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Oliver Herring

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Sydney Dolores Herring

on 6 March 2013

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Transcript of Oliver Herring

By: DaLorez Herring Oliver Herring Background Oliver Herring was born in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1964, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BFA from the University of Oxford, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford, England, and an MFA from Hunter College, New York. Stop Motion Videos "Perhaps the more ‘operatic’ video pieces were a reaction to my knit sculpture, which kept me isolated for so long in the studio that the videos were a way for me to be social and flamboyant and to change my mind all the time. Because when I did the knit pieces, once I committed myself to a piece I was locked into an idea and the only thing that could really move was my mind. The early video pieces were a way for me to express what was going on in my mind."
- Oliver Herring "CHRIS AFTER HOURS OF SPITTING FOOD DYE OUTDOORS" (2004) "SHANE AFTER HOURS OF SPITTING FOOD DYE INDOORS" (2004) Herring went through a phase of getting people to spit food dye on themselves These people were often random people he picked up off the streets of New York Knitting stage Herring knitted for about 10 years during his career. He thought it was very monotonous, doing nothing but the same stitch over and over again. He says that it isn't the form that is important, but rather the process of how one forms art that is meaningful.

He began his knitting stage in response to the suicide of one of his favourite artists, Ethyl Eichelberger. He describes his change as overnight. All the colour was taken out of his work and it turned to more dull subject matter. In addition to videos, Herring creates sculptures of random strangers, using Styrofoam structures collaged with photographs that depict the skin of the model. These sculptures are life-sized and are all enclosed in a glass box, giving them the look that the figures are trapped. "I started to knit was in relation to the death of the artist Ethyl Eichelberger. It was an ‘hommage,’ but at the same time it was a way for me to resolve issues that I had with mortality. I was frightened. That was about me, about me in relation to that death, me in relation to the world."
- Oliver Herring He also takes pictures of strangers after they've spent hours spitting colorful food dye all over their faces. The portraits are intense and unusual. “I usually wait for a moment that brings out some kind of vulnerability,” he says. “That’s what I’m after. This personal connection with a stranger.” I found my answer from a quote he once said: "If somebody actually just walks up to you and says, ‘Hey, do you want to do something out of the ordinary?’ there might be a little reluctance at first. But deep down, you want to do it. It’s adventure. That’s what brings people in front of the camera. I also feel that when you’re in your own environment that’s where you experiment, where you do all kinds of crazy stuff. So I thought, ‘Okay, let’s just see what happens if I allow that to unfold.’"
- Oliver Herring "When you look at these sculptures, you don’t really get how they’re put together. You might conceptually understand that they’re made from photographs, but you don’t really get the in-between stages. There are two separate mediums here: the Styrofoam structure, and the added photographs. They constantly struggle against each other."
- Oliver Herring Searching for a release from his past work of knitting colorless sculptures with Mylar tape. Oliver Herring began making mythical-seeming stop-motion videos of himself, and eventually he started making them of strangers he encountered by chance. Being a German-born, Latin American Herring once said that he mixes a variety of different media together to make an interesting final product. Questions?
Not really...
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