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Nov 01, 2013
The question: How can I, as an artist, interact with social media? Do something remarkable? And earn money?
The inspiration: Seth Godin’s Purple Cow
The challenge: 1 year to paint 100 commissioned portraits.
The result: An artistic alternative to Facebook. And one huge mosaic.
But how do I explore connectivity, push my boundaries, and find 100 willing participants?
By using my network. I started with my friends and family. It spread from there. Friends of Friends of Friends. The individuals featured embrace a huge spectrum of ages, origins, and walks of life. They span from my four-year-old son to 5 celebrities—Stanislas Wawrinka, Bertrand Piccard, Nico Boesten, Mark Butcher, and Igor Stravinsky.
Finding the participants? That was easy compared to painting the portraits in one year. While I was scared that I wouldn't finish, I did, in fact, paint 100 portraits.
The culmination of The 100 Faces Project was an innovative and intriguing look at connectivity. A huge mosaic covering 6 m2 integrated the expressive acrylic portraits and mirrored on an adjacent wall was an interactive “pinboard” of connectivity. It featured colour-coded strings: blue indicating a geographical connection, red a genetic one, green an educational or work-related synergy, and yellow a social connection. The universal language of art unraveled its power before visitors’ eyes, answering all sorts of questions in its path.
It was a fascinating web of shared stories. And way more fun than Facebook.
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The materials I use to paint are traditional materials proven to last for centuries by the tradition of acrylic painting on canvas. I paint on artist quality cotton primed canvas and I mainly use Extra Fine heavy body Acrylics from Golden Artist Colors. My primer is Golden acrylic gesso. Visit http://www.goldenpaints.com/technicaldata/gesso.php to learn more about my materials.
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