Making sculpture and sculptural installations for the first time since I was in art school feels really good as the pieces finally come to fruition. Below is a studio shot of all the work in progress as well as two of the fabric samples I designed to create the upholstered and plush sculptures. By next month the pieces will all come together. The large painting on canvas is still in progress and the paintings on wood are complete. I’m looking forward to a busy summer of productive art making to follow the momentum of exhibiting at the art fair, Art Market San Francisco.
As part of my thesis project in 1993 when I was a senior in the painting department at RISD, I created some plush installations. I knew that after leaving the sculpture department a couple years earlier I would still want to make what I called a 3D painting. I had envisioned a painting coming to life in similar materials, spilling on the floor or throughout the studio or exhibition space. The original realization of this idea was crude at best but the idea never left my consciousness. In this first attempt I painted on pre-designed fabric. I carved a stamp out of a lino block for one image and cut out round black faux fur for the other. This time around I have designed my own fabric from which I’ll make the sculpture. I found this old photograph of a detail shot of the piece which was originally about a 12 foot by 12 foot painting with an installation along the base:
As a 22 year old artist, I didn’t have many life experiences from which to draw content for my work. While the struggle of being a female artist in a male-dominated sculpture department posed its challenges, it wasn’t really real life pain. The work I made was mostly based on the premise that ugly was beautiful. My work now draws on years of life experience both in my improving skill as an artist as well being informed by recent traumatic life events.
What a nice surprise to see a fantastic shot of my esteemed colleague Hampton Terry’s studio in Valencia, Spain. All the sweeter was spotting one of my paintings hanging in the middle of his beautiful fauvist-inspired landscapes. I think our paintings complement one another so well in spite of our obvious disparate styles:
I met Hampton at an art opening of his the first month I moved to Spain. He immediately started introducing me around as “a real artist” which was a generous compliment coming from him. He was good friend and supporter during my three-year life in Spain. Before I moved back to The States, we made a point to exchange art. How lovely he framed and hanged my painting on paper.
This month’s music: Kaytranada