Friday, May 6, 2011


Starting this project, I honestly had no idea what to do. I thought that I could perhaps make some dumb scene out of candy and call it a day. Then I toyed with making a famous painting out of food, but I wanted people to really be able to eat something, and food would go stale if I did that. The painting I had chosen was a Salvador Dali, which got me thinking. I love surrealism and the absurd. I wanted to play off of that, and having just completed a project on Magritte, I got to thinking.

That’s when I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to make cupcakes. Yes, real cupcakes, but I also wanted there to be fake cupcakes, which looked real.

So I bought all the ingredients to make cupcakes, and as I picked them out, I picked sprinkles that looked almost fake and colors that were bright and could be fake. I wanted the real ones and the fake ones to blend in perfectly. I used yellow and green, not only for a spring theme, but they are colors people would enjoy eating, and would also be far enough from plain white and would seem believable.

When making the cupcakes, I chose to use expansion foam, which rises, just like cupcakes would if cooked. I cut the foam down, and the texture looks just like cake, so if someone cut them open, they would look real too! I also wanted to go about making them like I would the real cupcakes. I put them in the liners and then I let them dry and then I painted the tops so if any “cake” part showed, it would be the same color as the real ones. I then used Spackle to cover the tops just like normal frosting; however, I added some acrylic paint for tinting to add some realism.

For the decorative tops, I bought decorating tips for frosting, and used Spackle as well. I did, however, match the colors of the frosting exactly. I added acrylic paint to Spackle and whipped it so it would have the appearance of frosting, and I added them to a bag and put a decorating tip on and decorated them like real cupcakes. I made them have ridiculous designs as well. The real cupcakes were frosted with the same exact tips and in the same styles so the fake ones would blend in.

While working in them, some people walked in and thought they were real! I was pleased that they created this effect. I’m really pleased with how they turned out, however I would have used less foam because some of them got really huge! I also wish I could make more so that I can get better at decorating, which is more of a fault of mine for not being an awesome cupcake decorator. It’s much harder than it seems!

I also wish I had a cupcake tower, but I didn’t want to buy one just for this project, it was getting rather expensive. I do love these cupcakes, and they look really good, and just like the real ones. I also got a sense of baking while making them, which I thought as pretty cool.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

public art?

I went to the lecture on public art, because more and more I’ve been interested in public art myself. There’s something I am drawn towards, having my art in a public space. The art itself seems to take in the space and form a symbiosis with it. People also have a chance to interact with public art, whether they actively seek it out or not. This could be walking around it, or not being able to ignore it.

I particularly loved Lisa’s lecture. I had her for three semesters in a row, so I’ve gotten to know her pretty well. She talks to passionately about her art, which is predominately public. The interesting part about her art is that I live in the Dc area so I’ve actually seen her art in person. She talked about art objects being in the environment, which is the space. She said, “not every art object is public art” which got me thinking. The intention has to be there, and something are simply not meant for the public. I think this is definitely true; some art objects need to have the gallery environment.

She talked a lot about the site of the public art, something with she, herself has to strongly consider. The art needs to reflect the site. I found it interesting how she went about he piece in front of the New York courthouse. She knew the place was a courthouse, where justice is brought, and she thought of themes to go along with that. She had to consider the existing architecture, the history of the building as well as what happens inside it. She did the same with her airport pieces, how she created a wing type motif. She spoke a lot about the identity of a place. Her goal was to “evoke the identity of the area.”

Public art is definitely something which I enjoy, and I found this talk extremely helpful, not only in coming up with ideas for creating art, but also analyzing some of the artwork around us. I can definitely see why some public art “works” and other pieces don’t.

The people is also what Lisa talked about. The people play an important role. It’s like what we talked about the Vito Aconchi reading. Public space belongs to the people. People have to react to it, and they live and interact in the environment everyday. Lisa touched on this when she talked about her leaf sculpture by the metro. This was an extremely public place where passersby are always trying to catch the next train, heading off to work, or just another part of their everyday routine.

My favorite piece of public art was the St. Mary’s sea monster. I thought it definitely brought something to the pond, and added a mystical sense. It was so simple in design, yet effective. People added pictures and comments to the facebook page, and really got involved with it. I feel like public art on campus would be difficult though, because of all the history and meaning already existing. People hated the monster as well, they said “What is this fucking thing in our pond?!” which I thought was interesting. Public art is often tricky, in this aspect, because people may feel strongly about the environment, and after all, the public people are important as well in completing the art. Besides, is it really complete without the people?

PRofessor Browning

Earlier on in the semester I went to Ryan Browning’s talk. I have him as a teacher for “The Image as Readymade” and I was really curious about his art.

It turns out he’s really nerdy! I love it. He talked about his experience playing dungeons and dragons and how it inspired some of his work and allowed him to make contacts. He also mentioned the digital age, and the subject of avatars. He talked about an online persona and how people create an identity. He also discussed how videogames were an early inspiration for some of the textures and objects in his paintings. I liked what he had to say about the choppy graphics of the old video games and the geometric nature has some sense of beauty, which can’t be recreated with newer graphics.

He also talked about maps as an extension of space in every direction and also about creating space. He talked about creating spaces in art, much like in a video game sense, in how you get to “play with your world”. He likened creating a new space in his art as a “sand box” and he said that “Every painting begins with a space” which I found to be almost useful. I always seem to struggle with a place for my pieces, or a context.

I looked at his art this past winter break before I took his class. I love his surreal quality. The objects in his paintings are reminiscent of earthly objects, but I can never place my finger on them. They have such a dream like quality, and excellent painting technique, which I love. I love surrealism and especially when painted in a realistic style.

His paintings are almost sculptural sometimes, and very geometric. I loved hearing him talk about them, as he explained the origins of his inspirations, which added new meaning to them for me.

I thought it was interesting to hear such a young professor talk, and now I understand what he says in class more and more. I like his references to the Internet and video games, being a strong proponent of both. I always played video games as a kid, and recently have been incorporating some of it into my art. I love what he said about making art about what you love. I have usually strayed away from things I’m obsessed with such as Lord of the Rings and video games, because I felt people would judge me, but now I have an inspiration to do just that!