I recently was able to do a billboard image through Indianapolis Arts Council and Clear Channel. The program is called High Art, you can see images from other artists in the current rotation here. You can also find out where my vinyl is currently on display from that link also. The image you see was shot in its first location on South Madison where East Street splits off on the south side of Indianapolis, but don’t look for it there anymore because it has moved.
The last few months I have been working on and off on some bronze castings, one of which is an astronaut on a rock. It is part of a series where I am exploring monuments, trophies and markers, not necessarily in that order.
The casting process is laborious if you are doing it all yourself. First you need to create the form. For the astronaut I started off with a plaster cast relief, a left and a right. For the rock, I used, well, a rock. Next you need to make a mold, I made a rubber and plaster molds for each piece, the rock was a two piece mold. Of course I had to do this project as a multiple, so for each piece, (left, right, rock), I next had to make a wax positive, this is essentially a wax casting of the finished piece. Then you sprue and gate the pieces. This is a process of channels that allows the metal to flow in and a way for the air to come out, think no voids I the final piece. Of course you can hang multiple pieces on each of the Spurs and gated mold to be cast. Next you dip the sprue and gated positives in a ceramic slip, then coat with sand until it’s about a quarter of an inch to three eights of an inch thick. Next you melt out the wax in a kiln or with a heat gun and your half way to finished, because after you pour the metal the work begins.
That work entails cutting the sprue and gates off of your finished pieces, grinding, lots of grinding in my case. Then I get to figure out how to assemble them. Here I went with screws, nuts and bolts, I could have welded… Next we polish and polish some more and we get to the step where we patina the final assembly. I went with a traditional brownish tone. Then you can polish it up a little more to add some depth and finally apply several coats of wax.
That’s all there is to it! Ugh.
This photograph is of a portion of one of the walls in my “studio.” Mixed in with some of my works in progress are images from which I have drawn inspiration. The cut-out of the sundae & sandwich in the center is something Joy and I picked up in SoHo one day. It used to hang in our kitchen, both in Brooklyn and Indianapolis. It is part of the inspiration for the Desire piece. On the lower left is a photo copy from the book Ellen gave me on Inuit Art, which is a rubbing relating to a myth about a giant who comes to a village and is thwarted by the villagers. This was the inspiration for my Astronaut, who appears in many of my current works. There is also a Japanese illustrated post card I found going through some things here at the house. And on the lower right is a work by a friend, Jon Waldo.
On the left is my bear. On the right is my inspiration for him, a still of Bigfoot taken from the famous film footage shot by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin in 1967 with a 16mm camera.
The things that draw me to this image are the “do I have to come over there” attitude it projects while at the same time the “deer caught in the headlights” look. It’s the combination of surprise vs size. Or, oh shit, should I run or do I need to come over there and tear you apart?!
OK, I got it when the corner of a paper postcard got torn and the USPS put it in a plastic bag that says “we care”, but how do they break a piece of 1/8″ masonite in half! This is one of the set of six, my sister just emailed the photo to me this AM! WTF!