I am particularly interested in contemporary artists who choose a format in their work to move or challenge peoples view or helps them to see the world differently. I am also fascinated with art created or installed outside of a traditional gallery environment, because it reaches out to people who do not normally visit exhibitions. Knitted graffiti was interesting at the beginning when it said something about the space it was in, but has now become clichéd and unimaginative. There are though artists creating amazing work that challenge us and our views.
Olek is an artist whose work immediately comes to mind. She challenges opinions by creating public crocheted art that often accompanies slogans or phases to make the viewer think. Russia’s Pride was a piece of work created in 2013 in St Petersburg Russia to challenge the Russian governments attitude to Gay People. It was created in rainbow colours and covered two statues and a large area at the opening of a large shopping centre. You can read her artists Statement here.
Ann Hamilton is an artist who uses a mixture of formats and materials. In her piece Indigo Blue she doesn’t just rely on sight to express her ideas but smell too. Indigo Blue was a site specific piece situated within a disused auto repair shop that had also been the home of a woman who had introduced indigo to the area in 1744. The piece consisted of 14,000 pounds of blue work clothing folded and stacked until the size of a truck was formed. Behind this enormous pile an attendant sat at a table from a pre civil war slave market erasing the contents of a book. Because the building was old it occasionally became damp and would then dry out on warm days producing a musty smell from the damp clothes, but also along one wall of the space Ann Hamilton hung nets of soy beans that sprouted and then began to rot which also added to the atmosphere.
There is a really in depth look at this piece of work at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art here: http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/interactive_features/10#
I have found several artists who have used the natural process of things within their work. For her piece 25.08.79 – Mathilde Roussel created human forms using recycled metal and fabric, which was filled with soil and grass seed. This piece evolved over time as the grass grew from the shapes. This piece allows the viewer to ponder the existence of living things, the beginning as well as the end. By halting motion in mid air with life still growing from with in the piece we are driven to examine our frailty and how we are inextricably tied to the earth.