1.22.2008

it's guerilla art time again

Here is an example of "she" style guerilla art. I make these "creaturas" by forming animal skulls in sculpey and adding the fur of animals both alive and dead, and the feathers of dead birds i have found. Sometimes i use the hens' feathers too. i have a bag full of guinea hen feathers...they are spotted black and white and are very attractive. i lay all the stuff out and match heads to fur and feathers and choose from brown twine to some yarn i had made from my former dog Eva's fur. The figure above is composed with spanish moss, a friend's dog's fur and the feather of a mourning dove.

so what i do is make a stick cross and bind these materials to it. I leave them in holes in trees at parks, sometimes in brick walls, and sometimes in a restaurant or a place i happen to be and spot the perfect place to leave one; that is rare though. typically they are found outside because that is where they belong. my hope is that the person who finds a creatura has a meditation on nature, on things that are loved and lost, and in general wonders what it is and keeps it....remembers it as that "weird" thing they found. maybe they have a cabinet of oddities as i do and it will make it to permanent display status.

i started my guerilla art career while in graduate school (yes even dum bronzes can git in grad skool). typically, guerilla art is defined as anonymous art that riffs on pre-existing advertisement or signage already in the environment;like this crossing sign...now it reads "weird alien-like creature crossing" thanks to the alteration some artist has given it.

some people consider the multiples of handbills produced for bands as guerilla art. I do not. I call that advertising. to me, guerilla art must serve no other purpose than the art itself, unless that purpose is to make someone think, or provoke curiosity or to charm or to add mystery to the every day workaday. if it tells you to go to a club or buy something it ceases to be guerilla.

Some classic forms of guerilla art are graffiti, both the hand done beautiful masterpiece kind as well as the stencil and a spray paint kind. Some of my favorite atlanta graffiti is done by the AK's, the aerosol kings, and "crisis". i dont know who these people are but i admire their work and look for it anytime i ride the train down to that airport. i love it that i don't know who the artists are; its not important anyway.

I make a distinction between beautifully scripted images and the punks that will deface any flat surface with banal and idiotic writing. in short, it is ugly.

sharpies are a classic tool as well and are excellent for defacing advertising. however, i prefer chalk as the ideal commentary tool because it is not permanent and therefore you have not destroyed what someone has paid for.

I started out by making photochoppies and pasting them in multiples up on plywood. I liked to do riffs on famous art works. a favorite of mine was from velasquez's "Las meninas"; the little girl in her dress only i would give her a bird head or something. i used to do a lot of fake picasso drawings...just classic both eyes on one side things or someone getting gored by a bull. one surface that was always available was the wood that separates city walkers from construction sites. since my school was downtown, this approach was a natural. but now my environment and interests have changed, and my guerilla art reflects that.

So this weekend i will place 20 of the creaturas around the local parks. Many of them will go to the dog park. Later i will go back to see if they have been discovered and taken. i keep a ledger of where and when i placed the figures. i am pleased to report last year's creaturas have all found homes. i must resist the temptation to see someone find a creatura because then i have cared about response when the process should be the "end all be all". i will report on my project to a small group in February, and i will get to see what they did too. Though we are a group, everyone does their project alone. at least one of the "guerilla girls" is in my "night out with she" video a few posts down. grrrrrrrherhahaha buts that's all i can say about my top secret group of conspirators. /t sent me an audio clip which i will play in my mind as i send out this years figures to do their work.

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44 Comments:

Blogger The Troll said...

I read the entire post and have concluded that you actually do this.

11:06 AM  
Blogger she said...

grrrerhahaha yes. im sure you would NOT take one of these should you happen upon it. maybe i will photograph one in its discovery place.

11:24 AM  
Blogger /t. said...

she,

it's brilliant

a couple of thoughts that spring to mind: 1) photograph all of them in situ -- this photo plus your written docs can be added to your portfolio, published, exhibited, and etc... in future, 2) with documentation, what you have here is a kind of reverse conceptual art -- a real object that 'disappears' rather than an imaginary (unreal) object...

the anonymity of all of this is very interesting to me

v. cool, she!

¤ ¤ ¤

/t.

11:51 AM  
Blogger iamnot said...

I'd follow you around and take them all if I could.

I have the lower jawbone of a javalina in my trunk. Now I know what I've been saving it for.

12:20 PM  
Blogger she said...

/t: im thrilled you like it. in situ? does that mean i to do it nekkid? no no i rather like your idea. and no that i have turned to the dark side (commerce) my portfolio is suffering a bit. my worry would be drawing attention to the placement by photgraphing ...hmmmm must think. think!

iamnot: i would send you one but then your wife would divorce you. grrrrherhahahaha. take the one on screen as my virtual gift to you.

12:32 PM  
Blogger she said...

btw...about that javelina...

12:33 PM  
Blogger /t. said...

:)

it means
'in its discovery place'
and/or
you do it nekkid :)

publication of the documentation at some future time means there is a possibility to undo the anonymity -- i don't know if that's significant or not, but it might be (moreso for the collectors, maybe)

it's a great idea, she -- real art

/t.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

lol there is no way I could create them then not stalk the parks to see who takes them! lol I wonder if I would take one if I came upon it. I probably would. Although if I am being honest I might not seeing that they remind me of some cursed voodoo doll kind of thing and the last thing I need is 8 years bad luck because I took some black magic voodoo gurus thingy!

You are a really interesting chick! I like you She!=]

12:49 PM  
Blogger The Troll said...

Didn't mean to give the impression I thought it was a bad idea. I think it's fascinating. That Dali Icon Art guy with the unviewable blog had some interesting ideas on it too.

12:55 PM  
Blogger she said...

thanks troll. i was concerned you might think it dark. you cant see /t's stuff? try firefox.

12:59 PM  
Blogger she said...

/t: *whew* its a bit chilly so i am glad to know it works either way. ;-)

im thinking about that..if it is just to show idea then it does remain anonymous where it counts (as you observed - the "finder")

kate: the original idea came from a voodoo piece someone purchased in nawlins. it wasnt beautiful. it had a garishly painted human skull with cheap glitter all over it and some ghastly human hair. it was gross actually.

it was far cruder than mine; but i took one aspect of it into my creatures...that element that suggests meaning ...or belonging...to something...oh say to an odd religion where mockingbirds are mourned and kitties are sacrificed. grrrrrherhahaha. yeah. theyre meant to be a little scary or else it wouldnt "do" what i want it to do which is to provoke mystery and magic in the finder.

you would take it! you would! grrrhahaha

i like you too kate.

1:03 PM  
Blogger foam said...

great idea...! i like /t.'s suggestion too.
as a matter of fact it's got me to thinking.,,,,

when i'm out and about, especially in the woods i sometimes take rocks and make rock sculptures and leave them. eventually i know they crumble and become part of nature again.

1:19 PM  
Blogger moi said...

Love, love, love the creatura. I would consider myself very lucky to find one.

Have you considered setting up a Web site where folks who find one can report in? Sorta like bookcrossing.com?

Or do you prefer not to know?

1:39 PM  
Blogger she said...

foamy: when i was on a famous trail in spain i saw these kinds of rock markers. i loved that. imagining you hiking in the forest:

"guerilla" in the mist grrrrherhahaha

moi: thats an interesting idea except i think it would kill off the weird what is this moment...if there was a place to report back then they would know it was intentional and not think as kate suggested some voodoo shaman left behind his empowered thingy.

im glad you like it!! i KNOW you would take one. yay!!

TO ALL: thanks for all these thoughts and suggestions. some things i had not thought about at all. and, will share them with the other guerillas. my thanks.

1:49 PM  
Blogger /t. said...

she,

well, you can see
these things generate
a lot of interest -- they're interesting! i really like the connection you've made with 'voodoo' magic -- cool

troll, it wouldn't be pushing the envelope if it didn't break at least one browser ;)

msie and ff work ok at mo'po and codepo(); msie only at a_narchY(s)

/t.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Gypsy said...

I love it and would be thrilled to find one of your creatures. I'm with Kate though....my curiosity would get the better of me and I would just have to see people's reactions when they stumbled across one of them.

I think if I found one in a public place, I would be looking around for the candid camera but I'm suspicious like that....:)

3:32 PM  
Blogger Aunty Belle said...

Gracious--seems I might be likely to leave the voodoo dolly in place--I'd be thinkin' it was meant as a charm or a protection for the place it were set down in--doan know if it would occur to me that it was there fer the takin'...

Think /t has a good point: reverse conceptual art. An'--well, mebbe it ain't even a *finished* piece until the taker--whoever that may be--places it in the spot THEY choose once they remove it from whar' ya placed it...the viewer completes the piece by "installing" it in his/her own environment to show it off to (as they meant) its best advantage.

ah, heck, jes' ramblin'.... somethin' vaguely reminiscent 'bout that voodoo thang...

6:10 PM  
Blogger she said...

/t: yes i was always in some way interested in voodoo, not the practices or beliefs but the objects. the notion of zombies and trapped souls.

gypsy: i will admit, it is hard. id love to hide out and see, even better hear the discussion (if there be 2) of what it is.

aunty: no. i think you are right on the money. the art extends all the way to the final resting place. excellent observation. ...hmmmmmm empowered objects. once i was in a botanica in NYC, i think that is a shop that supplies practicioners of santaria, anyway there was an object in there that said not to touch it...i about did and the chick at the counter said "i wouldnt do that" i stood still for a moment. "you wouldnt?" thought i? i didnt touch it. grrrerhahaha. and look, i lived to tell.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

OMG Trolls comment " That Dali Icon Art guy with the unviewable blog had some interesting ideas on it too." had me loling!

I just KNEW you had a hex on me with one of those nasty little furry skull headed thingys...

Ya I probably would take it... what I would do with it is a whole other story! lmao

Kissy kissy... lovin the love fest! =]

6:59 PM  
Blogger X. Dell said...

I don't know if you've ever seen the movie Style Wars, but that might be something worth watching if you haven't. I didn't know you were into guerilla art. When I taught media courses over at the university, we would sometimes delve into related issues of guerilla media, and I would use the movie their.

It's beautiful. And I have even more respect for you than I did before. Remarkable.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Infinitesimal said...

man, this post really makes me happy.

the style of writing is interesting too. it is like an installation piece, you know?

an outdoor freefalling anonymous and unattached installation.

I think you are my favorite blogger.

That green tag is neat, i can't read the first 2 letters tho.

once i bought 15 pink ladies at salvation army.

15 ceramic
or porcelain figures dressed in pink holding the number 15 in their hands. I know it is for a spanish 15th bday party.... the quincenerra?? can't spell it.

but i just really want to polybond them all somewhere, like on a parking bar in the middle of a vast parking lot.

I am still devising the perfect dissemination of the pink ladies.

1:19 AM  
Blogger Infinitesimal said...

PS

we have find me dolls here

they are crude looks like play doh from those old toys that make playdoh noodles....but is ceramic clay that has been formed into a hefty human form kneeling.

the forms have a twine and paper tag that read 'find me' and have some detail or inscription.

i have never found one, but they were in the news.

i like yours way better

1:23 AM  
Blogger she said...

kate: dont make me hex you grrrrrrrl. ive got chicken feet over here...jus saying. grrrrrrherhahahaha

xdell: im beaming. i think style wars is in my netflix que! i looked for some of my old photochops but never saved any i guess....they had their own appeal but i like making the creaturas more. ive been excited by the new spray paints at the art store...very flat and very pretty colors. with different nozzles too...nice! not for me...for the kids who do graffiti.

vanille: i cant figure that tag out either ..."cirz" at the end? i cant read it...its in ATL and i always wonder about it. theres a good flickr set of atlanta graffiti. theres some big talent here. i dont know anything about manipulating spray paint but i love it. ...er, i love it when its done well.

i like the idea of using those quincera pink ladies in some installation....with your mad ebay skills you should be able to put together some god stuff. i would LOVE to find a FIND ME!!!

did you post? or is chickory on fire??? grrrerhahaha
NEPHEW ! good to see ya vanille.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Boxer said...

I am currently checking air fare to your city....to begin my "hunt." I can't imagine finding one of these works just SITTING somewhere. Golden treasures!!!

I may have some Eagle feathers for you.. we have two on the beach property and they often send some sailing down......

8:54 AM  
Blogger Pink said...

Oh She!!!! How wonderful!

This just proves a theory I've had for a long time that artists are mediums between the worlds.

What you are doing seems to me to be very shamanic and in touch with the animal spirits. How glorious.

I love /t's suggestion too.

xx
pinks
BTW - I haven't forgotten...I got your location...would you be willing to email me and we can talk about that offline...need a few things first. My email address is linked at the moment on my blog.
xx

3:12 PM  
Blogger foam said...

in a way they are like animal papa legbas.

3:42 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

I have plenty of husky fur if you need some for some of your psychofauna....

3:43 PM  
Anonymous upset waitress said...

WOW! So you don't have a hidden camera to see who takes them? If not then you should. What do they do with them? Hang them on a wall? Sell them for beer? Use them for voodoo? Those are neato mosquito. You are so artsy fartsy She! :)

4:04 PM  
Blogger she said...

anonymous boxer: id love some eagle feathers but what i really need is FUR. actually, i finished the lot today. there are only 12 though. thanks for the offer though!

pinks: a high compliment from you! many thanks. i will call on you later this evening. shaman!! did you ever see my post the "shamans place setting"?

foamy: okay. i have to look up papa legbas now. (?)

PhoKid: PSYHCOFAUNA!! THATS IT the best name ever. interesting. yes i need husky fur. big time. thanks for stopping by!

UpsetWaitress: i dont know what anyone does with them. but i go back a month later to see if they are there ...or at least to the most convenient places to check. i HOPE they are taken and kept...maybe they throw them away, burn em, hell i dont know. but part of the project is for me to let go of the need to know...let it go out and do what it does. i do kind of wish i could hear what people think but i got to hear what all of you think and that has been gratifying. thanks girl.

oh, and as to the fartsy part of my artsy? flowers and jewels drop out of my ass. grrrerhahahahaha
thats what i call performance art!

5:59 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

The reason I have confirmed that you are an artistic genius is because all pieces of art you create are so different, yet are all brilliant.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Pete Bogs said...

interesting, you placing these works of art made of sticks in trees and other places... are you the Blair Witch? did you make those stick men? ;-)

I am all for guerilla art... we had an "issue" here a year or so ago where the city was trying to crack down on some of this art... the examples they included were well-drawn portraits painted on the sides of CONDEMNED, ABANDONED buildings... but city officials said "graffiti is graffiti," while the artists claim they were beautifying something that was unused and ugly... you may have seen a photo of one of these paintings on my blog once: black and white photo of a picture of Mao Tse Tung on a building's facade...

6:32 AM  
Blogger Aunty Belle said...

Pattern Recognition

7:03 AM  
Blogger foam said...

actually it's papa legba..

in haitian voodoo papa legba stands at the threshold of the spirit world and is basically an intermediary between us folkses and that spirit world.

i just brought it up because some commenters brought up voodoo, artists being mediums between the worlds, the shamanic ..

1:54 PM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

We had a conversation about this kind of art last night. My husband is also an artist, and in order to get materials, he does some wild things like find tile in an alley that have been discarded; he soaks them clean and uses them. I think it's cool. Art can be anything, not just something produced from the overpriced products at art stores--never understood why they have to fleece the artist.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Ruela said...

you are Marcel Duchamp? :)

3:44 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

ya I sooo know you will never use your chickens feet to hex me... you love those there birds as much as Mr SHe!... just sayin! *wink

Happy weekend!

8:15 PM  
Anonymous upset waitress said...

Haha She. Well at least you don't shit on canvas!

1:53 PM  
Blogger she said...

thursday next: chirp! thank you. now i am prepping my valentine gown...i will post on it. since i cant afford a new dress i bought a cheap one which i will dye,paint and embellish. i have done this the past two years. wait til you see the dress where i painted a human heart on the bodice with blood dripping down. very frida. you are too sweet.

bogshond: i would love to happen upon a mao stencil. then i would whip out my chalk, draw a cartoon speech balloon and write "hi! i am blowing stalin in hell!" grrrerhahahaha or something to that effect

aunty: i dont see it? what are you saying????

foamy: thats cool. theres a ton of haitian things i like: the sequined flags, the burials in elaborate shaped caskets and some of the folk art paintings.

enemy: i agree. and, why are art schools so expensive? you have to buy all the materials and pay fees for the computers...the teachers dont make much...so why? and then, you graduate and starve. grrrrrerhahah good to see ya grrrrrrrl

ruela: i dont know what youre talkin bout. grrrrherhahahaha dada daddy

kate: youre right. now, about those spring chicks....

upsetwaitress: i should. then i would be a star of artnews/art forum a scatological review of existential alienation in america

9:54 AM  
Blogger puerileuwaite said...

I once made a bunch of cheesy figures out of twigs and hung them in trees. The next thing I know, some bad and annoying actors based an entire (and equally cheesy) movie around them.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Aunty Belle said...

Spottin' a trend--taggin' a trend: Guerilla Art.

6:57 PM  
Blogger The Troll said...

Uhmmmm. Today is MONDAY. As in MUTE MONDAY!

10:12 AM  
Blogger Kiki said...

I'm awestruck!! It's absolutely Gorgeous!!!

I'd love to find one of your creatura. I'm gonna start looking in little hidey places now!

5:17 PM  
Blogger Edi said...

Ugh, I know i've been terrible about the updates. Well, there. Now you have lots to read since I put it all into one :D

I like your art! I still have some of the pictures you did on print. I have them in my room.

I love to watch the trains go by for the soul purpose of seeing some artwork :)

Love You, Miss You

1:12 PM  
Blogger Ruela said...

Guerilla art is a fun and insidious way of sharing your vision with the world. It is a method of art making which entails leaving anonymous art pieces in public places. It can be done for a variety of reasons, to make a statement, to share your ideas, to send out good karma, or just for fun. My current fascination with it stems from a belief in the importance of making art without attachment to the outcome. To do something that has nothing to do with making money, or listening to the ego.
My first experience with being a guerilla artist was at school,
I painted the entire bathroom...

2:25 PM  

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