This was about a 3.5/4 month process. Largest I’ve ever done, expensive and terrifying. Here are process shots and studio ramblings.
I did a lot of research for cheap alternatives for stencils that were deep enough to get me an impasto affect but in the end it was cheaper to hand carve/burn my own from foam core. This took forever and hurt. Studio assistant and soon to be service dog Maura watches.
(4) Deities= (4) 2” deep 48”X36” painting panels. I worked with black and white a lot partly because the engineer prints at Staples were butt cheap and only come in black and white. I “wet drapery” decoupaged the deities onto the painted board so I could get the wrinkling affect that would eventually (or I hoped would eventually) be on the walls of the installation. I outgrew my studio two semesters ago but wanted to get back to larger format so I worked in printmaking until I was caught. I’m not the type of painter that enjoys working vertically parallel to the walls I work best horizontally parallel to the floor. This 4’X14′ table was beautifully level and I used the hell out of it!
During Spring Break (2014) I was invited and went to a salon/party at Mark Dutcher’s home to celebrate Kirchner’s painting Bathers at Moritzburg with this art installation by Danielle McCullough. At this point I was struggling with the room design and was at first considering making the room look like wallpaper. This installation convinced me of the simple beauty of text, big solid thick black text and I went home and started playing around with these ideas.
Okay. Let’s stop to talk about this stuff right here. Because there isn’t much to find in English on the internet. I’ll talk about this again at some point but this stuff is sexy. It drips with sex. All over the place, just dripping. It smells amazing too, to me. Most people (as in the entire gradate shed) can’t handle the smell. I used 15 tubes of this stuff. Lukas Paint Butter to name the goddess tube-of-lust. It creates an impasto affect with oil paint but dries faster, as in – 6 hours it will be ready to paint over again – faster. The only thing is I used all 15 tubes at once doing the text for the meme paintings so it off-gassed into the shed over night. Mushroom cloud off gassing had me moving these paintings all over the art department so they wouldn’t affect other people and also not be damaged because it was over 100 degrees fahrenheit that week. I really love this stuff and thank Cole Case for introducing me to it.
The day I did the text on the paintings I was constipated with fear and worry. What you can’t see really well is that each painting on top of the decoupaged images of figures is a very fine delicate layer of freshly and evenly poured glassy resin. They kind of resin I use is called EX-74.
EX-74 is an extremely clear, tough, high gloss surface coating formulated to produce a deep glass like appearance in a single layer on a sealed surface. Two or more layers are often applied for added depth and protection. EX-74 has been formulated for improved UV resistance to reduce yellowing and surface degradation from UV exposure. EX-74 has an extended “open time” which allows up to 5 minutes in the mixing container at 70º F and up to one hour working time on the surface being coated. EX-74 is waterproof, heat & alcohol resistant.
It’s a little expensive but does not off-gas as much in doors (it’s designed for bar tops and in door surfaces) and has a long work time (I’ve painted with it before). It’s non-yellowing and makes anything it seals archival. It’s also sexy. It gets hot fast. Trust me on these things I know this.
First day of install and my 2-D design students volunteered to help me and learn my process and techniques. The whole time I realized, rather emotionally, that I have had amazing students. I think about when I was an undergrad, I had one class guest taught by a grad student and I can’t imagine ever wanting to help him with his thesis or any professor for that matter (well maybe one or two) so I was pretty impressed and grateful to have such great students from different generations of the courses I’ve taught show up on time to help me and in some cases learn with me. I fed them. We ate a lot of watermelon those 5 days.
Months of planning digitally not really knowing if it would work out with the help of Jim the gallery director, friends and family we got all the walls up. I had to first cover the walls with gallery removable/reposition-able vinyl. This was to protect the actual wall from the glue I was using to decoupage. I suspect I could have done it directly onto the walls given the glue forms a crust but we didn’t want to test this on an entire room and my own tests were inconsistent at best. After the vinyl came the text which was printed at Staples using their engineering print printer.
Paintings were hung just as I designed them in the center and the installation was complete. Feels so much faster typing it here, it killed me physically and emotionally but the room was the internet.
Family approved of the show but happy I’m done so we can spend time together again. I started Relinquishing Junk (blog) back up and can’t wait for the new adventures.
Trash clogs the digital arteries of communication and casts a tarnished patina of filth; human beings can relate to each other more than ever before while bonding over mutual misconduct. The ability to broadcast ourselves and rapidly share has fostered misinformation, compelling the consumer of popular culture to be editors of their own content.
The images and text in #WhoDoYouWorship? depict celebrities glamorizing trash culture in a digital age. Selected are four contemporary icons adored by millions, represented in meme format but executed using traditional painting techniques. The deities represented are Beyoncé, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington,) Miley Cyrus, and Lena Dunham.
Ghetto culture is accessorized by the wealthy and deemed “swag” while at the same time circumventing the real issues of the actual ghetto. Culled from the Internet, this installation is a presentation of what we typically consume, broadcast digitally and the aspects of being human we maintain and relinquish.