Tony Oursler

1957-Now Multimedia and Instillation artist

Tony Oursler is known for his fractured-narrative handmade video tapes. These works involve elaborate sound tracks, painted sets, stop-action animation and optical special effects created by the artist. His early installation works are immersive dark-room environments with video, sound, and language mixed with colorful constructed sculptural elements. In these projects, Oursler experimented with methods of removing the moving image from the video monitor using reflections in water, mirrors, glass and other devices.

Oursler began working with small LCD video projectors in 1991 in his installation “The Watching” presented at Documenta 9, featuring his first video doll and dummy. This work utilised the handmade soft cloth figures combined with expressive faces animated by video projection. Oursler then produced a series of installations that combined found objects and video projections. “Judy”, 1993, explored the relationship between multiple personality disorder and mass media. “Get Away II” features a passive/aggressive projected figure wedged under a mattress that confronts the viewer with blunt direct address. These installations led to great popular and critical acclaim.
Signature works have been his talking lights, such as Streetlight, his series of video sculptures of eyes with television screens reflected in the pupils, and ominous talking heads.

When first seeing Oursler’s work I though it was very different from anything id seen before, I really liked the projections of faces onto sculptures and think they give a very surreal different effect to his work. I like artists like this as they take the word art and make it into their own creating things completely different. Instillations I find show this as with paintings I feel they can be very similar, there all paint on a canvas and there are only a certain number of ways you can draw a person in a surrealist way, whereas installations are completely different from each other and are endless. They are there own pieces of work and show the artists personality style and intentions.

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