What It Means:
According to a 2006-2007 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report (co-sponsored by the Broad Art Foundation), opportunities for urban artists are expected to grow much faster than average for all art occupations from now until the next popular movement succeeds it. Graduates may pursue careers as taggers, skateboard artists or caricaturists on Venice Beach.
Some of the Courses in the Program Include:
Using Mr. Brainwash (MBW) (mrbrainwash.com) as a case study, students will take classes in:
– Modify a pop culture icon: MBW took Barack Obama, Spock and John McCain and painted them in a Marilyn Monroe wig. Bonus points: this had originally been done by Andy Warhol then appropriated by Banksy. Students will learn how to randomly place a bouquet of popular images into a hat, randomly pick two then combine.
– Modify a classic icon: MBW printed giclées of Paul Cézanne’s self-portrait (c. 1878) then added Burger King paraphernalia (c. 2008). Students will master the equation: Setting plus objects that don’t belong in the setting equal irony. Irony sells.
Studying MBW, students will learn quantity trumps quality as the artist bombed every flat surface in Los Angeles with his images. While they weren’t as visually appealing as the Buff Monster or thought provoking as Shepard Fairey, his show – advertised on the posters – had lines out the gates. Remember: location, location … screw the location put ’em fuckin’ everywhere.
– The Medium is the Mess: The pros and cons of stickers, wheat posters and stencil graffiti will be discussed. New technologies – such as electric billboards and actually learning how to paint or design – will be explored.
– Taking it from the streets: You’ve finally gotten what you’ve always wanted: a gallery show. Instead of defacing outside walls, you’re now hanging artwork within them.
Students will explore the delicate dance of explaining why their former wheat posters criticizing capitalism are now being sold for five figures. Role playing exercises teach students how to master saying, “It’s ironic, man,” “I’m donating a percentage of the profits to charity” (zero is a percent) and giving an ambiguous smile that makes the questioner think they “just don’t get it.” Studying MBW, students will also learn how to pretend they want to be ‘Banksy-anonymous’ while engaging in shameless self-promotion.
“I attended Mr. Brainwash’s show and said ‘Pff! I can do that.’ After taking a half-week of classes at ITT Tech, then putting up wheat posters of Bush – on a $1 bill dressed as Marilyn Monroe – smoking crack made of bombs, money and oil, I got a gallery show! Thanks ITT Urban Art program!”