Monday, October 31, 2011

some drawings

I've been messing around with some new approaches, and I somehow ended up with a few drawings, which is something new for me. I started with a slice of this...
(the result of many layers of polyurethane-soaked fiberglass insulation made into a ball, dried, and sliced on a band-saw)

... and then I began drawing from observation. I based the forms off of the above image, but allowed them to evolve as I continued. And they eventually grew to become these organ/tumor-ish objects...

graphite on paper
appx. 5" x 4" each

Perhaps I'll do some more...

Friday, October 28, 2011

hans bellmer & unica zürn

Wow! I can't believe I'm seeing these images for the first time. The one above, in particular, really grabs me... SO good. My friend Michelle suggested I check out Zürn's drawings after I mentioned my interest/fascination with orifices (in my own work). Her drawings are neat (as are Bellmer's sculptures) but these collaborative photographs between the pair are juuuust right. A perfect balance/blending of informality, performance, documentation, manipulation, seduction, deformation, etc.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

speaking of books

I recently finished Seven Days in the Art World, an entertaining, non-fictional look into the various facets of the "art world" and all of its complexity. I highly recommend it - especially for artists, but not exclusively. Many artists, and art professionals, have loved ones who know nothing of the hard-to-explain world we inhabit (or hope to one day) - I can't help but think that reading this book may be an entertaining way to help them understand - or at least make them realize that they don't.
"Art and business, personal quests and personality cults, big bucks and the triumph of concept over beauty, being cool and in the know—these are the cardinal points in the contemporary art world. Enter Thornton, an art historian and sociologist with moxie and a brilliant game plan. Willing to ask obvious questions, she infiltrates the seven circles of this competitive realm. An astute observer and stimulating storyteller whose crisp sentences convey a wealth of information, Thornton marvels at the military precision of a Christie’s auction and the wild improvisation of an art-school critique.  On to Art Basel, a major international art fair where the “hard buy” rather than the hard sell is the rule since an artist’s reputation is tied to those who own his or her work. Thornton witnesses the final stage in the judging and presentation of the Turner Prize, watches editors at work at Artforum, attends the coveted Venice Biennale, and spends a dizzying day with the wizardly artist-entrepreneur Takashi Murakami. Thornton’s uniquely clarifying dispatches from the art front glimmer with high-definition profiles of artists, dealers, critics, and collectors, and grapple with the paradoxes inherent in the transformation of creativity into commodity." --Donna Seaman's review for 

While we're on the subject... Steve Martin's (yes the actor!) fictional, brow-raising tale of the art world is equally as entertaining (perhaps even moreso). It follows the exploits of a young, ambitious female art dealer and offers a slightly more cynical view of that side of spectrum. A great read! CLICK HERE to read the NY Times' review of the novel.

art as experience

I'm currently reading this book, Art as Experience... it's beautifully written and seems to relate to my work in so many ways. I've only read the first few chapters, so I can't give it a full review just yet, but I can tell already that I'm going to need to get my own copy - it's a text I'll be referring to often. I find it to be so relevant to the art of today, which is quite impressive considering it was written in the 1930's! This wikipedia article is quite informative if you're interested in learning more about the book!

 "Impulsions are the beginnings of complete experiences because they proceed from need; from a hunger and demand that belongs to the organism as a whole and that can be supplied only by instituting definite relations (active relations, interactions) with the environment. The epidermis is only in the most superficial way an indication of where an organism ends and its environment begins. There are things inside the body that are foreign to it, and there are things outside of it that belong to it de jure, if not de facto; that must, that is, be taken possession of if life is to continue... The need that is manifest in the urgent impulsions that demand completion through what the environment - and it alone - can supply, is a dynamic acknowledgment of this dependence of the self for wholeness upon its surroundings."
from John Dewey's Art as Experience
chapter 4 - The Act of Expression - p. 59

Thursday, October 20, 2011

installation detritus


I took down my installation from the 1st-year show this week, which has been (and tends to be) a fairly refreshing and energizing experience (contrary to the belief of many). By taking it apart, I'm no longer tied to the piece - I don't have to worry about how to move it, where to put it, etc. And I automatically have lots of left-over material with which to make something entirely new! I'm definitely going to be re-purposing a majority of the material... I like what's happening in the piece of detritus pictured above. It's scab-like... which, ironically, is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Hmmmm

detritus (dɪˈtraɪtəs) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
1.  a loose mass of stones, silt, etc, worn away from rocks
2.  an accumulation of disintegrated material or debris
3.  the organic debris formed from the decay of organisms

a panoramic view of my studio

Friday, October 14, 2011

it's taken many forms thus far...

And this is where it is right now. I think, rather than trying to perfect these guys, I'll be better off doing a bunch of similar small pieces in the same vein.

made of polyurethane-coated landscaping fabric, burned (recycled from Or)
appx. 1.5' x 1.5' each

how it grew

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Here are some images of my most recent undertaking... a site-based installation for Prologue, our 1st-year MFA show. So far this semester, I've been working on a smaller scale in my studio, so this was a great chance for me to go big!

In my work recently, I've been thinking about the similarities between "home" and flesh. Through the use of these re-purposed materials used in building a house (insulation) as well as turning a house into a home (moving boxes), this installation is an exploration of the barriers created by both home and flesh. The form was built with the following juxtapositions in mind: interior/exterior, comfort/discomfort, and attraction/intimidation.

 October 2011
cardboard, hot glue, fiberglass insulation, and polyurethane