Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Art Improvisation

As an experimental artist, I am often challenged to come up with a new solution to an art problem. Here is an interesting solution to a recent sculptural problem. 

The raised paints I am using to create some of the graffiti on the Dystopia sculptures, was shiny. Too shiny. It worked well for doing the lettering, but it did not seem real to me. It didn't have that aged quality that I needed it to have. Instead it looked like it was painted on the walls yesterday. That wouldn't do. I tried a number of things to lower the gloss without losing the letters completely. Nothing seemed to work except using a high end phosphorescent spray which dulled the paint and made the sculpture glow in the dark. But this was an expensive option. I needed something cheap and at hand. 

The final solution was a wet mixture of corn starch mixed with a very small amount of gray paint. This tinted it just slightly so it didn't look glaringly white when it dried. It was then applied over the lettering while wet and then dried quickly using a hair dryer. The hair dryer was necessary because I would get a bit of flaking if it was allowed to dry slowly. The end result was a system that allowed me to age both the lettering and any other part of the sculpture I felt needed it. A super simple solution to a complex problem. And a solution that as an experimental artist I will use in other work later and probably adapt over and over again to find new uses. Here are before and after showing the changes. It will need a couple more coats to get the perfect aging for it, but I think you get the idea. 

Before

After

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