Saturday, March 26, 2011

Painting After Painting

The subject of my project is the average, everyday Tupperware container. The plastic container is ubiquitous in the household. They are sanitary, cost effective, and streamlined to store food, liquids, and whatever. To me, they represent both domesticity and technological progress: I get images of the 1970s style of nuclear family and Tupperware parties (advertising campaign designed to get housewives together and show off their new Tupperware sets). I also see the mark of scientific research into the use of plastics. I see the conscious use of ergonomic industrial design in these containers. It is a symbol of the kitchen, the home, comfort, and reliability. I started to ask myself questions beyond the tactile sensation of the material and the environmental impact of plastics. I started to ask myself what makes this mass produced, universal, designed object special? It is smooth to the touch, sturdy as a container, and safe. How do I make the mundane extraordinary? What if I made this object rough, non-functional, and dangerous? How would painting facilitate this expression? Since my class presentation about Matthew Ritchie, I’ve been intrigued with the idea of painting moving beyond the rectangular format of the canvas. I decided to paint actual Tupperware containers that I had modified to suit the criteria above with primary and secondary colours as well as black and white. Each container is enticing by means of the saturated colour but on second glance, the viewer notices that there are sharp edges, screws facing out, and pointy tacks. If the viewer picks up the object and examines it, they will discover that it is completely useless: it cannot contain anything or cannot be opened. Ideally, these objects would be displayed on a shelf that is chest height (on the average viewer) so that they can easily engage with them. It will be interesting to see how the class reacts to these objects on the floor. Perhaps the distance from eye-level to floor will entice the viewer more? I would like to continue to explore making paintings that are off the canvas because the viewer can interact with the piece in a more intimate way: paintings on the wall can be more distant than an object in “real space”.






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