August 15, 2013


When Rob and I moved into our new rental earlier this month, we were faced with a whole house-full of empty walls. In order to encourage tenants to preserve all this open plaster, our landlords had strategically drilled screws into the walls they felt were best suited for picture hanging...a fine enough idea in my opinion. So, while in Utah a few weeks ago, I gathered up a whole box full of artwork I hoped to hang and sent it out to our new Oberlin home. None of it is my own work, but mostly just a bunch of random pieces I'd purchased from New York City street artists during my student years at Juilliard.

From an African American man who painstakingly pieced together butterfly wings into beautiful figures... an anonymous spray-paint artist who created sci-fi flavored landscapes in a matter of minutes using a toolkit of surprisingly simple household items...

9-11 happened soon after I began my second year at Juilliard. Though I didn't personally know anyone who'd been at the Trade Center, the experience affected me deeply. I purchased this painting a few months after the tragedy. I remember liking the portrayal of the towers beneath a sort of mythic bubble.  
...and intricately serene land and waterscapes from Chinese woodcut artist Sun Yin Sheng...

...among others.

The problem, I soon discovered, was that all the screws are located high up on the walls, while most of my artwork is fairly small and horizontally oriented. To properly fill the open space I'd instead need some large vertical pieces.

Because my funds are quite limited these days, I decided to try making something entirely new.

First off, I wanted my piece to be able to hang without needing a frame (another cost-saver) would have to look good rough edges and all. Second, I wanted to keep to the astronomy theme I've been exploring lately...and I'd recently bought a whole ream of black construction paper...perfect! I went downstairs to take stock of other creative supplies I already had that might prove useful. A barely-used bottle of mod-podge...some old ratty paint inky toothbrush...and a bottle of white paint might just cost a dollar or two...hmmm...

I'd seen a beautiful origami exhibit a few weeks ago at the Oberlin Arts Center, and had recently thought a lot about collages. An idea began to take shape. It would involve folding, cutting, tearing, and flicking of white paint onto a black background.

After a few days of experimentation, here's what I came up with...

At first I tried to do a somewhat accurate star field. You might recognize a hint of Sagittarius...and a bit of Aquila...but then I messed up on Scorpius and sort of figured I'd fill in the rest at random. In the future I think I'll plan out that aspect a little better. Still, I rather like the piece. It measures roughly 14 x 33 inches and takes up a nice chunk of open wall right in the front room. It's the texture (which doesn't really come out well in the photo) that features most aspect I haven't explored much in the past, but may do so more in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I FREAKING LOVE this!!! wow and WOW! It's got a couture feel and I want to have it on a skirt. Is that weird?