Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Making of the “Cultural Graffiti” Series
Post Graffiti on Mixed Media

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
One of my passions is to create Post-Graffiti artwork on cloth. A series of posts on this blogspot have addressed issues in Graffiti and Post Graffiti Art as well as presenting images of such art. I have listed some of these below for your enjoyment.
Time Dimension in Art
Unleashed: The Rise of Australian Street Art
Act of Engagement
New York Spray-Can Memorials
Another Brick
Beyond the Fear of Freedom
Oh, Oh Marilyn and Mona@Spoonflower
Neu Kunst: Mona & Marilyn
Paste Modernism 4


Introduction
The following works are examples of a technique I have developed and termed “matrix formatting”. It involves splicing together a number of images to form a matrix. The base unit is overlaid by the components of the matrix. This gives the works an underlining symmetry, which projects a real sense of vibrancy that is the hallmark of some of my Post Graffiti ArtCloths. I hope you enjoy these artworks.

On another note - I wish to thank Lisa Kerpoe for her kind words about this blog spot. Lisa's blog spot has also attracted awards. Lisa's new book "Visual Texture on Fabric - Create Stunning Art Cloth with Water-Based Resists" will be available in July 2012. A must buy for any ArtCloth library!
Lisa Kerpoe
Lisa's New Book


The Making of my “Cultural Graffiti” ArtCloth series
The Post Graffiti ArtCloth movement is still a novel movement. Graffiti has been with us since the dawn of time, from the huntsman marks made on cave walls to the election slogans, drawings and obscenities carved on clay found in excavations of Pompeii[1]. The word itself stems from the Italian word “sgraffio”, which means “scratch”[1] and so "Graffiti" artworks can be thought of poetically as scratches on walls, fences, paths and doors.

In 1904 – Anthropophyteia – was the first magazine that focussed on graffiti and more precisely on toilet graffiti[1]. Graffiti was used during the 1920s - 1940s by the Nazi’s to engender race hatred toward the Jews. In 1942 - 1943, the - “White Rose” - a group of German non-conformists, spoke out against Hitler and his regime by painting slogans on walls before they were captured and dealt with[1]. Graffiti has been vilified as “criminal” art and at the same time it has been heralded as a new form of stencil or spray-can art.

Graffiti Art as can be seen in Melbourne’s CBD in Hosier Lane (Australia).

Its art origins began in typography and its distortions since socio-political messages needed to be conveyed in a youth sub-culture code. Most of its works were tagged. Like any living and breathing entity it has evolved and sub-divided. Characters have been supplemented with symbols, abstractions and distorted images.

Dave Chino (New York, USA)[1].
Note: Artistic distortion of typography that spells out his name.

Heavyweight (Crew: Dane Buller, Tyler Gibney and Gene Pendon) Montreal, Canada[1].
Note: Sophisticated fine-art images.

Post Graffiti movements have emerged to distance itself from “criminal art” and so it has morphed into such sub-divisions as aerosol art, street murals, stencil art, street art, hip-hop art and neo graffiti art. These are labels that do not necessarily umbrella similar style sheets, as was the case in such art movements as Impressionism or Cubism, but rather symbolizes art genres and/or art implements and/or legitimate art forms etc.

Banksy’s Stencil Art[1].

Another well-known Graffiti Artist is Tsang Tsou-Choi (who passed away in July of 2007 aged 86). He had been writing Chinese characters in Hong Kong for most of his life on public installations such as electricity boxes, lampposts, walls, etc. He proclaimed himself as the “King of Kowloon” and had been arrested and sent to police stations many times.

His works have become an identity of Hong Kong sub-culture and he has inspired fashion designers, art directors and movie directors. He was probably the oldest Graffiti Artist in the world. His works have been exhibited in many international exhibitions and biennales. For example, he was represented at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003.

Hong Kong's Graffiti King Tsang Tsou-Choi.
Note: He is seen here posing with a Daihatsu car he decorated with his calligraphy during the "Japan@Cool Expo" show in Hong Kong in August 2002.

The Post Graffiti movement on cloth is its most recent evolved form. Cloth is a legitimate medium supplanting the need for walls, fences, paths and doors. It was not a common art practice when I created the art installations "Codes" and “Another Brick” (see past blogs) which were aimed at uniting the huntsmen’s art marks (rural survival) with the art marks of the Graffitists (urban survival). The purpose was not to mimic huntsman or Graffitists’ art marks, but rather to take elements of their art and re-constitute it in a deconstructed form. It was a pre-meditated, wilful process arising from thought and not from impulse.

Just like Monet's "Water Lillies" suite, I wanted to investigate over and over again one single visual theme, hence my "Cultural Graffiti" suite on ArtCloth and prints on paper. In this suite I wanted images to be paired down to the original modern Graffitists use of typographical mark making. I was influenced by the approach taken by Tsang Tsou-Choi's calligraphy, although it was my intention that my art marks should not be discernible, and so I did not want to base it on an alphabet or symbolic images (like pictograms) etc. I wanted my images to have the “feel” of typographical and image marks. I wanted my images to be vibrant but have a mystery to them, as if they were indecipherable messages from unknown urban peoples. I searched deep and decided to use my “matrix formatting” screen printing technique, which involves splicing together a number of images to form a matrix. As this ArtCloth and prints on paper suite was strategically planned, I called it my “Cultural Graffiti” suite, in order to lampoon these efforts of mine that did not involve an impulse of any sort (the latter being a hallmark of most Graffitists).


ArtCloth and Limited Edition Prints on Paper: Suite of "Cultural Graffiti" Works

Cultural Graffiti (Full View) - Prints on Paper.
Technique: Black and white matrix formatted silkscreen print on Stonehenge employing pigment paint.
Edition: Edition of 10.
Size: 76 cm (width) x 56 cm (length).
First Exhibited: In 2004 as part of the "2004 Awaba House Exhibition", Awaba House, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia.


Cultural Graffiti I (Full View) - ArtCloth.
Technique: Dyed, overdyed, stamped, matrix formatted silkscreened prints using dyes, metallic foils and transparent, opaque and metallic paints on cotton.
Size: 250 cm (width) x 125 cm (length).
First Exhibited: In 2004 I was invited to participate in the "ArtCloth 2004 : Committed to Cloth", exhibition at the "Festival of Quilts and the Knit & Stitch Conference", Birmingham, England. See above image.

Cultural Graffiti I - General view of the "ArtCloth 2004 : Committed to Cloth", exhibition at the "Festival of Quilts and the Knit & Stitch Conference", Birmingham, England.

Cultural Graffiti I (Section View).

Cultural Graffiti I (Detail View).

Cultural Graffiti III (Full View) - ArtCloth.
Technique: Dyed, overdyed, matrix formatted silkscreened prints using dyes, metallic foils, transparent, opaque and metallic paints on rayon.
Size: 280 cm (width) x 115 cm (length).
First Exhibited: In 2004 as part of the "Another Brick - Artcloth Installation", Watt Space Galleries, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Cultural Graffiti III (Detail View).

Cultural Graffiti III (Close Up Detail View).

Cultural Graffiti VI (Full View) - ArtCloth.
Technique: Dyed, overdyed, matrix formatted silkscreened prints using dyes, metallic foils, transparent, opaque and metallic paints on rayon.
Size: 250 cm (width) x 115 cm (length).
First Exhibited: In 2006 the piece was selected to participate in the "QSDS Fabric Show", 2006 Quilt Surface Design Symposium Exhibition, University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Cultural Graffiti VI (Detail View).

Cultural Graffiti VI (Close Up Detail View).

Cultural Graffiti VII (Close Up Detail View) - ArtCloth.
Technique: MultiSperse Dye Sublimation and matrix formatted silkscreened prints employing disperse dyes and pigment paint on satin.
Size: 30 cm (width) x 200 cm (length).
Sold on Inspection, Private Collection, Canberra, Australia.

Cultural Graffiti VIII (Full View) - Prints On Paper.
Technique: Matrix formatted silkscreen prints employing dyes and metallic foil on Pescia.
Edition: Edition of 3.
Size: 76 cm (width) x 56 cm (length).
First Exhibited: Selected in 2006 to participate in the "2006 Swan Hill Print and Drawing Acquisitive Awards", Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery, Swan Hill, Victoria, Australia.
Sold on Inspection, Private Collection, New South Wales, Australia.

Cultural Graffiti IX (Full View) - ArtCloth.
Technique: MultiSperse Dye Sublimation and matrix formatted silkscreened prints employing disperse dyes and pigment paint on satin.
Size: 23 cm (width) x 13 cm (length).
First Exhibited: In 2007 I was invited to participate in the "9 x 5", 2007 Walker Street Gallery Exhibition, Walker Street Gallery, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia.

With Intent X: Cultural Graffiti - Print On Paper.
Technique: Black and white version of a digital monoprint.
The image was published in the following journal:
Eds. Benitez, E.E. and Christie, W. ‘Not in My Name’ Wisniowski, M.-T. ‘Literature and Aesthetics’, The Journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics, The University of Sydney, Vol.13, No. 2 pp. 83 - 88, December 2003.

Editions of printed works on paper, Cultural Graffiti and Cultural Graffiti VIII are available for purchase.


Reference:
[1] N. Ganz, Ed. T. Manco, Graffiti World, Harry N. Abrams Inc., New York (2004).

1 comment:

wall art said...

I like how the cultural and modern art intertwined in this one of a kind scenery. There are no boundaries and limitations in art, it is the expression of man.