Marshall Arisman & Giovanni Battista Piranesi

You may have already guessed it being a Monday, it’s Peter’s artist of the week spot. I’ll start my ramblings on Marshall Arisman.

Marshall Arisman

Wow. There is some dark and freaky works of art here and this is coming from a guy who visited and loved the H.R Giger museum. I LOVE IT!

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Marshall started his career as a graphic designer working for General Motors, he quit after three months realising he hated working with other people and didn’t like solving other peoples problems. After service in the army he got into illustration. After three years of unsuccessful freelancing he decided to focus on producing work about things he actually knew about.

At the time this happened to be guns, due to being brought up in a small town in New York where everyone carried and his knowledge of hunting. Cue his dark in theme style, and why he became known as the guns, violence and death guy. He has since broken out of this and has more recently illustrated childrens books (quite the change).

I could quickly chat about the reasons I quite like his work but I’ve already covered before in these talks that I’m fond of a bit of surrealism and enjoy darker themes such as Giger’s, so my tastes here aren’t really surprising. I do however want to dwell on some of his quotes.

“Make a list of things you have knowledge of, whether it’s bowling or drinking coffee or dogs, and make pictures from that list. Don’t tell yourself it’s a portfolio, but show it to people.”

“You’ll always make better pictures when the subject matter is meaningful to you. Even if it’s bowling, your enthusiasm will come out in the pictures.”

“If you’re lucky, and you go back to yourself and you start talking about yourself, you suddenly find out that there’s a connection there between you and other people.”

“Communication is part of the fun, right? It’s just so good when people respond, and say, “I know exactly what you mean” or “These pictures mean something to me.” That’s the nice communication.”

I don’t want this to suddenly become about me but some of these really hit home. I’ve had plenty of past in education experiences that have destroyed the personal aspect to me creating and have treat exercises like a class full of drones producing the same thing, so I agree it’s very important to try and push forward while retaining your own meaningful inspirations.

It was only dwelling on myself and a younger me that has me here doing this in the first place, trying to find my own roots again and yeah for the first time I am being given my own creative freedom in projects and people are sitting with me and going, I completely get and understand your inspirations and where you’re coming from. It’s a magic moment that makes you wake back up as an artist and think hey maybe I am doing the right things! So thank you Marshall Arisman, your words couldn’t be more true!

Giovanni Battista Piranesi

We’re about to go back in time, WAY back in time, 1720 kind of back in time.

Peter showed us a quick overview in class of Piranesi’s work. I’ll keep this a little more brief as it was more a point of interest than the artist of the week sort of spot.

Piranesi was an Italian artist from the mid-1700s, known for his amazingly detailed architectural etchings of Rome and his own dreamt up prison like environments. His father had been a stonemason and this likely had influence on his own interest in architecture. He took engraving to a whole new level of detail and was once accused of being too much of a painter to be an engraver. His work is stunning, so much so it’s hard to believe they’re all engravings.

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His prison environments perk my interest as I’ve got an interest in possibly steering this career direction towards an environment artist. Sometime you have to wonder if there are just too many distractions that pull us every direction these days, here is a talented master of environment/architecture that was born 296 years ago and I’m not even a patch on him! For his bizarre environments many considered him mad, past and present. To that, all I have to say is the great words of Lewis Caroll from Alice in Wonderland.

“have i gone mad?
im afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usualy are.”




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