Mentor Meeting


1/Consider 20 pictures of the same adding up to one piece.

2/ Consider off the edge composition and a flattened close up. 3D pile cut off or a patterning effect. Talked about idea of a wallpaper and the installation of the work.


Isa Genzken. Assembles sculptures using different source material. Broader selection of objects and creates a maximum overload. Consider how much she expects from the viewer.

Cindy Sherman. Vomit series. Disgust and beauty and how image continues off the edges.

Carl Andre, Robert Gober, Renee Green, Sara Vanderbeck, Eileen Quinlan, Fischli Weiss (video, The Way Things Go).



Mentor Meeting

Notes on a very good meeting with my mentor Dana Hoey:

PROCESS + CONCEPTUAL + PERFORMANCE: Discussion about how my process of making work is part of my work. Consider the process more deeply and bring that process into the work not so directly in showing camera etc…but explore and bring “how you are doing it” into the work. Not pushing me to be a conceptual artist but improve the conceptual component to contextualize the ideas. Performance also related to my process.

ARTIST + WRITING: Explore the work of Sophie Calle and look at how she shows the process. What you like + what you don’t like in her work is important to consider. Also to explore are the female driven performance pieces. Review and think about these to have a clear sense of my work in relation to these.

READING: Agua Viva by Clarice Lispector. Refusing the narrative. Direct presentation of material. After discussing the feedback from the first residency about the lack of narrative and refusing to give into those original suggestions. This is good.

COLOR + LOOSE WRITING: Combination of 1950’s plastic kitsch and 1800’s French painting. Look at the aqua and pink color palettes that are mixed with the less satisfying browns. Frothy. Lush. A little yucky. Go and physically see some of these works like Fragonard, Boucher, Watteau and Chardin and write a loose automatic personal page about the colors. Think closely about the dull browns and grays around the lush pastel colors. This is an extension of pushing the grotesque that was discussed and encouraged during previous residency critiques.

PURSE DUMPING: I discussed my curiosity about what women carry in their purses and how I have been asking women to dump the contents of their purses so I could photograph a quick still life arrangement. It’s been giving me some great inspiration for the still life arrangements that I’m working on in the studio. Dana suggested to consider the process more deeply.





Good Questions

Finding answers…and finding more questions…a very good conversation with Oliver.

DRAWING: explore the doodling in your drawing/think about the “icky sweetness and gentle pathos” and the unconscious part of doodling/explore the diaristic aspect of the drawing – talk to Cesare about this/ Who is this sad character?/Catharsis process of drawing.

PHOTOGRAPHY: low brow content but technically sound images -keep that strength in the photographs/photographing something is a way of making it important, a way to elevate things. Photography as a way of making things important.

DRAWING AND PHOTOGRAPHY: maybe there is no need to separate the two/what is within the drawings that is also found in the photographs?/candybox colors, no browns, artificial colors.

KITSCH: a way of not directly addressing emotion/it could be a melodramatic way to deal with emotion/what is the relationship to what is true and genuine? How does one explore the artificial and distance without being artificial and distant?/Layers of distance/Kitsch offers so much but gives very little/ romanticism is cousin to kitsch (Fragonard and Bouchard)/visual equivalent to candy: short burst of thrill/research area for next paper rather than a comparative analysis – get a good understanding about kitsch, look at Clement Greenberg, Venturi and Goldstein.

ARTIFICIAL: cinema and special effects/back to Fragonard and Boucher/what about exploring that artificiality?/kitsch/candy.

NOSTALGIA: historical origins, medical terms of the word used to describe the homesick condition that soldiers felt. Bittersweet and a longing for things, persons or situations of the past.

ARTISTS: Jeff Koons, Carl Ostendrap, Sean Landers, Marilyn Minter, Odd Nerdrum, Sara Cwynar, Lisa Yuskavage, Sharon Core, Wayne Thiebaud (aware of over the top. love/hate).

VOCABULARY: think about the vocabulary in your work/the objects you use/what are the objects saying?

COLLECTING: Oliver is curating a show called “Influence” which examines the things that artists surround themselves with and he asked me about the stuff I collect. While it seems that most of the things I obsessively collect become part of my work – like the dolls, ceramic figurines, mirrors, he did ask me about the things that I collect and I love to have around me. What is my stuff? Things I collect that I love to have around me include: socks, anything rabbit, hands – novelties(ceramic, plastic and rubber), salt, missing person photographs, cute candy or make-up packaging, bread clips with expiry dates, and pictures of crying children. Some of these things are just dumb but I like them. (Is anybody reading this anyway?)

ENTRY POINTS: How? Not a lot of horizon lines in work/ think about the promise of photography and how it allows you to enter it/ the work denies entrance with no horizon and keeps the viewer out/ think about landscape and entry points/ seduce with blurring and softness, depth-of-field/explore ways to do that formally with deeper space/denial.

OTHER: advertising and dutch still-life/what is the relationship to my own work?





wtf… why are you doing that?

Some notes and thoughts after a good conversation with my mentor Iris Häussler and Katz the cat.


Things to think about and remember…

  • spoon feeding the audience – know how much to give and how much to hold back.
  • be prepared when talking about your work. People are quick to make comparisons to other artists who are working with the same visual vocabulary. Know how to separate your work from other artists.
  • WTF – ask yourself wtf…why are you doing that?
  • It’s okay to work on many things and then go back to them. Look at how your hands move as they work.
  • Try drawing after photographing – watch your hands and think about how they move differently with the medium/materials you are working with.
  • Photograph of the birthday girls … this is easy to consume…this image seems to do what the others deny.
  • Drawings: Why is this figure celebrated? Why is the figure left alone suffering? Why is the body a comic-like depiction? Think about how all the expression is in the face and the body does not protest. Do you bring this work into the photographs – how or maybe not? There is a relationship and a separation between the drawings and the photographs.
  • The figures are not realistic and they go into the realm of fairy tales. They have the appearance of old illustrations from a book.