Friday, September 22, 2017

Boulder Birkenstocks

So I've completed my second pair of Vagina slipper series shoes! I call these the Boulder Birkenstocks as to me they have that kind of vibe to them. Unlike the last pair of shoes these actually were inspired by a drawing verses a real pair of shoes.


I happened across this drawing in one of my books on sketchbook books and loosely copied it for the cover image on my Vagina Slipper sketchbook. 


I then liked that sketch so much I decided to see if I could make an actual pair of ceramic shoes from it! Talk about your challenges! First I had to figure out how to secure the clay once the strap was in place so that it would keep the round shape. Once I figured that out, then I had to secure the straps and get the angle of them so that they curved down like in the drawing. In the end, I have mixed feelings about them - I enjoy them because they are structurally more complex than the last pair but visually they actually look a little bit like a skeleton form! 


The last strap goes back a little further than in the drawing and they are a bit on the large size as fair as women’s shoes go, so for the pair that I'm currently working on I intentionally make them the size of my actual foot (so a size 6) without upsizing for the ceramic shrinkage... we show see how those turn out. They too have straps, even more intricate than these and unlike these they are based off of a shoe I have. In fact, it is the shoe my bridesmaids worn in my wedding! I love them so much I bought a pair... they are super beautiful and hurt like hell to wear! But for now I give you the Boulder Birkenstocks!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Vagina Slipper Series

Although I haven't been posting as much as I know I should, I have been working on a new body of work. I call it the Vagina Slipper series. I know I've posted before on this so really this is a status update and this is probably a  working title... show title to be determined when the series is done and the artist statement is written.

Basically this body of work explores the concepts of fetishes, women as property and the sexualization of women in the fashion industry (I'm now learning more toward the latter but my research isn't close to being finished...) . The following images include works in progress and the first set of completed shoes!

(work in progress)

 This one was based off a drawing I did verses a real sandle, its on its way to be bisque fired - not sure of the title or how I'm going to glaze it (yet)

 This design grew out of the one below it, as I was making the first pair when I was bring the toe of the shoe together it created this beautiful 'V' at the top and so I thought I'd incorporate it into the design o the next pair of shoes. This one I'm calling Black Velvet and will glaze it with a cone 10 Black satin glaze which I will then wipe out of the inside and brush in a Koryo blue glaze which has a glossy finish verses the black satin that has more of a matte finish that reminds me of black velvet.

Ruby Red Stilettos


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

One in Eight Installation Exhibition

One In Eight 
A Collaborative Installation by Kim Putnam and Tya Alisa Anthony

September 7 - October 5, 2017
Reception: Thursday, September 7, 2017 from 4 - 7 pm
Rude Gallery, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design


Mixed Media - detail from installation

The inspiration for One in Eight came about when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. I’ve been working on the installation ever since. Over the years the concept has evolved and grown much like how cancer does in a persons body. What remained constant throughout the installation’s evolution is the percentage.

It is estimated that one in eight women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in life. Through census research in 2013, approximately 160,593,450 women live in the United States; twenty million or one in eight of those women are destine for breast cancer. The disembodied breasts in this installation represent this statistic. There are a total of 160 latex breasts varying in flesh tones representative of the different ethnicities of women found in the United States and abroad. Breast cancer does not discriminate nor is it limited to one country. It is a global disease that affects both men and women; although the percentage of men who die from breast cancer is much smaller. A rare occurrence, less then one percent of all breast cancer cases develop in men and only one in a thousand men will ever be diagnosed with breast cancer. And so this exhibition focuses on the one in eight women who will be affected by this terrible disease.

The installation began with the idea of using flesh colored latex balloons filled with three different materials, flour, pepper and marbles with the nipples painted on with oil paint.  The balloons fill with flour only represented the uninfected breasts. The marble mixed with the flour represents the discovery of the lump, one of the possible signs of breast cancer.  And finally, the flour and pepper combination, which is not nearly as obvious, is symbolic of my mother’s experience.

Similar to the destructive nature of cancer, over the months I discovered that both the pepper and the oil paint had a corrosive effect on the latex; each ate through the skin of the balloon exposing the flour and destroying the breast. Another discovery pertaining to the fragility of the latex occurred when I realized that by blowing up the balloons for the purpose of stretching them, they then became more prone to breaking. Originally the idea was to have the installation be an interactive one, where viewers could touch and squeeze the breasts to identity which ones were cancerous. The now fragile quality of the latex aligns itself with the sensitivity and tenderness of a woman’s breast as well as the emotional vulnerability experienced by a woman diagnosed with the disease. These revelations were disclosed through the creative process, which evolved as a response to these discoveries.

Another part of the installation’s evolution is the inclusion of the laundry basket that holds the dismembered breasts. It is a reference to the idea of ‘dirty laundry’, the shame, discomfort or embarrassment some women experience emotionally when discussing their diagnoses. The breasts are piled in a discarded manner, separate from the individual yet held in a container that is historically associated with a woman’s role in the home. It is a symbol of the emotional burden that weighs on the woman diagnosed with the cancer, as are the anonymous breasts that fill the basket.

Accompanying the laundry basket and its contents, are black and white photographs of eight women. These women, a variation of age and ethnicity, surround the basket and represent the statistics of one in eight. Similar to the women that fill our lives, we cannot visibly tell which one has been diagnosed with breast cancer. They could be our mothers, grandmothers, friends, sisters, daughters, aunts, wives, and or the stranger we pass in the street. These women represent the fact that no one is immune from breast cancer – even if we ourselves do not or will not get the disease we know someone who will or does. Breast cancer affects all of us.

This exhibition is dedicated to the survivors and fighters of breast cancer and to my mom, Terri Carey, who is my heroine.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Breast Replacements

I've been remiss on my posting! Especially since I now see the last post I did on the One in Eight installation was when I finished the Caucasian flesh colored breasts! Since then I've completed the black breasts as well as the Hispanic flesh colored breasts. Both interesting as I've never actually see the breast of either a black woman or that of a Hispanic woman's breast... and forget trying to look up a reference on the internet! Even when you search for art history images of nude women I've discovered their breasts (at least the area I'm focusing on) is covered! So in the end, my friend and colleague whom I'm collaborating with describe to me what her breast looked like and based on that I painted the black breasts and then based on my knowledge of how the black and white nipples were rendered and my knowledge of painting Hispanic flesh tones, I gave the third ethnic breast a go... I figure these are not meant to be exact replicas but rather symbolic and or metaphoric so I do have some wiggle room.


In any case, the image below shows me constructing two new replacement breasts for the two boobs that broke in the painting process - actually they broke either when I picked them up or while in the basket which shows you how fragile they actually are which that in it self is very metaphorical if you think about it!

Breast Replacement Proceedure

Then the next photograph is the completed basket of disembodied breasts! There are a total of 160 boobs in this basket of that 160-breast count, 20 of them have cancer or One in Eight. The last thing I have to do is start drafting the artists' statement and while I'm working on that Tya is working on photographing eight women for the other half of the installation. 


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Trouble with Tribbles!


So yesterday I finished painting the Caucasian breasts! I lost count of the number as the boobs began to accumulate...


But each day as I worked and the pile of nipples grew the memory of the Star Trek episode The Trouble with Tribbles kept popping into my head!


But... all silliness aside, the project is progressing! Today I start painting the African woman's breast, which may be challenging, as I've never actually seen the breast of a black woman before! However I do know how to paint their flesh tones so I am not completely in the dark (ha... no pun intended)! I was given some pointers from my friend and collaborate in this project that has it on good authority so I should be good to go!

I have run into some additional challenges as I may have mentioned before in that after the balloons have been blown up (stretched) and filled they become more fragile so as I continue to paint the nipples I still run into some breakage... :o(

So far I've only lost two breasts, one Caucasian and one black, no Hispanic yet but I also haven't started painting those yet. Speaking of... the only down side that I haven't been able to address is that I couldn't find a balloon color that best simulated the Asian flesh tones so sadly that ethnicity is not represented in this project. But this cancer too touches them. Well there you have it, this is my blog post for this week (sadly I'm realizing I'm not a consistent blogger which I'm sure makes it hard for me to have followers! Be that as it may.... it's back to work for me!