Sunday, December 8, 2013

Large Work & a Couple of New Cameras

I continued on with by tearing and collaging of images, but on a larger scale.  The base is four straight pinhole images each printed at 17" X 22" and mounted of foam-board.  On top of that is chicken wire, to act as a barrier to the past.  On top of that are torn double exposure pinhole images to represent the fragmentation of our memories.

Since I am still exploring and experimenting I thought I would try the same idea with a different method.  In this quartet the double exposure top layer is printed on a transparency that acts as a veil over the past (chicken wire and single exposure image).

I also decided to use some of my silkscreen images as fronts to a couple of new cameras.  I like the idea of have black & silver negative images facing future imagery that will result in black & white negatives on silvered paper.  I still need to construct my sliding shutters, and then will be able to glue the aluminum to the cameras.

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 22nd Mentor Meeting

     I started off my meeting with Judy by showing her my pinhole photographs of my sculptures at the location of their inspiration.  She really liked these images.  She said that in the past my sculpture photographs were more self consciously done, stating “this is this”, and “that is that.”  But now there is a unification where lots of different things are stating to talk together.  She said that the way Charles Sheeler photographed factories, and Hilla & Bernd Becher photographed water towers, spoke of “this place is iconic”.  But the way I have photographed my sculptures is very internalized, the way Gaston Bachelard’s writing in The Poetics of Space is very internalized.  She said the low vantage point has an ambiguity, and makes the images feel more in the moment.  She said they are also enigmatic, and not completely knowable. She said my images echo “house” without overly defining the deconstructed overlay of damaged house.  She said they feel like the occludedness that happens in memory.  She said the viewer has the sense of being within the piece as opposed to looking at it.  She said they’re visceral, with everything collapsing together right in the image.  She felt the images were very active, with an openness: the copper house levitating, the barn fracturing, and the form moving to image to texture. The fracturing and diagonals repeated keeps the images vibrant, and she liked the play of the geometric with the biomorphic.  She said I really need to consider how to display these, because the paper surface is so rich: glass or no glass, perhaps mount on aluminum and have them come out from the wall.
     Judy was very excited about my large 34” X 44” images (printed on 4 separate sheets of 17” X 22”).  I told her my original intent was to piece them together into one, but I actually loved the fracturing that occurred by having them as 4 separate images.  She agreed.  I talked with her of my plans for layering torn pieces of color images onto them, connecting them with chicken wire, and so on.  She opened up that discussion to include other ideas of how they could exist and evolve.  So I think I will break with my original intent and experiment a little further.
     I showed Judy my larger transparencies for my fire series, and we discussed how their larger size changed the image.  I told her I wanted to pick 3 images and frame them in a box.  She said I needed to lay three out together, and work them as a trio to see how they would work in concert.  She said I am composing now, so I need to think about how they flow together. That was good advice, and not at all how I’d been approaching it.
    Judy was also excited about my material exploration.  She said it was interesting, though, that the only substance I poured as a sheet and then broke was the plaster.  I hadn’t really thought of that.  I said I really enjoyed breaking the plaster, and like the fracturing that occurred.  But one of the plaster pieces I had to stop fracturing because all the material wanted to fall away, and both of them kept shedding bits.  She said I should try lining the back with paper before I pour the plaster.  And then when I break the plaster I can burn away the pieces of paper where I want the plaster to fall away.  She also really liked the grittiness of the dog hair pumice gel medium piece.  She said I should try combining these two materials with the plaster and see how that would be.  She also talked quite a bit about armatures, other backings, and methods of hanging plaster pieces.  She said to experiment further within this narrower range.
     Judy said I should look up the artist Elaine Spatz Rabinowitz.  She said she does hyper-realistic paintings on broken plaster.  She said it might give me a good idea of how to marry my images with broken things.
     I told Judy I felt like I had all these parts and pieces, with no definitive completed project to show her.  She said she thought I was right were I should be, and should just keep carrying on.  So I guess that’s what I’ll do.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Going Large

I wanted to try making some of my torn collages large, so I scanned some images in to be 32" X 40", and divided them into 4 pieces to print on 17" X 22" paper.  I originally thought I'd piece them together, but I really like the fracturing that happens with them by printing them as four separate units.  So I've decided to embrace this.  The first image is of the front of the house, and the second is of the back of the house.

I made some small mock-ups of how I envisioned my series (I thought I'd eventually add a third image).  But the three together look a little too stripy and vertically lined.

So my idea now is to abandon the color, and use double exposure images to be the torn up companion.

Material Experimentation

Judy suggested I experiment with a variety of materials to form my chicken wire house assemblages.  I trimmed (by tearing) the top of My paper collages to follow the shape of the buildings' roofs per several people's suggestion (including Judy).

This is Scultamold modeling compound with ground up autumn leaves.

This is Scultamold modeling compound with nylon fibers and dry grass.

This is matte acrylic heavy gel medium with ground up burnt wood.

This is acrylic crackle paste gel medium with milkweed seeds.

This is acrylic course pumice gel medium with dog hair,

This is matte heavy gel medium with nylon fibers, acrylic paint, and dry grass.

This is plaster mixed with dirt, poured in a mold, and then broken.

This is plaster mixed with ground up burnt wood, poured in a mold, and then broken.

I was hoping fo melt transparencies onto chicken wire, or to paper, or to itself (with wire sandwiched in between).  But all that happened, after a remarkable amount of time, was the transparancies began to curl. So this idea doesn't work.

Silkscreen Experimentation

I tried transforming a couple of my pinhole images into silkscreens and printing them of various metals (copper, brass, aluminum) and safety glass.  I like the way printing on metal creates a ghost-like appearance.  I'm still not sure where they'll go from here, except I know I'll break the glass.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mentor Meeting Notes, October 25th, 2013

     Judy made the comment that before my work was conforming to the house itself, but now it’s breaking out.  It’s more elusive.  There’s violence in the work because of the shattered overlay.  Tearing is one kind of violence.  Burning is another violence.  The violence would be intensified if it were sized up.
     Judy first addressed my fire series combined with transparencies.  She said there is a collision with the sandwiching of the transparencies, a collision of forms where moments are colliding.  This combining is more enigmatic.  There are very interesting vibrations in the synthesis.  It’s more about memory, fire, and the life force.  The plexi-glass acts as a mediator, like a window through which you can look back at something.
     Judy commented that a narrative is always about time, an occurrence, and an event. She said my fire series reads very well left to right.  There is a certain velocity that leads the viewer to the right.  The only image with an active left edge is the first one.  All the others have active right edges that lead the viewer on.  The color flow also has a momentum.  The color begins quite active until there is a blunt stop at the forth image, with its strong horizontals, and then the color dies out.
     Judy said I need to unify the language within these pieces.  The plexi-glass is very slick, while the fire images are very rough.  Also the bases are quite pristine in comparison with the demise of the other.  And the binder clips I used at the top of the plexi-glass are very distracting – perhaps I should use clear plexi screws instead.   Judy liked the distance between the transparencies and the fire images because it made the imagery change as the viewer moved.  But she suggested backing the fire imagery with foam-board or aluminum to make it more rigid and fixed.  She said I should try two things: 1) to make the transparencies large enough to contain the entire fire image, perhaps framed and contained within an actual window, 2) embrace the yin and the yang of the disparateness of the imagery and push it further, and cut away more from the fire imagery that protrudes beyond the plexi, making the edges more active, and allowing interesting shadows to be cast upon the wall.
     Judy also talked quite a bit about my plaster house/ image combinations.  She liked how they referenced “house” without trying to be “house”.  She said where Beverly Buchannan’s work wants to be observed by the viewer, my work looks like it wants to consume the viewer.  She said she could envision them really large.  She said if the plaster in the houses were dark, as opposed to being ghostly white, they would look more like burnt houses.  She said I should make them look more like I feel them to be, visually phenomenological.  She said I need to think about what I want the viewer to feel when they’re in the space.  She said I should consider how I feel when I am looking at Anselm Kiefer’s work.
     Judy talked quite a bit about various materials with which I could construct my shattered “house”, and things I could mix into the plaster or acrylic to add texture and color and add depth of meaning.  She said I must take the cracking and breaking further, and make it my own.  She said to play around with various methods to see what I liked best.
     We talked about these pieces for over three hours, so I never brought out my latest pinhole images.  I think I will wait until I print a select few of my sculpture photos and print them large.  We discussed the work that I had questions about, so I feel good about moving forward.   

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Plaster House Collages Combined with Torn Collages

I keep thinking about how the past and memories become fragmented and reassembled within the present.  I like my torn image assemblages, but they are too accessible.  The past can never be so clearly viewed.  So I took some chicken wire, plater wrap, and small pieces of imagery, and created a house-like overlay for them.

Transparency Composite Series

I was really intrigued by how the transparencies looked in conjunction with my fire series.  By overlaying images of ruin in front of the fire event collages the lines of literalness became blurred the  imagery began to transcend.  So thought I should find a fixed way to try and incorporate the two and make them one.

Pinhole Photos of House Sculptures at the Waterboro House