Filtering by Category: sculpture

tower of terror

Added on by Jourdan.
fiberglass insulation, foam insulation, landscaping fabric, polyurethane, and hotglue
6' x 2' x 2'

So... this guy went up in flames last night. We're assuming it spontaneously combusted (there were some polyurethane soaked layers) because there appears to be no other reasonable explanation. My studio was/is an utter mess and the surrounding studios received a great deal of water damage. Thank goodness nobody was hurt... it could've been a lot worse.

I'm going to have to adjust my process and way of working with materials from here on out. I'm not sure what that's going to mean exactly, but I suppose I'm up for the challenge... as if I had a choice.

studio update

Added on by Jourdan.

These past few days I've been making quite a mess in my studio. I'm happy to be working on something semi-large scale again. I think this big guy is working better than the smaller ones. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't topple over because the infrastructure is pretty shoddy. Oh well, if it does, at least I'll be following the guidance of my professors who told me to make a mess and not to be afraid of making something that falls down (they really said that!!).

 These images are of a tiny model I made with craft paper and hotglue, in the same manner I did to make the big cardboard piece. I've been thinking more and more about this green color... thinking about adding it to my palette... 

michael zelehoski

Added on by Jourdan.
Blue Pallets, 2011

 I recently came across Michael Zelehoski's website. I don't even remember how I got there, but I've had it pulled up on my screen ever since. There's something really grabbing about his body of work. He seems to have a very particular way of working, which is innovative and unique, yet oddly simple at the same time. Are they paintings? Sculptures? Collages? Does it really matter? That's what I think is so nice about what he makes. At one moment I think I'm looking at realistic paintings (and nice ones, at that) with awkward, but believable view points that place the viewer in very distinct positions. Then I realize it's made out of wood! But even when the material's revealed, it's still a little disorienting. All of it is, really... the material, the angle, the process, and oftentimes the object depicted as well.

Zelehoski reveals his process in a short animation on his website, but by doing so he only makes the work MORE intriguing, not spoiling the awe one bit. What he does is collapse existing three dimensional objects to create two dimensional depictions of what they once were. He says...
"This simple gesture – which is basically just taking things apart and putting them back together flat – is at the heart of what we think of as two-dimensional, representational art. I’m just doing it in a very literal way and whereas the whole point of Magritte’s pipe was that it wasn’t. The whole point of these objects is that they are what they are." 
Picnic Table, 2010

mixed media assemblage with deconstructed picnic table, found wood and plywood
49" x 72"
Picnic Table (back side)
"Sculpture has been defined as a three-dimensional object in space. These are three-dimensional objects in two-dimensional space and although they find themselves trapped, unable to perform their original functions, they remain active and productive on the level of our experience. These objects, which have always been thought of as means to other ends, have become ends in themselves."

Tower, 2009

bart prince: architect

Added on by Jourdan.
 I've got Bart Prince on the brain today. This house he designed, known as the Price Residence, is featured in the book In Search of Natural Architecture and it manages to catch my eye every time I flip through it. The layers and movement in this structure relate to some forms/methods I've recently been exploring with my own work...

"ARCHITECTURE comes about as a result of the synthesizing by the architect of creative responses to input from the client; data gathered from the site and the climate; and an understanding of structure, materials, space and light. Working from the inside-out, the architect guides the growth of an IDEA resulting from the combination of these responses to a completed design which is as much a portrait of the client as it may be of himself."
- Bart Prince
The movement of Prince's architecture reminds me of Ben Butler's work, which follows a similar aesthetic... simultaneously spontaneous and strategic...


ann weber

Added on by Jourdan.

I'm not a HUGE fan of Ann Weber's work, but I can really appreciate her way with materials. She uses cardboard, staples, and polyurethane... and that's all! Her forms don't particularly grab me, but her ability to transform such a mundane material is really quite extraordinary. I've been soaking thinks in polyurethane lately... as well as building structures out of cardboard... perhaps now it's time I try the two together!

mona hatoum

Added on by Jourdan.

 In preparation for the upcoming semester, I've been poring over some art theory textbooks (I'll be TA-ing for an intro Art Theory course) hoping to familiarize myself with the material before I have to discuss it with a class full of students (all by myself). Towards the end of one of the books, I came across a page or so about Palestinian artist, Mona Hatoum. The description of one of her most well-known pieces, Corps Etranger, particularly caught my attention. The video installation consists of projections, on the floor, of the artist's various bodily orifices. With the help of a doctor, she used an endoscopic camera to trace the surface and various orifices of her body, including the lining of her digestive track. Viewers were invited to step inside of a dark built cylinder, atop of the projection. I can only image how surreal and disorienting it must have felt - like being swallowed into the scale-less abyss of fleshy membranes.

In a fantastic interview with Janine Antoni, Mona Hatoum says of her work...
I want the work in the first instance to have a strong formal presence, and through the physical experience to activate a psychological and emotional response. In a very general sense I want to create a situation where reality itself becomes a questionable point. Where one has to reassess their assumptions and their relationship to things around them. A kind of self-examination and an examination of the power structures that control us: Am I the jailed or the jailer? The oppressed or the oppressor? or both. I want the work to complicate these positions and offer an ambiguity and ambivalence rather than concrete and sure answers. An object from a distance might look like a carpet made out of lush velvet, but when you approach it you realize it’s made out of stainless steel pins which turns it into a threatening and cold object rather than an inviting one. It’s not what it promises to be. So it makes you question the solidity of the ground you walk on, which is also the basis on which your attitudes and beliefs lie.
 (read the rest of the interview HERE)

I've come across Mona Hatoum's work in various forms, but never have I looked at it together, all at once, as a body, if you will. Despite the variety of materials and forms that they take on, her sculptures and installations deal with some over-arching themes/concepts that carry over quite nicely from piece to piece. The human body and its evocations of the familiar/ambiguous, enticing/disgusting, political/social, etc. Many of these themes (as well as some strikingly similar formal investigations of such) have been creeping up in my work as well.

Here are some examples of some of her other projects...

Marrow, 1996

Grater Divide, 2002
fabricated steel

Socle du Monde, 1992–93
iron filings on magnetic fabricated steel structure

Entrails (detail), 1995
silicon rubber

"Half-recollections emerge in feelings of unease, only to be held just out of reach in any kind of firm and knowable sense."   more here

cardboard something

Added on by Jourdan.
This is my most recent undertaking. Originally I had plans to show it standing upright, but as I was working, I came to find the interior to be much more compelling than what was happening with the exterior. I got a lot of helpful feedback at my critique yesterday, particularly concerning this piece. Everyone seemed to agree that the interior was most interesting, yet found the traces of text and labels from the boxes to be irrelevant and distracting. I'd like to see the interior treated in some way... with a white-wash perhaps. Another suggestion was that the exterior be hidden all-together - embedded in the wall maybe? I definitely would like to explore the possibilities of this process further... be it with different material, different form, scale, etc... we'll see!

layers of something

Added on by Jourdan.
In attempts to "loosen up" (as I've been advised to do), I ventured to create these small layered pieces. They were each made in one sitting, and the materials were chosen quickly and at random (though with regard to aesthetic). I've been looking/thinking a lot about the many layers of the flesh and likening them to the layers of the earth. While one is super microscopic and zoomed in, the other is zoomed out, and neither of which are typically seen with the naked eye. I'm interested in exploring this idea of scaleless-ness and how it relates to both our bodies and our environments - what's inside of our skin, as well as what's outside of it.

Now, in attempts to loosen up some more, I plan to continue working in a similar way, but straying away from the safety and comfort that I find in the cube/rectangle...

materials include: pink and yellow fiberglass insulation, pink foam insulation, urethane foam, polyurethane, hotglue, and landscaping fabric

sharing a brain with anish kapoor

Added on by Jourdan.
So, a little over a year ago I made this sculpture...

click HERE for more images and info

And I just came across this image of Anish Kapoor in his studio with a work in progress...

WHAAAAT? Wow... I am really excited to see the finished product. I wonder if he'll build a real deal 'tower of blobel' all the way to the sky like I was hoping to do... hmmmm

It's so bizarre when this happens. Every now and then an artist will make something, get really excited about it, and then find out that somebody else has already done it. It's happened to me before, and it evokes an odd range of emotions... excitement, confusion, frustration, inspiration... all at once! But this isn't even a finished piece. I wonder when Anish conceptualized it. And when this image was taken.

I'm a huge fan of Anish Kapoor's work and was thinking a lot about it when I conceptualized my "Tower of Blobel." I was looking at some of his larger metal biomorphic forms, while I was in a foundry (metal casting) class last year. Perhaps I was tapping into the depths of his brain somehow. Weird.

You know what is also really freaky...? While I was typing this post, my roommate Sanaz commented on an earlier post, saying that one of my students' sculptures reminded her of my tower of blobel as well...  click HERE to see it

frank stella

Added on by Jourdan.
When I think of Frank Stella, I think stripes. I think shaped canvases. I think minimalism. I think of what he had to say about turning the painting into the object, rather than a surface on which an image is produced. I like the Frank Stella that comes to mind when I think of Frank Stella.

But what I hadn't realized until recently is that my Frank Stella of stripes (above) has been replaced by a man who makes not-so-minimal sculptures (seen below). Stella has been making this type of work since the late 70's, yet I think I'm correct in assuming that the majority of the art-viewing population thinks of stripes when they think of Stella.

It's not that these are terrible sculptures. I mean, I don't necessarily like them, but they're not BAD. I just have this odd sense of betrayal when I see them. Like I'm hit with this feeling of, "but that couldn't possibly be a Frank Stella." Seeing them makes me want to really look into his work and to see what he's trying to accomplish with these wacky 3D forms. Perhaps it's not so different from his 2D work after all, and I'm assuming/hoping that's the case, but I'm not yet convinced. I just really don't like them.

Ok, I said it. I really don't like Frank Stella's sculptures.

Worth sharing, I think... particularly in light of my recent sculpture/dance collaboration. below is a video of a dance choreographed by Merce Cunningham. Costumes and set by Frank Stella.

lynda benglis

Added on by Jourdan.
I never know what to think about Lynda Benglis. While her poured metal blobs render me breathless, her more colorful work leaves me somewhat indifferent. And then there's that scandalous Artforum ad. You type in her name on google, and that's what pops up... image upon image of the young, dildo-wielding Benglis. Sure, I get that she was making a statement about feminism and gender in art, particularly at that time (1974), but I'd much rather celebrate her for her more minimal object-based work. Despite the fact that most of her work is conceptually charged with gender and politics, I'm most attracted to it for its formal qualities.

I was first turned on to Lynda Benglis in an introductory foundry (metal pouring/casting) class at the College of Charleston. I was experimenting with loose blob-like forms cast in plaster (poured into condoms, which I suppose is rather ironic) which I eventually planned to cast in metal. My professor suggested I look at Benglis, as well as Louise Bourgeois to see how they dealt with the material in a similar aesthetic. What excites me about Benglis is her choice of materials and how process-oriented all her work is.

Laura Hopton of The New York Times says, "She adopted the vast scale and industrial materials favored by Minimalists like Donald Judd and Carl Andre, but let her colorful latex pouring allude to bodily gestures, fluids and topographies, and harden into a kind of skin."

YES PLEASE! It is in this way that I am interested in using similar types of man-made materials to create a sort of tactile, bodily, flesh-like aesthetic a la minimalist means.

As I mentioned, the more colorful stuff doesn't excite me as much... it reminds me too much of what Ben Godward (whom I met at Franconia this summer) is doing, thus I associate it with something different than perhaps is intended. Obviously, she did it first, but still... it kind of ruins it for me.

I also can't help but think of Leslie Wayne (discussed in earlier post)... but I think I like Wayne's better.
Anyway, I will continue praise Benglis for her use of materials and for her non-traditional approaches of handling them and will without a doubt continue drooling over her poured metal sculptures...

vessel in the snow

Added on by Jourdan.
My friend, and fellow Franconia intern, Julia Caston made it out to Franconia Sculpture Park this past week, despite the antarctic 40 below Minnesota weather! She and Mary Jane Mansfield (whom we also met this summer) trudged their way around the park in the knee-deep snow to take photos of our sculptures!

Here, Julia is cheesing it up in front of my sculpture, Vessel. She and Mary Jane are both from Minnesota, so they're used to this ridiculous weather. Below is an image of what she made at the park this summer... Maybe You Should Stop Buying So Much Crap


Added on by Jourdan.
I've been playing around with my favorite toxic pink stuff and exploring its endless possibilities. Here I have made it into a rope of sorts and covered this pedestal with it. In doing so I have objectified the pedestal by turning that which traditionally holds objects into the object itself. Not a revolutionary idea, I know. Can you tell I've been reading/thinking a lot about Minimalism?

fiberglass insulation
2' x 2' x 4'