Offbeat art & new era marketing.

I love when good art is enveloped by good promotional methods. (Note: All images shown here are borrowed from the respective websites.)

Awhile ago, YouTube linked me to the artist website The artist is Phil Hansen aka Phil in the Circle. He’s a fascinating guy who paints/draws with unusual media, like a large scale portrait of Jimmy Hendrix made of colored matches or a Britney Spears portrait made from chewed up Starbucks pastries. He seems to make money in part on posters of the pieces. He burned much of the work in his themed series called Goodbye Art.


Videos of Phil in the Circle have been circling YouTube for awhile now and I can only assume that the artist began the trend. It’s delightful to watch movies that show him creating his pieces. One movie that is quite well produced is a higher profile piece for the Grammys. Guessing that org came in and temporarily bumped up the production values. The other videos look well edited but definitely homegrown, kinda like the feel of his site.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on Phil Hanson’s site and he’s added a Twitter feed (yawn) and a blog. Actually two blogs. Both have content that really enhances my appreciation of his work. For instance, last April, he deconstructed how he created a Lance Armstrong piece out of toy bicycle tire tracks through poster paint. The other personal blog is called Art Happenings and it seems to track his newest theme of art. The one that jumps out is called ‘octomom’, a collage of doll arms and legs to represent the woman who gave birth to octuplets recently. See the piece here and read the blog here.


Equally as interesting is a website I just stumbled upon called The artist is Nathan Sawaya and he creates his artwork with Legos. Yup, the plastic colored bricks from Denmark. It’s cool art and I love trying to imagine how he hit upon Legos as his medium of choice. And what his parents thought.

Sawaya’s website is slickly produced but not flashy. The Gallery section breaks down this astounding body of work into categories like Small Sculptures and Live Events. The site has a Press page that talks about his media appearances. Many pages also host a ‘What’s New’ or ‘Latest’ column.

The art for sale is often quite expensive unfortunately, but that’s something the artist acknowledges in a cheerful way. Custom unique art = price to pay. He’s pretty tongue-in-cheek in his presentation generally, which is fun. An extreme example is the $60k life size Lego replicas he was offering through the Neiman Marcus 2008 Gift Book.


A less expensive option, I’d guess, is the large sized Pluto the Black Cat.


Two great artists making wonderful use of self-promotion tools. I’ve noticed recently what some Digital Anarchy customers are doing to promote their photography or design businesses and hope to post examples soon. For the time being, you can check out our Digital Anarchy gallery for new examples of great work.

regards -Debbie

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