Friday, April 27, 2012

Autocomplete Exhibit - 5/10/2012

Last month I was asked to partake in a group exhibit called
Autocomplete: A Collaborative Coloring Book, which is being curated by Maya Drozdz of Visualingual.  The concept of the exhibit is what got me hooked.  The idea is that select Cincinnati area (and beyond) artists would be paired with a Visionaries + Voices artist, more specifically, paired with a black and white print of their work, and we were asked to "color" the piece in our style, while maintaining the integrity of the original piece.  For those unaware of Visionaries + Voices, it is a local arts organization that provides creative opportunities to people with disabilities.  From my experience seeing the work of several V+V artists over the years, I would say that really it's an organization that celebrates abilities, not disabilities.  The power of art as a tool for expression is absolutely evident in the work itself and moreso in the smiles and increased self-esteem of the artists who are a part of V&V.  I am honored and humbled to be a part of this exhibit.

I was paired with Jennifer Dowers (who I've yet to meet) to color in her piece entitled, Cincinnati Reds.  Now I hadn't "colored" anything in a while, save for helping my 3 year old niece now and again, so getting this I admit was a touch intimidating.  The piece I received was obviously a photograph, turned black and white, and not typically something I would work with, in both subject matter and in style.  Frankly, it was the whole "maintaining the integrity of the original piece" part that I was having the most difficulty with.  My natural inclination may have been to tear, burn or cover the entire thing, but again, I had to follow the rules so that was probably a good exercise for me in itself.  Anyway, having just finished my version, I wanted to post a picture of the 2 side by side, so you can see the before and after.

Here it is:

Looking at it, I think I maintained enough of the original while adding my own twist.  I really wanted to incorporate something to reference both the statistics of baseball as well as the sound of a cracking bat, hence the grids and shard of wood.  Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and hope Jennifer does too.  For those that can attend, the opening is Thursday May 10th, from 5-8PM at the V&V Gallery at 3841 Spring Grove Avenue in Northside, and the exhibit runs until Friday June 29th.  Thanks to Maya for including me and best of luck with the event! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Piece, New Technique

I completed a piece this past weekend that I did as a birthday present for my friend Mason Paul, gallery owner/director at Synthetica-M gallery in Cincinnati's Brighton area  I've always been a bit hesitant to give art as a gift because you just never know if it will be liked by the person that receives it.  Of course, if you know the person well enough that shouldn't be an issue.  Anyway, I've shown at Synthetica-M a couple of times and felt like I'd gotten a good enough sense of Mason's aesthetic preferences in art that I figured it was low risk doing a piece for him.  And as it turns out, he liked it!  This is the piece:

This is a small piece, around 6x8" or so and it's done on a wood panel.  I'm pleased with how it turned out and I was particularly happy with 2 things specifically.  First, I have a French dictionary from 1906 that I tore out and incorporated the entry for the words "synthetique" and "synthetiquement", in reference to the gallery name.  Synthetica isn't a real word so those were as close as I could get to the actual name of the gallery.  The other thing I was happy about was that I used an image transfer technique I'd read about but had never tried.  The image of the water tower is the one that I (successfully) tried using this method.  I think the element works well content-wise (there are a few water towers in Brighton where the gallery is) and compositionally adds balance to the abstract. 

The short description for the process I used to do this is this: First, you print out an image on a black and white laser printer/copier.  You then paint a over the image using a clear gel medium.  Once that's dry, you run the piece of paper under water allowing the paper to dissolve, leaving the image embedded into the back of the gel medium.  What you have then is a sort of translucent piece of gel medium (sort of like a fruit roll-up) with an image on in.  You then use the same gel medium to adhere it to your piece and it pretty much just blends right it.  This is not a new technique by any stretch, I'd just never tried it before.  Can't wait to try it again!

Happy 40th Mason!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First Piece of 2012

Call me crazy but I think 2012 is going to be a good year.  To kick things off right, I did a new piece over my holiday break from work.  I had found some cool objects at a place in town called Building Value, that sells salvaged items.  Funny how quickly the story came together.  In hindsight, I seem to have channeled my inner Rauschenberg.  Here is the piece:

Here's to a creative, productive 2012.  Stay tuned for more work and posts this year.