When tumblr first became popular I didn’t see much need for it. Between my blog and my twitter account I was feeling pretty confident my needs were met. But then, after looking at a few image-based tumblr accounts, I realised they could be quite aesthetically pleasing. I was inspired by the arrangement of attractive and often quite abject images at one site in particular.
So, I created an account and now I have my own tumblr site.
As I state in the site’s description, “This tumblr is a repository for works that inspire me.” And unsurprisingly the art that primarily inspires me is the work of performance artists. There are also the occasional sculptures and paintings, generally with some relation to action or the body. Another similarity that was impressed upon me, not for the first time, is that the documentation of my favourite performances are almost exclusively in black and white.
I already have a relationship with the black and white dichotomy, partially inspired by these photos of seminal performances, but also by the work of other artists such as Kazimir Malevich. My own work tends to be quite simple and the colour schemes fairly muted. But now I am considering changing all my documentation, photos and videos, into black and white. Or at the very least choosing to work in black and white from now on.
The initial attraction is purely aesthetic, I like the way black and white images look. But I also enjoy creating links between my own work and the work of artist’s who inspire and inform me. Furthermore, I think that this use of black and white helps to drive home all the concepts and themes that these colours embody in my work.
Having said that, I hope I’m beyond the point in my artistic development where I make the mistake of limiting myself arbitrarily. If an artwork looks or works better in colour than so be it. Who am I to limit the work based on my own preconceived notions?
Still, it’s worth thinking about.