The Artist Chain Reaction competition was an event where two artists who never worked together before were paired up to create an installation over the course of 5 days. It took place at the lovely Andrew Freedman Home on the Grand Councorse in the Bronx during Armory Week.
I initially saw the open call for this competition about a few weeks beforehand and thought to myself that I would be in over my head if I participated in it. At the time I was working in small scale roughly under 18 inches, so I couldn’t even begin to imagine how my work would translate into anything larger. After reading the open call, I immediately closed the web page and looked for another call that I would be better suited for. A few days later a funny thing happened, I received the open call in my inbox from Jeanine Alferi. At this point I figured this was a sign that I should at least submit my work, so I grabbed the biggest piece that I had at the time, took some great shots of it and wished for the best. About a few days later I received an email from Jeanine notifying me that I was chosen to participate. I thought “Wow, how awesome is this, I’m so excited. … wait how the hell am I going to pull this off?”
I panicked but quickly began to strategize and it immediately came to me that I needed to use chicken wire and paper mache. I worked with chicken wire for a whole semester in college building project after project with it because of its strength and flexibility. The idea of using paper mache to bulk up the frame was great because it cuts down on the amount of clay that I’d have to use, making it a quicker drying, lightweight and cost efficient sculpture.
After I figured out how to handle creating the body I had to tackle the one thing that I have been avoiding all my life, the sewing machine. Anyone that knows me is well aware of my on going battle that I’ve had with using a sewing machine. I can’t thread them for my life, I usually get my mom to do it for me but she was in the far away land called Brooklyn. I’ve had a few lucky tries in the past where I’d get a few pieces done only to see it snag the material of another piece. This time I was determined and I knew that I didn’t have time to play around, I had to get this done. After taking a good look at the machine to figure out my plan of attack it began to dawn on me. I needed to run the thread through the tension discs in order for the stitch to be tight. This was something I knew but never seemed to master. I went on to YouTube to see exactly how the thread should be ran through it and vuala, that solved everything. I called my mom to tell her I did it all by myself this time :).
After getting the outfit sewn, everything else began to fall into place. I put the hair on which was a wig that I had laying around and I was able to make her stand by manipulating the chicken wire underneath her dress. I made her into a half tree half person. The story behind it came from a recent experience that my partner in the competition had went through. She was recently evicted from her home in the Bronx and she had to move to Brooklyn with her family. She said that every thing that she ever knew and was familiar to her was in the Bronx. So I decided to represent her by making a tree with the roots exposed to show how she was uprooted from her home and surroundings.
Overall it was a wonderful experience and it challenged me to take my work to another level. I just wish that I had more space at home to continue working in this size:)
So here’s how Joyce turned out. In the process of creating this doll, I heavily relied on how she was portrayed in the documentary about her. Her character was dressed in blue throughout the whole movie, so I chose to to do the same with the doll. I decided to go with the hair style that the real Joyce had in her photos, the character that portrayed her had too many to choose from. Since she was surrounded by gifts when they found her, I decided to have her hold one to symbolize the gift of life. It’s so unfortunate that her life ended the way that it did, this may be the first of many that I create of or about her.
I am so excited about this weekend. This Saturday, June 8th will be MF Gallery’s big 10th anniversary extravaganza show. I will have the pieces shown above in it, and this will mark my 7th Gallery showing. All of the pieces will be priced at $100, so I might actually sell something for once, lol! I haven’t been focusing on selling my dolls, I just create and hoard them. Hopefully I’ll break out of this habit soon, I’m beginning to run out of space. It’s kind of hard to let go of something you spend so much time on, especially when you start making outfits to put on them. Well anywho, with the above pieces they all seem to have one thing in common, and that’s confinement. It wasn’t intentional, it just turned out that way. It all started with an Archer’s iced coffee. After drinking it I realized that the label can be pulled off of the bottle clean. I then held on to it with intentions of making a doll small enough to fit inside of it. With me being obsessed with air plants at the time, I decided to make some sort of doll terrarium, so I put peat moss and flowers in with her. The second one was the doll in the frame. I had a few sea shells around so I decided to use them as some sort of horns for her head. I already had a frame that I planned on putting her in ahead of time. The last one was directly inspired from the Beatle’s Octopus’ Garden. I was listening to the song while re-potting my orchids and started thinking of the lyrics and how silly it was for an octopus to have a garden. After a quick Google search I realized that they actually do have gardens that they make out of rocks and shells that they collect. I decided to play with the idea and have an octopus with a flower garden as I and I’m sure many other’s have envisioned after hearing the song. I painted him on the side of the pot picking a flower. The show will be on Saturday June 8th at 213 Bond st, Brooklyn N.Y., from 7-10pm.
The funny thing is that making a zombie doll was the furthest thing from my mind when I originally started this one. When I let the clay dry, I noticed that her bone structure was a bit strong. That was the moment that I realized what she had become. But don’t let her looks fool you, she’s quite the intellect. She also likes flowers….
It is so ironic to me how this same little doll that got rejected from Art Doll Quarterly magazine two months ago became the headliner for this show in Long Island City, go figure! I felt kind of bad about it too, but oh well. You all know the saying, one person’s trash…
Well I finally got around to sending her off to Art Doll quarterly. They’re having a seated doll competition and since she hasn’t been doing anything but sitting on her butt all day, I decided to send her in. I hope she gets published, wish me luck!
For the most part she’s done, but I always go back and add things. I subtract things as well, frantically ripping things off. Hopefully I’ll leave this one alone, she’s been trough enough already!
I am finally done with this one. Second set of hands and first set of shoes, I’m very happy with the way they turned out. I think I’m going to try new things on each doll for now on to keep things a little more interesting and fun for me. I have quite a few ideas floating around for the next doll. Thanks for looking!
Well I decided to make Boo some kind of funny vampire fairy that bites people’s teeth out when they go to sleep. And no, she does not leave any money under your pillow, she just flies away like nothing ever happened. I had a lot of fun adding this bloody tooth for some reason >:)
I am glad to say that I am done with Boo for the most part. As usual, I might be revisiting her later on to add something like I don’t know… FEET? lol! Or maybe I’ll cut some more fluff off of her wings. I just like to work all over the place I guess, start something, almost complete it, move on to something else, then go back and fine tune. I’ll get it right one of these days