Rope Pile Triptych is shown on a massive billboard in downtown Denver as part of the Denver Theater District's (DTD) mission to present the arts more visibly around town. The billboard is located on 16th and Champa. Check it out if you're in the area. There are lots of great artworks presented around town, so keep your eyes open.
I've been up at Anderson Ranch for three weeks now, and have one week left. This place is amazing. It's downtime for the Ranch and for me. They are in between their summer programs and winter residencies, and I am the only visiting artist up here. The initial week was challenging as I adjusted to an empty studio and extremely solitary hours. I had some sort of existential crisis as I wondered for days about the meaning of art and of being an art-maker. It's hard to find motivation for making a new body of work when you are confounded by your day to day movements and desires. I was struggling. I sought out Clarissa Pinkola Estes and Alan Watts. I took walks and processed.
Time progressed and I settled in, and then, art making became exciting once more, less cerebral and more active. I've compiled a ton of ideas, studies, prototypes, and should have a handful of finished pieces by the time's end. I feel grateful to be up here, and after lots of tail spinning and questioning, re-invigorated to be an artist.
It's been an amazing time to explore new ideas and to free myself from my intensive drawing practice. My drawings have always informed my sculptures, but it is seldom that I get to focus this much energy and time on the creation of the sculptures. The facilities here are mind blowing, and so I've tried to take advantage of them. Here are a few images of the sculptures in progress that I've been working on while here at Anderson Ranch:
I'll be leaving soon, fueled by my new work and the experience here. It has been a gift. Genuinely. For those of you who don't know about Anderson Ranch, please check it out. They have amazing summer workshops, a fabulous residency program, and many other noteworthy things. Also, the people up here are generous, kind, and so very talented.
In the late 1990s I traveled back and forth across the States for a variety of experiences that I wasn't always looking for and some that I was. I saw a relationship collapse under the weight of the Colorado sky, discovered a friend I thought I knew become permanently delusional from drinking too much liquid acid and learned that building a fort inside a bedroom can make you feel more lonely than safe. I contemplated the need for good urban planning, feel in love with the music of Jimmy Dale Gilmore and the Flatlanders, was reminded that my mom is amazing and that true friends are easy to be around. During these trips I took loads of photos with my Canon Elf APS camera in panoramic mode. I'm not much of a photographer and wasn't taking the photos for the sake of art, but more for documentary purposes. I ended up with a lot of images that I was attracted to both in content and form. I began pairing the images, making connections between colors, shapes and lines. I had two full albums of these pairings and the project was meaningful to me.
In graduate school there was a fellow student who wanted to put my work in a group show that she was curating. During a studio visit she discovered the albums and wanted to build an entire metal display structure for them as a collaboration between the two of us. I was thrilled that the photos would be shown, especially since they weren't ever intended for that purpose. I was asked to remount them on matte board for her display unit. I spent hours getting the photographs together and handed her about 80 images of the works in a cardboard box I had laying around. A few days later I showed up at the opening to see the exhibition. Her huge display shelf was in the room, but my images weren't on it. Instead, there was my box, an old cardboard box that must have shipped frozen meats or something, on the floor with the tape cut but unopened. I asked her why the photos weren't up and she said that it was conceptually more interesting to keep them in the box since it had the word FROZEN printed on it.
Then came the opportunity nearly ten years later to put together a slide show for the Slideluck Potshow and I used those images. Broadcast's song, Tears in the Typing Pool, accompanies the piece as it relates to the aforementioned experience and the parallel between text on a blank piece of paper and human development of the land.