Are you one who has a sweet tooth? Do you enjoy popular candies and treats such as; skittles, M&M’s, and marshmallows? Well what if I told you that you could put your movie theatre treats to different use, and create a work of art?
Well, Pittsburgh based artist, Chris Norman did just that! He decided to put his creative genius to the test, and designed jaw dropping pieces of art. His ‘Candy Coated’ art exhibit is available for people to see at Level Up Studios until April 1, 2017. A self portrait of himself made of marshmallows, the legacy of Trayvon Martin continues to live on where Mr. Norman brought Trayvon’s photo to life with the use of skittles, and many more!
Mr. Norman, by surprise was no art major while pursuing his degree. He is a graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, graduating magna cum laude in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration. He was a triple major in Finance, Accounting, and Business Administration. However, prior to pursuit of his post-secondary education he was accepted into Pittsburgh CAPA as a Visual Arts Major.
He realized his passion and deep rooted creativity at a very young age.
“I have always loved art and I was lucky to be encouraged by my parents at a very young age (around age 5-6) to focus on it seriously. My dad, Tony Norman, was fantastic with drawing and writing and introduced my twin brother and I to the beauty of Marvel comic books before we could even actually read them. He had a big collection and we would take stacks of the comics and just flip through to see the coolest illustrations that we could find. I thought it was so cool to see these detailed images of exotic heroes and villains who exist in a realm outside of the physical limits of the world we live in. Like many other boys in the 90s, we were fascinated with comic book, cartoon, and anime characters that we saw on TV and in video games,” Mr. Norman said.
The reaction to Mr. Norman’s ‘Candy Coated Art’ has been incredible thus far by the support of friends, family, and supporters.
Mr. Norman said, “Candy Coated was a natural direction to go in for a theme since most of my pieces are made from candy of some sort; marshmallows, Skittles, and M&Ms. The idea to start making portraits out of candy was spontaneous the first time I did it with the marshmallows. I could re-create any image I wanted using a grid technique and the only thing I needed were small, individual units to fill the spots for color. Since I didn’t have any money I had to do more with less and find something super cheap with a bunch of individual pieces. I went to Giant Eagle and saw that they had big bags of generic, Easter colored marshmallows for just $1! I grabbed a bunch and started my self portrait project, not knowing if they would last or anything, just kind of going for it. I thought it was really cool and different and I loved the surprised reaction people would have when they saw it. Since it’s a strange medium, people get all close up to it and really check it out which any artist can appreciate. From there I decided that my goal was to keep the theme going and eventually have enough pieces to show together in a sort of candy-art show.”
Mr. Norman’s art gallery is one of a kind, and if you haven’t had a chance to see it be sure to go check it by April 1, 2017.
Mr. Norman said, “I think it is important for people to come and see the new Penn Avenue, generally. Honestly, black art gallery and studio owners have a strong and growing presence on the block and are the bridge for young people in the neighborhood to be introduced to art and creative culture. People don’t know how many events are down here that they would genuinely like, and the art that comes with it is a great introduction into something new.”
To keep up with Mr. Norman and his candy coated art pieces be sure to follow him on Instagram @cnorman412.