This brilliant short video by Billy Gallery provides insight into how the world of art works, its problems and what could be the solutions. It might be controversial to some but overall an excellent attempt to address the current state of art affairs.
For almost a decade I have found myself drawn to the intimate, tactile, and symbolic qualities of used books. I am interested in how these recycled books come with their own histories of use and meaning and how they serve as potent vehicles of expression. With the idea of working with them as my canvas or building block, I transform the books into sculptures that explore and redefine the book as familiar object, medium, and archetypal form. By scrambling the formal arrangement of the book and transposing its material and conceptual qualities, I aim to create evocative art forms that suggest an alternative narrative.
Flutter (Devotion Series) 2008 H3.5” x W6”x D5” Used Book, Hand-Painted Ink
Ashley Cecil’s been creating art ever since discovering that her mom’s favorite lipstick made a great oil pastel. Things fast forward and we see the artist evolving in to a ‘Painting Activist’. The secret of Ashley Cecil’s brilliant work is in addressing social issues through art.
Much like a photojournalist, I photograph events, scenes and people of interest, and then translate those images into illustrative paintings. My talent is as an artist, my passion is advocating for social change; this is how the two work together.
When asked how she would describe her approach towards her subjects, she said:
Specifically in regards to how I approach my work: I was formally educated in art at the University of Dayton (03), but didn’t really begin to grow into my own style until after graduation. This is when I began to shift my subject matter from landscapes and anything that was simply aesthetically pleasing to things that addressed social issues. I launched the Painting Activist in 2006 and have generally stuck with that theme ever since. Meshing this subject matter with my painting gave me a new and motivating reason to paint.
I just moved to London England with my fiancé and am loving the visual inspiration of this city. The website and my work may take a new turn, but I’m sure the fundamental elements of what has worked for the past 4 years will continue.
Kingsways and Great Queens St. Jan - Ashley Cecil 2010