Friday, December 28, 2012

The Future Bind

"The Future Bind", steel, solvent transfer, oil pastel, 72"W x 19"H

My latest work, addressing the issue of the "Ulysses Contract" that I promised my mother I would honor. It is in RestrainingOrder: The Art of Self-Control," a group show at Duke University, The Center for Advanced Hindsight, Durham, NC.

The show dates: December 14th, 2012 to February 22nd, 2013
Opening reception: Saturday, January 26th, 2013 from 6-9 PM.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Black Rage

I heard Lauryn Hill's "Black Rage" work last night. I was simultaneously moved by the words and distracted by the Sound of Music reference. It was difficult not to hear "brown paper packages tied up with strings" underlying her words, "Black human packages, Tied and subsistence."  Yet, yet, yet, the words help me to experience some of the terror. She's brilliant and clearly channeling some greater force.

I simply remember all these kinds of things
And then I don’t fear so bad…

Black rage is founded who fed us self hatred
Lies and abuse while we waited and waited
Spiritual treason
This grid and it's cages
Black rage was founded on these kinds of things

Black rage is founded on dreaming and draining
Threatening your freedom
To stop your complaining
Poisoning your water
While they say it's raining
Then call you mad
For complaining, complaining
Old time bureaucracy
Drugging the youth
Black rage is founded on blocking the truth
Murder and crime
Compromise and distortion
Sacrifice, sacrifice
Who makes this fortune?
Greed, falsely called progress
Such human contortion
Black rage is founded on these kinds of things

Free enterprise
Is it myth or illusion
Forcing you back into purposed confusion
Black human trafficking
Or blood transfusion
Black rage is founded on these kinds of things
Victims of violence
Both psyche and body
Life out of context IS living ungodly
Politics, politics
Greed falsely called wealth
Black rage is founded on denying of self
Black human packages
Tied and subsistence
Having to justify your very existence
Try if you must
But you can’t have my soul
Black rage is founded on ungodly control
So when the dog bites
And the beatings
And I’m feeling so sad
I simply remember all these kinds of things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Text study for self-control panel

exploring text idea: researched Naxi pictographic language at LoC.

[Interesting that Chinese scholars rather than American librarians are now in charge of the collection. Makes sense since more research seems to have been done in Chinese and they can read it. For me it was a silly experience to search a catalog and not be able to understand anything. Latinized, phonetic transcription is remarkably unhelpful. Obviously learning the language is a thought, but I have no interest or time.]

Anyway, found a great dictionary and will use that.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wrap study for Self-control panel

collage of white sheet for wrap
gesso "wraps"

spray paint text

Technique - Self-Control panel

1. use 16G steel horizontally-oriented, heat mark that appears to be a woman, prone and headless.
    dims: 72"W x 19"H

A. Use angle grinder to shine up the body. Chalk in.

B. Solvent transfer for ghostly image or black paint Blacken the area under the body.

Mummy Black paint. Spray gesso to the area below the body and apply "Bone Black" pigment.

C. Gesso/Bone Black above the body too - a layering to evoke burial?
Yellow above body - life

2. referring to my method of funereal body-washing, align my text. These all could go with the head. Always the head! I started washing her head and hair. Her attitude towards life was in her head. But Buchwald joke is an emotional sharing for my family. I'll move emotion to the heart.

3. Framing
Weld cleat on back
Bend cleat at a 

Font research - RAGE for Self-Control panel

As I'm starting on my Self-Control work, I decide to work on my text. I get bogged down with choosing the right type font in order to capture the sense of rage that I felt at my need to live M's life. An hour has passed and I can't find the font I want. In this case, it's a font that's used for the word "RAGE". It's sans serif, has especially wide letters, cracked like a person falling apart, very tight like an attempt at self-control, orange-red for anger, and an "A" that evokes wikkan ritual.

Choice: photoshop the text to mimic it or keep looking for a downloadable font.
I choose Ariel Bold as a place holder. Return to draw.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Text n Image Research - Self-Control panel

Shirin Neshat captures sense of outrage over suppression that words and guns have over human rights. 1994

Kerry James Marshall with just 4 words, references our American popular culture and the plight of inner city poor.    1994

Jenny Holzer makes vivid the roiling tension always present in a NYC subway. 1984

Misused words trigger rage effectively. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Text Research - Self Control panel

Fighting my love of reading and words. I'm under the impression that words (in the great amount that I want to use them) have no place in my visual art work because they seem mad.
Then i look at Basquiat's work without the text, and wonder, what's the relation between:

profile, amputated limbs, clock, sole of a shoe

AND or VS:


Staff into Serp, Staff into Serpent Trick, Magic Leprosey, Magic Water into Blood, Egyptians vs Moses, Size Nine, Moses, Moses, Moses, Heel, el, He, Hee

If I used words to the extent that I wanted what sorts of shapes would I be able to incorporate to make my point.

Duke University#2 - Self Control

This work's about self-control - both the physical making of the work and the topic of the work.

Physical making: Trying a Ulysses Contract with the CAH folks: I make a work and show you my weekly progress as a way to keep the discipline.

Topic of the work: Is a Ulysses Contract moral? Specially, address my moral discomfort when I was required in October 2007, by virtue of my mother’s stroke and her Advanced Medical Directive, to exercise my power as her Health Care Decisions Agent.

"Health Care Decisions Agent" is a legal term devoid of emotion that describes a function accompanied by an intensely emotional state of mind.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Crinoid credits

Crinoids hold my attention: for their fascinating shapes, strangeness, resiliency, inaccessibility. I am indebted and grateful to the professional and amateur paleontologists, natural history museums, university professors, and geologist/traveler-bloggers who by sharing the results of their explorations, allow me to explore my fascination through my steel, print and ceramic art work. Thank you.

Fossil Crinoids, Hans Hess, W.I. Ausich, C.E. Brett, M.J. Simms

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

salvaged steel

Found some great salvaged steel at Criss Brothers for a piece for ArtExpo NY:

Frieze Photoshop process

Thinking back on the photo transfer process for 2011 The Frieze Project, I was very fortunate to have someone on my team who was more knowledgeable than I about Photoshop. The Photoshop process was complex and required the steady hand and responsive mind of Sonja Lashua, a photographer in New York.

I found most of my imagery online and decided to use low-resolution files in order to achieve an historical haziness. I would let Sonja know what I was trying to achieve visually, typically a strong contrast and one or two highlights. My great concern was that the image transfer well using solvent to release it and then an etching press or hand to transfer it.

Sonja and I communicated throughout the project only through email and google docs. There was a trial and error period to figure how best to achieve the goal. Sonja was a willing partner in the process, trying various techniques to deliver what I'd described. Her 6th sense combined with her expertise helped me to realize my vision.

How difficult it is to describe what was in my mind when I wasn't sure of the steps. Art is about NOT verbalizing, rather about making. Undertaking such a grand project was so much more than the sum of its parts. It was like managing a small army and myriad logistics. I'm satisfied with our accomplishment and the lessons learned. It's the process.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Collaboration with Gretchen Schermerhorn

Gretchen Schermerhorn, printmaker and hand papermaker, and I have been collaborating on a public art work since August 2011. We're making monotypes and using solvent transfer on paper and basswood to address how images of women are perceived.