Here are a few seemingly disparate objects--including a wooden jewelry box, a boot brush, a plexiglas letter, and a cabinet card photo of an obviously fun-loving lady--that I included (plus some other stuff) in my latest assemblage.
Back in the early 1980s Prince came out with a song called "1999," which included the lyric "so tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999." I doubt the stone-faced woman in the cabinet card photo let her hair down much, but if she did, I'd like to think she partied like it's 1899.
Below are some shots of the finished piece. The 9 X 5 X 2.5" jewelry box, which is stamped "India" on the bottom, probably isn't too vintage; I have a sneaking suspicion it's one of those gift-shop items manufactured to appear old and hand-made. The handle's been lopped off the boot brush, and I swapped out the "A" for a "P." In addition, I recently purchased a couple of colorful old game boards, one of which appears as the graphics in this piece.
Wednesday was my last day at work before summer break. I played all day Thursday and all day today in my "studio." (Point of order: until I get what I consider to be a real studio, I'll continue to refer to my current "studio" in quotations--because it's really nothing more than a corner of my basement.) Anyway, just a few minutes embroiled in my art was all it took to shake off the stress, frustration, and, frankly, the depression of my job. And it only took me two days to produce this: "Boy-Fish," my first assemblage of the summer.
The "Boy-Fish" assemblage was inspired by a book from 1916 titled Joe Strong: the Boy Fish. The cover was emblazoned with a cartoon image of a boy swimming in a tank; I had to cut out the image in order to insert the porthole shown above. I envisioned a half-boy/half-fish creature in one of those sideshows that used to travel the country.
[Side note: it kind of bums me out that I didn't grow up in the era where side-shows and carnivals traveled from town to town. I know I would have spent a lot of my part-time-job money to see the bearded lady, wolf boy, serpent girl, or whatever oddity was on display. Heck, I probably would have joined up.]
Above is a detail shot of the "porthole," which is an old door from a post office box. Below is a detail of the piece's topper, including--no surprise--a porcelain boy head and a fish.
The next two pics show the left and right exterior views of the piece. Along the sides I included some imagery and text from a 1940s science text called Northern Fishes.
Below is a close-up shot of the interior, which includes a food grater backdrop and a vintage photo that's been embellished with fish parts from the aforementioned fish textbook. This is the boy-fish: what a catch!
I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with my two-days-per-piece pace; but given that I have a show in September to prepare for, I do need to use this summer to compile a decent-sized body of work. I'll be busy but it's my art--so it's a good kind of "busy." In addition, despite my need for "studio" time, I'm going to make a concerted effort this summer to post blogs more often--even if I don't have pics to share.
So stay tuned...
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.