The title of my post, The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, might be confusing at first. A little Dada prank, you might assume. When you consider the fact that octopi can regenerate lost limbs, then the self-eating octopus becomes a potent metaphor.
She is the creator who grows strong branches only to prune herself back and start over. I can relate to the octopus, as I have reinvented myself and my art style many times. I had no idea Takashi Murakami had done the same thing until he chose to title his MCA exhibit after the resilient cephalopod.
I was very familiar with Murakami’s kawaii-inspired pop art, but I had no idea he explored several other art styles before developing his current brand. The exhibit takes the viewer through these styles in chronological order. There is no apparent connection between one style and the next. Once the octopus has cast off an arm, he seems to disavow any ownership of it.
It is important to start at the beginning of Murakami’s oeuvre, because each successive room is more impressive than the last. By the time I reached the final rooms, I was saying to myself, “I can’t believe this!” It was literally the most impressive art show I have ever seen.
Do yourself a favor and see this exhibit before it closes on September 24. It has my highest recommendation ever!
My latest commission is a cutout collage that will hang in a family cabin in St. Germaine, Wisconsin, which is a city featured on the map I used. The clients asked me to include certain important details, such as their love of bears, their cabin’s location on Bear Run Rd., and the legacy of two grandfathers. I recreated one grandfather’s CPD badge and the other grandfather’s Board of Trade badge.
If you have ideas for your own cutout collage, please comment on this post or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. They make excellent gifts and meaningful ways to represent your memories!
For the most part, I have continued to focus this year on completing private commissions and liquidating existing inventory. I did make an exception to the rule, however, when I decided to actually do something with materials I already had lying around.
At least 2 years ago I purchased some acrylic sheets with the intention of painting on them. This technique is known as Reverse Plexi Painting, after the brand name Plexiglas. Because this medium allows artists to achieve a perfect, glassy surface, it has been used in Pop Art by Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Nutt, and many others.
My approach to the medium was to be an extension of the cut-out technique I have been employing for over 2 years, as I would be using cut-outs as stencils. I loved the idea that the Plexiglas surface would remove all evidence of my hand. The end result would be like something off a factory line.
The piece at the top of the page is my first attempt. To see how I made this, take a look at my short video: