Sunday, May 9, 2010
http://www.whitney.org/Exhibitions/2010Biennial/StormTharp - I really enjoyed the use of ink in these pieces. I have worked with ink before and I commend Tharp on how awesome these came out. I also really liked how the artist left their swatches on the border rather than cropping it out when framing.
http://www.whitney.org/Exhibitions/2010Biennial/TaubaAuerbach - This artists pieces had me awe struck for quite some time. It took me a good 5-10 minutes to decide whether or not it was actually a piece of fabric folded, unfolded, then framed. In reality it was just painted extremely accurately to portray the depth of a wrinkled from being folded, fabric.
http://www.whitney.org/Exhibitions/2010Biennial/JimLutes - This artist for some reason reminded me of Cailin. I think maybe the tremendous amount of cohesion between the colors in his paintings is what reminded me of Cailin. I have always thought that Cailin has a great sense of color harmony.
http://www.whitney.org/Exhibitions/2010Biennial/AurelSchmidt - I think what captivated me most about this arist was their use of a wide range of media. One piece in particular had flies, condoms, cigarette butts, and even blood.
http://www.whitney.org/Exhibitions/2010Biennial/PaeWhite - When I saw this piece I could not decide if I actually liked it or not. I have now decided that I really like it. White captures the simplicity of smoke with the complexity of a woven tapestry.
At the end of the day, this exhibit brought more to the table for me than I really thought it would.
Prior to the Biennial, I went to MOMA. Never being there before I was naturally awed when I saw such masters as Dali, Picasso, and even Van Gogh. Although I did enjoy viewing the previous, I really took to seeing Wyeth's "Christina's World". I have always loved this painting and the story behind it. I spent a good 10 minutes just staring at this painting, trying to take it all in. While at MOMA I also got the chance to see Tim Burtons exhibit. Amazing. That is the only word I really have to describe his work.
I began this semester in a routinely fashion of warming myself up artistically with some large acrylic paintings. I had purchased a large quantity of acrylic paint and planned to take full advantage of the supply.
Some of my original expectations were to create large collage murals spreading out onto the wall in an organic form. I did make some of those pieces but found that the projects size overwhelmed. The simple question came to mind “what will I do with it after the class is over?” I think that is what affected me the most during this semester. I do not have a studio at this time. Having my art crammed into my bedroom transforms my room into mind clutter. I have one room to live in at this time, I needed to keep that in consideration and make work that suited the space I have available to keep it in. With that in mind I focused on projects that were compact. Over the course of the semester I realized an art form that captured a life long vision. My memories of certain childhood tactile experiences surfaced during the course of the semester and for that this semester has been a success.
My proposal initially responded to the spiritual journey of past and present experiences. I am still working on my salt lick sculpture of Buddha. I currently have a number of projects in process. My intended body of work for the semester allowed me to explore myself from within. I would call my activity an internal retreat. I desire to explore myself enough to open up to the world and create universal art. I want to work through the internal that blocks the sun. I want to expose my most memorable experiences and interweave them with issues that a larger audience will respond to. I am no longer satisfied with dealing with "my" issues. During the course of this semester I changed. The conversations I had, the art I was making came together. This merging was stepping stone in my growth.
I feel incredibly satisfied with these recent pieces. I feel that I have come to a pinnacle in my work and my life. In these past 2 years that I have spent at NCC I have undergone 7 medical procedures. I have sense that the use of metal during the times of these operations has left quite an impression on me, no pun intended. I have been responding to the tools, the mirrors, the lights, tables etc. The sterile clean nature of my recent work parallels my experience in the hospital and doctors office.
I have had a turning point in my material this semester. I began banging out metal pieces that have an assortment of magnet pieces that are interchangeable on each of the four pieces. I am shocked by the lack of painting I did but so grateful that I had this turn of materials. My satisfaction has heightened within the making of these steel landscapes. I see my steel pyramids as close-ups, details of a bigger picture. Same as the thread pieces, I see them as close-ups of threads of a fabric of a universal life. I believe my trip to the Navajo Nation has affected me greatly and I want to express that. The colors, shapes and space of the West activate my heart. I feel a pulse like no other out there. I think that the use of steel this semester has affected me similarly. I have sparked a new beginning, a new view. I see a magnetic horizon. The form and color magnetically connected.
I am not sure exactly what comments came to my aid during the semester. I did not hear much from the others students regarding my work. I was told by a couple of them that they liked it but other than that we did not really talk about it. I have not heard anything this semester that I have not heard before. I have had discussions with Tom Burke that opened me up greatly during my Drawing 2 class. He was talking about perspective and I realized something during his explanation that I am so grateful for. I thanked him dearly and we are closer because of that. Bruce Wall an d I have had some discussions that exposed both of our personalities as artists.
I could see the querky excitement in Bruce's eyes when he looked at something that he liked. That inspired me.
I had written a 6-page paper exposing the Huichol Tribe of Mexico. Indigenous life styles, dwellings and people have intrigued me for many years. I see the details of their necessities and fall hard for the raw materials and décor. I have also been a lover of Richard Diebenkorn’s work ever since I began painting. I feel I am trying to capture my love of his sense of color thru the use of the magnets on my steel pieces. His color choices are so clear and confident I can only wish to be remotely that clever and wise. I think with the magnet pieces I am pointing out how important color and form are to my thinking. In these pieces I can think of nothing else.
I was not able to meet with any of the professionals in New York this semester. I have been having conversations with Bruce Wall and other teachers that have been a source of encouragement and knowledge. I have observed my teachers in action and seen the satisfactions and frustrations of teaching others. I see the balancing act that it takes to learn and lead by example. I had hard times in the studio with the other students, being that I am older and more interested in quiet while I work. I was coming back into the studio for the first time from a long vacation. I was scared and unsure what I was going to feel like working around others. I had a hard time with sound and space so I would retreat into the other room just to feel some peace. I think it is the age that I am at in life. I don’t have the tolerance for the age difference when I am working.
I do not have a copy of my artist’s statement. I have to type it in tomorrow. It is hanging up in the gallery/hallway. I cannot find it on my desktop. I wrote two statements and a poem that describes the sensations of looking and making the artwork.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
2. I would describe this work as original. Not many people are able to just turn simple phrases into an art form that others will enjoy. Anyone can just write down some words, but it really takes dedication to make the words convey a true message to the readers.
A man can't know what it is to be a mother. - Those who can not bare a child, will never know what it means to be a mother.
Confusing yourself is a way to stay honest. - Honesty is best when blind-sighted.
Dying should be as easy as falling off a log. - Giving life is acceptable, so why is the choice to die not.
Even your family can betray you. - Although they are your kin, they may not always be kind.
Everyone's work is equally important. - Every act performed is important, no matter the size.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This class has helped me start to cope with not being a traditional art; meaning an artist that paints and draws. I have heard from more than one person “Ooo, this is what you do… I thought you were a painter?” I started to doubt my artistic ability, to doubt my ideas and the way I executed them. But, I continued to follow through with what felt right starting with my self portrait. Myself portrait when I made it, it was exactly how I in visualized it. After changing it I lost a bit of the personal connection I had with it. This is important to me to have a personal connection to my piece. When I make something that I really want to create it is like the idea is the consummation, the planning is the trimesters of the pregnancy and the creation/final piece is the birth. I have I guess a weird connection with the art I want to make then the art that I am told to make. With my creations it is like having a string extending from the center of me being to the piece and when I change something unwillingly it like that string has been cut and there is a numbing emptiness that, that piece of art is no longer mine and so I have no connection or love for it. With work that I was told to make I don’t really consider it mine though I know that I made it but the idea, still life or whatever was not from me, so I consider it someone else’s artwork (no connection).
My self portrait was like me standing up on a stage totally naked and reading out a book of my deepest thought and my most hidden secrets. I have had the weight on my syndrome for such a long on my mind that is was suffocating me. When I made it helped me cope and tell everyone though not verbally. Therapy that is what this work was. I loved using the found objects like the light bulbs, tubes and egg shells. I plan to use all them again.
My belief painting I knew right away what I wanted to do. When a person says belief I instantly think of religion. Religion is so very important to be. It seems to be the key to every person, every war, every law and every belief all lased with Religion. I respect anyone immensely who believes in anything. I know that I can’t as of right now there are too many problems that have to be worked out for me to be able to try to believe. It’s all so frustrating like mind boggling. So, I did my belief on my thoughts. The thought/feeling of smoother, controlled and even raped by religion/law. They both work hand in hand not only in the USA and it seems like in the world. Which I think shouldn’t be. But, I focused on the USA and how we are supposed to have separation of church and state which we don’t have. I just wanted paint and illustrate that both the Bible and the USA Bill of Right, Constitution etc. were all written by White upper to upper middle class men. When righting these words to be followed I highly doubt that they have everyone in mind. I doubt they had the poor, Hispanics, Women, Asians, Homosexuals, Africans, Americans of African descent, Italians etc. in mind when writing the law in the bible and our most cherished govern documents that we are now supposed to devotedly follow and believe in. I don’t think we as a people should praise and teach any of the hate and prejudice that is given off from any of them. I do think that there are good ideas that should be followed just because a person wants to be a good human being but, there are some things that just breeds hate.
Using my believe system as a cliff, I started to run then jumped. I looked into things such as the massive amount of priests that raped people. Thought of how rotten religion has gotten and how it at one point was probably meant to be pure and forgiving but now leaves a tainted and poison like affect on everyone who has been introduced to it.
In both my portrait and in my Belief system I used found objects such as egg shell and tubes. I will continue to use both in my future works. Both the eggshells and the tubes were to find, use and inexpensive to buy. I have always like doing 3D and instillation so; I know that I will continue with it. This semester I worked with manipulating different materials to fit my needs, which I know will be useful in the future.
There really hasn’t been anything this semester in critiques of my work that really stuck out to me. I know that I really need to work on expressing myself better and more professionally.
I have researched the Feminist Art Movement with Artist such as Judi Chicago who created the well known “Dinner Party” and also one of my favorites “The Linen Closet”. Another “feminist” artist that I have liked for years is Artemisia Gentileschi. I also have begun to research feminist artist Jennifer Linton, Nancy Spero and Faith Ringgold. I needed to look to see different artist just to know more artist and see different styles. I have a difficult time looking at other artists work not because I don’t like it or that I think that I am more talented. It is because I want my ideas for paintings, instillations or sculptures to be as pure as possible. Pure meaning from my mind, my emotions, my experience; I don’t want to look at someone else’s creation and rob it. I fear copying.
I have learned a tremendous amount on knowledge form the people we have met. Starting with Emil he taught me as an artist you have to take risks and use different types of materials. He opened my eyes so that I can see the usefulness in everything. I have learned a great deal this semester. I know that it is hard work being an artist and that fame and fortune will not happen overnight. It is a tossup between Emil Lucas and Don Voisone. Don made me realize that art school or school in general is not for me. But, he made me want to work even harder to stay in school because he thought art school was not for me and I do love a challenge. Emil did an amazing thing by telling us about how he creates some of his work with Fly larva. He really is saving me time and money. By just making me realize that everything is at my disposal. This in the long is more helpful than me realizing that art school is not for me.
My artwork is just my thoughts put out in 2D and 3D, making them tangible. Making my thought real eases me through life. When they are out of my head and can be seen in front of me I gone through the therapy needed to get me over the hump and on my way to be resolved.
For the pieces that are on display my artist statement is the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn. Contempt, which is everything that I felt from the beginning when I thought of my belief to the middle when I was trying to let people know what I was thinking and what I will feel when I hear what people think of my thoughts.
In the beginning of this course I had initially expected to work mostly in illustrating Greek mythological stories. However, as I thought more about myself as an artist at the time when I was writing my proposal, I realized just how bored I would be simply painting out specific scenes. So I had come up with the idea to create a Science Fiction/Fantasy world installation. Right from the beginning I started to move away from the ideas in my proposal. My first piece was a sculpture made of mud and I received some great feedback on my materials. I kept saying that I was done with mud, but I ended up turning to sculpture, using mud as my primary medium. With each mud piece I got better at making the mud solid and sturdy. When I did my Navajo piece I experimented with bees wax and really liked the result. From there I knew I wanted to use bees wax in my future work. As I thought about the possibilities of bees wax a vision for my final piece began to develop. Unfortunately, by the time I started the project I no longer had the bees wax available to me and decided to turn back to a mud-like material, clay, which is now a major part of my final piece.
“Laying Low” is the pile of mud with the eye balls staring out. It is meant to be my self portrait for my first piece for the course. I struggled a lot with the construction and the base and I feel that both the presentation of the concept and construction were not very successful. “Human Pentagram” I did for the personal belief project. It is an abstracted pentagram into a shape that resembles a human-like shape. For my “Navajo Inspired Self Portrait” I tried some new materials, slate and bees wax. I feel confident in the way the piece turned out, and it was an interesting experiment that made way for my later passion for the honey bee. “Poured From the Earth” is the piece I did for the “hand picked” show at Mercantile Home Gallery. I made a lot of progress with the stability of this piece in that the mud did not crumble away. I also used broken glass that I had found by creeks and rivers. I think the piece was meant to represent the our dependence on the earth. “Legend of the Bee” is the installation for our class show. I painted a few scenes from myths about the bee and hung them on a giant honey comb made out of clay that I gathered myself. The bee is an important part in the survival of human beings. Without them there would not be enough fruits and vegetables to feed ourselves and other animals. Since ancient times people have known this and cherished, even worshiped, the bee. With my love of mythology I wanted to illustrate some of the stories I found about the honey bee and honey. I liked the final result, but I wish I could have had a little more time to work on it when I was relaxed. I feel like it should have been grander than it was, but I was missing the time and the resources to make it happen. “What Have We Done?” is the installation I did for Media Art though it is not for this class I feel that it was an important project. It included a sculpture of a screaming mud man facing a projection of a scene of the earth being destroyed. The project got me working with video which is a medium totally different from anything I had formally done before. I stuck with my original medium of mud for the sculpture and I was really happy with the way it came out.
Throughout the semester I have worked with mud, bees wax, and clay. All three materials were new to me in the way I was using them. My first material was mud. It took me a while to figure out what to do to make it solid. I started with pure soil and stones from my back yard, when that didn't work I tried adding acrylic medium to it which worked a little better but it still crumbled, it was also very heavy. For “Poured From the Earth” I used window screen to create the shape and I poured my mud over it, adding more medium than before. This made it stronger and on top of that I put matte medium over that to keep it sealed a little better. This worked very well. Clay was another thing I ran into problems with. I had gathered it from a creek and wanted all of the stones and organic matter out of it. So I mixed it with water so all the stones would sink and all the plants would float, then separated them and let it sit. I wanted it to settle and become moldable again but it took far too long so I had to figure out another way to get it into honey comb shapes. I ended up cutting the shapes out of foam board and using the clay almost like a paint. Using these material has made me realize just how important earth is to me. And how much I like playing in the dirt.
If people had not been interested in my use of mud I probably would not have continued using it. At times I was frustrated with it and wanted to draw or paint instead because it was an obvious way to get the assignment done. I did not expect that Don Voisine would like my mud, but it turned out he was really interested in it. Peoples enthusiasm for my materials and my dislike for painting kept me with it.
The classic paintings of Greek/Roman mythology are always an inspiration to me, as well as mythology of all kinds. I researched all kinds of honey bee mythology for my installation. Andy Goldsworthy is one of my favorite artists, he is also a big inspiration to me. His closeness to the earth is far deeper than mine and it makes me feel bad that I had to use acrylic medium in my mud, but it's all part of finding my own place and my own style of art.
Our trips to visit art professionals this semester has just opened my eyes to the art world all together. Before this I did not really care about the art world let alone know what it was about. Meeting people who make or show art for a living opened my eyes to a much wider array of careers in the art field. I think Emil Lukas made the biggest impression on me. He's a local artist who lives rather close to me. I now believe that in the end I don't have to live in the city, but I do have to get out there and see as many places as I can. Don Voisine was another artist that left an impression. I think meeting professional artists personally was a lot more interesting because there were more connections that could be made instead of a very formal setting where they are giving a non-personal presentation or speech. However, I think the people how made the biggest impression on me were my classmates. Working so closely with people who were in the same position as me and seeing what kind of things they were doing gave me an insight into who I am as an artist and a person.
Artist Statement: Everything in the world is held in place by earth. It is that in combination with water that provides a foundation for all living things. It nurtures and provides for us. The honey bee is another very important factor in our survival. People throughout history have known this and told tales of the honey bee and the importance of that which it gives to us. I am fascinated by the connections between earth, man, and the bee. In my work I combine natural materials that I find around me with a “traditional” medium and create my own connection between them.