Monday, April 16, 2012

Shallow Storage

from left to right: One White Duck, Betrayal, Estauns Interius, O' Fortuna.

One of my tasks while in Denver recently was to contend with my storage space, which I intended to cut in half.  What is in storage is mostly artworks, my own and that of others that I have acquired, and some books and personal miscellany.
The new smaller storage space did not allow space enough for several larger works.  My solution to this was to take several of these works to my buddy Cole's place.  Cole has an abundance of wall space and a desire to act as ward for these things.
Reflecting on things that we keep and the cost associated with keeping them leads to many questioning of value.  It's an act of luxury to ponder the fate of acquired objects.  But as an artist - one who makes things, it's a constant point of consideration.

Estuans Interius & O' Fortuna, 1997

The works taken over to Cole's place largely date from 1997-1999 and many of them painted after I returned to Denver from living in Miami Beach and Cole and I were roommates.  The prospect of bringing these works into the sunlight for a period of time got me thinking of the possibility of reexamining the paintings to determine whether they're worth paying to store or not.

This opened the door to the idea of a self instigated residency in which I would return to Denver next year, set myself up at Cole's place and rework/work over those pieces that I deem lacking - and make them worth paying to store.

Betrayal, 1997

One White Duck, 1997

Looking at some of these works out in the open again, I find most of them are of their moment and may not warrant a do over.  There are a couple of large works that are still in storage that will come out and will definitely go back under the knife.

Vantage: Longview, 1998

For a period when we were living together, Cole and I hosted a stretch of Saturday "salons".  a group of friends came over every week and we'd record improve jam sessions, play surreal poetry games and create collaborative visual works.  These sessions were immensely fun, creatively provocative and spawned some meaningful artworks for me.
My memory is that for a while these get togethers were fairly sustained.  There's a bit of a utopian veil that that guazes over my view on that period.  It was an expression of pure, fun creative interaction, unburdened by expectations of outcome  (although, knowing my mind as I do, I must have projected some outcome expectations of our activities at the time).

A group of watercolors from 1999-2000 on the left and on the right, an arrangement of Genesis paintings from 2007. 
Three of these works are watercolors from 1999-2000, the lower left work is by another artist.
In a moment of personal awareness, hanging the Genesis paintings near the small watercolors that were already there, I saw a relationship, compositionally and chromatically between these two bodies of work which I had never considered.

Trapt, 1997on the left and on the right, a tagteam collagoration with Yackel, 1998ish,
I'm expecting this residency, lasting 2 to 3 weeks, to happen sometime next year, will be a slight revisitation of that moment.  Interacting with Cole and other collaborators, open endedly producing sound and visuals.  I expect also that the thrust of my activity during this period will be framed with the intention of contending with storage (and the objects within) in a different, studio based way.
I'm thinking of pulling out the artworks of others that have unfortunately been packed away since moving to NY and live with them again, reflect on them, respond to them.  I also plan on placing the items I have in storage into service in the making of new work....allowing them to earn there keep, as it were, beyond dusty mementos.

These Plastic Shoes Carry The Scars From My Life With Pa, 1997
These Plastic Shoes is one of the works directly inspired by these Saturday get togethers.  Inspired, really by a particularly brilliant line of incidental poetry.  It's a multi-part painting, measuring something like 50"x60", the parts of which have been slowly been distributed among folks who have been important to me in my life.  Below are two of the constituent parts.  The remaining parts are sitting in a box in the storage space and they will certainly make their way out during this residency.

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