Discontinued DIY Art Trends of Early 2000

by Art Fag City on November 27, 2006 Events

I suppose the term DIY is being applied rather loosely here since generally speaking the following is a survey of old art making trends that have both nostalgia and craft value as opposed to being inherently Do-It-Yourself, but I think the term will suffice. Here are a few of the more obvious discontinued trends I’ve noticed recently

LiteBrite Art

As far as I know, artist Steve DeFrank is best known for this kind of work, though I recall there being an awful lot of it more of it than around than the few bits I was able to find at Cool Hunting, which seems impossible given the fact that the Internet is basically run by the nerdocracy.* I suppose for artists who reveal in the glory of limitations, the medium of back lit plastic plastic nobs would be a great challenge to take up, but it is hard to imagine how anyone could get beyond its inherent LiteBriteness. Of course, the challenge of art making is always transcending and/or subverting the medium in some way, so in theory this is a method of art making that has greatly gone unmined.

Paint by Numbers

I'd like to say that the rise of paint by numbers can be seen to parallel that of hard edged, tapey paintings that were so popular in 2001, but the timelines don't actually match. Canadian conceptual artist Mary Scott made paint-by-numbers works by applying acrylic with a syringe as early as 1981 (the above image is not a paint by number but the best I could find). At the time, the practice was viewed as one that expanded the field of painting, though if done today would probably just seem trite. You can no longer make an ironic paint by number…which is clearly a huge loss to the art making community.

AstroTurf and Flocking

This is a material more than method of art making, but a couple years ago it was nearly impossible to walk into a gallery without viewing some lawn green flocked armature, or AstroTurf with some plastic-something-or-other sitting on top of it. As a lover of the rich valor feel that flocking gives to any object, I actually wouldn't mind seeing a little more of this material. This is decidedly different than my views on AstroTurf, which I’m not that interested in, unless your name is Matthew Ronay, (who is, as we speak, probably trying to figure out how to make synthetic cum out of MDF fibers to accompany the material.) I don't have any good reasons for my dislike of AstroTurf, other than the usual, “I've seen enough of this material to last me a lifetime”, sort of sentiment.

*Nerdocracy: A term coined by Christopher Weingarten, senior editor of Paper Thin Walls

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