Hi, I’m Artotem, the mascot for the Artotems Co. company. I am a fully articulated artist manikin (mannequin).
I began life as a tree, then moved to a gallery, and now can be found hanging out with the great people that make up Artotems Co.
Despite my wooden nature I do have some favorite pastimes and creative endeavors. Music has always been important to me. Long before I became what you now see me as I was a Maple tree located in a secretive wooded area in which a group of drummers and flautists often stopped by to play meditatively in the night. Hence, my love of drums and the flute. By the way, that drum is from the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. Nice! And then of course there is Art, but more on that later.
Mannequins can be traced to as early as 1350 BC, based on the discovery of a wooden torso near the clothing chest in King Tutankhamen’s tomb.
Historically, artists have often used articulated mannequins as an aid in drawing draped figures. The advantage of this is that clothing or drapery arranged on a mannequin may be kept immobile for far longer than would be possible by using a living model.
Mannequins were a frequent motif in the works of many early 20th-century artists, notably the painters Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Savinio, and Carlo Carrà. Shop windows displaying mannequins were a frequent photographic subject for Eugene Atget.
Being an artist’s mannequin naturally leads to an interest in art. In my case it leads to a desire to work with natural materials. Often that work is with stone. You can see two examples below. The first is from a series entitled “Life Stones”. You can see more of the life stones series here. The second piece uses natural materials as well. It’s entitled “The Keepers Let Us
While I am not a surrealist I do have a warm spot for the manifesto written by André Breton:
Dictionary: Surrealism, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.
Encyclopedia: Surrealism. Philosophy. Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. It tends to ruin once and for all other psychic mechanisms and to substitute itself for them in solving all the principal problems of life.