Artwork Way Better Than a Mixed Tape
Cassette Tape: A recording format that contained prerecorded music. Also known as an "audio cassette" and "tape". Erika Iris Simmons is an artist that takes the out-of-date cassette tape and creates something way cooler than any song could be.
I remember back in the day, people used to make mixed tapes for people they liked. For those of you that are too young to know what I'm talking about, a mixed tape was usually a cassette tape filled with songs similar to each other. For instance, I made a mixed tape for a boy I liked and it only had love songs on it. He didn't like me and thought it was lame. However, the point was, I was showing him my feelings for him through song.
Simmons was born in the early 80s, and uses donated second-hand items as her primary medium. When she was first starting out, she'd find inexpensive items from Goodwill and experiment with them. "I knew that being an artist is not what you have, it's how you use it, and so I just went from there," she said in an interview with Woman's Day. Her first work was of William Shakespeare and made out of one of those heavy Shakespeare books.
Waiting tables one day, there was a Jimi-Hendrix themed room. As soon as she went home, she saw cassette tapes sitting out and got an idea. When she pulled out the tape string from the cassette, she thought it reminded her of Jimi-Hendrix's hair. And so inspiring her first artwork made of cassette tapes.
Simmons has also experimented with VHS tapes. This work of Traci Lords was a challenge figuring out how to make the hair blonde using thick black VHS tape.
This one is made entirely out of a single baseball. Simmons had put out a call for weird items on her website. Someone sent her some baseballs. Fernando Valenzuela comes to life with a baseball that was used in a real game. It even arrived to Simmons dirty and stained with grass.
Maybe if I would have made my high school crush one of these, then he would have liked me. Of course, I would have messed it up and made it look like some kind of voodoo doll to scare him away. I can see it now; the boy running away while I'm running after him with trails of cassette tape flailing behind me.
Simmons' work is amazing and this artist truly has a talent for what she does. My favorite one is Madonna. What's yours?
Copyrighted images used with permission. For a look at more of this awesome art, please visit the website of Erika Iris Simmons.