Archive for found object

Valley of the Broken Dolls

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES, SCULPTURE with tags , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by echostains

GEM (truly outrageous) still beloved by my daughter

Inspired by artistatthexit0′ s latest post about the dolls he has found in the river, made me think about artist’s who use the doll in their work.  Of course Hans Bellmer and Cindy Sherman were the first artists I thought of.  Surrealist photographer Hans Bellmer (b.Germany 1902 – 1950)  used broken doll parts in a fetish like fashion to invoke disturbing ideas.

Bellmer doll

He  first sent these to the  Nazi party as a protest against their obsession with the perfect body.   He posed the dolls in mutilated, unaturalistic ways.  There’s a great article about this artist here.  The film below Le Jeux de la Poupee featuring Bellmer’s work is not for the faint hearted.  This film was made in 1940s, but I don’t know who the music is by.

Cindy Sherman (b.1954 New York USA) uses self photography to address issues about the roles of women in the world, and as artists.  This short film sees Sherman as a cutout doll with cut out clothes.  I think it ‘s such a clever film, making Sherman completely 2D – surreal as she gets to choose the outfits she will wear instead of them being chosen for her!

Here’s an artist who works with dolls and altered book.  Karen Hatzigeorgiou puts her dolls into her books literally!  All her dolls are found objects and she sells the finished work.

assemblage found arm

Bellmer doll from here Cindy Sherman video from “artpopulus and Bellmer video from artpopulus

assemblage with found object

Happy Birthday Marcel Duchamp! Better Late than Never…

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by echostains

Duchamp 'Fountain'

Duchamp 'Fountain'

Yesterday was the birthday of French artist Marcel Duchamp (b.1887 – 1968).  He is said to be the inventer of conceptual art.  When he submitted ‘Fountain‘, a urinal to The Society of Independent Artist in 1917 signing it R. Mutt and displaying it as art, this had an immediate effect…. and art was never the same again.

nude descending from a staircase  No. 2 duchamp

nude descending from a staircase No. 2 duchamp

He  was a Surrealist and also a Dadaist (I shall be writing about them soon).  He like to challenge art establishments and the way that art was percieved.  One of his earlier works ‘Nude descending a staircase No. 2’ shows the artist’s interest with the  mechanism of movement. This is a hybrid  of Cubism and Futurism.  He created controversy when he exhibited this at the 1913 Armory show.

Duchamp large glass Bride stripped bare by her batchelors

Duchamp large glass Bride stripped bare by her batchelors

Another of Duchamp’s works, ‘The Bride Stripped Bare by her Batchelors’  is a very complicated peiece of work (better explained HERE).  His  ‘readymades’ as he called them, consisted of found objects which he would cobble together and sign: an extreme form of  minimalism.  Andre Breton defined the ‘readymade’ as;

“an ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist.”

Duchamp didn’t produce many works, but is still a very interesting artist who made important contributions to art and especially the way in which art is percieved.

Here is a list of links to post I have made so far concerning artist’s birthday.  I have tried to make it a rule that I actually LIKE the artists’ work!   Some artists I do like, I have not included so far, as their birthdays have clashed with something else I was writing about. Some birthdays I have only found out about when it was too late to include them , I mean to rectify this at a later date.




Leonardo da Vinci

Hart Benton


Van Gogh








Altered art book page 17 continued: Treasured junk

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2009 by echostains




Continuing page 17 in my Altered art book, I mentioned before that one mans junk is sometimes another man’s treasure.  But how about discarded things coming together, or being delibrately brought together to make art?  Connections being made, alliances, partnerships formed to communicate a message?



One person who does this is New Zealand artist Dale Copeland. I have always admired her assemblages.  She takes the found objects, marries them and makes them sing!  Her pieces are quirky, witty, thought provoking: sometimes they are like little poems or bits of prose. They also leave space for you to provide the punchline. 



I am always affected by looking at these assemblages.  There is always a response to these pieces: they are communicative, sensitive and clever and instinctual.



American artist  and sculpter Joseph Cornell (b. 1903 -1972) created boxed assemblages  from bric a brac.  A surrealist at heart, his assemblages are bits of beautiful nostalgia found in thrift shops: pieces of the past affecting the present (or that moment anyway).



The term ‘assemblage artist’ was first coined by the French artist Jean Dubuffet as a way of defining found objects into 3D  structures.  Others that took this up were Robert Rauchenberg, Kurt Schwitters and Man Ray.

It seems odd to think that the things we disgard or throw away could be valuable after all.  Not in a monetary way, but perhaps in a spiritual way, the way they can teach us something about ourselves.  Sometimes by juxtaposing certain components, something is unlocked, like using the right combination on a safe.