Sunday, October 19, 2014

A More Refined Mayhem

My new solo show at Ashford University is called 'A More Refined Mayhem'.  The exhibition runs from October 20th through November 18th (2014).  Here is a look at the set-up for the show.

We spent the first couple hours on day one bringing in boxes full of ceramic shards, a mixed media sculpture, 12 painted constructions, and 11 carved frames.

We laid the pieces out against the wall and engaged in some quick curating.  We whittled the roster of painted constructions from 12 pieces down to 9.   It's always a difficult decision as to which pieces stay and which pieces get 'edited', but you always have to give the work enough space to breathe, and consider how each piece interacts with its neighbors.  Anna Pagnucci (silent 'g' as in 'lasagna') and her helpers installed the mounting cleats on the walls so the next day we could proceed straight to hanging.

That was the end of the first day.

On the second day, Anna and I finished the installation.  We put the sides of the carved frames on and then flipped the pieces upside down so we could install the base frame member.

Once that was completed, we placed the painted constructions on the mounting cleats.

Once the painted constructions were up, Anna started distributing the ceramic shards/debris around the base of Trojan Horse.  I think she is smiling in this picture because she didn't realize there was another (larger) set of heavy boxes full of fired clay shards and objects just around the corner and was therefore not even half-way done at this point.

Yeah, this extra pile of boxes.....

While Anna was grappling with the unfairness of life, I was physically attaching the painted constructions to the mounting cleats and then attaching the top section of frame.

A few hours later, we were tired, sore, hungry, and done with the installation!

'A More Refined Mayhem' is at the Cortona Gallery at Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa.  The Gallery is open from 10am-4pm daily.  There will be a closing reception on Tuesday, November 18 from 3-5pm.

A huge 'Thank You' goes out to Champ, Ashley, Savanah, Anna, and  'other Steve' for making 'A More Refined Mayhem' a possibility!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Revisiting Interloper

Recently, Anna Pagnucci contacted me to see if I would have a show at The Cortona Gallery at Ashford University (check out Anna's work HERE).  The show is going to be called: 'A More Refined Mayhem' and it runs from October 20th until November 18 (2014).  Fortunately, I have just enough time to rework/repaint a carved frame that I was not satisfied with the first time around.

Here is how Interloper looked for Merican-Tastic! II: The Son Of Tastic! back in 2013.  It was my second attempt (and failure) at making a monochromatic frame for one of my painted constructions.  I thought it drained the energy right out of the piece.  I have wanted to repaint the frame ever since.

Several months ago I started to repaint it and then I ran into an area (an essential line demarcating one area from another) that I forgot to carve.  My carving table was buried under other projects, so the 'repaint-the-frame' mission was delayed -indefinitely.

I am pointing to the freshly carved line (maybe as long as half of the length of my finger) that separates one area from the other.  It required a half-hour of cleaning so I could make a 30 second cut with my Dremel Tool.

Now it is time to paint!

Ahhhhhhh, that's better.  Ready for 'A More Refined Mayhem'.....

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Little Diddy About RE 10 and DE 12

A couple of the pieces I was kicking around for Text Is A Four-Letter Word were: RE 10 and DE 12.  I didn't push them along far enough to be in that show, but I have still been working away on them.

Sometimes I will jot down a series of single words in my sketchbook looking for turns of phrase, ambiguous statements, or interesting word relationships.  RE 10 and DE 12 were born out of this kind of 'literary' riffing/wandering.

In the course of jotting down words, I noticed a relationship between a few of them.  Several of them started with 're' or 'de'.  That's not necessarily much to go on, but there was just enough there to pique my interest.

Soon the ideas for RE 10 and DE 12 began to formulate.

Time to bust out the Dremel Tool and do some letter carving....

Once all of the letter blocks have been cut and sanded, it's time to adhere them to the canvas.

After the carved letter blocks are firmly adhered to the surface, I prime the canvas with several coats of paint.

Try some different configurations for a few added circles....

...and some base colors.....

...and now on to some color passages and line work.

I have made the mistake in the past of not having all of the parts/components of a piece in the same room while I was working on something and the result was frequently some flavor of a disjointed mess.  Even though I am 'working' on RE 10 at the moment, DE 12 is hanging on the wall to help me maintain some kind of continuity.  I will probably make the final pieces somewhat different, but I want that divergence to be intentional.

The white arrows point to my trusty sketchbook and section of cardboard.

Just a little more to do for the base image of RE 10.  I need to let it dry for a few days before I complete the line work so I don't drag my forearm through the paint and smear anything.

Time to move on to DE 12....