25 October 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Twenty-Seven, Inspired by Artwork: Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1960

Hi everyone! Having studied fine art for many years - first I was a studio major specializing in painting, now I study art history - I knew that the "Inspired by Artwork" challenge would be, well, challenging. Not because of a lack of ideas, but rather because of how hard it would be to settle on one idea, and one artwork. But you must admit, this challenge is right up my alley, I love doing nail art inspired by art.

Abstract nail art (inspired by Lee Bontecou)

When I was researching ideas, I started looking at a lot of art and drawings from the 1960s, especially from the Minimalism/Post-Minimalism period. I found so many inspiring ideas, so expect to see them pop up in future designs. I really love the idea of using abstract art as a starting point for nail art. There are the obvious choices like Mondrian and Miro, but I love exploring sources that haven't been used so much in nail art.

Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1960

Abstract nail art (inspired by Lee Bontecou)

About this design: I finally settled on the work of Lee Bontecou. She's an American artist, now in her 80s, and she is mainly known for two- and three-dimensional works she did in the 1950s and 1960s. She would take scraps of canvas, burlap and similar materials and join them together with wire on a frame. They look rather like paintings, but they're not. Some of them are 3-D and come out at the viewer. Even though they are abstract, they really have a machine-like look, like discarded industrial parts. I think it's the wires or the browns and greys that give her work that appearance.

Abstract nail art (inspired by Lee Bontecou)

I took her work Untitled, 1960, and looking at specific areas, I copied it on my nails. I also wanted to capture the grittiness and gradations of colour.

Abstract nail art (inspired by Lee Bontecou)

To get this look: Creating this design was no different than doing stained-glass nails. I started with a base of Essie Sand Tropez. Using a black polish and a liner brush I sketched in all my lines. To fill in the spaces I used OPI My Vampire is Buff, OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, OPI You Don't Know Jacques!, and Orly Liquid Vinyl. I mixed a lot of the colours, and also tried layering at times. Then I finished by repainted the lines with the black polish.

Abstract nail art (inspired by Lee Bontecou)

In the end I'm so happy with how this turned out. This isn't your typical pretty nail art, but I think it's edgy. I've been wanting to post this design since Tuesday evening when I finished it, but other things kept getting in the way.

What do you think of this design? Have you ever done nail art influenced by works of art?


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