It's officially market season in Seattle! (Well, it's technically always market season as we have many flea and farmers markets open year round -- but this is the time of year where more than just the dedicated few set up a booth and sell their treasures.)
Which means it's my season to source my props and the knick-knacks that add those little details that I love so much.
Most of those details are inspired by referencing paintings and etchings from the Rennisaunce and Baroque art periods, as I have adopted portions of their visual language and mixed it with my own.
As I prepare for upcoming flea markets by viewing my favorite paintings and making my "wish list" for this season, I thought I might share my previous inspirations and how that inspiration manifested in the work.
My work is obviously heavily influenced by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526 or 1527 – July 11, 1593.)
My whole digital collage practice came from experimenting within a previous series named #ArtHistorySelfie - which only lives on IG via the tag.
During that time, I thought I could magically make an Arcimboldo-ish self-portrait in under a week.
That did not happen.
But the work did end up taking a life of its own and eventually outgrew the project I intended it for; evolving into "Warmth" over the course of two years of working on it.
I don't often borrow specifics from Arcimboldo other than a general idea, as I go off in my own direction - but there are still little details of what he incorporated into his portraits that I go out of my way to also include. I like to think of them as my nod to what made his work so engaging, and pulled my interest into the artwork in the first place.
Like these little strawberries tucked into his "Spring" 1563, and my own "Brave Face" 2017.
Sigh, I love them. They look like little jewels. I just sowed a slew of heirloom strawberries varieties for my garden this summer.
I may not borrow too many specifics from Arcimboldo, but I do borrow specific items from Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Eyck, and Dürer.
I'm always on the hunt to bring something tangible, relatable and special to tuck within my collages. I'm always looking to add something artificial, with weight and texture to contrast against whatever flora and fauna I'm mostly building my work with.
Here are a few details that I have borrowed, compared with each piece of inspiration.
Detail: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer - 1665 // Miss Disquietude - 2017
Detail: Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck - 1434 // Orange; Brave Face - 2017 // Tassle; Fortified - 2017
Detail: Self Portrait with Beret, Gold Chain, and Medal by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - after 1640 // Cat's Cradle - 2017
Detail: Melancholia I by Albrecht Dürer - 1514 // Miss Disquietude - 2017
This flea market season, as always, I'm on the hunt for gold chains, pearls, rings, clocks, lockets, vintage ribbons, and chords.
But I'm also hoping to go through my stock of inventory and make artwork with the treasures I already have. (Which includes everything from a vinyl corset to 13lbs of fake pearls. My studio is nuts.)