Last week I went to visit my grandson. I wanted to buy him a toy and I thought of the Fisher Price radio from days gone by. I could not find that version of a radio but I stumbled upon this radio by Baby Einstein. But it does not play the typical “Twinkle twinkle”, nope, this radio plays tunes by Mozart, Vivaldi, and Rossini to name a few. I think it plays 8 tunes in all. Though I recognized all the tunes, the only titles I knew were the William Tell Overture and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. And they were not whiny tinny sounds but very pleasing. The radio also lights up and I love the happy wiggly worm on top.
I have talked on and off about installation art and mentioned a few pieces I have done in this medium. One of my favorite installations I have made is Any Back Yard. This installation was on view at the University of the Arts Window on Broad for the month of April, 2006. The “window” is a deep space (think department store type window space) that faces a busy street. The installation is about attracting birds to an urban yard.
Personal symbols in artwork is another topic I touched on and laundry is another such symbol for me. Laundry hanging out to dry is an everyday site in a city so it is no wonder such imagery was stuck in my mind.Continue reading “Installation Art: Any Back Yard”
The Cookie Cutter House Project is based on a number of things. Houses and buildings appeared in my former work because I lived in an old, large city and became part of my subconscious. Recently, I moved to a totally new environment comprised of a mix of rural and suburban landscape. Overdevelopment and a lack of housing for the booming population are major concerns. In addition, when I did move, I left the only place I ever knew as “home” and I believe this project is helping me address and possibly redefine my thoughts on home and community. Continue reading “Intro to the Cookie Cutter House Project & Beginning the Artwork”
Probably the first thing I should do here is describe Installation Art for readers who may have heard the term (or maybe not) but never quite knew what it was. Installation art is a themed exhibition that takes up an entire space, is temporary, and generally is not marketable unless an institution purchases the whole installation for its permanent collection.
My first memorable experience with installation art was sometime around 1990 at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire. My family was there visiting my mother, who had relocated there a few years earlier. I cannot recall who the artist was or the exact message, but I do recall the work was making a statement about trees, possibly the exploitation of trees? Anyway, I was very impressed how this artist used the medium to present a message. A second installation that impressed me was on display at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. It was was a map of the local rivers, streams, creeks, as well as ones that no longer existed. The map was made of glasses filled with water (or turned upside down if the waterway no longer existed). The size of the glass seemed to represent the size of the waterway.Continue reading “Installation Art”
Some where in the early 2000s, my imagery and the associated symbols in my work took a turn away from buildings and houses. When they did show up, they tended to be less of the main point and more part of an entire message. Around this time I became interested in book arts and installations. Installation art, which is what the Cookie Cutter Project will be, is an interesting art form and something you can read about here. Though the artwork is still a mixture of media, installation and book arts, by their nature, are three dimensional.
The first piece on this post, Tenement, can be called a sculpture, or three dimensional print, or a book depending on your definition of such work. It is made from three small boxes covered with etchings I made of (what else?) buildings! On the very top of this piece, a paper birds nest sits and is embellished by another ubiquitous personal symbol in my work, a TV antennae.
My work process started to include a variety of papers, many of which I made or altered by painting or printmaking techniques. I have tried a number of different surfaces but paper remains my favorite to this day. The satisfaction of making paper and altering the surfaces of manufactured paper resulted in my including other materials in my work such as stitching and wire. The house and building imagery increased and also seemed to go from grand buildings (as in the cut paper work in my last post) to singular structures and small groups of less grand buildings. Other samples of this work are shown in this post.
Houses and buildings have long been represented in my artwork. I believe that even though certain imagery may remain in an artist’s work, the meaning of those images can change over time. When I teach, I often refer to such imagery as personal symbols.
When I first started putting buildings in my work, it was obvious to me that it was because this was part of my everyday scenery. I lived in a very large city and you saw row after row of houses and blocks and blocks of buildings. This post shows some samples of my work from the late 1980s which was all made of cut paper, down to the smallest detail. I truly believe I would not currently have the patience to work in this medium.