In the Studio #87

I’ve become amazed at how tape, specifically masking tape, has become an integral material in my studio. I use it for everything. It sort of reminds me of that character in My Big Fat Greek Wedding “Gus”, the hard-case father who by the end of the movie warms up to the future son-in-law, and how he would use Windex as a balm for all life situations. Tape is like that for me. I build all my cedar shingle panels with it, I use different types of it to make bold marks, I think if I could eat it I probably would – I kind of like the smell of it already. I bring up tape because my studio has been drowning in it the last few weeks. I’ve been suturing one old series of works to reinvent the paintings with masking and electrical tape. And I’ve been using it to build and design this other series about my late sister – that one feature blue masking tape, a favorite of mine lately. 

One of the things that fascinates me about how I take on new materials is how quickly they fit into a type of rigid program of material-use. For example, I only use blue and traditional manilla masking tape, silver and black duck-tape, and blue, green, red, black, and yellow electrical tape. I also prefer to tear and leave large sections of tape raw and exposed than sculpting the tape into other shapes or patterns. There’s something about the rawness of the material in its natural state that appeals to me 

Lately I’ve been channeling my energy into three main projects; a landscape series I call “Sighting MLK” which I’m finally getting off the ground after months of delay, and the series of works about my sister and the old, rescued pieces of work from years gone by. 

As for this latter series, I decided to focus on these works now, despite the mountain of other insistent projects all demanding my time, because a local curator and critic -Deborah Rabinsky- saw the works hiding tucked away in my basement last summer. She remarked how they appeared to her to represent my more natural style and that I shouldn’t be ashamed of them.  Never wanting to ignore good advice, I decided to resurrect and clean the works – we experienced a flood in the basement and the pieces barely escaped severe water damage and mold. I’m calling the resurrected 6 pieces, originally from my Aluminum Pixie Pus set of 12 paintings, “Adjusted for Inflation” followed by its original title and number. I thought it would be a fun way to revisit these old friends adding the new with the old. 

I’ve moved a little away from the rap and Phillip Glass obsession I was in for the past few weeks back to old familiar artists like Dela and Moonchild. I’ve really liked older Dela, specifically the “Jordan Fantome” and “Translation Lost” CD’s. There’s so many of these instrumental tracks I love but if I have to choose one, I would say “Chunky Monkeying” would have to be one of my favorites. As for Moonchild it’s been their “Lost Ghost” recording that I’ve had on playback, especially the tract “Too Much to Ask”. I wonder how listening to the music I listen to affects the work I paint. We’ll see over the coming weeks where these tracts lead me creatively. Here’s the YouTube videos of these songs. 

I’ve been trying to keep up the pressure on myself to almost unsustainable levels in the hope that something pans out to keep a sustainable income, opportunity, and creative ideas flowing. It’s been an exhausting effort and I can feel how soon I will need to relax the assault. That rest will have to wait for a month or so however, in the meantime the march goes on with these new series I mentioned above and work on a couple collaborative efforts and small botanical pieces. I’m trying to do posts twice a month now so when I return to studio thoughts in a month or so I’ll surely have dozens of new works to share, confirming my mania for all who weren’t yet sure. Until my next post I wish you the best!

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