Waldo Evan Jesperson’s show Vantage and Volume was on exhibit at the ASU Step Gallery. The star of the show is the large internally illuminate knotted tower in the Grant Street Studios lobby, while the gallery holds a collection of 3D printed models on one wall, a series to prints on the opposite wall, and white metal sculpture in the center of the space. The 3D prints present iterations on the idea distorted prismatic wireframes. While I love 3D prints as much as anyone, the decision to leave them as unpainted white models relegates them to being just that, models. They do, however, offer so insight into Jesperson’s process and thinking as we can see forms directly related to the larger tower and central metal sculptures. The prints, which depict different views of the central metal sculpture, offer similar insights, and are perhaps my favorite work in the show. I like them because if the choice to include a simple XYZ wall corner in each perspective, grounding the form in space. I will focus this review on the large lobby piece.
The freestanding piece itself is massive, spanning from floor to very high ceiling of the warehouse space. It’s size warrants a distant view, as one might take with an outdoor public art installation. However, the size of the lobby space necessitates closer and more intimate examination of the piece. The tower form is constructed of large plywood triangles of roughly equal size giving the piece an overall faceted look. Each panel has been painted white, though the grain and texture of the wood is evident through the paint. Some panels have visible footprints on them, and all have visible screw heads around the perimeter. The edge of each facet is extended with translucent HDPE plastic, allowing the incredibly even internal lighting to glow through the seams of the piece. There are sizable gaps in all of the corners where the plastic edges meet each other.
The piece has a strong vertical balance with a decided twist in the center, where the flow of the piece wraps around itself. Due to the scale of the piece, it is hard to discern if this interruption meant to be a knot or merely a twist in the otherwise rod like form. The repetition of triangles and consistent white color give it a great sense of unity, it feels very cohesive.
My immediate first reaction to the piece is “wow, that’s big.” It reminds of other work by Jesperson that I have seen, towering works also comprised of triangular facets. Unfortunately, I don’t get much past that.
As far as evaluation goes, I wish a bit more care was taken in getting the corners of the plastic to match up so that there wouldn’t be any gaps. While the footprints add a human element to the otherwise abstract piece, I’m not convinced that they are intentional. My biggest concern with this piece is the termination at the top. It just kind of ends. And while it is very close to the ceiling it is not firmly integrated into the ceiling the way that it is firmly resting on the floor. I’d like to see it really tie the building together, floor to ceiling.
Overall a tremendous output of work by Jesperson and an excellent look into his process. It is great to see the steps an artist goes through in a single exhibition, from drawings, models, sculptures, and really huge sculptures.
You can see more of Jesperson’s work on his website: http://waldojespersen.com/home.html
I had never experienced flood irrigation until I moved to Arizona. It is still a marvelous phenomenon to me, and provides a new context for my tiny house. I think I need to make more houses – a whole flooded neighborhood. The grass makes the setting a bit too comical, perhaps, compared to the austerity of the mud puddle ones.
I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this yet, given that I don’t usually walk around calling myself a photographer. But, I do really like urban interventions, particularly the small kind, and miniatures photography, and painting really tiny 3D forms. So this seemed like a natural thing to try. The issue I find with many other small scale interventions is that they lack meat or substance; just some model train figures cleaning up a spilt coffee an what not.
Last year we saw an unprecedented amount of rain here in the valley, and when in rains in the desert the water just kind of hangs around. The city lacks the infrastructure to deal with it effectively so many puddles last for days. This phenomenon mirrors the flood irrigation used to maintain grass lawns in the area. I wanted to make something that would bring attention to these micro and macro floods.
By the way, I’m shooting these with a Panasonic GH2 and an old 50mm Canon lens.
This past third Friday I was particularly impressed with the show “Collected Echos” on view at the Halt gallery featuring artworks by Patricia Sannit and Rossitza Todorova. I am going to focus this review on Patricia’s work, which took form as a series of ceramic cylinders clustered in circular groups across the floor of the gallery, leading the way to a mixed media wall installation at the back.
Most of the cylinders are roughly soda can or water bottle sized, though some expand in girth to near deep dish pizza dimensions. Granted, here and there a cone or rectangular prism is visible adding a bit of variety. On closer examination, each cylinder is carved with a primitive pattern of triangles, rectangles, and / or circles. The carving is most obvious on the flat topsides, but is also evident on the curved sides of the cylinders. In color, the objects are mostly white, though yellow hues show through where the surface has been carved. A few of the groupings are encircled in rusted steel bands.
En masse the cylinders look like the organic growth of a city as it stretches across the floor, whose citizens are more concerned with circles than our grids. Close up, I can’t help but see the carvings as some kind of writing, or numbering system. I am reminded of ancient stone cylinders and time telling devices. Each cylinder appears to be as computer file, holding its data in its carvings. This then makes me think of the larger groupings as an ancient or alien computer, doing work on its parts. Perhaps with the right alignment, a future path will be clear. The whole floor installation feels old, worn, as an artifact.
The wall installation deviates from the floor, though a few cylinders remain perched sideways on a log shelf, half of its bark stripped away. There is also a large carved ceramic half dome resting an edge on the floor, a tilted wooden beam that helps guide the eye from the floor to the wall, some drawings of hands, and a variety of nests made from clay and wire.
The relationship between the wall work and the floor installation is not immediately clear. The nest forms give me pause due to the connotations they include: birth, children, protection, birds, etc. Coupled with the inclusion of the human hands, a bit of the alien records interpretation fades away.
Overall I felt this show was excellent. And it was nice to see these forms organized in an organic way, versus the doorway fill you may remember them as from ARTELPHX.
If you missed What we have lost / What we have gained at the Digital Culture Open House back in may you will have another opportunity to play with this piece at ARTELPHX. The show is at the Clarendon Hotel, 401 West Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85013, this weekend, September 26th and 27th from 7-10PM. There will be a lot of great new media and performance work at this show, including a dance by my friend Julie Akerly.
Then, my huge (for me) steel sculpture, Standpipe, will be installed at Scottsdale Rd and Oak St Saturday Morning. It will remain outdoors at that intersection for one year as part of Scottsdale Public Art‘s platFORM series. (Still putting the finish on!)
It’s been quite a process this summer simultaneously working on the two largest public art sculptures I have ever made. R’eyh gets packed up this week will be off to Burning Man. I am so excited to see it out on the playa. Here’s some final documentation of the build process.
I want to share a list of all the different sites I use to find opportunities for shows, residencies and funding in the arts, hopefully you may also find these useful. I check up on these once or twice a year whenever I go into “apply yourself” mode.
SEARCHABLE RESIDENCY LISTINGS
GRANTS AND FUNDING
- http://futuregenerationartprize.org/en “The Future Generation Art Prize established by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in 2009 is a worldwide contemporary art prize to discover, recognize and give long-term support to a future generation of artists. The Prize is a major contribution to the open participation of younger artists in the dynamic cultural development of societies in global transition.The Prize is an innovative new international award for artists up to 35 years of age, investing in the artistic development and new production of works. Awarded through a competition, judged by a distinguished jury, the Prize is founded on the idea of generosity, a network of outstanding patron artists and institutional partners, and a highly democratic application procedure.”
- http://artadia.org/ “Artadia supports visual artists with unrestricted financial awards and fosters connections to a network of opportunities.” Limited to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, LA and the SF Bay Area.
- http://www.creative-capital.org/ “Creative Capital has awarded $29 million to 530 groundbreaking artists nationwide through funding, counsel and career development services. Our Professional Development workshops have empowered an additional 6,500 creative minds to strengthen their careers and enrich their communities.”
- http://source.nyfa.org/content/search/search.aspx?SA=1 The grand master of opportunity listings.
- http://www.hemingwayapp.com/ Of course, in addition to having a great portfolio, you also need to be able to write well to get accepted into these programs. I tend to use overly complex sentence structures myself, and have found Hemingway App immensely helpful for editing my prose, particularly for artists statements and work descriptions. Besides encouraging simplified sentence structures, it also supports a writing style that is more approachable by the general public.
- So lets send what I just wrote there through Hemingway and see what happens: Besides having a great portfolio, you also need to be able to write well to get accepted into these programs. I tend to use complex sentence structures myself, and have found the Hemingway App helpful in editing my artist statements and work descriptions. It supports a writing style that is more approachable to the general public. It also encourages simplified sentence structures.
Written sometime in 2008
there is a small place on the small of your back
where the flowers grow
(you can not see me)
and your face and the flowers don’t align
cut along a diagonal tear that rolls lightly out of your squinted red eyes
or is it my eye
lashes crushed and bent against your neck
salt and spittle and snot and drip
and drip and drip and drip
and who knew there were so many lines
around the corners of our mouths
and a hand and a hand
and they touch and depart
and they touch
Written sometime in 2008
The day angels passed me as I struggled through the thick and the white, whispers beating against the ice. Their orange blaze piercing through the gray; flying in a sharp cut line as half a flock of geese tear North, cut cut cut. Glory, glory as their gridded flanks passed me by. Hallelujah.
Been trying to do a little metal work over the summer in my living room studio. Don’t have things like soldering torches, pickle pots, or flex shafts yet, so these are really “hand” made with cold connections.
First one is silver and gold, second is silver, copper, and rosewood.