Happy New Year!


           This year will be better.  This year will be much much better.  Even if a teaching job doesn’t make its way into my lap and I am unable to wrangle one to the ground, by the summer, I’ll be working.  I love art.  I really love art- I love to look at it, I love to make it, I love to share it, but all of the affection and passion becomes something of a secondary interest when money is on my mind.  Let me clarify: all of the affection and passion becomes secondary when a personal deficit is on my mind.  So yes, even if I have to work three jobs and cannot find a collegiate teaching job by this time next year, the deficit will not return.  Of course, even better than tackling my budgetary problems, this year will mark the end of my single life and the beginning of married life with Kara.  Wedding planning is interesting, with twist and turns unforeseen for a normal event.  It’s one of things that, if you had it to do over again, you’d have all the right questions to ask from the start…trouble is that you never do have to do it again and that’s the point.  This year a lot of people we know will be getting married, actually.  It’s going to be one hell of a year.  I also graduate with my MFA in June.  I hope this bet pays off.

        In this week between sessions, I feel like I’ve wasted much of my time shopping for things I can’t afford in order to accomplish something I’m not sure I still want to accomplish.  Video editing.  I’m sure I’ll do something with it, but right now I want to paint.  Moreover, I want to paint with wax.  I’ve spent a lot of time writing about what my work means to me and what my intentions are, but all in all, I’m still not sure.  Certain things interest me and more than that, I think certain things look really cool.  I want to preserve moments.  You know the moments, the ones you live and think to yourself, “Am I going to remember this in twenty years?  Even ten years?”  And then you think, “I really hope so because this moment right here is the perfect moment.  A moment like this is why I’m here”  Every now and again that happens to me and I try my hardest to not let it go.  Little do I realize until another moment approaches that I never really held it- never even touched it.  Those moments happen in line at the grocery store as often as they do sitting against a barn during some October dusk, soaking in the sloping orchards before you and the warm sunlight through the dry autumn air.

            Do you remember in the movie “Office Space” when Peter Gibbons recounts the story of his guidance councilor who would ask him what he would do if he fell into money and never had to work again?  He never had an answer when he was a kid.  As an adult, he realized that his lack of an answer was his answer.  He would do nothing.  Sometimes that’s what I’m afraid my answer would be.  I know it would be open up a book store/art gallery and travel as frequently as possible, but sometimes, just sometimes, nothing is the answer. 

            I haven’t read what I’ve just written down but I’m afraid it may have come off a bit despondent and melancholy.  Rest assured, I’m neither.  I’m just worried about the coming year and trying to be as hopeful as possible.  All I know is that for me, 2009 was filled with hotel work, being broke, and self-doubt.  All of these things I wish to avoid in 2010.  Regardless of how successful I am, I know that by the end of the year, I’ll have finished school, married the love of my life and will still have an outrageously supportive circle of friends and family.  That, my friends, makes for one hell of a year.

Tomorrow, the days start getting longer (and warmer, right?)

The semester is over.  One wintersesh and one semester, then it’s off to the real world.  Hopefully the real world of semester after semester of teaching.  I plan on collecting some high quality photos of my work in the next few weeks and some letters of recommendation to include with my teaching portfolio.  I’m not sure if I’m nervous about applying to jobs because I think I won’t get them or if I think I will.  Regardless, I just have to suck it up and do it. By the way, if you have any leads on teaching jobs, please let me know!

Health insurance reform just passed in the senate, but thanks in part to Joe Lieberman, it’s hollow.  I’m hoping that the rest of this process starts to resemble real compromise in congress rather than partisan bill-killing.  I’d love to pay some more taxes if it means I can lose my job or start a business and still have insurance without going broke.  I don’t understand why people are afraid of a public option.  A nonprofit, government sponsored (not government-run) health insurance program would stimulate more competition in a more open, inter-state insurance market.  But anyway…

Now that the days are getting longer, we can look forward to brighter days.  Metaphorically and literally, I’d love a little more sunshine.

305 days until Kara and I tie the ol’ knot!

70% closer to an MFA

Maybe this isn’t the best spot to find myself at the end of the semester, but I think I have a few good things under my belt.  Craigslist helped put me in touch with some great people who wrote out a  conversation using my pen-camera and they did a fabulous job!  And now I have videos – raw video.  In terms of editing them, I want to do that more than anything.  Maybe in the next couple of days I can scour the school to find Final Cut on a computer I have access to.  I can’t get it on my own now for a couple of months, since that’s when I’ll be buying my Mac.  I’m afraid that this body of work might end up looking like a capital venture in laziness, but in all honesty, I think I’ve done a good amount for it.  Over break and wintersession, I hope to augment my portfolio with another suite of prints; it will find as its main subject images of imploding hotels and superimposed on these images will be a handwritten sample of philosophical theory.  I am thinking of nine prints with a colophon, all photo-lithographs with screenprinted lettering.  And all some sort of satin poster paper, but thick paper.  I’d love to buy boxes for the portfolio, but I think I may try to make them and save a bit of money.

an idea for the philosophy portfolio

Anyway, back to my thoughts on this semester, I think that for much of it I was distracted.  It was an interesting time in my life, trying to find ways for ends to meet, gaining 2 new nieces and a nephew, seeing my mother come back from a heart attack and my sister-in-law have her gallbladder removed, transforming a simple cement hallway from a garage to a basement into a limestone clad, mediterranean foyer, complete with a painted mosaic of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and conceptualizing and curating a museum show about the use of text in fine art (that didn’t get accepted, but I’ll keep trying in the future.)  And now to apply for jobs.

I have to read more. And start running again.

Hopefully I’ll post again before the holidays, but if I don’t, I thought I’d mention a few things.  Maybe it’s everything that’s been happening recently or maybe it’s just that I tend to reflect a little more on family during the holidays, but it seems that every movie, play even sometimes commercials with an ounce of emotion get me choked up.  Pair that with seeing people I genuinely enjoy spending time with and of whom I see far too little.  It’s almost time for sobfest 2009.  Also it breaks my heart a little bit to not buy gifts for people because right now I really want to…a lot.  I’m lucky to have people around me who understand.  As for those I won’t be seeing this Christmas – I wish I could and I miss you.  I have some time before my next classes start, so drop me a line.  I can’t travel too far right now, but you can bet that I’ve gone farther for less. 

Textual Show Call for Artists

Call for Submissions

Just a thought.

The problem with living and working today is that everything is typed. A mood is set by how well someone curates his typeface. No, actually more often than not, a mood is set by whether or not you use italics, CAPS or bold or something SiLLy or AnNoYiNg in the body of your text. You can’t read how nervous a person was when he wrote a resignation letter on Outlook Express the way you can if he writes it on the very same steno pad he used to keep minutes in during his meetings. A little bit of a person’s soul and a little bit of the world around a person leaks out onto a page when he lets the ink roll off from his ball point pen. Instead of writing everything down, we relegate penmanship to either the most menial of tasks (like a grocery list, call numbers on the back of a reclaimed library card or measurements for drapes before we go to the store) or the most important (like on a marriage license, mortgage contract or the back of a printed check.) It’s important to realize that the most important uses of our own penmanship usually involve writing down our name. Our names, objectively speaking are only a permutation of symbols aligned to represent us as individuals, but most of us can name at least one other person in the world that shares the same permutation. What then makes writing our name so unique?

video project.

the frame and glass

the frame and glass

at this point, i think i’ve been seduced by the video.  i’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, but i think that the idea of a sort of “moving painting” more accurately captures the moment when the symbol (or letter) becomes personal and unique.  of course as could be expected, my subject is the declaration fo independence.  tomorrow is my mid-term critique on the project and i’m still not sure what exactly happens to the document, its words and their respective letters when i transpose them into my hand and project that active index onto frosted glass.  maybe it’s the removal of the author, the paper and the context that interests me – maybe it’s just that i feel the need to focus on that very moment of transition with little (if any) regard for the body of the text as a whole.  i think i like where it’s taking me though.  we’ll see what the rest of the program feels in less than 12 short hours…

the projection in the dark

the projection in the dark

List of artists given to me in crit & viewed as possible influences

This list is kind of a random slice into my interests.  Feel free to pass judgements on the artists and/or their demographics, but also know that geography, demographics etc had nothing to do with their inclusion here.

  • Ed Ruscha
  • Jackson Pollock
  • Barry McGee
  • Jean-Michelle Basquiat
  • Andy Warhol
  • Joel Seah
  • Shepard Fairey
  • Paul Tayor
  • Judith Allen
  • Albrecht Durer
  • Juris Ubans
  • Judy Pfaff
  • Alan Ginsberg
  • Michael Queenland
  • Marcel Duchamp
  • James Rosenquist
  • Mark Rothko
  • Charles & Ray Eames
  • Timothy Matlack (Calligrapher fro Declaration of Independence)
  • Jenny Holzer
  • Kara Walker
  • Robert Rauschenberg
  • Louise Bourgeois
  • Paul Klee
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Thomas Hart Benton
  • Xu Bing
  • Allison Smith
  • Cy Twombly
  • Jasper Johns
  • Ralph Goings
  • Franz Klien
  • Kiki Smith
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto
  • Brian Shure
  • Ann Hamilton
  • Robert Indiana
  • Matthew Day Jackson
  • Barnett Newman
  • Clifford Still
  • Hans Hoffman
  • Wimmen de Kooning
  • Robert Motherwell
  • Richard Prince
  • Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Piet Mondrian
  • Richard Wilson
  • Aaron Stephan
  • Eirene Efstathiou
  • Sally Mann
  • Andrew Wyeth

This is what I have so far.  If you can think of thers, please let me know, but I hope to add to this list in the coming months.