I’m so glad I was able to catch the Antony Gormley show at the Royal Academy of Arts show while I was visiting London. When you visit London there are so many things to do that you really can’t do it all. I’d been running around the East End all morning but I said let me just check if there are any tickets even available and there were. I came across the first piece of this show Steel Baby while I was running to get inside for my ticketed time. I stopped in my tracks when I noticed a sculpture of a small new born baby curled up on the ground. You could walk right up to it. I didn’t take a photo unfortunately but found this one with a Google search. It struck me that it looked so out of place and vulnerable. It made me think about how that’s how we all come into this world, small, vulnerable and so dependent on someone taking care of all our needs. The placement of that one piece told me that I wasn’t going to be disappointed by this show. The over arching theme to the show is about being human and connections between our bodies and the earth. There was a silhouette of a curled up body made with bites out of pieces of bread. Another piece appeared to be drawing directly on the wall with clay or clay colored chalk. It resembled a finger print but the precision of this drawing was stunning and mesmerizing especially in the center where it seemed to be undulating.
It is said that his work is investigating the relationship of the human body to space. What does it mean to be in a body and to take up space? His piece Lost Horizon fills one massive gallery with cast iron sculptures of the artist’s body scattered around the room, coming out at 90 degree angles from the walls and stuck to the ceiling.
The human scale of the repeated body forms and the unconventional and unnatural configuration of the bodies is a bit jarring and unsettling. They seem foreboding yet their nudity makes them feel vulnerable as well.
Matrix III fills another gallery with a massive amount of interlocking steel grids that hover over head. I think I read that he dimensions are somehow based on the human form. But I think the way it levitates when it shouldn’t be possible and how it makes you feel uncomfortable when you walk under is more to the point he’s trying to make.
The piece called Cave is a jumble of steel boxes that fill and spill out of the gallery. They are actually meant to represent a figure laying down with one foot sticking out of the gallery on one end and a hand sticking out a doorway on the other side. The viewer is invited to enter this piece through a short, narrow and dark tunnel that curves before it opens up to a large space with light spilling in from an opening over head.
The piece titled Host is a huge gallery filled with mud and sea water that comments on our relationship to nature. The contained body of water (funny that it’s called a body of water) creates beautiful reflections and a chill is felt coming from it that would not be able to be replicated by any other means.
There are tables of the artist’s sketch books that spans 45 years and give you a little peak inside his mind. Sorry I didn’t photograph them.
The pièce de ré·sis·tance is a room filled with scrolls of back aluminum tube that are held in by the walls and ceilings. It fills the room and looks like a huge 3D scribble. Once again the viewer is invited to complete the piece. The interaction once you enter is inevitable as you try to figure out the route of lest resistance to successfully exit on the other side without getting hopelessly tangled up. I was alone so a selfie was in order to document my participation in this shared experience with those that came through it before me and those that will come through it after me.
I was interviewed by Margaret Winslow, Delaware Art Museum‘s Curator of Contemporary Art for Art Watch Radio along with Juried Craft Exhibition Juror, Paul Sacaridiz. This came about because of my inclusion in the Juried Craft Exhibition that continues through January 27th, 2019.
Margaret’s interview with Paul Sacaridiz, the Executive Director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle, Maine is first and they discuss among other things how he went about selecting 61 objects by 39 artists from 350 submissions. Margaret also asks him his feelings about the age old question should there be a division between contemporary craft and contemporary art. He actually believes there should be to preserve the history of craft and craftsmen and women.
During my interview(starts at 16:05) Margaret asked me to describe my process of nuno felting and the creation of my fiber sculptures. Her second question was “what are the common threads of inquiry woven throughout your creative practice?”. I talk a bit about my love of nature stemming from my childhood spent on our family boat and how I enjoy playing with natural processes in the studio. Then I give a plug for my 2 person show at The Delaware Contemporary where I am showing sculpture and painting. That show, titled Flow is ongoing through Jan 9th.
Great news, Le Galleriste has decided to use another one of my paintings for their clothing line! I have a promo code to share with 10 lucky people, read below.
Le Galeriste (french for art gallery owner) specializes in the production of original art on premium garments made in Montreal, Canada. The company’s mission is to help emerging artists focus on their art by supplying revenues and visibility through the sale of environmentally and humanly responsible garments. You can check out my shop on their website here. The first 10 people to purchase will receive 20% off with the promo code LC03Gift. Make sure to check out this other site Shoppok.com when you want to buy online.
Should I get the dress or the kimono???
Iris van Herpen is a Dutch fashion designer who started her label in 2007 and has been showing couture collections coming out of her Amsterdam atelier since 2011. She completely embraces new materials and cutting edge technologies like 3D printing yet her work is still heavily dependent on couture handiwork. Although she says she was slow to embrace the use of computers when she was in school now she is known for creating a symbiotic relationship between the two different worlds.
What drew me to her work were beautiful fluid and organic shapes she creates that when on the body are simply mesmerizing. Some say that her work is futuristic but she disagrees and says these are things that can be made now not in the future. I think the textures and forms allude to the natural world and remind me of natural growths such as coral or fungus and when worn on the body resemble exotic sea creatures. She enjoys collaboration with artists and architects that come for disciplines different from her own. In the video of her collection titled Syntopia you can see her collaboration with the designers Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of Drift Studio in the form of a kinetic sculpture that mimics the movement of a bird flying. I wrote about Studio Drift previously here.
Syntopia – In this collection Iris van Herpen explores the new worlds that arise within synthetic biology and the intertwining relationships between the organic and the inorganic. ʻSyntopiaʼ acknowledges the current scientific shift in which biology converges with technology and visualizes the fragility and power within. excerpted from her website
The following photos are all from her collection Syntopia, you can see and read more here. You are looking at digitally designed weaving, laser cut wool, laser cut and heat bonded silk, laser cut mylar and transparent black acrylic sheets. Inspiration runs from bird’s sound wave patterns to bird flight and the layering of bird’s feathers. These themes are broken down and slowed down to give the effect of time lapse motion.
If you want to see how some of these garments are made watch the 2 videos below. The second video is about her collection Ludi Naturae and you can also see Peter Gentenaar hanging his beautiful paper sculptures that I wrote about here.
Iris van Herpen Ludi Naturae from Ryan McDaniels on Vimeo.
A while back I was the recipient of a mini grant through Blick Art Supplies in partnership with InLiquid Art and Design. Here are the supplies I purchased with the grant and below is my proposal.
I was given more spray paint for Christmas from my family gift exchange. So exciting, look at these colors!
I have been an artist my entire life but sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my time. I ask myself why is it so hard for artists to make a living making art? Artists are without a doubt undervalued in our society. This is the same society that pays NFL athletes an average yearly salary of 1.9 million. These facts curtail the development of some artists. Without the market to sell their work artists stop striving to innovate and literally stop creating new work.
I aspire to create public art as architectural glass installed in buildings to inspire and enhance the lives of many. To achieve such a lofty goal first I need to work through many ideas and create a lot of work. Secondly I need to get this work seen by the public.
I am proposing to make art and give it all away for free. I’ll be working on Dur-a-lar or acetate with liquid acrylics, acrylic inks and spray paint to make pieces that when hung on a window look different depending on lighting. They also look different whether they are viewed from the front or back. After I make the work I’ll share it on social media and then hide it in public places for people to find. If you find it it’s yours and you can keep it or pass it on. Using the hash tag #ifoundfreeart on Instagram people can share where they found it and where it will be displayed. I’m proposing this project to demonstrate the power of art to inspire, enhance lives and build community.
That’s what I wrote and now I’m in the process of making the work. Next will be the fun part of giving it away. I still have to work out how that will actually play out.
In January or February I started with some small experiments. I used pours something I know, along with hand made stencils and some found objects used as stencils. I work on separate layers of clear acetate and frosted Duralar so things can be moved around until something works. All the while I’m holding them up to allow light come through them like stain glass. To photograph them I either tape them to the window or put them on my light box. I started posting them almost every day on Instagram as a way to push myself to work even if I only have a half hour. It’s amazing what is happening here. I have a whole new visual language developing. Here are some of them and some process shots as well.
I have a closing reception on Saturday March 4th at CAMP Rehoboth Community Center in Rehoboth Beach, DE. It’s a great excuse to visit Rehoboth if you’re in the area.
CAMP Rehoboth Community Center is a wonderful place that celebrates diversity and works to create a strong sense of community and a more positive environment for all people, gay and straight. The reception is scheduled for 1 pm, stop by and enjoy some refreshments. I hope to see you there.
On display you’ll see some of my Plexiglas paintings hanging in a small grouping from the ceiling with room for light to come through them.
A small alcove made a great spot to display this silk sculpture with another Plexiglas painting.
I have 2 of my new paintings included in the show. They’re 24 x 24 inches, acrylic on stretched canvas. This one is titled Surf’s Up.