May 17, 2018

We are currently studying, 'Coast Village', by Roy Lichenstein, so it seems fitting to dedicate this week's Artist of the Week post to the Pop Art heavyweight. BUT, does Lichenstein deserve such prestige? Is Roy Lichenstein the avant-guarde creative the artistic community claims him to be, or just a cheap 'swiper' who has profited from the work of other's?

Pop Art was born in America and the UK during the late 1950's, in the wake of the post-war economic boom. The kitschy brand-heavy art form became synonymous with the economic prosperity and consumerist culture of it's time, now regarded as the Golden Age of Capitalism.

The actual term 'pop art' orginated in the late 1940's, and was first used in the work of art, "I was a Rich Man's Plaything" (1947) , by artist, Eduardo Paolozzi, which incorporates the word "POP" within a montage of a pinup girl, a cherry pie, and other quintessential American symbols from that era.

Pop Art borrows images from popular...

May 14, 2018

Sometimes perceived as a peripheral art form, woodcut printing has, in fact, played an important role in some of the most major artistic movements of the 20th century, including the German Expressionist movement, led by our Artist of the Week: Ernst Kirchner.

This week at PTC, we did print making with the kids at the Weisensee shelter. For our workshop we used lino, which made the carving process easier and much more safe! Traditionally, however, print making, otherwise known as "xylography", which originated in Asia during the Han Dynasty (220 A.D), is made using wood. 

For millennia, woodcut printing was used primarily for publishing purposes, and not as a form of art. European woodblock print-making came over from Asia around the 13th century, and was also used as a technique for printing text and illustrations for publication, one of the earliest examples of which is the "Madonna del Fuoco" (The Fire Madonna)

Pre-20th century, both in...

May 6, 2018

Last week, we hosted a diorama workshop with the kids in Pankow, challenging them to create their own mini universes out of shoe boxes, using everyday objects in new and inventive ways. So, it seems fitting to dedicate this week's 'Artist of the Week' post to diorama master, Tanaka Tatsuya.

“Broccoli and parsley might sometimes look like a forest, or the tree leaves floating on the surface of the water might sometimes look like little boats. I wanted to take this way of thinking and express it through photographs, so I started to put together a MINIATURE CALENDAR." - Tanaka Tatsuya, in an interview with Spoon-Tamago

Tanaka Tatsuya's words capture the essence of diorama, and why it is one of the most exciting, playful, and accessible forms of art. You don't need special materials, or equipment, you just need your imagination!

Using everyday objects to create miniature compositions, diorama bridges the gap between the artistic world, and the human world. Frequently using urba...

March 23, 2018

Our 'Artist of the Week' post for this week is dedicated to the wild and wonderful Flying Seagulls Project- the travelling circus collective bringing smiles and laughter to thousands of kids living in some of the most precarious and deprived places in the world. I speak with some of the Flying Seagulls' European Team, and ask them about their work...

With over 65 million refugees worldwide and an average protracted displacement period now estimated at 26 years, entire generations of migrant children are growing up in host countries- very often, in the confines of migrant camps. 

With insufficient funding and lack of infrastructure, camp life is hard. Every day, families struggle to find enough food and clean water to sustain themselves. With all the immediate concerns of survival, and a huge psychological burden of uncertainty, parents are often too preoccupied, and downright exhausted, to play with their children.

Tragically, only 50% of...

February 8, 2018

At Pass the Crayon we have been exploring the theme of Space in our recent art workshops, so it seems fitting to kick off our new 'Artist of the Week' series with astro enthusiast and visionary artist, Tomás Saraceno.

In recent years we have seen Art and Science come together to create unique avenues of creative expression. Both of these disciplines challenge our perception of reality in profound ways, and when combined, can produce astonishing art forms which are not only aesthetically striking, but experientially significant. 

For millennia, artists have grappled with the existential chaos of human existence. Art provides human beings with the tools to express feelings and abstract concepts which can be deeply painful, yet essential to understanding ourselves as individuals, and as a collective. In the past, artists have mainly focused on human-centered enigmas such as beauty, pleasure, pain, time, and of course, love and death. However, since the Enl...

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