I will be the artist in residence at Whittemore in Tewksbury, New Jersey this Summer. I will be occupying a good sized sun room in the main building there where I will be working on a new series of sculptures. I will be hosting a few talks, workshops and guided walking tours of the grounds as well. I will post my studio hours there when they are firm. Hopefully you can drop by and have a visit.
My solo show is on right now at LIU in Brooklyn, NY. The gallery is all glass so the work is visible from the periphery, but to get into the actual space, you will need to schedule an appointment with me to get in. The show ends on December 16th and there will be a closing reception on Thursday, December 8th from 6-8pm.
The closing reception will feature a limited edition catalog of the show that will contain a foldout drawing of the installation. The book will be signed and numbered and be available for sale.
I currently have a piece on display at Curious Matter in Jersey City in their show titled, "A Dark Wood". The show was in conjunction with Arthouse Matters Gallery and opened during the Jersey City open studio arts tour. The gallery and my piece were on this story that the news channel featured. Check it out.
We spent the last two days wrapping up filming with Annamarie before she leaves for Australia. Uncertainty and hopefulness were the underlying feelings as we tried to capture what this all meant, what we learned and how it would play out. 6 hours of filming and reviewing old footage on Tuesday plus 3 more on Wednesday landed us at the Old Town Bar on 18th Street for the final goodbyes.
Locker Room Culture at the Grimshaw Gudewicz gallery in Fall River, Mass. is on until April 3rd. The show was curated by Glenn LaVertu and featured a wide range of artists as well as sports related ephemera that support the premise of the exhibit. (Check out writings by both the director and curator here).
Making as thinking and process are two of the main components in my creative practice. I believe very strongly in the value and importance of forming, shaping and the physical connection that an artist has to the work and how that connection feeds and nourishes the idea. So often I encounter works that begin as a concept that some clever artist extracted from an academic or theoretical text. They then proceed to manifest that idea as some thing, some illustration of this clever idea. There is no dialogue between the work and the idea, no synthesis or conversation or evolution. The object exists as the end product of a one way, linear illustration. I often find this one dimensional work thin and rather boring.
Frank WIlson's, The Hand looks at how the hand is not merely the servant of the brain; carrying out tasks that the brain commands. He looks at the two way street that exists between the hand and brain and how the hand ignites thinking and learning. Here is an excerpt:
Since the Industrial Revolution, parents have expected that organized educational systems will tame and modernize their children and "prepare them for life." Such is the theory. But education-ritualized, formal education, at least- is not an all-purpose solution to the problem of inexperience and the mental immaturity among the young. I was completely unprepared for the frequency with which I hear the people whom I interviewed either dismiss of actively denounce the time they had spent in school. Most of my interview subjects, although I never asked them directly, said quite forcefully that they had clarified their own thinking and their lives as a result of what they were doing with their hands. Not only were most of them essentially self-taught, but a few had engineered their personally unique repertoire of skills and expertise in open retreat from painful experiences in a school system that had dictated the form and content of their education in order to prepare them for a life modeled on conventional norms of success.
I incorporate a heavy emphasis on creative practice and making in my teaching for this reason. Students who are given the space to work with their hands realize concepts more effectively.
10 or 12 years ago, I set out to make a small sculpture a day for 30 days. It was intended as a piece for an exhibition that I had coming up in Jersey City, New Jersey and I was given a huge wall to work with. Not a great space for a sculpture on short notice, but I would try to make it work. I was also collaborating with an old friend so if we both did this, we would have 60 works that we could mount on small shelves on this massive wall. The piece was ok, but what I got out of it was tremendous. More on this in a second.
Yesterday I attended a panel discussion at Parsons The New School for Design in Manhattan called "The Business of Illustration" which was moderated by Noel Claro. One of the panelists, Chris Piascik has been engaged in an ongoing project called Daily Drawings. He has been creating a drawing a day for years and has a total of over 1600 to date.
This brought me back to my old project. I started thinking about what the benefits were of making a work of art a day. There is the immediacy and urgency of the work. This does not allow for pondering or revisions or much in the way of conceptual development. It forces the hand of what is intuitive. Conceptually it calls upon what the stores of the artist hold. Spontaneity moves to the forefront and the thinking comes out of the making.
There is also the notion that this practice exercises the practice itself. In an excerpt from his AIGA talk, "Ten Things I have Learned", Milton Glaser references how children who learn to play the violin at age 4 or 5 often go on to develop perfect pitch. He hints that this seems to indicate that the hand influences and trains the brain. I think we tend to look at this in the reverse.
Then of course there is the physical yield. I can only imagine what Chris Piascik feels as he scrolls back through that massive archive of work. How it speaks to him and offers up new ideas, clarifies old concepts and congeals to offer up new meanings that were not present at the time he sat down to draw.
I have been working on sculpture in the recent days, but this painting keeps coming back to me. I completed this in December of 2013 and have been working towards making more that have a similar scale and color harmony. A friend of mine commented that this viewpoint is a kind of contemporary landscape painting in that it looks from above, a view that we have only recently become accustomed to through satellite images, google maps and the like.