Sunday, April 16, 2017

NYC Field Trip - March 2017



Mateo López, Undo List at the Drawing Center

Lately, I am enamored by small gestures and found several of them on a school field trip to New York City. López's ruler, in which all the numbers had fallen off only to be drawn on the sheet of paper below, was a highlight. If my main medium was drawing, I would strive to make art like his (also similar to this in concept).


Chance encounter in the Sky Room at the New Museum - a woman crouching to photograph a toy dinosaur - her form resembling the plastic creature itself. The room, bathed in white light, hints at the mountains of snow melting in the city below.


Raymond Pettibon, A Pen of All Work at the New Museum

I could stand all day in the "wave room" engulfed by Pettibon's large-scale drawings, perhaps finally understanding what it would feel like to surf a pipeline (via words not action). It was the sentiment of the phrase that made me feel small in the midst of overwhelming blue.


These are not Duane Hanson sculptures. Despite the controversy (we were there during the first Dana Schutz protest), this was the best Whitney Biennial I had ever seen and am thankful for its diversity and references to current times. The reaction above was the exact opposite of mine yet I appreciate seeing others sleeping in public where people had no reservations documenting it.


Toiletpaper Paradise at the Cadillac House

This was not a small gesture - rather an immersive experience into the Toiletpaper world I continue to respond to each month on Instagram. I am grateful that the rest of the gang enjoyed it as much as I did. Seeing flat photographs come to life in three-dimensional (and often functional form) was an eye-opener in various modes of presentation.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Behind the Scenes of the First Antipode Photograph


In January, Amelia and I ventured into the cold and discovered many globes at Midland Antique Mall in Indianapolis. I have a $10 rule (one of the reasons why I have not acquired many new ones in the last couple years) and most of them were beyond that price range.


One caught my eye and I surrendered to the higher price of $14 but not without a lot of angst as to whether or not I wanted to destroy it. It helped that it was in sorry shape and fell apart at the cash register. That piece of tape held the two pieces together like a pro, however, as it was the stand that collapsed immediately.


I am continuing my love affair with responding to Toiletpaper Magazine's calendar in 2017 on Instagram and knew that in addition to creating a new photograph, it would be a "twice used prop" as March featured one of my favorite Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari's images [above] as first seen on the cover of The New York Times Magazine.


My sphere was black and I had no intention of matching the exterior color. I tried to guess the most appropriate ocean blue while at the hardware store without a globe in front of me (I should know better by now as I was wildly off). I asked the man at the paint counter how much I should buy and he thought a quart would fill it. I was deeply skeptical and opted for a gallon instead.


Two people had recently sent me this link on how globes were made in the 1950s so I was not that surprised to see this was how the interior was constructed.


I plugged the hole in Antarctica with duct tape and after extensive contemplation, hoped this towel and plastic sheet method would hold the globe still, not toppling over onto the floor and backdrop the moment I poured the paint.


I had the wherewithal to photograph the unhappy moment when I realized that a gallon was not enough [insert lots of swearing here]. I scrambled all over the building trying to resolve this issue, all the while knowing that this was a cardboard structure and my time was limited.


This did not work...


... but the very scary filling it with 100 ounces of water and stirring it did. Unfortunately, it was not easy to move and my compositions were limited but it did produce a hue that looked more like "globe water."


I was able to make 16 responses as a "twice used prop" before I threw everything away. One of my colleagues told me I looked like I was hauling body parts out of the building in trash bags. I still have the top half and wonder what role it will play in the future.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Something New is Brewing


An antipode is defined as the part of the earth that is diametrically opposite. The term was first used in 1549 in relationship to Australia and New Zealand’s position on the globe, contrasting with Western Europe. I will approach it as the place or condition furthest from “here.” I am searching for physical and metaphorical antipodes and will represent them through photographs created in the studio, a fabricated landscape, or their exact location on earth. In its most simple terms, my interpretation will show how "here" affects "there" and "there" impacts everywhere.

Monday, February 6, 2017

This is What a Good Mail Week Looks Like in 2017

Times have changed and in November, I made many vows for the next four years as I struggle to place what art I should make in this present reality and my role within it. After the outpouring of interest from friends and strangers who purchased Icelandic Blue Pantone 15-3908 last fall, one small gesture I could easily achieve (and maintain) is to support artist-run publications by purchasing one a month. Some of those appeared in the mail two weeks ago along with a couple other surprises.


First a surprise - a catalog from the archives at the Center for Creative Photography sent to me after my last research trip to Tucson.


Amy Elkins's Black is the Day, Black is the Night arrived in the most fitting black mailer. The combination of handwritten text, scanned letters, digital manipulations and photographic recreations about prisoners on death row will cause anyone to rethink their views on capital punishment (the most appropriate first purchase with this new resolution).


Ball State University also owns a copy (spreading the love x 2).


My friend Kelli introduced me to Mike Slack's Shrubs of Death in the fall. Always a fan of typologies (who wouldn't love awkwardly trimmed bushes found in cemeteries?), I was shocked to discover they were all photographed in Muncie, Indiana. Next on the list: bringing this series to the David Owsley Museum of Art in 2018. It came with a covetable print (thanks Mike!).


A sweet little notebook (surprise #2) also appeared in the post office box from Ernst.


Old photographic manuals and advertisements are interspersed with blank paper. I am not sure I can use it as it is a little too perfect without my messy scrawl inside.


I also bought a Melissa Livermore print in January to help support her year long art adventure in Paris and I look forward to framing it someday in the future. I quickly scooped up Peter Happel Christian's Nearly a Million Sunsets as 100% of the proceeds went to the Sierra Club. In addition, I participated in a couple protests, called and faxed a few senators, and gave money to two organizations that make the world a far better place. I am trying and I have no plans to stop.

Monday, January 16, 2017

INFOCUS Photo Books Exhibition


[Photos by Donna Goedhart]

From now through 9 April 2017, Icelandic Blue: Pantone 15-3908 will be on view at the Phoenix Art Museum for the INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photo Books.
 

My humble little booklet/zine/pamphlet is on the right. The museum assembled a list of all the submissions with links. If you need to say farewell to a half hour of your time, it's highly worth investigating the other entries. I am also fairly confident in saying that mine is the cheapest one available for purchase (ahem... all of you with $10 burning a hole in your pocket...).