Monday, September 14, 2009

Secret IMA Installation

I volunteered to work the 48hr Film festival back in August. I basically sat and held $4000 in $20's and arm wrestled Shauta for a bit, then it occurred to me: I'm in the IMA, Unsupervised, and I'm an artist. QUICK do something cool!

This is what I did.

I took these informational pink fliers for a movie about Andy Warhol and made little dwellings out of them. I've looked at enough Tara Donavan work (Thanks Shannon) that I knew a lot of these would look awesome.

And they did. They were subtle enough that people missed them, but the ones who stopped to view were filled with joy watching other people walk by them. Because of their location to the ground, the little dwellings would wobble and jiggle to the beat of people marching by. One particular person tried to destroy the piece by running past it as fast as they could to create a strong gust of wind, but it was useless. My structures made of nothing but paper withstood his attacks and kept dancing.

Best IMA installation to date? Who knows, but I'm totally writing this on my resume.

The State of Things.

Pretty Good.

Big Car Collage Show.

On August 20something we had a collage party at big car gallery. We brought in Beer, Food, and a ton of collage materials. You Supply the talent. In a period of 3 hours, i made 4 pieces. Mostly minimalist collages, but that's the mood I was in. Less is more.

And Finally, I stopped taking Ceramic classes cause I felt making pots was becoming boring and It really wasn't me. Then I made this without hesitation.

A Classic Pot, only made out of a ticket roll. And People loved it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Haven't Done this in a While.

It's been a while since I last posted, so here's the low down.

1. I'm part of Big Car's Collective now, so my job is to make the greater Indianapolis area a better place with art. They even put my picture on the website.

Click collective, then scroll down. I think I'm 2nd from the bottom. Either way, I actually feel like a professional artist seeing my picture on a website.

2. Bench is on hold for a while... at least till I get my other project done. Riley hasn't broken ground on the children's park and it doesn't look like they will until the spring. Blessing in disguise? jury's out on that one.

3. One of my sculptures for the property is standing. I wasn't as intimidated by it until it went in the air. Right now it towers at a monsterous 22 feet and is balanced enough that it's not going to fall over any time soon.

4. I smashed my hand pretty good the other day. No bruising, but can't feel my pinkie. Took 2 salt tablets and walked it off.

5. School starts wednesday. I'm pretty excited about my victory lap. Some of the other kids think I'm a living legend there at Herron. I'd hate to break it to them, but if you tickle me, i will laugh.

6. School starting means grad school stuff is coming up soon, meaning in one year, I'm moving somewhere where people don't know me. I think I'll go by last name in the new place.

7. Somewhere in the SEC is prob. where I'll end up. I'd love to go home to Tennessee and be a Volunteer, but then i'm that guy trying to recapture his childhood by moving back his hometown. If I'm doing that I might as well get my mom's uterus certified and go to grad school there. it'll be tough getting a welder in there, but it'll do.


Sep. 12th. Rev. Peyton and his Big Damn Band play at Upland Brewery. Hopefully I can get this girl I have the cutsies for to come with me. Either way, I can't wait.

Ps. Anna. It's not her.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Story of growth form #9

In an attempt to make a gallery-savy sculpture, I made a growth form that could either be positioned up or down to accommodate itself to the environment it was in. Over the course of 2 months, it has gone through a couple of finishes. Tonight, June 5th, I think the sculpture has had it's final finish. Here's some of them here.

Self Poitraits

Collaboration: A Protest of Sorts

My friend Justin Came up with the idea of making these clay fliers, much like the ones you would get at a protest, but instead of putting text about something you don't care about he left them blank so they are up for your interpretation. After he got done making these objects he need a way to display them. The gallery wasn't a great space for this piece, so after some conversation we came up with the idea of installing the piece on the War memorial here in town. Many people have protests at that spot, so why not us. We showed up with 3 boxes of clay paper and 2 cameras and simply put the paper where people weren't sitting creating this sort of zigzag line that goes through the crowd, and more importantly, getting them to question what we were doing.

We were going strong for a good 10 minutes until we were stopped by the Capitol Police and told to stop or we were going downtown. We were already downtown, but that's not the point. We were only 6 steps from the top. We didn't have the interaction we wanted. In the end the piece felt incomplete. It'll get done one day though....

Thursday, May 28, 2009


This Blog has made me take art way too seriously. Sometimes you have to do things like this to keep you going.

Gemini: Steel Bases

About 3/4 of the way through The Second Assembly, I was having problems with the sculpture twisting when I went to pick it up. One of my professors came up to me and asked me why I wasn't using a steel base to really lock in these pieces. Once I built the base, production jumped 10% and I was able to move my sculpture a lot easier.

So instead of building these sculptures from the concrete up, I decided to go ahead and build the base for them to stand on until we go out and install them.
I also put them on casters, so I can move them around a lot easier, and hopefully without use of the bridge crane.

While I had my camera out, I went ahead and put the two bases on top of each other and created an homage to one of my favorite sculptors, Mark Di Suvero. I call it "Di Suvero's Bench"

Gemini: Site Color Test

For Gemini, I wanted to make sure that the color of these sculptures was visible from anywhere on the property, but didn't detract from the landscape, so I made 2 scale models out of plywood, painted them, then installed them on the property.


I was also commissioned by a prominent person here in Indianapolis to create a private sculpture for their property. After first visit to their property I was blown away by the landscape and openness of the space. So when thinking about what to put on the property, I thought of objects that occupy space, Comets.

I modified the growth form that I had used for Community North and extended the tails of the form to make it look like these comets were hurdling through space. Multiple views of this sculpture were important for me, so when you are walking around the piece it looks like it is flying close to the ground.

I'm extremely excited about this opportunity because it allows me get my feet working at a scale all my sculpture heroes have been working at.

Ant Hill Bench, Ants!

Now the most important part of the anthill would be the ants. I had always planned on the ants, but the more I made the ants to go on the bench, the scarier they got. Ants should already be cute by proportion. They have big heads and big eyes, if you apply that proportion to anything else it automatically becomes the cutest thing ever.

Because this bench is going to kids, I decided to call in the big guns on this one. One of my great friends, Anna, happens to be the expert on cuteness. If you need something cute just take a look at her latest series of bowls. In one she has a Panda playing a tiny drumkit, in another she has a a hummingbird trying to play SNES, and my personal favorite, she painted a bear in a spacesuit. Amazing stuff, but I figured if I wanted cute ants, I had to get her to make them.

I got the cutest ants ever. From here, I'm making rubber molds of them and casting them in bronze. Then I'll take the bronze ants and bolt them into the bench.

But if I hadn't said it enough, the kids are going to love these ants.

Ant Hill Bench, Revisions.

In my initial design, I overlooked a lot of things. First, I didn't address the top of the bench itself. The flat slab of wood on top was too plain and uninteresting so I have now the bench looks like a tree has fallen on top of the anthill and you are sitting on top of this fallen tree. I also didn't like how the cutaway of the bench looked. It was too abrupt and looked too forced. It also didn't protect the ants directly from the elements.

This time, I made the curve more gentle, and in turn made the whole thing feel more natural. Because of this curve it also allowed for me to put a clay awning over the ants to protect them.

Ant Hill Bench

This winter I was commissioned to make a themed bench for Riley Children's Hospital's new playground. The theme for the park was "cute and cuddly forest", an atheistic that not only have I not ventured into, but wasn't sure how to approach. After looking at the initial layout of the park, I noticed that there was no anthill in this forest. There was a giant tree and all sorts of cute bugs, but no ants/ anthill. Growing up in Tennessee I can remember there being this giant anthill that my friends and I used to ramp our bikes of, so using my childhood memories I found a connection to the park.

My bench is made from ceramic, steel, and teak. The big plan is that on the cutaway on the bench, you will be able to look inside and check out these ants that are on the inside of the bench.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Second Assembly: What it's about.

The Second Assembly was a commission opportunity for the juniors and seniors enrolled in the sculpture class here at Herron School of Art and Design. We were all encouraged to produce proposals for a brand new rotating sculpture spot in front of Community North Hospital here in Indianapolis. When I first arrived at the hospital I thought it was an airport. The whole feel of the place was that it wasn't a hospital, it didn't even have that hospital smell.

So for a contemporary hospital, I was proposing a contemporary sculpture that dealt with growth. At the time I was working with these forms that reminded me of these uprooted palm trees that I had seen on TV after the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina, but it wasn't the destruction I was most amazed by, it was the way people were able to rebuild after such a tragedy. It really got me thinking about no matter what happens at a hospital, good or bad, we have second outlook on life. Another metaphor I worked with for this project was fallen tree. I grew up on an 80 acre farm so fallen trees were common thing for me, but whenever one tree fell there was new life that came out of it. It provided shelter for small animals, food for bugs, or warmth from firewood. Even thought the tree was gone, it transformed into something greater than what it had been.

Visually, I wanted something that had the feeling of some sort of microscopic battle where one shape was falling and another was rising. I also wanted something that visually looked like it was moving and changing when you looked at it. The space the sculpture is in is quite deceiving. It's a 40'x12'x6' shadowbox essentially, but there are windows that allow the viewer to see the sculpture from behind, so different views became critical when laying out all the different parts of the sculpture. The solution I came up with allows all the negative space of one view of the sculpture be filled up by positive shapes of another view creating endless possibilities when walking around the sculpture.

Another component of the sculpture is the finishes on the two elements. For the square tube "fallen tree" elements, I went with a glossy black finish and for the organic pipe pieces I used a galvanized steel finish. One of my favorite painters Kazimir Malevich used black squares in white circles and described the black square as man's control on nature and the white circles as nature's ever growing control on man. I was intrigued by this comparison and translated that into this piece. Visually though, white wouldn't have shown up against the brick background so I went with the galvanized finish on the pipes to create a shiny contrast to the black growths. In the spring and summer, the pipes will stand out and demand more of your attention while in the colder part of the year where the sunlight isn't as intense, the pipes take a backseat while the black fallen tree growths look like they're floating on air.

To sum up what one of the patients at the Hospital said to me,
"That's the coolest looking thing I've ever seen"

That's all I needed to hear.

The Second Assembly: Installed

The Second Assembly: The Construction Images