Visual art displayed behind velvet ropes seems wrong to me. In homage to Duchamp’s idea that paintings die after 50 years, my B.F.A. exhibit featured a pair of birds named Da and Da pooping on reproductions of famous paintings which I displayed behind red barbed wire.
The joy of creation is why I do art. Over the past few decades, I have explored the “anything can be art” philosophy found in Dada and Pop art in traditional sculpture, collage, and in a series of satirical toy and game assemblages. I’m always looking for inspiration, so when a fellow sculptor from the Pacific Northwest Sculptors named Chas Martin offered a creativity workshop, I was ready.
A Lesson in Spontaneous Visual Art
RIIPPPP…. It was the sound of a watercolor painting ripping and a world of possibilities opening up. In his workshops, Chas provides a day full of inspiration and encourages his participants to be open to new ideas. When he accidentally tore his painting trying to free it from his sketchbook my years of improvisational acting training kicked in. We sieze opportunities and treat everything as a wonderful gift. I took that torn painting back to my studio and continued to tear and twist to create something new. The curious creatures that emerged were the genesis of my new series of sculptures I call Dada Dodads.
A Dada Dodad is not a product, but a visual art process. A humble scrap of paper becomes a medium for imagination and exploration. Junk mail, doodles, in-flight magazines, virtually anything can become one of these playful creations once they are liberated from their 2-D rectangles. The photos of the evolution of a Dada Dodad document its life cycle. In the Fluxus tradition, I encourage people to shape and display Dada Dodads however they see fit. The velvet ropes are removed and the boundary between artist and viewer is now transformed into a partnership of co-creation.