If you look to the right hand side of this blog, you'll see a quip about cupcakes in the "About Me" section. It's true. I do find cupcakes, and all gooey baked goods, for that matter, to be somewhat sinister. I don't know why. Something about all that prettiness and sweetness...you just know it has to have a dark side.
I made these paintings a few years ago, when I was tired of using the darker, more jewel-like tones of the medieval-style paintings and wanted to do something a little brighter. I was also interested in the idea, especially after working with ideas informed by sacred art, of the line between high and low culture.
So I went out and bought some glitter.
Because glitter, many believe, has no place in good, grown-up art. It's for kids. But I say not so. First of all, I don't use just any old glitter. I use Martha Stewart brand glitter, which is seriously the highest-quality glitter I have ever seen, and comes in a wide variety of colors not generally associated with glitter (olive green and brown, for instance). I also bought Martha Stewart brand cupcake wrappers, some of which were collaged onto this painting and some of which were used to make actual cupcakes. Martha has a section dedicated to her wares in craft stores like A.C. Moore and Michael's, and a good time can be spent there pondering over how anyone could come up with this stuff. Say what you will about Martha, she knows how to make fancy, useless, amazing crap like a pro.
These paintings are the first in which glitter is used. For these, I mixed the glitter with neo megilp, which I had been using for the rest of the glazes, to create a glitter paint. The glitter use, compared to what I've been doing lately, is modest, and even hard to see in these pictures (it's mainly on the wall behind the figures, accenting the designs there). I've also found that I prefer using it with stand oil--because stand oil makes everything better. They are also the beginning of what I've been informally calling the "Trash" line, which uses a lot of pink and glitter and really bad taste as a way to explore the ideas of what taste is, what is acceptable as far as art is concerned, and what kinds of implications arise by using childish (and typically feminine) colors and symbols and calling it art.
The Cupcake Diptych is unfortunately quite delicate. Besides the collaged cupcake papers, there's a brittle batch of gesso underneath which requires they be kept in a safe place (like, not my closet). I'm not, looking back on them, quite satisfied with them as far as the modeling goes, but I can appreciate them, at least. More Trash coming soon!