Friday, October 30, 2009

1-Year Anniversary/Manhattan Project

One Year Ago this week, the world sat wondering what the upcoming election would bring.
I was promoting a new kind of artwork I had created to describe the election. This was the first time I had ever made a mosaic, and my medium was chopped coins.
This piece was shared heavily online, and I moved on to develop more work from the same materials. It's hard to believe the difference a year can make.
Now, after being stored privately for the last 12 months, I bring this historic piece of art back into the public arena, in the heart of Manhattan, to a new pub on the border of Chelsea and the West Village.
The place is called "Bunga's Den", and it's located at 137 W. 14th St.
Closest train station is 14th St./6th Ave. (1-2-3-F-V-L)
The work, "Obama Vs McCain", will be on display indefinitely, as will "Wall St. Stop", which was the 2nd work I made using chopped coins.
It mimics the subway mosiacs in the city, and was built in reaction to the stock market crash last September.
Anybody in the NYC area should stop by, have a drink, and check out the art.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the MoneyMorphosist Manifesto: turning art into money by turning money into art

Whether we realize it or not, we are a society created by art but controlled by money. Throughout civilization, art has been the fuel for humanity, while money has been the carrot dangling before us. Both money and art have value to us, but only one is lasting. Without money we can't survive, yet without art we don't exist. As our Global Monetary system continues to crumble, it seems logical to reinvest some of the slipping currency into a format tested by time: Artwork.
Basic similarities between money and art:
1. Money is generated by working, so is art.
2. Civilizations that value money also value art.

Basic differences between money and art:
1. As a nation's debt increases, the value of its currency decreases.
2. As an artist gains notoriety, the value of their artwork increases.
Most people value money more than they value art, but which is more valuable?
Historically: Ancient coins are collectible by enthusiasts, Ancient mosaics are kept in museums.
Currently: The Money of today can be easily be turned into things, yet the Art of today is difficult to turn into money.

Who values art the most?
1. Those who want to influence great numbers of people. (ie. Pharoahs, Popes, Dictators, CEOs, etc.)
2. The artists themselves.
Who produces Art? An Artist.
Who produces Money? A Taxpayer.

Who needs Money? artist 2. the government

If the Government itself were to promote an artist turning money into artwork, they could increase the value of the artwork, and consequently their own tax revenue. An Artist turning Money into Art, selling it for more Money, and paying taxes on the profit could help invigorate the economy. MoneyMorphosism is Patriotic. MoneyMorphosism makes sense. I volunteer to be an artist for America.

Turning money into art:
1. Removes money from circulation, thus countering inflation.
2. Adds exponential value to the coins used, helping the economy.
3. Is cool.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Debt Auction/Setting a new Credit Limit

Announcing the auction of the original art: "VISA vs. MasterCard". The stunning, hand-cut surfaces have been mounted and sealed between 2 panes of glass, viewable from both sides as a self-standing Proof-Set.
Bid this week only on E-Bay
ends November 4th, noon EST
I figure this is a viable alternative to signing up for a credit card, with a far more attractive pay-back plan...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Key: an Initial Public Offering

My latest project is an attempt to reconcile my disdain for money with my desire for it. Many are being made available, directly through me, for $50 each.
My artwork has always been an outlet for the excess energy that I could be putting into anything else, but don't. By avoiding all other aspects of society that do not appeal to me, I have managed to focus exclusively on that which does: the creation of amazing new things.
This decision was made at my own insistence, long before I knew what I was doing, and to change my course after this many years would be like losing myself. If I didn't only make art, I would not know who I am. It is a ball and chain, yes, but there's a comfort in this kind of union: me and my art share the struggle together.
As liberating as it is to only do what you love, it's also, unfortunately, incompatible with our current society unless it generates some income. The key is to find a way to seamlessly integrate my daily projects with a source of money, and continue to explore my art with that new, additional parameter. Seems simple enough.
Unfortunately, Art and Capitalism don't mix, unless, of course, the artist is willing to comprimise. The very nature of mass production is a odds with the creative impulse that drives artmaking, yet without repetition on a massive scale, any profit-driven enterprise is destined to fail.
The key would be to create a project in which the Corporate model is replicated microscopically by simply erasing some zeros. I'll be the CEO, the advertising department, the managers, the workers, and the delivery team. If AT&T looks at the world in terms of billions, I'll see it in terms of tens. The profits will still buy bread and cheese.
So, after much deliberation, I've developed a plan. I endeavor to make available to investors my first public offering: an edition of 100 Keys made from coins, for a paltry sum of 50 dollars apiece. Whereas most of the objects I'm making from coins and epoxy are one-of-a-kind and worth thousands, this latest project will be a flurry of objects, each mostly similar yet slightly unique.
The keys are made from 2 quarters, cut, filed and epoxied. The chains are fashioned from a single nickel apiece. The pendants are icosahedrons, 20 sided Platonic Solids built from 5 chopped pennies. Payment can be made over the internet using a credit card, available for pick-up in the NYC area, or deliverable anywhere else for the cost of shipping.In a world of shaky investments, here is one that is sound. Freeing my time to pursue more art ensures my continuing rise to notoriety, and once I'm well-known, these will surely increase in value. All that aside, they're pretty darn cool.
Anyone wishing to act on this limited offer should contact me immediately for further details. If this goes well, additional offerings of lesser quantities and higher values will be occasionally introduced. Stay tuned and spread the word... I'm hoping these will open doors, if only even metaphorically...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bright Idea/changing the channel

History, as it stands, is a giant collection of ideas. Some are great, some awful, and all were thought at least once by somebody somewhere before spreading to others. Great ideas spread easily, because people are excited to discover and eager to spread them, while awful ideas are better distributed through force and repetition. Both are powerful and grip our lives equally.

Spreading the word about anything requires a certain amount of effort, and ideas are no different. Throughout the rise of Capitalism, it's always been necessary to tell people about things of which they've never heard, so they can realize how much they need them. Barkers, standing on a box extolling the virtues of this or that, have driven many products much further than the producers could have ever accomplished alone.
Billy Mays, possibly the best known pitchman of our current time, has convinced millions of people to buy all sorts of things that they didn't realize they needed. Even in death, his skill in selling is something we can all witness on YouTube.
Yesterday, in an attempt to channel the spirit of Mr. Mays, I set out for my local Brooklyn Rite-Aid in search of Mighty Putty. I realized it was no different from the epoxy putty at any of the nearby hardware stores, yet somehow the fact that Billy Mays had endorsed it before slipping into oblivion made it special. It would serve as an offering to his immortal soul.
I'm a great artist but am terrible at sales. It occurs to me that if someone like Billy Mays could convince people that they need my art, I would start selling massive amounts.
When I mixed up Billy's putty, I used the single blue glove included with the package. Upon removing it, the thumb separated seamlessly from the rest of the glove.
I wonder if this was Billy Mays' spirit, letting me know that my purchase had not gone unnoticed by those from beyond the grave. There's even a chance that maybe they'll look at my work and like it. For me, this is awesome: I'll take any fans, dead or alive.
As we approach the end of October, and the inevitable opening of the dark portal to the supernatural, I wonder if I might be able to convince a few other friendly ghosts to be my invisible agents in the artworld of eternity.
Maybe if one of them knows Picasso, or DaVinci, they can tell them to look at my stuff. It might be the big break I've been after.
If I tell people I'm a very famous artist in the Afterlife, perhaps they'll be drawn to purchase my stuff on Earth. Imagine how impressed Edison would be if you were buried with this.

-thank you Billy Mays, for the magical putty-

Friday, October 9, 2009

Snapshot / Stolen Souls

Of all the doodads and gizmos that our species has created, perhaps none has been so important as the camera. With its invention comes truth: actual captured reality. Whereas before it simply continued, a moment could now be frozen for all to see later: the past proving itself to the future. This was big.
In the last century, 0ur explorations of the power of the lens to freeze time have evolved drastically. The brilliant minds that spawned the first kernels of the photographic process knew that something powerful and important could be harnessed, yet it's highly unlikely they had any notion how grand and sophisticated the whole thing would eventually become.
Back in 1996, when I was 20 years old, I too was convinced that I had stumbled upon a powerful and important idea. The idea was to become an artist, and disregard the common path.
Using a 35mm camera my parents had purchased in the 70's, I captured my young image in the mirrors on the bathroom medicine cabinet. This was a period of dramatic decisions and constant questioning. For all practical purposes, I was insane at the time.
I say this because my choice to cast everything in life aside in order to pursue only art was crazy.
This was a time in my life when I should have been preparing for my future. I could have chosen to become anything whatsoever: I was, after all, going to college. I had a great aptitude for math, and an interest in science, yet when I started taking studio art classes, I realized where I truly wanted to focus. An art degree? I was nuts.
Nobody but me could understand the brilliance of the decision, but my mind was made up. The rest of my options shriveled up, and I began to feed one alone. The choice was not smart financially speaking, but that seemed unimportant. I was an artist, and I embraced it.
Now I realize I was correct, and the choice is one I respect completely. Basically, since then, I've never stopped working on art. What I put into motion has evolved in many ways, and back then I could never have envisioned the new creations I see unfolding before me today, 13 years later.
Truly, that mad minded young man was a genius, destined for greatness. My respect for him is immense, even if I do consider him naive. He could never have imagined where his efforts would lead, yet he trusted that he wouldn't fail. I feel obligated not to let him down. I want to prove he wasn't crazy.
When I made a camera from chopped coins and epoxy, I put a New York Quarter in the viewfinder. "Gateway to Freedom", reads the text, and the Statue of Liberty is superimposed over the outline of New York State. Your typical Times-Square tourist is crossed with an Astronaut: a bizarre hybrid indeed.
This work serves as homage to the great minds that developed the process of photographic reality absorption, who made it possible for the people of the past to merge their moment with the future.
As time continues, a moment can seem endless, yet when captured, it becomes succinct. Bravo! What an impressive invention.
Creating this object from money immortalizes its intrinsic attachment to the modern, capitalist era. Would the camera have come to be if there had not been a strong desire to create multiple images quickly to distribute for profit? Didn't the visionaries who envisioned replacing painters by taking photographic portraits of the wealthy elite pave the way for their own paths to riches? Surely for some, this was the mindset, yet many, most likely, had a greater interest in discovery than dollars. They just wanted to be able to figure out how to take pictures, mostly because they realized that to be able to do so would be really freeking cool. To them, this was bigger than money: this was history.
These, I'd be willing to wager, were the ones who brought the majority of the advances. It seems like the true geniuses rarely let profit motivate them in their pursuits, driven instead by a desire to see the completion of an idea only they can grasp. The profiteers are a secondary player, driven only by the idea of money.
Say Cheese!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

time to take credit/VISA vs. MasterCard

In a Capitalist World, there are rules against monopolies, therefore one thing always mimics another. The resulting Competition supposedly keeps Companies on their toes and provides Consumers with better Everything.
Visa and MasterCard are two equivalent entities, working against each other side by side. According to my research, there is no discernible difference whatsoever between the two. Neither is trying to buy out the other; all stores accept both. From time to time one or the other puts out a smear campaign against American Express, yet both continue to exist in seeming harmony.
To understand this quirky burst of Capitalist cooperation, I decided I'd make my own versions of each. Essentially, I'd be playing bank, issuing myself two new lines of symbolic credit.
For Visa, the original credit card created by Bank of America in 1958 and launched with an unsolicited mailing to 60,000 people, I used old pennies, which are exclusively copper in composition.
For MasterCard, which was formed by a conglomeration of other banks in 1966, I used new, zinc-alloy pennies.
The backs of each card are basically similar, aside from a slight difference in the thickness of the magnetic stripes.
For the Mastercard I used Quarters, as it's seen greater growth in its life. For the Visa, Nickels. Basically, everytime we swipe, one of these two gets royalties. Imagine owning publishing rights not only for the Beatles catalog, but also for the catalog for everything ever sold. Talk about easy money.
When a patina was applied, it reacted very differently to both.
So who wins?
To me it seems like a toss-up. I guess that will be determined by their individual credit limits, ie: whatever I can sell them for.
That price, however, is yet to be decided. So now I find myself doing something I swore I'd never again do: signing up for 2 more credit cards, without reading the fine print. Luckily, these are issued by the bank of Me, and consequently not subject to the insane fees and stipulations of the normal cards. I wonder: is an artist allowed to monopolize this kind of thing?

buy it on EBay