Got off to a rough start this semester. Came home for the residency and was completely stuck. Got a bunch of solid studio sessions (finally) under my belt…though I’m not 100% sure if I’m moving forward or back. We shall see…
Back to the magazine project…only this time much (much!) larger. Think 4ft by 5ft. Why did I think this would be easier? Oof. Not really loving the materials — markers/pens and gouache for the white letters. Once every page has been copied, I may go around with gouache/acrylic/something to bump up color/detail/etc. i’m trying not to think too much about it at the moment, otherwise i’ll probably give myself an aneurism thinking about what’s wrong with it. I tried using wax pastels on the first attempt. Lack of control/detail really gave me trouble. I toyed with going back to all black, but I really think the whole layered color thing might be better suited to this size. Markers do look a little cheap and childish, but i needed something i could get on the paper quickly, and often at an awkward angle. Marker seed to fit the bill… Hmm.
Only way to figure it out is to commit to it and get on with it, right?
I was really hating this up until tonight…I was able to add 3 more layers, so it’s finally getting to the point where it’s a little less readable in parts, which is where it starts to get interesting.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about what to say about my current musings, but I’m having a hard time jumping in and saying anything–so it seem’s fitting to post my current artist’s statement/bio/history evolution of my art before delving into all of my current work.
So, here you go…
For over twenty years I have been using my body in various ways as a vehicle of expression. It began for me as a student in gymnastics. Though I did not notice it at the time (the whole fourteen years I was engaged in my gymnastic career), I look back now and realize that I was using my body as a form of artistic expression. Throughout stages of undergraduate work, I experimented with self portraiture and examining the body (specifically, my own) in my photographs. I have always wanted to find a new way of examining the body, find a new perspective to look at – either by abstraction from within the camera or by using my ability to contort my body into an “abstract” composition. By my final year, the culmination of investigation was a series of photographs that created the idea of movement within a single image-by abstraction, repetition and playing with composition.
After enrolling in the Post-Baccalaureate program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, I became enthralled with the printmaking process. At first, I had a difficult time relating my former, figurative photographic work into the printmaking medium. It took a while to find a way to translate my thoughts on to paper, but I now find the printing process to be an interesting means to carry on the idea of creating and investigating movement and repetition within an abstract image.
My work is directly impacted by my somewhat obsessive nature, which has been deeply seeded into my mind since my days as a gymnast. In gymnastics, you learn to repeat, repeat, repeat until you master a skill-and then you repeat some more until it becomes second nature. Ultimately, the skill is never perfect. There is always a slight difference from the time before; a variant in the motion of your body. This notion has carried over into my prints as of the current moment. I have been playing around with two ideas in the majority of my work; nuances of repetitive motions and how movement of the body or images can be translated onto a two dimensional surface without becoming figurative. In both instances, I find the concepts to be vast and have exponentially varied ways to be expressed – and I plan on exploring these ideas by drawing from personal experiences and my surroundings. I’ve drawn influences from artists who’s obsessive or conceptual ideas run similar in nature those of my own. Ingrid Calame, Reese Inman, John Cage, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Kristin Baker, Sol LeWitt, Richard Misrach and Tom Marioni are artists I recently have drawn inspiration from as I work through my current ideas.
Within the concept of nuances of repetitive motion, I have become fascinated with the mechanics of human gestures and actions and the slight variances of each individual movement. Whether it’s the action of drawing a circle repeatedly, or dropping a piece of string onto a plate – the outcomes are never the same. The same motions are performed until I’ve virtually exhausted the idea. My obsessive nature comes into play with this series in particular, because the each collective series totals over 100 individual prints.
This obsessive and repetitive notion has carried over into the general scope of my work, with my most recent series of drawings being based on the children’s cartoon; “Spongebob Squarepants.” I have an obsessive, child-like fascination with this cartoon. Much like my days in gymnastics, I immerse myself into this world with the same fascination and enthusiasm as the first time I watched the show. With this suite of drawings my goal is to replicate each individual characters movement on paper and in essence, create a “map” of the episode. Each color represents a different character, and I translate the movements made by each character by using a series of scribbles, lines and gestural movements on to the paper. The finished drawings echo the essence of the cartoon–a frenetic, energetic, explosion of lines and color. The drawings are also suggestive of the many scientific studies being held to attempt to map out the human brain’s neural activity. Each episode creates a different “neural” mapping–much like each individual drawing creates a specific set of lines and colors.
There’s no doubt that it is a difficult process; making art. Self-doubt, anger, pleasure, sadness, confusion, boredom and revelation are all part of the daily experience of translating abstract thought into visual means. However, that one moment where something “clicks,” you are immediately justified in your practice.