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/
I just came back from attending my first Niada conference. I have been checking out their work for few years, but I’ve never thought of actually going to a conference before. They are very particular with the kind of doll artists that they let join their group and since I like to work in a really unconventional style, I didn’t think that I would fit in. After working in the Bronx Artists Documentary Project, I actually met a member named Reina Mia Brill. She knew that I made dolls and she thought it would be a good idea if we both went down together. We had a blast! I really enjoyed myself because it was my first time being surrounded by so many doll artists and it was a great opportunity to actually see the work in person. The pieces were very impressive, it really inspired me to go home and start creating some new pieces. I have my hands tied at the moment and have to crank some work out for a different show. When I get done with my current pieces, I am going to have a field day!
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.
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.