Coco gives meaning to the term Artistically Creative Recycling!
Artists who refuse to be pegged into a pattern are what I call cool. If you asked Coco’s husband to describe her work (and I have), he’d wave his hands in the air and say with a smile, ‘It’s ALL over the place’, meaning subject wise, not scattered about the universe.
“So for a whimsical depiction of people, the places they go, or the things they do, it seems natural to use black latex caulking in a sort of color book on steroids kind of way.” ~ Coco
But the business of making art is, to put it simply, expensive. If you’ve ever spent time an art supply store, you know what I mean. A 2009 study on artists and art materials by The International Art Materials Trade Association reports that US artists spent $4.2 billion related on their art. That’s billion!
Where do all those art materials go? Canvas, paper, brushes, framing; all have to end up somewhere, either hanging on a wall or in someone’s garage, or forbid, in a landfill when Grandma dies. Personally, I hope my paintings end up being unearthed from a dusty garage and sold for millions!
Coco’s philosophy is to make art from non-conventional materials, or things that people throw away, like OSB (oriented strand board) lami-beam, glass, steel, copper, scrap, house paint, or caulking, just to name a few. It’s a concept the Art Materials Trade Association might not embrace, but in an era of second-hand bargains, coupon clipping, repurposing and uncluttering our spaces, it makes perfect sense.
She recently filled the back of her pickup with stacks of kitchen cabinet doors from our friend Pix Basso’s place where a kitchen remodel is underway. Tipping her hat to crazy remodels, she left with huge appreciation of what a big job a remodel is, and a great bunch of panels for future art projects, like paintings and mosaics. Mind you, these panels would most likely have ended up in the landfill or a burn pile. But now they are destined for reincarnation in Coco’s studio.
In essence, she saved a little bit of our world for better uses. Living, growing trees were cut down to make those kitchen cabinet doors. Why throw them away? As artists we need to think about where our art materials are coming from, and where they go when we finish with them. It’s just a little thing, but if we can spend $4.2 billion on art materials, then we can certainly make sure they are put to good use. After all, it’s not the materials that make the artist, it’s the artist that makes the art. And each of us can make a difference.
So Coco, thank you for repurposing Pix’s cabinets into something beautiful. You give meaning to the term creative, to which I might expand, you give meaning to the term artistically creative recycling!
If you find yourself in Olympia be sure to visit Matter Gallery where Coco has just been accepted. It’s a gallery that promotes and supports the reuse, repurpose, recycle idea of art making.
Coco’s Artist Statement
As an artist I like experimenting with non conventional materials found at hardware stores, garage sales, thrift shops, construction sites, etc., rather than at art stores. Items such as OSB (oriented strand board) lami-beam, glass, steel, copper, scrap, house paint, caulking just to name a few. Each requires a unique approach in their use, and serves as a spring board for creativity and exploration of subject.
So for a whimsical depiction of people, the places they go, or the things they do, it seems natural to use black latex caulking in a sort of color book on steroids kind of way. A couple sheets of copper or corrugated Plexiglas or steel, for example, seem to lend better to abstract work, studies of the human form, or flora and fauna.
I hope my work conveys a meaningful merging of both.