Spray Assemblage Photo Shoot

 • Matt Milkowski
with students at Kenwood Academy, Chicago

Students arrange and spray paint found objects for a striking sculptural photo shoot.

Materials: interesting objects (electronics, utensils, dead brushes, broken toys, etc...), spray paint, tarp, bases (foam core, scrap wood), camera, black backdrop or cloth, clamp light or lamp

• Before class, teacher prepares a space to spray paint safely with a tarp and ventilation (outside is best). Set up a simple photo set with black backdrop, single light source, tripod, and camera.
•  Working in groups or as a class, students arrange objects on a base by stacking, aligning, or piling on a base for 5-10 minutes.
•  Students spray paint arranged objects with limited palettes. Masking or gradation techniques optional. Allow 5-10 minutes to partially dry to the touch.
• Students transfer assemblage (on base) to black backdrop, and photograph (final product) using a strong single light source. Objects are usually temporary and are discarded.

Lesson Expansion:
•  Fully adhere assemblages with hot glue guns, screws, etc... to transform into permanent sculptures
• Teach color theory, i.e. have groups pick a palette out of a hat to guide their spraying (cool colors, complementary colors, earth tones, etc...)
• Spray objects arranged in a row to demonstrate gradual value or color scale. Adhere to base. Use as classroom sample.