Why eight days? When I was a flight attendant. We had a mantra of survival. 3 minutes without air, 30 minutes of exposure, 3 days without water, 7 days without food. Eight days exceeds those numbers. It invokes resource management and supplies enough time to investigate and aquatint myself with the space. – Though I think Andy Goldsworthy would think it 3 or 4 years too short.It causes you to begin to understand and question what is necessary for survival and what is not. Everything I bring will be essential and have purpose for my life.
Vera Project: When you begin a piece of art, do you have a clear vision or do you begin and let the art tell you what to do?
Sabe: As an artist that deals with found objects I am limited mainly to what I can find. So, I have to be open and ready to receive from the things themselves. Sometimes I have a vision of what I would like to achieve and I will collect objects that aid in achieving that goal. Other times as I come across items they will have an intrinsic quality that attracts me and I am challenged to find a way that communicates that quality.
This method is true of, what some people refer to as, my cast paint painting, as well. The shapes that I use when casting have very similar method of discovery to the found object method I mentioned earlier. I purposely collected bricks to cast, but will also cast items that intrigue me as well. Very frequently I release a celebratory “yes!” when I find a shape or substance that satisfies what I’m looking for, or when I discover a way to utilize something that has hung around the studio for sometime. Since these works have a very cityscape sensibility I remain open in my processes while I explore Seattle or other cities in my travel.
Also, I am reminded of Andy Goldsworthy would said that as he was in the middle of a work or past a point of no return he would then realized what he should of done. I experience that sometimes and therefore have an affinity with that statement.
Vera Project: How has the “digital revolution” affected your art or how you make your artwork?
Sabe: The digital revolution has a greater affect of my work than seemingly sits on the surface. Everywhere I go if something strikes my interest I will take an image with my phone. This may give the impression that copy what I see which is not true, but I am very excited by our surroundings.
Beyond the ability to record my surroundings, some of the materials I have collected come from freecycle, a yahoo group. Freecycle is a mailing list where people post items whose status is wanted, taken, or offered. Using this group and email on my iphone I can be very efficient with the collection of my objects. Of course, I also use craigslist.
Many museums and other cultural institutions also, podcast their lecture series and sometimes make content specifically to podcast. This is an invaluable source of critical thinking and ideas. One of my favorite podcast is Stuff You Should Know, from howstuffworks.com
Vera Project: What inspired the title of your show?
Sabe: It carries a double meaning. Found out could mean discovered, or a more literal found outside. (Like if one has to put the garbage out.)
Vera Project: Where do you go/where have you been that most inspires your work?
Sabe: I travel as much as I can and always keep my eyes open to expanding my vocabulary. I try to be aware and mindful wherever I go.
Vera Project: How do you begin a piece of work?
Sabe: We briefly talked earlier about the clarity of vision when I begin, but now that I think about that statement, we really talked about the germ of an idea. But the origin of the work is the support. My work is mounted on wood panel. The panels I use are also found. They most frequently come from discarded furniture.
As I walk around Seattle I see dressers, desk, entertainment centers… Usually I will note where they are check for clues for how long it has been abandoned. Sometimes wait a couple of days to see if someone will pick it up to use it as furniture. When I am satisfied that it is going to be discarded in a landfill I take a screwdriver and pry off the back panel. If it has drawers I will stomp those out and take it all to the studio. That will set the physical perimeters of the work and form the foundation of what is to come.
Vera Project: Who’s your favorite artist?
Sabe: There are so many great ones, Elsworth Kelly, Sol Lewit, Robert Ryman, Gordon Matta Clark, James Turrell, Nam June Paik, Richard Tuttle are some of the artist I thought of and influenced me during this body of work.
Vera Project: How did you find your medium?
Sabe: These works are acrylic and/or encaustic along with the found objects. What really was the driving factor behind this choice was what I was trying to accomplish. The fact that I work in a space without real ventilation has an influence. I love oil paint though and I am not done exploring it either.
Vera Project: What did you eat for breakfast?
Sabe: During the week, when I have less time, I like pie. Any pie will do but pumpkin is my favorite. If not that then toast with peanut butter and honey or a banana.
Vera Project: Stripes or polka dots?
Sabe: They are both great and I love them both equally.
Vera Project: Can you write a quick summary of what people can expect to see when they come to your show “Found Out” at Vera!
Sabe: You could say that they are cityscapes. If I had to some it up I would say that they are back alley vignettes. Which is to say they have an architecture look and feel. Not that you would see things that happen in a back alley. That would be something different.
From December 29, 2011 – March 18, 2012, CoCA will present its 22nd Annual Exhibition, juried each year by a guest artist/curator.
Opening Reception, Live Announcement of Prize Winners: Thursday, December 29, 2011 6p – 9p
With submissions from 14 countries world-wide and 21 states, the 22nd Annual clearly captures a global sense of contemporary art. Ranging from fiber to painting, photography, video, installation, sound, sculpture, and new media, the exhibition presents a diversity of materials and approaches that cumulatively reflect a certain restlessness with representation. In the work of these 16 artists, audiences can observe a collective effort to broaden the meaning of identity, memory, time and history at a cultural moment of great economic uncertainty.
For this year’s 22nd anniversary of the show, CoCA is proud to have Gary Hill as juror:
Gary Hill, one of the pioneers of video art, he has exhibited his video and video installations worldwide (Artfacts 2007). He is represented by Donald Young Gallery of Chicago.
An anthology on the work of Gary Hill by Robert C. Morgan was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 1999.
Gary Hill’s work is especially significant due to his incorporation of text in video art, evident in works such as Incidence of Catastrophe 1977-78. Hill began working with video, text and sound in 1973. He was influenced by the intellectual orientation of conceptual art which dominated art of the 1970s. His reading of the writings of Maurice Blanchot, in particular, provided him with ideas relating to the way in which language impinges on phenomenological experience, and a notion of ‘the other’ stemming from the philosophy of Emmanuel Lévinas. Such reading informs Hill’s visual-poetic explorations of the interrelationships between language, image, identity, and the body. For example in Cabin Fever he uses the binary opposition of light and darkness to convey the notion of an interaction between a self and an ‘other’. He has also explored immersive environments, as seen in his 1992 piece Tall Ships.
Hill’s work thoroughly exploits the capacity of video to offer complex nonlinear narratives that encourage active engagement on the part of the viewer. In Roland Barthes’ terms, Hill’s video narratives can be understood as ‘writerly’ texts.
“with finger vision”
Acrylic on panel with found objects, 45″x15″x4″, 2010
“superman dam fool”
Acrylic on panel with found objects, 40″x31″x4″, 2011
HD video, 2011, 9:50
“I Was Nine”
6ft x 4.5ft x .75in. Hot Wheels. 2010
dimensions variable, china cabinet, danger tape, nails, china. 2010
“i am writing this with my left hand although i am strongly right-handed”
4-channel video installation, 10:30 mins. looped, 2010
Video, 11 min, HD, 2011
“SHOPPING SACK I (CVS series)”
A car bomb exploded in the Sadriya neighborhood in Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 140 people and incinerating scores of vehicles April 18, 2007
Archival inkjet on Gampi Tissue 11″ x19 ¾”, 2007
“SHOPPING SACK I (WALMART – LOOTING SERIES)”
Rioting over Food in Argentina Four people were killed in the rioting. Page A3 Thursday, December 20, 2001
Archival inkjet on Japanese tissue, 2006
“SHOPPING SACK I (HOME DEPOT – AMMUNITION SERIES)”
Ammunition supplied by an American contractor to Afghan forces. Some of it was in such poor shape that it was not used. Thursday, march 27, 2008
Archival inkjet on Gampi tissue 20″ x 111/2″, 2008
Port Republic, New Jersey
“Healing Sutra #13″
17″h x 15″w, hand embroidery and walnut ink on antique baby dress, 2011
“Healing Sutra #17″
15″ x 15″, hand embroidery and walnut ink on antique napkin, 2011
“Healing Sutra #21″
22″h x 15″w, hand embroidery, walnut ink, antique lace on antique baby dress, 2011
Le Bourget, France
80 x 120 cm Acrylic, ink and collage on canvas, 2011
“A pant every day of the week : Saturday, friends’ Party”
120 x 160 cm Acrylic, ink and collage on canvas, 2010
4:33 Minutes of Stolen Silence
4 minutes 33 seconds long sound piece, 2006
San Francisco, California
“A Reunion of Lost People, #01″
18×20 inches, “c”-print on black cintra, 2011
“A Reunion of Lost People, #04″
18×23 inches, “c”-print on white cintra, 2011
“Please, Find a Beautiful Place to Get Lost”
200 x 150cm, oil on paper, 2010
“Please, Keep Your Ticket Till the End”
200 x 150cm, oil/ mixed media on paper, 2011
Culver City, California
mirrored mylar, grapefruit, fishing line / 2011
Self Portrait Series
5.5 inches by 8 inches framed (each)
grapefruit flesh on paper, 2011
San Francisco, California
Ink jet print on polyester; wool suiting, satin. 70″ x 48″, 2011
Enamel on masonite with steel shelf, 12.5″ x 3.5″ x 48″ , 2010
New York, New York
Oil pastel on wood and board 5×7″ apx, 2010 (One of a series)
About the Marathon
The School’s internationally-recognized Marathon programs were developed in 1988 by Dean Graham Nickson, initially as a measure for the rest of the semester at the start of the program year. The program has since expanded to become a core component of the School’s curriculum. Meanwhile, intense outside interest led to the extension of the Marathons to a wider audience of participants outside of the full-time student body. Renowned artists, art historians, dealers, collectors, art educators, writers, journalists and students of all levels and affiliations have since experienced the intensity of the program.
About the School
The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture at 8 West 8th Street, in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, New York State is an art school formed in 1963 by a group of students and their teacher, Mercedes Matter, all of whom had become disenchanted with the fragmented nature of art instruction inside traditional art programs and universities. Today it occupies the building that previously housed the Whitney Museum of American Art.
From its start, the Studio School was founded on the principle that drawing from life should form of the basis of artistic development. Furthermore, rather than attending a series of disjointed classes, students were encouraged to develop their artistic practice along lines similar to the “atelier” approach favored by European art schools.
Faculty has included painters Charles Cajori, Louis Finkelstein, Philip Guston, Alex Katz, Earl Kerkam, George McNeil, and Esteban Vicente; sculptors Peter Agostini, Sidney Geist, Reuben Nakian, and George Spaventa. Nicolas Carone and Mercedes Matter focused on drawing instruction and Meyer Schapiro and Leo Steinberg taught art history. Among the more notable directors or deans to have led the school are music composer Morton Feldman and artist/critic/curator Robert Storr.
In the quest to continue strengthening my work I have been reaching out to people that have influenced me in the past and looking at Elsworth Kelly and Sol Lewitt. I had never seen this letter before and found it inspirational, and wanted to share it. Thank you Fred for sharing it with me.
It will be almost a month since you wrote to me and you have possibly forgotten your state of mind (I doubt it though). You seem the same as always, and being you, hate every minute of it. Don’t! Learn to say “Fuck You” to the world once in a while. You have every right to. Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itchin, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling, rumbling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eyeing, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO!
From your description, and from what I know of your previous work and you [sic] ability; the work you are doing sounds very good “Drawing-clean-clear but crazy like machines, larger and bolder… real nonsense.” That sounds fine, wonderful – real nonsense. Do more. More nonsensical, more crazy, more machines, more breasts, penises, cunts, whatever – make them abound with nonsense. Try and tickle something inside you, your “weird humor.” You belong in the most secret part of you. Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety. And stop worrying about big, deep things such as “to decide on a purpose and way of life, a consistant [sic] approach to even some impossible end or even an imagined end” You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!
I have much confidence in you and even though you are tormenting yourself, the work you do is very good. Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be. But if life would be easier for you if you stopped working – then stop. Don’t punish yourself. However, I think that it is so deeply engrained in you that it would be easier to DO!
It seems I do understand your attitude somewhat, anyway, because I go through a similar process every so often. I have an “Agonizing Reappraisal” of my work and change everything as much as possible = and hate everything I’ve done, and try to do something entirely different and better. Maybe that kind of process is necessary to me, pushing me on and on. The feeling that I can do better than that shit I just did. Maybe you need your agony to accomplish what you do. And maybe it goads you on to do better. But it is very painful I know. It would be better if you had the confidence just to do the stuff and not even think about it. Can’t you leave the “world” and “ART” alone and also quit fondling your ego. I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before your work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself. Well, you know I admire your work greatly and can’t understand why you are so bothered by it. But you can see the next ones and I can’t. You also must believe in your ability. I think you do. So try the most outrageous things you can – shock yourself. You have at your power the ability to do anything.
I would like to see your work and will have to be content to wait until Aug or Sept. I have seen photos of some of Tom’s new things at Lucy’s. They are impressive – especially the ones with the more rigorous form: the simpler ones. I guess he’ll send some more later on. Let me know how the shows are going and that kind of stuff.
My work had changed since you left and it is much better. I will be having a show May 4 -9 at the Daniels Gallery 17 E 64yh St (where Emmerich was), I wish you could be there. Much love to you both.
The fashion industry thrives on the flux of women’s style. In contrast you can see the predictable consistency of men’s suits over time. In fact over the past 400 years men’s fashion hasn’t really changed. Once the English toned down the hues and removed the frill of the French dandy we were stuck with the same basic concept. But do the clothes really make the man? Nick Cave is offering suits of a sort, but is he really providing an alternative.
Nick Cave began making his soundsuits because of the police beating of Rodney King in the early nineties. The basis of his first explorations came from the descriptions of King by the officers that beat him so brutally. In this first suit Cave used sticks as the primary material resulting in a bristling fur wrapping an ogre type form, but it could also resemble something a shaman might wear. As he continued to create each suit Cave’s vocabulary of materials grew; incorporating found objects as varied as rugs, pot holders and tin toys. The intense color that is frequently used from these appropriations connotes pleasure and joy.Each soundsuit was made to fit Nick Cave. Through these suits he explores identity, beauty, ethnicity, self and social interaction. By removing the symbols people take for granted as identifiers the viewer is left with no preconceptions, very little prejudices. – I say little because those are frightened by clowns or people in costume might still harbor those experiences. – Otherwise viewing someone in these soundsuits immediately brings questions to mind. Is this friend or foe? How should I react? Nightmare or Dream?
But it isn’t only the viewers reaction that is significant. While wearing these works the individual realizes the constraints upon themselves by society are removed. Individual identity is completely removed and you can find yourself free from your social burdens. This psychological effect is seen throughout the world. In Africa a creature like these might be taken as a spirit with which you can share your most secret thoughts, or troubles. Sometimes within these costumes you might still find yourself in a cage, even literally caged. In one suit with a tigers head you find yourself prohibited from reaching your desires. Your body is not able to touch the plaster bird figurines that surround you. Or if these birds are decoys you are prohibited of reaching your prey.
At the exhibit entrance stands a bear soundsuit made of thrift store sweaters. – One of two I’ve seen Nick Cave explore. Is this bear a greeter or a guardian? With his high key brand-named striped sweaters and the slightly grinning expression on his face I believe him to be a cordial greeter. He strikes me as almost poised ready for a hug. Like all of these suits in the show he sits on a 8 to 12 inch platform giving them the feel of a runway at a fashion show.
The sweaters applied to the bear are whole and retain their original human silhouette. Many of the other outfits have handmade doilies and potholders applied to their surface. Each of those found objects carry the love and care that were embodied within by their maker. When he uses discarded sequined evening or formal wear it is very easy to see allusions or even critique of beauty, and fashion.
Once you pass through the initial room with the bear you enter a large open room with four large runways. This room contains the tiger piece mentioned earlier. As you pass the tiger, and a work adorned with tin toys you find a runway with eight foot tall penis shaped creatures. Or if they are a bishop’s mitre it can stir up religious reflection. Because they are covered with electrically-hued fur, it doesn’t strike me as a pensive/ austere religion. In the next room is video projections of these creatures in feverish movement. Take a while and really enjoy the dance club atmosphere.
A couple of rooms away is inhabited by either undersea or space creatures. Where we would expect faces to be we are given only a screen of wicker from a basket or base of a chair. Their fabric is coated with buttons giving them a scaly or technical appearance. The one that I am most fond of appears to have it’s head tilted back in awe of the sky. If it is actually facing forward then the mind is simply open to receive all celestial input.
All this being said these soundsuits are static; decorating mannequins on runway platform. And much of what I said is a result of that presentation. I hope to catch them around Seattle as spontaneous happenings. That would allow a better understanding of their effects. Ultimately, I sense that the inhabiter of the suit will find the feelings it provides physically and psychologically indulgent; in a word fun. Allowing a deep release and unburdening of spirit and expressive freedom in many of the suits and the confines the suit may give only a temporary stop on the transition to ecstasy.
Seattle Art Museum: Event Detail
Family Festival presented by Target Earth Day for Kids April 16, 2011 10 am3 pm PACCAR Pavilion
One notable thing that I am certain of is the fact is I need music during creating art. It allows me to relax and when it is too quite it actually becomes too difficult to create. My mind wanders on things like what are they saying in the hallway, or I’m hungry, thirsty and so on. Beyond that I feel I gather meaning, feeling and context to my work through the rhythm and lyrics. Music plays a rich and part of peoples lives and lyrics open my mind to images and keeps me from creatively fatiguing so quickly.
Pizza Hut is out with new box for their personal pan pizza. The retired brown box is replaced with a white one, a symbol for purity. On top of this white box is a golden square and within this golden square, written in red, are the words “Pizza Hut.” Under these words, also in red, are the words “more than just pizza!” I cannot fathom how they have the audacity to inscribe justice on their pizzas and end the statement with a symbolic phallus. How can pizza, presumably an inanimate object, be moral? What pain and torture must these pizzas endure to learn a morality. However, this is greater than putting morality on a pizza. Must I recall, it isn’t only just it is “more than just!” This food is not simply moral it is capable of judgment and more. What is this more, this plus? How does it sentence? Does it sentence in phallic exclamation also? Must you ingest it all to prevent justice being placed on you?
Have I missed something? Yes, Yes, I have. On the side of this box contained in a red frame inscribed in red is the statement “made just for:” Custom justice? How easily is this moral pizza bendable? When does this just pizza break? This is a textbox symbol clanging for our time. Justice for all except when you request a custom justice. Well a least they did not suppose that their pizza was good. Does that mean it issues both evil and good justice? Who is Pizza Hut to even consider that they can create and serve a just pizza. Do they serve it or does it serve them? By what right does pizza feel it can judge us?
A judgment written in red. Red what, blood? Red is so synonymous with blood. How could they write with such a confidence that their pizza is more than just? With whose blood did they inscribe such a morality? A justice of which they are so proud. Displaying it for all to see within an all too symbolic red.
The supreme just and judging eye unblinkingly sits within the worldly square box of purest white. Around the box written about the pizza three times is the “more than just pizza!” exclamation and a total of five times is the pizza referred to as just. Where did this eye learn its justice? Some heaven of course. This supreme eye is presented in a pure and golden box and it’s right to judge written in blood. The circle representing it’s supreme heavenly infinity unbending and continuous in its judging. This circle being divided into four parts has the intent that we may each have a/the piece/peace of it’s supreme perfection. Is perfection devisable among us? Or, once a part is lost is it perfect?
But again should we ingest it’s judgments? We must clearly understand that the blood which exclaimed this pizza was just, and I remind more than just, was not it’s own. However, it’s blood is the fruit of a vine. What can we gather that such a heavenly and divine justice of that sphere became so easily contained by an all too earthly, albeit decorative box, and that box is square.
We know this pizza eye is not a man. Has it a better view to judge us? It is neither vegetable nor meat, grain nor fruit, round, and contained in a square box. What truth may we discern of the justness of this pizza? This question I chewed while I ingested the food. After much chewing I found the pizza box as empty as it’s promises and the pizza’s justice unfulfilling, limited in it’s divisibility, largely symbolic, and over price. This feeling was accompanied by the question, “Is this conclusion exclusive to the justice of Pizza Hut pizza or true of all justice?”
As far back as the artwork of the thoughtful and masterful Egyptians still life was an important of life, or more aptly an important part of afterlife. So the tombs were richly decorated with the items that surrounded the individual in their life. It was believed that food objects and other items depicted there would, in the afterlife, become real and available for use by the deceased.
Ancient Greek vase paintings also demonstrate great skill in depicting everyday objects and animals. Similar still life, more simply decorative in intent, but with realistic perspective, have also been found in the Roman wall paintings and floor mosaics unearthed at Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Villa Boscoreale, including the later familiar motif of a glass bowl of fruit. Decorative mosaics termed “emblema”, found in the homes of rich Romans, demonstrated the range of food enjoyed by the upper classes, and also functioned as signs of hospitality and as celebrations of the seasons and of life.
By the 16th century, food and flowers would again appear as symbols of the seasons and of the five senses. Also starting in Roman times is the tradition of the use of the skull in paintings as a symbol of mortality and earthly remains, often with the accompanying phrase Omnia mors aequat (Death makes all equal). These vanitas images have been re-interpreted through the last 400 years of art history, starting with Dutch painters around 1600.