SchoolArts Magazine

November 2016

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G ARTIST Q&A SchoolArts: What are some of the biggest influences on your work, including other artists, events, or things outside of the arts? Angello Bassi: My work is influenced by diverse sources, precisely from the intersection of art with paper and techniques derived from street art and the artistic move- ment known as Art Toy. With regard to paper, I'm always surprised to discover its versatility, not only attributed as a material that is used for text and drawings, but also as an easy-to-manipulate material which is capable of being transformed into a 3D structure. SA: What are the advantages of using paper to create your Cubotoys? AB: Paper is beautiful itself. It is a material whose plasticity facilitates its manipulation, making it versatile in its use and operation. Its existence is ancient, and the ways of work - ing with it have been remotely shared since its invention more than 2,000 years ago. This material has accompanied humanity through its development and capacity to transmit history. Nowadays, it is a material easily available and trans - ported; it is economical and almost anyone can acquire it. SA: What role does revision play in your art-making process? AB: Revisions are key to each one of my project's processes. All my work is at first developed manually. I sculpt the paper and play with it up to its limits. This way, the devel- opment of diverse prototypes and tests allow me to guide the project toward the most elementary and precise result. SA: What is a typical workday like for you? AB: I work part-time with a professional team that makes up the art and design faculty at the University of Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile. My work at the university involves coordination and academic activities. I dedicate the rest of the workday to research my interests, mainly focusing on Cubotoy. Both activities perfectly complement each other because I have managed to profoundly dedicate myself and have converted each one of my productive activities into academic ones. SA: What is the role of social media in your work? How do you approach the digital realm? AB: The Internet has been the platform with which I have diversified my audience, permitting me to share my art- work from Chile to the rest of the world with just one click. In addition, the Internet allows me to share, literally, my artwork since my designs can be downloaded free of charge from my web page. SA: What visual art concepts and skills did you learn while in school (K–12) that are most helpful to you now? AB: Drawing was always part of my scholastic develop- ment ever since I could remember. I had a premature sensibility that facilitated the mastering of drawing and permitted me to formulate my own way of seeing things. Drawing helps to create realities and it is a type of lan- guage that communicates precisely and effectively; this is why it has always been so important to me. Without draw- ing I hardly would have created what I have done so far. I like to think that in the same way I create a drawing, it at the same time creates me. SA: What advice would you give to your high-school self if you could go back in time? AB: If I could effectively travel to the past and talk to myself, I would insist on the importance of always going further and further. For example, it is not enough to know the works of an artist. One also has to know the when, why, and how. This brings us to a road that connects with others. This auto-formation is unique for each one of us and will depend on our interests and passions. Love the plot more than the dénouement. DISCUSSION Show students images of Bassi's Cubotoys, along with examples of contemporary toy design such as FriendsWith- You, Uglydoll, and Kidrobot. Ask students to contrast these art toys with popular mainstream toys including action fig- ures, dolls, or My Little Pony. Ask: • How are Cubotoys similar to your own toys? How are they different? • Are these toys that are meant to be played with or collected as art objects? • What challenges might come from making sculptures or toys with paper? • Can you think of some other examples of designs that bridge the gap between design and fine art? What makes them stand out? • What are some other commercial products that would benefit from a more artistic design? How might you translate that into paper? STUDIO EXPERIENCES Sketch and design a unique and original 2D or relief paper toy. Using an original design, create a 3D paper toy sculp- ture using tag or Bristol board. Create a 3D paper toy sculpture of a simple object found in everyday life. Reinterpret a 2D character from a television show or movie, historical figure, or celebrity as a 3D paper toy. Choose a commercial product that you think is poorly designed. Create a new 2D design that improves the product in imaginative ways with an emphasis on good design. Transform your new design into a 3D sculpture or toy. Written by Karl Cole, curator of images at Davis Publications and Robb Sandagata, digital product manager at Davis Publications. Interview translated by Lydia Mancevice. ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE BEGINNER 26 NOVEMBER 2016 SchoolArts

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