Monday, March 5, 2012

New Old-Timey Pictures

I have become addicted to Instagram.  Give it a whirl!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Local Woman Makes Hot Mess

Just have to share this:

The First Week Of The New Year

As Future Husband and I held hand last Saturday at 11:59 pm,  he said "Do you have any resolutions?"  Now usually it's to lose those nagging 10 lbs that I hate so much, but this year I decided to focus on art.  "Yep, I hope to get more publicity. Don't know how, but that's what I want!"

My friend Paul says that if you put it out in to the universe, you'll get a response.

This week I had over 30 unique articles written about a series I only finished on Dec. 18, 2011 and thought that no one would like.  I have to say, that's pretty crazy.

I maintain this blog for three reasons: 1. It's my journal, 2. So that non-artists can have a glimpse of how an artist's life is composed, 3. So that students/beginners have an idea of what's in store for them.

With that in mind, I'm going to share an ancedote:

Titles are inextricably linked to your work and can even function as an artist or  political statement.

I knew this before, but that sentiment was pounded in to the 'ol noggin this week.  Sometimes, I have a tendency to not take my work too seriously.  In this case I gave Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse  a rather flippant title. If it were not for that consideration, no one would have "gotten" this work and no one would currently be viewing it.  Originally I did call the series "Time To Burn the House Down" and everyone thought I was showing images of my own home, so I changed the title to stress the point that what they were seeing was, in fact, miniature.  The rest is history.

Be careful what you wish for, though.  I had envisioned that the work would be a one-two punch.  I thought that people would look at the images, gasp, think "God I hope that's not real", then see something odd and realize what they were seeing was very small, then marvel again at the detail. 
This is not what happened. Everyone thought that I was a hoarder and I had to explain the image to each viewer,  so I changed the title so that they could instantly understand that the scenes were models. In doing so,  I caused a sensation while providing a small disservice to myself. I think that a certain amount of mystique had been lost due to the "barbie" association, but it's what people get and who am to argue with that?  Future Husband says of his stand-up career, "It doesn't matter how you come up with a joke, if it's brainy or dumb, all that matters is if people laugh."  I think that sentiment fits here, too.

Lastly, here is my list of things to be grateful for:
I have almost 90,000 unique visitors to my Flickr page.
My work has graced the online pages of Huffington Post and Time, plus many other publications, all within a weeks' time.
Other than the few nut jobs who think this work is satanic, most of the response had been amazingly positive.
I've made some pretty useful connections.
Work was printed in the actual local newspaper, the Post-Dispatch.  That made my mom proud.
I might have a future in this art thing. 

If you've been keeping up with thisahere blog, you know that heretofore I was a nobody, so these are quite huge events for someone who hasn't even been out of grad school for 2 years.

Now I just hope to find a full-time job.  Universe?  Are you listening?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Big Time?

My Flickr page has 77,000 views, and I've received press from the Huffington Post and Time magazine.
It's been a hell of a Wednesday morning!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse and Kawaii

Originally written in April 2010, I thought I'd re-share this essay as an artist statement for the series, "Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse".

"I've been feeling guilty of late for the photographs I've been taking.  I am like a hobbyist engaged in some time-wasting endeavor that is sure to bring no respect, to say nothing of  either fame or fortune.  The subjects themselves are of questionable taste with respect to a large demographic- tiny, cute, girly miniature toys.

There's that old adage "do what you love and the rest will follow", but at times that rings empty.  I could question the nature of motivation, i.e., how many artists are truly moved by process alone without any regard to criticism and that may describe the average outsider artist, but for most "schooled" artists, we keep our eyes on the prize: a show, a review, a publication, a sale.  We are only as good as our convictions- as long as they have been deemed acceptable by a third party.  Call me crass, but I don't speak no jive.

As ridiculous as it would sound, in light of my many-year obsession with the Japanese culture of the small, Kawaii is a relatively new term to me. At it's core, the word means "childlike", "sweet", and "innocent", with darker connotations such as "vulnerable", "weak" and "socially inexperienced".

Why should this matter?  I've been trying to justify my collection and the time "wasted" setting  up scenes to shoot them.  I make haste to liken this process to one I knew more formally during the time spent photographing room scenes for commercial purposes.  I am doing the same thing, albeit on a smaller (literally!) scale.  But where does the drive stem from? Why miniature?  Why small things associated with my youth? Why now? I have been temped by a growing subculture.

As has been part of  mainstream culture in Japan since the 1970's,  flaunting symbols of childhood is a way to hang onto it and thereby delay those specific aspects of adulthood that are deemed grueling and unsavory- take your pick. To wit, grown men and women drive character cars and fly on airplanes painted with Pokemon painted on the side. I believe the trend has only begun here as a subculture due in large part that adult-marketed toys (no, not those) have not been made available until recently.  I credit adults who were children in the 1980's to start this trend here.  Witness the small, but growing contingency of Japanophiles who delight in the cartoonish offerings of Sanrio.  How about Kidrobot? Frank Kozik's been around for quite some time as a graphic designer, but his followers had to become of age to promulgate his kawaii-like vinyl toys. 

So, why is this a trend now?  Several catalysts (and certainly, just my opinion) stem from the bright, colorful Saturday morning cartoons of the 1980's, the over-marketing of figurines like Rainbow Brite, He-Man, and the Transformers,  florescent clothing with god-awful patterns of the late 80's and early 90's.  You didn't have to like this stuff,- it didn't matter-  it was all-pervasive. It would be remember and referenced in later years, and who doesn't want to fondly recall their youth in some small way?  As a teenager (and I am referring to a select group here) we were all deemed Slackers, a term about as anti-life affirming for a generation as you can get.  A certain restraint was lifted.  It was implied that we had not set very high goals for ourselves, so why not grow up and play with toys?

Why else would this happen in the new millenium? Did children of the 1950's have bastardized 1970's movie remakes  about cartoons they watched as children? No, there was and, for most part, still is a stigma on continuing to reference things used and experienced as children.  It makes one seem defective in a way, like they never grew the fuck up.  There is a percentage of this blight that is being erased, as certain franchises have turn to capitalize on our collection penchant for 80's nostalgia.  Micheal Bay, I'm looking at you!

So, say what you will about my work only serving to keep my reality at an arms length. I won't deny it.
You still might think it's silly, but the Japanese know what's up."

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Emergent Structures!

So, I got a bit of an extension on the residency.  The Center is hosting one of their signature events, Palate to Palette, on December 2 and since my show is still up in the gallery,  I'm going to stick around to be a part of it. This means that I get a few days more time to haul ass in the studio and as always, I'm inundated with work that needs to be finished.
Today, I dragged some art out to the ruined rectory behind McColl and had my way with it.  Here's what I've come up with:

They're not too bad, although I do have to say that the sculpture always looks better in person, naturally.
I still like what it looks like in a photograph, I think that one can draw some conclusion as to the goings-on in my brain when it's served up this way.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New 3D Work

Here's a piece that I started back in March, but really didn't like where it was going.   After having some time to figure it out, I re-dyed most of the paper from pink to earthier tones and came up with what you see. It's handmade paper, made from dollar store tp, of course!
Additionally, I like to find a similarity between the work I'm making and naturally-occurring things that already exist. If I can see how nature treats the problems of composition, texture, grouping, hue, and other formal properties, the information directs my new decision.

This piece is called what it looks like, Trichomes, which are fine outgrowths, hairs, or appendages on plants and certain protists, but you already knew that!