When people say that art has no rules, they’re lying. Okay not totally, but a little. There are basics: paintings use paint, photographs use cameras, and drawings use a pencil (or charcoal or a pen, but you get the idea). There are categories and places where art fits. Then there’s the category of mixed media, the real rebel. Mixed media uses everything but the kitchen sink – any kind of utensil, resource or textile is fair game. Works designated mixed media didn’t choose to be in any predetermined category. This doesn’t mean they are kicked out of all the other groups; there are plenty of mixed media paintings, pictures, and drawings, but they are pieces mixed with other properties as well. Can’t decide between a painting and a photograph for your wall? Don’t! Try a blend of all categories.
Here are just a few from Zatista to show you what we mean:
“The Tempest” by Melissa McGill uses pages of books and archival images of convicts. The figures are modern adaptations of the poetry contained in the pages. Along with this, McGill has created abstract works with resources including antique Russian Boy Scout calendars, and historical WWII photographs of factory workers.
This still life “Blood Orange” from Keith Gerling’s Kitchen Series is a unique print using watercolor pigment and gum arabic hardened with the bichromate process over cyanotype on watercolor paper. Don’t know what that means? Doesn’t matter. All you need to know is this imaginative fruit can hang beautifully in your kitchen.
This painting on a wood panel depicts posters from the downtown neighborhood of artist Anyes Galleani. Her inspiration comes from posters layered on top of each other wearing away to reveal the others underneath. “Blue Addiction” is the little extra inspiration you wanted from a painting.
A brush of modern color can reinvent vintage. This hand printed photo is layered over acrylic paint.
“Beneath the Grid” is a mix of paper, photographs and plexiglass. If the artist, Lorrie Boydston, hadn’t told us, we probably wouldn’t have asked. The character and texture of the piece tells enough of the story with no questions needed.
Mixed media is like wiping the slate clean of precedence allowing one to create anything. From plastics to paint brushes, the resources are not limiting artists. The art produced from merging categories has created an opening for artists to reinvent their way. Check out Zatista’s mixed media collection.