Scraps of old watercolor paper, pastels, tap water, and gesso are so so delightful to work with.
The Byzantine mosaics that I have been looking at fracture space in to small fragments at the same moment as space is compressed by the pre-perspectival renderings of depth. Similarly, I am interested in ways that multiple figures can occupy the same footprint, compressing space and fracturing clarity.
My right to comment on “immigration policy” is very limited. I was born in the United States, never worked for my citizenship, and would likely not pass the myriad exams required for naturalization by US Citizenship and Immigration Services if I were to try tomorrow morning. My father, a Swedish Immigrant, spent his adult life here on a Green Card without much trouble. I wonder if this experience is common to immigrants and asylum seekers from every nation and educational background.
When the number of people attempting the journey from the coast of Cuba to Florida in hopes of staying on the “wet foot dry foot policy” spiked in recent weeks, I stood in my kitchen wearing slippers and listening to an NPR story exploring the possibility that this might be a result of warming US-Cuba relations. The radio conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson and Robert Siegel was interesting, but standing by the sink in my comfortable apartment, it seemed worth noting that I have never met anyone who came to the United States from Cuba on a homemade raft. I consume stories, like the ones I heard at a book reading by Cuban-American writer Chantel Acevedo last fall, or the testimonies recorded by StoryCorps, and perhaps this contributes to an increasing numbness, what the artist Rudy Shepherd calls Disaster Fatigue. From the privileged distance afforded me by the politicization of “immigration policy”, the people that President Obama encouraged to “come out of the shadows” last November seem like little more than a “population” about whose fate good citizens are supposed to have informed opinions.
These new paintings are images of people being transformed in to demographics as they journey from one home to another. What process changes real people in to narratives recored by StoryCorps and chopped up for soundbites in four-minute news briefings? If a photograph of Jose Noriega appears alongside his story of being airlifted during Operation Pedro Pan, “he” is just pixels on my phone screen. This modern-day transfiguration is a far cry from sharing a meal with Jose, but it is the sum-substance on which many of us base our opinions about “immigration”. I wonder how a painting can draw attention to these dynamics.
This is a first layer of a large painting (32x54").
Color variations with sap green, yellow ochre, gesso, and cadmium red light.
trees with the lamp on and the lamp offRead More
I am so honored to be working with the Attacca Quartet to present projection imagery for their performance of selections from John's Book of Alleged Dances by John Adams next week. The performance is coming up this Wednesday, October 29th at 7:30 pm in Goodwin Music Hall in Auburn, Alabama.Read More
This storefront presents itself outside of the Salvation Army in Auburn, Alabama. Nothing is hidden; everything is ostensibly just as it seems, with no mystery and no hype. (If there is drama in the banner, I think that it comes from the political climate surrounding the word "guns" rather than from the sign itself.) Some of Franz Kline's paintings seem similar.
The brushmarks and tones in Kline's paintings are starkly un-mystical. To my eyes, there is no pictorial illusion and very little ambiguity. While I am generally drawn to ambiguous images (paintings by Gerhard Richter or Anthony Keith Giannini, for example) there is something refreshing about the frank statements of paintings that are largely about paint, and storefront banners that are simply about the contents of the store. Both have a nice bluntness.
Blunt does not mean completely devoid of allusion. Gedi Sibony's new paintings with semi-trailer panels also have some of this say-it-like-it-is quality, but they also nod to content related to ready-mades, industrial waste, and even arte povera.
Thank you, Pawns Diamonds Guns, for helping me to appreciate Franz Kline's paintings a little more than I did this morning.
I came across this delightful looking machine at a second hand store in Alabama today. Knobs and switches have an aesthetic of unquestionably clear function, and when context separates them from external clues, the effect of simultaneous clarity and confusion is wonderful!
A photographer friend later told me that this is a power pack for strobes, and that it is tricky to fix. He knew all about the machine, and I was extremely impressed.
The hundreds of old failed intaglio prints, half-finished drawings, and small awkward paintings on paper that have piled in my studio for years are being turned in to finished 9x13" compositions. My lovely fiancee, who is a phenomenal poet, has been writing poems alongside each finished painting. You can see some of the finished paintings with the poems here: https://www.behance.net/gallery/13508359/_