Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just some photos

I am not a trained professional by any means but I still really enjoy taking photographs of friends and inspirational things. Here are some of my favorite moments from the last year.
Above is one of many photos I took at the Monteray Bay Aquarium in California in their huge Jellyfish exhibit. Beautiful.

Shore bird footprints in the sand of Big Sur off the coast of California.

Seagulls flying high over sand dunes in San Francisco

Shadow of our plane from Denver as it crosses the San Francisco Bay

Patience is a virtue: I wait for friend to come out of their house

Mid-day sun wakes me from my nap on the love seat

Outside of sculpture, taking break from cutting wood

Dance party with four DJ's at local art kid house

Matt, Chandler and Mitch

Myself and Matt at a Kansas City Wizards game. They had just scored, pushing the game into overtime and went on to win, taking them to the playoffs. We were very happy.

What cookies to choose, boys?

Mitch, Matt and Michael. Personalities captured perfectly.

One of two female dancer/percussion/singers for gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello.

Lead singer of Gogol Bordello.
Violinist and singer of Gogol Bordello.

Dirty sculpture patio

Scrap wood formed into unison shapes.

Soup can close up from installation.

Another soup can close up.

Downward view of outdoor sculpture I did last fall.

A friends toe nail clippings. Gross yet beautiful.

Side shot of outdoor sculpture base.

Repetition found in seed balls and strange rock.

Hand of God disturbing Chandlers' slumber.

Beautiful day, with wonderful skies.

Monday, January 26, 2009

John Dyer Baizley

His work is beautiful. Intricate and sensual, flowing shapes, natural forms, haunting images. Styled very similar to Art Nouveau graphics like that of the famous Alphonse Mucha Most of his creations are for metal/hardcore bands CD and record cover art, Shirts and other illustrations such as Baroness (album cover seen above), which he is lead singer of, and Torche, Daughters, Magrudergrind, and Black Tusk to name a few. Baizleys work hints at influences of Pushead too, though these prints of his are more delicate while still very disturbing.
He creates images that you can not help but look at for they are deliciously detailed, yet are filled with references todeath and decay. Watercolor and ink are easily identifiable as mediums that he uses, but the colors are muted yet rich it seems as though gauche must have been also applied. Gorgeous women, which have become standard imagery used in metal band artwork since the early 80's, gaze at the viewer surrounded by flora and fauna. These goddesses of rock and roll have faces pierced with daggers, feathers and flowers. Their eyes stare blankly at the viewer as their skin pulls from their face, revealing intricate details inside their skulls.
Patterns created with organism elements such as bones or cocoons form rings around these women, again referencing the stylized flowing lines of Art Nouveau. Some of Baizelye's women however seem to be stricken with a plague with boils and blisters forming on their faces and arms. Layers and layers of objects and forms pull you deep into the illustrations. First glance is satisfying. Second is thrilling. Third is still filled with details you had not seen before. Overflowing with illusions and allusions, Baizley's work begs the viewer to stay a while and look as long as they like.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the gods themselves laugh at my name

this is what I have learned more than anything.

your friends will become your enemies.
your love will change to hate.
your life will turn itself in.
memories will continue to haunt.
jobs will come and go.
family will die off one at a time.
money will only be there when you don't really need it.
new positives will rarely make up for the past pain.
small joys become large problems.
home will lose it's meaning.
forever becomes a phobia.
songs annoy when their supposed to calm.
schools teach you nothing new.
hospitals grow familiar.
things you never used before will only gain importance once gone.
people you never loved the way you should will be buried.
places that were meant to be your home will collapse into the ground.
debts will continue to scrap and tear at the sleeve.
permanent additions will fade away.
calenders will fly by.
people will leave horrible voids.
roads will be paved.
bridges will be burned.
diseases will spread.
cancer will reign supreme.
life will remove the joy from itself.
the sun will rise to greet the pain.
the moon will shine to show your tears.
lyrics will sting a cold reality.
give in now and you miss the show.
stay till the end and you become the epilogue.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Art Nouveau Circus Gypsy Hobo!

Studio electives are one of the most enjoyable experiences on our campus. They give students the opportunity to take courses from all over the school, allowing a sampling of each major/medium to be chosen from. Fall of 2008 I was able to take my first fiber elective while at the school. Strange, as I almost majored in this department. I chose painting as my main course of study, but I was teetering on a three sided fence between sculpture, fiber and painting. I also considered interdisciplinary department, which allows a more self directed, not medium specific study, but I learned early on that painting is accepting of many different types of creating, and I have been happy for the most part. The fiber elective is one I have mentioned before, the Costume elective, taught by Georgiana Leondre, who herself is a working professional costume designer. I learned so much and had a wonderful time. Favorite class of the semester, no doubt. Loved it so much in fact that I am taking another fiber elective this coming semester and am starting an internship with Georgiana also. It is going to be an awesome year! To recap, I thought I would show all that I did last year in the fiber elective.

This first photo shows the mock up for the first costume I made. All of the fabric for this dress is recycled/reused/vintage. To color coordinate fabric which is in limited supply, all being found/sold at different places was honestly the hardest part of this project. The body of the dress is this amazing light mint silk that was at the bottom of a scarf bin in my favorite thrift store warehouse. The lower level is fabric from a friends dance costume that she no longer fit into and donated to my artists supply collection. The bright purple is a vintage silk from a friend who knew my love of the color purple. I saved it for years waiting for the right project to come along. In the middle of the dress is some more silk chiffon which has this great pale pink/mint green sheen to it that changes at every angle. Beautiful.The inspiration for this dress was found in the Art Nouveau art period which was widely loved and used as basis for graphic design, furniture and house wear design and illustration in mainly the United States and Europe. This swirling nature inspired design period was at it's peak from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. It saw it's premature overlooking when Art Deco followed soon after, and then the Arts and Crafts movement came too. Alas the Art Nouveau period still remains deeply ingrained in the design world of today. A resurgence has happened with hints of it's forms and graceful lines, angelical shown women and celebratory lifestyle being so popular that hundreds of books are now available on the subject. This is how I came to learn and love the Art Nouveau period. Through all of my readings though, one artist in particular has become a source of inspiration for me across the board. That man is Alphonse Marie Mucha. You can find a link to a museum dedicated to him on the left. I highly suggest you look into him and his art work. It is phenomenal. Here is an example of some of the women he drew and painted.

These next two photos show the finished dress, which was given inspiration from the dresses Mucha created to cloth the girls in his illustrations. Most of the women were in fantasy environments, or personifications of an idea or natural element. I studied every illustration I could find of his to fully understand his garment ideal. This dress pattern is not a copy of one found on a particular Mucha girl, but a combination of elements from my favorite dresses. The outfits, jewelry and accessories he would draw were merely fantasy, never really existing outside of his mind, but they had basis from the clothing styles of his time. Most of the outfits he would put on his voluptuous natural women would show skin in a very sensual way, and the fabric would drape to highlight the female form. He celebrated the way a woman's body was meant to be. The tweaking I decided to do was add a bustle in the back, hitting just at the lower back, to give accordance to the dresses found on women in Mucha's real life. Corsets, large goofy shoulders and huge bustles were all the rage in this time. Muchas's women were provocative and faerie like. I combined the structure of the bustle which exaggerates women's bodies and the flowing natural form of his dresses to highlight curves. This creates a dress that is inspired by the past but combines to create a completely unique juxtaposition. Here on the left you can see the bustle, which is also made out of revamped material. There is more of the deep purple silk, some other vintage silks, a layer of mesh peacock print from a friend, and an under layer made from light gray velvet.

The straps holding up the dress are made of a collection of vintage jewelry chains and findings that mimic/are inspired by the jewelry that Mucha would have his girls wearing. His designs were so beautiful it was in jewelry and objects of personal adornment that the world got to see his illustration come to life. He designed a limited line for one jeweler who made a small collection of jewelry based on the ones Mucha drew on his women. My dress weighs almost 20 pounds total and the straps themselves are triple on each side, with a large gathering clasp in the back to support the bustle. Not a dress to be worn on the everyday. Then again, neither were the ones designed by Mucha. The bustle alone, true to form and tradition, weighed ten pounds! This is nothing compared to real bustles from the 1920's, but with only a month to find materials, design and construct, I didn't have the time to find vintage whale boning and build the under carriage. Wanted too, simply was not an option due to time.

These next two photos were taken at Tal Wilson's Photography studio in the Crossroads District between downtown and midtown in Kansas City. The chair of the fiber department arranged for our class to have the wonderful opportunity to catalog our creations professionally. This was a blessing because it gave us a chance to show the personality behind the costume, coming up with poses and accessories to use for the shoot. I made a head band with a large brown poppy as the center piece and lots of small detailed flowers made from vintage fabric and beads. I also created a small flower arrangement held inside a posy container. These two items can be seen in all the photographs. And of course, I made jewelry for this outfit too. For the shoot itself I brought along one of my Art Nouveau Mucha books to help me re create some of the posing he drew his women in. I also wanted to show the draping of the fabric and details within the bustle layering. Tal was an amazing photographer and helped set up wonderful shots. My teacher coached me on where to place my hands and how to move my body to help create the body shapes I wanted. In my opinion, these photographs capture everything I wanted to create. Inspired by Art Nouveau and the artists Alphonse Mucha, this dress is a dream come true for me. Oddly enough, the open back panel rests right above my lower back tattoo which I had gotten two years prior. It is a black line drawing of one of Mucha's girls looking up towards some sparrows.

Then it came time to create the second costume. For this next departure, I went a very different route, though I still stayed in the fantasy realm. Though I have a great disdain for the modern day circus which is notorious for overworking their animals and abusing them (which is a big issue for me) I love the mood and magic of the whole environment. The old days of Barnum and Bailey were filled with wonder and mystery that has always drawn me in. And so I turned to a source of muse found in tents and carriages. The modern fantasy creation of Cirque De Solei also was a large point of interest, but not so much the Lycra but more the colors and forms they create with their costumes. Also the stylized forms of Gypsy clothing and details of each item their create were found to very inviting and inspiring. Funny enough, the last bit of imagery that came to mind when thinking of where to start from was the traditional idea of hobo, train hoppers, and sad homeless entertainers from the 1950's. Though their situation was always one of grim nature, it seemed to me they were portrayed to the public eye as happy go lucky types of people who took their role with a grain of salt and a smile. So my next costume would be one of Circus Hobo, if you will. Not much explanation is needed for these next few photos, so I will let them talk for a while.
Yet again, all fabric and materials were either already owned or salvaged. The vest top is a quilt of many different types and colors of material from all sorts of places. The brown is from a dancers headband, pink comes from same thrift store fabric bin mentioned earlier above, green is curtain material, yellow was a long scarf, and red was found in my closet. The closure and patterning of the vest is based on the style from European Gypsies, with the long penguin tales in back for a bit of funny ending. The bright yellow really pops against the other colors. The skirt is layers upon layers of vintage fabric, scrap lace and yards of vintage tulle in a kaleidoscope of colors. Tights were already owned and shoes and scarf were purchased at thrift store. The top hat was added to give the outfit a ringleaders touch and I added the feathers, beads and glitter I already owned. The black lace top underneath the vest I already owned. Jewelry I made from supplies I already had. Pretty good for barely spending any money huh? Art school is very expensive. Art kids have to be master thrifters!
All but the last photo is taken by Tal Wilson also. The first shoot was very serious to create the sensuality of the outfit. This shoot however was very fun! I had a blast just goofing off and acting like a clown.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Artist block

I have decided that one of the hardest things for me to do is survive on my own.
I seek a soul
I seek a partner
I seek inspiration
Until this is found the recipe will not be complete
The meal will go uneaten
The table will be set
The guests will not arrive
To create, this too is asking so much. When my soul hungers for companionship, it lacks Proper feedback, grounding, imagination, muse, niche.
I can not continue this journey alone for too much longer

The long life that one might lead is far too long to be lead alone.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Personal Adornment

A couple of years ago I started to create jewelry and accessories for myself. This lead to a full time hobby that over takes my free time, any of the time. I have had the wonderful opportunity to participate in many fashion shows; creating pieces to match a designers collections. While I could never see myself as an actual clothing designer, though I have created some outfits for school and personal challenge, it's the details within a piece, or the items paired with a dress that really draw me in. These are the moments of beauty which I see myself focusing on. It rings true in my studio practice also, with the devil always being in the details. This is where I get lost and find my salvation all in one single centimeter. Something that holds very true throughout all the items I create and withing my artwork, I tend to focus on highlighting reused/recycled/vintage/salvaged materials. Each one of these pieces is one of a kind, most with beads, charms, findings and elements being one of a kind or in very few quantity.It's in combining the old with the new that I find so valuable and useful and understated. So here are examples of what I do to create objects of adornment. enjoy