THE FIRST PROOF
Every experience has a visual and experiential representation through photography, illustration, product, video, digital, and physical environments. THE FIRST PROOF is another look at the formation of these experiences, focusing equally on creation and creator. It serves as an analysis of the creative inputs and outputs, and its influence.

Observations on fashion, art, design, and creativity. 

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Friday
Nov242017

Follow This: Shawn Huckins

"If George could comment today, would he click the ‘like’ button, or post ‘wtf?’ and then go check his Miley Cyrus tweet?"
 
That is one of the questions artist Shawn Huckins asks with his painting series Athenaeum. Much like Richard Prince, Mr. Huckins references other forms of art or communication - portraits by artists such as Gilbert Stuart, Julian Vannerson, George Caleb Bingham, and John Singleton Copley. But unlike Mr. Prince, items are not repurposed but precisely recreated. Mr. Huckins points out that his work is not developed via photoshop.
 
 
Through the combination of text and paintings, he makes statements on communication and technology. More on his Athenaeum series: 
"Robert Hine and John Mack Faragher define The American Frontier as “a tale of conquest, but also one of survival, persistence, and the merging of peoples and cultures that gave birth and continuing life to America.”
With the recent additions of pop culture slang words, such as ‘twerk’ and ‘selfie,’ to the Oxford Dictionary, was this the vision our early ancestors and frontier explorers had in mind as we continue the ‘conquest?’
 
Athenaeum series explores 18th and 19th-century American painting and photography in the context of 21st-century lexicons - Facebook status updates, tweets, texting acronyms - that permeate today’s popular culture. The process is a methodical replication of the original work, each painted by hand followed by the superimposition of large white letters, also painted, of social media jargon.
 
The American Revolution and The American Frontier were conceived through an exchange of a few well-formed ideas communicated in person and by handwritten letters. Imagine what Lewis & Clark could have done with the internet while exploring the American West.
 
Technology influences how much we know and what we believe, as well as how quickly and intelligently we convey our ideas. But does how we communicate govern the value of what we communicate? The physical act of typing very fast on small devices has undeniably impacted spelling, grammar, and punctuation, encouraging a degree of illiteracy that has become the new social norm. As goes our grammatical literacy, do our social and cultural literacies follow? Are we in a continuing state of the debasement of language?"
 
These themes are further explored in two other series The American __tier and The American Revolution Revolution.
 
Read More: Shawn Huckins 
Instagram: @shawn_huckins 

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