Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 mash up

A wee sampling of some painting endeavors from this past year;  a painting on a fragment of fruit crate from late Spring, and a very recent painting on a found bicycle seat.

I'm seeing a rhyme, if not a theme.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Oh Christmas Thing 2011

This year's Christmas Thing was late in developing, but alas, it has come.  Inspired by the depiction of the holiday classic Hollywood films, this piece is silvery black and for a string of paper balls that feature the hints of hues from the weekly store inserts which clog our mailbox every Wednesday.  The original versions of films like Christmas in Connecticut, The Bishop's Wife, and Meet John Doe embody such a warmth and lushness of the xmas moment in their monochromatic renditions that the colors of the greenery, ornaments and baubles are realized in the viewer's own perception of the scene.

I'm not claiming that this monochromatic Thing has any of those's really just an homage.

One thing that it does have going for it is that it has a kinetic potential, as is demonstrated in the video below:

Another thing that this year's Thing has going, is an audio component - in the form of a special Christmas Thing/Holiday Special Episode of the Dead Hare Radio Hour, which will be airing on WVKR in Poughkeepsie, NY on Dec. 27th. The podcast version should release on the 28th.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

kork Advent Returns

After three years of exhibiting artists' works on a bulletin board in a Poughkeepsie, NY accounting office, kork is packing it in.

I'll have more on this soon.  'Til then, details are over at kork.  And if you don't want to miss out on getting a special delivery in your inbox everyday this month - from 31 great artists - then get over to kork and sign up for the advent email list.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Let's not assume...

I've been absent from posting for quite sometime.  It's not that I have had nothing to post, nor that I've had nothing to do, nor that I've had nothing to post.  I've simply had too much to do and not enough "space" to get it posted. 

Ahh, but very SSoon....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

]twenty-six paces[ : What the Room Saw Part III

The Windows on Main St exhibit has ended, but I'm still catching up on ]twenty-six paces[ related stuff.

From the point at which I first paced out the ]     [  between Artisan Wine Shop and Beacon Pilates, and first really took notice of the tar patchwork "scrawled" along the center of the street, I was immediately interested in it as a drawing. 
In the video below, I try my best to mimic the work on the canvas before me.

 I had the idea of delineating details seen through the window by drawing on the window early on.  That intention led to the thought that I might be able to create monoprints using the window as my printing plate.  Last week I made my first attempt at pulling a print from a side window.  It's crude, but it's a start.

 The yellow on the paper was preexisting, remnants from another effort. 

The exhibit is over, but many related projects I planned for originally have not been completed, and new ideas born out of those early thoughts have yet to be followed up on, but with the indulgence of the Tim and Mei at Artisan and Juliet at Beacon Harvey, I hope to continue working to resolve some of these ideas.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Eye Candy Friday: Making Sausage

This week's treat comes via Arthur Hash's blog The Art Escape Plan. I'm not sure what the origin of this gif is, but It's pretty cool, particularly the reverse view. Lovin' the animated string.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Breaking News: Pinhole Photographs of Hurricane Irene

We were spared the torment that Hurricane Irene wrought upon many across the Hudson and up in Vermont.  A couple of inches of water in the basement, loss of cable and internet for a good part of a day and the loss of a day of work was as much of a cost we at Kamp Maykr had to pay.
It seems possible that since the impact on that megalomaniapolis, NYC, was less than feared, Irene will be remembered as a dud of a storm even as the devastation it wrought upstate in New England resulted in homes and entire villages being destroyed by storm related flooding.

Inspired by my new found fondness of pinhole camera shots as part of my ]twenty-six paces[ endeavors - and since I had several sheets of photo paper on hand  - I decided to document the effects of Irene in long exposure black and white images.  These are the resulting images of setting Mabby 1 and Mabby 2 in the windows near the porch and the back yard and seeing what they would capture.

After the deluge.

A post-storm, pre-wind-gust shot of the garden and shed, neither were any worse for wear when it was all over

Saturday, September 10, 2011

]twenty-six paces[ : What the Room Saw Part II

8/13/2011 8 mins
In a previous post, I mentioned creating pinhole camera prints from the vantage of the two points anchoring the tin can telephone in both Artisan Wine Shop and Beacon Pilates.  Angelika and I exposed two sets of prints on two recent Saturdays.  Last weekend, we finally got a peek at the results.
8/13/2011 8 mins
Angelika treated me to a basic developing lesson in the darkroom at Fovea.  It was something new for me, but also something very familiar.  It was like was channeling all those memories of darkroom scenes from movies and tv.  It was a real Greg Brady moment.  I seem to remember at least one episode of the Brady Bunch (turns out it's an episode called "Click" from season 3) in which Greg sets up a darkroom in the bathroom.  I have retained a vague yet vivid image of that red tinted scene and even as I try to remember all the times I've seen similar scenes in movies and tv shows, Greg Brady's version is for in my mind.

Above is a re-enactment of Angelika developing the pinhole prints in Fovea's darkroom....just imagine this scene happening when the lights are off.  It's the first time I had been in a darkroom like this and I was impressed by how much one's eyes are able to adjust so well and how functionally visible everything was in there with just that little bit of red illumination.   
The cameras: Mabby 1 (right) and Mabby 2 (left)
The two sets of exposures made in August were short, 8 and 12 minutes.  Today I took I took another set of exposures of an hour in length.  Hopefully there will be much more information visible in the Beacon Pilates view.
8/20/2011 12 mins
8/20/2011 12 mins
I really love that creating an exposure with a pinhole camera is such a dumb, passive process - and one that is so receptive of the chance occurrance.  You just set it somewhere, open the lens and let it go.  It's a chance operation in a box.  It's not just  a bit magical either; a very lo-fi replication of how our eyes function.
In this case, I'm using 5"x7" black and white paper for a negative.    The rich blackness, particularly in the underexposed prints is pretty great - even if not as detail laden as hoped.
The point in pursuing this as part of the ]twenty-six paces[ project was to capture a moment in time in the relationship of these two locations to one another.  Ideally, two simultaneous views along that line I articulated with Telephone.  That the representational aspect of this action is not entirely reliable adds to it for me - allows for something else to seep in.
I'm hooked.  I plan to continue taking shots, and hopefully incorporating this form of image making into the overall process of my work.
I've named these two cameras Mabby 1 and Mabby 2, loosely after my twin nieces.  I expect to make more and perhaps explore the sculptural possibilities of the cameras themselves.  There are certainly some very innovative constructions of pinhole cameras.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Special Delivery

In a recent New York Review of Books (also appearing in the Guardian), Charles Simic wrote on the Lost Art of Writing Postcards.   Then, an editorial in the Guardian last week also stood in praise of postcards.  That, on top of the current state of the USPS's financial woes,  has me also thinking positively about the wonder of missives sent and received - physically.  Although I am, to some degree, enslaved by my email inbox, even the most gratifying incoming messages lack that wonder of opening that little box for what untold surprise that might be awaiting inside. 
Giving and receiving.

I join the sentiments expressed at the other end of the links above in lauding the visual/text mashup that is the postcard.  I'm sharing a couple of the most recent Missives that I've made recently.  Missives are collaged photograph postcards that I send to friends, family, and anyone who requests to be added to the mailing list.  I haven't added these, or several other recent ones to the Missive page on my website, but that should be coming soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Faces have been changed to protect the innocent...and the guilty.

 In a moment of almost-synchrony, last the August 12 editions of the NY Post and The Epoch Times (a newspaper published by the falun gong and given away free on the northern exit of Grand Central) both included images of pixelated faces to illustrate items in their pages.  The instance in the Epoch Times' front page that day was particularly arresting.  Seemingly crafted as a design project, the pixel colors are very harmonous - not to mention weirdly large for the scale of the face they are obscuring.  It works for me as a representational/abstract mashup.  The Post's incarnation is less aesthetically dynamic, but the rarity of seeing the tool used twice in one day was enough for me to clip it out.  It does take me back to a childhood memory - that of the fembots from the Bionic Woman (and the Six-Million Dollar Man).  The image below lends a pretty good likeness to the Post's use of pixelation. 
Fembot.  via
This fembot in the form of Oscar Goldman is particularly intriguing piece of sculpture.
A male fembot(?)  Is that even possible?  via

As it happens, Angelika engaged in a bit of frontpage pixelation herself, mindlessly moving melon seeds around in the kitchen.  (Her photo of it is much nicer than mine.)  In this case, she livened up an illustration of a rather bland painting by an artist showing at bau this month.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This week on Dead Hare Radio:Marc Chagall in the Hudson Valley

Marc Chagall walking with son David on Mohonk Rd in High Falls, NY.  photo by Charles Leirins

Tonight's episode of the Dead Hare Radio Hour focuses on that consummate Hudson River School painter, Marc Chagall.  Whaaa?, you might say.  but yes, it turns out that Marc Chagall lived in High Falls, NY with his companion, Virginia Haggard from 1946 through 1948. 

I interview Gary Ferdman and Rik Rydant, two fellows who have been digging deep into the details of Chagall's life in this Hudson Valley hamlet and the proliferation of work he created there.
The D&H Canal Museum will be hosting an exhibit on Chagall in High Falls from September 3 - Oct 30.
Tune in this afternoon to 91.3 WVKR in Poughkeepsie to learn all about the details of the exhibit and to hear the details of this moment in the artist's life.  An extended version of my Chagall in High Falls interview will be released in podcast version tomorrow.

Marc Chagall, Blue Violinist, 1947
This episode is a real story-time treat for me.  I really have enjoyed hearing Rik and Gary recount this story.  I think this is what radio is all about. The quality of their voices alone, I think makes this one worth listening to.  Chagall's work has never made a huge impression of me, but there are two small stained glass windows in a chapel near Chamonix that I saw that are pretty stunning.

Monday, August 22, 2011

]twenty-six paces[ : What the Room Saw

One of the ideas I new that I wanted to do from the start was grabbing some pinhole camera images of the two spaces.  Capturing a simultaneous moment in both of the spaces, seeing what each saw of the other in that instant.  
One of my homemade pinhole cameras mounted to the ceiling of Beacon Pilates.
This is the first time I've done any pinhole photography and Angelika has been way more than an assistant; more of a technical advisor, by far.  This part of the project is allowing us a chance to try out the darkroom at Fovea, which is available for an hourly rental (as well as membership access). 
I should say that this part of the project is allowing Angelika a chance to try out the darkroom at Fovea (in which she'll teach me how to print the images).  She exposed a test print, then developed it using Fovea's equipment and she was very impressed.  I'm pleased that by this has precipitated her use of the darkroom, which is so conveniently near us, and that she will indeed be printing some of her images there in the near future.

My lovely assistant, Angelika awaiting the moment of exposure in Artisan Wine Shop.

If you squint, you can see Angelika in the window..on the phone to me, standing on a ladder in Beacon Pilates.

I dig the camera strap/harness hanging from the ceiling, so I left it there.
Another thought that arrived early in the process of conceiving what I wanted to do for this project was to work with the staircase at Beacon Pilates.  The first of my attempts at addressing the space is "walk" my way up the stairs with a series of "sculptures" - arrangements, really, on each stair, in a sequence. 

I'm thinking that I'll make a series of these ascensions, using a variety of items to make the arrangements - in this case - the tools I had on hand in my bag. 

 I was able to slide the camera up up the handrail to which it was suspended as I made each arrangement, took a shot with the self timer as the it swayed naturally, then broke down the arrangement to make a new one on the next tread. 
Of all the images I captured of this process, these are the most interesting to me. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

]twenty-six paces[ : Telephone-Line

While in the process of installing Telephone in Artisan Wine Shop, I saw the opportunity to draw a line.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

]twenty-six paces[ : Telephone

Telephone, yarn, acrylic on wood, cans.
Telephone, the first of several works that are part of the ]twenty-six paces[ ensemble, is also emblematic of all the works (those both planned and those still emerging) that will be the result during this period of the Windows on Main St exhibit.  Spatial relations; marking time, and space; communication, community; the speed of engagement and experience; the very process of formulating and exploiting ideas are all constituent parts of the work. 

The entire experience is a process of realizing, and working through of all the thoughts I had ever had about the WOMS exhibit since the days that Karlos Carcamo and I started the exhibit in 2005.  Meditating on my WOMS locations of choice: Artisan Wine Shop and Beacon Pilates folds in those generic thoughts and those specific to my recent interactions with the physical space of those locations.  

Telephone is the most basic expression of connecting intellects and locations.  It's a drawing in space.  In choosing these two spaces, I was aware that the scope of the entire street scape in which the two businesses would be part of my consideration of the stores and space in which they sit, and relate to one another. 
The span of the void - the streetscape - is at the core of ]twenty-six paces[  .   It's the space within the  ]  [   My immediate attention was drawn to the distance between the buildings; the void; the ]street[  but the focus of this project is as much the stuff outside of the ] [  as inside:  ::::::::]  [:::::::::::

My immediate attention was drawn to the distance between the buildings; the void; the ]street[  A primary goal in my approach to all of this has always been to explore the relationship between the realm of that void, and the realms on either side of the void; namely all that is behind those store front facades.
How to articulate the the geometry inherent in the linkage of two points across glass, brick and two lanes of asphalt?  I think first came the tin can telephone, then appeared the next obvious thought:  Fred Sandback. Sandback's yarn sculptures cut through space, define it -exactly the task at hand for me here.  The fact that a good number of his works are local - housed at Dia:Beacon - seemed like another salient element and reason enough to make the allusion.  Working with spectrum of tautness and slackness of the yarn is invigorating (Sandback really had something good going).  To further the nod to Sandback, I purchased the yarn at the Fishkill, NY Walmart, the same source for the material used in the Dia installations.

The Artisan Wine Shop end of the line.
The Beacon Pilates end of the line.

My lack of Trigonometry knowledge is overcome by a little bit of algebra and geometry...a ruler, protractor and lots of scribbles.