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Let's Make Spin Art!

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It's Saturday. It's summer. Let's make some Spin Art, shall we?

Abraham De La Torre Makes Exquisite Spin Art

Abraham De La Torre is an American painter who specializes in Spin Art. He's even listed on Wikipedia's Spin Art page in the "Fine Art" section. Here's one of his Spin Art demos (there are lots more on his YouTube channel):

Giant Spin Art

These folks made their own Spin Art platform, capable of handling objects up to 60 inches square. I won't be offended if you skip ahead -- though you'll miss the slow-downs throughout, showing you the art in various stages of completion.

Time Lapse Spin Art

Spin Artists Bob and Pete Goldstein make the magic in this short clip. Music by The Shins.

John Cusack and Damien Hirst Make Spin Art

The unlikely duo of John Cusack and modern artist Damien Hirst actually makes some pretty good Spin Art. Price? If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Washing Machine Spin Art

The video can be slow at times, but here's evidence of how a washing machine (running either on "spin" or "agitate") can be used to create Spin Art. Be forewarned: you're gonna get paint in and around the machine, so you might not want to try this at home. At the end of the video, there's some bonus footage involving throwing odd items into a dryer -- including a bowling ball. Whoa.

Making a Spin Art Bike

Got a bicycle, a tub, and some engineering skills? Make a Spin Art bike!

Ernie Learns About Spin Art

Ernie (of Bert &... fame) learns a bit about the craft from master Spin Artist Nicole.

More

If you're curious about spin art techniques and history (including a list of fine artists who work in spin), check out Wikipedia's page on Spin Art. Best over-enthusiastic line from that page: "Since the canvas is usually rotating at a high rate, it is difficult if not impossible to view the image on the canvas until the platform has stopped spinning, thus creating a sense of surprise and uncertainty during the creation process." Indeed, professor!

Also fun: you can buy your own Spin Art machine for twelve bucks. It's tiny, but hey.

Time lapse Spin Art image by Bob Goldstein, via Wikimedia Commons.

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Ape Meets Girl
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Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
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Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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