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
After about a year of planning, the Bronx Artist Documentary Project has finally made it’s debut at The Andrew Freedman Home this past Saturday September 13th. The project consisted of 30 photographers documenting 80 artists as they created artwork. I had the opportunity of being the only crossover artist to be on both sides of the lens. I was documented for a period of five sessions as I worked on various projects and I photographed three other artists while they worked in their studios. It was a great experience to meet other artists in the neighborhood and see how they began and ended their creative process. It was rather easy for me to document them, but I found it quite difficult for someone else to document me. I was very aware of the camera and tried to do everything in my power to make sure that my surroundings wouldn’t be as messy as they usually are. Overall, it was quite a bumpy ride but I think that we can all say that we’ve made a few new connections along the way 🙂
I had a wonderful time at my first Two-Person show in Soho! It was great to see my name in vinyl letters on the wall and I had plenty of friends show up to support me. I also got a chance to meet the wonderfully talented creator behind the whimsical AstoNuts stuffed creatures. His creations are massive and must be seen in person to fully appreciate them, I am a true fan! I hope to own on sometime soon! To see more of his work, head on over to his website: http://astronuts.exblog.jp/
This has proven to be one busy summer for me. I originally had two shows scheduled in September, one being the BXADP show and the other being my first two person show at the ISE Cultural Center in Soho. This current Spoof Collective show in addition to two more this August will make six shows in four months for me. I am really feeling the love! Here’s some photos from the Spoof Collective show at Hunts Point. It will be on up until August 8th every Saturday from 3-6pm at The Brick House Gallery 1391 Lafayette Avenue, Bronx NY 10474. Photos courtesy of Ignacio Soltero, who is also featured in the show.
I have to say that the Northside Festival was my most challenging event by far! The Artist Chain Reaction at The Andrew Freedman home was pretty tough being that it was my first time creating a sculpture of almost 4 feet tall, but this time I had to create a few more in less than three weeks for an outdoor event.
One of my biggest challenges was to figure out the best way to build a standing base for my work that was able to withstand wind and the crowds. I’ve never built anything to handle being outside in the elements, so this would be another first for me. I originally thought that wood would work but I needed it to be heavy so that the sculptures wouldn’t tip over from heavy wind or people interacting with them. I immediately thought I should use wooden pallets but realized that they wouldn’t be practical since I didn’t have a car to transport them. I took a few trips to Home Depot to see what I could find instead. I was lucky enough to find 2’x2′ flat wood panels that had the right amount of weight and was easy to load onto a small hand truck. I also found wooden posts there to drill into the panels to create a standing base.
The other thing that I had to worry about was the weather, it rained everyday that week and being that it was a rain or shine event, I still had to deliver. I struggled with the idea of what to do if it rained. I brought some Rain Guard protective coating to water proof the pieces but that wouldn’t do anything to protect the clothing and the hair that I use on my work. I wasn’t sure if there would be a reaction with the coating and the clay that I use so I decided to go without it. I brought clear recycling bags and hoped that I didn’t have to tacky up my work and use them.
The day of the Northside Festival turned out to be just beautiful! It was the first nice, sunny and warm day that we had in over a week and everyone was out to enjoy it. All of the things that I worried about like the base, if I was going to finish my pieces in time, and the weather panned out just fine. None of my pieces fell over and everyone seemed to be enjoying and interacting with my work. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside that day!
Here is a late update from my last two shows, one was at MF Gallery in Brooklyn and the other was SpaceWomb in Long Island City. The show at SpaceWomb was so last second that I had to snatch up some dolls from my shelf, but I was very thankful to be invited. It’s conveniently located across from MoMA PS1 and the opening fell on the same night as their annual warm up event. It was surprisingly quiet considering the amount of foot traffic happening at MoMA, I guess we needed party music and more drinks to compete with them. In contrast, the opening at MF Gallery was very lively as usual with a few familiar faces from my previous job at SourceMedia. We had a blast, Frank and Martina always have a great turnout! I must thank Frank for taking the photo of me, he always catches me at my best.