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First Real Exhibition!!!

That’s right folks.  The reason I’ve been so quiet here for the last few months is that I have been working away at finishing all of the images and sound for my first ever real exhibition!  And by that, I mean, the first exhibition where I have more than 2 pieces in the show, where I’m not sharing wall space with 50 other people.  I mean that the most wonderful folks at Real Art Ways got me a year ago, and they are now saying “Have at.  Here’s a room.  Do what you will with it.”  I get an entire gallery to install my own work.  This is somewhat miraculous to me.  And it makes such a huge difference.  I can’t wait to see everything installed, hung and playing all at the same time!

See, this is the thing with working on a huge scale.  I don’t have 14 foot ceilings in my studio.  I don’t even have enough wall space to hang all 9 murals at the same time.  When I put them up in the gallery it will be the first time I can step back from the work and see it as I imagined.  Totally unreal.

And, see, there’s this other cool thing about the project.  I’m finally doing my sound!  I’ve been toying with sound art/music/digital-aural-chaos for about 3 years, but I’ve never really put myself out there with it.  I love doing it, it makes sense with where the overall project is going, but most of the time I’m getting my work into group photography shows, and that doesn’t quite lend itself to the inclusion of sound installations.  Again, amazingly unreal.

So, if you happen to be in the greater Hartford, CT area any time this summer, you should go see the show.  It should be amazing.  And the call for proposals that made this all happen is their annual Step Up program where they foster emerging artists and give them their break, so you won’t just get to see my work, but the amazing work of 5 other artists who got their chance.

Here’s the postcard image for the show and then the details from the back of the postcard.

And as always, thanks for stopping by…..


More New Images about Japan


Natural Disasters

Japan.  About a year later.  Like clockwork something else happens, something catastrophic.  Earthquakes, flooding, fires, the threat of nuclear fallout, the balance of the built environment and the toll of natural disasters keeps shifting and horrible things continue to occur.  I live in a tiny little bubble in the northeast of the United States.  None of these horrific events have touched me physically.  I’ve known people, personally, who have been affected by disasters, but it has never been me.

And life continues.  I’m going to my studio this afternoon, because short of me flying around the world to Japan, there is nothing, physically, that I can do to help.  Donating money does help, but my day to day existence has not changed because of this earthquake.

And this is weird.  It feels wrong, somehow.

And so I make new work.  Unfortunately, this may become a new series, long term.  My way of coping and dealing with these world-changing events that are so remote that I can go weeks without even thinking about what’s happened, yet there are whole populations whose entire lives have been irrevocably changed in the span of hours.  My way of acknowledging my distance, both physically and emotionally from something so monumental.

These are coming out very differently than my Deepwater Horizon series.  There, the images were of this body of water that was fundamentally being altered, even though it was difficult to see from the surface.  Here, the devastation is so visible, so impactful, that there is a more chaotic feel to the work.  Also, the immediate human loss is much more pronounced, so there are a more people finding their way into the images.

Signing off…..


After a Brief Hiatus

So, I’m back.  Brief break there.

New images.  Different, but still mostly in the same vein as where I’ve been.  I like the ideas of line, pattern, color, texture, shape and how they formally fit together.  I think I’m a bit old school in that sense.  But I also love the idea of looking at something, specifically a photograph of something or somewhere and not being able to quite place what it is that I’m looking at.

So.  Here’s a small sampling of the new guys.  Not sure what to call them.  Everything at the moment seems a bit cheesy – topographies, charting somewhere, blah blah blah.

They’re still a bit weird for me, as they are actual photographs, taken with a camera, in focus with the bare minimum of tweaking done to them, as opposed to altered six ways to sunday or pulled out of the air with chemicals or some other process…..  I’m kind of enjoying it.


Art and Censorship

I’m unsure how to begin this post, mostly because I’m having a hard time coming to grips with this.  And by this, I mean the censorship of the David Wojnarowicz video at the National Portrait Gallery.  The gallery pulled the video out of the exhibition “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” that runs from Oct. 30, 2010 – Feb. 13, 2011.  And they pulled Wojnarowicz’s video (a four minute excerpt of his 30  minute piece from 1987, “A Fire in My Belly”) because of outrage on the part of the Catholic League and some members of the Republican party.

video still from the disputed piece that was pulled

I’ve ended up reading a fair bit on this today.  It started with Jerry Saltz’s note that he posted on his Facebook page.  Then the Tyler Green piece on ArtInfo.  Then Blake Gopnik’s article in The Washington Post.  Which led me to this post on written by Penny Star.  I won’t rehash these pieces or the countless others that are out there.  But it’s definitely worth looking into if you value freedom of speech and particularly if you are an artist who hopes to be able to express your thoughts without censor.

So after all this reading I am now shell-shocked.  Frozen.  Not from all of the reading, not from slight sense of disbelief that it only took a few hours for a major museum to pull a piece when complaints were issued.  No, I’m literally numb right now as I type this because of the comments that everyday people have been posting regarding this exhibition and this piece specifically.

Yes, I’m horrified that a very vocal faction of our society can scare a major institution into censoring itself.  Terrified.  Yes, it is incredibly ironic that this all happened on World AIDS day, when AIDS is the disease that killed both Wojnarowicz and his lover and fellow artist, Peter Hujar who the piece was made in honor of.

But the moment I went from reading these stories to feeling compelled to write something was when I got to the comment section of the CNS post.  The level of disgust, bile, hatred, and outrage that is displayed there shook me.  Someone called the exhibition a “Hate Crime against Christians & their children & should be prosecuted as such.”  So many of the comments reference the fact that the Smithsonian Institute is in part publicly funded with tax-payers dollars, and therefore the public should have a say in what can and cannot be exhibited.  Others refer to the “smut peddlers,” the “depravity,” and other adjectives such as sick, disgusting, rubbish, sickos, trash, degenerate, perversion, porn and I could keep going, but I won’t as I’m sure you get the idea.

This is really weird for me.  I’m so upset, so angry, so ashamed that I can’t quite put into words my own opinion here.  And that word there, opinion, I think is crucial.  Art, when created, is one person’s view, one person’s opinion.  It is normal and healthy to disagree.  It would be a dull world indeed if everyone held the same opinions and beliefs.  And there is a lot in this world that I disagree with.  But I don’t wish violence, pain and ostracism on people I disagree with.

I’m also really disturbed by the fact that there is still so much hatred towards other human beings in America, a supposedly enlightened and educated society.  Moments like this make me feel pessimistic.  There is no way that humanity will ever evolve beyond senseless violence if these views are still held so tightly in the year 2010.

Enough brooding for one day.


I got Featured!

And no, it’s not a creature feature, though it is almost Halloween.

One of my murals was in a juried group show this month at the Center for Fine Art Photography titled Low Tech, featuring work using antique, alternative or otherwise non-high-tech like techniques.  It’s a great group of images, and I was very excited to be included, as the juror was Crista Dix the owner and founder of wall space gallery a great space that exhibits photography.  And I found out yesterday that they (C4FAP that is) are featuring my mural print on their blog today!!!!

Here’s the mural:

Here’s the link to the blog:

!!!! Click Here !!!!!

Way cool.  Nice way to start the weekend.  Now back to work……


Money is the root of all Evil

Seriously.  I mean it.  Why is it necessary to have money?  Why can’t I just happily go off into the great wild, and do what I want, when I want?  Why do I have to sell my art?

Some would say I don’t.  But here’s the thing.  Currently the only source of income that I have is teaching.  Which I love.  But it’s VERY part time, and only pays so much.  So money is an issue.  Paying bills can be an un-fun activity.

Which leads me to start thinking about selling my work.  And I have a hard time with this – particularly the big mural guys, who are currently my obsession, and I don’t know how to part with them, especially since they are one-of-a-kind.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

So, in my logical mind, this leads me to thinking about selling some of my other prints.  I’ve got crap-tons.  Old work that just sits in the closet.  New photos that I take for my own personal enjoyment that collect on my computer and turn into a time-suck in Lightroom.  I like them, but they are incredibly unrelated to the murals.  Things like pretty pictures of trees or architectural details or landscapes from vacations, like this…..

Here’s the issue.  Is this a sell out?  Am I pandering to the market?  Am I dumbing down what I really want to do, just to get by?  But what if I can’t do what I do because I don’t have enough money, so the only way to do the “real” work is to sell the more approachable stuff?

And you want to know what’s really embarrassing, or terrifying or just plain frustrating?  I, on the sly, started an Etsy store to try this out – to see if I could even sell the prints that aren’t my “real” art but maybe still make some money on something that I truly love to do.  Haven’t sold a blasted one.  Not one.  Not even an email.  So apparently my “approachable” work is still not finding the right mark.

This all is coming spewing out of me right now because I was just reading an article on “Art in the Time of Austerity” by Ben Davis on artnet.  The economy as a whole is so screwed up, and the art world is this lovely little microcosm of what’s going one in the big picture – the rich are doing just hunky-dorey and everyone else is holding on by the skin of their teeth.  The stat that shook me to my soul was towards the end of the article.  Of the approximate 80,000 artists that live in NYC or London, only 75 are “superstars”, and an additional 300 are successful.  The rest?  All 79,625 of them?  They are not making a living wage with their art.  Even if they are showing work in a gallery on a regular basis.  How’s that for chilling?

It kinda put a dark mood on my day.  So, now that I’ve vented all the bile in my spleen, I’m feeling a bit better, and will continue on with making my “real” art and hoping and praying that either our society fundamentally changes and good working people can live without worrying how they’ll pay their next bill, or I’ll become an art superstar and earn that 7-figure salary.  That, or I’ll win the lottery.

Wish me luck.

Who I am…

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