said to myself….Self - - - -)

Nail Man

Louise Nevelson

My earliest recognition of visits to the Detroit Institute of Arts and Cranbrook where of pieces of art that contained what we now so commonly refer to as “found objects”. Oh, I loved it all – who wouldn’t be excited to stick their nose to nearly touching a Van Gogh (they didn’t cover them then). The Rivera Mural in the Grand Hall – he was such a character. But, it was Louise Nevelson that I remember most. All those neutrally painted pieces making shadows and coming together as a whole. Second to those were the rooms of African Art. I thought them primitive but such perfectly polished pieces of art. My very favorite of those African pieces at the DIA is “Nail Man” Sculpture. It brought about a massive love for all things talisman. Nail Man is also mixed media.

Nail Man is roughly 3 ½ feet tall. In the African Congo there are fetish statues known as Nkisi that are broken down into two categories. Those that are malevolent and those that are talismans’ against it. It’s an old story, right? All cultures and centuries and all kinds of images. I guess that’s why I love them so –the story – the battle of good vs. evil. Mostly maybe the protection of having the talisman – like having the Immunity necklace on Survivor.

And, as odd as it seems, I also relish the wooden alters of Madonna and child. Paint, gold leaf, wood. Another incredible mixed-media marvel.

Mixed media mavens – aren’t we all? What’s your primary media and why did you choose it?

No comments: