The National Gallery of Art gathered these and several dozen more examples of newspapers in art for a new exhibition, called “Shock of the News.” Judith Brodie, who organized the exhibition, says part of the reason artists used newspaper was very practical.
“Newspapers are cheap and available,” Brodie said. And creating art on newspaper makes it easier to experiment. “You can throw it away if you don’t like it,” she said.
Brodie said artists have had other reasons for using newspapers. They have interesting patterns and shapes. There are long columns and interesting typographies (shapes of the letters). They have words of different sizes: big headlines down to tiny agate (pronounced a-gat) type you find on the sports pages.
And then there are the articles themselves. Artists have used stories about war or other serious issues to make a statement. They also have used not-so-serious stories — such as a bad review from an art critic — to have a bit of fun.
KidsPost wants you to use your creativity to have fun with the newspaper. Here are three ideas. (Ask Mom or Dad before you start cutting.)
(Suggested for age 7 and older)
Inspiration: The newspaper strips in “C-E-L-I-N-E, Backwards” by Claes Oldenburg, aren’t random pieces. The artist said he chose them because they had “some forms on them, letter forms and so on and photographs that would make [the piece of art] work.” Oldenburg made the words almost jump off the wall by soaking the paper strips in wheat paste to form papier-mache (which means “chewed paper” in French) and layering them on a wire frame. The layers form the last name of French writer Louis-Ferdinand Celine, except backwards. Oldenburg said he did this to show he didn’t like the writer’s opinions about politics.
What you’ll need: Newspaper (look for colorful pages or interesting headline words); water; flour; sugar; a form (could be made with inflated balloons, shoe boxes, paper towel or toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, soda bottles, paper cups); scissors; tape; paint brush; and paint (optional).
How to make it:
Tear newspaper into one-inch-wide strips. Set aside. For the paste, Family Fun magazine recommends the following (you’ll need an adult’s help with this): In a saucepan, bring two cups of water to a boil. Combine a half-cup of all-purpose flour with two cups of cold water in a bowl. Add this mixture to the boiling water, and bring it to a boil again. Remove from the heat, and stir in three tablespoons of sugar. Let it cool. While the paste cools, put your form together. (You might pick a form that relates to the words and images you’re using — a ball to cover with sports stories, for example.) Dip a strip of paper into the paste and pull the strip through your fingers to remove extra paste. Lay the strip on the form, and brush to smooth out wrinkles. Continue laying strips, overlapping slightly, until the entire form is covered. Let dry. If you would like to add color, paint parts of it, but don’t cover all the words.