Sunday, February 3, 2013

More Recycled Cardboard Flag Collages

It has been cold, snowy and generally wintery here in Chicago this last week. This time of year has always been a good time for me to work diligently and plow through a large project, and I was moderately hard working this week. I finished three American Flag constructions in the last six days. I can finish one in a full day of work if all the cardboard pieces are precut and dyed. I often run out of energy come the star field portion of the flag. But on the other hand, cutting out fifty cardboard five pointed stars is made less dull while watching (mostly listening to) nighttime TV. I finally collected enough red, white and blue pieces to assemble a collage in the traditional American Flag colors. I ended up relying on graham crackers and Corn Flakes disproportionately to finish the thing, and thank you to all who are still collection cereal boxes for me.
I'm mostly working on varied combinations of plain and India Ink washed cardboard. I've refined the palette somewhat and I'm still trying to narrow the tonal range.
And the last flag I made just yesterday in a marathon of Public Radio (I do like the shows on Saturday morning and early afternoon in Chicago) involves reversing the tones. What was originally dark is now light... In the photo the piece is still taped to my work surface and you can see the cut strips of cardboard and the glass weights I use to hold thing in place as the glue dries.
And here I will close with a quote from Jasper Johns who in a iconic series of paintings employed the American Flag. I suspect these pieces will often be compared to his work and I have to agree with his thoughts on subject matter. "I make what it pleases me to make.. ..I have no ideas about what the paintings imply about the world. I don’t think that’s a painter’s business. He just paints paintings without a conscious reason. I intuitively paint flags." Trend to the Anti-Art: Targets and Flags, Newsweek 51 no. 13, March 1958, p. 96

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