I’m writing this post from my residency in Vermont, taking a break from setting up a couple projects here, to write about my thoughts on last First Friday at the Banana Factory. I always write a few notes every open house as a way of maximizing the experience of having a studio at banana. To do otherwise I think would be taking advantage of that wonderful space. And so this time around I remember that this First Friday was a little on the quiet side once more but I again had a good time with the folks who braved the rain to attend. I remember being apprehensive about going to the residency I am now at, a thought that seems silly now that I am comfortable settled in here. I remember folks again ransacking my food which endlessly annoys me, however I engaged the couple that is notorious on our floor for eating dinner on our dime and got some good feedback from them, especially regarding my drawings.
I remember having a good conversation with my studio-mate Devyn Briggs. Devyn and I have a similar style and we shared our thoughts on how we work with paper incorporating its use into our painting process. We also commiserated about the challenges of painting large scale works, namely finding a home for all those big pieces.
I had some good comments from folks I’d like to mention. One visitor was curious about how I build paintings, The process I explained involves the rigid application of layers of paint drawing and collage, all of which I’m starting to challenge interestingly at this residency this month. I had one comment from a visitor who said my works looked like a scene from the movie Starship Troopers – especially my large painting from the Pilot set of painting Pilot 5, see below along side a movie poster from Starship Troopers:
This same visitor was from Long Island and we shared some thoughts on going to Jones Beach and Robert Moses Park.
I had a visitor who thought my workers would do well at the Alternative Gallery in Frenchtown, New Jersey – I will look into that when I get back in Pennsylvania in June. Another visitor though my workers looked Mexican. I was tickled by that observation because I think my work looks very black and reflects the African-American experience very powerfully. I’m obsessed with identity and fantasy and morality and world crafting. These points of departure seem very black to me but maybe Mexican artists think the way I do too.
I’ll end my open house report on a somewhat somber note regarding a visitor who spent a lot of time in my space. His name is Tyrone and he’s going though a bitter divorce. His wife cheated on him and having been a cheater and cheated on in my past I related, empathized and sympathized with Tyrone. I shared with him about the time I cheated and how it remains the most shameful act I ever committed. I told him that eventually I think his wife would come to the same conclusion. I told Tyrone to move on and hope that his soon to be ex grows from her actions. I told Tyrone he has a new friend in me. He’s an awesome artist by the way. Here’s his website.
Okay as is my pattern here are some images of my studio right before First Friday complete with my residency luggage.
I’ll close with some good news that just came into my inbox. I was selected for the January Web gallery for VisualAIDS for a web gallery show titled “I get weak in the knees”. See the show here at Visual AIDS.
Now I’ll end with a couple new videos from Radiohead. They came out with two really interesting videos in advance of their new album “A Moon Shaped Pool”. Here’s “Burn The Witch” and “Daydreaming”.
Okay next time I’ll open up about how Vermont is going, until then be well….