This week I'll be away from both work and the studio from Wednesday until Saturday evening. I'll be in Philadelphia for the Arts Administration and Graduate Admissions orientation. I'm really looking forward to it. My program will be online and I'll be taking classes part time. I'm already signed up for an Intro to Arts Administration course and a Writing for the Arts course. Here's a snapshot of me getting familiar with my Master's coursework:
As far as studio work, this week was a bit more difficult. I got a lot of little things done and have been researching paper casting methods. I'm really interested in incorporating Kiki Smith's almost waxy, translucent paper techniques with my work. I'm playing with different materials and making various molds so it feels slow going. Here are some of the molds I made this weekend.
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Above is an updated image of the bata. I decided to play with some colors this week. I've been staring at this image of Basquiat's painted trench coat. I love this piece. I grew up in rougher neighborhoods and remember seeing young men tag their clothes to sort of self-brand them. Along with graffiti and the history entrenched in tagging, I really like the idea of taking something you wear and using writing, drawing and painting to make something more personal. With the bata I want to imitate some those elements. It ties to all of the aforementioned but also to my dad. He was a tagger, a b-boy and very involved in hip-hop culture in the Bronx as a teen and young adult. He still keeps a marker in his pocket to tag his name wherever he goes. He, too, painted, tagged, bleached and modified his own clothing. He even made a little money off of it. He also grew up with both Catholicism and Santeria as valid methods of worship. He wore all white for a year to be initiate and participated in various ceremonies. My mother grew up Pentecostal. He stopped practicing as their relationship developAed and hasn't really gone back to it since. Santeria is often regarded as something demonic, too-similar to witch-craft etc. Understandably so. As it's developed, it's hard to distinguish what beliefs or traditions have been tacked on by what culture. Often the kind of religious fervor you see in one country might not resemble it's source country or culture years later. So studying Santeria for me helps me understand a part of my father and my fathers side of the family I haven't really had the opportunity to know first-hand. I'm trying to sort of mash-up what I've learned about Santeria, familiar icons (i.e. the bata) and memories from my parents (graffiti) in this piece. While humor is inherent with the naming of the piece (Viejagante) I want to start to add notes of somber reflection. Technically speaking, I started pouring various colors that reference Orishas, Catholic Saints and Vejigantes over the shoulders. I'm just bought some candles used in religious worship to use as an additional layer. I'm planning on muting some of the colors with washes of white. Hopefully the whole process will create more depth and help reinforce/stiffen the fabric that wasn't coated with plaster.
I should get back to work. The quote I'm living with right now seems to fit perfectly as an end note:
"Nothing will work unless you do" -Angelou