Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Return from Blog Hiatus

Two years flew by like crazy. To look at this thing and realize that it's been a hair over exactly two years since I'd last updated is surprising.

ANYWAY, a lot has gone down since the Bearded Men- a body of artworks that sent me off to the races. A growing part of my process has been to allow my work to be a more direct record of my experiences. New (York) Animism, for example, is a group of works that came immediately following The Bearded Men. When I made the works in that group, where I responded directly to the materials, I decided to get into my philosophy about looking at found material as a whole: it's like people watching. I would assemble seemingly disparate found components, and went in to bring the personalities out of the objects as I saw them.

“Not the Face! (That’s the Cash Register)” reclaimed wood, paper, and acrylic, 19"x16"x12", 2016

“Smoke Break”, reclaimed wood, paper, acrylic, found metal, and spray paint, 9"x14.5"x8.5", 2016
By the time I got to the end of 2016, I had my first public artwork approved by the NYC Parks Department at First Street Green Park. The install was a project called Birdhouse Repo- a giant birdhouse that was placed under foreclosure, living in the park from January 2017-January 2018. With the advent of Birdhouse Repo, I dove in with some related studio works for research. For more info on those, you can check out DNA Info and Hyperallergic.

"Birdhouse Repo", wood, metal, found signage, and pvc, 132"x26"x26", 2017

"Birdhouse 1", found wood, carved foam, and acrylic, 15"x16"x9", 2016

In the months that followed, I entered a segue based on the same line of thinking from New York Animism, this time in response to a major(ish) life shift - moving. The thing I didn't expect to experience during my address change was the constant inventory of all my shit - every stick of furniture, every knick-knack, and all of the stuff I love but never made a permanent place for. With that, My Stuff and Me was born. During this work period, I focused a lot more on gesture and making sure that I was not just simply adding limbs to amalgamations of scraps, but creating identities and individuals frozen in a moment.  

"Drawer," reclaimed wood, found drawer handle, rope, found linen, paper, and acrylic, 20"x20"x9", 2017 

"Shelf", acrylic, paper, and reclaimed wood, 17"x22"x8", 2017
After getting my feet properly wet with the upswing of work, I had a chance to talk about these things on BTR Today's Art Uncovered with Kimberly Ruth. It was a really fun podcast interview to do, and if you haven't gotten a chance to listen, you can find it by clicking HERE.  

Since then, I have been spending a lot more time considering the world around the characters I had developed. Part of that had to develop through understanding what is natural to me; being a city boy, I started to realize that pulling these objects from the street for their beauty is not too different from the way others might pull things into their home from nature. So I started to develop a language around what I consider the most basic versions of that, which relate to plants and animals. I became inspired by the way people pull in flowers or plants in order to balance out their homes, as well as hunting trophies people take home as a reference to their "other lives" outside of brick and pavement. This has become a body of work comprised of wreaths and antler trophies, which I call Flora and Fauna. It has been a pretty liberating experience. I still wanted to include organic references and talk about living things, but I couldn't bear to make one more damn hand in such a relatively short period of time. The break was both glorious and educational. 

“Trophy 2”, reclaimed wood, metal,paper, and acrylic, 21.5”x14”6.5”, 2017

“Wreath 1”, reclaimed wood, metal, paper, and acrylic, 17”x16.5”x3.5”, 2018
As usual, thanks for reading. I'm working on more things and keeping the ball rolling down a pretty steep hill, so keep your eyes peeled on Facebook and IG for new developments. 

Until next time!

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