What are some of your current obsessions? (art, music, craft, completely random)
It's funny that this week's Blog Watchers post is about obsessions. I recently went with SVA to the East Hamptons where we met with different artists in their studios. On that trip I met Lucy Winton and she really got me thinking in terms of obsessions and how it progresses our work. She said that in her art practice she continually asks herself "what do I like, what do I like, what do I like? What am I currently obsessed with?" It was interesting to me because I hadn't thought about making work like that. I guess we all do it to some degree. We work with the subject matter we can't get away from. So I've been asking myself that- and its really helped me organize some of my thoughts. I'm able to narrow down what I really am obsessed about and then it becomes more clear as to why because I am able to see the connections a little more easily.
Art wise I am currently obsessed with:
The circle (geezus, I've been working in or with the circle for almost 6 months now)
intimate situations (in terms of what/why/who/where makes me who I am-so identity mostly)
continually fascinated with my own biology (can't you see where this and the previous one relate?)
The source vs the product
fallen forms (I don't know how yet- but I keep coming back to it for a few weeks now)
Sounds are not silent when they die (-not current in the work either but I keep thinking about this too)
Instagram: I am totally addicted to Instagram. I love all the things that I can be inspired by on there. I am currently following 325 accounts and somehow 209 people find me interesting enough to follow.
My top 4 favorite artists on Instagram are:
GREGGLETRON (awesome tattooer out of Portland- crazy talent)
CODYEICHTATTOO (another awesome tattooer from Ontario)
THISWILDIDEA (a man (photographer) and his dog Maddie)
GOGUEART (Jeff Gogue- wow)
Music: Right now I'm really into Lindsey Stirling and Imagine Dragons. Instrumentals with some oomf.
Craft: I really want to learn how to sew on the sewing machine. I know a little but I want to push it more. I also want to start my own garden or plants or something. I'm used to it and I think it would increase my happiness to invest in it more.
Food: Chocolate ice cream and pizza. I could eat both every single day of my life and not get tired of it.
Also here's the Facebook invite for the SVA Open Studio this Thursday! Hope to see you there!
One week til exhibition!
My time in NYC is almost over. I basically have a week left of the residency. A lot has progressed since then. I've gone through a couple of failed ideas and have settled on three different mini-series that will be completed by next week. I'll have a series of 5-8 paintings ranging from 2.5 feet -to-4 inches in diameter. I am also almost finished what I am calling the "specimen series" which I will be able to continue from anywhere in the world (and will probably be more interesting when I have access to home again). Lastly, I will have a series of bacteria paintings. Unfortunately, the paintings themselves are not allowed to leave the lab due to liability issues even though the bacteria isn't harmful. Therefore, the paintings have been professionally photographed. I am going to print the paintings in two different ways to determine which direction the work will be presented. Option one will be shown as simply photographs of the paintings (larger than life); option two will be printed on canvas and I will paint on top of the photograph. I'm going to try out both to see what I like best. I'd rather do too much work than too little. A month is not a long time but I feel really good about my outcome at this point. And I still have a week left! Next Thursday (June 20th) is our "Semi Living" exhibition at SVA Fine Arts Building on 16st between 8th and 9th Aves from 6-9. As soon as the digital showcard is emailed to me, I"ll link it here. Let the countdown begin.
How have your travels abroad influenced your work?
I know that my travels abroad have influenced me as a person, which in turns influences the work. With that said, I don't know that my work changes according to the different environment that I am. In an earlier post I stated that the place that I'm from, HOME, influences my work; but strangely other environments haven't effected the work. I think its more about how I'm influenced by the things I see and the skills/adaptations to the place. SmallTown, USA doesn't have access to the museums and galleries as other places that I have travelled to.
In undergrad I was blessed with the opportunity to travel abroad twice. The first time I was a sophomore and did a two week trip during winter break with Dr. Juliee Decker as an art history student. We spent one week in London and the other in Dublin. The class topic was about portraiture. It was an amazing experience. I would love to go back to London especially. Being exposed to all the art and museums on that trip was really eye opening for me. I developed an appreciation of many different kinds of art. The Tate Modern was where I fell in love with Mr. Rothko. If you've never seen the Rothko room there, you should! Such an overwhelming, pulsating experience to be surrounded by those large works. It was almost a spiritual experience for me- which was one of Rothko's reasons for his work to begin with.
The next year of college, I spent a semester in Florence, Italy. Now that experience was life changing. I learned a lot about myself and seen some of the worlds most famous works in person. I would spend hours in museums sketching and just being surrounded by the work. While there, I travelled around Italy and to Paris.
How did these trips influence my work? I became aware; aware of how small SmallTown, USA really is and a portion of what the rest of the world consists of. I also grew so much closer to my place of home. I love to travel and see/do new things- but I love home. I appreciate even more, after traveling abroad, my ties to Kentucky, upbringing and values. I become closer to my family and I think became overall more happy with myself. I wouldn't mind living outside of Kentucky for a few years but I know I'll end up back there. I'm also confident in my abilities to adapt to new things and places.
Travels abroad has also taught me to be more free with my work; to not treat it so preciously. Also to more easily try new things with my work. Its exciting to go somewhere new and learn different skills but to bring that skill set back home and try something that I never would have before. However, while abroad I feel like the smallest fish in the sea but the opposite when I get home. It's an interesting complex to consider. It is difficult to be a big fish in the art world to begin with. I think its about attitude and not focusing on being a big or little fish, but just being a fish in the same conversation.
I've been busy working with cool people.
The past week has been busy working with and meeting really talented people. This experience is shaping up to be amazing so far. It's a little less structured than I would like. I usually get to the laboratory about 10 am but sometimes things don't usually get going until about 10:30-11ish. And the mornings are less hands on than the afternoons. Suzanne Anker or Brandon Ballengee usually start off with a presentation, discuss, or workshop in the AM - break for lunch for an hour - and come back and start doing things with our hands! Its a difficult balance of science and art. I want more art (of course) but I have to start with the science part. It's difficult for me to keep attention during the science part simply because I like to use my hands to learn and science is a bunch of big words that I have trouble pronouncing. We meet with Suzanne on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Brandon on Mondays and Wednesdays. Fridays usually consists of studio days OR an event for all the SVA residents (sculpture, installation/new media, painting, and bio-arts). The weekends are free to do as we please, recently I've been lazy and/or sightseeing on the weekends, but the weekends are about to turn into intense studio days I think.
A brief run down of what I've been doing with all these cool people at SVA.
We've been meeting with her at least once a week one-on-one to discuss our projects. Since there are 16 of us it usually takes about two days to get through all of us. We did a bacteria painting workshop with her. We used a e.coli bacteria (that is not a harmful strain) that was mixed with a florescent gene from a jellyfish. We poured the agar, waited for it to cool, then painted with the bacteria. A green and violet pigment. But its clear when you paint with it, so its like painting with invisible ink- difficult. It takes about 16-24 hours for the bacteria to grow then its visible under blacklight.
Brandon teaches part time at SVA and considers himself a scientist and artist. His bio art consists of finding amphibians that have deformities due to a bacteria in their environments that cause the extra limbs or growth to not enough limbs. So far Brandon has taught us how to stain and preserve specimens. Its really exciting and not as dangerous as I thought it would be (chemical-wise). This Wednesday we are meeting in SoHo/Chinatown to get more interesting specimens.
Joe is defiantly a scientist but has very recently begun to dabble in photography. In his scientific research he is working on neutralizing a neuron (or gene-something like that) in a squid that might help with alzheimers. Its complicated but important. I don't understand it. Joe did a microscopy workshop with us, taught us how to make one for cheap and how to use the ones we have access to in our lab.
Last Friday all SVA residents were invited to do a gallery crawl with painting professor Tobi Kahn. I don't know him well or really have the opportunity to work with him but he is interesting. I had the opportunity to see some amazing work. Jeff Koons, Anselm Kiefer, Frank Stella, and many more. The Kiefer exhibition was amazing work. I love Kiefer's work and seeing his new work in person was breathtaking. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photographs at that show, and the security there was intense. I was scolded for looking too closely.
I was thankful for the gallery walk and commentary b/c I went to some shows that I normally may not have gone to on my own.
I still hate Jeff Koons.
I am a contemporary artist focused on the intersection of art and science in Lexington, KY.