Sep 22, 2011

TREND | Craft in Art | Action Photography

Daniela Edburg, The Bride, 2009
Artists, I hope, try to show us something that they love, whether beautiful or terrifying, in order to connect with their audience.  It may be thought-provoking, disgusting, pretty, hysterical, or mild, but whatever it is, the artist is sharing a piece of themselves with all of us as viewers, art historians and critics.  Art that conveys a social message, and brings you into the experience by using hand-knit craft (by the artists themselves) combined with professional photography manipulation techniques makes for truly dynamic and eye-catching works.

Daniela Edburg in her knit artworks, "portrays intense characters dealing with their restlessness and the passage of time. The element of knitting is a constant, as a form of occupational therapy or channeling an obsession."

In "The Bride" Edburg sets a scene of a wedding table that is entirely composed of knit and crochet from the wedding cake, to the candlesticks, down to the flatware, centerpieces, table settings and obviously, the tablecloth.  She has her model(purportedly the Bride, or some might say even an Abuela{grandmother}) who sits at the edge of the table knitting it together.  Flanking her on all sides of the foreground are giant spools of yarn.  The social commentary she is literally weaving in this photo is one of the arduous yet rewarding task of organizing a wedding.  Wedding planning is time consuming, emotionally and financially draining, and yet, on the special day something truly magical.  It takes a whole lot of people to plan a wedding.  The photo is super saturated, lit from one side, and her model looks off into the left side of the picture plane as if someone is there calling her.  She is stirred with energy and vivacity, a contrast to the backdrop of a subdued color palette, save the crispness of white

In another collection called Drop Dead Gorgeous, her subjects are killed by consumer goods in super-saturated brightly colored environments and clothing. Essentially bathing in color.  This time her model is subdued and expressionless.
Daniela Edburg, Death By Lifesavers, 2009

Edberg was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She earned her degree in Visual Arts at Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City. Her work has been exhibited in art centers worldwide. She is represented in the U.S. and Mexico by KUNSTHAUS Miami/Sante Fe and YAUTEPEC Gallery in Mexico City. In Italy she is represented by SPAZIO NUOVO

I can't help but think that her environment and upbringing has shaped her interest in art, the subjects and symbols she chooses, and furthermore her experience as an artist and as a person have anchored the direction her work has taken. Her photos are sublime, kitschy, and really, really beautiful

Similarly, Lisa Anne Auerbach uses knit in her photos, yet in a dramatically different way.
Lisa Anne Auerbach, Photomural for Nottingham Contemporary Window Installation, 2009, Colour Photograph, 670 x 304 cm
Auerbach is an L.A. based artist that uses knit sweaters(among other things) to convey messages of social import.  She overtly connects with her viewers by the means of photo-collage(in this image) and by using everyday objects that we recognize in the modern world.  A laptop, a bicycle, books, and bowling pins are just some of the things she holds in the photos. But....that's not the point, what she knits into the sweaters are phrases like "We are all TERRORISTS/We are all HEROES." Auerbach's story goes that she took up knitting after she graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, because she could no longer use the school's darkroom.  She has taken the two skills and combined them in a magical symbiosis to fantastic new heights.

Here again, the environment affects the artist.  In fact, both artists choose outdoor settings to convey the natural world and sometimes indoor settings that they connect with personally.  However, in Auerbach's work (most of the time)she is the model.  So, she is making the statement and also putting her face and name on it.  The craft of the hand in both Auerbach's work and Edburg's is nothing short of incredible.  Knitting or crocheting for those who have done it is time consuming, and really takes a lot of patience and concentration.  The process that Auerbach uses to create her images makes her appear as if she is in motion, active.

Lisa Anne Auerbach, Do Ask Do Tell, 2010
When I first designed this piece a few months ago, I thought of it as a protest to the military ban on gays serving openly. But, unlike most of my work, this piece was designed to be manufactured as an edition, and history moved forward at a faster pace than institutional approval and production. So now, it's not a protest- it's a celebration!In my work, I like to be able to design and wear something pretty quickly, while the topic at hand is fresh. So it's always a challenge to design something that might not move at my own pace. I'm interested in the way that time can change the work, and how the freshness of the topic can be interpreted over days and years. 

For Lisa Anne Auerbach it seems activism and protest are more important in her sphere(which makes sense, after all she is in L.A.) which makes open political statements the focus of her art.  For Daniela Edburg, I believe she is trying to communicate on a deep level and strike at the core of what social convention is, rather that just make a statement.  Both are equally effective in what they do.  Auerbach seems more youthful, but that may be yet another sign of her environment.  She may not yet have the goal to be exhibited on an International scale, it doesn't seem to be her goal to be in a gallery, although her work has been exhibited in galleries, on a small scale.  Rather she seems to want to be of and for the people, which is refreshing, if not inspiring.

-Sarah Beth Perry


Contributor said...

i was really surprised that just a common idea of using a different craft while with in a different craft never came across my mind. i love how all of these artist are making a statement using a consuming craft to do it not the mere picture.

-- Amanda Roland --

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