Monday, May 20, 2013

Still working on Phase 7...

After the rain, another beautiful week in Hudson                  (c)Tatiana Klacsmann 2013
Last week I went to "The Last Word," the culmination of a project after my own heart, a consumng and labor-intensive endeavor based on devotion. Phillip Patterson copied the entire King James bible by hand, working on it for up to 14 hours a day, over the course of 4 years. Before writing the final two lines, Phillip talked about the project and described getting up every day wanting to work on it. I really admire his dedication and the idea of thinking and learning through doing and making (more in the Huffington Post).

Seeing the text reminded me of a passage, along the lines of: 'to one who has, more will be given, but for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.' (This passage has been bothering me enough that I looked it up in Latin and confirmed translation.) I think it stuck out to me because it seems so antithetical to the idea of charity, but examining it closely, the reversal from "has nothing" to "taken away" occurs without any action in between - so I've been thinking that maybe it's not a literal change in possession, but instead, a change in perception (ah - there it is - I'll bring it back to the art, promise ;) !). So I think maybe it's not about having or not having in a material sense, but the ability to recognize the good things in one's life. Why do I think of this as art-relevant? - Because it relates to sight and the power of perception/vision, and I'm working on another blindfolded figure. Also, I found these in the basement excavations (dead spider attached to the frame and all!), and NAWA's theme for upcoming programming is 'vision' (excellent!) It seems like the theme of sight is everywhere I look (;))

Hearing Phillip talk about waking up everyday wanting to write got me thinking about art-making. It's as if my mind is a computer and part of the processor is dedicated to keeping the 'artmaking' program operating at all times (even as a background program while I have other windows open.) It uses up a lot of RAM and, in my case, I think it's a systems file.  

This came back home recently (I had submitted it for a juried show in Germany opening this week. It wasn't selected this time, but it's a cool project: Anonymous Drawings, promoting an appreciation of drawing based on engagement and enjoyment). Taking a second look at this drawing, a few observations: (1) I can do a better job with the matting/frame (even given the restrictions of international mailing). (2) I made the words by stamping the individual letters, so I could have made any word, but I chose "and," then repeated it over and over and over so that it takes up all the negative space, blocking out the air. It's red as if for urgent for attention while the figure is faded (and actually erased and wiped out multiple times). In terms of seeing patterns - ummmm - uh oh! I tend to prefer "and" decisions over "or" ones (for example, I love mixed media and trained in the generalized "visual arts," rather than a specific discipline.) As much as I love incorporating lots of media and techniques, I'm reminded of the simile of the computer - it only has so much processing power and having too many big programs open at the same time makes the whole thing freeze and crash (might be time to close a few windows ;)).

I think this is funny - I didn't plan it, but the piece is
made of tiny stripes in red and blue, and I'm dressed to match!  
Onward to the opening! Art Biologic opened this week. I had worked on the back of this piece - painting it neon and adding gold balls so that it stands off the wall about 2 inches and is surrounded by a subtle, neon glow from the reflection of the paint against the white wall. I never got a chance to hang it at home, so I was super excited to see it in the gallery and it worked!

 Phase 7 has been productive - in looking at the house as a parallel to the "things I like" list, I realized that I have playing cards or references to them in almost every room (not that surprising, since they have a history as small, medieval prints, and "games/toys/models" appears on the  list.) (On a funny side note, I also noticed that, I have a goal for this year to travel to a specific art-filled place, and there are symbols, maps, or photos of it in every room too, haha). I'm still working on a way to apply this information to the latest works, so I decided to go back to working small for a little bit to try to learn through doing. In terms of narrowing the focus (more 'or' and less 'and' ;)). I think I may want to work in mostly red, black, blue and gold for a while (the colors typical of Late Gothic art, particularly in France during the second quarter of 14th century to early 15th century)  Of course, I will probably add some neon, safety orange (possibly yellow too) into the mix, keeping it lively ;) )
This started out as a panel from the hardware store that goes
next to the door for address numbers
Historic Examples
manuscript - the Bedford Book of Hours in the British Library
stained glass - Notre Dame in Semur-en-Auxois, France
sculpture -a reliquary shrine by Jean de Touyl, a mixed media wonder! I think it may be time for a "field trip" to the Cloisters to see this in person!

In terms of following through with existing work, I also re-photographed these (and added the monkey with an orange).