Thursday, August 30, 2012

studio freshness

Last week I moved back into my super fresh, new and improved studio space. Can't believe what a difference this is from last year... and I thought I was in studio heaven THEN! Can you believe it's the same space?!

Now we're really talking. The walls are a good 2 ft. taller and the floors are all smooth. So much better all around.  Here are some snapshots of some new things I've been working on.
wire, paper, fiberglass insulation, pig intestines, polycrylic, and hair
polyurethane, hair, string, and pig intestines on paper

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Opening soon at the University of Maryland's Herman Maril Gallery - an exhibition curated by ME! I am so thrilled to have a chance to exhibit all of this work in the same space. Steve, Lily, and Emily share a really unique way of working with the genre of painting and their work just begs to be shown together. It's going to be an incredible show!

check out my curatorial essay...

To be counter-something, at its simplest, is to be in opposition to something. The term suggests a degree of action taken. When one counters something (an idea, a bet, an offer), he does more than disagree, he responds.

This is an exhibition of paintings. And all three of the artists in this exhibition distinctly identify themselves as painters. Their varied approaches to painting, however, may come across as counter-conventional. When they’re taken off the wall, devoid of recognizable imagery, and at times lacking paint altogether… can we even call such objects paintings? In order to answer such a question, one must be able to define what a painting is at its core, at its roots, which is precisely what each of these artists ventures to do.

Stripped to its bare bones, a painting can be seen as merely a sum of its parts: wooden stretcher bars, raw canvas, and paint. Responding to this notion, artist Lily Kuonen combines these primary materials with tools of the studio, equalizing their purposes in attempts to blur categorical and hierarchical distinctions. She explains, “It is no longer how one material is on top of the other, but rather how each is related to the other.” Through the liberation of her materials, Lily has developed a playful and experimental approach to art making. Her “PLAYNTINGS,” as she calls them, are the result of this process.
 In addition to some apparent formal similarities (such as the exposed raw canvases often situated on the floor), artist Emily Rodia’s approach to painting is similar to Kuonen’s in that she too allows her materials to inter-mingle in unexpected ways. Her paintings are striking in that they rarely include any paint at all. A self-proclaimed “home depot minimalist,” Rodia introduces non-art materials, such as concrete bricks and store-bought plants, to other more traditional painting materials, re-assessing their purposes and combining them to create works that address authorship and the evolution of time.
Artist Stephen Evans speaks for all of the artists in this exhibition when he acknowledges that the most exciting aspect of being a painter is in discovering painting’s potential, it’s possible manifestations, what it can be rather than what it is or is not. The objects and images Evans constructs are more than just inquiries into what it means to make art (though they are that as well). Concerned with both the material and the metaphysical, in each work he also inquires what it means to be human, to exist, and to seek revelation.
Though Evans applies paint to his canvases in a seemingly conventional manner (at least compared to Kuonen and Rodia), the type of paint he uses and the tools with which he applies it don’t come from an art supply store. Paint is rolled onto the canvas as house paint is rolled onto walls of a home. Wallpaper swatches, paint chips, and blue painter’s tape become elements for collage. Interestingly enough, Evans’ combination of traditional and non-traditional materials still refers to painting in some broad sense of the term.

References to building and construction are apparent in each of the chosen artists: Evans’ and Kuonen’s use of bright orange and pink, Rodia’s bricks. They all make efforts to break down the conventional material hierarchy and, through the shared language of painting, use their materials as building blocks for new constructs that explore the subject, the act, and the significance of making.

Sure, this is an exhibition of paintings, but these paintings are more than paintings because they are investigations into painting’s potential. They are “counterconstructs”… counter-convention, counter-tradition, but not rebellious in the least. They are optimistic constructs, responses to artistic inquiry. Counterconstructs: Modes of Painting. 

koen hauser

Sunday, August 12, 2012

reading this

I found this book at a used bookstore a few months back - without a clue as to how good it would be. I've only read the first 60 pages, but so far it is SO GOOD. Something like philosophy, theology, creativity, and anthropology all balled up into one.... "ANDTHROPODICY by means of creativeness"
The Meaning of the Creative Act is a seminal work for Nikolas Berdyaev. It adumbrates a number of crucially important themes that he develops in his later works, notably creative freedom as an essential element of human life and human creativeness as complementary to God's creativeness. Berdyaev's aim is to sketch out an "anthropodicy," a justification of man (as opposed to a theodicy, a justification of God); man is to be justified on the basis of his creative acts, inasmuch as he is a creature who is also a co-creator in God's work of creation. This is how Berdyaev puts it: "God awaits from us a creative act."
"In essence, creativity is a way out, an exodus; it is a victory."

Thursday, August 2, 2012


This got kind of wonky and compressed, but you get the idea! Dizzy yet?

VSC open studios

Double Dose - 6' x 3' x 3' - cardboard, fiberglass insulation, & pig intestines
A lot has happened in the studio since I last posted. Last night was the final open studios for the July residents here at the Vermont Studio Center. I finally finished covering this big guy with pig intestines - and boy oh boy does my studio smell RANK. blegh!! All in all though, I'm really excited about the direction my work is starting to take - I'm very much looking forward to getting back to my studio at school and cranking up the semester. I think my work is starting to become more cohesive- but not in a limiting way. The collages are helping me to more quickly work out some conceptual ideas and, as you can probably see, the forms from the collages are starting to influence my sculpture! So fun!

Filets - 9" x 12" each - collage on paper

Glory Hole - 2' x 2' - animal hair, condoms, fiberglass insulation, rubber bands, & plaster cast of my belly button

3' x 2.5' x 2' - cardboard, fiberglass insulation, pig intestines, & animal hair