Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cabinet Card Mythologisms

The idea of taking a piece of art from the past and modifying it into something rich and strange is really nothing new.  Basically this idea is at the very root of collage.  The early 20th center Dada-ists went to town with this.  Great examples of this would be 
Hannah Hock  (left) or her long time partner Raoul Hausmann (right)

Of course, you could certainly argue that assemblage most certainly fits into this category quite nicely on in a 3d sort of way...but for now lets stick with 2d goodies.  For my part I've been altering cabinet cards for a couple of years now.  Admittedly, I do have pangs of guilt every so often...that fear that a distant relative will see and be repulsed with what I've done the Uncle Morris.
(Not really my Uncle Morris.  This was from a series I did a few years ago.  Blue Meanies.)
I thought I'd showcase a few artists that utilize this process.  

A friend of mine and fellow artist, Sonya Paz was what really got me inspired to write a post on this topic by mentioning the art of Eddie Breen (I'm not sure if he actually coined the term "piggyback" art, but I'm guessing he did).  Here are some of his goodies.

The other day I came across come nifty things by Chris McMahon.  He paints monsters onto thrift store paintings.  

Oaxacan tattoo artist, Dr. Larka has a slightly different take on this.  Adding ink to unsuspecting pin-up girls and ladies in waiting.

Alex Gross who does some magnificent Pop Surrealist paintings, also has some fun with cabinet cards.

and now some of my stuff
The term I have started using for my cabinet cards (and for most of my work these days) is "mythologism".  The term comes from the idea of transforming the mundane into something otherworldly and spectacular... into something worthy of a myth or legend.
Therefore I declare myself:  Michael deMeng:  Mythologist.   
Catchy...don't you think?  So without further ado here are my "mythologisms" or "piggybacks" if you prefer:

Unsinkable Molly

 Patricia Landlines

Bedhead Magillicutty

Pointy Pete

Sally and Clarence Spudtoes

 Owen Twinkletter

Happy piggybacking!


Pam McKnight said...

These are all great! Thanks for sharing!

LuLu said...

Howdy Michael,

You've inspired me to paint my cab cards. I found a slew of them in a victorian photo album a few years back.

Love your work!


yoborobo said...

You are always inspiring! Thanks for introducing me to some new artists we well! :)

yoborobo said...

'as well'. :))

ParisMaddy said...

These made me smile. Great changes going on here.

Madeline xo

kara d said...

Love this!
I usually get paintings from the thrift store for their frames...but now I think that the doors of possibility have been opened.

Debs said...

I've been scouring charity shops for 'that' painting to do something with but never got any further - these are fab.