Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Atrox and Cuprosa

Atrox and Cuprosa

Figs. 237 –Painted wood, metal, cloth and found object sculpture, representing two bird-like figures, possibly in a courtship posture. One figure is perched above the other in a dominant position. Plumage on both heads made from a dark rubber-like material.

Attached to both bodies are assorted metallic tags of unusual form. Meaning unknown. Each figure is attached to a rectangular block of wood which has been ornamented by applying a think sheet of metal, nails, and screws.
The stand appears to represent a closed or contained cabinet, underneath is found this writing: b-o-t-t-o-m.

Culture: Unknown
Medium: Tropical woods, metal, cloth, found objects
Dates: ???
Dimensions: 11” x 14” x 9”
Accession Number: 87.216.2
Catalogue description: Ceremonial ritual between two bird-like figures.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cabinet of Curiosity

Wood/cloth/metal/found objects
20" x 21" x 6"

Afer is a cross between an anteater and an aardvark (did you know there is an aardwolf?) From the series, Cabinet of Curiosity, this artifact is covered with a pattern of roofing screws, old metal and an assortment of accumulations. My artifacts are objects that might have been found on a archeological site, created as a learning tool, used as something to barter, or assembled for some private ritual or ceremony.

This piece was a bit of a departure for me. First off, I didn't have any fixed idea of what type of creature I was going to make. (For the most part, I don't create a sketch or drawing of a piece ahead of time.) The elongated snout was the first piece of wood I added to the generic body. I was curious to see what might happen if a series of roofing screws were attached to the canvas. The pattern drawn in pencil on the back is still visible. A heavy staining process rusted the metal pieces which started bleeding into the fabric and wood.

Hanging down from the creature are a mix of rusted metal pieces, an old Mexican Peso, some washers used with the roofing screws, and fishing weights. The pedestal was made from an old fence that once was in my back yard.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Flight of Taxus
wood/cloth/metal/stone/found objects
60" x 60" x 48"

For weeks five unassembled bird bodies got pushed around my work bench as I finished up commissions and a dog. I was not sure what I was going to do with this small flock of birds.

After coming across a Calder mobile I thought about creating something with them, something that moved and 'flew' in the air. Once the birds were completed, I started doing sketches and got a rough idea of how a mobile might work.

It's all about the balance, as I soon learned. I made the mistake of assembling everything, before I added additions to the birds. Every time I added a small detail, I had to counter the added weight somewhere else in the piece. The addition of the two rocks threw everything out of balance but I love their shape and contrast.

It all came together, and when it is hanging, the flying birds have an amazing ability to feel like the 'real' thing.