crochet body project

A writer and art educator sets out to crochet a full-body self portrait.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

mark newport's superhero costumes

A friend recently sent me information about artist Mark Newport's work. When I started my crochet body project, I was unaware that there was another artist working in bodysuits. Newport knits superhero costumes, as you can see here (there are some great detail shots in the previous link).

At first, I was disheartened by the similarity of his work to my project. However, I started to realize that although our products are similar in some ways--that is, we're both using yarn and traditional techniques to create bodysuits--our work addresses a suffficently different set of issues. I'm working in self-portraiture, performance and portrayal of women's bodies. He's working with iconography and portrayals of masculinity.

It's a weird thing to discover someone doing something similar to your own work. On one hand, I worry that now my own work will seem derivative. On the other hand, it shows that the basic idea is good enough that an established artist is engaging it. So that's encouraging. I think.


Blogger Nels said...

I hate when you find something close! But you're right. This is different, in a good way.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Nathan Vincent said...

Hi, my name is Nathan Vincent and I'm an artist working in crochet as well. I often feel that discomfort when you find someone else doing work that appears similar. I keep having to remind my self that even the great names in art often were a part of a movement and that they were making similar things and gathering inspiration from one another and using their art as dialogues and response. Our world is different today, and the ways ideas are spread (through the Internet, etc) are vastly different, and yet our systems of influence and inspiration have evolved to accommodate these shifts. I think ideas seem to be more common now, and less seems truly unique only because we now have access to so many more people's ideas. In the past two people may have thought similar things, but they'd never know. Now, I'm reading your blog and someone else recently pointed Mark Newport's work out to me, AND I already knew of his work. So in the span of several weeks his work has come into my life through people, who in the past, I'd have not known or would not have ever had the connection to Newport's work. Our circles of inspiration, influence, and even awareness have grown, so we'll obviously bump into similar ideas along the way. That being said (& I realize I've already said a lot) your work DOES address different issues, and you should keep at it! And good on you for struggling with this feeling and keeping at it! All the best, and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished project (I haven't read the entire blog yet do I'm not sure if maybe you've finished already). -Nathan

7:27 PM  

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