Acrylics, oil pastels, chalk, pencil, clay, markers, water color and paper mache are all materials we’d expect an artist to use. Found materials are non-traditional media which are not meant for artistic use but are intended for a different purpose entirely. For example, one wouldn’t expect bed sheets to be used as an art medium or for an artist to use ball-point pens on canvas. It’s meant to be something you just come across, not something you’re looking for. I have this box-o-crap that holds a plethora of odds and ends for my crafting collection. I found a broken pair of aviators on my way to class last fall that I want to turn into something cool. It may work for a shadowed face or something… I’m still brainstorming.
If blood makes you squeamish, you may want to skip this section. Casey, aka The King of Unpop Art, uses rattlesnake blood to paint. In an interview conducted by Valerie Christopher, a contributing writer at Suite101, Casey says his preference for rattlesnake blood is nothing special. He hunts them, eats them, and uses their blood for artwork. He calls it “creative recycling.” When asked about the satisfaction of blood painting, Casey replied,
I get satisfaction from knowing this type of medium gets ridiculed by the conventional “art world,” not to mention how much it disgusts the stuck-up, art snob douche-bags that think they are authorities.
I tried to find some photos of his work which according to the interview include some high profile serial killers and Alex from The Clockwork Orange, but I couldn’t find any photos that are of good quality. If you’d like to learn more, visit Casey on his Myspace page.
Vanessa Tiegs is another artist who prefers to paint with blood, but not just any blood; her menstrual blood. According to her website, Vanessa was a professional ballet dancer. She went on to college where she discovered a new passion in design, model making, and architecture. It wasn’t until after beginning her master’s thesis titled Spiraling Moon: A System for Menstrual Insight, did she start painting with her menstrual blood. She uses the unconventional paint to create pieces that represent femininity and strength. Below is a video compilation of the pieces from Vanessa’s Menstrala collection.
Mixing the Madness
It’s not likely that we’ll stumble upon some new medium that has yet to be used. There’s a guy who uses poop and urine to create his work… I doubt there’s much more that could top that. It’s not about discovering something new, it’s about mixing materials to create something different. We all have a story, we all have different ways of communicating, so why not experiment a little bit?
This photo is a great example of mixing art media. We have some acrylic paints, some hair, latex, plastic, a freakin’ fork and so on. Nothing too extreme here, yet just look at the outcome. It’s disturbing, well executed, mysterious… It’s open for interpretation. That’s the beautiful thing about art: It means something different to everyone.
Reuse Repaint Repeat
Instead of trashing unused materials. toss them in a box for future use. My junk box is full of odds and ends including, guitar strings, bubble rocks, sculpting wire (I don’t sculpt), mixed glitter, shoe laces, feathers, butterfly stamps, beads, toilet paper tubes, and a plastic skeleton-shaped lollipop stick. As soon as I use anything in that box, I’ll be sure to post a photo on here. Until then, happy recycling!!