Monday, May 14, 2012

RAM 2012 Midwestern Biennial

Rockford Art Museum's 2012 Midwestern Biennial kicks off this coming weekend. Two years ago, they accepted two of the three pieces I submitted. This year, they took one, which I talked about in this essay. Those two occurrences right there have made me a big fan of RAM. But today, I was informed by the curator that I won the First Place Award for 3D work.

I am now a big, big fan of RAM and the town of Rockford. Plus, I can really use that money right about now.

Here's my revised artist statement:
They say information is power. And yet, the single most important shared connection we have is not informational, but emotional. Emotions have evolved where choice is possible. We feel attraction, love, jealousy, fear, happiness, hate, anxiety because they serve to motivate and guide our actions when and where no immediate reward or logic exists to guide us. Emotions supply meaning and value to our logical choices. Without consciously intending it, most of my figurative work is some kind of comment upon the increasing amount of electronic remediation that occurs in our lives.  We’ve added a filter layer in between ourselves and objective reality in the form of our gadgets – our smart phones, music players, pad and laptop computers, flatscreen TVs. And this filter layer mediates not only our senses, but also the emotional impact of our shared experiences. Increasingly, we have no clear idea how any of this technology works. We use it, but we do not understand it. We take it for granted as part of the background, as if it were all just a prosaic form of magic, and we, like South Sea cargo cultists, unquestioningly perform rituals.
In one sense, we have become modern primitives.

Scotty and Katie with their favorite piece
I don't know how my dad got in the picture
Other things. This past Friday night, I went to NIU in Dekalb, IL, for a former student aide's BFA show. As I was the driver, I did not get to drink. Others did. It was a dual show with the student and his girlfriend (pictured here), and they collaborated on a number of pieces, as well as displayed individual works. Having seen them produce works over the years, was quite pleased with their progress. (Although I must admit I like her works better. Shh!)

Later, we went to a bar for after show drinks. (I did have one beer, which I drank early, and then sipped ice water. I was sober for the hour's drive back to Chicago). I wish I had taken pictures at the bar, because apparently the Daisy Duke look is back, and there were many ladies sporting it. (Either the look is back, or it never left corn-country Dekalb).

Other things. This past weekend, I spent all of Saturday and Sunday TIG welding the aluminum frame for Newman's outdoor sculpture. (Newman is the sculptor I work for on the weekend, and, yes, I work seven days a week, with about one weekend off per month - I need the money). I will post pictures of the aluminum frame next weekend if I remember. The sculpture will be aluminum framed and skinned, and will end up being about 10 feet by 20 feet by 4 feet in dimensions. The name of the sculpture is "High Beam", although, with the number of support struts, triangles, and diagonals we have placed within it, I've taken to calling it the "Graf Zeppelin".

A curious thing happened Sunday. As I was working on the frame of the support portion we have started to call the "Curvy Bottom", I noticed a big, fat old fly had landed on a strut not a foot from face. I had been clamping and welding pieces on, and all the time, that big, fat, old fly just sat there. At first I thought, well, that UV light had blinded it and it was stunned. But, as I'm working, it flitted over to another strut about four inches away. I couldn't guess why it didn't get freaked out by the plasma blast from the TIG torch head. Maybe it likes UV light?

In any case, being a live-and-let-live kind of guy, I didn't kill it, though the thought of blasting it with the electric arc did cross my mind. But, damn, the boldness of the fat little fellow kind of endeared me to it. I almost would have called it cute.

And no, I did not make a pet of it.

1 comment:

  1. lol at curvy bottoms and daisy dukes...,