Make It, then Break It. | Carolina Borja and Amy Toscani | The Art Assignment | Summary and Q&A

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October 22, 2015
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The Art Assignment
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Make It, then Break It. | Carolina Borja and Amy Toscani | The Art Assignment

TL;DR

Two artists participating in ArtPrize discuss their work, which explores the collision of cultures and the act of breaking or destroying art.

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Key Insights

  • 🥰 ArtPrize is an annual art competition in Grand Rapids that combines public vote and expert jury decisions.
  • 🥰 Carolina Borja's work reflects her experience of a collision of cultures and traditions, incorporating elements of craft and popular art.
  • 🏪 Amy Toscani's sculptures with thrift store collectibles question attachment and value assigned to objects, approaching them with humor and tenderness.
  • 👷 "Constructing on Deconstructing" is a joint work by Carolina and Amy, consisting of large-scale pinatas that can be broken and ripped apart by the audience.
  • 🥰 Breaking and destroying artwork challenges the notion of art's immortality and invites active engagement from participants.
  • 🎨 Artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Dieter Roth have also explored the significance of destruction in their work.
  • 🥰 The act of destroying art can create new meaning and possibilities, leading to unexpected surprises.

Transcript

We're in Grand Rapids, Michigan during ArtPrize, an annual art competition decided by both public vote and a jury of experts that takes over the city for three weeks. This is the seventh ArtPrize, and today we're meeting with two artists who are participating in this year's competition. Carolina Borja and Amy Toscani are both Minneapolis-based arti... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does Carolina Borja's work reflect on the collision of cultures?

Carolina Borja's work incorporates elements of craft and popular art to explore her experience of a collision of cultures and traditions. She combines her background in industrial design and Mexican folk art to create a contemporary aesthetic that reflects on the fractured nature of identity.

Q: What does Amy Toscani's work with thrift store collectibles aim to achieve?

Amy Toscani starts with thrift store collectibles and imagines other lives for them through her sculptures. Her work questions how and why we become attached to objects and assigns value to them. She approaches objects that are often dismissed as low-brow with humor, questioning, and tenderness.

Q: What is the concept behind Carolina and Amy's joint work, "Constructing on Deconstructing"?

"Constructing on Deconstructing" is an installation comprised of large-scale handmade pinatas. Audience members are invited to whack at and rip apart the pinatas. The artists explore the collision of cultures and the act of breaking, considering the meaning behind making something and also breaking it.

Q: What is the significance of breaking and destroying artwork in this context?

The act of breaking and destroying the pinatas in "Constructing on Deconstructing" challenges the assumed preciousness and immortality of art. It allows for a lack of attachment and invites participants to actively engage with the artwork. It raises questions about the impermanence of art and the idea that nothing lasts forever.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Carolina Borja and Amy Toscani are Minneapolis-based artists participating in ArtPrize, an art competition in Grand Rapids.

  • Borja's work reflects on the collision of cultures and incorporates elements of craft and popular art.

  • Toscani takes thrift store collectibles and creates sculptures that question the attachment and value assigned to objects.

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