bleeps & bloops

New Piece for World of Imagination Exhibition in NYC

New Painting for World of Imagination Show

I just completed a new piece for APW Gallery’s “World of Imagination II” group show in Long Island City, NY. Its a show of 12″ x 12″ paintings. I’m pretty excited about my submission. It was originally a part of a two panel piece. Sadly the second panel, also 12″ x 12″ (you’re allowed to submit up to five 12″ x 12″ pieces for the show) was incomplete and I was stressing it so I decided to leave it at home. If the piece above doesn’t sell I’ll reunite them and complete the set. The second one was a mixed-media piece that connects to the above painting. Its the meat-and-potatoes surrealistic bit to the whole thing and done in my typical schizophrenic 3D style. Ah well, such is deadlines.

The opening reception is on March 6th from 6-9pm.

The show will hang from March 6 until March 29.

For more info on the show, visit the APW blog.

This is my first realistic painting I’ve done in years and the first I’ve ever completed using acrylics. Acrylic is so tricky with this type of work. I am really curious about the methods other people use to keep it workable for long periods of time. I used a retarder made by Golden that I bought specifically for this project since I knew workability was going to be an issue for the portrait. Even with the retarder, it was still a problem. It was a combination of fun puzzle and great annoyance to constantly be recreating colors and their slight variations as they dried before I could use them.

Submission for Art House’s “The Sketchbook Project: Vol. 3” Goes Into the Mail Tomorrow!

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I just completed my submission for Atlanta-based Art House‘s project “The Sketchbook Project: Vol. 3.” The rules: they send you a Moleskine sketchbook and a voluntary theme and you send it back by the deadline. Then they take it, plus a couple thousand other sketchbooks, on tour around the nation. It’ll visit Atlanta, DC, Philly, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, and Brooklyn. To see where you can view them, check out the link to the Sketchbook Project above.

The pictures above show my interpretation of their theme “Everyone We Know.” The pages are all connected- folding out into one long page and back in between the covers accordion-style. The last image above shows how it looks completely folded out. The black space between the portraits is area that I removed with an X-ACTO knife.

Thanks to everyone who sat so I could draw their portrait and thanks to those friends who’s faces I stole from photos without their consent.

If you live in Brooklyn, you can catch the show at 3rd Ward on March 13th at 7pm.

3rd Ward
195 Morgan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237

Show at APW Gallery: World of Imagination II 3/8 – 3/29
February 6, 2009, 1:09 pm
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I am going to be participating in a mass art show at APW Gallery in Long Island City called Word of Imagination II. It will feature almost 500 artists showing 12″ x 12″ canvas paintings.  I am not sure what to expect from the show but I am excited to meet more artists and see so much artwork!

I am attempting to create 4 paintings for this show that will run from March 6 through March 29. I will post photos as soon as I have something worthwhile to photograph!

List of Artists:

  1. -)|(-
  2. A.S. Roman
  3. Aaron
  4. Aaron Schraeter
  5. Adams
  6. Addy B.
  7. Ahmad Matta
  8. Aimée Wheaton
  9. Al Benkin
  10. Aldo caredda
  11. Aleksander Leppä
  12. Alex Ariza
  13. Continue reading

My sculpture “The City” is complete.

After plugging away on this piece for a year on and off it’s finally finished. It’s a three dimensional sculpture involving found objects, paper pulp and paper-mache, feathers, scrap metal, acrylic paint, resin and a bunch of other stuff! It’s a little tricky to photograph. I wish I was a photographer at times like this, but I did the best I could.

It’s called “The City” because it’s about my first year and a half living in Brooklyn. There have been so many facets to my experience here. This sculpture is a bit like a beveled stone that is the emotional roller-coaster of my life as of late. This only became clear long after I began the piece and could look at it objectively.

"The City" - Acrylic paint, feathers, paper-pulp, bird skull, rinestones, cut velum, found metal scrap, paper-mache, pen, marker, resin, human hair, velvet, wire. 23" x 25" x 7"

"The City" - Acrylic paint, feathers, paper-pulp, bird skull, rinestones, cut velum, found metal scrap, paper-mache, pen, marker, resin, human hair, velvet, wire. 23" x 25" x 7"

"The City" - Acrylic paint, feathers, paper-pulp, bird skull, rinestones, cut velum, found metal scrap, paper-mache, pen, marker, resin, human hair, velvet, wire. 23" x 25" x 7"

"The City" - Acrylic paint, feathers, paper-pulp, bird skull, rinestones, cut velum, found metal scrap, paper-mache, pen, marker, resin, human hair, velvet, wire. 23" x 25" x 7"

You can follow the progress of this piece-

New illustrations for Rolling Thunder magazine and upcoming book Philip’s Story
January 21, 2009, 1:41 pm
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Since last month I’ve been illustrating two of Carrot Quinn’s stories. “Madge and Pansy” is a fable of two friends in search of “a fantastical city, built entirely of stone mined from the hills of unreasonable expectations.” Its due to be published in the next issue of Rolling Thunder magazine. “Philip’s Story” is the tale of Philip Sockman the sock-monkey and her adventures. Both are tales for adults chock full of imagination, moral fiber and life lessons.

These three drawings are for “Madge and Pansy.” You can click the images to see a larger version.

And these are for “Philip’s Story.” I still have a couple more to upload and I need to complete three more to finish the project.

My website is live!
December 14, 2008, 4:01 am
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Woohoo! At last, I have finished my personal website, I began it some six months ago but could not get past some creative blocks with the design.   I promptly pushed it to the back-burner of eternity and forgot about it.  There’s nothing quite like perfectionism to squash a project.

Three days ago, as the world poured icy rain from the sky, I drank a lot of tea and soup while designing a new site I like more. I finished it today, and oh how good it feels!

Kris Kuksi at Joshua Liner Gallery
November 27, 2008, 2:13 pm
Filed under: Art | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Beast of Babylon

I have been a fan of this artist for sometime now but my love/fear of him skyrocketed when I got the lucky opportunity to view his work in person at the Joshua Liner Gallery on opening night last Saturday.

And I thought I was detail-obsessed.

This man takes it to a whole other level and makes me feel completely sane by comparison, which is a nice feeling.  What you can barely make out in the above photo, and which I found so astonishing in his work, are the tiny little people scattered all over that are merely a few centimeters tall. There are in fact two clinging to the base of the bone closest to the camera. Performing all sorts of acts depending on the theme of the piece, their many positions actually express emotion, which in itself, is quite a triumph of detail.

From the Joshua Liner Gallery site-

Constructed from pop-culture effluvia—such as model kits, injection-molded toy soldiers and animals, plastic skulls, knick-knack figurines, and mechanical parts—these intricate assemblages combine mass-produced “junk” into rococo tableaux. At once grand and grotesque, these friezelike works register from a distance as architectural ornamentation from the Belle Époque. Up close, the agglomerations of macabre parts take on a Bosch-style chaos, with skulls, skeletons, and other gnarled forms compressed into a dark tangle.

The visual tension between ornate beauty and horrific excess has broad resonance for Kuksi, who strives to merge a nostalgia for “old world” aesthetics and a distaste for contemporary culture into his art. Greek gods mingle with monsters amid a miniature landscape of scaffolding, train tracks, refineries, and plumbing, all resembling decorative bric-a-brac in their combined, tiny form.

Born March 2nd 1973 in Springfield Missouri and growing up in neighboring Kansas, Kris spent his youth in rural seclusion and isolation along with a blue-collar working mother, two much older brothers and absent father. Open country, sparse trees, and later alcoholic stepfathers, perhaps paved the way for an individual saturated in imagination and introversion. His fascination with the unusual lent to his macabre art later in life. The grotesque to him as it seemed, was beauty. In adulthood his art blossomed as a breakthrough to personal freedom from the negative environments experienced in youth. He soon discovered his distaste for the typical and popular culture of American life and felt that he had always belonged to the ‘Old World’. In personal reflection, he feels that much of mankind in the World today is elastic and fragile being driven primarily by greed and materialism. He hopes that through his art he exposes his audience to the awareness of the fallacies of Man.

It sure is nice to enjoy someone’s work and their philosophies.

Where does he get all those cool little parts? My understanding is that many of the components are scavenged by Kuksi from toy modeling companies from all over the world. He procures much of it in Asia where he travels regularly to acquire new and rare pieces which he then reconfigures into these astonishing sculptures.

After leaving the gallery I felt an immense feeling of sadness and disappointment, which I didn’t expect. I think it was the fact that Kris Kuksi is a human and not a god. I saw him for myself in the gallery and he was a mere mortal.  In addition, his sculptures are put together with glue, and not just liquid imagination. This was also disconcerting.

While staring at the pieces, I began to conjure an image of the artist’s mental state in my mind, based solely on conjecture. I imagine him to be quite introverted and I wonder how he fields all the attention he receives, whether he enjoys it or just deals with it. I wonder how mentally stable he is. I am confident that expressing one’s needs through one’s artwork is the one of the most healthy ways to deal with obsession. But I still feel for him. And I feel an immense gratitude that he shares these pieces so I can ponder and be inspired.

His work is at Joshua Liner Gallery from Nov 22 – Dec 20.