Time. There's not enough of it...

I wish that I had more hours in the day. I'd be able to go to school and/or work, run, get into the studio, work on side projects, homework, take photos of my progress, and then write about it. I'm lucky if I get to do two of those things, but one of them is always work or school.
The curator of the last show that I was in at SomArts sent pics of the show, which you can find here. You can see my piece starting at image 15. My new project includes two 24"x30" panels and one 24"x27". It's a further exploration into this installation and because it was temporary, I'm feeling the need to re-visit it.
My problem now is that I feel like I have no time, but I'm in the process of creating a written schedule for studio time. It seems like a good plan, I'll keep an update.


The "Running Marathons" part

You have probably wondered where the running part comes in to my art practice. Though these two things aren't typically related, I have found that I do most of my creative thinking while I'm running where I only have access to my thoughts and occasionally have to dodge a woman with a baby carriage or dog.
I'm running the SF Marathon in August and just entered the lottery for the New York City Marathon. The long runs that come with training allow not only for creative energy, but it means that I get to eat whatever I want, whenever...

Artist Lecture

I went to see Kota Ezawa speak this afternoon in the August Coppola Theater. I've been intrigued by his work for years and so it was interesting to see him and hear about his thought processes. You may know him by this piece, an animated painting of the O.J. Simpson verdict:

This piece,
which is accompanied by real audio from the hearing took him over a year to complete and is on view in The Fine Arts Gallery at SFSU for another week or so. He also showed us a piece called "Who's Afraid of Black, White and Gray", inspired by the film. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf", and is done in all gray tones.

I appreciate that he uses subject matter that Americans can easily connect to.
When he was first beginning to study art, his favorites were Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons. He enjoyed their banality and the fact that their work was easily understandable by all. (which is exactly what Gilbert and George are claiming to do)

He believes in the "original thought" and spoke about working intuitively
. What he does is this: he takes the first thing that comes to his mind, does it, and then later works out it's meaning. I really appreciate this notion that you don't have to kick an idea into the ground in order to make it meaningful. If a person is confident that his or her first idea will be meaningful, and is willing to put in the amount of work, this way would allow a whole new experience of the creative process.


(No) Phase IV

I have no excuse as to why I haven't made it to the De Young for the new exhibit, other than the busy-ness of my life. I have been out of town for a wedding celebration and made it back on Sunday just in time to go to work. I'm in one of those moments where it's going to take at least a day or two to re-adjust to life.
I've been working on a little side project that I plan to post soon and I built the most amazing panel last week. I'm also meeting with a grad student tomorrow to get help with cutting panels. If you've read my other posts, you'll know that this means no sweaty-self-cutting station, and this makes me very happy.


Phase III- (Gilbert's Birthday is two days after mine)

While doing light research on Gilbert & George, I found a great article about their show in London here
and another one that includes videos with them speaking about the exhibition from the Tate Modern last year here

It's funny to believe that these two men:

Created this:

...and other giant-scale images that are meant to shock with social, religious and political commentary. They include nudity (of themselves) and other bodily fluids (their own) combined with bold use of color and high contrast.
San Francisco, Milwaukee and Brooklyn are truly lucky cities to be able to host this show, the first (and possibly only?) time here.


Phase II

Thoughts on KQED's forum with Michael Krasny and Gilbert & George...
You can listen to it here from February 13th, 2008.
I've never before heard two people speak so confidently and fearlessly about themselves as if they were one person.
It's as if they share a brain. It's almost eerie that two separate entities can describe their thoughts and ideas and passions as if they were coming from the same soul. It sounds like they've spent every waking moment together since birth. They haven't been to a film since The Deer Hunter, and refuse to go to galleries, museums or theaters because they "don't want to be contaminated". If I were to call in to ask them a question, it would have to be along the lines of this: "Don't you ever get sick of each other?"

I'm incredibly intrigued and excited to see their work based on their explanation of content and unconventional materials. Some words and phrases that recurred throughout the interview were "self-exposure", "art for all", "for the women" and "heterodoxy".

Thus far, I've only gotten to see one Gilbert & George image, but I feel like I can imagine what the work is like. Well, maybe. Minus the spit and lice.


Phase I

The only reason why I know about Gilbert & George is because I've seen various looming posters pasted around the art department, reminding me that I need to get my butt in gear and submit some work to the De Young by March 4th.
In the fall of '07, I did a teeny search on them to see what they were up to, and somehow must've gotten distracted, because all that I can remember is that they used some unconventional materials, and maybe some type of performance art? But, are they a team? Father and son? Lovers? Brothers?



I forget to mention the link that I was talking about this morning. Which you can find here
Be sure to scroll through the whole thing and then visit a few SF openings.
And also, Cynthia Ona Innis didn't go to RISD. oops.

Stick with what you know

I had an interesting first-time visit to Home Depot today. (I'm on a crazy kick to build as many panels as possible while I still have the space to build them)
Let me preface this by the fact that I always him and haw (is that how it's spelled?) about going to my usual lumber supply spot, Discount Builders on Division. First of all, you have to know the secret code to be able to get into their parking lot. The store is situated on a corner where every one-way street and freeway in the city meets. If I could construct a map of the many twists and turns that I took trying to get there, it would look like the inside of a Rubik's Cube.
My first visit to Discount Builders, I walked in with shoulders high, measurements in hand, ready to stun the staff with my amazing lumber knowledge.
I had to fight my way into getting some wood cut, as well as dodge the raised eyebrows. I ended up walking out moderately fulfilled, ready to build my first panel, but couldn't shake the feeling of the burning stares and dusty snickers from the staff and clientèle.
My second visit to Discount Builders, I tried to joke with one of the staff members about my difficult time trying to get help with lumber cutting and I mentioned that "everyone gave me funny looks when I walked in". His slow response was "Well, that's because you're funny lookin'."
So, I was surprised this afternoon when I walked into Home Depot and asked where I could get some lumber cut and was directed by a sales associate to the "Self-Cutting Station".
No Problem.
My dad has been working with wood since I can remember, I've seen a zillion pieces of wood being cut with a hand saw...
Starting on the first 1 x 2, was a bit challenging. The whole "Station" was built for a 7' tall man, so I had to stand on my tip-toes just to position the saw correctly. By the end of the fourth cut, I was completely sweaty and had begun to see a little trail of smoke rising from the wood.
I've decided to stick with the old tried and true. I now know the secret street to drive down to get to Discount Builders, and even though I'm funny lookin', they'll at least cut my wood for me.


*A question that was raised last week*

When visiting a solo show at a gallery, aren't you ever questioning why there are so many pieces that are almost exactly the same? Not just a show that displays the artist's current body of work, but that the artist has taken the same figure or image and only altered it slightly in numerous ways?
You've seen shows of this artist a few times over the last two years and it's been the same. In the beginning, the artist defines the work but at what point does the work define the artist?
On one hand, the viewer can deduce that the artist has asked him/herself multiple questions, and has tried to answer those questions in different ways, which is the path that can (and should!) lead the artist into more and more questions and possibly a new body of work. But does this mean that the artist hasn't grown? If you have one style of work that is best known to be unmistakably yours, can you ever climb out of the creative sink-hole and move on to a new subject or medium? Is the artist just forced to supply for the market's demand, or are they feeling some strange fulfillment in obsessively cranking out the same thing over and over? I can think of a handful of local artists that have made their mark in the art world, with a distinct style. Are these people ever allowed to venture outside of what they're "known" for? Does it have to be super-genius in order to be respected? Or will they be looked down upon because they're trying to do something that's "not them"? I guess this could be the difference between commercial and non-commercial.
I came up with a few words to help myself understand this a little better. "Diversity Within Sameness". Maybe it's been used before, but the two words "diversity" and "sameness" really work well together in this instance. It's like having a balanced ecosystem with a variation of life forms. It's important to be able to grow and learn and create new, inspired work, even if you're trying to answer the same questions over and over again. There are artists that have been working for years and years on the same few bodies of work, and even though their work may appear the same, there is a big chance that they've been inspired throughout, and they've uncovered ideas that they didn't even know existed.


During my last semester at SFSU, I've been fortunate to be enrolled in a class that has only 8 students, meets twice a week for 3 hours, and is designed to answer questions and prepare us for professional practices in art. It may as well be a graduate seminar. In the first 3 weeks, I've acquired more valuable tools than in my many (MANY!) years of studio practice and studying art history.

Last week we were each asked to write a 500 word, first draft of our artist statement and give copies to each other. During class, each statement was allowed a good chunk of time for work shopping and feedback. This is one example of how amazing this class is. How often do you get direct, verbal feedback from 8 people? Not only did I learn valuable things about my own work, but each statement brought up questions that we could all take a little gem of knowledge from. There was such an information overload in those 6 hours that my head is still swimming. I guess that's why we have 17 weeks.


It's a whole new day!

It's hilarious that I posted my first and only blog in October of 2007 and just happened to log in to it last week and found a comment from my long lost dear friend Brion telling me to keep going.
I think that I'm going to have to follow his instructions.