As part of the process I am undertaking for my MA project, an exploration into the styles, materials and the message they convey, will help me to critically communicate my ambitions, passions, and define some of my research methodologies, in regards to culture and style.
I will begin this blog writing about my passion: Culture. Youth culture in particular. I believe that youth culture is the driving force of society, communication, art, music, and the nemesis of politics. Rightly so. A California native, I was 2 during the “Summer of Love” and although I was too young to remember much of it, I do have strong memories of the parent culture (my single mom and I lived with my young, hip grandparents) of this era during the first 7 or so years of my life, and the friction the first counterculture imposed on society first-hand.
When I think of it, I have known and experienced the styles, music, art, social contexts and politics from the Great Generation, to Gen Z. I have seen transitions from counterculture to counterculture, the co optation of these, and the conflicts in-between. This is one of the driving forces for my love of political art and the way music and art communicate.
As each project creates a voice and requires new methods and research, here are the inspired works I am focusing on as a point of inspiration, and materials for my MA project, which will be a Flipper Zine, focusing on the selfie generation, and the cause and effects that selfies have on popular culture. Zines are speaking to, and for, an underground culture, so with all due respect for the audience of this project, it is fair to face-off from the underground…The purpose of the zine as an outcome, is not to extol or dismiss scholarship, but to implement history into the exchange of communication variables as a method of reinstating the thinking about the relationship between culture and social contexts.
Zines are non-commercial and shaped by a long history of alternative processes and as a distinct medium, have been around since the 1930’s (Duncombe 1997). As a zine publisher, this project will be identified less by who, but by more of what is believed, without the whimsy of conventional choices, it will be more about the message.
Fig. 1 Permanent (Source: Permanentdist.com)
Block printing – will create and effect that will transport the DIY cultural by reaching into the past and communicate to the future. The effects using this method, although attainable through brushes in digital programs, will have a more authentic impact on the design of the zine. I believe it will give an authentic finish that respects the culture of the zine. I will be implementing the block printing with typography in honor of David Carson’s style where the messy and muddled style of type running off the page and distortion of words and images create inaccurate illusions. This is in support of my own subculture, grunge, that has made this style renowned as a legitimate movement in design history.
Fig. 2, Carson 2017 (Ray Gun Magazine Cover)
Digital Stenciling – Shepard Fairey has long since been an inspiration of mine since he participated in the Artists for Positive Social Change, a program in Santa Fe, New Mexico on the SFUAD’s campus. His work is froth with meaning and his brand represents a youth struggle against the bourgeoisie.
Fig. 3, Fairey 2013
Cutouts – Henri Matisse Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on canvas is very inspirational as to the endless possibilities of media mixture.
Fig. 4 Henri Matisse 1943 The Clown
Hamilton’s collage was one of the first pieces of pop art to reach iconic status. He took images out of American magazines to form a critical piece of work on pop culture’s contemporary lifestyle. Taking cutouts from other zines or magazines that focus on the theme of my MA project might be an effective way to communicate tongue-in-cheek messages while reigning in the Pop Art culture.
Fig.5 Hamilton 1956 “Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?”
I think a mixture of the materials mentioned, and the historical and contemporary styles will produce the result I am looking for and create a uniquely styled body of work, that will communicate a visually effective awareness campaign.
Fig. 1 Corporate (2015) Permanent CO-OP [Online] http://permanentdist.com/2015/06/how-dare-you-magazine/ [Accessed 06-01-2017]
Fig. 2 Muscat, L. (2013) Grung – David Carson [Online] http://alexiamuscat1.blogspot.com/2013/12/grung-david-carson.html [accessed 03-09-2018]
Fig, 3 Corporate (2013) Shepard Fairey X SFUAD! [Online] http://www.wearethefrontier.com/blog/inspiration/shepard-fairey-x-sfuad/ [accessed 03-01-2018]
Fig. 4 Frank, M. (12-06-2017) The World Of Henri Matisse And His Paper Cutout Universe. [Online] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/31/henri-matisse-birthday_n_6390998.html [accessed 03-01-2018]
Fig. 5 Corporate Richard Hamilton, British Pop collage artist and painter. [Online] http://www.theartstory.org/artist-hamilton-richard-artworks.htm [accessed 03-11-2018]