Sunday, November 22, 2009
Artist-in-residence Abigail Uhteg put together this video while working on her artists’ book, The Complex of All of These, at Women’s Studio Workshop. The stop-motion video uses 3000 images to show some major action, covering printmaking, hand papermaking, letterpress, and book arts production.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Even if you can't go to Chicago, there's a lot of images from the show on the website. Go look!
On the prowl for outlets for public art (and for a paying job), I ran across this article in the T magazine of the New York Times. RxArt not only gets art out of the galleries, but gets it into places that really need some cheer- Children's Hospitals. Take a look, its a pretty wonderful program.
Steve Wolf caught my eye because of the precision used in his work. Currently being exhibited at the Whitney are his works on paper. While I have a very fuzzy and unclear descriptions of exactly what it is that I create I was very interested in the first line written on the Whitney's website:
"For over two decades, Steve Wolf has created objects and drawings of astounding craft and visual presence that investigate the intersections among material culture, intellectual history, and personal and collective memory."
This idea struck me as very interesting and after a thorough investigation I am very attracted to his desire to recreate record labels, vinyl recordings, and tattered books with such precision.
This is one example of his works, and is something that may inspire many of us new, and or old printmakers.
Alongside Steve Wolf, I continue to come back to Sam Winston's work and investigate it time and time again. I am very interested in incorporating text within my work, however I am aware of strong meanings and implications that come with placing text on a page. Text is a very powerful tool and I want to make sure that I am saying exactly what I have in mind.
Winston creates books, drawings and sculptures that incorporate text in a subtle and creative way. Here is a few different works that I continue to look at again and again.
Everyone should check out his work:
The OK Art Manifesto is precisely what it sounds like - a manifesto about art and artists that are just, well, "okay." Meaning not mind-blowing or fantastic.
3. OK artists really want to make great art,
they shoot for the stars, but their work ends up
being just OK. OK artists are OK with this.
4. Art enthusiasts and cynics alike, leave an
OK art exhibition saying "that was OK".
No one is blown away but they don't feel cheated either.
I actually found the manifesto simultaneously horrifying and comforting. Horrifying because of what it would mean to be considered just an "okay" artist. Comforting because even if you are just an "okay" artist, that's...okay.
Though I hope to never settle for being just that!
Introduction to Poetry
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
So how does this apply to us as artists? I find that when something doesn't feel right in studio, when my work is un-fulfilling or uninspired, when I have a bad critique, I blame myself, my lack of skill, my poor eye, my tastelessness, my stupidity. This thinking seriously hampers the art-making process. But it is my art, so how can it not be my fault if something is wrong with it? How can I move past this self-defeating mental block?
Elizabeth Gilbert has an answer. If we are ever plagued by self-doubt as artists, maybe we just need to shift our locus of control a bit. Maybe our genius isn't really our own. Watch and have hope.
Of course, you should never sell yourself short. But how marketable are you really? Not that you should be terribly concerned; you're making art, not merchandise, after all. But at a certain point, what is your art but the stuff you store beneath your bed? Where is our time going, and why has it been worthwhile? Does it have value to anyone else besides ourselves? Does it still have value to us after we've finished it, besides being a reminder of how much we spent on paper this month?
Why did you absolutely have to make it?
As I set up my installation, I thought about how much I really love making big work and taking up space. But simultaneously in the back of my mind I wondered what it all became once I took it off the wall. The pigeons would revert from installation to scraps of paper in my drawer. I wish there were a way of assuring that the things I make are still the same when not on display, are worth the effort to keep flat and well-preserved, and can be valued by anyone besides myself. I'm not trying to make my work over-precious; rather, I'm trying to understand why I should keep it at all if all it if it might never see light again. The subject matter is dear to me, dear enough at least to make me want to create. So am I doing some sort of dishonor to my subjects if I can't insure their worth or good keep? Have I failed in my message if I store it away and nobody but me ever knows about it?
We tell stories to share them and, in essence, preserve them. We believe they deserve that attention, to be recorded and remembered. We choose images that mean something to us. So how do we give the same justification to our subjects that we give ourselves to depict them? Without our inspiration, our work is nothing, and therefore valueless. The beginning of a work's true value lies with its concept. It is up to us to craft it adequately and to know what we want when the work is in our hands - and how we would feel should it go to or be judged by someone else.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A sneak peek at our contemporized masterpiece:
Thanks for viewing and we hope to see you there!
Monday, November 2, 2009
MOMA has created a most excellent interactive flash site on various printmaking techniques! The site explains lithography, woodcut, etching, and silkscreen in layman's terms so even (or rather especially) children can understand it. So the next time you're having a difficult time explaining printmaking to someone, you can refer them here.
Ran Ortner, an oil painter from Brooklyn, won the Art Prize competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan this month. He'll receive $250,000 for winning by receiving the most votes from members of the public.
Here is his artist statement from his website. I thought it might be interesting to read in light of your manifesto project.
In my art, I contemplate collisions of opposites, from the most tender brutalities to the most devastating sensitivities. These paradoxes register within me and I can see myself within them. I am continually surprised by the reflection between me, as an individual, and the environment within which I exist. As Robert Lax said, “The blood within and the brine without.”
I often think about Rollo May’s idea that “sustained intensity equals ecstasy.” Every day I enter my studio, prepare my materials and, as James Joyce said, “go for the millionth time to encounter the reality of experience.” I find that sustaining the encounter with life’s biting reality is not “miserablism,” but rather intense engagement. The undeniable union of life and death is not dire but majestic as evidensed by the inevitable crash of each cresting wave. In a tempest, distinctions blur registering in me as the rhythm of life’s dance. Life’s beauty is magnificent as it hangs at the edge of death, insisting upon its relevance.