Friday, July 2, 2010

pieces and parts

Due to the size constraints of the paper I'm using these days, I'd started making large figures in parts and attaching them at the joints, like marionettes. I rather liked the results.

A fellow artist here invited me to visit her at the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, where she works in the community printshop a few days a week. There was an amazing show of old French folk prints on display there, including this series of woodcut-printed paper dolls of French soldiers, cutout paper models, and these lovely, strange prints which are clearly meant to be cut up and assembled into paper puppets. Amazing stuff! I liked the graphic strangeness of the page-o-parts much better than the assembled object itself, and made a mental note of this.

I returned home that evening to find an e-mail from one of my contacts at the ACC, who'd sent me a bunch of amazing resources to pursue while I'm here, and a list of former grantees I should try and meet based on shared interests and artistic affinities. One I felt an instant connection to was Kenichi Yokono, who makes the most astounding woodblocks - not prints, mind you, but big, inked and cut blocks of wood, a cross between relief prints and sculptural objects. Among his older works were these sectioned people divided into parts (see image below), which I imagine may have started out from similarly practical reasons to the ones I began with. Again, I'm much more interested in them as "kits" or sets of modular parts than I am when they're assembled to make a finished figure. Seems like my creative compass is clearly pointing me in this direction...

I'm meeting lots of other amazing artists here, and I'll do a post on some of them very soon. In the meantime, time to go deconstruct some drawings!

(image above, anonymous French folk artist; image below, Kenichi Yokono)

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