This has been an interesting experience. I was invited to carve a huge block of ice for the Northampton Ice Art Festival. I was thankful, excited, nervous. I’ve never done anything like that; I’m not a 3D kinda guy, certainly not a carver. They offered me a chainsaw, which, to this city boy, is a tool only used on zombies. A reporter from a local paper interviewed me, and I said foolish and enthusiastic things. Sculptor/woodworker Peter Dellert gave me great advice and loaned me an awesome set of tools. I had a prime spot on Main street in downtown Northampton, between (and sponsored by) William Baczek Gallery and DMG Gallery— very public, so my incompetence and earnestness were on full display. Yesterday came and it was COLD, killing cold. I piled on the layers and set to work on my 40″ x 20″ x 12″ block of ice. It only took a few minutes of hitting that ice with chisels and a power angle grinder before I was having a great time, and I felt more and more confident. Six hours later, and my ice sculpture was done: a dragon. Passers-by said nice things and I finished the day feeling accomplished. The weekend was going to continue to be very cold, though mid-week, it would get warm…so I knew this was a temporary work, and part of its magic was that it was ephemeral. This morning, though, I found out that some…person…decided to end my sculpture even sooner. Only a few hours after I’d finished it, had my celebratory beers at the Dirty Truth, and collapsed in bed, the dragon was pushed over to smash into pieces on the sidewalk. Thankfully, I have a number of photos of the work in progress and when it was done. Thankfully I have the memory of people (especially a couple of kids, smaller than the dragon) enjoying it. Thankfully, this always was about the process, about tackling something new, and embracing the challenge in a public, exposed, lower-your-expectations-folks way. On those levels, it was a success, and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity. I’d sure love a few minutes alone with the person who killed my dragon, though.
Forty of us—including Sean Greene and Sally Curcio and Amy Johnquest—were invited to transform these chairs into sculptures to celebrate the University Museum of Contemporary Art. They will be on display at the museum in the “Take A Seat” exhibit, running from January 28th to February 28th. The opening reception is Wednesday, January 27th, and there will be a fundraising party on February 28th, with a silent auction of the chairs to benefit the UMCA.
Below are images of my chair, which features patterns etched, burnt, and painted into its surface, along with tiny lightbulbs. It is entitled “The Moment Before the Stars Turned On.”
I’m really excited to be working with the UMCA to celebrate their 40th anniversary. This gem of an institution is nestled against the departments of art and theater in the Fine Arts Center at UMass Amherst. There will be a number of events this year, beginning with this celebratory exhibition.
As soon as I crafted the suite of logos for the Heretick Theatre Lab (see last post), I had the opportunity to use them. The Noir Series, running three nights in November, presents four original theatrical pieces drenched in one of my favorite genres: Noir. They’ll be onstage AND streamed live, which I think is a fantastic experiment.
LA theatre company Heretick Theatre Lab has a unique proposition: they are putting on live shows and streaming them simultaneously on the interwebs. Their upcoming production is The Noir Series, a collection of original and highly theatrical pieces exploring the noir genre. We created a suite of logos, using an actual typewriter and vintage tools, that look they belong on dossiers or secret cargo….
Sometimes a personal art project evolves into real work. I didn’t expect my “upcycled” action figures to fall into that category, but they have. I have been collecting vintage toys—from plastic models to nativity scenes to Star Wars figures—taking them apart, re-combining the pieces, and painting them. The result has been over a hundred little sculptures ranging from the fabulous to the grotesque. I’ve been selling them at upcycling art fairs and online at my Etsy store.
I have another show of recent illustrations hanging at the Green Bean, in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts. Please go check them out.
I have a slew of paintings in the Side Effects show at Paper City Studios in Holyoke, Massachusetts, opening this Friday, May 9th. My work will be displayed beside some great artists in this medical-themed show. Please come check it out. These posters are my work as well.
I have a number of paintings on display at the wonderful Easthampton, Mass movie theatre-cum-restaurant Popcorn Noir, in a show I’m calling “Family and other Monsters.” If you’re in the area, please check them out. If you’re not, and would like to see better photos of the work, please write me.