Monday, July 11, 2011

Standing on the shoulders of giants


Who and What Influences your work.


The July theme for the Etsymetal Team Blog Carnival* is "influences on your work, with examples". 

It is said in art, that we are all standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. This is certainly true, for there is virtually no one that can claim to have not been influenced by someone or something in the progression of their art.  The popular notion is that an artist sees another’s work and then goes off and tries to emulate it. This is rarely the case. Influences are much more oblique and subtle than that. Influences come from many directions and sources over a lifetime. Some influences are immediate and direct like a punch in the nose. Something stops you dead in your tracks, and you know it will haunt you till you find a way to express it in your art somehow. Other influences take years to develop, appreciate and find a voice for. These can be an experience from childhood or a philosophical point of view. 



Most artists are sensitive to other art forms and their environment and are often influenced by them. We see influences in our own work of our musical tastes and political views. These influences don’t necessarily take center stage, but they are there nonetheless, and tell part of the story of “why did you do that”.  In that sense, influences are an elaborate “connect the dots” trail of thought and emotions that result in a particular artistic expression.  

Here are some of the dots that connect our work:



















Martini Glass 
Stainless steel, brass, color on metal.
 
Influences: Old botanical manuscripts and Caravagio. 
Corliss was apprenticed as a floral designer at a very early age. This has had a deep life-long influence in her artistic voice. John virtually grew up in an art museum and thus had extensive contact with classical painting and sculpture from an early age. Classicism has been a recurring thematic device in 2Roses work whether expressed literally or abstractly.

A botanical manuscript circa 1500 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli
Bachus by Carravagio.  Side Note: John was expelled from the high school art club over a dispute about Carravagio. Fuck you Shell Fishburne, Carravagio was an influence and still is. There, we feel better now.

Galaxy Bracelet
Circuit board, sterling silver
Influences: The Jestsons animated tv show.  Like most children of our generation, we spent countless hour watching, and being influenced by television.  What started out as a simplistic situational comedy view of the future soon blossomed into a heavy interest in futurism and science fiction. Frank Frazetta made our eyes water with his virtuoso painterly technique, but Syd Mead really blew our minds. This was industrial design done with a narrative.



Corliss was apprenticed as a floral designer at a very early age. This has had a deep life-long influence in her artistic voice. John virtually grew up in an art museum and thus had extensive contact with classical painting and sculpture from an early age. Classicism has been a recurring thematic device in 2Roses work whether expressed literally or abstractly.
The Jetsons









Syd Mead










Vaquero Concho Earrings
Nickel, sterling silver
Influences: Armor and early Western Tack. 
We were introduced to engraving early on through interaction with antique edged weapons and armor. This has manifested itself by getting sidetracked into knife making, but in recent years we've finally come back to focusing on engraving.

California Style vaquero tack

Spurs with Spanish style rowls
 

































 Hurt Yourself Earrings
Sterling Silver
Influences: Robert Williams iconoclastic style and artistic "piss on your shoes" attitude puts him in the vanguard of artists you love or hate. There seems to be no middle ground, and Robert would have it no other way. We happen to love him.  We also love New Zealand art forms, Moko in particular.

Robert Williams, Empire hanging by a stretch

Maori Moko


Ghost of the Red Fort
Sterling Silver, bone
Influences: Islamic and Indian art. The rich classical tradition of Eastern pattern and textural decoration has been a great influence on our art. We almost always go back to ultra-conservative forms when we get in these moods.

a Mughal palace

















The Alhambra



























Pompei
Ancient coins, repousse, micromosiaic, bone, neoprene
Influences: Ramona Solzberg, Ron Ho, Roman Mosaics
The work of Ramona Solzberg and Ron Ho has had great influence on the philosophy and form of our work. This has played out with the use of found objects seen in other examples on this page. The convergence of found objects (electrical components) with exposure to Roman mosaics gave birth to the technique of micromosiaics that we have developed.
Necklace by Ron Ho



















Roman Mosaic





















 Artifact of Faith
 Sterling silver, brass, rutile, Italian liturgical print
Influences: We were both raised in the Catholic religion and attended parochial school. This exposed us to lots and lots of religious-based art, the Catholic church being one of the great historical patrons of the arts. We did our stint at vatican-bashing with our art in our youth, but we've come around to appreciating the more ornate forms of Catholic religious objects. In particular, Spanish influenced cathedrals and Russian icons

Valencia Cathedral, Guanajuato, Mexico



















Russian Icon





















 Be sure to check our EtsyMetal friends to learn more about how artists are influenced and what plays out in their art.

* Blog Carnival is a team project of EtsyMetal. Each month, volunteer members of the group all write on the same topic. Topics are usually related to the artistic/creative lifestyle or metalsmithing in particular. The purpose is to give readers a sampling of the the diversity of thought that artists hold on common subjects.

7 comments:

  1. It is amazing all the things that influence us from early age to current affairs. We are truly a cumulative product of our past experiences.

    BTW, The Alhambra has to be my favorite palace. It's the way they "dissolve" solids and mass into something delicate and airy.

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  2. Really enjoyed your article and a little insight into your inspiration! Thanks so much.

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  3. Nice collection of influences. I may have to refer back to this!!

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  4. This was an interesting project of self-reflection. We don't often focus and analyze the things that influence us. It all just gets mixed into the hurricane of ideas, and every so often something comes flying out.

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  5. It's really cool to see that religious art up there. I love looking at the hundreds-of-years old icon art at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London....I always go to the gallery containing those before I leave the building.

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  6. Thanks for sharing your influences and your insights from past posts--fascinating!

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  7. I love this post! On my google home page I have a widget called "Art from the Bible" and I am not religious but see it as a constant source of beauty, history and inspiration, whether something flies out or not. I really like the way you write.

    Catherine Witherell

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