Monday, August 29, 2011

Recent Work: "Floating Clusters" at Sapphire Lounge, NYC

The installation “Floating Clusters” is an installation/performance piece comprised of a dozen or more multi-colored piñatas which I will create myself and destroy in front of an audience. The concept originated as I searched for a project that I would be able to immerse myself in as I coped with the extreme personal disillusionment caused by a failed marriage.
I was also forced to take time off from large-scale oil painting when I moved into a small room without windows and paper mache proved a much less-toxic alternative to oils.

Also important to me is the idea of creating something out of nothing. Each piñata is crafted from paper mache made from found newspapers and flour glue. As the pieces are made to ultimately be destroyed, I am mindful of using recycled materials to create the works so I am not producing more waste, and instead making something out of what was once considered waste.
By using a cheap and accessible medium I am able to make as many pieces as possible without restrictions posed by cost of materials.

I begin each piñata with the idea that they are abstract, amoeba-like forms. Their structure is organic and so is the overall composition of the installation, always leaving room for more. In making the piñatas I usually listen to music and allow myself to surrender to the physical process of layering paper and glue over balloons, then layering cup forms over that which create uniform protrusions from the balloon form. The final step to creating the piñatas is to cut and layer different colors of tissue paper that I find in the 99 cent stores close to my Brooklyn apartment.
The bright, saturated color combinations vary in unpredictable ways and when the piñatas are grouped together in clusters it is hard to distinguish where one begins and another ends. This visual phenomenon is the effect I aim for and represents a sense of cohesion that I strive for in my paintings.

The piece has been previewed, but still will not be complete until the piñatas are smashed open and destroyed. The ideal space to complete the project would be a large, white room. The forms are still empty as filling them with candy or anything else would make them too heavy to transport, but I wish them to be filled with candy as well as more colored tissue, mini lighters, condoms, glow-sticks, etc.
I hope for the audience and participants of this work to share in my cathartic release of months of work and coming to terms with life, love and ultimately the notion that we are all alone together, and why not make a party of it?