Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wall of Doodle

This is the full installation where my "e" sits. the artists from left to right:
G, Micheal
o,o, Dutton
g, Susie
l, Ryan
e, Jennifer

unfortunately we didn't win (BOOO), but at least dutton, susie, and i had a really fun late-night-painting-session in the office :)

Friday, August 20, 2010


Interview with Juxtapoz magazine from earlier this week: here!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In Twain

i'm back from maui and really fucking stressed out. (was that a cry for help?)

tried several avenues to abate my nervous energy today:

1. went grocery shopping
2. cooked cellophane noodles
3. cooked nian gao (didn't win any beauty contests, but it was freaking delicious)
4. attempted to draw

i ended up eating dinner at 4:30 pm (b/c i had nothing better do to) and consumed 1/3 cup of dark brown sugar and 200 ml of sticky rice flour (nian gao) over the next three hours. BAD IDEA. i now have the j-j-jitters from sugar withdrawal.

anyway, i really did attempt to draw something of relative substance to drag myself through a long day, but i just couldn't do it. i've been playing with a new concept for a painting but i froze. a brief phone conversation blocked everything i had planned. couldn't draw. couldn't focus. had to keep myself busy somehow so i decided (or maybe it was the sugar) to actively disregard my own nagging standards of "taste" and just draw something completely masturbatory for the sake of drawing. (fell back on a few old themes/design choices so i didn't have to think too much. god, i miss my sewing machine.)

ended up looking like an asian audrey hepburn + beheading piece, but i initially had Sargent's "Madam X" in mind (or i really just want a black dress with a plunging neckline). the blue variation is the original, the second is an adjusted version.

thumbnail sketch:

i also normally don't do personal work on the computer. that's my day job. at home, i try to maintain my grips on real media. today was an exception.

post four emergency doses of red bean candy and a second cellular installation, the jitters are gone...but i'm left with an insatiable need for salt. i'm recognizing my lack of savory snacks, staring at a packet of soy sauce, and wondering how one defines a "good idea."

i'm just realizing how frantic this post appears.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


OOO until 8/13/10


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Seamstress Final

it's not a doll, it's a sculpture.

so this was a major time-suck (fig-1), but it was really fun to get out of 2D land for once :) this is part of a larger effort for my team (i obviously had the "e"). tomorrow is the final installation for all the letters so i'll have photos of the full piece in the next few days. anyway, here's the second half of the process:

DAYS 6/7: sanded and painted the figure and sewed the basic structure of her dress

DAYS 8/9ish: found that an old bottle of painkillers (left over from my date with the DR) was the PERFECT height for her seat. (see walgreens tag peeping through) penciled in the pixels for the "e" and began to sew the pieces. NOTE: sewing 1" x 1" squares of fabric with a standard size iron is decidedly unwise...though i only burned myself once (SKILL).

DAY 10/11ish: painted the shadow box to fit the palette of the fabric. something unfortunate that i learned when working with textiles is that YOU ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE TEXTILE DESIGNER. you can't change their palette, so you have to just suck it up and alter your plans...or layer sheer and opaque fabrics.

DAY 12/who-knows-what-anymore: final composition thoroughly secured with the help of mr. elmers, a handful of pennies, and Susie's trusty glue gun! i sewed the girl onto her seat and replaced the drugs with pennies (yea, i know, significantly less fun :P) so she wasn't top-heavy.

so there you have it! it was an awful lot of fun to work on, though my volcano-ash-and-sawdust-filled lungs may disagree. i have to say to my credit, though, i DID actually buy a dust mask...and i did use it-- only i didn't open any windows. apparently tiny, lung-slaying particles tend to linger in the air, so when i took my mask off, i gained a respiratory system full of foreign bodies. cheers to a shorter life span!

i also never addressed the subject matter of this piece. the restrictions of the project were only this: make an "e." well, ok. that's significantly less specific than my other assignments. considering the tumultuous nature of recent events, i decided to fall back on an old favorite subject: the seamstress. and only b/c this is the only subject i've consistently revisited, i feel like indulging myself and taking a walk through a bit of ego-centric history:

it started in the winter of 2008 (january 3rd or 4th if i remember correctly). i took a textiles class called "pojagi and beyond." in this sweat-shop-like environment, i stitched away for at least 300 solid about 6 weeks. ended up with several obscenely self-serving pieces. the three below are "armor," "swell," a 15 foot installation, and "the kiss," based on Klimt's palette (his painting of the same title). i found the act of sweat-shopping strangely comforting. it was agonizingly repetitive, vaguely empty of thought, and extremely meditative.

it was a mindless means to an end-- but mostly a means to a means.

it was a long winter:

running into the spring of the same year, i did a retrospectively weak digital painting called "seamstress" (yawn). unlike the previous series, this piece detailed my resolve:

in 2009 i was surprised to find myself in need of my dear, old friend. this time it was not so much the physical act of binding pieces together, rather, depicting it. these are two of an eight-part series that explores the button as a vehicle for attachment. it also put to good use my childhood obsession with collecting buttons off the floors of department stores (more specifically, Syms). "red blood" and "white blood" appear at the end of the series:

this brings me to the shadow box. unlike my previous works, the purposes behind this piece not only changed nearly every other day, but were in direct conflict with each other. the circumstances surrounding its creation kind of fucked up my reasons for using the subject matter in the first place. typically, i had a singular voice in anything i created with this theme. i had one thing to say to my motivator. after this particular project, though, i don't know what to say to my motivator anymore.

i've already said everything, and now i'm passionately neutral.

i'm not sure where this experience leaves my relationship with the 'seamstress.' this might just be the death of that theme since i'm finding myself scrambling for new symbols. regardless of whether or not i could ever find comfort in this subject again, the process of this piece served its purpose (see fig-1).