Recently I put the finishing touches on a free-standing assemblage I've titled Icon. I constructed the base (below) using, among other things, an antique millwork rosette and some pieces from an old picture frame. Notice the openings, which I designed to hold little boxes that, as you'll see later in this post, serve as storage for Moai-inspired heads.
Below are the four heads--still in their rough stage at this point--which I sculpted from Apoxie Clay, a two-part product that after a few hours dries to a rock hard state.
Here are some shots of the finished piece, which if you're interested, is available for purchase in my store. Some of the found objects include a garden trowel, a vintage drawer pull, and a film reel.
I put the finishing touches on this piece yesterday. It's a free-standing (about 10" tall) assemblage called LOOK INTO YOUR HEART. I constructed it with found objects and pieces of road map--but it features a heart that I cast with a product called Apoxie Clay. The heart contains a lens, which the viewer can peer into. At this point I've attached a piece of map behind the lens; however, any image--a photo of a loved one, for example--could be used, provided it's small enough.
FYI: for those of you living in Ames/Central Iowa, my exhibit (entitled "Rejectamenta Rebirth") is now up at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship's Gallery in the Round. The gallery, free and open to the public, is located at 1015 N. Hyland Avenue, Ames, Iowa. It's open during the Fellowship's regular office hours, which are Monday through Thursday from 1:00-4:00 PM, or by appointment. To make an appointment, call the Fellowship office at 515-292-5960.
The exhibit runs through June 28 and features 23 pieces of my art--mostly assemblage but a few collage pieces as well--from the last three years. If you're in the area, stop in and take a look.
I believe I mentioned in a previous post that I have a small show this September, so I've been pushing hard to get a body-of-work together. My goal is to have at least a dozen pieces ready to go by then. Today, my 33rd day of freedom since school dismissed for the summer, I finished my tenth piece. I believe I'll easily reach my goal--and then some.
Below are a few shots of the piece I finished today. It's called "Flight Plan." It's a fairly simple piece (although it took me much longer than it should have to complete) featuring three portals. The top portal includes a resin reproduction of a starling's skull; the middle portal is an image of a (surprise!) starling; and the bottom portal includes a wooden egg that I painted to look like a starling's egg. The piece also includes a 1950s Nebraska flight map.
Here's a piece I just finished yesterday, and it's not like my typical fare. As you can see, no manipulated vintage photos, no anatomy illustrations, no creep-factor. Nope, just some found objects--including a 1950s Nebraska aeronautical map, a drain cover, a chair leg, a toy wheel, etc.--arranged in an 18 X 4 X 4" antique wooden box.
Whew, what a busy day in the "studio"! However, I've said it before and I'll say it again: ART-busy is the best kind of busy! Here's what I've been doing.
First, I finished a little (5.5 X 6.5 X 2.5") assemblage, using the manipulated vintage photo I posted last night. I still haven't come up with a name yet, but here are some pics of the as-of-yet untitled piece:
After finishing the above assemblage, I completed a couple more steps in my quest to make a mold of a bird's skull. As you'll recall from a previous post, for step 1 I filled in all the cracks and crevices in the skull. A few days ago I did step 2 (a minor step, so I didn't post any pics at that time), which was to sand any modeling paste that didn't meet my standards and seal the entire skull.
Today, though, was step 3, where the rubber met the road--or, actually, where the rubber met the skull.
First, I stuck a small mound of modeling clay on a piece of plexiglass; it's the gray stuff inside the red cup to the left. After that I push the skull into the clay slightly; the back of skull into the clay, with the beak pointing upward. Next, I placed a plastic, 9-ounce cup (bottom of the cup cut off) over/around the clay mound. After that, to ensure that the cup stays in place and no rubber leaks under it, I mushed a rope of modeling clay (the brown stuff) around the cup and to the plexiglass. This, friends, is the simple "mold box."
The next step is mixing and pouring the molding material, which as you can see in the pic to the right, comes in two parts: the liquid silicone and a catalyst. Surprisingly I was able to pull this step off without a lot of mess--nearly a miracle for me.
The last step today was to simply pour the mixture into the mold and over the bird's skull. The pic to the left shows today's finished product. Now it has to set-up, which according to the instructions, takes about 18 hours. So check back tomorrow for the big reveal--I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well...
"The truth is rarely pure and never simple." --Oscar Wilde
I just finished this piece; the dimensions are 20 X 12 X 5". It all started with an old Purity brand cigar box, and I took it from there. The compartment on the right side of the piece is equipped with interior lighting, which creates a sort of "peep show" effect. Unfortunately, the lighting doesn't show well in photos.
Below is a shot of the right side with the compartment cover removed.
I've constructed this most recent piece--called "If You're Not Losing Your Head, You're Not Paying Attention"--in a 10" X 10" metal cash box, exactly like the one above. (Actually, the lid has been removed, so it's really made from the bottom two-thirds of a cash box.) After composing the various elements into the finished product, I discovered that the use of a cash box ended up being rather fitting, given the message of my piece. I've said before that my art is, more than anything else, satirical at heart--so, yes, most of my pieces have a message/theme. "If You're Not Losing Your Head..." pokes fun at us Americans, an easily-herded and -manipulated breed (sheeple). Normally I don't comment on my intended message because I feel it's important that those who view the art (like readers of literature) generate their own themes. However, given the serendipitous nature of how the box itself tied into my message, I figured a little explanation might be in order.
The power elite in this country (organized religion, Wall Street, the military industrial complex, corporate media, and so on) and their representatives slithering through D.C. and statehouses across the country have used FEAR--sometimes blatantly, but often subliminally--to manipulate us. Sadly, this tactic (scare the shit out of them so they don't question anything) has been, by and large, quite successful. We're surrounded by fear-inducing messages--hence the "Warning Wheel," which I happened across on a walk one morning, serving as kind of a halo in my piece (see below detail shot). The goal of those in charge is that we so "lose our heads" in fear and distraction that we'll sign over our minds and willingly accept what can only be described as mental servitude. In addition, like a professional pick-pocket, the power elite hold our attention, all the while reaching into our pockets and lifting our cash (see how the cash box fit in?). So, anyway, take it or leave it--that's the story of how "If You're Not Losing Your Head, You're Not Paying Attention" came to be.
Below is a side view, where you can see the depth (about 3") of the cash box that houses the piece.
The sharp nails (above) and barbed wire (below) were conscious choices--there's DANGER out there...be AFRAID!
I've had these two old kitchen cabinet doors sitting around my workspace for over a year now. What to do, what to do? I decided to depart for awhile from my typical assemblages-in-boxes and create something more collage-based. Below's what I came up with for one door.
In addition to the cabinet door substrate, this piece also includes found objects (including some cool piano parts), vintage paper and maps, acrylic paints, and part of a high school graduation (1937) photo.
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.