SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2017

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: When did you first realize you were meant to be an artist? Pierre Kauffmann: A few years in my art school in France were enough to convince me that I had found my way to freedom through art expression. SA: What are some of the biggest influences on your work? PK: I can mention a lot of different artists who are very important influences for me. They come from different dis - ciplines—visual artists, but also fashion designers or archi- tects, dancers, anyone who has devoted their lives to their art. I am interested in different ways of expression that can be combined one way or another. That is the reason why I am using different techniques and media that come from the different disciplines, be it art, theater, or architecture. SA: How do you choose a building or monument that you use as the inspiration for your costumes? PK: I don't choose a building, but the building chooses me. It inspires me because of the proportions and lines that make it stand out from others. It is like an invitation to see and feel them differently, and I try to bring them to another state, becoming one with the realization of the [experience I call] "Pika-monuments." SA: How do you generate and develop ideas? PK: I conceive of my projects mostly at home, after a first visit to the location (if possible, it's always better!). I pre - pare all of the prototypes in my Paris studio; everything is homemade. Taking pleasure in my art and discovering new places are important factors. I am trying to present my vision of the world in an artistic way. SA: Your work requires a lot of travel. Do you use grants or artist residencies to help you get to the places where the monuments are located? PK: The location can be a factor in choice, depending on how or who I can connect with in that town to realize my project or to present my work in an exhibition, talks, or art classes. I develop all of my projects with different kinds of support. Financially, I try finding official support, public commissions, art residencies, and public fundrais - ing, and trying to connect to the art community from the location during my shooting performance in situ. SA: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself as a young artist? PK: The faster you connect with people, the faster you have visibility. DISCUSSION Begin by showing students images of monumental archi- tecture from around the world. Be sure to include several monuments that have been featured in Kauffmann's work, such as the Parachute Jump at Coney Island. Discuss archi- tectural concepts, building materials, and design elements. Next, share Kauffmann's Parachutejumptower, and other pieces included on his website (see Resources). Ask: • What is different about these pictures? • What architectural elements from the monument are included in the artist's costume? • If you were asked to name Kauffmann's style of artwork, what would you call it? • How does seeing Kauffmann in front of the monument make you feel? Does it make you look at the monument in a different way? • How does Kauffmann's combination of architecture, fashion, and performance challenge traditional art forms? What statement might he be trying to make? STUDIO EXPLORATIONS • Create a work of art inspired by an architectural monument. • Create a work of art that references architecture and combines dance, movement, photography, or perfor- mance with visual art. • Create an artwork that interacts with viewers by alter- ing their perception of an architectural element found somewhere in your school. • Create a series of artworks that engage the viewer and combine art forms in unexpected ways. Written by Karl Cole, Art Historian and Curator of Images at Davis Publications and Robb Sandagata, Digital Curriculum Director and Editor at Davis Publications. RESOURCES Metropolparasol, Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain, 2016. 26 SUMMER 2017 SchoolArts

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