Humans adapt to their environment quickly. This means that happiness derived from new possessions is fleeting. Satisfaction with material things decreases gradually. Satisfaction with experiences increases with the passage of time. This is what’s driving Millennials, Gen X, and the circular economy that has boomed during the harshness of 2020. The market is investing heavily in experiences as they have firsthand knowledge of the intrinsic value of experience vs things.
Where does this leave art and its category classification; thing or experience? The artist, Mr Dripping, (Instagram: @mrdrippingofficial) has evolved a powerful fusion of performance-art+experience+thing.
This was birthed from an exploration of a dream he had: a white gallery, endless white walls, and a dripping emulsion, solidifying into suspended delicate black shapes within this virgin space.
The next day The Dripping Project commenced. “I started doing drippings of paint into shapes. I would drip the paint, wait for it to solidify and then carefully scrape it off so that it would be a free-standing 3D artwork,” says Mr Dripping, “This did not work out. It did however get me into the process of dripping. I chose to accept the canvas work as the tangible manifestation of my dreams intentions. Firstly it was very, very abstract but the shape was mostly recognisable. Over the years I became better at the fine details. My control has become very refined.”
“My love for art has always been with me. As a child, I drew and painted. Later I chose fashion as my creative career. One year I was offered a one month space in a touristy market area in Barcelona for my clothing line. I decided to also display my new products: artworks.”
This decision was pivotal as, in one month, 17 artworks were sold. The market offered to extend the rental agreement for the space to a year. “Fashion is 10% creative and 90% admin, contractor management, sales, crisis management et al.,” explains Mr Dripping, “the art was allowing me far greater creativity and it had proven to be a viable business.” @mrdrippingofficial was born.
Fashion was shelved, and the physical expression of this journey was a relocation to New York. Mr Dripping was impassioned with this creative channel and believed absolutely in this methodology of controlled chaos.
Initially, the creative process was done in isolation. Each iteration pared down the tracks of consciousness, revealing an erudition of lines that were distinctly apt for the line of a jaw, a smile, or a poignant moment. Then Mr Dripping ingeniously saw the performance art value of the process. He started showing his creative process in venues and small spaces around Manhattan, live. This caught the attention of a wide audience as they had not experienced art like this. Being part of the process drew them in emotionally. The process is high risk as mistakes cannot be hidden. Everyone watching is on edge. They know the risk. They become emotionally supportive of the outcome. It is a very binding process.
Even if they have not purchased or commissioned work, they walk away bonded to that experience.
From this, grew a profusion on interest in live-painting appointments with clients. It gives the client the maximum art experience as they interact with the artwork. Some clients fly Mr Dripping to their homes around the world so that they can have this art experience, some of them invite friends over to be part of the process, or they develop an experiential event around it. That delivers new commissions.
At a client’s event or wedding, the size of the artwork is pre-agreed as well as the percentage of canvas covering, image position on the canvas etc. This is why a live artwork at a wedding is so appropriate. It is a very intimate, very deep process. All the people and the experiences of the day are poured into the very powerful, unique artistic performance that delivers a tangible capturing of emotion.
The live process is not always possible, as demonstrated during the global coronavirus pandemic which has necessitated a move to a digital workflow. Sketch drafts are produced during a digital communication and emailed to the client for selection. The painting process is done, the entire process documented, and the final product is then all shipped to the owner of the process.
When working with sketches and client selections of preferred drafts, the process is more challenging, which heightens the emotion. The selected draft composition is the guiding map. The drip, the pause, the angle, all the lines on the canvas are mentored quite strictly by the pre-existing draft. It’s not a totally free process. It is controlled chaos, an oxymoron. The outcome has to be closely aligned to the sketch, that is the challenge, and that is the drama. It is complex, it is emotional, a tensioned, demanding relationship with painting, physics, canvas, artist; ending with joyous emancipation.
In independently chosen shows, Mr Dripping works purely on 100% freedom-based art, manifesting from the heart. The process is still strongly emotionally bonding.
With shows restarting in Europe 2 months ago, Mr Dripping has performed in Sweden and Copenhagen. The USA is still locked down. Following on from Europe is an event in Dubai. The new markets and the exposure to the new environments is delivering exciting developments. These new markets have, notably, come via social media, not word of mouth referrals. The Dubai dates are 8, 9, and 10 October – keep an eye on @mrdrippingofficial for developments.
There are more immersive developments in the pipeline to expand the controlled chaos, the capturing of the molecules of your experience on the canvas by the experiential genius of Mr Dripping.
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