This project taught me a lot about my process and what inspires me. Through countless interactions and manipulation of materials I achieved the outcome I was hoping for. While I may have fallen short on conveying my concept to the audience as my piece was abstract, I felt that my piece was very compelling from a strictly visual perspective. This final presentation also made me think about how I could have made my piece more literal in its meaning. However, i came to the conclusion that it was not necessary for it to be more literal as some of the most successful art only makes sense when explained by the artist. My project was inspired by artists such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Donald Judd’s installation in Marfa, all of these artist create highly conceptual works of art that the viewer may not understand without an explanation. I see beauty in this, however I did realize that sound may have made my piece much more impactful in its meaning. Another challenge I faced was the actual construction of the piece. Originally I wanted to make the box myself, however it was not possible technically. I then bought a display box and did not realize there was a circle at the bottom of it. Because it was impossible to remove the circle I had to rethink what the bottom of the box would have. This resulted in me covering it in “oil” and concealing it with flowers. The box also did not fit the cowboy boots naturally therefor I had to bend them and force them in, which I actually ended up liking more as it made it more abstract, instead of looking like I simply boot boots in a display box. The aloe was another object I texted out multiple times. Originally I wanted to have it towards the side and I also thought I would be removing the dirt. However, when I saw the clear vase I thought it would be much more beautiful to actually show the soil and roots. The aloe was also originally going to be completely painted black. The video was possibly the most challenging part for me as I am not an expert in Premiere and had only used it once before. I originally was going to simply play a trailer from Giant, which was one of the main inspirations for the project, however I felt like that was an easy way out and almost “cheating”. I used footage from No Country for Old Men, Giant, Westworld and other found footage on YouTube. I felt that this made the video much more interesting and diverse, it also gave me more space to express the meaning of my project and show what inspired it. Overall, I was very satisfied with my project and enjoyed the process as I felt free to experiment and had the right amount of time to alter and adjust the piece.
For my project I have thus far collected the plants I will be using, have completed the basic structure and composition of the video I will be projecting and conceptualized the presentation style. I have decided not to use the trailer of Giant but instead create my own video using found footage from No Country For Old Men, Giant, videos I took in Texas and other footage of cowboys and other “Texan man” related things. I researched a variety of Western movies. I have also researched what the best plant to use for my project will be. The plants I will be using are Wax Flowers which have small white flowers and have a stronger visual impact than daisies would. The aloe I will be painting in the black “oil” material and placing outside the box. I have also collected the materials needed for the actual presentation. I still have to complete the video and construct the project. Because the flowers are perishable I will have to actually
Since last week I have attempted to construct the plastic box myself. However, due to the thinness of the box and lack of materials I was unable to construct a box that looked clean cut and professional. I then went to the Container Store and purchased a clear display box. I then stylized how the boots will be displayed inside the box. I decided that having them smashed in the box made it look more visually interesting than simply placing them side by side as planned.
I have also created a prototype of the “oil” I will be using in my project to reference the masculinity of the oil industry. Oil is an integral aspect of Texas and is really what helped create the idea of a “Texan Man”. When one thinks of oil the never think of women working in the oil industry whether it is mining or being a major oil exec. I believe this will be a key element in my project which explores gender in Texas.
To create this oil I used glossy modge podge mixed with regular black acrylic paint. This created a nice rubber-like texture which was easy to manipulate and once dry can be easily peeled off plastic.
I am still deciding if I want to include a coyote or other small animal skull in my piece. This object will reference the masculinity of hunting and how it is a major aspect of ranch culture. I would place the skull on top of the display box and possibly cover it in the oil too to make the piece more coherent.
For the flower element of the piece which references femininity and nature I will be using small wild daisies and cactuses. The daisies will be put inside the box along with the cowboy boots. They will not be covered in oil as I plan on also using them as a reference to “purity” and how it is expected of women. The flowers in my piece also allude to the idea of a “Southern Belle”. The cactuses I plan on placing outside the box and covering in the oil material as cactuses are a more masculine plant and are often seen on ranches in West Texas.
I have also finalized my decision with the video element of my project. This video will be project alongside the project. I plan on displaying the project on a table covered with white cloth to not distract from the piece and make it more aesthetically pleasing. The projection will not be over the piece but nearby.
Below is a link to the video I will displaying on a loop.