Last Wednesday I started cutting wood for the first of the small scale sculptures in the A Theory of Forms and Ideas series. I started this process by printing out a copy of each of the small perspective drawings that I made, making them twice as big so that they would be three inches and four inches wide, taping them into a notebook, and measuring the sizes for each section that I need to make. I numbered each segment according to what I thought would be easiest to cut and piece together if need be. I went to the Lowe’s and bought varying widths of 3″ craft board only later to realize that it was actually only 2.5″ wide. I also went to our local art store and bought some three inch 1/16th and 1/8th inch balsa wood since the hardware store didn’t carry wood this thin; Balsa wood turns out to be the exact size that it says it is. I went back to Lowe’s and bought 4″ wood which is actually 3.5 inches and purchased widths of 1/4th, 3/8th’s, 1/2″, and 3/4″ so that I could glue them together to make the widths that I need.
Monthly Archives: August 2013
So I made my move to New Paltz which is about a an hour and a half north of New York City. We rented a house for a year which comes with a garden house that I’ve cleaned out to use as my new studio. The space is around 200 square feet and is made entirely of concrete. The nice thing about the studio is that it has a door and a glass window that look out over a beautiful lawn and a garden that grows humongous sized sun flowers. It didn’t take me long to visualize how i wanted to use the space and part of my initial cleaning included moving some cabinets that were being used as storage inside to use as a workbench and to free up some space in the studio. There’s another room farther inside where I can keep my tools and have a work bench so I don’t need to clutter up my workspace with extra things. Another nice thing about the space is being able to use the outside space so I don’t have to worry about cutting wood inside and making everything dusty;this might be tricky in the wintertime but its great for now. I plan on putting up three 4’x8′ sheets of hardwood plywood so that I have a surface to hang on but the wood is expensive and I have to buy 3/4″ unfortunately because Loews doesn’t sell 1/2″ thick smooth plywood. I’d like a cheaper alternative but I’m afraid that 1/4″ would be too thin and would ripple on the uneven wall behind it, making photography a nightmare. Another great thing about the studio is that there’s a Loews hardware store a block from the house which means no more long trips to get materials. My worktable in the studio is now a cool desk from the UN and a nifty adjustable lamp also from the UN ( thanks Ben Knight!) Below are some pictures of the studio after I cleaned it up and a picture of the back of the house with the door to my studio. Oh and we have a dog for a year named Pup Pup. There he is running in the garden!
I’m moving next week after having my studio in the same space for 14 years. When I moved in it was a large warehouse space that was being subdivided and converted into live/work spaces in an industrial park in Brooklyn. I moved in sometime in September of 1999 and spent the winter living in a tent made out of plastic, sheets and boxes. I built the first part of the loft that winter and spent the next year building walls, running electricity, putting in gas lines, painting the floor and ceiling and fixing and replacing windows. We didn’t have a roof on the bathroom for several years which made showering in the winter very cold and it took almost ten years to build a proper kitchen which was made using my parents old kitchen. When I first moved in there was nobody living in our part of the neighborhood (we are next to sanitation) and I used to pass packs of wild dogs on my walk back from the subway and on Monday mornings there would often be burnt out cars, relics from a weekend of thievery. After about 5 years we got a coffee shop and a little after that a restaurant. I noticed that more and more people were getting off at the same subway stop and then after 10 years out rent went up significantly because the area was popular for artists and people looking for more space. Then Bushwick Open Studios started and I realized that there were a lot of artists living around me. All of the empty warehouses that I used to look in at years earlier were now full of artists. If I moved I could no longer afford to stay in my own neighborhood. Then the Loft Law happened and I applied on behalf of our building which made me both a target for scorn and a savior of sorts since it kept us from being evicted by the NYFD which were constantly harassing us at the time. I am moving before the benefits of this law would apply to me but I’m doubtful that the building would would ever be able to legalize unfortunately since there’s a printing press on the first floor and a lot of chemicals polluting the air.
Anyway, part of this move involves getting rid of a lot of stuff including artwork that I didn’t think were successful or that I don’t think that I’ll ever show again. A lot of the work that got tossed were paintings from graduate school. Below is a list of artwork that made it into the trash bin:
ICB (Battleship), GE: We Bring Goods Things To Light, (OL), the two light paintings from All Memories Are Traces of Tears, The Wall, a painting of a drone, a painting of a mirrored bridge, The Problem of a Compounded Abstraction (The Field) and all of the landscape panels that I had in storage from Epicenter City and The Future Living Projects Planned Residential Development.
I’ve been working on some perspective drawings that are based on the gouache paintings that I made from the A Theory of Forms and Ideas series. I took 15 paintings from the series that I thought would make good sculptures and rendered them in three dimensions using a technique that I learned in my three dimensional drawing class in college. This is the same class that I took where I also learned how to make small scale reliefs using chipboard that I talked about in I Was A Landscape In Your Dream. In the class I learned how to render objects in three dimensions and add shadows using known points. This was taught before computers were being widely used in order to accurately transfer a two dimensional object into three dimensions. For the A Theory of Forms and Ideas drawings I started by making a smaller version of the drawing on a piece of paper that would accommodate all of the points that I needed to complete the drawing. After I finished the drawing I scanned it into the computer, made it twice as large and then printed it back out. I traced the finished drawing onto another piece of paper and shaded it in using 2 different shades of pencil.
I’m hoping to make all 15 of the drawings and also make small scale models for them. I’m particularly interested in the drawings that have floating pieces that would not be physically possible to make. Below are the first 4 of the drawings and a drawing that shows the technique that I used to make them. These are #18, #3, #7, and #9.