Introducing :: Styrofoam Art

29 Apr

When we lived in Mexico a few years ago, we traveled there with very little.

Since we were only planning to live in Mexico one year, we just took the essentials and mostly bought temporary things in Mexico to live with.

Our house there was pretty small but how I loved it and the experience so.  We were lucky because our house was furnished…we just need to decorate and add our little touch to make it “home”.

I discovered this piece of art in a gallery in Mexico City and feel in LOVE.

I adored the bright color and the imagery.  It had a sense of happiness to it that made me feel good inside.  After we left the gallery, I thought about the painting for days. By thought, I really mean obsessed.

I could not get the thought of it and the image out of my head.

About a week of suffering later, I went back and bought it.  It cost the equivalent of $300 US dollars.  It wasn’t the wisest thing to do since we incurred large expenses getting settled in Mexico.  And…I KNEW when I bought it that there was a very high probability (99.99999999%) chance that I would never get to take it with me back to the states when we left Mexico.

It was a huge wasteful splurge and completely out of character for me.   Especially because, I knew it was made of Styrofoam.  STYROFOAM —A thin sheet of Styrofoam!

I had never seen or heard of such a thing!

How fragile, how crazy….

Why on earth would someone have ever painted on a Styrofoam?

But I didn’t care. I loved it and enjoyed it immensely that year.

Here it is hanging in our old house in Mexico City.

 

Thinking of those times in Mexico and looking at these pictures brings back such great memories!

Living in another country for a year was a surge of new experiences.

 

The sights, the food, the language, the culture!

 

Oh, to do it all over again!  A girl can dream…

Fast forward one year later, my husband’s job moved us back to the US and I had to leave my beautiful Styrofoam art masterpiece behind.  I almost gave it away to someone.  But something in me knew that maybe…just maybe I might see it again.  So instead of giving it way, I tried to try to save it.

And I did see it again. It is very long and crazy story with lots of turns and twists.  The simple version is I begged to stuff my beloved orange art in a someone’s basement (some of my husband’s family lives in Mexico City).  And there in a huge dark damp basement it sat for two years buried behind a billion boxes and unused furniture stacked up to the ceiling.

By a stroke of luck, I knew someone who was moving some things from Mexico City to the US and I begged (I am not above begging!) for them to please move my art with their belongings.  Not only did they agree but they kindly also went to that basement and spent hours digging behind boxes and furniture to find it.

And here it is now.  In my home in Los Angeles.

 

Funny that something so delicate –a flat thin piece of Styrofoam — has made it so far.

It has withstood years of damp conditions in a basement, several location transports, two countries and 2200 miles.

For a thing considered fragile, it has actually proven to be quite tough and resilient.  And a nice thing about it is that it is incredibly lightweight.  I can hold it up and dangle it on one finger!

I just received my baby back after all these years and miles.  It temporarily sits above a worktable where I work on craft projects.

I am soon going to make a special place for it in our dining room.

I love my orange foam baby and now that I have it, I am at peace again.  :)

Have you ever seen styrofoam art like this before?  What do you think about it?

UPDATE:   Thanks to reader Sandy for  helping me realize something I had omitted earlier.  The reason we could not take this piece of art with us from Mexico was basically due to money.  When we moved back from Mexico we had a lot of things to bring back with us. Our personal belongings like computers and clothes were very expensive to ship back. Since we had a limited budget, trying to find a shipping container and pay for shipping for this large piece of art was not in our budget. Also shipping from Mexico is not very reliable and customs fees and forms (especially for art) can be complicated and expensive.

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10 Responses to “Introducing :: Styrofoam Art”

  1. Carrie April 29, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    That piece is gorgeous Angie….totally worth the splurge!

  2. My Beautiful Life April 29, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    It is painted in a very similar style to Georgia O’Keefe (one of my favorite artist since I was a little girl). Something I have learned is a painting can really be on any kind of surface if it is primed with gesso.

    Very beautiful painting. Glad it made it to you in one piece.

  3. Sandy A April 29, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Beautiful. I have never seen or heard of anyone painting on Styrofoam before. And I was just wondering why you couldn’t just wrap it up and bring back with you?

  4. Angie April 29, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Good question Sandy! I should have clarified that in my post! :) When we moved back from Mexico we had a lot of things to bring back with us. Our personal belongings like computers and clothes were very expensive to ship back. Since we had a limited budget, trying to find a shipping container and pay for shipping for this large piece of art was not in our budget. Also shipping from Mexico is not very reliable and customs fees and forms (especially for art) can be complicated and expensive.)

  5. Larita April 29, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    It IS stunning! But I’m more in awe of the pictures of your house in Mexico. How on earth did you convince yourself to leave such a place?!

  6. Allison April 30, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    It’s lovely! I actually had never heard of any art on styrofoam, but this morning I came across this post on pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pin/17790447/ so I had to come back and comment!

  7. Elsa May 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    Wow, what a gorgeous art piece…I’m so glad you finally were able to bring it back home!

  8. Cheryl Rivenbark June 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Is the piece signed by any chance???? We are living in Monterrey MX for the next 2 years and I love that piece. Maybe I can find something like it here.

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