I’m moving into a new studio. One of the best things about this new space is that I can see so much of my work at once. Today, as I unloaded my work and began the process of organizing things, I was struck by all of the hours that surrounded me. Hours painting, thinking, trying, failing, moving down one path, trying another, etc, etc… So many works have left me, but I’ve got this amazing representative sample around me right now. I’m thankful to have spent that time. It’s been worth it.
“Image-making in this place seemed axiomatic. You live to make. Or, at least, in living you make. Let us take the ninety-degree turn twice and go back to where we once were, shall we? It was fun, challenging, and worthy; the most worthy and real thing I did that summer. It is the most abiding thing I did, even now. Alas, all the rest is dust, chaff, and stubble – ‘which are burnt and which the wind drives away’ – though it all was so beautiful while strewn on the ash pile there. And we, like the old pagans, went down to color it and cover our nakedness with it.” – from A Mnemonic of Longing, an unpublished essay, 2002-2009.
Below: a sign one of my fellow Fellows left for me one day. I’ve saved it all these years. I have a feeling who left it on my chair that night, but was never sure. Click for larger view.
The talented and dinosaur-loving Keith Montgomery visited my studio last week to shoot some video and take some still images. Keith is a good friend and a former student of mine who has made tremendous strides in his photography over the last couple years. You can see a bunch of his work here, but also click on the images below for larger versions (there are also a number of other shots). You can also see our collaboration piece in The Larry Show, up at the University of Missouri’s George Caleb Bingham Gallery through August.
The Grand Studio
Looks like I’ve got some new “at work” shots for my website, eh? Thanks, Keith!
I graduated from SAIC nearly 10 years ago, and I’ve got a lot of memories from there. At first, right after I graduated, I was pretty negative about my experience. I felt as if they’d denied me some aspect of my education necessary to my future, that they’d tried to indoctrinate me, that they’d treated me like a number, not an artist.
In ways I was right, but in a lot of ways I was wrong. I’ve since gotten over it and look back with fondness, thankful that I grew so much during those years. One of the ways in which I grew was in my attention to the things that drew my eye. I began to document heavily, shooting thousands of photographs in the last couple years of my undergraduate career. Below I’ve posted some of those images. These are all from SAIC hallways and environs circa 1999/2000. I was obsessed with the angles, passages of light, and transitioning spaces in the places I saw every day.
Above, looking through the peep hole of my dorm door, 112 South Michigan Ave, 9th floor. This space no longer exists. Below, the elevator I took so many times.
Dead birds (they constantly flew headlong into the bank of windows on that facade, then fell, in droves, into the water below), dead leaves, and my shadow in a pool outside the lake side of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Two stairwell views on the way to the Advanced Painting studios (above and below).
Another stairwell view, light on the landing.
Glass and light, looking up toward the Advanced Painting studios.
Sunlight glances through the shades of my 13th floor (the smoking floor) dorm at 162 North State Street.
In May 2008 I received an Artist Residency at the Glen Arbor Art Association in Michigan. It was a great time and a really fantastic space. You can see a couple of the pieces I made there here and here. Maybe I’ll upload more work from that period of time in the future, but today I want to post a few images of my “studio” spaces there at Glen Arbor.
My apartment space. Did a lot of reflection after days of driving and drawing.
The Thorston Farm. Click for larger views. I had full solitary access to these buildings. Such an evocative and time-full environment.
And the lake, dunes, and trees were ever-present…
In the Evanston studio, February 2007.
And a shot of the current stage of the Iconoclast painting in progress…
Me in my studio during grad school – Indiana University – sometime early in 2004. Upper right corner – my Lionel Richie “Patron Saint of Painting” icon, collaboration between Maximillian Hernandez and my collage. It’s hanging in my current studio, too.
“VOLUME, NOT FEATURES” …words to live by.