Building up the image today. It’s good to be an important piece of the whole.
Getting there. More test shots this morning …but looking through my large format camera and shooting with flash. Previous test shots were done on my cell phone, which has become part of my working process. It’s a great way to process some ideas quickly and ignore the technical part – especially at the start of new ideas. (I’ve realized that I’m only able to understand things through the lens).
Today’s work includes some experimenting with lowering the horizon line, and letting the work be more visceral…more disgust, and “don’t be so polite.”
I can’t help but connect today’s work to my big giant scribble drawing – the messiness, the cumulative action and most importantly that feeling of trying to get there.
Friday’s test shots. Sorting out some ideas and I just keep telling myself that “I know what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” I’ve been listing some of the things to mix into the work: sugar roses, used Band-Aids, tampons, sparkles, hair tufts, fake eyelashes, condoms, plastic flowers, deli meat, pink toilet paper, used tissues, false teeth, cigarette butts…etc…What else is gross? What else is pretty?
I’m looking at the still life in the everyday mundane things and exercising some spontaneity in my work as an ongoing exercise.
Been away from my studio for a few days, and I was thinking about the arrangement of things, closing the gap between art and life, not hiding my process and deskilling some of the technical things that often create boundaries and rules in my work.
Looking at these shots has made me think about how my work has always been about the surface of things; I hide my process and technique and create formal arrangements that are often meticulously planned out. This got me thinking about how I have also been hiding the content by distracting the viewer. With saturated colors, scale, kitschy objects, toys, whimsy and humor I’m guilty of changing the subject and hiding more than revealing. I’ve only opened up tiny cracks in my work and I have tried to distract you with kittens, candy, shiny things and gum. Sorry…but they were nice visual euphemisms and you stayed with the artwork longer than you expected.
So taking these thoughts back to the studio I’m going to invite some of that chaos that is behind the photograph. What would happen if those little cracks in the work become bigger spaces? If I push things to an extreme, can I find the right measurement so that the work is loud without yelling? How can I keep the surface beauty, lure the viewer, and galvanize the viewer and invert those conventional codes of elegance? How can I keep the image accessible, juicy, dark, humorous, feminine, and kooky with a creeping decadence? Will the viewer want to look at a mess or will they turn away? I want you to stay with the artwork…don’t give me the average 30 seconds.
Yesterday’s ideas. Using some of the chewed gum pieces from the residency to start this work off. Ideas only at this point and I’m letting my hands lead the way.
My hands are telling me to repair some of the broken figurines and to combine different colors of gum. I do like the monstrous style of mending with gum. Crude…raw…and unsophisticated. Still not grotesque enough, but I’ll continue to push the idea and then worry about technical test shots if I like it.
I made a few photo sketches today that combine the circular scribble motion (from my drawings) with the Photoshop smudge tool. I’m overworking and exaggerating the effect and then I’ll worry about finding the right amount that it needs. After making a few sketches of the same image, I played around with layering them at different opacities – just to get the effect of the image dissolving.
I’m not sure how I arrived here, but I guess I’m playing around with the idea of scribbling onto the image, by using Photoshop, rather than applying scribbles/ink directly onto the paper surface. I’m also not overthinking this – and letting my hands lead the way (making “yes” work). I’m not even sure I’ll continue with this idea.
I am liking the way the colors mix and melt, the grotesque faces, the distortion of the body, the drips, the fleshy swirls and the way the medium is complicated between photograph and painting.