Wednesday, July 1, 2015

3 potential projects inspired by, Mark Mothersbaugh

I wanted to give you a little more insight on the Artwork of Mark Mothersbaugh.  He is currently featured at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in Minneapolis, Mn.  His artwork was so interesting, that I had to take the time to write about it and brainstorm some ideas about lesson inspired by his art. 

First, I thought I would get to know a little more about Mark Mothersbaugh.  He was a new artist to me and I was shocked to find out that I (and probably you) know one of his songs well... Whip it, by the Devos (be sure to preview the video before showing it to your students).  Mr Mathersbaugh was a member of the band Devo in the 70's it looks like from my research.  The band had many hits, perhaps you know some of their others (click here).  I wanted more... so I found a couple of videos about Mark Mothersbaugh.

So let's get into some of his artwork and why I want to write about him today... Enter, Mark Mothersbaugh's Myopia!

One of the first things that I saw in which I thought... perfect inspiration for the classroom was his 'Beautiful Mutants'.  He had sculptures such as the back end of a pony mirrored to itself called 'My Little Pony' . There was also a car that had the back end of  two cars mirrored titled Mutatum other as seen here.

The Beautiful Mutants that I was most inspired by was his altered photographs.  Again using the mirroring idea with mostly old pictures.  This has some potential to easily use technology to model art after this interesting artist.

There are many programs that you can use to do this mirror effect.  Photobooth is a built-in app on Mac computers and can be used easily by students.  This works really well when using the camera to take a picture.  I wanted to use a pre-existing picture, and I was unable to figure out how to use 'effects' to an image I already had.  This video by 'Learning with Youtube' is a great tutorial what Photobooth effects look like. The best way to learn this program is to try it... or ask your students, they all know.
Because I wanted to use a pre-existing image, I tried to find a program online that would do the same mirror effect. I tried a lot of programs, but Pixect was my favorite.  The only drawbacks to this one is I couldn't figure out how to download.  Instead it made you 'share' on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.  That might be a problem at school, I just took a screenshot.

From looking at Mothersbaugh's work, He tried to make sure that there were two eyes, one nose, and one mouth for his final images. The features might be ill-proportioned, but he never had 'too many parts'.  If you don't take the picture with you in the center, it will look like the three below...

Another way that I saw Mothersbaugh do this mirroring effect was with two images in a frame as seen below.  I gave that a try as well. 

By teaching students this process, I would be able to talk about 'flipping' horizontally and vertically.  It's a good review on vocabulary and takes a little photo editing. 

Mark Mothersbaugh also had rugs and instruments.  The rugs were displayed with a partnering TV that had the same image on it.  The image had one or two parts animated on it.  It totally reminded me of Ian's Sands, Cartoon Animation. Apex High School has done some amazing collaboration where elementary kids draw an image, and the high school students animate it.  I've always wanted to try that, this would be the artist to study while doing a project like that.

The instruments were very much reminiscent of the sounds from Devo mentioned a the beginning of this post.  There was a baby in the room while we were there that was clapping and smiling as the music played.

The next room blew me away.  It was post cards, post cards, post cards!  Mark Mothersbaugh is known for his many beautiful postcards (click here).  These beautiful treats filled a whole room.  I loved how they were displayed!  It made me think of Artist Trading Cards.  This might be a way to display our small works of art that we make in my art class.

The MIA also had an Mail-Art Swap inspired by the postcards.  I love this idea!  This might be another way that I get parents and students involved in Artist Trading Cards in the fall.  Maybe I'll also set something up with our neighboring schools, churches, communities... it could be really fun!

OK... Have I filled your brain with Mark Mothersbaugh inspired artwork?  I'm so excited to 'bring' this living Artist into my classroom this next year.  Can you see ways that you might incorporate his work?  Have you used him in your classroom before?  Leave your idea in the comments below.

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