In Week One, the Artist I chose to research on was Mark Bradford. As someone that enjoys colours and contrast, his painting as seen above was the one that stood out to me during my brief Google search on all the reference artists that were provided to us. What’s more, who better to research on for a Mark Making Project than someone with the very same name itself? But in all seriousness, other than his apt name, his usage of simple lines – some organic some rigid – which form a strange but structured piece also piqued my interest, hence I decided to find out what exactly was it that made this Artist tick.
Known for his grid-like paintings which combine the use of collage and paint, his occasional use of the paint dripping technique has also led to some people deeming him the next Jackson Pollock. His fascination with the social issues surrounding the United States be it of class, race or gender also help inspire his pieces, which Bradford likes to refer to as “Social Abstraction”. Other than that, his works also serve as a way to remember the happenings of a certain point in time in a certain part of the United States. Therefore, his works often look like an organization or map of streets and buildings.
One thing I liked about him was that he was not restricted to just traditional paint in his practice but instead, worked with various other mediums such as videos, prints and installations. He also made sure to work with materials that he found – something I greatly relate to, being a hoarder – while also making sure his materials reflected the environment he was trying to portray. That’s definitely something I felt should be implemented in my own process of mark making.
To read more on Mark Bradford’s thought processes, click here.
In Week Two, we had a class discussion on our researched artists from the week prior. It was definitely insightful as it was through this, that I learnt about two other Artists that I found really intriguing.
CAI GUO QIANG
According to what my classmates wrote:
“Cai grew up in a setting where explosions were common regardless if they’re cannon blast or celebratory fireworks” “He saw gunpowder to be used in both a good and bad way representing reconstruction and destruction.”
When I saw that, I felt respect for Cai Guo Qiang as, regardless of the tough times that he had lived through, he was able to somehow find inspiration in his experiences and create art from it. What’s more, his medium of using gunpowder wasn’t an orthodox one. I really liked the kind of effect that the gunpowder was able to produce, where there were harsh marks of dark contrasts, yet also soft smudge-like marks, as seen below:
The next Artist was someone whose works I found to be really fascinating as I don’t imagine I’ll ever be able to understand exactly how she does what she does. This particular Artist would be Emma Kunz. From what I’ve learnt from my classmates, I understand that her works consists of a lot of geometric shapes and colours. She also applies loads of symmetry in her works. While all of these sound simple enough to grasp, the next bit was what I couldn’t wrap my head around.
So basically, how Emma Kunz comes up with her works is through this method called Radiesthesia, where essentially, she sees a person’s spiritual aura and she translates it onto paper. As a person who has difficulty even coming up with ideas that are “out of the box”, this concept of seeing auras and drawing them like still life really makes me in awe. One other thing, her drawings can actually help heal people!
So yes, while I definitely wouldn’t be able to do what she did for my mark making, she’s a really cool artist that I wanted to include in my research. However, what I can take pointers from would be the more technical aspects behind her works such as the seemingly systematic look of her drawings.