Saturday, March 1, 2014

Claes Olden"burgers"

I've always taken a liking to the artist Claes Oldenburg. What's not to like? He makes giant sculptures of everyday things like hamburgers, shuttlecocks, and cherries on a spoon. I appreciate that it's not overly-conceptual, just fun. And kids love it! I showed them a quick presentation about him, mainly with pictures of his art that is at the Nelson in Kansas City like "Soft Switch" and the shuttlecocks on the lawn. We talked a little bit about fast food in general and when it came about and how and why Claes incorporated it into his work. 

In response, we created these fun Olden"burger" collages. I loved how simple and doable the steps were for the kids and the fact that every kid was able to be successful if they just followed the directions. A lot of kids are held back by their fear of drawing, but this project was all cutting, folding, crumpling, fringing, etc. There wasn't a single burger that didn't look great. 

I loved the pickles in this one above. One of my girls asked me if she could use the markers and I shrugged and said "sure." I LOVED how these turned out. The next class all did theirs this way (I gave her the credit for the idea...) I think the onions made them look extra colorful and delicious. 

On the back of their projects I had them write out Claes Oldenburg and "Giant Hanburger" and told them to explain this to their parents when they take these home so their parents weren't confused why Mrs. Byrd made them make fast food. One girl made the disclaimed that hers was a veggie burger, so we added that detail to the back. So if you have any vegans, fear not. It is adaptable. 

This took them two class periods with very few minutes to spare. I'll definitely be doing this one again in years to come. 

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