I initially answered the open call to BWAC’s Installation art show in June with little hope that I would get called back. I had one and a half art installations under my belt at the time and the only thing that I could provide was a sketch of what I planned on doing and a photo from the art festival that I was in a few weeks prior.
Surprisingly in August I received a response from the organizer saying that he was interested in my proposal and that I had a spot in the show. As I’ve done on numerous occasions before, I panicked. I had the standing figures done already but I had proposed to create wall masks to complete the environment that I didn’t fully flesh out at the time. I had to do tons of research to figure out the best way to create them since I haven’t done them before this project. I normally use paper clay for my sculpting but I didn’t do it this time because it would be rather costly creating something so large with it. I decided to go with paper mache and ended up finding a few gurus during my research. One was Jonni Good from ultimatepapermache.com and the other was Dan the Monster Man from http://www.gourmetpapermache.com/. I used techniques from both, one was using fabric instead of newspaper strips from Dan’s site and the other was creating paper mache clay with toilet tissue from Jonni Good’s site. The fabric strip technique was used to create realistic looking folds for eyelids and skin. The paper mache clay was used to cut down on cost and to add strength to the pieces. Prior to the paper mache clay I was creating the masks with traditional newspaper and flour paste. It took a very long time to wait for the layers of newspapers to dry and when I tried to speed it up by adding more layers, I ended up with mold growing on one of my masks. It is very important to make sure that all layers dry before you add new layers to a piece, I can’t stress that enough. I was able to save the mask by scrapping out the wet inner layers of newspaper and spraying the rest of it with rubbing alcohol. Kills mold dead! When I first showed up at BWAC to get a feel of the space, I was in complete shock. I was given the best spot in the house which was right at the entrance with about 35 feet of space to fill. I wasn’t exactly sure of what to do with all of the space but I knew I would come up with something. I ended up winning first place for the Installation, I really didn’t see that coming! The show runs up until October 26th at 499 Van Brunt Street in Redhook Brooklyn. The hours are from 2-6pm on the weekends only