Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dialogue 3

Here's the final piece in the three-part Dialogue series. It's 22.5 x 15 x 15", and, like the previous two dialogues, features two players (an animal on the left and a human on the right) talking about what's going down.

The piece is built on a circular base, where a number of wooden houses are built. In the center is a copper bowl filled with wish bones, one of which the figure on the left has either fished out, or perhaps is in the process of depositing...

From the back, the figures almost look like they're one with the structures at their feet. Humans and other animals have much in common, and we are also built of atoms and molecules like everything in the physical universe.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


I started noticing that many of the 20th century black and white snapshots I was collecting showed the fronts of buildings, often the front stairs of houses, with and without people. I suppose it was a convenient place to have people arrayed in a more-or-less orderly fashion, and, perhaps more importantly (in the days before flashbulbs on home cameras) there was plenty of natural light to allow a decent exposure.

There's something really wonderful about front stairs, an ascending transition from the outside to the inside, a lift in time and space.

Here is the new piece, Stairs, which I have taken for exhibition to The Front gallery in Montpelier (appropriate, eh?), where it will be available until the end of January. Here it is sitting on top of a stool at the gallery:

One can zoom in on the three "stairs" in the piece:

I'll be taking my camera with me to New Orleans, where we will be staying during most of January and February, and I plan to take some of my own photos of stairs in the city (and maybe some other stuff too... we'll see).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

More Dialogue

I have three human/animal pairs that I originally made for the Parade series

and now I'm in the process of incorporating each of the pairs into a larger sculpture so that I'll have a series of three larger pieces. My last post was the first, called Dialogue, and here is the second, Dialogue 2.

The piece is 18 x 23.5 x 9.5" in size. The front of the sculpture uses the paired figures (I shortened the legs on the human figure ) and a house motif, with collaged images of animals and humans.

On the back, hidden in a sense, are statements in which I've tried to represent perspectives of animals and humans as they make an attempt, in some cases, to understand the perspective of the other. Sometimes they just rant.

Since you have to peek around the corners to read the texts/utterances, it's hard to show in a photograph...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Re-Do of "Two"

The piece called Two, seen in this post, has bothered me. The two figures on the top are an animal and a human having a dialogue (one of three such pairs from the Parade series), but the shelves had prints that featured pairs of people. I decided to re-do the eleven trays and make it more explicitly about the relationship of people and animals and their lifestyles (similarities and differences) on the planet. Here is how it looks now. I call it Dialogue.

Here is what is on each of the eleven shelves. If you have trouble reading the text, click on the image to get a larger view:

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Look at the Studio

There's lots that's new in the studio. I'm getting ready to go to New Orleans in January and February. Georgia Landau will be using some of my space for a painting studio, and she'll also be taking care of my houseplants that I have been bringing in on days when it's above freezing.

I've brought out six old pieces from the late 90's that I wanted to look at again, hanging below next to a new version of the 5x5 grid in which I've written the appropriated text with a cool, very opaque white pen.

Here's a closeup of the grid. You can see that I've labeled the rows and columns, which I didn't do on the typewritten version. I also write a narrative about the process (here, in the lines between rows, I'm describing how I sampled the text):

Next is a look at some of the new pieces, which I'll talk more about in a subsequent post:

Friday, December 4, 2015

More Gifs - Kevin Weir

More here

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Gifs by Henning M. Lederer

I just discovered these fabulous gifs of book covers by Henning M. Lederer. This is a taste of one -- you can see 54 more here!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Another Wine Foil

I've been playing with my stash of wine foils, and finally got one I'm willing to commit to a frame. I like the weirdness of a flower picking flowers. The image size is 12" x 9".

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Last of the First Four

This is the last of my first four GIFs. This blog is beginning to look like those whirligigs in people's yards, with doors and shelves flapping!

This one is called The Closet:

There will be two more that I will have available in 3 weeks or so-- You Can Run, But You Can't Hide and Riffing on Taxonomy.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Two moving and grooving!

Here's the piece called Two. There are eleven shelves, but you're only getting a peek at four of them:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Men's Cabinet

This is the re-do of the Men's Cabinet. Inside the door is a "map" of the contents of the interior, that I wrote about a few posts back.

New, Improved GIFs

First, thanks to my brother Sean for making the box, and then thanks to Jenny Warshow for taking the photos and making the GIFs, and to Terry Allen for helping me slow parts of them down. Here's the first of four that are now ready -- the first one I made, the Dresses box:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Re-worked Cabinets

I've put a new front on The Closet, mounting a large photograph over the mirror on the front of the cabinet.

And I've completely re-done the interior of the Men's Cabinet.

Inside the door is a "map" of the sections above:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Big Long-term Project

Last week I bought a gorgeous barrister bookcase at the East Barre Antique Mall. I have been wanting a large, significant piece of furniture that would allow me wide scope for a major piece in my collection of cabinets, and I think this is it. It is missing the glass, pull-down fronts, but is otherwise in excellent condition. I think I can retrofit glass in the front of the shelves if I want to when the piece is finished.

Right now I'm just playing by putting a few things on the shelves, as I try to figure out where the piece is going. I think it will have something to do with the movement of time; perhaps the shelves are different geological strata, or different kingdoms (animal,vegetable, mineral...), or different narratives (it is shaped a bit like a comic strip...). I have time to play. 

The wonderful thing about these bookshelves is that they are modular. Each of the shelves can be separated from the others. The cap at the top lifts off separately, and there is a drawer in the base. It is very elegantly constructed.

I have put a few pieces from the Parade series on top, just to look at them. There will definitely be something on top, but I'm not sure it's these figures...

While nosing around in antique and junk stores I found 23 volumes of diaries from 1945 - 1968, handwritten by three members of a central Vermont family. This has sent me on a hunt to find out who these people were, and I pretty much know now. Reading the diaries has been fascinating. They will certainly find their way into this cabinet.

More Little Sculptures

Beach wood cobbled together to create little figures of man and beast.

And one that I made awhile ago (with a cork body and fishing worm penis) to which I added arms and a stand:


Last month I spent a week in Maine at Popham Beach. It was wonderful seeing the sun come up over the Atlantic every morning, and walking on the beach daily. I was able to find and collect some driftwood, which I love to use in making small sculptures. Here's one that I really like. It's about 15" long.

Back to the Men's Cabinet

I decided that I didn't like the Men's Cabinet -- too preachy, like the Black Death work. It's hard to walk a good line that doesn't press my personal agenda and give my opinionated voice too much sway. Here's what it used to look like:

I kept the front image (that sweet, centered, grandfatherly man), but completely re-did the interior. Here's what it looks like at this point. I haven't permanently affixed the pieces (like I need to hang the tools on the lower right), but it's just about where I want it. I have modified the image on the inside of the door to the left, covering over my carved text (see below), to "label" the areas of the box (A Man's World, Body Care, Home and Family, His Workshop, and Outdoor Life). I'm trying to give an overview of the components of a person's life, and the artifacts that have been a part of it. These objects, with the history they bring along with them, seem very potent and numinous to me (though of course these objects did not belong to one particular person, and are even from a variety of decades). But there is something so poignant about the fact that people die, but their stuff -- things they touched, used, valued -- lasts longer than they do...

I want to make some good gifs of these boxes, because I think it's important to experience them as cabinets and see the transition from closed to open to closed again. So much of what I'm doing with these cabinets, I think, has to do with the passage of time, and a gif makes time a deliberate part of the image. Here's a lousy one I made, but you can see the direction I want to go. I am hoping to have a friend help me make better, high-res gifs.