Exquisite Corpse is a drawing game invented by the Dadaists, in which a piece of paper is folded into thirds. Each artist is tasked to draw one third of a figure without looking at what the others have drawn. It’s one of my favorite things to do in small groups or at parties.
This is one I participated in (I did the bottom third), while I was in The Netherlands in the first half of 1996. The other two artists were: Erika Atwood (American, top third), and Richard van der Berg (Dutch/New Zealander, middle third).
I have no idea what the context of this drawing was, but the three of us were thick as thieves for those few months together. There was always drinking and eating and drawing and painting (and much more than I can write about here) going on around us. Erika and I shared a studio, and Richard and I shared a flat together.
Here is another untitled “automatic” drawing I made when I lived in Scotland in 1998 that I found today while organizing my studio. It’s approximately 5″ x 7″, and I probably intended it to be a postcard, but I never sent it to anyone.
I’ve posted this drawing on my Zazzle site, where you can buy high-quality reproductions.
I found this drawing (and one other, shown in the next post) today in my archives while organizing the studio. It’s one of a small series of drawings I made the year I lived in Scotland. I remember making this drawing sitting in my studio at the top of the tower at Hospitalfield, around April I think. The sky was bright but overcast, and evidence of spring was all around.
These abstract drawings were made in the same manner as automatic writing… I just started drawing without any pre-conceived notion (except for colors, of course) of what form would appear. It was a very meditative thing to do, and doing it seemed to calm me down from some of the frustrations I had while living there.
I’ve posted this drawing on my Zazzle site, where you can purchase high-quality reproductions of it.
Last Friday, at approximately 4:27 am, my water heater decided to commit suicide. As luck would have it, I suffer from occasional insomnia and I happened to be wide awake at my desk which is next to the water heater in my loft. So I heard the telltale dripping and investigated before the deluge got to biblical proportions.
So, instead of spending a relaxing day immersed in artwork and a visit to the Philadelphia Art Museum to see the new Zoe Strauss exhibit, I toiled away at plumbing. This of course is much harder than it sounds… I had to make room to do the work by removing a huge metal legal-size filing cabinet that weighs about the same as a small Volkswagen even when it is emptied of all the files and drawers. Of course, I had help too. I hired some friends of a neighbor to make the connections, but I had to go and buy the replacement water heater, and somehow get it up to my loft by myself. You should’ve seen me trying to wrestle a 40-gallon water heater up the spiral stairs to my loft. But I did it. Never underestimate the will of a poor artist who really likes a long soak in a hot tub.
And now, the weekend is over and I can finally take a hot shower again. I still have to dispose of the body, by which I mean the now superfluous old water heater tank. Which again, is much easier said than done. First, there’s the task of lowering the hulking beast to the ground level. The old one is much too big to go down the spiral stairs. I’ve bought some rope and pulleys and I’m going to construct some sort of rudimentary dumb-waiter for the task. But for now, the carcass is sitting between my desk and the new water heater, in place of my filing cabinet. Like a warning to the new recruit: the proverbial head on a spike. Or like the carcass of a giant dead whale…
Yesterday I embarked on a new series of artwork that I’ve actually been thinking about for many years now (more than 10), based on a “personal mythology” I’ve developed. Using imagery from my past, I am creating multi-layered installations and sculpture/paintings (I love blurring the lines between the two) out of shapes cut from canvas and sewn together. Continue reading →
Having just returned to the United States after a year’s absence, and then re-uniting with my partner and relocating to Philadelphia, I was in a mood to settle down. I started exploring issues of domestic life, and this is the first indication of something I would explore for years. This drawing of a slice of bread represents home and comfort, as well as the banality of everyday life.
I went on to make cast glass sculptures of bread slices from molds I carefully made, (unfortunately, I only have slides of these, and no way to scan them). But this process was too time consuming for my busy schedule. Not only did I have to spend hours and hours making the original sculpture out of clay or wax and creating the mold from that, but I also had to anneal the glass slowly in a kiln over a period of days or weeks. Finally, I would have to spend hours cold working the glass to grind and polish away any imperfections.
So I invented a new more immediate technique. I made a mold of an oversized slice of bread out of a thick piece of wood, which I kept soaking in water. Then I could pour hot molten glass into it, and have them out of the annealing oven in two days. I made hundreds of slices of bread this way, and showed them in various configurations in the gallery for exhibits and critiques. I even sold a few at a gallery in Chelsea in New York City. I still have many of these slices packed away, and they can be purchased relatively cheaply too. Just drop me a line if you’re interested.
Saint Lucy is a Christian saint (whose name comes from the Latin Lux, for light; she is the patron saint of blind people) who spurned her suitors and consecrated her virginity to God. In one version of the story, her would-be husband tortured her and took her eyes out with a fork; in another version her suitor admired her eyes, so she pulled them out and told him to leave her to God. She is usually depicted holding a pair of eyes on a platter.