Monday, September 10, 2012
Knitting/fiber arts and t-shirt designs
This week's post is about a recent exhibition discussed on NPR this past Sunday, and an interesting Web Site I discovered that allows artists to submit and sell their own t-shirt designs. The discussion on NPR was titled "Are All Young Artists "Post-9/11 Artists?". In it, Neda Ulaby discussed the possibility that the events of September 11, 2001 have shaped our culture to such an extent that all artists under 40 are influenced by these terrorist attacks. She profiled three artists from the "40 under 40" exhibition at the Smithsonian, and described how each artist drew inspiration from or about 9/11.
I'm not sure I agree with her thoughts. I certainly think that the terrorist attacks early in this century have influenced many things, including how art is made and what it is about, but I don't think you can say that all artists under a specific age are "9/11" artists. What struck me most after hearing/reading this article, other than the fact that I was not included in the exhibition (Haha! Just kidding. Sort of...no, no definitely kidding...maybe...heh heh), was that these artists largely seem to be working with fibers as a medium. Olek and Cat Mazza, in particular are using crocheting or weaving as their vehicle for expression (hence the photo above. It's the only woven piece I could find, but it was hand made in Greece so I think it counts). But even the other artists profiled (the folds of Erik Demaine, or the quilts by Anna Von Mertens) used some kind of fibrous material in making their art.
I think the fact that these artists are using fibers along with such trends as Yarn Bombing, speak about the art being made today as much as the fact that it is produced post 9/11. Why all the fibrous art? I don't know. Perhaps in an increasingly technological world, filled with cold and impersonal machines, people are expressing an inherent desire to return to natural materials. I think this aspect is something the author overlooked, or possibly didn't really think about. It might be interesting to investigate. What do you think?
The second thing I wanted to mention was the Web Site TeeFury.com.
This site allows artists to create and submit their unique tee shirt designs. When I was in college I won the tee shirt design contest for my dorm. It was great fun. I especially enjoyed seeing the project go from sketch to reality. This site makes it possible to experience that concept with each submission. I think it is an excellent opportunity, and one more way to get creative.
Well, that's it for now. More will be posted next week.