Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I am heading to my friends farm in Massachusetts for a few days, they live a lifestyle with no internet and no t.v. So I will be on a technology sabbatical. Should be lovely.
I will be back on bright and early, or not, next week with a review on the Nick Cave exhibit here in NYC and an interview with the artist Deeann Rieves and much, much more. Enjoy your week.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Yesterday I spent 6 long luxurious hours alone in my studio. Heaven. I got a ton of work done as much in my head as by my hands.
I had to spend some of the time tweaking and doing final touches on a few pieces that need to be ready for shows next month. One of which is my piece exhausted, I have decided to extend the lace patterning from the afghan onto the supporting sheet. In one place I am cutting shapes out of the sheet and in others embroidering them on. It is a subtle addition/subtraction but I think will make the work that much stronger.
I also worked on this piece, which is surprisingly close to being finished, as far as the embroidery goes, then we get to the applique process.
Oh if only there were 2 of me and I could be in the studio all day long every day and still be hanging with my boy all day. I know we all wish that.
I was reminded of this post today where I listed some of my favorite art quotes.
I am interested in the work by Jessie Vogel who I gather is currently in gradate school. I feel like the work on her site shows this moment in ones career. I feel a little confused by her work as there seems to be lacking a cohesion from one piece or series to another and I personally like to be able to see the connections from series to series. But when I realized that she is in graduate school I got excited, to me this a time when many artists, including myself, really are forced to find their voice and solidify who they want to be as an artist.
Jessie's work has an incredibly powerful use of texture and often color. She also is obviously not afraid to take some risks and combine materials and mediums. I think putting all of this together in a cohesive voice has the potential to be great. To me this is what a good graduate school should do for you. So I am excited to see what comes next for Jessie.
I love her use of sculptural materials with the softness of fibers and her work titled Pretty/Baby Sister is by far one of my favorites on her site.
She states this on her website:
I like her series that is essentially sculptural clothing, she paints fabric with oil paint.
For me, these act as an interesting take on a portrait and have a lot of potential as an idea.
She has also made some interesting paintings with fiber.
See more of Jessie's work here. I have a feeling her thesis show is going to be one to see.
Friday, September 23, 2011
His work deals with issues of displacement, cultural identity, and how this affects ones experience of space.
Fallen Star 1/5 is set up as the center piece of the show. It is awe inspiring in its careful replication of Do Ho Suh's 2 homes; one in Korea and the first one he had in America in Rhode Island. The press release describes the work:
The piece is incredibly interesting to look at with all the minute details but beyond that falls a little flat for me. The miniaturized doll house affect of the work neutralizes the story for me a little too much and lacks the soul of previous works by Do Ho Suh.
For me Home within a Home, which is installed alone in a back room of the gallery, is much more successful. With photo sensitive resin Do Ho Suh constructs his Korean home seamlessly into his Providence home. The piece glows like ghost of memory. It appears fragile but also indestructible- an interesting dichotomy. I also like the poetry of the piece and wish that maybe the violence of Fallen Star could be bigger to create a more powerful contrast between the 2 works.
From press release:
I was of course drawn to the fiber work in the exhibit, he has done a number of large scale installations with transparent fabric before, but in this installation he singles out objects from his NYC home. They act as vignettes of home. I was particularly attracted to them as I am currently starting to work on 4 pieces that are based on "Still Lives" of my home.
Do Ho Suh's work is always impressive and though this is not the most powerful work I have seen of his it is well worth the trek to Chelsea.
Why are you always depicting yourself and others as sleeping/laying down? As your work is autobiographical, it seems like a way to disconnect yourself from the person/the emotion. There is no communication or eye contact. Like a fly on the wall - looking on but not getting involved.
I disagree with the statement that there is no communication- if their are 2 subject matters there is always an interaction of either touch or gaze. My work is about intimacy not communication, partially because communication of some kinds can actually create confusion and conflict where as touch is to me the most honest form of interaction. My work is specifically about what happens in between the day to day interaction and in moments where we lack inhibition. For example how a husbands hand might rest on his wifes back while he sleeps, or perhaps instead he turns away and creates distance between them.
I prefer the figure at rest as they again are more vulnerable in this moment. When one is lounged and at rest this is when they are they are the least self-conscious but also is the easiest time to harm them. Therefore another interesting moment of conflict and contradiction.
I have absolutely done a number of images with the figures eye open and a few where they are not laying down. Often the eyes are down cast gazing at the "other" this is hard to see in images of the work but is evident in the work itself. I have no problem with including open eyes but those eyes should not necessarily have eye contact with you, the viewer, as your are glimpsing into a moment, as the viewer you are not part of the moment and I have no interest in implicating you- if I did so the intimate interaction of the figures or the individual would be invaded.
Generally I do not have the figures looking at each other as, so far, the work has been more about one figure and the "other" not the "couple." I do not see this as something that will not change and have actually thought about it a number of times and have done a few pieces where this is not the case... perhaps this is a direction that I may go but I still doubt the figures would be making eye direct contact much. In reality most of us avoid it during moments of intimacy and deep exchange as it becomes too intense. For instance in tantra they have you look at your lovers eyes- stare into their eyes for long periods before you ever do anything else. The reason they have you do this is because generally we do not- we avoid this level of knowing each other. So if I am honest about the current state of intimacy- there is often a little loneliness within love.
I plan 2 large scale images of a couple interacting on the couch but most likely at least one figure will still be lounged. In my experience this is when we are intimate; on the couch, in the bed, on the floor, on the green grass - these are the quite moments. I do feel these moments can also happen at a table over a meal but the meal and table comes with a lot of metaphorical baggage that has nothing to do with what I am talking about so it has not been explored yet.
I also am deeply interested and inspired by the place of the bed in our life. This place where we spend so many hours and experience such depth of emotion from intimacy, pleasure. birth, to joy as well as sadness, loneliness, illness, and death- it, the place of the bed, encapsulates so much of the complexity of human life that I feel confident that it will continue to inspire and inform my work.
"Like a fly on the wall - looking on but not getting involved. "
The work is a portrait of a moment. I, as the viewer and the artist have no interest in getting involved, it is not a statement for change. I simply want to document and love the moment. I am a fly on the wall -watching life.
I hope this helps you understand my work better and maybe even appreciate it more. Thanks for asking it was interesting to think about.
Check out more of my work at my site.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Speaking of the Textile Arts Center...earlier this week I went to check out their brand new space in Manhattan and it is awesome. It is a classic NYC storefront with a brick walls and a long thing lay-out so will be a very cozy place to take classes. They offer very intimate weaving classes, aka lots of personal attention, and a number of offerings such as embroidery, sewing, crochet.....
The space is gorgeous, they are still getting it set up so excuse the mess of the pictures,
It has huge bright store front windows and is just steps away from Washington Square on a bustling street.
They have their grand opening this weekend and I start teaching their in October. I have a feeling classes will be filling up once the word gets out.
So take a class with me in October I will be teaching Autobiographical Embroidery.
Sign up here.
and in November a special day time class inspired by the awesome new book, PUSH, that me amongst many awesome people am in.
Each class will be dedicated to a different technique each week. Each technique is inspired by artists in the book; Illustrative applique-using simple applique techniques to create simple narrative illustrations, Black work or Red work- learn to create detailed stitched drawings with just one color, using techniques like hatching, stippling, and shading, Working with unexpected materials- use your needle and thread on found and appropriated objects and images, Transparency- use traditional embroidery stitches on transparent fabrics and discuss what to consider and how this changes your working process.
Participants are encouraged to bring text, paper pages, and found fibers that have meaning for them.
Sign up here.
Check out all their other offerings here.
And if you just want a quickie I am teaching a beginning embroidery class this Sunday morning in Brooklyn at Brooklyn General. Details here.
This is what has been happening in my studio lately. This is my father who is laying next to my mother. It has been fun working on portraits of different people. Of course they are still people I deeply love but their skin, hair, and features have given me a little space to play in different ways and I am enjoying the process. Earlier this week I finished his back and yesterday I spent 5 + hours working on his hair .The hair always takes forever. But it should be easier the next half as most of his front hair is white so I will not have to add as much variation.
The long chunk of time in my studio also gave me the time and space to think about my Spring solo show at the Textile Arts Center. I have been wanting to make the show somehow about the "house/home." kind of like a portrait of the home. But have really been struggling on getting the work started and the vision clear. I was thinking about it yesterday and the thought " How can I make work about the house, when my home is falling down." and light bulb.
C and I have had a very stressful year as many people in this financial crisis have and since my work is always autobiographical and honest it seems that actually the stress and tension in our home is a subject to be gleaned from. So I have now come up with a pretty strong vision for the show and think that it is going to end up powerful and vulnerable but with a great sense of hope too. We will see. Now I need to get started. Now I just need to figure out how to get 2 solo shows done in one year. Oh yeah WORK.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
I had a studio visit with the very sweet San Francisco based artist Sonya Philip. Sonya was in town for the Makers Faire. It was so nice to have her in as she asked some interesting questions about my work and as always I appreciate the feedback I get from others.
I like her work especially her series of ordinary objects with knitted sections. Making the original object no longer useful but creates this beautiful fragility within it.
She says this about herself and practice:
My work is born of patience. There is a simple intricacy in each stitch and an incremental care in making things by hand. I love to see how far I can push the craft or what unlikely material I can use...
To me her work is unique and since she has more freshly come to the practice of art making, from writing, I very much look forward to seeing what she does next. See much more of her work here.