color studies

 

I have always liked the clothing designer, Thom Browne. A few years ago, he did this whole show that was  a crazy combination of punk, prep, and S&M and ghoul?

He bulked up shoulders and shoved water polo? caps on models, put duck patterns on their suits and made them look like they had no necks. They ended up looking like a cross between cartoon villains and boys in their father's jackets.  There were argyles and plaids and puppy designs but also black leather and spikes and kilts and merkins! It was totally confusing and great. I liked the distortion of the body -  and the palette - mostly pink/green and black/white. I have kept those figures in the back of my mind for a while and hoped to work them into a painting or a group of paintings... I am gearing up for that... Starting with some sketches and modeling figures on the computer... getting them rigged up. Will start composing soon.

btw, These screen recordings have no sound

 

check out that collection here: 

 

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John Mellencamp opened up a gallery space in Indiana with artwork and objects and macabre things. He asked to make some old-school-looking mannequins for the gallery. I looked at old French and German artist mannequins from the 18th and 19th centuries for inspiration. The freaky thing about those mannequins is that their heads were uncannily life-like while their bodies were like doll bodies.  They sort of looked like automatons Their heads were made of papier-mache and their bodies were wooden and fully articulated.

you can check out my reference folder here to see some originals and other related stuff:

 

I  got all into this... trying to make these mannequins look old and distressed... learned how to stain wood (improperly), learned how to distress wood with chemicals, and then went all in with getting old-school style text and designs that I then cut on a laser cutter and stenciled onto the bodies of the mannequins. Sort of feel like I am on a movie set or in prop room at a playhouse --  but getting into it because it is fun and giving me an excuse to learn new technology and use the lab here at IU where we have 3D printers and laser cutters. Too bad the learning curve is so dang steep.  

Instead of taking the papier-mache route, I decided to sculpt them digitally in Zbrush and then paint them digitally and print them on a 3d printer. I had a lot of help with the printing process from artist Ryan Mandell at the IU Madlab.

It was cool to see the project begin as quick sketches then shift to sculpting and painting on a computer and then get kicked back out and as actual objects in the real world where I could then paint and manipulate them again with real paint and physical materials. 

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