@1 year ago
“Idealization of Shapes” Exhibition
Roll Up Gallery, San Francisco, July 29, 2011
In the week leading up to the opening, I had completed a large body of pieces specifically for this show, and I greatly enjoyed appreciating them stacked around my artist space. My mind couldn’t help but recognize other artists my age from this area who also gravitate toward covering large wall surfaces with lurid visual patterns, artists like Ezra Eismont, Romanowski, Barry McGee. Last weekend I saw Romanowski’s opening at Fabric8 over in the Mission; he’d done a full wall covered in shape-encrusted wooden tiles, in a fashion that reminded me of Barry McGee’s techniques. Last night I had a fun facebook messaging back and forth with Ezra after he *liked* an image I posted from yesterdays install; we traded links about decades past op art from Sol LeWitt and Vernor Panton, while also agreeing that at some point in the future we should try and do a large scale, full coverage op art installation, including the ceilings and floors. Look out!
While we were hanging the show, we kept laughing, and seeing spots and the wall move. At one point I figured out that if I went outside and stared up into the blue sky and got a little bit of sunlight in my eyes, and then walked back in and stared at my main wall installation here, it would swim in blurry spotty red patterns, wow, super cool. I tried this several times an got one of the gallery staff to try it to. Eye fatigue. Good times.
One of the things I have been deliberately focusing on as I’ve made lots of op art this year is visual interference patterns. You’ll note the dense concentrations of white and black squares repeating as a motif. In my studio, I test photographing various visual patterns with my digital cameras, attempting to freak the camera out, getting them to display wiggling pink and green triangles and zebra bending moires instead of the black and white lines. Finding that lines around .25” tend to work really well for this. Try pointing your cellphone camera at these pieces and see if anything unusual happens. Indeed, as I was leaving the gallery once we’d finished, someone I didn’t know was pointing their iphone camera at the wall and laughing at the results, they instantly ‘got it.’ I am using the digital media lens and pixels as a paintbrush, feeling it. Also, I have been really into large fields of fluorescent color, and really love how these photograph as well; they oversaturate today’s cameras, which generally can pick up every nuanced shade of ordinary wall color. If the next century of art is going to be about scrolling quickly through thousands of thumbnail sized images, I’m trying to get my works to stand out from the pack, vivid, moving, alive.
I use a variety of materials for the works in this show, which are either on plywood, PVC or plexiglass. The attempt is to create objects suitable for a long lifespan, durable, weather-ready. My favorite varnish these days is water based indoor/outdoor concrete floor sealer. The PVC prints are with UV and weather resistant inks; these could be placed on an outdoor fence facing the ocean for several years and still hold their color. The distressed blue and yellow quarter circle pieces are some of the newest in the show. After I painted the yellow and blue, I sanded the corners with an electric sander, tossed them around the parking lot, wiped them down with coffee grounds and olive oil and then later in a wash of water with a few drips of gray acrylic craft paint added.