On this past wednesday, we welcomed visiting artist Hanoch Piven to the Tinkering Studio for his 'drawing with objects' workshop. Hanoch is an Israeli illustrator who makes colorful collages out everyday objects. In books and magazines he uses familiar materials to create caricatures of celebrities and politictians. He's also a children's book author and creator of a face-making ipad app.
Hanoch started off with an informal presentation of his work and process. I especially liked how he showed how it's impossible not to see faces in common objects once we start looking and how he showed many different iterations of different collages while explaining his technique. He then invited us into the workshop to make either a face or freestanding creature out of the objects we had collected.
Hanoch's first request for us before his arrival was "we need to have a lot of stuff" including keys, caps, shop scraps, feathers, marbles, buttons and all other types of scraps. One of the tenets of the presentation that Hanoch gave before the workshop is "more is more" and we embraced that philosophy with regards to stuff available for building. We have a bunch of stuff that we collected from the exhibit show here and it was a nice to include part of the exploratorium shop in the collection of items for building.
We started out by encouraging visitors to free themselves from normal ways of looking at the found objects by moving them around without gluing them down. Before settling on a final design for a creature or face, we tried out lots of different combinations of pieces that could be various features.
Hanoch encouraged participants to incorporate at least one thing that resonated with their personality and it was really fun to see the way people created self-portraits out of the materials that were meaningful to them.
Some people also made sculptural elements like this delightful army-dillo. It was nice to see how the layering of objects created an unfamiliar texture and disassociated the objects from their normal use.
While each person at the table was working on their own project there was lots of interesting discussions going on both about what could be used for a nose, mouth or eyes, but also about what personal meaning people incorporated into their artworks.
One participant made an entire scene to go with his elephant sculpture. Hanoch showed photos of objects he made as an artist in residence at an industrial factory which I think inspired many of the three dimensional creations.
Once we had the pictures set up how we wanted, Hanoch helped us hot glue the objects to the paper.
As people finished up their creations, Hanoch encouraged a dialogue with our workshop participants about what the picture meant to them, why they chose certain objects and how it felt to make something like that.
Each portrait or sculpture really reflected a lot of though about the materials available. It was great to have the chance for Hanoch to share his artistic process and then help visitors engage in the exact same activity. Tinkering is all about being able to look at the world in a new way which is what Hanoch's workshop was all about!
The Tinkering Studio would like to thank the Consulate General of Israel for their support in bringing Hanoch Piven to the Tinkering Studio.