Award winning artist Ted VanCleave has released “Furry Android” and “Shaggy Peace Sign”, the first two creations from his new Pop Art series titled “Shaggy Symbols”. VanCleave’s Shaggy Symbols incorporate iconic images of today much as Pop artists portrayed popular culture in the 1960’s.
“Today’s icons differ from past icons like soup cans and Brillo boxes in that they speak in a completely non-verbal, universally understood language of symbols,” states VanCleave. “Today’s internet and mobile device icons are known and recognized throughout the world. They are often comprised of only one or two colors and simple silhouettes without text, yet when reduced to the size of a few pixels they completely convey the message intended, who they are and what they represent. My new series explores the importance of symbolism, communication and information transference and their sphere of influence on the internet and mobile device world.”
Shaggy Symbols captures current iconic symbols in a bold and colorful new way that extends beyond representation to become brilliant, quasi abstractions. These highly stylized artworks offer an exciting new approach to Pop Art juxtaposing vibrant color and the geometry of popular icons via the new medium of faux fur.
“I chose faux fur as my medium because it conveys my vision of what today’s Pop Art, what I call Pop Art 2.0, should be. It’s fresh, fun and funky. It’s different yet lends a nod to the early masters of Pop Art and still remains true to Pop’s sensibilities.” says VanCleave. “My Shaggy Symbols share Pop Arts use of popular culture imagery with brilliant colors. Faux fur has depth and dimension and develops subtle visual changes based on the movement of light throughout the day and evening. It’s also has an interactive quality because you can change the pieces look by grooming the fur or taking your hand and tossing it about. Some people will want to muss it up and give it a wilder, more random look. Others will want to comb the fur into calming patterns, much like a Zen Master raking sand. For this reason, every Shaggy Symbol comes with it’s own hair brush.”
In anticipation of the 2012, 50th anniversary of the birth of the American Pop Art movement in 1962*, VanCleave will release one new Shaggy Symbol design every month for the next 18 months, through the end of 2012. In addition to exploring new icons, VanCleave will also salute classic icons from our past like the ever popular and much loved peace sign.
Each Shaggy Symbol is 28″x28″ and is a limited edition of 10 plus 1 artist proof. High resolution images of the series are available for media by request.
Ted VanCleave has received many awards and distinctions as both a photographer and painter. His work was selected by Laura Rosenstock, curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to appear in the Faber Birren Color Award Show, and he was awarded Top National Honors from the prestigious National Watercolor Society in the experimental category.
* In 1962 Andy Warhol released his first version of Campbell’s soup cans (32 paintings) and had his first solo Pop Art exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. Five of the canvases sold for $100 each, but Ferus Gallery co-owner Irving Blum bought them back almost immediately to keep the set intact.