This is my long overdue appreciation post for Ari Bird. Her art supersizes ordinary objects—bread clips, cigarettes, trucker sunglasses, and, well, go look! Ari nails "giant novelty." I am a big fan (pun 1000% intended).
When I was at Children's Fairyland in Oakland Ari and I worked together, though we didn't really see each other. I work from home and she is in park restoring art as painter. But we were both artists in Fairyland's recent Drawn Together live-art event and auction. My piece was well received but hers — giant "puffy stickers" of Fairyland icons — really knocked it out of the (theme) park!
This past June, she was a featured artist on KQED:
She's inspired by objects that are oddly satisfying, like the wonky graphics on a fruit-packing box, the texture of the perfectly packaged dollar-store toy, or notes and doodles scrawled on a piece of paper by a kid and then abandoned. "My expression is tactile and somatic," says the artist. "I tend to process my surroundings, emotions and behaviors in my body first. Before intellectualizing or visualizing things, I have the impulse to act or do."