There's a ton of fan art out there. Sometimes it feels like there might be too much. Blaspheme, I know... So it's nice to find some that's a little different, and not your run of the mill, almost-a-happy meal-toy, kind of fan art. Dave Arpin's duct tape portraits and objects of art most certainly do not come with fries. And chances are, if there's a super hero or pop culture icon, no matter how obscure, Dave will make it for you. He's nice like that, in fact he just very well may be the nicest guy. Here are his answers to a few questions I asked him recently about his art, super heroes, and soccer. Because, well, soccer...
Q1: You are a trained photographer with a degree from a really good school. What in the world are you doing working with duct tape?
True, photography is a first love. With the education came the understanding of composition, how tonalities and colors play, and patience for clean final images. On the art side of creating unique images comes the challenge. I wanted a crafty outlet that still worked with framed images and I have found that with Duct Tape and windows. I saw an art showing locally in a bar where the artist had used black tape on boards creating silhouette style images. Realizing there was a whole color palette of Duct Tape, I decided to give it a try on an old window pane I picked up from the local rebuilding center. That was three and a half years ago. I started the project a month before it was due, as a present for my girlfriend, thinking it would take forever. Well, after 5 hours on a rainy afternoon it was done and better than I had expected. I enjoyed the process of saving and cleaning up a used house window, designing the image using Photoshop and the puzzle of laying and cutting the tape. 50+ pieces later, I have covered many different styles for commissioned work and learned a ton about how to use the limited palette to create some really fun art. Using the windows as canvass appeals to many people here in Portland as upcycled art. Each window is uniquely rustic, the piece instantly matches the wall you use because of the parts left clear and it creates some nice depth to the piece with a soft drop shadow from the images. Duct Tape is fun and challenging to work with and you are never left without fix-it tape in the workshop.
Q2: What's played a bigger role in your pursuit of fan art, having a young son, or the fact you never grew up?
Having a 7 year old son doesn't hurt to use as an excuse to work in fan art. It certainly gives me a good excuse to play with Legos! Really though, the Super Heroes just lend themselves really well to the bright solid colors of Duct Tape.
Q3: At this stage of your life, what's more exhilarating, bombing a hill on your long board, or discovering a new color of tape?
Bombing hills whether on skate or snowboard will always fill the soul and clear the head. The color that I have gotten most excited about this last year, believe it or not, is 'off white'. Off white gave me a full 5 tone grey scale. So cool for the B&W photographer in me. The GI Joe Ninjas was a real challenge but so fun to create with the grey scale outfits.
Q4: Is there a better named villain than Solomon Grundy?
Q5: You're handed the job of GM for the Portland Timbers and a boatload of cash, what player are you bringing in to win it all?
This maybe a bit roundabout on the question. Bear in mind I love what Caleb Porter has done with the team and really am a fan. If money were no object I would hire Jürgen Klinsmann to coach the Timbers. Superstar players get too much play, press, and teams relying on them. Superstar former player/coaches can do amazing things with a squad. The Timbers are a nicely balanced team with a lot of heart but dammit if they don't need to put the ball in the net! Klinsmann would bring some of that beautiful German style to the pitch at Providence Park and teach our forwards to finish. Go Timbers RCTID.
If you're interested in seeing more of Dave's Duct Tape art, or checking out his other efforts, please do so by visiting HERE.