Unfortunately, I am currently sat in the middle of nowhere (Falkland Islands) where I am condemned to remain for some months and so am unable to get to any kind of art gallery. Before I left the UK (knowing about this exercise) I had a look around my local art galleries at the exhibitions that they had on. There was nothing that particularly caught my eye until I wandered through town and strolled past one of the sites of the local annual street art festival. I love a bit of good street art and normally always end up stopping there for a bit to stand and stare. Street Art has been gaining in popularity in the last few decades thanks to the efforts of a while cadre of artists including one of the most famous, Banksy, a household name. Not a lot can get more contemporary than things that were painted just last year, and frankly after the exercises that I’ve covered so far I’m just happy to be looking at something that isn’t riddled with maggots, so my two selected pieces are both from the North Street Car Park, Cheltenham.
Each year during the paint festival artists who apply to enter are allocated plots of wall in various places around the town. The criteria is pretty broad but all designs are to be approved before they are applied to the walls. Because of this a lot of the designs are site specific, the advance notice allows the artists to design something which works with the surrounding environment and architecture.
Both the images are taken from – Cheltenham PaintFest. (2019). Cheltenham PaintFest. [online] Available at: https://www.cheltenhampaintfestival.co.uk [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].
The first, by an artist called Void One in 2018 is of a tank emerging from a wall.
This piece is more designed to be on a corner than site specific in so much as it was designed for painting onto the corner, utilising a small area of the ground in front of it has enabled a very effective 3-D effect to be achieved, the tank really pops out of the wall and towards the viewer.
As a piece it makes me think of a future time, something that could maybe transpire if the world continues to relentlessly build over green spaces and inch towards a Total Recall-esque existence.
Looking at Void One’s website it became clearer that this tank really was specific for the Cheltenham Festival. His portfolio shows that generally he just paints artistic squiggles. It made me curious about why he chose a tank for that particular location.
Looking at the different work he has done for protests and commisions he covers a wide range of topics in a highly skilled way. My particular favourite is a wall featuring Alice in Wonderlands white rabbit which he created as a commision for a summer mushroom party!
WooCommerce, B. (2019). PAINT_. [online] Void One. Available at: https://voidone.uk/portfolio/paint/ [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].
The second piece I selected is by an artist called Rich RTC Turner. It shows a Chimpanzee called Caesar from the franchise Planet of the Apes, Caesar ends up leading a war against the humans, so his face becomes quite a menacing sight. The film franchise is filmed in jungle/woods, so the artist has made use of the handy nearby tree placement to give added power to the image of Caesars face (this is the only tree on this particular road). This painting is site-specific, it wouldn’t look anywhere near as good a bit further down the road and especially not on the side of a building!
Suprisingly Rich RTC Turner does not have his own website. I say surprisingly because he is quite a rising star on the stencil street art scene. His Facebook page and Instagram are all he uses to document his work. He paints on a wide range of topics in a variety of locations. Heavy on the portraiture he is known for his use of stencils but is in no way confined to it. His artwork is simply superb.
Instagram.com. (2019). rich turner (@rtc72arts) • Instagram photos and videos. [online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/rtc72arts/?fbclid=IwAR0zuZfcerrVRU-7HaNwkxEj2GzeBMF5GUpFXYiUYeEyiShHAERZXuZqdKk [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].
Following this exercise I am to read and make notes on an article at www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/it-installation-art.
- the phrase installation art has no one definition anymore
- installation art can include the environment the art is displayed in as well as the piece itself
- some artists use our bodily reaction to the display space to enhance or antagonise the senses
- even the Tate Modern does not acquire a lot of installation art for its collection preferring to invest in mediums such as painting, sculpture, photography and video.
- further installation art is dedicated solely to the use that people can make of it such as Rirkrit Tiravanija who recreated his apartment to be used by the viewers.
- Jorge Pardo convinced the LA Museum of Contemporary Art to subsidise him building a house as both a dwelling and a work of art ( – How. How can this possibly be classed as art. I’ll paint my house pink with yellow spots if it means someone will subsidise my mortgage. *head in hands*)
- installation artists attempt to activate the viewer in some way