Behind the Artists
Multimedia blogs bring to light the milieus of creative discovery
Life / 21 Jul 2011
The persistent storytelling trend has made its mark on categories ranging from news to booze—and now it’s getting play in the art realm, as well. A new crop of blogs are using videos, photographs, and the written word to expose the artistic processes of writers, painters, designers, musicians, and other creative types.
Work.Place
: This photo blog documents the workspaces and creative methods of some of Oregon’s most talented independent artists. Inspired by PBS’s Art21, founder Carlie Armstrong sought to make a local-to-Portland version of the artist-trailing series using the medium she knows best: film photography. In her growing archive of more than 30 artists, Armstrong has captured the workspaces of a printmaker, a woodworker, and a comics-illustrator-cum-mask-maker, to name a few. Entries are light on text but loaded with images, providing ample illustration of each workspace’s particular corners and quirks. Armstrong demonstrates a knack for discovering noteworthy clutter and, curiously, finds a whole lot of cats.
Tales of the Hunt
: Belgian “designart” dealer and collector Victor Hunt started this video series to share stories of high design with potential buyers and art world voyeurs. Each sleekly produced documentary short chronicles the artistic process of one of his clients, from the brightly colored “balloon bowls” of Maarten De Ceulaer to the Storm series of light fixtures and furniture by Johannes Hemann. The videos suggest that each creator’s unique approach is as valuable as the finished product. Hunt’s vested interest in the distinctive appeal of handmade pieces is evidenced by the online collection he offers for sale, which features not only museum-quality pieces but also prototypes and half-finished works.
From the Desk Of
: This photo-journalism project is dedicated to the humble desk, source of so much coffee-drinking and creative output (and, sometimes, murder). Each entry features photos of an artist’s desk space and an intro by said artist. Founder Kate Donnelley, a writer herself, follows up with a softball interview intended to reveal each subject’s creative process. Far cries from the modern stand-up style, these classic desks, with a few minimalist exceptions, contain a good deal of clutter. So far, Donnelly has uncovered the desks of painters, illustrators, photographers, and writers, many of them Brooklyn-based, successfully demonstrating that the space upon which artists work often portends the work they produce.
©The Intelligence Group