Push Past Pop.
It's the name for my concern about the over-saturation of pop culture in the art world--with emphasis on the t-shirt art world. However it's also about support for artists who contribute their unique expressions and help us discover things we never knew we would like or relate to.
For those that aren’t familiar with t-shirt art, let me give a little background: Most of the time, shirt art comes from contests. The general public votes and scores designs to help determine what is printed and, just as importantly, which artist makes money. Conflict arises sometimes because people often vote based on popularity and trends instead of quality, concept, uniqueness, and true art. Right now pop culture references and parodies are the trend. The issue is that it involves using other peoples’ ideas, other peoples’ characters, and other peoples’ artwork. If an artist isn’t careful, his/her end result contains very little of his/herSELF, yet they have the possibility of being paid for that, and also beating out artists who created something truly original.
To be clear, I'm not dismissing all pop culture. I like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I don't need TEN different shirts of them. A clever and ethically-done parody every now and then is great, but lately it has gotten out of hand.
I feel this trend is problematic in many ways, but I’m going to focus on combating two.
One, it eclipses fresh and unique art, and discourages artists whose passion is to express deeper things about themselves. I have so much respect for these artists. I want to support them, and I want to encourage others to support them. Motivation is not static and not unlimited; encouragement is one way we can help supply it.
Two, I think people are quick to follow trends because it’s kind of like other people have “picked out things for them” and it’s easier. Finding things that are truly “you” takes time, but I can vouch, it’s so rewarding. This is close to home for me, because for the first time in well over a decade, I’m in a place in my life right now where I’m focusing on truly getting to know myself. I know that sounds deep for the subject of t-shirts, but it applies because I want to encourage people to take the time to really discover what they like. I’m not saying totally abolish all things pop, I’m saying push PAST it, to find the deeper connections.
I’m going to try to combat these two issues in this form: Take the time to find something different, and explain why I like it. I’ll also label it with Push Past Pop. On Twitter it will be #pushpastpop. My Twitter link is http://twitter.com/theinfinityloop. If you’ve also been feeling concerned about similar things, please feel free to do this too. And it doesn't have to be about just t-shirts. I will probably now and then showcase other types of art, perhaps music, and heck maybe even food, lol. I would love to see other people participate because that means more supports for artists, and maybe a chance that this pop culture pendulum will swing back a little. I’m going to start small for now. I can’t guarantee daily, but I will do my best to pick something at least weekly. I also might have a blog contest later on depending on how things go. Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear your comments.