Friday, July 31, 2009

With connections and in-conversations

Dear K,

Nice work on the last blog posts. The propaganda show looks interesting.. but before I comment about that, I want to address your questions about paper and architecture. It's funny, sometimes I think I should have been an architect, but then I think of the drafting involved and re-think. With you living in a city known for it's architecture wonders, and me living in a place with the juxtaposition of beautiful, beachy, Mediterranean blues and corals and suburban nightmare boxes - there is lots to talk about. I'm still marveling the design of the new Art Institute Modern Wing. I couldn't get over it's glassed goodness and birch floors. So sleek, yet completely welcoming. To me, this is the equation for a successful design. I am always drawn to modern architecture, but conversely crave the home-grown, home-spun plants and "textiles on every wall" feeling. How do we find a balance?

Another connection stems from blueprints . . and the space in which they create the ability to visualize. That possibility of greatness is so symbolic. For instance, I've always loved Claes Oldenburg's drawings of his sculptures a little more than the sculpture itself. Always a sucker for mystery - blueprints, plans, sketches - give room for something so necessary in making . .. POSSIBILITY. It's like seeing a movie after you have already read the book. It's always better in my head for I can create the visuals, pick the wall color, construct the space.

The simplicity of paper allows this to be possible. The tabula rasa.

Paper - and all of it's simplicity - gets amplified with wallpaper. The act of covering the architecture of your walls with images negates the design of the space at the same time as it draws attention to it. I think this is what I love about wallpaper - its seams seem fluid, but the divide is fascinating. Before I go on and on again about wallpaper. Below are some installation shots of my show at the Florida Craftsman Gallery and a review here.

I have another post waiting-in-the-wings regarding small things, trinkets, fabric and twining, mending, etc. Look for it this weekend.

Question for you: What are you mending, tending to, trinket-collecting, wrapping, etc., lately? Why do we continue on this path? Does it have anything to do with the lack of tactility that modernization brings?


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

pretty propaganda

Well, K. The diorama show is NEXT weekend, so I'll write about it then. But I did stop by a little pop-up gallery show in my neighborhood last Friday. "Run Blago Run" took over a closed beauty shop (formerly called Head Bang) for three days only. Graffiti and street-art style works were on display, all based around the subject of our delinquent ex-governor Rod Blagojevich. Graphic and pun-ny, the show offered good imagery, but remained surface in content. I liked the Blago stencils in situ much better. The gallery context sort of stunted the message.Seeing these suspicious figures lurking under bridges and in dark alleys all around Chicago just seems more appropriate for representations of Blago. What I found most interesting about the show, is that the guy responsible for the stencils, Ray Noland, is racking up the credit for these designs. (He also did several stencils of Obama speaking into microphones plugged in to "America" around election time.) Although at the same time, with all the media on him, he is carefully avoiding blame for actually stenciling Chicago property--as he would be confessing to multiple felonies. This elusive "graffiti fame" has me thinking a lot about "artist fame" in general and the inconvenience of ownership in the underground.

Anyway, to totally jump topics...My final class project was based on the idea of guerrilla propaganda. I had students screen print small cards with a message of their choice--a test in visual communication as well as print-making methods. They did an amazing job! Check it out:That's all for now. Miss ya!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

more "home" talk

Oooo! K! Was that the book we saw in the MCA shop? Looks sooo good! Well...yep. Busy as always, but really wanting to get back into this. I can't believe our show is already over. On to the next thing, I guess.

When my parents were in town a couple of weeks ago, we did this little garden tour in Bucktown. In addition to the walking in and around cool outdoor spaces, it was great to see a variety of living scenarios---old homes, newly remodeled condos, mini-castles, and little quirky niches. I thought of you and your almost official house-buying, and felt very hopeful about mine and C's future options. I think we've always looked forward to crafting our own "homes" one day in a more permanent way, and I'm super envious of your incredible find. Gettin' it going, girl! I can't wait to see it in person.

Here are some pics from the walk:[The above place was my favorite spot---owned by an artist couple. The house was small, adorable, and creatively decorated (a hand-constructed swing in the living room, lime green and white checkered tile in the kitchen), and the backyard space was contemplative and magical including flowing water, succulents, a crazy wild onion plant and a vine heavy wooden porch perfect for morning coffee/sketchbook time.]

Although I took down our show last Saturday, I'm still thinking about it and want to start our discussions again about this topic. Maybe it could lead to new topics, new work, more shows, etc. And instead of writing a review, I want to ask some questions (and would love if you asked me some, too.) goes:
  1. What do you think is the connection between paper and architecture, besides your personal magnet towards these things?
  2. Why is working with pieces, swatches, fabric, pattern, thread, wood and various other little things so pleasurable?
Well, I think our show was a success for several reasons! It got us back to enjoying the making of art, it forced to get over the hump of lethargic production, and proved our continuing collaboration---we ARE indeed "in conversation."

To keep this up, I'm giving myself an assignment (and promising on virtual paper to you). This weekend, I plan to visit the Home Gallery's "Diorama Show" and report back about the space and exhibit.

Til then, have a fantastic canoe and hope to talk again soon.


Ok, Miss.... Architecture!

Hey K!

Your head must be swimming up in the clouds lately with all of your exciting news... so many big things are happening this summer. I'm still recovering from our lovely visit, 3 weeks of film production design and all of this mambo-jambo house-buying business. I know that you have things up your sleeve as well ;) (and I'm waiting for that phone call with so much love for you!!)

There are so many things that I have been wanting to blog about - our lecture with Anne Wilson, pics of my wallpaper exhibit, summertime canoe trips - but since I am still in house lust, I thought these absolutely beautiful folded paper creations by Simon Schubert would be appropriate (and would also give us the kick to start blogging again). These rubbings, along with my new purchase of Paper: Tear, Fold, Rip, Crease, Cut remind me how much I love the combination of architecture and paper. As if I forgot? ;)

Hope you are having a lovely week . . and congrats on full-time position! You deserve it!!

S and I are camping this weekend at a cold spring - the perfect remedy for hot, hot, hot Florida summer. 

Love and miss ya, 

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review It!

Dear K, 

Now that I'm back home, I'm feeling even better about HomePage. . . Lucky for us, so does New City. What an excellent and eloquently worded review! 

I'm proud of us. Are we going to have some blog guest reviewers?

I'm been on film sets for 3 days. Lots of rain, standing around and production design. Pretty great. When I was younger I remember the moment when I found out there was a job title of "colorist" - what could be better? Production design feels like this... pure aesthetics. 

Looking forward to more reviews!