Recently at Real Art Ways I was assigned to help a visiting artist install a sculpture for a exhibition. It was a lot of fun! The artist is Kylie Ford, a West Virginia based artist and professor, and it was loads of fun talking with her about her practice. The exhibit was centered around the intersection and forced combination of the accidents of Real Art Ways historic reclaimed Hartford warehouse space, and those of present day West Virginia. The show explored the way both areas, though very different, experience similar economic trends, which creates similar trends in the architecture. I learned a lot, and definitely did not hurt myself 😉
See below; Kylie and her fantastic installation, and us installing it!
This was my first piece of the summer. I finished it more than two months ago, but like I said i haven’t been online much this summer to blog about it. (for more timely updates, follow my insta @prestomagiccc). This piece was the second time it came to fisticuffs with myself and oil pastels. I’ve grappled with them once before and loved the results, so I took what I (thought) I learned and applied it here. I love the way this looks finished, but it was a bitch to work on.
Aside from technical stuff, the message here is straightforward but very important to me. The way I see it, we are really just camping here on this Earth unless we change our ways of living. I often struggle to find action in my art practice. I work on my art which says what I want it to say, but where are the ramifications? I don’t mean in terms of support, but in terms of change. Art is meant to inspire change, but what can I do for the environment besides “raise awareness” through my art? This summer, it meant ditching single use plastic, dairy, cutting back on meat, and reduse-reusue-recycling as much as I could. I’m only 19, so I’m not too worried, but I am actively looking for the cross section of art and activism. I’ll let you know when I find the sweet spot. Anyway, here’s Camping Trip
Hi!! I know I’ve been MIA all summer. I’ve been very busy casting spells, working three jobs, and getting very tan. However, art waits for no warlock so despite my absence online, I’ve still been working on lots of projects in the real world, which I will begin sharing right now!! I thought I’d start by putting up some pictures I took at Real Art Ways July Creative Cocktail Hour (so many proper nouns). I have been interning at Real Art Ways, a cinema/gallery/event space all summer, and part of my job is to take photos of all the goings on around the place. These are the gems I got this month. 🙂
“The Runner Album” is the debut studio album by Magical Mysterious Dream Machine. It is 665 tracks long, a total of 45 minutes of listening. It was also my assignment for my 3D final. We had to make a sculpture and photograph it for an album cover. This assignment made it kinda hard for me to think of an idea, because since the work would be photographed, there were a lot of different restrictions and benefits versus seeing a piece 360 degrees. I needed an idea that really did took advantage of my advantages. I decided to create this cover because I wanted to do a forced perspective shot with see through elements, that appeared to contain stuff when in reality that stuff was just behind it. The TVs was perfect. The televisions themselves are made of foam, then sanded and painted. The milk carton is paper drawn on with markers, the remote and lil guy are ceramics painted with acrylic. The backdrop is painted and then I had a friend pose for me. The hand is my own. It was so difficult to get this perfectly aligned shot, but nonetheless my idea was finally brought to fruition. Magical Mysterious Dream Machine also plays baby showers and bat mitzvahs.
I made a T-Rex shaped messenger bag this week because I woke up in a cold sweat wishing I had one. It was the witching hour, so I knew it was a premonition. I made it out of carved foam, then covered it in duck tape and pleather. The strap is an old chain I found. The slot fits two thicc books or six rainbow magic friendship fairy volumes.
This is my lookbook for either the Ghost of Christmas Past, or just a normal festive stylish ghost. He fun to make. I made a really simple red slip and painted the face on (I cannot see inside). The jacket came to be when I found the fabric. It put down roots in my brain and coerced me to buy two yards. It was was much harder to work with than the red ghost sheet. I pretty much made the pattern as I went along, then added the ribbon harness to tighten and loosen the coat. The ribbons weren’t all on correctly in these photos, because I couldn’t see when I put it on. Nevertheless, I love how it turned out. I hope to one day look like this when I am a ghost.
This is my first neon sign! It was damn hard to make. My class really wanted to attach a political message to it, which is their right as observers of art. However, let the record show I owe Texas no ill will.
My train of thought follows thusly: I wanted to create a state outline because I think they’re graphic and patriotic, I landed on Texas for its clout and visual interest. I wanted to flip it backwards to mimic the shape of Australia, so I wrote Au: as an abbreviation in the middle. Why not just make the outline of Australia? As if anyone really knows the shape of Australia off hand. Besides, nothing in art is that straightforward. I chose red neon gas because its the brightest. It looks great in my room and I’m replacing all my lightbulbs with red ones.
And yes there’s a Lime Wire pokin out, he’s my friend 🙂
This sculpture is foam, felt, wood and wire. I love the style of it, because it’s simple to make and has such a graphic effect. The gif I made to show it online almost makes it look like a cartoon animation, which is perfect. There really is a harmonica in there 😉
This was a very big scale project compared to my previous school work. Our assignment was to create a shrine to a found object. I chose a Fender guitar pic, which in my imaginary land saved humanity with the power of music. I made elements of this with ceramics (lil vases inside), wood (general structure), welding and fabric (roof), and acrylic. It was really fun to make this tiny world.
From A to B and Back Again, (named for Warhol’s so-called auto-biography), is the largest collection of Warhol’s work since I believe 1989.
I loved the show. I noticed that my personal favorite Warhol, Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) was missing from the show, something not surprising as I had actually seen that piece a few weeks previous at the Wadsworth in Hartford. Most notable to me was the portrait room, the mural size works, and the more sculptural displays that showed off such iconic pieces as the brillo boxes. The gallery didn’t have much work to do in the way of a message, Warhol’s philosophy has saturated American minds now, decades later, and his pieces speak for themselves. Any exhibit putting two Warhol’s next to one another would accomplish enough in the way of his philosophy.
The mural size pieces are breathtaking in person, and fantastic feats of painting in my opinion. I wanted a lot more out of the show in terms of 3d displays, Warhol left behind so many artifacts that would have been fascinating to see in person. Overall, the show was clearly more for instagram opportunities and gawking at these massive paintings than actually
This is a poster I made, I’m gonna put it up around town. It was kinda frivolous but sometimes art is about embracing that 🙂
For my 4D class, I took a trip to see Disappearing Acts by Bruce Nauman at MoMA. I found the exhibition to be startling and discomfiting, and walked away deep in thought. Nauman’s work in simple, but not minimalistic. He says exactly what he needs to and nothing more, and often lets his materials do much of the talking. He is more effective in conveying his meaning because of this sparseness. While one may miss his point at first, Nauman is able to guide his viewer to a conclusion with ease, and often this conclusion is unsettling in nature. I found myself feeling completely differently about many pieces after closer examination than I had on just a cursory glance. Upon fully understanding a Nauman work, I often would feel unsettled at his ability to force his viewers mind to go to places it would normally work to avoid. His piece “Audio-Video Underground Chamber” was especially haunting to me. It consisted of a small television on a shelf on the wall, playing a live video feed of an offsite underground chamber. I watched the feed for minutes before reading the description, which gave me the realization that I had been inadvertently projecting my consciousness into “the grave”. To quote Nauman, “To project oneself mentally into the scene is to contemplate the grave”. While Nauman refers to the grave as a “Blank abstraction that never ends”, I was struck by the struggle between this theoretical interpretation of a grave and the very literal finite grave, a place we will all end up and one that is unchanging and eternal. When each and every one of us is laid to rest, we will remain there forever. That spot on earth is unchanging, and to imagine oneself there premature raises all sorts of questions about the nature of death and the infinity that it is. I was also inspired by his work “One Hundred Live and Die”. I am in a projects in glass class where we are learning to make neon signs, so this large scale piece was very inspiring and interesting. His use of not only different colors but variations on live and die, along with the coordinated phrases that strategically lit up in tandem, were fascinating to see, especially knowing how difficult neon is to work with.