Archives for posts with tag: New York artist

Day Sixty-Nine/Image Sixty-Nine

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show.

The basement studio is almost finished. Everything in it is white. Floor, walls, table, brick wall. I am even spray-painting random “junk” items to reside there. Still keeping my studio downtown, which remains my sanctuary.

Everything is crystal-clear in my studio downtown: focus, attention to detail, ideas. It’s a wonderful space, located in an historical building on the National Historical Building Register. Heat is negligible. And in the summer it’s very hot. Peeling lead wall paint and asbestos flooring (which I covered with particle board.) An earthly place. I can totally relax.

There, the floor and walls are white too, as color is important to me. Do you know that surrounding white extracts a small amount of color out of every color? When I paint there, I make the colors brighter. When work is in a gallery, the effect is the same. Hence my desire for white. I wanted to be working on things as they will be seen.

Recently I hung a painting of mine, not too large, maybe 36″ x 48″ in a patron’s (Is that too pretentious?) office. The man has taupe walls and some blue on an adjacent wall. The blue “matched” and the taupe “matched.” It sold the painting. I have to admit, the colors were exactly were the same. My purist preference would have been, to have him appreciate the artwork on its own, which he truly did. But the matching, well you know….. To sell a painting is so wonderful, but to sell one appreciated on its own terms is even better.

Again, white is everywhere. To keep me on the right path.

Day Sixty-Eight//Image Sixty-Eight

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show

I am transitioning out of my present blog format for a very good reason: Showing the 100 collages in my current blog format is coming to a close. (We are on “Sixty-Eight”) To make the transition easier, (soon) , I am planning to blog about other art-related things interspersed with continuing to post the “Afloat” collages until I reach the 100. I will ease out of the front and center visual and few paragraphs of copy into something else.

I have a fear of boring my present followers. I am taking a risk. First, I have tried to keep my blog short. And primarily visual. People do not have time now to do anything but scan.

I am scheduled for another solo show in 2015. A solo show requires me to spend at least an entire year to bring it to its conclusion.

In addition to planning what I will do for the blog, I must first plan what I will do for the show.

And part of the blog material will come from experiences with my new studio and my old studio. Successes and challenges with technique and subject matter, (I’ll keep problems with people to a minimum), materials, time, commuting back and forth for supplies and to work.

I won’t show any finished work, I don’t think. Since the exhibition is for that. I will focus on experience and process. Even in my “Afloat” blog, where I showed finished pieces, I described process and sometimes I drifted into memories. This too will happen. I doubt it will be a “How to Put Together a Solo Show” type of thing. I’ll just see how it goes.

I am not ready to break away from these little collages yet, however.

Day Sixty-Seven/ Image Sixty-Seven

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show.

There is an expression: “walking on air.” It generally means a person is so happy, his or her feet don’t touch the ground. Or that is the way the person feels.

I had this feeling once. It lasted a few months. I could not shake it. I tried, but I continuously felt, literally, that my feet were not connected to the ground.

It was after I had been accepted into a juried exhibition in New York, where Anne Umland, Curator, Painting and Sculpture Department for the Museum of Modern Art had selected one of my pieces for New York exhibition.

I had just started painting seriously, after I had left my full time job in Advertising. I had been in the studio constantly for a few years, working. I saw the ad for this show, applied and got in.

A lot of artists work hard. I am just one of them. Even a former professor of mine said, when I complained of this euphoria, (because, believe me, it became annoying not being connected to the ground!) “Enjoy it now! It won’t last!” Thinking how harsh he was, I kept painting and working.

Nothing on that great a scale has happened since. Similar career achievements and experiences have approached it, but never again did I get that feeling.

Day Twenty-Six/Image Twenty-Six

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show.

Day Twelve/Image Twelve

“Afloat.” Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show.

Frito wrappers cut out. Floating across a background of Aspen trees. Some of these pieces have been sold (a lot actually), but this one was purchased by some very dear friends of mine. It will soon hang in their home in Los Angeles.

Now is a good time to bring up subject matter vs overall aesthetics.

These pieces, one by one, were completed with the main concern being, how the composition, color and design hold the piece together. How each collage “flows” within the square format. I do love the themes of natural disasters, bizarre juxtapositions, and pop imagery. But the main concern always is how each element in the piece “works” to contribute to the total image.

In this blog, I am commenting “after-the-fact” as a viewer. I am looking at these collages anew, long after I have completed them, so my take on them, (assigning meaning to them, etc.) is from a detached take, not from me, the artist.

Day Nine/Image Nine

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York Solo Show.

This one is shown in its exhibition frame. I am back in town and have access to all my photos. This was intentionally done as a “Close-Encounters” thing. The traveling lights in the distance. About to land.

These collages evolved from the whimsical idea of cutting up magazines and seeing what I could do with no paint involved, as I was accustomed to using. I did one, then two. I had so much fun just “playing” (always hating that expression when it comes to artwork, because art is hard WORK.)

My solo show loomed ahead and subject matter was undecided.

I had been working on a video. I worried about focusing only on the video for the show. Working under pressure is never good. And doing animation is meticulous. Being meticulous and being nervous don’t go together.

I decided to continue with these collages, thinking “Oh, I am having so much FUN, it will be easy to RELAX and do them….100 of them….for the solo show.”

I should not admit this, but looking back, I really don’t think making them was FUN. All principles of doing art were involved. And certainly, when I hit 26, after slaving away, the rest seemed to be a torturous number. Looming in the distance.

Much like these space crafts about to land.

Day Six/Image Six

This is an unframed collage from my solo show “Afloat”. Ceres Gallery. New York. Photo taken in my studio just after I finished it. My love of water. Joyful feeling of the man in front of the wave. Reminds me of childhood times in the summer.

Day Five/Image Five

“Afloat.” Solo show. Ceres Gallery, New York. This one was one of my first collages In the series. I used the wrappers from cotton balls to make some of the bubbles. I think this one works well inside the square in a circular way. Your eye goes around and returns to the laughing baby. Compositionally, probably my best.

Day Three/ Image Three

“Afloat” image. Ceres Gallery, New York. My solo show. I am building a new studio and have been dealing with sub-contractors now for two months. While this is going on, I see the new blank walls and I feel the need to reflect on work completed.

An artist’s show unearths the artist’s psyche. Changes the person. Especially a solo show as massive as my show, “Afloat.”

This piece includes a tornado. Striking an innocent village in the snow. Blue sky. Another one of my collages cut from magazines. (“Afloat” used no computer imagery or manipulation.) Perhaps I choose to talk about change and beginning anew because of this image. And, of course, what is going on in my life.