Friday, October 24, 2008

Urban Archeology - Arqueología Urbana

Shortly after moving to Mallorca I began to document the abundant activity in the construction and destruction of properties on the island. I still observe the antique mixing with the modern, sometimes harmoniously, sometimes in conflict.

What piques my curiosity most are the façades left behind after the demolition of a neighboring building. For a few short months, one can see the imprint left on the walls of lives once lived. It is a cross-section of changing generations of ownership.
By capturing these views before they are covered for another span of time, I attempt to depict contemporary artifacts obscured by civilization and progress. I mimic this process in my works by using discarded construction materials and painting over my own paintings.

What you are reading is the written portion of a proposal I just sent out for a juried show in Palma. I have been preparing for the opportunity for 6 months. And although the competition is certainly not a punctuation mark, I feel that I have already won- deadlines are great motivators!

Arqueología Urbana

Poco después de venir a vivir a Mallorca empecé a documentar la abundante actividad en la construcción y destrucción dentro de la isla. Aún observo lo antiguo mezclándose con lo moderno, a veces armoniosamente, otras en conflicto.

Lo que pica mi curiosidad es que la mayoria de las fachadas dejaron trás de sí la demolición del edificio colindante. Durante unos pocos meses, uno puede ver la imprenta dejada en las paredes de los que una vez vivieron allí. Es una muestra representativa de los cambios generacionales de la propiedad. Al capturar estas vistas antes de que sean recubiertas por otro lapso del tiempo, intento plasmar los artefactos contemporáneos obscurecidos por la civilización y el progreso. Imito este proceso en mis obras usando materiales descartados por la construcción y cubriendo antiguas obras mías.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Piso Tres Plantas, Inca Mallorca

Another battle of the paintings! Thanks to those who helped last week. I would like to include only one of these two large scale works (approx. 4 X 5.5 feet) in my proposal going off tomorrow.
What's your gut feeling? The one above (needs a few more touches) Inca 3- Story, or below, Escavation in Málaga? The bottom image is a bit washed out- try to visualize it with darker blacks. Thanks!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fossil, Pollensa & other casts

I'm looking for a quick opinion: I need to add one of these two versions to a proposal this week. Tell me- which is stronger: the brown or blue-grey version?

These are interpretations of the imprint left from a torn-down building in historic Pollensa, Mallorca. They are approximately 24 X 24 inches square - each composed of 4 plaster relief tiles cast from clay carvings I made. I have posted drawings of this image before (see August posts on Pollensa Facade).

Above and below are two individual castings (8X10in.) I finished this week as well; they are more abstract, made with remnants of building materials found on the side of the road.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A New Facade- a new series

I finally darted out last night to document this beauty in Inca. I had been getting nervous that it would disappear behind scaffolding and newly cast cement pillars. Alas, I got it- it's sooo good - there are lots of different tiles and marble elements remaining. The arches under the staircases add a nice design twist.

Give me a few weeks, or months to transform this inspiration into new works! Even Malena sucked in her breath when we pulled over- she really gets her mama.

It would be interesting to find the people who used to inhabit these imaginary walls- just to let them know someone still cares!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Clean Slate

High on the joy of finishing the set of "Habitaciones" paintings I just finished, I sought out more panels of the same size to continue the series...and found another sacrifice to the wheel of painting life - a very labored painting from 2002 of ferns morphing into spinal columns. I am not sure I have ever even exhibited this piece, but too late now!

Is this tendency recycling or more of an artistic Darwinism? The survival of the newest?

NEW WORK: First Floor, Rooms 1,2,3 &4

Piso 1° Planta, Habitaciones 1, 2, 3, y 4 / First Floor Apartment, Rooms 1,2,3, and 4
(Acrylic, fiberglas patching compound, permanent marker, 41 X 51 cm/ea. 2008)

The intention of this series is that the one can arrange the individual paintings in various compositions of 'rooms' and the image still works as a whole. The first arrangement is true to the original building. This second one is mixed.

Above and below are views of two of the individual paintings. More are in the works. Imagine a cluster of 6 or 8 on the wall!

By the way, these four panels were formerly homes to paintings in the Immersion series.

Escavation In Málaga, finished

I posted a draft of this piece a while back - I believe it is finished now. Seeing it here, out of context, I think I will continue to try to document it, as the top half is a bit washed-out.

Tell, what are your thoughts of the wood grain combined with the imagery of masonry and cement structures? I'm curious...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Layer number ?

My niece said she really liked the pieces in the last post- well, I am pleased, however you have to be fast with me because I love LAYERS.  In this post you can see they have mostly been covered up.  

In fact, most of the new work I am creating at the moment is painted on top of other paintings I felt were less successful or that I just got tired of looking at. This approach is cost effective and supports well the concept of urban archeology and the removal and addition of layers of 'influence'. 

The temporary, yet cyclical nature of everything is what inspires me. For example, the images upon which these paintings are based need to be taken quickly, soon after I spot them from a car or train window - because very soon a new building will be erected in their place. These cross sections of a life once-lived are fleeting.

These two (above and below) are details of a larger piece. 
So, next time you like a piece, you might consider making a bid before it continues on it's cycle and takes on a new life!