Artist Uses Old Video And Cassette Tapes To Blow Your Mind

Todd-Spence by Todd-Spence on Jul. 18, 2014

Artist Erika Iris Simmons has a vision and it's pretty cool. Most artists use oil paints, acrylic, watercolor or something else standard. But Erika had something else in mind. She's been collecting old film, VHS, and cassette tape in order to create portraits of famous musicians and actors. The cool part is her using the actual tapes and video the celebrities are known for, much like her portrait of The Big Lebowski using its VHS tape.

Erika has a grander scheme when it comes to these portraits. In her bio, she writes "I like to take these archaic technologies – relics from another world – and in a twisted way preserve them, reinvent them. It's easy to get boxes of tapes donated today. But what about 30 years from now? I’m trying to capture this spirit of the last century by using the actual objects, speaking through them somehow. I think the world is its own best representation."

Living in the french quarter of New Orleans, Erika had been using experimental materials when she realized that there was an audience who enjoyed her use of the old film and video. The portrait series titled "The Ghost In The Machine" caught the eye of The Grammy board of directors, and she was chosen to be the official artist for the 55th Grammy Awards in 2013. Here's the cool piece she came up with:

Unfortunately if you visit her site in the link provided here, there isn't a large gallery of her work, but thankfully a lot of sites have posted images from her collection. Below are our favorites. Gotta love the Jimi Hendrix portrait.

Personally, I'd love to see a lot more movie portraits. How awesome would it be to see a portrait of VHS-related movie characters like Batman or Marty McFly?

@Todd_Spence

2 comments
Grow-a-Pear
Grow-a-Pear User

very talented and creative. It's so nice to see some original ideas!


overall: just WOW!

BlankTitanic
BlankTitanic User

Wow. What a great idea. She deserves to get paid.