The logos of two baseball teams is painted over a Boy Scout's merit badge project. A label maker identifies various knots on a fleur-de-lis. Stapled on the bottom is a bloody sock from a puncture wound I received while making "We Gonna Rock".
Kinetic elements activated by a hand crank connects to a homemade geneva stop mechanism. Moving through the pulleys the rope connects to a guitar that comes crashing down and googley eyes pop out of the wooden skull. All based on the lyrics of a song a friend wrote, "WE GONNA ROCK, WE GOONA ROCK, WE GONNA ROCK YOUR FUCKING FACE OFF!..."
On the way to "Spiral Jetty".
Dear family and friends of
Salt Lake City
I have seen all of you recently after celebrating my nephews 3rd birthday at Disneyland during my summer Amtrak vacation. In retrospect, it was a sort of existential crisis/vision quest culminating in my escape from NY. I enjoyed visiting everyone and I would like you to be a part of a project that I’m doing during Art Basel in Miami. This show is being organized by Brian Butler. He has secured a space in an abandoned hotel that is currently undergoing renovations.
Various sites I visited via Amtrak that may provide significant source material:
Los Angeles: Watts Towers, The Griffith Observatory and Richard Artschwager
Portland: Burnside, The Church of Scientology and Mount Tabor
Salt Lake City: Gilgal Gardens, Fruitland, Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon
Chicago: Lake Michigan, Eveeland (the name of Matt Lane’s building)
Detroit: The Heidelburg Project, Hamtramck Disneyland, the people mover and Lake St. Clair
New Orleans: The Saint Louis Cemetary and the shack I stayed in
Richmond: The James River
New York City: Rockaway Beach, my apartment, my studio, my job
Mr Potato Head
Geographical proximity is not a necessary starting point. Other possibilities may include physical features such as:
If everyone decided to make lips for instance I think that would make an excellent portrait.
I am not taking ownership of these works I am simply providing the mortar, tar or rubber cement required to compile disparate elements. A completed object may be placed, rolled or even thrown, but each element will be carefully considered. It will be an accumulation and the resulting objects will contain multiple pieces similar in process to a memory jug. You may contribute as many works as you wish in any media. I want to emphasize that 2-D works won't pose any problem. The space has it’s limitations in scale but I am not overly concerned about accommodating larger pieces. The end result is unknown but it will be a collaborative experiment with friends and strangers in various places. Most of you are artists but some of you may not identify as being one. Good!
If this is appealing please ship to:
In August, my work was included in the 2011 Summer Festival for the Wassaic Project. My contribution was an outdoor piece that materialized during my participation in the Wassaic Project fall residency program. Prior to the residency, I inherited 15 full sheets of 5/8” plywood following the deinstall of a friends’ sculpture. I Impulsively glued all 15 sheets together. Shortly after that I received a letter from my landlord explaining that she would be unable to renew my lease. I panicked. Days before my departure to Wassaic I now had to expedite the process of breaking up the hulking wooden mass into manageable pieces. After dulling two chain saws, I determined that using a Sawzall with Lenox Gold brand blades was the only possible way to break up the hefty slab. A story began to unfold from the eviction (the way my plans are typically formulated). Accumulation is repetition equating to process. Planar materials such as foam were sandwiched in between the ply reflecting computer generated terrain. Layering became a geological reference as materials were pressed together to accumulate into stratified mass. One may experience these layers as a survey of the passage of time.
The narrative structure surrounding this project became demonic possession, particularly the story of Annaleis Michel. What would Michel’s conviction consist of if transmuted into matter. If we could share the sum of her personal experience in a more tangible realm what shape would such a form take? Michel’s health declined as she believed that her body became possessed by several unnamed damned souls along with Nero, Hitler, Cain and a disgraced Frankish Priest from the 16th Century. Michel’s exorcism sessions lasted up to 10 months, her family had given up on psychiatric treatments. The autopsy reports state that she died of malnutrition and dehydration. Reportedly, the ligaments in Annaliese Michel’s knees ruptured due to obsessively performing her genuflexians during exorcisms. The word Genuflect was important for it’s sound, it’s shape and it’s meaning. A drawing depicting a Lenox brand box cutter co-opted it’s wolf branding as spirit animal guide. The image of the cross emerges from the shape of the letter X from the written word Genuflex. The X transforms into a cross as it projects itself horizontally outward. An interior cavity articulated within the foam and wood resembles a kind of floating geyser.
Annalies Abyss is a sculpture from a residency completed last year but it’s themes resonate with my current work. I am still sifting through it’s contents, mining it for the potential within the implication of form and concept. The project description and my being evicted from my studio space can be read as an artist statement.
I found some bright red spheres, approximately 4-ft. in circumference. I will need a truck, I thought. What could these giant, fiberglass-lollipop-looking things possibly be? Gaudy mall decor discarded from the Pru after the Xmas season? A hollow aluminum cylinderpunctures part of the surface like a planetary axis displacing the crust, recalling the shape of an ornament, only much more colossal.
The first Colossus was based upon the X-men; this one is from Rhodes. Artists’ renderings articulate a giant straddling the harbor, permitting boats to pass underneath his muscular stature. I thought this would be a strain for even a giant. You can see the veins bulging from his thighs, his foot about to slip. Framed by his opening are various important buildings from all over, a makeshift Utopia in place of Rhodes.
King C. Gillette believed in a Utopia he called "Metropolis", a mega city that could be built to replace Buffalo, New York. He fancifully claimed that the raw, untapped energy of Niagara Falls could be harnessed to provide hydro-electric power for his mega-utopia. Needless to say, Metropolis was never built; Gillette eventually would move onto the disposable razor.
Opening scene of the first Nightmare on Elm street: witness a heavily breathing Freddy Kruger as fabricator-psycho, soldering and grinding his trademark weapon of torment.
What the hell is on the other side of a Fontana painting anyway?
The Colossus of Rhodes serves as a predecessor to the St. Louis Arch. New York City, also indebted to this ancient monument for Helios, would become the Rhodes of today. Situated near Ellis Island, our own Lady Liberty literally carries on the torch, beckoning visitors into the harbor. The Statue of Liberty bears a marker beneath her pedestal engraved with words that declare:
The Borg is an alien race of Cyborgs that embrace technology as a means to expand upon their collective.
They have become a mainstay as the most revered villain since their arrival in Star Trek: the Next Generation.
Their objective is to “assimilate” all sentient beings in order to equip themselves with new technology. An individual’sknowledge and identity is absorbed upon assimilation into the collective.
With references to the order that exists within the insect world (particularly the industrious nature of honeybees), there is a queen who commands the hive that is occupied and maintained by drones.
The Borg are exclusive and elitist, yet relentless in their quest to expand the collective with new drones.
When the queen appears in First Contact, she bears a crown connected by cables that gradually lower her into a body, a classical bust floating by wire and disembodied like an ancient statue now broken.
Despite an inability to relate to human instincts, there is sexual tension between the queen and Data, the android from Enterprise. Naturally, my queen is connected to the king-sized headboard I found abandoned near my studio. I wonder what kind of lovemaking went on underneath such a fiberglass behemoth complete with mirrors. A pink fluorescent lights up at the flick of a switch, it’s whiteness a baroque splooge.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
-Emma Lazarus, 1883