Sunday, March 4, 2012

mini 31

Miniature #31 - February 27 - March 4, 2012, 6.5 x 4.5  in (image 3 x 2 in), monotype
Under the general heading of "getting to know the tiny-press," I thought I'd try a monotype this week.  Monotypes are one-of a kind prints, so in a sense, they seem to me to be antithetical to the nature of printmaking as a means for producing multiple works; on the other hand, its magical to work on the plate (in this case - glass, which, sadly, did not survive the printing) for hours to have the work on paper emerge in only a few minutes.

In terms of inspiration this week, I heard an interview on the radio with Chuck Close (and R. Crumb later the same day - it was a very good day for art interviews).  I really admire Chuck Close's work.  I had the chance to see a big exhibition in Atlanta a few years ago.  I think what I loved most about the show was that despite the number of people (note - I do not like crowds), when I looked at his work, nothing else existed.  For me, it acts as material evidence of an incredible level of focus.  I find that amazing, not only because the artist himself has that level of focus, but because he's able to pass along that experience to the viewer through his work.  So, I really like his work and was listening carefully.  One of the things he was talking about was the fact that he is drawn to extremes (naturally, I interpreted this as showing some love for the mini-verse.)  In his large works based on a grid system, each part becomes an individual, tiny, composition, which works together with the others to produce a whole (like an installation in paint.)  This week, hearing the interview and exhibiting the largest display of minis so far got me thinking about the minis as a complete 50 piece set.  Though I still have a few months left on the project, I'm starting to think through how/where to display them as a unit.

While I hesitate to say this because I don't want to loose focus, the fact that I'm well past the halfway point on the "Power in Precision" project and starting to consider the minis as a completed set also got me thinking about life "post-minis" and starting something new.  When I work on really small things, I always want to be working on something big instead and vice versa.  I've been continuing to work on my full scale pieces (which I recently updated on my website - enter shameless self-promotion here: ), but I've been thinking that the next thing should be something really big.  I worked with some very large pieces as an artist assistant, so I have a pretty realistic idea of some of the logistical challenges, and I don't dismiss practical constraints.  On the other hand, there must be some creative solution, I just need to come up with a (good) idea to make it work...  Not to go on and on about this interview (it made a big impression), but one of my favorite parts was that Close called out what he referred to as "station-wagon-sized" art, and I had to laugh when I heard that, since I currently make work exactly to the maximum scale of my trunk.  I'm not getting a bigger car, so I'll have to keep working on an intellectual solution...