Archive for the ‘studio’ Category

New arrivals

When one of your favorite sculptors sends you an art mail, of course it arrives in a repurposed cordless drill box.

art mail

Studio process

Studio process
Studio process

Parts for new sculpture and irl Mirror Chain coming off the cnc table. Metal chains are bent or welded to make closed-loop links; I’ve neither option with mirror sheet. Instead I went for a simple design with two alternating types of links: One link is a closed loop, and one link has a gap that slots to build up the chain. It’s funny how ideas emerge — the resulting chains have a binary pattern rhythm, a more interesting variety of views as one walks around them, and overall a different feel than conventional links would provide. Next solo show is sculpture, opens in October. Next architectural digital work is TBD, and whilst I grapple with its seeming impossibilities, who knew that the exploratory convos and doors they’re opening would be so much fun.

On making art and serendipity

In 2007 I lived in a creaky high-ceilinged apartment Aalst, Belgium, a storage closet in South London, and an artist-modified double-wide trailer on a former WWII Air Force base in Nevada (plenty of stories there)—all by June of that year. And I still had an awkward five-month gap to go before I’d be relocating to the Netherlands for a two-year research and production residency at the Jan Van Eyck in Maastricht. By happenstance, I ended up in the parlor of an apartment in Midtown Sacramento, the first and only time I’ve lived in that sleepy, leafy city.

One afternoon early that July, I surfed Craigslist and saw a peculiar listing: Someone announced that they’d just rented a 20,000 sq ft warehouse and wanted to give artists free studio space. To me, this was the stuff of dreams and it sounded way too good to be real, but I figured I’d better investigate. The next day I found myself in a cavernous former auto body shop—totally empty except for a skateboard—meeting this incredibly generous and thoroughly professional fellow with an unconventional vision named Jesse Powell, who would later go on to found Kraken. He gave me a set of keys and I worked there on and off for the next five months. These were the very early days of his new contemporary art endeavor, which would gradually cohere to become Verge, and long before its official artist residency program would kick off. I was pretty much the first serious inquiry to the listing, and almost always alone as I worked in that gigantic raw space next to the train tracks on V Street, like some oddball art ghost. Which suited me, it was too early in my evolution to be any more visible. I made four large prototype sculptures and photographed them there against a wall they kindly let me paint white, along with a handful of smaller works, which enabled me to land a museum commission for one of those big pieces in the NL the following fall, a show in Miami that December, and much more.

My subsequent move to Maastricht was a total life upheaval and I promptly lost track of Jesse, the team, and activities at Verge, but I’ll be forever grateful to Jesse for his astonishing generosity, thoughtful support, and all the good that his work via Verge has made possible for artists. And I’ll always marvel at such unbelievable luck—how is it that the only time I ever lived in Sacramento happened to exactly align with the utterly unusual inception of Sacramento’s first contemporary art residency space, among other questions—though I no longer subscribe to chance, as it has been but one of many marvelous serendipities on my path.

Below are a few never-before-seen-anywhere process snapshots from those days—showing work in progress on my first prototype for the sculpture that would the next year become Settlers House at the Bonnefantenmuseum. A few early Reclamation dimension images are up on the wall, and the ever-present stereo sits atop a concrete column mold. Laser-focused on the tasks at hand, I never thought to step back and photograph the sprawling, dimly lit warehouse itself. At that stage, the main Verge space had zero climate control, and Sacramento gets stupidly hot, so the 4’ diameter fan by the back door kept the heatstroke at bay.

Studio process
Studio process
Studio process

Coffee musing

studio coffee

Over the past year I’ve stumbled into an occasional hobby: When I come across someone standout in an area I’m mildly obsessed with, I reach out for a consult in whatever and ask a bunch of questions. So I did this last month, it was ridiculously great and life-altering, then the expert was like, ‘oh I have a new book out today.’ Later as I searched for this new book, the first thing that came up was an entirely unrelated book in a diametrically opposite field—but by a different author who has the exact same name. It turns out this utter gem of a tome, rare and obscure, by said doppelgänger is exactly the thing I didn’t know I needed, like some key to a hidden door of questions that’ve been quite shut. And as I read the one author, I can’t help but think of the other and how eerily linked their ideas are—separated by a generation and a continent, one an inquiry into mind and the other math. Who knows what’s percolating there, but as I look back each of my larger artworks hinged on marvelous serendipities, so thoroughly and so strangely that I’ve come to regard a nose for information as among the most mysterious, and essential, of senses to cultivate. Threads even better appreciated with coffee, particularly a single-origin Guatemala with chocolate notes.

Studio

This tool is a hand-held cnc and it’s like a very very slow router video game, but instead of dying you wreck the thing you’ve been cutting out for the past couple hours.

Studio CNC