...or tries to...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Becoming real

From this,

 to this, virtually overnight.

My studio looks more like a set from Michel Gondry's Science of Sleep, a dream-scene of corrugated cardboard skyscrapers, though completely without his trademark whimsy. 


(Not whimsical. Not one bit).

The most amazing thing about all this finishing and tweaking and boxing and taping and folding and bubble-wrapping is that it actually is the very physical, very real end to a long period of imagining and hoping and magical thinking. Magical thinking because this show, my first Two Person, was always two years away, no matter what day it presently was. Even a few months ago it seemed that way. It was only recently that it became an actual time, a place, a wherewhatwhen. Which is really wonderful, despite the jumping stomach and the ear-splitting eagle-shrieks of packing tape, the realities of truck dimensions, the fears of forgetting something important or even what my work is about. Things that were floating around in air have come back down - I no longer feel like the party planner trying to figure out how to get all the balloons off the ceiling. 

Maybe a show is really a version of the art making process itself, a very public tethering of personal thoughts onto something you can see and hold. Up until now, it's been a plan, a series of inventions designed to get those thoughts back down. Until now, it's both much better and far worse than I want it to be. And once it's in my hands, it is, well, what it is, with a life span. It'll be interesting finding out how that feels.

(Here's a little about the show, where I'm sharing the gallery with the amazing paintings of Barry Sparkman, on the site You R Here)


February 3rd - March 21, 2012

I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lake Worth

We spent last Saturday in Lake Worth to see an exhibit I'm part of, Foundations, the inaugural
show at the re-opened Montgomery building. I'll post the reception later in the month, when it officially begins - in the meantime, I thought I'd share a little of the building, a tall ice cream cake of Art Deco. It's a beauty, built in the forties as a movie theatre, then reborn again and again as a seventies disco-(just imagine what that was like-I see lots of sherbert-colored glittered platform shoes), a pizza parlor, and three kinds of art museums. When I first moved here it was called the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, or PBICA for short, and I loved it. I had just moved from New York and I didn't know where or whether the art would be, and it turned out it was right there, Kiki Smith and Fred Tomaselli, right there. It was out of its element, though, and didn't last, north of Miami is art-careful, but it warmed me up just as I was starting to make my work again. The spark struck just at the right time.

This frieze runs the frame of the lobby, amazing plaster figures by sculptor Tom Otterness,

and inside, a sneak peek of a corner of the show:

and the room for children,

Lake Worth itself is a Florida city with that rarest of things: a downtown:

with more Deco, preserved and crayon colored,

all straight lines and acute angles against Florida's winter sky,

though still appropriately pink and mosaic tiled,

and seventies vintaged.

But it's a real town, lined with motorcycles and hostile to chain stores, with a barber shop instead of  a salon-slash-nails-slash-spa,

and your choice of clipper cuts, including, it looks like, the Newt Gingrich, upper left. If you're so inclined.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In the Cassia Tree

Speaking of trees, this is our Cassia, a young one, a baby, really. It sits in our front yard, tilting, growing out its haircuts so quickly that it seems to be laughing at our attempts at taming it, our feeble fumbling for curb appeal. But, see, if you don't tame your trees here, you get a letter in your mailbox. Cassia tree doesn't care. It does its own thing. Cassia tree loves life. It's kicking it old school. It's chillaxed. If it could talk, I know it would call me Dude.

So, if you come closer, Cassia won't mind.


into its yellow and green.

 You brush the pods aside and go in under,

where Poppa Dove is sitting, guarding his mate, and their eggs,

in her nest, built last year by two mockingbirds raising two very noisy babies. Mourning Doves do this, make another breed's nest their own. They moved in here last week, I think,

and are not that happy that we found them there, with our cameras and loud voices.

No, not happy at all.

We beg your forgiveness. We're going. Cassia tree is yours.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Up and into the green...

Here, the most innocuous backyard trees are filled with enough life to fill up a small planet. I was up on a ladder photographing three of my objects in one of our two small trees, part of a project that mixes photographs and sculpture and glass domes and stereoscopes. (I promise, this will eventually make sense).  I couldn't believe what was going on up there - fat white spiders mummifying their dinner victims, haunted house tangles of cobwebs, parades of ants and beetles, abandoned nests filled up like salad bowls with bits of feathers, paper, air fern, string and leaf skeletons, startled yellow warblers completely affronted by the unnaturally tall human invading the last of their hiding places. Branches tore up what passes for my up-do hairstyle, I found bits of leaves buried in my hair later that night. This is a very young, very small, very domesticated tree (maybe a black walnut? I'm not sure), unassuming, not particularly arresting (or shade offering) from below. But that slight change in perspective and it proves itself to be complex, complicated, and deeply generous, a sticky, scratchy, mossy Swiss Family Robinson home for the tinier things. My artificial objects, all mimicry, all acrylic yarn and paper and wire, products of the indoor studio, looked happier out here, up there, than anywhere else I've ever placed them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Collections: Pursenality

I was never much of a handbag girl, maybe because I grew up in a 1920's house. This really does make sense-1920's houses had small closets, tiny closets that did not foresee the future of 1970s middle class families with more than one week supply of clothes, or shoes, or handbags. My Mom had a normal number of purses for her time, but, crammed into tight spaces, they avalanched on top of her every time she searched for the one in the back. It was a constant source of amusement for the rest of us, that tumbling sound, the soft cry of dismay, and I swore, as a black-clad 80's teen, I wouldn't ever need anything more than a backpack, or something like the grey laundry bag that Ally Sheedy dragged around in The Breakfast Club.

But we change. We grow. Or, our closet space does. And somehow, that indispensable accessory, the thing that sends you into a phantom-limb panic when you don't feel its weight on your shoulder, becomes a symbol, a banner. I don't like status bags, I still don't get them, but the older ones tell a story-vintage gifts from Mom, from friends, anonymous hand-made pocketbooks found for two dollars, the beaded purse my mother carried with her on dates, and she saved, in a way, just for me, the daughter she couldn't have known she would have.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

First Night

Under the electric starfish, my town celebrates First Night, filling the streets up:

with thousands of people, and lights, including the moon,

with glowing mohawks,

and very tall puppets,


 and dancers,

things that twirl

and spin,

bikes that glow,

very tall trees,

and extra large poetry.

Then, at midnight, we drop the car. (it's real)

and the sky explodes-

They shoot ping pong balls out of cannons,

and the year begins again.

Hope you had a Happy New Year, Everyone!