Monday, December 14, 2015
I'm really glad that My needlepoint piece which I wrote about in my last posting here is included in this group show which opened on Friday December 11. The title of the show "I Am a Lie and I'm Gold" is a line from Amanda Lear's song " I Am a Photograph" and the video for that song.....is pretty entertaining and rather smart for a pop song.....which explains why it was never a hit in the U.S. ......
I am a Lie and I am Gold Curated by Marco Breuer
December 11, 2015 - January 23, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, December 11, 5:00-8:00pm
Yossi Milo Gallery
245 Tenth Avenue
I am a Lie and I am Gold is an exhibition about photography without the inclusion of a single photograph. Curated by artist Marco Breuer, the exhibition features works on paper, paintings, sculptures, textiles, and installations by 27 artists whose diverse practices engage with the idea that photography is a principle, not a product.
This piece began as a photograph of the song of the same name by Amanda Lear. I set my camera on a tripod and focused it on the spot between 2 speakers where the sound was optimal and opened the shutter as the song began to play and left it open for the duration of the song, in this case four minutes and twenty five seconds.
As a synesthete I have a tendency to see music, so I wondered what would happen if I were to use a camera to record music. It seems most people pull out their cameras, point and snap not to record the way something looks, what they want is to record the way they feel. I do that too…when I hear music, it makes me see, feel and smell things. It’s always a very powerful experience. I translate these sensory experiences into the labor intensive medium of needlepoint as a way of showing my conviction. So much happens to me while listening and I can meditate on that while translating the photo into needlepoint.
I first became aware of Amanda Lear as the cover model on my Favorite band’s 2nd album, “For Your Pleasure” by Roxy Music. I had made a lot of artwork based on the music on that album so when I was asked to participate in an exhibition called “Not A Lear” in Belgium in 2001 I was thrilled and I had a lot of work that fit. The show closed in Belgium then traveled to NYC and was scheduled to open at Gracie Mansion gallery on September 11. My piece got broken in transit so the curators picked out something else for the new york iteration and asked me to bring it by the day of the opening.
I got a call from the gallery around 2 pm the afternoon of September 11, 2001 asking if I was going to bring the piece by soon…..I was a little dumfounded but the show must go on they said and Amanda was in town for the opening so i got on my bike and rode it over to the gallery, They asked me to stay for the opening and I said I’d stop by later….I couldn’t get there till 7:30, by which time Amanda had already left. I didn’t get to meet here but of course I’ll always associate her with that date, so when the 10th anniversary of 9-11 came around I spent the day photographing her song “I am a photograph” Ive got 13 images in that series and this is the first one Ive turned into a needlepoint.
Much as I’m driven to make something visual based on a sound, I like to make different versions of the image in different mediums, One of the reasons needlepoint appeals to me is that it looks handmade and pixillated at the same time. The repetition and tediousness invite contemplation and allow me to process the information that led to it’s making.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
In my first NYC solo show at ESSO gallery "Re-recordings and renderings' 1997 I showed a wall of photos I made of the music of David Bowie.....here's a needlepoint version I made of Hunky Dory
Hunky Dory 1998 Cotton on Canvas 5.25 x 5.25 inches
Sunday, November 29, 2015
In 2001 I photographed each of the songs on The Sex pistol's album "Never Mind The Bollocks" and I printed them in the size that related to the length of time of each song. The first song "Holidays In The Sun" clocks in at 3:22 so I printed the photo at 3 3/8 inches and so on......
Later that year I translated the photos to needlepoint and showed the two versions together framed in separate 30 x 24 inch frames
My dealer at the time, Derek Eller, told me that Jack Handy of SNL's "Deep Thoughts" fame enjoyed multiple visits with these works.........
In 1998 I was comissioned by Mary Kay cosmetics to create an artwork based on their new scent called Elige. I photographed the scent by pointing my camera at the spot just above the opened bottle and recording the scent visually....... this is what it looked like..
Elige 1999 Silver gelatin print 5 x 4 inches
I had been making Needlepoint versions of these photos of scent and music for a couple of years...
Elige Needlepoint 2001 Cotton 6 x 4.5 inches
In 2001 I was asked to be in a show called "Tipping point" curated by Lauren Ross at White Columns and I decided to make some other versions of this photo in different media.....
Elige 2001 watercolor 7 x 5 inches
Elige 2001 Graphite on Vellum 5 x 4 inches
Elige 2001 Abraded Sandpaper 8 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches
Elige 2001 Sculpey over wire armature, enamel paint 18 x 12 x 9 inches