Saturday, October 6, 2012

Six Degrees of Separation

“Six Degrees of Separation” series, 2011 by Emma Orlow.  

I’ve been meaning to post more of the art I’ve been doing. “Six Degrees of Separation” is a series I started in 2011. The idea of the series came about as I was beginning to think more critically about whom I was allowing  (or unknowingly allow) to influence my art creations, music purchases, and stylistic choices. Though seemingly diverse, I wondered if subconsciously I had chosen my mentors with some commonality in mind.  Looking deeper into these artists’ pasts, I realized that by six degrees of separation they all related to one another—either from spending time in the same place, sharing mutual friends, or being a part of the same social or political movement. Sometimes the way I connected my influencers for my art project was much less concrete: for example, Frida Kahlo was known for wearing flower crowns, so in my brain I bridged her to the list of characters from the 1967 Summer of Love.  I’ve since realized that hiding little inside jokes with myself is a thing I often do with my art. I don’t ever expect anyone to crack the code, but often it’s nice to look at a piece of artwork and be able to giggle about it and appropriate  outside experiences to a brushstroke that no one will ever bother to analyze (I think I thought I was being really clever at the time, but I used lots of green inks in my John Lennon canvas as a commentary on his fight to legalize marijuana).
So when it came time to display my “Six Degrees of Separation” series in my school’s art show, I attached all of the canvases to a black piece of cardboard and with chalk, drew arrows to visually explain how the connections play out in my brain. The ones I’ve posted to this blog post aren't the total number of ones I've created or hope to create—I made a couple groupings of six for my art show. But color wise, I particularly like the way all of the ones I've shared here, flow into one communal tie-dye. Each canvas was made using a mix of repeated ink washes, drawings, and Citrosol image transfers. You can check out more of my artwork on Flickr by clicking here:

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