Balloons.

I've recently developed a slight obsession with balloons. Basic party balloons from the dollar store. Quite possibly because of the image from two posts ago with the arms wrapped around that big balloon-like thing. But also, maybe, because at our cramped corner dollar store the party section is right at the door, so all of a sudden balloons are literally on my radar.

(They've actually been on my radar intermittently for years, in experimental sculptural/installation work that I failed to document. At the time, I wasn't really taking it seriously because "I don't do sculpture." I've been kicking myself pretty hard for the past month or two. Lesson learned.)

They've become this vehicle for working through ideas, at least in my head, showing up in two recent proposals/applications. The idea is that I'll use them as still lifes to draw from directly, and also as photography subjects to build a collection of images to paint from. Sort of like taking the Of Flesh and Fruit project all the way to fruition in paintings. But I'm still figuring out how to work with them adeptly in real life.

Right now they're getting pinned to the wall of the studio in joyously cancerous little clusters. They make me think a little of Ross Bleckner's early stuff (who, by the way, has been letting Art Blog Art Bloguse his Manhattan studio space for gallery shows while he's at his studio out in the Hamptons or wherever).

I've been doing some basic skill-building type drawing, just getting used to working from life again instead of just out of my head or from a flat image. What's coming out isn't exactly prodigious, but at least I feel like I'm getting somewhere.

I feel like there's something right around the corner as far as the work is concerned. I feel like I'm on the verge of finding something really fruitful, this thing that maybe I've been looking for all along. And then I get swallowed up momentarily by this worry over whether what I'm doing is worth doing at all. And then I realize that maybe this feeling, this being on the verge and wondering if it's actually there, maybe that's what this whole thing is about. Maybe I just need to get used to that feeling, because it's certainly the most purposeful and excited I've felt in the studio in quite a while.

Clippings

Things are moving along here in this New York adventure. Two months in, and it looks like I'll be joining the ranks of the employed day-jobbers. More details when they're set in stone.

Exhibition news should be coming soon, as well as a new print.

Until then, here are some of the lovely things that have been saturating my retinas lately...

Eliot Lee Hazel's work is astoundingly beautiful. Ethereal, ambiguous, but captivating. I especially like his Moby Ohno set, from which this first image comes.

See this image in motion in the  Moby Ohno video teaser here

See this image in motion in the Moby Ohno video teaser here

Also on the radar are three artists from the Columbia University 2001 MFA Thesis Exhibition:

Chris Jehly comes from the world of, or is at least strongly influenced by, street art. Dude knows what he's doing with line. Of course, the pieces he had in the MFA show aren't online anywhere (that I can find) which is a shame.

Brie Ruais is a sculptor working primarily in ceramic and plaster. And, sometimes, sticks. I don't like all of her work, but what I like, I like a lot.

Weighted by the Sunset , 2010 Plaster, pigment, fabric

Weighted by the Sunset, 2010
Plaster, pigment, fabric

Undoing Persephone,  2011 Plaster, fabric, steel, wood, found branch (included in MFA Thesis show)

Undoing Persephone, 2011
Plaster, fabric, steel, wood, found branch
(included in MFA Thesis show)

The third is Joseph Michael Lopez, a photographer working in a somewhat journalistic style, I suppose. I mean that in the sense that he shoots the world around him, people on the streets, etc., rather than setting up shoots or creating worlds. His shots still have that dreaminess to them, though. Apparently that's what does it for me in photography. His site is flash, which means I can't pull images. But go look at it anyway... The link above goes straight to my favorite shot of his.

And then, last but of course not least, is the Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: "Savage Beauty."

Overwhelming in the best way. Past his mastery of the craft, of tailoring itself, McQueen was undeniably an artist. These things he created are sculpture as fashion, or fashion as sculpture... The pieces and other artifacts were supported by video of some of the runway shows. McQueen runway shows are not exactly your run-of-the-mill, walk-and-turn shows, and seeing the garments in his version of motion was very informative. (Runway shows can be viewed in the Runway Archive.) The presentation of his collections grouped more by theme than by seasonal collection, which made it more difficult to get a clean chronological grasp of his work, but was incredibly useful as a source of inspiration.