Friday, July 27, 2012

franz west: hello & goodbye

I've somehow been missing the incredible sculptures of Franz West - where have I been?? Someone mentioned his work the other day, in response to the piece I'm working on (and I can certainly see why) - and I didn't think to look him up until just now. And in doing so, I discovered that he died... yesterday. Darn. Well, I love his sculptures... I must learn more about this guy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

we got written up!

Just before I left for the summer, I dropped off a piece for the 31'st Annual Montpelier Invitation Sculpture Exhibition at Montpelier Arts Center. I've yet to see the show in person, but I've heard from others that all the work looks really great in the space. There's a nice little write up in the Baltimore Sun that you can read HERE.

This is what they had to say about my piece...
Materials that have been chopped up and recombined in new ways do amount to some sort of cultural commentary. Lauren Frances Moore's "Tower/Plug" is a vertical tower standing about 6 feet high. Its numerous pink-and-yellow layers comprises of narrow bands of fabric, foam and what looks like insulation material. Although the column shape obviously has an architectural quality, the many colorful bands also resemble a lofty layer cake that has even more layers than the famous dessert baked on the Chesapeake Bay's Smith Island; indeed, the white layer on top seems like icing on the cake.
this is what I found upon googling "famous dessert baked on the Chesapeake Bay's Smith Island"

Sunday, July 22, 2012

the spider, the mistress, and the tangerine

 Louise Bourgeois has been on mind a lot lately. Some of the things I'm working on right now are unmistakeably derived from her work (even if unconsciously so). I saw a large installation of her work this winter at DIA Beacon and was blown away. I was literally crawling on the floor to see things from every possible angle. Wow - what a sculptor! It's not easy to find images online that even come close to doing her work justice, but here are a few that I've been looking at...

Yesterday I watched a really nice documentary on Louise Bourgeois called The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine. I highly recommend it!

While I was at Elsewhere, I had a Louise Bourgeois moment (hehe). Maybe one day I might come close to being as cool as she is?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

on genetic variety and the human body

I picked up this book a while back at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia (one of my most favorite places ever) and have been totally engrossed with it for the past few days. It goes into the science of how weird things happen to certain people- why some folks are born with deformities, how some oddities develop over time... and does so with such an unassuming clarity. It's like one minute you're reading a fanciful storybook about some fascinating creature and the next minute you're looking through a microscope at malformed/mutated cells/genes in attempts to determine the cause of such conditions. Perhaps it will inform my work somehow...

 I can't get Asger Carlsen's manipulated photographs out of my mind...

I spent some time yesterday watching this movie (see below)... Freaks - made in 1932. Two people mentioned it to me in one day, so I figured it was a must-see. All the characters/actors are true circus "freaks." I hate using that word in that way...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

hannah wilke

Hannah Wilke came up in my crit with Frances Barth this morning. I'm familiar with her later work (the documentation of her body's demise), but not so much with her more formal sculpture. I like very much! must learn more...
artist's hair on paper

Sunday, July 15, 2012

VSC: week 1

Lots of little things going on in my studio. Collages are happening- I'm shooting for 1 a day. I bought some sausage casings (aka pig intestines) and have been exploring the possibilities therein...

pig intestine and fiberglass insulation
lots of stuff (see cross-section in image below)

pig intestines and fiberglass insulation (cast from blown up condoms)
collage on paper (sorry for the terrible image quality!)
collage on paper

Monday, July 9, 2012

vermont studio center

I (and 60-ish other artists from all over the world) arrived yesterday at the Vermont Studio Center for a 4-week residency. I've spent today getting settled into my studio and learning my way around the sculpture shop. I'm hoping to do some metal fabrication while I'm here since my studio is just steps away from all the welding equipment. I didn't bring much of anything with me... a bag of brown animal hair, some balloons, lots of glue sticks and not much else. I'll probably end up ordering some materials... right now I've got latex rubber and animal intestines on the brain.

And believe it or not, I didn't bring this with me! I was starting to get the insulation itch when someone who works here jokingly offered it up (he recently pulled it out of his attic and was about to throw it away)... and I seriously took him up on it! I really am going to make an effort to try new materials while I'm here, but I just can't go cold turkey!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

of the flesh: gestation station

An odd pre-existing fascination with all things flesh magnetically drew me to the dolls. Their naked pinkness piled high in the Toynado detritus just begging to be touched, but in the subtlest and most pitiful of ways. Dolls are meant to be played with. They are mini fake humans designed for imaginative interactions. But the dolls I discovered had been hidden away from sight for quite some time. Their dismembered limbs gathering dust in the corner – a morbid mass grave for playthings of the past.

In such a place as Elsewhere, a living museum, a breathing organ of objects always in flux, nothing, no matter how beaten and broken, deserves to be hidden away. My project has been a joint attempt to enliven both the dolls and the place in which I’ve chosen to install them – formerly known as the hotel lobby – an underutilized light-filled area on the 2nd floor at the front of the building. This space will now function as both lounge and creative work area, a space for gestation and growth of all kinds.

One of the many reasons I am so drawn to the flesh as both material and metaphor in my work is because of its regenerative qualities and capabilities. It serves as protector and barrier from outside dangers, as well as our primary sense organ, allowing us to feel and respond to the world around us. In this project, I have endeavored to work and play with the doll parts, the imitation flesh, to enliven it so that it may mimic human flesh not only in form, but also in manner, fostering growth of new projects and ideas.

The dolls have said goodbye to their old lives as objects and playthings. Their individual identities have been dissolved in attempt to further a collective consciousness, a collaborative ascension that is equally weird, hopeful, playful, and macabre. As their parts rearrange and flow in unexpected formations, viewers are encouraged to explore with child-like curiosity and discovery.

window seat

Here are some images of the left side of the installation. The yellow squishiness is a window seat, made of recycled urethane foam bedding (found here at elsewhere).

tinkering with the left-overs

Here's the first batch of photos of my finished installation at Elsewhere! These are just some detail shots of the wall of curiosities. These are the results of my toilings with the leftover doll parts!
necks and shoulder sockets

lots of chopped up faces


stacked/scalped inside-out faces
more to come!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

furniture rehab

The chairs that I wanted to use in my installation were pretty beat up when I found them. (too bad I don't have before shots) I'm always reluctant to sit in yucky chairs... who isn't? I wanted this space to be cozy and welcoming, which meant that I HAD to do something about the chairs. Here are my 2 solutions...
For this one I sewed up the holes with fleshy ribbons. I think they look sort of like fresh scars.
And I painted this one. I didn't know that was a possibility, but Meghan suggested it - she had never tried it, but had seen it done on Trading Spaces, ha. Before it was a VERY dingy grayish off-white muslin... yuck! Learn how to paint upholstery here.