14 December 2008

Good bye and thank you for everything

I found out this weekend that a dear and important person to me, has left us. He did so by his own hands and I don't think I will ever begin to understand why. But I can speak to how Steve Panella helped me to see things the way I needed to so that I could become to person/artist/maker/person I am.

He was my first painting teacher at the University of Florida. Second semester, freshman year. For the most part, all I did was make a huge mess in his class. The paintings were fine, even great in some moments, but I made a huge mess of paint, leaves, dirt, canvas, wood, glue, etc. I made one (huge to my new painter hands) painting that was essentially all of the above mixed up and covered in black paint. After the critique for this work, Steve brought in an Anselm Kiefer book for me to look at and I've been hooked ever since. I guess I should mention, this was a Black and White painting class--I've obviously not moved too far from that. I don't totally remember every critique, but I remember the feeling I got from coming out of those classes. I was confident. I was sure. I knew I could handle doing this for a really long time. And for the first time in my life, I liked who I was becoming.

Not until after the semester ended did I see his work. It was remarkably similar to things I was getting into and things I would later do. We didn't have too much dialogue about our work, mostly our intentions. The similarities I would continue to find over the years only keyed me into knowing that we had similar intentions, and made me realise that ideas can trump practice, so I really had to pay attention to make sure I'd keep a good balance of the two. (Practice vs. idea is something I know I will always struggle with. It's easy to make the perfect work in a sketch book or on the walk home from the train and then forget all about it.)

He is a beautiful person, and I will miss him. People usually have regrets about not staying in touch, telling them things, etc. etc. but I did get to tell him once how much his support meant and how it really got me from there to here. From a mess to a mess with a purpose.

At the end of the semester I brought the Kiefer book to his office and handed it to him. He looked at me and handed it back saying, An old teacher of mine gave this to me when I was in school. But I think you can use it more than I can now. I guess, in more than one way, I hope to be able to pass something on like that some day. To be a friend and to teach something that sticks even if just long enough to help someone from there to here.

07 December 2008

paper keys get you everywhere

So I've figured out how I want my keys to look. I tried paper mache, plaster casting and so on and so forth...even cutting them out of Yupo. But, card board it is.

Obviously, inaccessibility is important. But I'm also looking at replacement. These keys were keys sitting around the garage for the last 20+ years and no one actually knows what they're for, short of the key that came with the lock.

I've come across several wood boxes that are divided into 3 compartments (thank you HRM gift shop). I think those boxes and these keys will be combined.

As for the jewelry box from oh-so-long-ago, it's almost done. a few more layers of wax and we'll call it.

Pictures and pictures to follow.

But, if I may be so bold, what do you think when you see these keys? Rude, polite, fantastic, whatever. I need some words for it.

16 November 2008

this is the most romantic i can be at the moment

Paul Celan from: Lightduress (Cycle 6)

Delusionstalker–Eyes: in you
end up the rest of the gazes.

A single
swills up.

Soon you brighten
the rock to death, on which they
bet, against

Unwieldy Tomorrow,
I bite myself into you, I silence myself at you,

we resound,

the impastoïd
eternity-chimes drip away
squawked through
by today’s

we drive,

with largesse
the last soundbowl
takes us in:

the accelerated heartstep
in space,
near her, the earth-

besnowed, oversnowed:

in the calendargap
he’s cradled, he’s cradled
by the newborn

Strew Ocher into my eyes:
you no longer
live there,

on the tomb-
furnishings, save,

pace off the stonerows,
on your hands,

with their dream
paint over the
stamped out
temporal bone’s squama,

at the
bifurcation re-
count yourself to the ocher,
three times, nine times.


the icelashed with

you, clawed

Hei, Chebeldei, Chebeldei.

Leap Centuries, leap
seconds, leap-
births, novembering, leap-

stocked in honeycomb-troughs,
on chips,

the menorah-poem from Berlin,

(Unasylumed, un-
archived, un-
cared for, a

reading station in the late-word,

economical ignition points
in the sky,

crests under fire,

feelings, frost-

cold start —
with hemoglobin.

Source-Points, at night,
on the expressways,
expectant of the gods,

your foothills, Brainmountain,
in the heart-you,
by them
foamed around.

the half-transformed drag
at one of the worlds,

the dis-elevated one, intimated,
speaks under the foreheads on the bank:

Quits with death, quits with

You be Like You, always.

Stant up Jherosalem inde
erheyff dich

Even he who cut the bond with you,

inde wirt

knots it anew, in the Gehugnis ,

mudclots I swallowed, in the tower,

language, dark pilaster strip,

kumi ori.

Do Not Work Ahead,
do not send out,

transgrounded by the void,
free of all
fine-fugued, according to
the pre-script,

I take you in,
instead of

— Translated by Pierre Joris

13 October 2008

when in doubt, draw a monster

This is the artist's proof for "if i was a monster, i wouldn't even know my name". My answer to my friends' attempt at a theme show: When in doubt, draw a monster.

I've loved the idea since the moment it was shared with me. I'm going to conference with these friends and see if I can turn this into a mail-art project. We all send monsters to each other. Regardless, I'm going to make this a limited edition of 50-60 postcards. I'm keeping 10 for myself, and mailing the rest out to people with one request, they send me their monster in return. (the mail-art permissions would be to later display monsters...if it comes to that).

As for the to-do list, I'm getting closer to finishing it off. Closer, not done, though.

Yesterday I played with plaster and paper mache to make some keys. The paper mache worked a lot better than the plaster, but I'm pretty sure that's because I have no idea what I'm doing with the plaster. If these keys are going to get made, I need to figure something else out. But the box is looking good and is almost done. So, at least the biggest part is completed, even if the biggest is not the most complex.

And! I entered the Bridge Art Fair juried competition for Art Basel Miami. (that was a mouth full). The gallery is not yet up on my myartspace.com page, but it will most likely be a series of drawings I was working on for a good part of the year.

And so it is, I'm attempting to get things done.

12 October 2008

inaction is the new black

If I publicly admit that I've been plagued by laziness, maybe it'll help pass more easily.

Here is the master to-do list that I've made for now.

1. Update the blog
2. Draft my statement
3. Edit my resume
4. Investigate with plaster mold making for keys
5. Make my monster postcard
6. Clean the studio in preparation for workworkwork
7. Apply for residencies.

And off I go.

20 August 2008

it's not a party until someone ruins the carpet.

No matter how hard I try, some crazy thing happens and wax spills all over the place. Always. Every time. But there were no casualties, just a little ego bruising of my carpet. But with that said, I have some pictures to share:

3 of 4 drawers are waxed.

Drawer 1:

Drawer 2:

Drawer 3:

I honestly couldn't be more excited about this. (Well, maybe if I had enough wax to finish the fourth drawer. Which may or may not be the case, but I'll figure that out later.) I think I'm going to nix the plexi idea. The encasement is intriguing, as is the "do not touch" aspect, but I want this to feel more approachable, more engaging. I guess, I just want people to feel as though they should touch the things that will be on it. (Although I just looked over at it, and, I might not be opposed to just leaving it as-is. A box with wax filled drawers. For some reason this is appealing.)

And on one more note, here is a gallery of pictures I took of the wax's texture. The snow-flaking is just an interesting thing to me. Reminds me of something I read a long time ago about how some guy was able to prove that the coast line of Great Britain was infinite.

17 August 2008

poratability is key

Behold my new treasure:

I set out today looking for one thing to come home with, and here it is. A not-too-big and not-too-small box with drawers and a cover. I'll have to yank out that crazy purple liner, and change the lock, but! it's my new transportable wunderkammer.

For years I've been obsessing over Wunderkammers and within the past month I've developed a use for said obsession-- making my own in various forms. (My theory and reasoning into why it's I'm doing this and the point will follow in its own post, for now, this is all about the box and what I will do with it.)

So, for this round of wunderkammerness, I will be removing the liner, pouring wax, inserting wooden ledges to form a lip for plexi to rest on, and then i will be using this first batch of keys to create coton linter casts.

I have about 100 keys of various sizes, shapes and purposes--these are just the most exciting.

I envision this box turning out to be the collected dissection remnants. When the drawers are opened, you will see these paper keys pinned down and dissected; the black wax acts as it does in traditional dissection trays. There will be text, but placement and words aren't decided yet. I just can't stop thinking about this image of the paper/fragile/meltable key.

Another project I've taken on is my locket:

I bought it from one of the street jewelry sellers in soho for remarkably cheap. The left side is muddled text from Emerson. The only legible "forwards" text reads: "Then the...cape felt by him...The sky is less gran...the population." The backwards "legible" text reads: "or to...senses rain on this...the animal". On the right side I'm going to insert a skeltal study drawing of an elephant.

In some ways I want to embrace a more performative role with building these spaces/objects/relationships. Instead of just showing my hand while making these things, maybe become an actual story teller/performer. Wearing some of the objects (I wear the locket every day as it is) and maybe becoming one of the objects.

This is all leading somewhere. Somewhere being another post.

12 August 2008

louise bourgeois made me do it, or intro post to say hello

Bourgeois is one of those artists I look to every once in a while as a way to just look without looking to hard. Not to say I can't or won't look critically, but, for me, her work is something to just exist with. To just let tell you a story and to just let flow. With this said, I've been to her retrospective at the Guggenheim twice so far. The first I wandered with sketchbook in hand; the second, I strolled about with the audio guide and just pressed random buttons out of order and tried to make sense of it all.

At some point, Rob Storr says something that struck me. "...architecture of memory..." I can't remember the true context of his little blurb but, I was looking at one of the Femme Maison pieces.

For years I've been trying to tackle why I consider the body to be architectural space. It's structure, yes. It contains things, yes. Does it have to do with flow and control? Maybe. How about some semi-romantic nonsense regarding bodies as temples? Probably. But until I heard those words while looking at a house/body draped with cloth, I didn't get it. But I have it now: the body is what houses memory.

Now, considering the relationship of construction and architecture, I would say I am building my space by constructing my identity. And with this, I want to emphasize "I am building" to nod at the performative value of identity and memory. Memory is the key to identity in that I am constantly learning "what is" and "what is not" in order to identify myself as the "is" or "is not" (or more grammatically correct, the "am" and "am not"?). With this constant defining of self and other, memory comes to play with knowing what has been defined, what is being defined and what is redefined. The constant construction of relationships between myself and the other, I must continually remember and actively navigate what is self and what is other.

I must continually build and rebuild my memory's space, my memory's house as my self.