what's that then?
One approach for contemporary artists, designers and crafts people to making art that can be sellable and collectible is by producing the multiple.
what is a multiple?
Multiples have been called the most accessible and reasonably priced contemporary art on the market, value for money and fun. They are usually a signed limited edition made specifically for selling. They could be multiples of a 2D print, 3D sculpture or installation piece. The multiple offers artists a way of selling work without compromising their artistic integrity and makes their work accessible to a wider market. Multiples are united by their lack of uniqueness, usually regarded as a prerequisite in a work of art. Many are by artists who work solely with the concept of the multiple. The challenge to the artist is in finding ways of realising an idea that can be repeated time and again. Thus part of the creative challenge comes in researching new methods and sourcing new materials, leading to some unlikely collaborations between artist and fabricators.
multiples are not a new idea. Many artists in the 20th century tinkered with the concept. Spurred on by Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades, the multiple became a subversive art-form. Hand-made, limited edition books were around long before that - William Morris and Walter Crane were using mass production methods to take art to the masses true to their socialist ideals in the 19th century.
In 1993, artists Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin took over a disused shop in London's East End and, with other artists friends including Damien Hirst, sold T-shirts, mugs and other customised items as works of art. This artist-led approach to selling art directly to the public not only re-popularised the artists multiple, but was a key moment in the subsequent Young British Artist era, culminating in the Saatchi collected "Sensation" exhibition.
Hmmm... taking an old shop and selling multiples... that all sounds a little familiar...
Felt Suit by Josef Beuys
The Shop with Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin
What's that all about?
Outsider Art is commonly used to describe art made by artists outside the art world.
Who's the outsider?
Ironically the artworld is split about what constitutes outsider art and what doesn't, but that's probably more to do with the growing aceptance that it's not only artists that create good art. Generally speaking, outsider art is spontaneous creativity - created for it's own sake and not for profit or to promote the artist.
Give me an example then
One of the largest pieces of outsider art is the rock garden of Chandigarh. Nek Chand, a humble transport official in the north Indian city of Chandigarh decided one day to create his own little garden space clearing a a small patch of jungle and building things with whatever he could find. Before long he had cleared several acres of land and filled them with thousands of sculptures mae from recycled waste.
but is it art?
we think so. And so do Banf and Buchan Arts Forum in Scotland who have dedicated a whole section of their public art website to random bits of creativity in their region.
see also Raw Vision magazine.
rock garden at Chandigarh
Double Decker Guards Van - Banff