Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hard Looking

I had been looking forward to yesterday for a long time. Everything that I'd been working on for all the various shows done and out the door, the semester launched, but not crazy, and a chance to get into the studio and get back to work on the big lady. Of course, with my calendar blindness, I'd forgotten that I was supposed to be at an Instant Decision Day in the morning (waiting for one prospective student who never showed up!), so I didn't get started until after lunch.

Incredibly frustrating, but it turned out to be fine. Two things; first, the little propane heater I bought makes working in the studio in the winter a pleasure. It's like having a roaring fireplace at your backside. Second, working on the tangled vines of the skirt is hard on the eyes. I don't know how to describe it, except to say it's like staying in the batting cages too long, or driving in in a blizzard - it requires a particular kind of visual concentration that's hard to sustain. I don't know that I could have done it for any longer than the 4 hours I found myself left with. Slow going, and no pictures, but nice to be back at work just the same.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Three Shows Down and Out

They are all gone. Gone to Stockton. Gone to Philadelphia. Gone to New London. God, it feels great.  I had hoped to have some kind of statement at this point, something that would tie all these pieces together. Particularly now that I have enough work to see the forest somewhat more clearly. The statement I'm working on now has, as usual, gotten too long and convoluted, and become a comment on art, and the art world, and on the viability of artist's statement's in general. Hopefully I'll straighten it out in the near future and get it out there. Finding a way (and finding the time) to be more articulate and honest about the content of this work is one of my goals for 2012. I'm also trying to drink less beer and be a better person. It's been a touch year for resolutions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On The Road Again

Being an sculptor on the east coast means learning to love the 95 corridor. On my way to deliver work to Connecticut College. They were prepared to pay for shipping, but in the end the I would rather have the piece of mind that comes with driving it myself.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Frames Within Frames

Building crates out back.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Things I Wish I'd Made For 1000

I love all this post-apocalyptic, Tank Girl/Mad Max-type stuff. Love it. This one is by the Korean artist Bhead.  There's more good stuff to be found on his blog, but it's all in Korean, so it's not that easy to navigate. The textures and surfaces he's is getting are particularly fine. I love the lace shirtfront, the fishnet tights, and the evidence of hard use on the binoculars.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Another Quora gem: an answer to the question "what is it like to have an understanding of very advanced mathematics?"

You are comfortable with feeling like you have no deep understanding of the problem you are studying. Indeed, when you do have a deep understanding, you have solved the problem and it is time to do something else. This makes the total time you spend in life reveling in your mastery of something quite brief. One of the main skills of research scientists of any type is knowing how to work comfortably and productively in a state of confusion.

From the excellent

The exact same thing could be said about art.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Crazy Vs. Lazy

I'm not a perfectionist.

I'm not a perfectionist, and these pieces really aren't meant to be perfect. The individual elements that make up the whole are not precious. They are plastic casts. Each one is one of many. They get cut and ground down, chopped, spliced and split. It is, in theory, fine with me if there is flashing visible along the edges, or air bubbles in the surface. To my mind, there's an element of theater to this work that I want to see reflected in the finish - luminous and awe-inspiring at distance, mundane material up close.

That said, as I get close to finishing these pieces, it's hard to know when I'm allowing for an appropriate degree of mundane materiality and when I'm just being lazy. The line between finishing a piece and overworking one is always clear. Particularly if you're not a perfectionist, or even particularly detail oriented. As readers of this blog will know, I find the last 10% HARD. And I am ready, ready, for these pieces to be done. But then I see some errant hole, or some thin shaving of plastic clinging to one of the elements, and I will wonder - should I leave it and let the physical reality of the thing speak for itself, or is that just me justifying my basic desire to get this done?

Strange Monolith

Repainting on a 54 degree day.


Last year I got smart and started getting my frames made by a professional. Much respect to David Goldmann at SDJ Woodworking, who never fails to do beautiful work.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Problems In Pink

Let this picture stand for two things. First, this new piece is going to be Pepto Bismal pink, which I'm really excited about. Second, no matter how much your new, fancy propane heater warms the space, it is unwise to try to spraypaint urethane plastic in a cold studio.

I always tell my students that sculpture is the medium least able to be left to the last minute, and here I am gallantly proving the truth of it. There are just too many variables, and inevitably one of them is going to find a way to bite you in the ass.