Jul 18, 2011

Just Bead It

image via W magazine
This is Liza Lou.  Liza Lou is a visual artist with a mind-blowingly high amount of patience.   She's best known for creating painstakingly precise large-scaled installation pieces made from the unlikely medium of glass beads. 
Her famous work "Kitchen," a full-scale replica of a suburban American kitchen, is made entirely of beads.
A close up of the sink in "Kitchen"
 Lou was in graduate school studying fine art when she started using glass beads in her work instead of paints.  Her instructors and peers objected to her choice medium, mocking and disapproving of the craft supply.  She quit school and moved to Los Angeles, working tirelessly to create "Kitchen," one of her best-known pieces, over the course of five years.  "Kitchen" is estimated to have more than 30 million pieces in its composition.  Can you imagine the time, patience and love necessary to create something for five years all the while knowing that your mentors and colleagues think of it paltry?!

"Continuous Mile"
 "Maximum Security Fence"  image via Guest of a Guest

"Super Sister"

 "Backyard" whose composition includes 250,000 individually beaded blades of grass

Lou's work has brought her to a studio in Durban South Africa, where she has access to a team of Zulu artisans who help her create her intricate works with beads and tweezers.  Lou's career has been a huge success, garnering her accolades throughout the art world and earning her the MacArthur Foundation's 'genuis' grant of $500,000 to support her work.  Clearly, Lou's precise works require dedicated creativity, long-term motivation and physical endurance.  And a truckload of glass beads.  Genius, indeed. 

Liza at work in her Durban studio  image via W magazine

The beauty of pure individuality makes for the most exhilarating creations.  Let's be inspired this week! 

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