Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Paying it forward, with art

Since yesterday was "official" Pay it Forward Day I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about the art of Two-days-ago one of my past students Marqui Watling gifted me an amazing self-portrait done in the style of contemporary photographer Cindy Sherman.

This piece was created for her digital photography class; the assignment was to take pictures of yourself in a fictional setting. I asked Marqui what her process was for taking the photograph and in typical artist fashion she replied, "I woke up, had lots of coffee, and just started taking picture of myself and friends, until I came to the conclusion to try to reenact old 1950s pulp magazine covers/poses. Thus, I gathered a bunch of outfits from the closet: suits, hats, wigs, etc. because you never know." This experimental approach is very indicative of many artists and tends to be when the best work comes to fruition.

While her photograph clearly reflects the style of Cindy Sherman, Marqui says she finds most her inspiration from the garage punk band The Cramps and the illustrations by renowned pulp magazine artist Rudolph Belarski.

Despite the fact that Marqui says she's still trying to "find her style in the photography world," what she is doing currently captured the attention of many of her past and present Instructors. The first time I caught a glimpse of this photograph was during the AiOH-C student show winter quarter and automatically I was drawn to its saturated hues and implied narrative—not to mention the amazing wig Marqui was wearing. All of this attention landed her a first place prize during the exhibition, which in turn she won the Adobe Creative Suite 5 and personal bragging rights for a lifetime; both of which were well deserved.

Overall, her "combine work with play" approach is clearly reflected in her art and I feel will take her far in her field. This piece not only served as a great addition to the student show but will make for a wonderful addition to my small, yet growing art collection. Thank you Marqui for "paying it forward" to me!

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