I'm not the Immortal Artist. You are

Immortal Artist is dedicated to exploring all aspects of experimental art and creating new and innovative techniques which other artists can use to strengthen their own work.


The blogs creator, experimental artist Grey Cross pursues and discusses art across a wide spectrum of artistic mediums. They include painting, sculpting, body art, digital art, and photography. With an emphasis on teaching artists to utilize today's social networks to further their own art and reputations.


This blog uses the Living Blog concept, an idea created by Grey Cross

Grey Cross Studios/Immortal Artist Operations

New Orleans

Email: greyacross@aol.com

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Urban Decay Sculpture #6 - Creating the Sky Tower Ruin (Steps 1 & 3)

This massive 10 foot high sculpture will be reminiscent of the Seattle Space Needle. Once the basic structure is built, an aging process will begin to turn it into an urban ruin for the Dystopia Project.


The process for creating these is done in stages. The first stage, as you see here, is merely putting the foam together like a big puzzle. Searching out shapes that work well for the overall composition. Once that is complete, then the pieces will be formed together and the whole structure put on a weighted base. Details will be carved into it using a heat pen. From there an aging process will be done using a heat gun to turn it from a pristine tower and into an urban ruin. After that the real details can be created and graffiti added to the whole piece. You can follow along here as each step is created. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Fear


"Fear" is an experimental graffiti piece created for the Dystopia Project. It was created using a piece of styrofoam mounted on a 4' x 2' canvas. The foam was heated to created a mottled surface similar to bricks and cut using a heated styrofoam pen. The fixtures were old metal parts sealed to the foam. The chain is plastic, mafe from a broken strand of Mardi Gras beads.  The spider is a simple Halloween spider, painted black and red to mimic a black widow spider. The surrounding canvas has two layers. The first is a sand layer, the second a cracked glass layer. Both were added using a spray adhesive to create a real looking building surface. 

Dystopian Body Model - Test Shoot



As the Dystopian Project proceeds, I decided I wanted to bring some body models in who could pose with some of the sculptures. My concept was for models who were willing to work over the next year or so with the project as it proceeds. I was fortunate to get a fantastic model with experience right away. He came in this week for his test shoot and I was very pleased with both the images and the professionalism of the model. I think it will be a good pairing of talents and I look forward to having back in the new studio next month to begin posing with the actual sculptures. What you see here are not related to Dystopia, but are finished images from his test photos. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What is Dystopia? The New Orleans Art Activism Sculpture Project



Imagine a city left to ruin. Its walls a hollow testament to the life that once lived and thrived upon its streets. Its buildings are covered in the last frantic words and images of the street artists and graffiti makers who stood as the final recorders of its fate. You are its final tourist. You alone walk its streets and see its messages. You are the final witness to the troubles the people of this city faced. Only you can set aside the war, the hate, the savagery and see the deeper meanings left here. Do you do so? Or do you turn your back and walk away to find your way back to the sunshine streets of your dreams, far from reality?

This is Dystopia.

Sacred Spaces - The Artists Workplace



I had an interesting discussion with an artist a while back about the aesthetics of the artists studio. On one visit he noted that I had a bunch of candles burning throughout the room and wondered why I would light so many and was it religious in nature?

In a way it is religious, but not in the way he was thinking. The sanctity of the studio makes the artists workplace as holy as any church or cathedral. Creativity is the closest that, I believe, we can come to the true nature of our spiritual being. 

I explained this to him, but I also took time to explain the importance of the aesthetics of an artists workplace for conducting business. For me the candles create a very special feel that guests instantly sense when they enter. There is an other worldliness to this space that it is important to me to impart to those who visit.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

From Junk to Art



In order to go from recycled junk to true art there must be a fundamental transition. Simply finding an old car fender and standing it on end and calling it art does not make it so. If the fender is painted gold  the transition process has begun. Is it good art? Probably not, but it can now be classified as art. How far you take it is how far into the art world it transitions.

There is an exception. If the concept is truly unusual and never before attempted. Marcel Duchamps "Fountain" urinal was art because it had never been done before. But it only works once. To do so now after so many others have done the same just makes it another urinal.

On the other hand, if you take the transition too far it may also revert back to junk. For example, if you take your car fender, add glitter, stick it in a pot with some dirt and call it a Fender Plant, it is still art. But if you then add all sorts of other car parts and stick them in the dirt with it to the point where it becomes clumsy then its just a bunch of car parts. It can lose its effect as art and revert back to junk. 


Friday, July 6, 2018

Paint Splatters - Grasping Jackson Pollock




abstraction
[ab-strak-shuh n] 

A work of art, especially a nonrepresentational one, stressing formal relationships.

Many view Jackson Pollock as one of the genius artists of the 20th century. Others view him as a that dude that splattered paint around and called it art. I once heard a father at an art museum say to his young son. “You made better art when you spilled those finger paints”.

Sadly for a long time I counted myself among those who just didn’t get it, even though I am an artist myself. Yet, even as I didn’t grasp Pollock, at the same time I found myself having a fascination with splatters of paint. An inadvertent droplet of acrylic on the ground opened a whole new vista to my imagination. The way it was shaped, the curve of its tail where the gravity laid it out. Why would I enjoy this? What was I getting for it? And then suddenly I grasped something crucial about Pollock and this form of art.

Simply put. It’s not in the splatter of paint that the art is found. It is so much more complex than that. It is about chaos, and it is about uniformity. For me, I often start a piece with total chaos. The random splatters spilling across the canvas are merely a starting point for developing something much more complex. How does one line of paint interact with another? How does it form a whole? Layer upon layer it caresses the canvas until suddenly, almost like magic, there is art. It is the artists’ imagination and perspective which create art from the madness which is life. In a sense we do this every day by ordering our lives into meaningful sense that others might not have the ability to grasp. But we understand it and it works for our pattern of life.

So the next time you see a Jackson Pollock, or the work of any artist who “splatters paint”, take a moment to look at a greater perspective of the piece. Look at the way the light plays on it. Look at how the colors play together and merge. See if something else speaks to you. 

Finality



fi·nal·i·ty The fact or impression of being an irreversible ending.

I am slowly rapping up a sculpture that has taken over 250 hours to complete. While there are still a few lose ends to tie up on it and some tweaking to do, I am starting that final process that includes things such as cleaning up the studio and placing supplies in their homes rather than scattered around the project. Assessing things like descriptions, photo work and material lists for the finished work and most important, starting to consider ideas and parameters for the next piece I want to create.

All this reminds me of the "process" of finality in art. In some ways I suppose its like watching a child grow and helping with the details of their life like college, housing and income that bring them from childhood to adulthood. My work is very much like child rearing, especially because I spend so much time with a piece and let it consume my world while it grows.

I learned long ago that I would have a short period of sadness that bordered on depression after I finished a piece of art, unless I had another ready on the launchpad right behind it to begin. I always say to myself, "well I'll take a few days off between pieces and relax a bit" but it never happens. I suppose that's because for me, art isn't work. Its play, its joy, its expression, its who I am, and face it, its hard to take a vacation from who we are.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

What your eye Sees is NOT what someone else will see. 
Don't be deluded into thinking what you see before you is the only thing that is there. 
Our personal realities color our art, and we do not all use the same colors. 
Art is perception. The more possible facets we place in our art, the more things for people to perceive.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Refugee Faces - The Dystopia Project


There are currently 5 urban ruin sculptures being developed for the Dystopia Project. The building above is devoted to the subject of Refugees. Attached to the front of the building are 7 black masks representing the 7 continents of the world. On the side is iconography representing the different refugee groups struggling around the globe. These are tough subjects. They are meant to be stark reminders of the world we currently live in. This tower stands 8 feet high and 2 feet deep. When completed it will contain at least a half dozen different pieces of street art and countless graffiti which has yet to be added.

Originally this sculpture was planned to also represent Immigrants, but due to the horrid situation of Immigration in the United States I decided to create another sculpture representing that subject. There will also be another representing climate refugees.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Place of Lost Ideas


Here is today's collection of odds and ends from Saturday morning flee markets, yard sales and second hand stores. Lots of artists upcycle as a form of creating art. But I also take it one step further. I use the various junk stores as a source for ideas and inspiration. I may walk in with an idea, but more often I walk out with totally new ideas for my art.. Being surrounded by so many lost, half broken objects stimulates my creativity in a major way. I see unlimited possibilities. From the group above, several of the pieces were bought specifically because they fit a particular project, but nearly half came from on the spot ideas while wandering the aisles.

I highly suggest that when you are in a creative rut, even if you have no money to spend, go wander a second hand store. View each object as if it were in front of you in your studio, ready to be transformed into something new. See what you come up with. It may surprise you how well it works as a brainstorming tool.

Some items I buy on spec. There is no immediate need or idea for it, but I can tell at some point it may become a very useful item to have around.

Ray Bradbury was a major collector of the odd and unusual .He said it stimulated his creativity to be surrounded by these items. He's right. A sanitized studio is a studio without any inspiration.  Clutter it up and become inspired!


Thursday, June 21, 2018

"Never associate your artistic name with one of the great masters. "I'm the next Picasso" should be stricken from your vocabulary"

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Quick and Easy Sculptural Plinths


I found some beautiful vintage ceramic blocks lying in a nearby woodlot. I brought one back to the studio, scrubbed it with a wire brush and then spray painted it a gloss black. It makes a great plinth for sculpture work. Last year I found a bunch of cut wooden pieces that had once been square pillars for a building being renovated. The only problem with using them as plinths was that they had to be resurfaced because they were a bit beat up. This actually worked out well because it gave them an interesting pattern. But with these blocks, there is a natural patterning in them that makes them easier to use without resurfacing and the chipping in places gives them a truly great look. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

On The Move


In about 6-8 weeks we will be moving our art studio and home to a new location. We've been in the current space about 6 years now. As I begin to slowly sort through the studio storage room and pack a few things away, I thought it might be fun to share some of it. Its no small thing to move this much junk. I and my partner are art pack rats. If we see it and think it can become something it ends up in one of our two storage rooms. I would not say we are hoarders because we are select about what we bring back. But it does accumulate after time.

The fellow above has been seen in many pieces of my work and even though its broken in the middle and has a hole in its head (who doesn't) he/she/they are still a valuable part of my prop inventory and I refuse to get rid of him. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Psychology of the Body Painter



At one point in my career I was a body painter. I still am actually, but not to the extent that I once was. Much of my work was live shows done on stage and those were very tiring events. Studio body paintings were much more in keeping with my style of work. I much preferred the opportunity to work slowly with the model(s) and work my way methodically through my designs.