Friday, November 19, 2010

Installation, A Comic, and Things Left Unsaid

Last night I had to put together the installation with some level of finish. I was very pleased with what occurred. I know that when people see images of it sometimes it doesn't appear to have changed much, but in my head it has changed so much and the small things that have changed and the bits and pieces that have been added really make it work for me. It has been an incredible lesson as well. I've learned that this is what I've been trying to create for several years now but haven't been able to. It almost seems like that realization is what graduate school is all about anyway, so maybe this school thing is a complete success.

Anyway here's a panorama of the installation finish as it stands now and as it was critiqued.

I also finally figured out a method of hanging and creating a piece out of a few boards that I have had grouped together in my head for ages now. They are interchangeable. I am toying with the idea of hanging the piece and inviting people to move the boards around. Let me know what you think.

I really like this piece. Though I would like it even better if the room that it is currently hanging in didn't absolute exude office space. That's it for now though. Starting to catch a little cold, so I think I will go take a nap and enjoy my day.

Til next time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

May the King of Gloom Be Forever Doomed.

For some reason tonight I felt like going back to freshman year of high school. I'm pumping a little Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It's odd, but I feel like this album should have been played in heavier rotation after the whole break up this summer. Ben Gibbard definitely had the corner on that market, but I view Mellon Collie with far more nostalgia. It makes me remember, a lot. Which leads me to the piece that I am working on now.


The installation has been a long time coming. Ever since I first purchased the book Beautiful Losers in 2004, I have wanted to make pieces similar to the large installations by Barry McGee, Thomas Campbell, and Phil Frost depicted within the book's beautiful pages. For some reason, whether it be space issues or just the daunting task of changing my entire course of working, I have never done it. Until now. I am finally working on my first installation and it is, albeit not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, a start.

First Incarnation:

The head was actually far easier to hang than I had assumed it would be. A timely trip to the hardware store and two picture hanging kits later and the head and the original set of surround pieces was up. Unfortunately with this one I felt the head and it's neighboring blocks were too crowded. You can get a better idea of what I mean from this angle.

Admittedly, I just wasn't pleased with this crowded approach. While I feel the claustrophobia is very important, I at the same think there is a tight line to walk here. Too crowded will not do. So I tried to air it out a bit, and I'm liking it better...

And here is to the right side....

I really enjoy how the two pieces of raw found wood when placed in juxtaposition to my painted elements look painted. Also the tone on the two pieces is very similar to the wall and starts asking some interesting questions that I have had of late about art within the cube. It was also mentioned to me tonight that I should really show up to a construction site and make one of these. I do not know if I am up for this guerrilla art making ideal, but I do enjoy the idea of this type of project being site specific and located outside.

Well I've bantered enough for one night I think. I'm going to go jump in bed before 11. You have no idea how rare that is.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"The Days are Just Packed"

There is a peaceful calm in the air. Finally. I find myself going to bed later and rising earlier. Things are far from perfect. I am currently working on several projects and none of them are really going exactly how I had planned, but I am pleased that I am doing them, no matter how they turn out. In fact I am viewing failure as a means to an ends now. I am not sure that this is such a radical change from the way that I felt before this term but it is good to realize that it is the way that I feel. (also of note, apparently I can type while looking out the window now, very cool)

I am amazed with where I am now. I had never thought that I would be in this kind of atmosphere, where intellectual thought is encouraged and where I am surrounded by some of the most amazingly intelligent and gifted people that I have ever met. It is a pleasure to have this opportunity, and I am finally feeling well enough emotionally that I can really appreciate that. Also thank you US government for your loan assistance!

But I blabber.

Today I received another map in the mail. Slowly this project is building up some steam. I am loving it. This one came from Massachusetts, so now I have 4 states and 1 province represented. So exciting! I have not scanned the 3 most recent maps yet. They are forthcoming in a tremendous display of scanning endurance, but for now, here is a little teaser.

This project is so cool. I am very pleased that people are getting involved. And please, once again, I am not concerned with how "artistic" the maps are. That is not the nature of the project. If you are interested in sending a map, please do, without any concerns of having your artistic abilities judged. Here's the address to send to:

Mike Lewis
28 Gilman St. Apt 2
Portland, ME 04102

Keep in mind, that each person ho sends me a map is going to be receiving an original map drawn by me in return. Seems like an easy way to receive some free art and to continue getting to one another a little better in this world that is so digital-centric. Don't you think?

Hope you are all well. Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Head Project: Keeping it Real.

Today I spent several hours in a coffee shop making sketches for this piece that I am working on. The head structure is becoming a much larger project, which somehow when I was originally putting it together I suspected would happen. Basically what I have determined is that I am going to put together a cross hatched support using shingles that mimic my line worked cross hatching with the big head in the foreground. The sketch comes out looking like this:The shingles that I have came off of the roof early this fall, which means that they are in pretty rough shape. It's not like anything that comes off of this house is in particularly tip-top shape. So we're talking a little dry rot and some brittleness, so screws seem right out. Even though drilled holes seem to go fine, the expansion that the screw would make out of the hole seemed like a bad idea, so I decided to join each piece using a loop of wire. Here is the beginning of that:

The shingles seem to be holding together well with the wire, and the wire seems relatively non-invasive to the flow of the wood. There is not too much shine, and not too much weight added. I think it will work out well.

I also managed to piece together the face with strips across the back today and added the first eyebrow shape. I went with finishing nails as I liked the repetition along the brow area.

This project is going better than I had really suspected it would. I am very pleased because the other options that I had worked up for myself in the studio were just so lacking in hands on time that I couldn't get into them. This is meaty enough for me to really get into and it is more personal than a lot of the projects that I develop as well.

Hope you like the progression and hopefully I have more for you tomorrow as well.
Til then.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Listening to Me

When I did my last experiment for class, the first artist that my professor mentioned was Barry McGee. I was impressed that judging from the other artists that they usually compare my work to that they would be aware of Barry McGee, but I am glad they are, because I remembered a little bit of what I used to like to do before I became surrounded by academics and their well educated language. It is difficult to feel a part of it. I really have never been one for using big words just for the sake of using a big word. If the situation calls for it then I will use the appropriate term but I am not married to the verbose.

Anyhow, I am being verbose and tangential, so let me get around to what I was getting at. I've been working on some constructions lately, as you could see from my last post, but I really wanted to be making those same pieces but with an influence gained from street art and the west coast scenes, not from a NYC scene that I feel has been dead since the dawn of post-modern art.

That said, here is the piece that I have been working on. It is part of a large installation that I have begun to formulate. Hope you like it. It's definitely the biggest head I have ever painted.

That's all I have for now. More to come soon, has to be, my professor is coming a week early this time. Til next time.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Typing with a cat sitting on the keyboard is hard.

Good morning. This past weekend has been a whole lot of busy. I started playing with a punk band again, I carved a sweet cyclops pumpkin, I cooked crab and clam cakes at my friends Halloween party, and I painted, a lot.

I am very into this new painting that I am working on. I had actually hung the piece as an under painting in the MFA show at the end of last summer at MECA but when I picked it up from the show, I realized I couldn't actually stand the painting anymore, so I painted over it, I drilled a hole in it and I installed a faucet. I like it, though I plan on constructing a better way to hold the faucet in the painting.

I am really pleased to be working with these constructions again. I will probably catch some flack from my professors for abandoning the conceptual project that I have had going, but over the past couple weeks I've realized that I need to be happy with my work, even if others are not.

I've also been working on some new drawings incorporating pipes. It has been suggested that the way the pieces are drawn out on small planks and blocks of wood makes the piece appear to be a game. I am not completely upset by that, though really, I feel that it speaks a bit more deeply than as a game, but really that is the least of worries now that I have so definitely absconded from my Fall Proposal.

Sorry for the glare. It is tough to take photos in the studio after dark. Only one overhead bulb and a lamp that is a bit too strong for what I need. Hopefully you get the idea though.

Go Giants!