Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fun with the drill press and stop motion animation

Worked in Blair's studio today. He was gone most of the time, tending to his sick dogs at home. It felt like me and the other intern were two little girls lost in a forest out of some fairy tale. There were wild masks and props all over and I was having so much sick twisted fun constantly drilling holes using the drill press. I mean, it was fun until I somehow managed to rub one of my knuckles raw and then proceeded to bleed on one of Blair's books. Thankfully, he wasn't mad. He actually thought it was amusing. It was nice to hear him laugh.

I talked to the other intern about various stop motion artists including Christiane Cegavske. She created this wonderful stop motion animation called Blood, Tea, and Red String over the course of 13 years!!! She has since created a creepy live action follow up called The Doll Maker and is working on a related stop motion movie. Some of her work:

Slice and Stitch

I actually saw a similar version of this painting which was actually used in the movie and I liked it better because instead of sewing her vagina shut, they were delicately painting a thin red line down the middle. The fact that they're cutting off her breasts, though does bother me. At first I thought they were just measuring them.

Little Red

I like this one because of it's blatant sexuality and that ALWAYS came to mind when reading about Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. I also recently finished The Book of Lost Things and in it there was this story in which Red Riding Hood seduced the Wolf and that is how Werewolves came to be. Freaky.

There is no time

I haven't been able to decide if she's sadly repairing herself or just making herself a costume. None the less, I love visible stitches. I used to work with this woman who had stitches tattooed along her body and I adored them. Maybe I'll get some tattooed some place discreet.

After watching this, and a lot of Svankmajer, I made this miniature scene based on Alice in Wonderland that has since been destroyed. Too bad I never got to finish it, but a few pictures still remain.

Can't see it too well but it's made out of an old wicker basket, there are hands coming up out of the ground holding a gold key and on the table are three playing cards (from the suit of hearts) and a glass of milk next to a sign that says drink me. Beyond the huge keyhole is a table with a tea set on top of it. I plan to rebuild it someday and add more things...including rabbit tracks. But, I think I'm going to make a pair of earrings first.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This business of Art (History)

I love my Art History class. Alternative Art History 1980-Present with Keller. Take it. I read this article today called "Clash of 85", it's an art critic analyzing her work and how she's changed over the years after she's been fired from her job. Very insightful. She made some interesting points about culture and art.

"Culture, in the full sense, not just the other arts, but the whole fabric, including how we eat and dress and work and make love as well as make art- a general culture in which we are all collaborators, which does not exclude so much as embrace the so-called avant-garde along with many other manifestations." (Lippard, 2)

This quote made me think of Post-Modernist ideals as I learned them in my previous Art History class. I used to be very bothered by the idea that nothing is original, that everything is derivative or a reference to what came before. Now, I don't necessarily think it's a negative concept. Our culture informs us, as we inform each other and that filters down through our work. So it's impossible to seperate your work from the zeigeist of our times, even if you are not making any direct socio-political/cultural statements.

We talked a little bit this situation in which our teacher was speaking to this woman who said she didn't want to be known as a "woman artist but rather an artist that just so happens to be a woman..." I can relate to this because I have similar fears about being pigeonheld as a black artist, woman artist, etc.. On the other hand, these are very importat aspects of my identity and ofcourse, impact how I relate to the world and the work that I produce. Furthermore, I would never want to deny aspects of my "personhood" just so that my work could be seen as something more accessible. Catch 22.


An article on a Kara Walker exhibit that I found interesting. She's someone I often debate about with myslef. I thought it was weird though that Betye Saar had such a huge issue with her.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


My break was heavenly. I wish I could have somehow extended it, though I was actually quite relieved to start school again. I spent most of my time hibernating: working on my portfolio, some stuff for Etsy, and killing myself over internships. Luckily I managed to score an internship this semester with Blair Thomas and Company.

Blair Thomas is a visual theater artist that combines puppetry and pageantry with music and folklore. He is also the co founder of Redmoon Theater and I've been eyeballing his company for sometime. Most of the work I will be doing will be mold-making, sewing, and welding. His studio is located in a big warehouse type building in a seedy part of town.

Blair Thomas and Company's Cabaret of Desire

Blair Thomas and Company's The Selfish Giant

Since I've been spending so much time inside lately, I've been thinking a lot about having a studio. I want to live on my own so badly it hurts. I just don't have enough room for all of my stuff anymore and I don't have the peace and quiet I sometimes really need. I feel like Alice after she took a bite from that cookie and grew so huge she got stuck in her house.