Saturday, January 31, 2009

I can't sleep

Tomorrow is the day I hang my show. I was doing fine the past few days but this morning my body shot up at 4:30. I tried with all of my might to go back to sleep but tossed and turned consumed by thoughts. The show wasn't even my first and foremost thought, I was thinking about my past and different events in my life. I'm not sure why I was thinking of my past?? The bottom line is that I couldn't sleep and I finally gave in at 6 and got up.

I have a lot of faith that my pieces will be great but I am worrying about the wiring now. How do I pull it off so that everything looks good? I kept changing my mind yesterday and now I realize it's a lot like a test.. you should stick with the first answer, it was probably the right one to begin with.

I can't wait to have my place back, my tiny studio has been overrun by my artwork. I am constantly walking over projects, I'm finding tools everywhere. My place is so small to begin with that my art is just consuming every aspect of my life. I'm embarrassed by this big mess.. oh well.

Below are some pictures of some books I have made.

These are just the front cover of three of the four books I'm displaying. These books were all made for particular people in mind and given to them. I like the books to be interactive and every page different. This isn't a typical same page/font style book, it's a artist book. Many times I collect things that remind me of a person or something small that we shared together and then I incorporate it in the book to them. (sense make??) An example of a page in my book looks something like this:

Displaying these books was slightly tricky. I want to show them off but due to their delicate nature I don't want people flipping through the pages. So I had the idea to take old wood wine crates and use them as a shadow box. I stained the boxes and drilled holes for rope to hang them and another hole to wire the lighting in.

One box I took apart with my friend Carter and used a table saw to cut out a groove for the glass to slide in. This was super complicated to do, the wood is pine and easily destroyed if not careful. Taking the box apart was hard and putting it back together was complicated as well. The end result of the groove worked the best though. Two of the boxes will have the glass suspended within it by nails to hold it in place.

Here are the boxes during the staining process.

I haven't uploaded all of my pictures yet.. so this will have to be it for now. I will continue talking about the books later with more pictures of the final product. I do have to say that I'm very pleased with the way these turned out.

I better get to work.. I have a lot to do.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I'm feeling the pre-show jitters. I hang my show on Sunday and I'm nervous, yes very, very nervous. I had a very hard time yesterday with my work. I was just ripping myself and my work apart. I went through these moments of feeling inadequate and that my work wasn't going to be liked or accepted well. Ugh... I hate that.

I realize that this is all part of it.. but man it wasn't a good day. This morning my thoughts had turned and I realized that it doesn't matter and that I accomplished my goals. My art was made as an expression from my life, not for the feedback, positive or negative. If someone likes it.. great, if they don't, I suppose I did my job as well. Expressing art is subjective and changes all the time, just like we do.


I must keep creating.

This is called "Triptych" I'm not going to over crowd the pics with comments but I will put them in order.
Below is what will be the bottom of the piece.
oooh.. blurry and lit up.
I have since put together more details, and the bottom of the box. I have also put about 3 layers of medium to seal it, which has given it a somewhat glossy appearance. Not sure If I love the glossiness but it works and the piece needed to evolve the way it did.
People think this is painted, it's not.. the whole thing is made from paper.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Second-Hand Souls

This is the flyer for my upcoming show. I'm sad that I haven't started blogging about my art before. Then I realized that most of my work was in my head and not yet alive and now it is. It's amazing what happens when you put a deadline on yourself. Well there's no time like the present, right?

This is the start of the box "Second-Hand Souls". I have tried to mix up the use of the medicine cabinets. This was one of my favorites. The box is made from very solid old redwood. All of my shadow boxes light up for this upcoming show. I don't know if this is something I will continue to do in my future work. I really like the aesthetic of the lights though, it gives a different life when they are on.

If you look close you can see there are holes drilled out that will house the lighting. I wanted to keep with an old/vintage theme with this particular piece.

This box will be displaying old photos that I have collected over a long period of time. I picked up most of the photos going to salvage yards and the reuse depot. I love old photos and the mystery of them. Who are these people? Why would someone throw these pictures out? What happened to them.
Most of my real family is gone or died before I was born, I think psychologically I started collecting the photos to make up my own family in a sense. I just couldn't get over the fact that someone would throw these old photos of their loved ones out. All the stories about these people, what they accomplished, who they were just thrown out.

So this box is dedicated to those people that were thrown out and "my family".

Disclosure: I do not know anyone in these pictures, they are found objects. If you happen to be related and want the pictures, contact me. In no way am I trying to be disrespectful to someones history. In fact, I'm trying to honor what someone threw away. Have a nice day!
I will post the detail of lighting used for this box in a separate post.

Friday, January 23, 2009

R.I.P. Polaroid. Barroooo!!!

RIP On my way to work I heard on NPR that Polaroid has discontinued most if not all of their film/analog productions. I mentioned this to a co-worker and they were in the know about this... maybe I'm behind or something.. but the news was shocking. I know there have been cut backs but didn't realize that Polaroid is actually extinct (other than their digital line). If you would like more info on the products that Polaroid has discontinued, you can find it here: Polaroid. An article about Polaroid leaving us is here at CNN.

What is happening to our art and to us? Have we lost our way and become overcome in a digital world? Are we going to digress by relying heavily on technology and less on basic human communication? I wonder if we will lose our ability to relate and be in the physical presence. Don't get me wrong.. I love my tech gear just as anyone else does, but we need to remember our roots. In the past 5 years I have watched many old styles of art become something of a memory or dying art. I'm so sad to see our world change in the ways it is.

Now with any photography it is extremely hard to find the film and almost double to triple the price. Eeeee-Gads!! You have to be a millionaire to even afford being creative. I would hate to see all the techniques of our past get lost in our world of cyber growth.
so sad.

I have to take a minute and reflect on my young days with my many Polaroid cameras. In my late teens I started to collect Polaroid cameras from the 1960's and on. I even had a cool one that had a crank on the side and produced small black and white pictures out of the top. Many, many of my teenage angst filled journals are full of manipulated Polaroids. They were carefully pasted on the pages next to stories about old lovers, my angry rage, happy moments, and tears. Barrroooooo.... (sniffling and wiping tears).

I actually had this camera below. It was a cold clamp Polaroid camera and it was the coolest!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the begining..

I have an upcoming show called "Synapses" and this is a piece that is going to be featured in the show. This is my first art show and I have to say I'm nervous. I know things will be fine but I fall back on just being human. I will probably be a little vague about some of my work due to fear of people copying me. I hope that I can inspire someone or just be able to explain some of my work a little better.

This is what started the series that I'm working on. It doesn't look like much in the picture but it turned into something I think is pretty great. This box is called "Vacancy".. or at least you will start to see why.

I got the idea to start a shadow box series about a year ago. I took my mom to the Joseph Cornell exhibit at the SFMOMA in the winter of '07. The idea to use old vanity mirrors/medicine cabinets was inspired by someone I dated a long time ago. She used to display small collections of birds wings, bones, and other little "nature" frick frack in a cabinet that was leaned up against a wall.. I always thought it was a neat idea that you would store non-traditional items in something frequently used and seen as mundane. The broad idea of the project is to have a medicine cabinet that a person walks up to, opens up and veiws a cetain thought, time, or snip-it of someone's life.

"Vacancy" is inspired by what the ideal "father figure" or the ideal man was during the 1920's-50's. I collected old magazines of the time period and started a very detailed collage process.

Most of my work includes wired lights and fixtures. Here are a couple more pictures of the process on this particular box.

The picture above is a detail of the collage process and the mounted light. The below picture is the finished product with the light on.

Detail of finished product and it's contents.

The box more leans to a father figure type. If you see the entire shadow box up close you will start to see details of this emphasized.
None of my shadow boxes are the same, there are similarities, but nothing is the same. As I'm sure you will see in future posts.