Sunday, August 10, 2008

current project(paused): ONE EURO

(author's note: having recently crippled myself and reduced annoyingly to three-finger typing, the shift key will not be my priority in the next few posts)

a few weeks ago, while walking through a recently pricey area of brooklyn called DUMBO, i noticed an original "banksy" graffiti. nothing particularly witty or interesting, but there nonetheless. banksy, as we all know, is one of the most successful artists in the contemporary artworld. his antics involving prestigious institutions, coupled with his insistence on anonymity, have somehow pushed him into the forefront of the accepted elite, and his work has been sold at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars. a few weeks later, i passed the same site, this time cameraless, and noticed someone had painted out the signature, effectively destroying any value or significance for good. easy come, easy go. all i could wonder when i noticed this was "what separates him from me?"
why are some artists successful while so many others struggle? it doesn't seem to depend on the quality of the artwork a person makes. there are more factors. mysterious factors, different for us all. i am walking my own path, following my own rules, and waiting for the big break that will take me to the level of success i want dearly. the major difference between me and banksy is that i have no interest in anonymity. for me the art i make and the person i am are inseparable, impossible to differentiate. i'm interested in sharing both: it's a package deal.
during another walk on another day, i stumbled upon a sculpture by another of the artworld's elite. this time i was in rockefeller center and the artist was chris burden. actually, i went there specifically to see the piece after reading about it in the news. it's a skyscraper built from a million erector set pieces and is entitled, "what my father left me". i am impressed by repetition on this scale, even though the basic assumption is that he hired a group of others to do most of the work.
tourists crowded the vertical structure, snapping pictures with their cellphones. i wonder how many realize that chris burden became famous decades ago for torture and pain related art, most notably a performance piece in which a friend shot him in the arm at the gallery reception. my work seems to relate more to the engineering and repetition that Burden has been using recently, however, my recent accident, which has resulted in the temporary loss of one hand, makes me empathize with his earlier projects.

the palm of my hand, detail
before my injury, i had been making progress on a new sculpture. i started by purchasing a few dozen plastic trophy figures from the guy down the street.
i bought these with a specific image in mind for a specific show coming up in Berlin..to compliment a US dollar bill i once made from army toys, i would now make a euro dollar from gold and silver trophies, highlighting the overseas economic advantage of late, as america has plundered its resources and multiplied its debt.
i started by drawing a circle who's size roughly corresponded in scale to the dollar bill sculpture. in berlin, the two will be shown side by side, so they have to be to scale.
the template created, i began to lay out the pieces. a printout from google images serves as my model. the gold trophies will form the rim an the center will be silver.i cut off all the bases with a hacksaw, then i chopped up the figures into smaller pieces and invented a way to attach them seamlessly using drilled holes and pins made from thick wire.
the following sequence shows my progress until the work-ending accident. every time you see my left hand, remember, it doesn't work anymore! i liked it much better before, and miss it dearly.



the doctors say i should regain full usage eventually. i hope so. i'm going to berlin this fall and haven't much time to complete what needs doing before then...

1 comment:

Carlos Luis DeMedeiros said...

Sorry to hear about you injure \

mastercard piece rules

I remember your dollar bill piece sensacional.

I think I was in a group show in greenpoint and you have some pieces too, Java Studio.

Healing fast I wish for you,
your hands are precious .