Saturday, October 2, 2010

About My Art Pt. 1

For those of you who follow me, you might know I am currently prepping to look for my first gallery representation for my art. On of the best resources I've found has been the archive of articles on Alan Bamberger's website at One of the ways I have been preparing myself and my work has been to write down some of the questions he mentions people might want to know about your art. I thought I'd share a couple writing exercises with you (exercises I did to get to know my own art better). I already realized that I don't mention photography enough, so it's been a good process for me even at this early hour. Here's my answer to the questions about:

"How does your art evolve? Are you intentional right from the start or does direction materialize as you work? "

There is an element of critical mass involved with the projects I produce. I have usually developed an intimate knowledge with a topic and the context/subculture around it. As my curiosity about how these cultural locations are connected in hidden ways to other cultural forces & histories overwhelms my straight-forward interest in the topic my art production begins. Often this means that I'm already in a project when I officially "start" a project.

Almost always that means I am producing my art from both the inside and outside of a topic. That I tend to produce in a outward trajectory after mastery of a topic. For instance, with the anime convention project I was a fan for a long time, starting anime clubs, watching any import or bootleg tape off Japanese TV I could get my hands on, even helping to start a convention, and as I reached a plateau where I started to be meta-critical of my own identity and goals in the subculture I found I had already been shooting photos at conventions as a way to occupy my boredom. I had already been writing essays and making comics about the weird, darker edges and anxious emotions that accompanied the fandom. It's more of a declaration of something that is already in process when I start a project.

Being an extremely production oriented artist every project evolves wildly during the process of completing it. I delve in to a topic with curiosities, mysteries, anxieties and frustrations and through an intensive process of work, revision, self critique, research and pondering (layered, repeated many times) the work evolves, goes in new directions, branches off, splits, flows in to other projects, other media, breaks apart and reforms in more nuanced and refined ways. A search to find and express in clear terms, not the truth of a topic, but a rather the nuances, ambivalences, incongruities and ambiguities of the world itself.

Often this means backtracking, trying numerous different medias, techniques, chance tactics, changing context, blank staring, and large amounts of production that is culled so as to see the many facades and facets of a project. I joke that my best working method is to attempt to make every mistake I can around the way to approach and produce a project. But really it's a fairly accurate assessment, in that I am trying to learn the edges and nuances of the topic, find where it breaks, find what drives my subconscious passion, the other's obsessions, the dark pathways that are at once a touch troubling but also have a twilight beauty.

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