Gliffiti: "One day I decided the world needed to be a little bit more sparkly..."

 Shawn Kolodny collage: magazine cutouts, foamcore, acrylic, epoxy, 2009

Shawn Kolodny collage: magazine cutouts, foamcore, acrylic, epoxy, 2009

Every once in a while, you realize there is so much "has been" art out there — it often seems everything has been done to death and you'll never walk into another home for the rest of your life that DOESN'T have a copy of "The Kiss" by Klimt hanging in it.

Seriously, most people don't even know that The Kiss is not a romantic painting, but a symbolism of the journey into death, "the kiss of death," as it were.

But there it hangs, in your Aunt Trisha's foyer — she's always asking guests, "Isn't it so romantic?" No, Aunt Trisha, it isn't. It's about being murdered by illness or at the hands of evil. Get it together, Trisha.

Anyway, as I was thinking about Aunt Trisha one day, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw, you guessed it... "The Kiss." BUT THEN... after rolling my eyeballs so hard I saw my own optic nerves, I saw an IG post by Gliffiti — and all was right with the world again and "The Kiss" disappeared as I scrolled and clicked on Gliffiti's Instagram profile page.

The first image I saw was a glitter-laden hammer, which I adored. The idea of taking an everyday object and making it sparkly — making something commonplace a standout with literal sparkle — seemed transcendent to me. I had to know more. So I checked out Gliffiti's online portfolio and fell deeper in love.

 Gliffiti: Wrench and sterling glitter mounted on black felt

Gliffiti: Wrench and sterling glitter mounted on black felt

Look at it this way: so many of the wall hangings we have in our homes and those we see in places like restaurants and hotels are all the same:

The allegedly Navajo dreamcatcher in pastel watercolor, the reprints of oil paintings from Realist Europe, and of course, the total overload of *yawn* caused by infinite Picassos, Warhols, Dalis, Monets, and so on.

It's not that these artists weren't brilliant — it's that as a society, we've tacitly decided we don't need anything new in the artistic lexicon. And that sucks, because we so do.

Shawn's Gliffiti movement brings new art into our world using items we all have but never think about.

Shawn proudly proclaims on his website, "I'm a tool!" This very tongue-in-cheek comment tells us the artist doesn't take things too seriously, and we need more of that in a world where violence, politics, and religious battles rule the day. Gliffiti's progenitor is far from a tool — but who wouldn't want to hang art in their house made of tools? Talk about a conversation starter!

Browsing the Gliffiti porfolio, I came across the glitterly monkey wrench — I NEED IT. The message is at once masculine and feminine, tough and chic, hardcore and buttery soft. THIS is what art is all about — the juxtaposition of the rare and beautiful and the tedium of day-to-day life. It's how we get out of our minds without losing our minds, and without it, there's nothing new in this world that challenges our creative thinking — something we do far too little of.

The artist tells us, "I try to find objects that for all intents are perfect, perfectly designed, but many times utilitarian. Objects we take for granted, use in our daily lives, and don't appreciate. These objects have been the same for a 100 years and will be the same 100 years from now. I take them out of their natural context and elevate them to the art pieces that they truly are. Sometimes perfection sits unnoticed in front of our very eyes."

 

PRO TIP: When you hang artwork in a shadowbox style frame like those made by Shawn Kolodny, you're going to be working with either keyhole or double keyhole hardware. Double keyhole hardware is usually a nightmare, but when you use the YOUHANGIT picture hanging system, all you have to do is adhere a YOUHANGIT device over each keyhole, remove the red safety plug(s), set the hands-free level (YOULEVEL) on top of the shadowbox, and when the bubble in the blue liquid is in the center of the YOULEVEL, you're ready to squish against the wall to make the perfect mark. BAM!