The culmination of over three years of research and art-making, clear, hold, build, has been installed at the JD Brooks gallery at Fairmont State University. I’m excited to finally see the work all together, and look forward to seeing how it’s received by the public. A big thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way, and for the opportunity to exhibit at Fairmont State University. Below is the synopsis of the exhibition, giving some details behind my thought processes and why I’m working the way I’m working, and making what I’m making. Please join me February 12th @6pm for the closing reception-
“My research as an artist targets both the controversial and formal aspects of who we are as individuals and as a working collective in contemporary society. The work is an investigation into materials and processes, and how these elements work with each other in the realm of industry, structure, aesthetics, and abstraction. My constructions often reference the figure as a human, individual, or element within our social networks. My continuing experiences as a creative maker give me a unique perspective on the importance of different construction-grade materials, and how our dependence on function and structure can be a conceptual and aesthetic venue. I am also attempting to show that the utilization of these materials and processes are necessary within our society, can enter political discourse, and yet are rarely relished as an artistic edifice.
My recent and continuing research into American policy decisions and their broad implications on our citizenry and beyond, has been a fertile conceptual and aesthetic repository. clear, hold, build is a direct reference to contemporary US military counter-insurgency strategies, but focuses in on the continuing degradation of our domestic infrastructure through a series of free-standing and wall mounted works. These emblems of infrastructure are juxtaposed against imagery of, or references to, military machinery or intelligence technology, which all to often dominates our budgetary priorities. The need to “take back” and “re-build” our critical civil engineering components such as bridge hinges, support girders, and highway systems that are often ignored is the nexus of the exhibition. The scale of the free-standing work, with subtle combinations of weathered paint, oxidized alloys, natural and treated wood, and industrial fasteners make the pieces approachable, yet dense and stoic, while the wall-mounted precision road sign installations offer a more cold and calculated interpretation of our current domestic infrastructure crisis.”
1. “Life Changing” (Iowa) 2015 18”x24” high definition vinyl waterjet print on steel support structure
1. “Enjoy The Show” (Missouri) 2015 18”x24” high definition vinyl waterjet print on steel support structure
3. “Native America” (Oklahoma) 2015 18”x24” high definition vinyl waterjet print on steel support structure
4. “Feels Like Coming Home” (Mississippi) 2015 18”x24” high definition vinyl waterjet print on steel support structure
5. “America Starts Here” (Pennsylvania) 2015 18”x24” high definition vinyl waterjet print on steel support structure
new prints just accepted to a big multi-gallery show in Iowa
Three of the new clear, hold, build prints were just accepted to a big multi-venue exhibition organized by the group exuberant politics in Iowa. “Enjoy The Show”, “Life Changing”, and “Feels Like Coming Home” were selected and will be shown from March 1- April 9 at Legion Arts in Cedar Rapids and Public Space One in Iowa City.
digital prints have been completed for “clear, hold, build” series
Clear, Hold, Build is a series of work that is the result research investigating our national infrastructure deficiencies. The data on crumbling roads and bridges in our country is all too often overlooked, and critical upkeep and expansions are under-funded. The title of the series is pulled from the recent military “surge” strategy employed in Iraq and Afghanistan, where counter-insurgency required an all-encompassing or holistic methodology to secure and rebuild local, regional, and national institutions. The states shown in these prints and upcoming sculptural work are all experiencing over 20% structural deficiencies in their bridge and highway systems, while receiving billions in defense industry contracts on an annual basis. The visual elements in the work are reminders of our state and national priorities as we continue to watch our infrastructure collapses around and under us.
On March 1, from 7 to 9 p.m., Brooks Gallery will host the opening reception for Véronique Côté’s new exhibition, “Punching Cattle on a Jackrabbit.” There will be a talk by the artist. The reception is free and open to the public.
Côté, who is an adjunct in the Department of Art, turns her critical and aesthetic eye toward the peculiarities of American culture. The artist is French-Canadian and steeped in current theory and studio practice and is well-placed to comment on American art and culture.
She says of the work in her exhibition, “To the foreign eye, the mixture of traditionalism, corporate dominion, religious indoctrination and pop culture that shape American heritage is a truly surreal experience. “Punching Cattle on a Jackrabbit” looks at the way in which America, and to some extent the Western World, builds and catechizes culture through the creations of multiple vagaries: mixtures of cultural artifacts, traditions, stereotypes and bizarre humor. The association of objects and images such as Disney’s Snow White characters, Mexican wrestlers, granny squares, and toy soldiers, along with a panoply of woodland creatures brings a comical tone to a capricious appraisal of our contemporary culture of war, violence, capitalism and popular kitsch.”
Côté’s exhibition will be on display through March 31. Regular gallery hours are Mondays – Fridays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Special arrangements may be made by calling or e-mailing Curator Marian J Hollinger: (304) 367-4300; firstname.lastname@example.org
This piece is an abstracted interpretation of how Philadelphia ironworkers, part of the local “401” trade union, could look if they became the construct of their actions on site. Better documentation will be coming, these shots are from my studio during construction and the initial install in a small, local gallery in Morgantown.
Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream is an exploration of new architectural possibilities for cities and suburbs in the aftermath of the recent foreclosure crisis. During summer 2011, five interdisciplinary teams of architects, urban planners, ecologists, engineers, and landscape designers worked in public workshops at MoMA PS1 to envision new housing and transportation infrastructures that could catalyze urban transformation, particularly in the country’s suburbs. Responding to The Buell Hypothesis, a research report prepared by the Buell Center at Columbia University, teams—lead by MOS, Visible Weather, Studio Gang, WORKac, and Zago Architecture—focused on a specific location within one of five “megaregions” across the country to come up with inventive solutions for the future of American suburbs. This installation presents the proposals developed during the architects-in-residence program, including a wide array of models, renderings, animations, and analytical materials.