Artist: Michaela Chiu
“Expression through B-Girling” is based off of the artwork “Untitled #87b” by Howardena Pindell. Her work went against minimalism through the abstract placement of thousands of dots. I originally connected with her work while walking through the MoMa. As a life-long crafter myself, I really appreciated the time and complexity that went into her piece. With the joint experience I have from creating silhouettes in high school, I wanted to demonstrate the beauty of Breaking (other known as B-boying or B-girling). Breaking is a dance form that originated in NYC, made up of improvised moves, such as freezing and powermoves. Within my MHC Art in NYC class, we learned about how intricate this underappreciated form of dance sport is. We watched “Planet B-Boy” that centered on the Battle of the Year competition where breaking groups from all over the world competed to win 1st place and/or Best Show. I chose to showcase a female breaker as they are often overlooked within the dance sport.
Spray paint surrounds the female breaker as breaking and graffiti are elements of Hip-Hop. I incorporated these colors to demonstrate the emotions and passion she feels when breaking. Starting at the top and going clockwise, the pink/orange/green/cyan represent peace, growth, and extroversion; the blue/green/yellow/orange portray confidence and energy; the pink/red/yellow/lavendar show femininity and ambition; the red/blue/yellow/green convey power, strength, and trust (the pairing of these primary colors communicates the idea of going back to her roots and dancing because of her love for it); the bright yellows and neon pink reveal happiness, electricity, and inspiration she gets from breaking.
This piece took 40+ hours to make when considering punching the holes and pasting on each dot. I really loved being able to explore this new medium and figure out how to use both spray glue and tacky glue to create a raised effect with the dots. The materials I used include: cut-and-pasted cardstock paper scraps, wood, wood glue, cardboard, spray glue, tacky glue, and string. I hope this inspires you to learn more about breaking and/or graffiti and delve into the complexities within each of them.
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