Monday, February 9, 2015

phase 6 - each art-thing is a responsibility, continued

An exciting week here in Artlandia - (Drumroll...) That's Bunny and Helicopter on a billboard!(!!!)
(lol - a first step toward arty-world-domination?)
I'm excited to see this familiar piece blown up so that the little flowers and life-scale ants are on display for passing cars.  The show is up as of last Friday, at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and the opening is next Thursday, Feb 12th. I really want to be there to see the show and great pieces by the other artists (check out this gorgeous owl by Melanie Mowinski!) - fingers crossed that Mother Nature allows.

I also delivered the heart for the Love Show opening Feb. 14th in Hudson at Gallery 46. 

It was a busy week in the studio. Even though this isn't done yet (those dots everywhere are magnets - each piece is over a magnetized white board  so everything can be moved around or changed easily until it clicks. Even though it's not quite there yet, I'm starting to get excited about this one - gradually stepping up the size from one sheet (30 x 22") to two (30 x 44").
In process this week
I was a little bummed not to have this further along, but then when I photographed the blocks, I realized that I carved 8 new blocks for it this week (Ooooo - so that's where I left my time, I knew I put it down somewhere ;)). 

New blocks

I'm liking the bees (close-up insect photography is another of my favorite pastimes-in-the-park).

The telephone poles come from my photographs of industrial stuff. I'm going to admit something - I have dozens of pictures of utility poles, and among them, I have favorites; so a particular set came to mind for these. I'm happy that I've kept track of, labeled, and maintained my photos well enough to pull these up right away, but also - Really?!? -  I remember clearly utility poles I saw two and half years ago, but if you were to ask me what I had for breakfast yesterday (:o ?? - doh.)

The birds aren't new blocks, but I've been testing new ways of printing them. The mechanical birds are printed in silver on black paper.  The accents are a more dense silver ink, the beaks are two different gold inks and the wind up key is collaged in a gold paper. I had a lot of fun with these (I got to bedazzle the eyes -who doesn't like to bedazzle?) I enjoy the way the different metallics make these dynamic - the appearance changes as the viewer moves and/or the light shifts. I'm still working on how best to capture the effect in photos, but on the up side - the work is almost guaranteed to be more exciting in-person than in photographs, so there's always an element of surprise for the real time viewer ;).

Still thinking about phase 6 "each art thing is a responsibility," and I'm thinking that  "responsibility" may need to be subdivided into categories - physical responsibility (use of materials, framing/finishing, transportation, delivery, storage, etc.); virtual responsibility (photographing, posting, digital archiving, etc); and conceptual responsibility (owning up to why the work is the way it is.)              
I love the brutality of this technique and the way it contrasts with the content - soft feathers and curling petals carved with very sharp knives and cut out with a razor blade or scissors. It's like trying to sculpt beauty from violence.  I think in a way it comes back to the idea of responsibility because, with this technique, each line requires time and commitment - since relief printing is subtractive (carving away), rather than additive (drawing or painting on), each line is a one shot deal - once material is gone, it's gone (just like the creatures it represents). Sometimes I wonder if this is an art-attempt at rejecting the idea: "it's just a system, no one is responsible," by trying to make something individual in a way that requires devotion. Admittedly, it's still just paper in the end, and is it really possible to be combative out of love rather than bitterness? I don't know (haha - and that is why I should probably just stick with photographing bugs and telephone poles, no?)