Buttons: Part Two of Two

by Art Fag City on October 22, 2007 · 4 comments Events

emmi.jpg
Emmi Salonen

On Friday I wrote a post about buttons I liked quite a bit from the Decorative and Promotional chapters in Badge Button Pin, and today I continue this profile, discussing the remaining sections in the book Packs, Websites and Art. I’ve added a few artists to supplement the book in this post, but don’t think this means I’ll be making any button aficionado claims. Mostly, I just enjoy the medium.

PACKS

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Left: Mark Pawson, Big OpArt Badges, Edition size:500 Right: Mark Pawson, Sushi Badges
(Net artists: Check out Pawson’s great dirt style website)

Admittedly OpArt on buttons doesn’t quite work the way artists such as Bridget Riley had intended, but I like them anyway. The patterning remains compelling, and it’s the kind of thing I’d be happy wearing on my shirt. By contrast, food is the last thing I want on cloths, and yet I still like the sushi buttons. Part of this affinity comes from unexpected subject matter no doubt. I’m still not convinced I’d want to wear these pins, but I still like the idea of owning them. I see a custom made button display device for my mantel in my future.

WEBSITES

webbutton.jpg
Prickie

The ipod button above receives props for graphic allure, but I’ve mainly posted it because I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing an accessory who’s only purpose is to advertise said product. As far as I’m concerned, if I’m going to sport a brand logo or identity I should be paid to do so — why help a company sell goods for free? Other than this gripe, the buttons found on this site, though wildly expensive are quite nice. They also happen to be an American company, so unlike the majority of button artists profiled here who are from the UK, these people will be able to ship to most of my readers.

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ProjectButton, Kirk Weppler, Explorations in ASCII Art.

I suspect other artists have also made ascii art buttons, but these are the first I’ve seen. I found the work on ProjectButton, a great online gallery featuring the designs of Internet users. Basically, those who wish to participate submit artwork to the site, which will then be made into buttons and posted on the website. No fee or judging takes place, but artists can send a buck in to cover the cost of their button, and to randomly receive from the collection.

ART

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Ian Wright, Peace Bear, buttons, Image via Ian Wright

I have no real clarity on why those listed in the art section have been placed there (with the exception of Ian Wright[pictured above], who actually has gallery representation,) since the only distinction I can see lies in the fact that even fewer of these people actually have functioning websites. As a supplement to this section, I encourage you to take a look at Michael Bell-Smith’s digital pog collection — not quite buttons, since they are meant to be traded and never become objects — but they at least mimic the shape. Also Paper Rod/Retard Riot has been known to make a button or two. I’m not 100% sold on their art yet, since it gives the outward appearance of being poorly considered but we’ll see how it develops. I really can’t say anything entirely negative about a collective that came up with the button “I hate clocks”. According to previous posts, I obviously don’t wholly agree, but it does hold some resonance with me anytime I’m late.

UPDATE: See also Coudal’s Pinsetter feature.¬† Spell your name or anything else you might want to see in buttons!

{ 4 comments }

Retard Riot Fan April 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm

The paper rod / retard riot buttons you mention are made by artist Noah Lyon. He’s not known to make a button or two. He makes thousands. He’s pressed like 50,000 of them by hand. Not only that he’s made 1000’s of designs. He was making paintings out of them long before Ian Wright. He is represented by a Scandinavian gallery so maybe that’s why you haven’t seen his button paintings. He has shown them other places though… You really should check out his stuff though it goes way beyond “I hate Clocks” When you see the Retard Riot button paintings (I saw them at Printed Matters last NY art Book Fair) You can see that they are part of a much larger body of work that is extremely thought out. Outward appearances can be deceiving and oddly enough Retard Riot is highly conceptual. When you see the narrative of Noah Lyon’s work it makes Ian Wright’s button paintings look pretty gimmicky. The New Museum has tons of Retard Riot buttons so take a second look. And definitely go to the next Noah Lyon show, hopefully there will be one soon. They usually sneak up by surprise.

Retard Riot Fan April 14, 2008 at 12:10 pm

The paper rod / retard riot buttons you mention are made by artist Noah Lyon. He’s not known to make a button or two. He makes thousands. He’s pressed like 50,000 of them by hand. Not only that he’s made 1000’s of designs. He was making paintings out of them long before Ian Wright. He is represented by a Scandinavian gallery so maybe that’s why you haven’t seen his button paintings. He has shown them other places though… You really should check out his stuff though it goes way beyond “I hate Clocks” When you see the Retard Riot button paintings (I saw them at Printed Matters last NY art Book Fair) You can see that they are part of a much larger body of work that is extremely thought out. Outward appearances can be deceiving and oddly enough Retard Riot is highly conceptual. When you see the narrative of Noah Lyon’s work it makes Ian Wright’s button paintings look pretty gimmicky. The New Museum has tons of Retard Riot buttons so take a second look. And definitely go to the next Noah Lyon show, hopefully there will be one soon. They usually sneak up by surprise.

Art Fag City April 14, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Perhaps not obviously enough, “a button or two” was meant to indicate the giant vat of buttons they had available at the book fair. I thought most of them weren’t thought out well enough. I haven’t seen the paintings. Also, you’re right about Ian Wright and I would go one further by saying the button paintings look gimmicky on their own. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts I think.

Art Fag City April 14, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Perhaps not obviously enough, “a button or two” was meant to indicate the giant vat of buttons they had available at the book fair. I thought most of them weren’t thought out well enough. I haven’t seen the paintings. Also, you’re right about Ian Wright and I would go one further by saying the button paintings look gimmicky on their own. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts I think.

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