Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Made In Iowa: A Look At Troy Swangstu's Work

Last October the International Sculpture Center had its annual conference in Kansas City (you can check out the ISC's website by clicking here https://www.sculpture.org/).  Terry Rathje and I decided to do a brief, yet furious, roadtrip down to KC in order to catch some of the side/peripheral/pop-up exhibitions that typically spring up in a town in conjunction with a major conference like the ISC (or NCECA).  An example of a pop-up show would be our North On 71 exhibition we put together to coincide with NCECA back in 2016.  You can take a look back at some of the preparations for North On 71 on a previous post from 2016 by clicking HERE.

As an added bonus, a buddy of mine, Troy Swangstu, was having a show of his work at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center at the same time.  Since we were in town, Terry and I met up with Troy and took in some sights.  We went to check out Troy's show and were thoroughly glad we did.

These are some of the pieces from Troy's show at The Leedy-Voulkos Art Center (https://www.leedy-voulkos.com/)











Troy has spent the winter in the Quad Cities hunkered down in the studio.  It makes perfect sense to come to Iowa in the middle of winter to.....wait a minute, no it doesn't.

Anyway, just a few months later he has created a whole new batch of paintings for the show 'Made In Iowa' at The Beréskin Art Gallery.  Here is a sneak peek at his show.







I have several favorites in Troy's show, this is one of them.


A few detail shots to provide you with a better understanding of how nice these paintings are and show off Troy's captivating use/juxtapositioning  of colors.




White on white.




These next two detail shots could be complete paintings in their own right.





Another favorite.  My sub-par camera on my phone doesn't capture the subtleties of Troy's black on black passages.




This one just blew me away.  The flat orange mass has such an amazing interaction with the subtler colored shapes.  Nice contrast in brush work and texture.



Another piece that blows my mind.



Just this detail shot alone makes me want to get into the studio and make some work.


....which is what I think I'm going to go do...

Check out Troy Swangstu's work at The Beréskin Art Gallery (LINK)

Friday, February 9, 2018

Mystaphorical Parfait

This piece is existed for quite some time without even having a working title, much less an actual title.  I've been referring to it as a 'parfait' since it has three layers/strata to it, but that's a pretty weak title.  Hopefully one (a title) will suggest itself in the near future.

Painting in the colors for the Pay Day portion of the piece.










This layer of color is well on it's way to being completed.


I basically need to address the relief elements/structures.





So I don't annoy myself with just calling this piece 'parfait', I'm going to fancy it up with the working title: 'Mystaphorical Parfait'.  *please note that titles are subject to change without notice.

The carved frame is underway.  I will have pictures of it being carved in a future post.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Grab Bag of Progress: Part XI

A quick look at various things going on in the studio.

Some more sketches.....


Part of this drawing was used for the second layer in Bro Kin.




Portions of these next two sketches were used in the second layer of How To Be A Gentleman Of Leisure.




The finished piece.


I was tidying up my apartment recently and came across a tax refund check that I had somehow forgotten to cash.  I don't know how.  I don't know why.  It was well after its one-year 'good until date', so it had expired.  Guess the best I can do now is to draw it and then incorporate it into a painted construction.


This next drawing found its way into Spent Youth (Also a piece from In/ConFLUENCE).



As seen here hidden behind the 3,1,2.....


From there, I reused a small portion of that drawing in another idea.


Other drawings waiting to find their way into some future project.



These two sketches are actually early attempts at trying to visualize the ziggurat that I built for Jefferson Pinder -Ghost Light (check out a description of the show here) at the Figge Art Museum back in 2017.



Those drawings lead to this structure.


The show and the structure were far more impactful than the drawings.

This drawing is being considered for use as the top (new) layer for the diptych, Vocabulary Exercise.


The safety instructions from a Hot Pocket.  It's like supper, but different.....


Test driving an idea.....


I'm saving this drawing for just the right occasion.


Remember all of those matchbooks I snagged awhile back? Perhaps this will refresh your memory?


Here are two more drawings from those.



A test configuration for a figure/character I might use in an upcoming piece.



These next few images come from a piece that may almost be completed, but since it still doesn't have a title (or even a working title), I haven't given it its very own post.




The sketch that I used for the base layer.


One way or another, most of all of this stuff will end up in Socrates, Soup Cans, and The Cola Wars.