Sunday, January 24, 2016

"So Far"

One of my favorite aspects of collage is the fact that every piece has a story behind it. I was happy that folks were interested in knowing more about the pieces at the opening of my exhibition on Friday evening. I had a wonderful time. THANK YOU to all who came out for a great evening!

Friday, January 22, 2016


If you are reading this post right now, it probably means that you've scanned "QR Monkeybrain". This piece consists of 1086 "pixels" that were created from cut pieces of paper (some "pixels" consist of strips of paper... i.e., if pixels were "in a row"). It took me about 4 weeks to complete this tedious process; and I didn't know if it would work (i.e., if it would bring you to my blog site) until the entire piece was finished. It was a successful experiment to "link" the analog collage world with a digital cyber-entity. And it worked! So anyway, thanks for coming tonight! I appreciate your interest and support. Have a great evening!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

OLD, Haines and Yaggy quote

This is an excerpt from the paper I will present next week in Louisville, KY at the conference of the Southern Humanities Council. I think it's a great quote for any type of appropriation artistry:

In the preface to the popular 19th Century book entitled "The Royal Path of Life", Haines and Yaggy (1881) humbly write:

"To say anything strictly new would be impossible; nor would we presume
that our knowledge and experience would be as valuable as the maxims of
the wise and the sublime truths which have become a part of the standard
literature. The best, therefore, that any one can expect to do is to recombine
the experience of the past, and compile such thoughts and extracts as have
chimed in with the testimony of earnest and aspiring minds, and offer them
in a novel and fascinating form." (p. iii)

The authors further cite an anonymous poet: "We have gathered the posies of other men's flowers, Nothing but the thread that binds them is ours".

These words -- written over 125 years ago -- seem as relevant today as they did then. But I do not want them to be perceived as depressing or discouraging. That is, even though I use the images of others as elements in my collages, I remain hopeful that I create compositions that are personally unique and aesthetically pleasing.  Likewise, even though the raw materials may originate from so many others before us others, we ultimately retain the opportunity to use our collective threads to create a beautifully unique tapestry.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lull in the blogaction

I do very much appreciate the followers of this blog and everyone who shows interest in my work and the state of collage in general. I know my posts are sometimes erratic in terms of there frequency. But I assure you that there is always something going on in my art world, even if it is happening behind the scenes. I have a solo show on exhibit this month in my hometown of Utica, NY. It's at a venue called "The Other Side", run by Orin and Kim Domenico. This couple is extraordinarily supportive of the jazz and art scene in Utica and are also politics activists and role models for many young people in the area. Hats off to Orin and Kim! The Other Side has been hosting art exhibits of some well-known local (and not-so-locally recognized) artists over the past couple years. I was honored and humbled to be asked to show my work at this venue. Friday night is the opening reception of my exhibit entitled "So Far". I LOVE the poster for the show!

In addition to this exhibit, I have been working on a paper which I will present at this year's conference of The Souther Humanities Council, in Louisville, Kentucky. The paper is entitled: "Confessions of a Collagist: Appropriation of 'Private' Images for 'Public' Art (or Your Grandmother Makes for a Nice Substrate)". The paper focuses on copyright law and civil law relating to use of photographic images in artwork. I just wanted to inform anyone reading this blog that although there appears to be some "lulls in the action", there are still things going on behind the scenes in my art world. I look forward to sharing some of the photos from Friday's opening. And I sincerely thank everyone who shows interest in this blog. I appreciate it!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Remembering Charlie Hebdo

One year ago today, while I was doing my morning routine of coffee, e-mail and FB Scrabble, I found out about the Charlie Hebdo murders. It was tragic and heart-breaking and we have now experienced multiple incidents of domestic and international terrorism over the course of one year. As a teacher and a concerned citizen, I will do my best this year to do whatever I can locally to quell the fear and hatred that seems to be permeating our civilization. Let's try to work together for more peace and less hatred.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year (2016)

I've "toggled" back to getting some school work done. But some of that has certainly been collage-related. In fact, I am preparing a paper to present at The Southern Humanities Conference in Louisville at the end of this month which will cover some of the legal issues related to photographic images used in collage. I am struggling with striking a good balance between a somewhat dry (although interesting) paper covering all the legal case law and a more "show and tell" kind of a paper. Anyway, after a couple days of getting lots of school work done, I decided to "treat myself" to some studio time last night. Happened upon this combination of images and it really captivated me. The three elements (as well as the frame) really seemed to "work". And one of my goals for the new year is to try to be more "prolific" in terms of making some of the sketches that I do more permanent. This one is entitled "We are close" (8" x 10")... my first of 2016!