Palos Park artist sculpts Red Bull cans into antlered artwork

 

     More than 50 years after Andy Warhol made a Campbell’s Soup can a work of art, Palos Park artist Asta Razma did the same with a can of Red Bull.

            Her sculpture, “Red Bull Rack,” was one of only 30 works of art chosen from among 300 and exhibited earlier this month at Chase Promenade South in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

The Red Bull Art of Can exhibit is a juried art competition billed as “a nationwide hunt for creativity, where artists are asked to conceptualize and create pieces of art using only Red Bull cans as their primary material.”

“ I learned about the contest about six months ahead of time,” said Razma, a pharmacist by training who grew up in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood and moved to Palos Park in 1988, when she got married. “I follow Red Bull on Instagram and Twitter, and I learned that Art of Can was coming back to Chicago. (The traveling competition last visited Chicago in 2007.) I decided to give it a try. It seemed like a fun challenge.”

Rather than use whole cans of the popular energy drink as her medium, Razma “popped the top off, and then I would just cut the can in a circular fashion, all the way down, so it was like one really long strip in the end.”

She decided that her work would depict a stag’s head.

“The brand is Red Bull, a global king of energy drinks,” Razma explained in a conversation with The Regional News. “I like the idea of the stag’s head because the stag is sort of like the king of the forest—very stately, very proud, and it’s been around since forever—a classic and classy representation. The leader.”

She gave the work a skeletal form by building “an armature out of, kind of, steel wire that you can get at the hardware store,” she recalled. “Then I just wrapped the strips around and around until I had my final sculpture.”

She follows in the tradition of her favorite artists (Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Roy Lichtenstein), all of whom explored the use of “everyday cultural objects” to express themselves, she added.

            While not a classically trained artist, Razma said her experience shows that people with talent and passion can and should move forward to express themselves.

“Art has been my hobby since I was a child,” she said. “My family had a home in Union Pier, Mich. We would collect rocks, and on rainy days I would paint the rocks, I’d paint faces or pictures on them.”

Her avocation continued into her adult years.

“Whenever my kids (now both young adults) belonged to any kind of organization, I’d be the parent who would come up with the invitations or the theme of the party or decorating the hall or things like that,” Razma recalled. “I was a kind of Martha Stewart type.”

            Currently a full-time artist, she works in acrylic painting, and she has gained a following for her portraits of people’s dogs.

            Some of her work is currently shown at Frazier Studios, 1023 W. Fulton Market, Chicago.

            Razma has also worked on TV, as an extra on a number of shows, including Chicago Fire, and once worked as a judge on the “Best of Chow” show on cable TV’s Cooking Channel.

She also is a publicist who helps small businesses, especially start-ups, get noticed in the Loop news media and entertainment world.

Razma said she is “kicking around the idea” of entering Red Bull’s next Art of Can competition, set for Philadelphia in 2015.

“I just want to see where my art takes me, where my publicity stuff takes me,” she concluded.

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Submitted Photo

Palos Park artist Asta Razma dons a top hat to pose with “Red Bull Rack,” her work of art that was one of just 30 on display at a national exhibition in Chicago’s lakefront Millennium Park.

Color-page12-2-or-3-col-Red-Bull-artist-story-copy

Submitted Photo

“Red Bull Rack,” created by Palos Park artist Asta Razma.

 

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