- Arts and Design
Alien Symphony Reborn On Your Body, In Your Morning Coffee
Even the souls of our strangest strangers must sing.
Feeding The Fascination
Human beings have a fascination for cryptic symbols. Everything from ancient writing systems to make-believe alphabets captures our imaginations. We find the idea of space alien lettering particularly interesting.
Symbols that we do NOT understand hold the promise of great drama. We are fascinated with Egyptian hieroglyphics, ritualistic tattoos, and fantasy lettering. These markings are mysterious. We simply love the secrets that they might hold.
In my art, I go through phases where I feed my own fascination for strange markings. One particularly active creative phase of mine resulted in the mixed-media artwork entitled, ALIEN SYMPHONY (pictured above).
How I Did It
The original multi-media art work consists of a copy-machine-manipulated print of an original drawing-painting hybrid, bonded to black foam core (NOT shown), finished with gloss varnish, glue eyes and wire for hanging. Dimensions of the original are 24” x 13” x 3/16”, which includes the black foam core backing.
The Fluid Connection
Individual symbols of my ALIEN SYMPHONY were born on the surface of a bathtub, which, obviously, undergoes continual washing with water. “What”, you might ask, “does this have to do with drinking coffee?” The answer is that anybody can now order a version of my original image imprinted on a coffee mug.
I produced the alien music notation over a period of months, where I used clear adhesive tape to extract human hair formations from my bathtub. I pasted the extracted hairs-on-tape to white sheets of paper, and I enlarged them using a copy machine. I then used the enlarged copies as scaffolding on which to build individual symbols (one at a time).
I selectively fattened or distorted certain parts of the curvature, until the resulting form felt right. I proceeded to fill in the modified boundaries of the strange letters with black ink. Next, I traced and retraced the resulting figures in groups that where satisfying to me. I added more marks using drafting instruments, and I made a negative copy using a copy machine once again. I then made a mirror copy of the negative copy, and bonded both copies together as perfect, bilaterally symmetrical reflections of one another.
The gluing process, unfortunately, caused air bubble blisters along the edges of the juxtaposed images. Fortunately, I was able to disguise these unintended additions by painting them white to match the white of the intended symbols. In this way, an accident led to an improvement.
Lastly, I coated the panel with gloss varnish. Unfortunately, again, this caused the whole panel to warp along its longest dimension. Fortunately, again, the warp was a perfect concavity that added yet another dimension of interest to an already very interesting artwork.
A Coffee Mug?
I recently photographed the original multi-media artwork to imprint on popular clothing and accessories., which anybody can buy at . . .