I came across this picture the other day somewhere on my hard drive, and was reminded of a lesson Tim gave us in taking a simple string of words and turning it into a fully realized work of art. Tim had just introduced the class to some animations by the Brothers Quay, who do these incredibly intricate, dark, eerie animations involving the use of many small household items for their characters and set-pieces. In this assignment, Tim asked us to create an assemblage (similar in style to the work of the Brothers Quay) that personifies a given sentence. The sentence he gave me was “I look damn good in a hat,” and I decided to create a self-portrait of sorts (below). I was really happy with it, though I couldn’t really find a container that I liked. I ended up carrying her around for a day in a big pink suitcase, and then when I took her home she sat on my bookshelf like a traditional bust.
Ron does a similar assignment for his classes, asking students to create an every-day object by using more, smaller, un-related ever-day items—though the creations in Ron’s class are much less terrifying than anything made by the Brothers Quay. They’re a bit more like the assemblage above. I would love to continue to work in this medium, however time-consuming it may be. I think this work speaks to both the painter and the props master in me, because it allows me to create something brand new out of something old, something that tells a story in three dimensions--and, it gives me an excuse to keep all of the old weird crap I've collected over the years. So long as I don't end up on Hoarders, I think it'd be great.